Windows On The Holidays

Painting holiday themes on the windows on Coushatta’s historic Front Street is complete.  They are part of decorating our town for Christmas and the windows will form the backdrop of the festivities on December 9th.

Have you seen the Front Street windows this week?  They look amazing thanks to Mr. Jeff Edwards and these following talented RRHS art students. 

Kayla Williams

Navaeh Caldwell

Precious Gray

Terry Jefferson

Shakiya Jones

Payel Patal

Annaston Villapando

The Christmas Parade and Fireworks will begin at 4:30 on Thursday, December 9th.  Let’s celebrate Christmas as a community.

Special Services Sunday

Social Springs Baptist Church issued an invitation to join them this Sunday November 28th as we kick off the Christmas season with our annual Hanging of the Green at 11:00 am.  Then at 6:00 pm the church will gather for “Christmas at the Springs” with Bro. Price Harris.

First Methodist Coushatta is also holding a Hanging of the Greens during the regular morning service on November 28th.  Last week members decorated a huge Christmas Tree with Chrismons and that will serve as a backdrop for the special service.  Regular worship is at 10:50 Sunday morning.

Almost Unnoticed

By John Brewer

This past Monday was a significant day in the history of these United States and the World.  Yet this day went almost unnoticed.  It wasn’t a significant anniversary, like the 10th or 25th of the event.  It was the 58th anniversary. Your reporter remembered and the images with this article bring those events back as vividly as when I first read that tattered sheet of news copy.

It was a Friday shortly after noon and I was a student in college.  I worked part time at the local radio station.  That is where I got the news. I was notified to get to work quickly, so I ditched afternoon classes and headed to the station.

The air was grim when I arrived.  I soon found out why.

My role was to cover the local angle, to see what people thought of those horrific events.  And as such began a career in radio journalism that would span 50+ years.  I suppose that is why I do the Journal.  It is sort of in your blood.

Have you guessed yet what happened at 12:39 pm on Friday, November 22, 1963 yet?  That was the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  Fifty-Eight years ago.  I remember it just like yesterday.

Note:  The top photo is the President, First Lady and Texas Governor John Connally sitting in the Presidential Limo before departing Dallas Love Field for downtown.

The tattered and yellowed paper that has faded with time is the original news we received from the UPI.

The photo of the limo driving off just after the President was wounded is from a home movie made by one of the spectators who lined the motorcade route.

And the photo made up of type characters is from UPI and was sent to all teletype machines on their system a short time after the events of November 22nd.

The teletype page and Presidential portrait are from UPI.  Other images are from the book Four Days by UPI and American Heritage Magazine.

Coushatta Woman Killed in Red River Parish Crash on Thanksgiving Day

Thursday morning, just before 11:00 a.m., Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop G began investigating a one-vehicle fatality crash on US Hwy 371, just north of US Hwy 71.  This crash claimed the life of 56-year-old Constance Cole.

The initial investigation revealed a 2012 Ford Focus, driven by Cole was traveling south on US Hwy 371.  For reasons still under investigation, Cole exited the roadway, struck a culvert, became airborne, then impacted the ground.

Cole, who was restrained, suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash; however, routine toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis.  The crash remains under investigation.

In 2021, Troop G has investigated 33 fatal crashes, resulting in 35 deaths.

La Tech Commencement

Johnson focuses on perseverance and purpose in Louisiana Tech’s Fall 2021 Commencement address.  Louisiana Tech University conferred degrees on 284 in the University’s Fall 2021 Commencement ceremonies, held Saturday in the Thomas Assembly Center.

State Rep C. Travis Johnson, a 2007 Louisiana Tech graduate in Political Science, advised Tech’s newest alumni to focus on perseverance and purpose in order to achieve their future goals.

“No matter what, when things seem not to be going in your favor, you must persevere,” Johnson said. “I believe you will soar if you do not let the adversities you face obliterate your passion. You must use your adversities and see setbacks as set ups for success.”

The graduates should also work to find their true purpose in life, Johnson said.

“Knowing your why is absolutely critical,” Johnson said. “When you are walking the path that is laid out only for you, then every person you meet, every mistake you make, every accomplishment you obtain, will lead you to your goals.

“Your purpose is not a job or a title, your purpose is what you are called to do.”

Johnson is a native of Ferriday who has served the 21st District in the Louisiana Legislature since 2019

An Angler’s Thanksgiving



By Steve Graf


Now that we have carved the turkey and taken a nap while watching the Dallas Cowboys traditional Thanksgiving Day game, we can now turn our attention to Christmas. But before we begin to think about jolly Ole St. Nick, let’s take a look at why I’m so thankful. No one appreciates more than me the opportunities I’ve had over the years to pursue and chase largemouth bass all across the southern United States. As a bass fisherman, I am truly blessed in so many ways. While I’m sure I’ll probably leave something out, here’s my list of what I’m thankful for.

  1. My health… At the age of 60, and still in decent shape, I’m able to get in and out of my boat without busting my butt. I can still make that giant leap onto the front deck and drop the trolling motor in the water. I can fish all day and still feel pretty good the next day, as long as I’m taking my joint supplements and Aleve!
  2. My boat… As a young man growing up, I looked forward to the day I would be launching my 20-foot Ranger bass boat with a 250 HP Yamaha engine on the back and the best Minn Kota trolling motor (Ultrex)… that with the push of a button will lock you down on a brush pile in the middle of the lake.It is a boat fully carpeted with awesome seats that rides like a luxury car and the best state of the art electronics that could probably help navigate your way to the moon and back.
  3. The best rods and reels…. Another blessing is being a part of an awesome company like Daiwa. They have a tremendous line of rods and reels that I have used for the last six years, that just might be the best on the planet.
  4. My relationships with certain companies…. Over the years, I’ve forged relationships with companies like Ranger Boats, Daiwa, SPRO, Gamakatsu, V&M,Seaguar fishing line and Santone Lures. Great companies that are staples in the bass fishing industry. What a blessing!
  5. Great tournament organizations … I love competition and today anglers have a multitude of options to choose from. Organizations like B.A.S.S. and Major League Fishing (MLF) offer a wide range of tournaments for all skill levels from high school to college to professional. At no time in history has there been so many bass fishing opportunities that allow anglers to compete.
  6. The best lakes in the country….Take a pen and draw a 150-mile radius around Natchitoches, Louisiana, and you will have circled three of top 10 lakes in the country. Located right here in our own back yard are legendary lakes like Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn and Caddo. But just outside that radius in East Texas sit Lake Fork, Lake of the Pines, Lake Monticello, and I’ll even throw in the Red River, just because of its history of hosting the Bassmaster Classic twice and a place I love to fish.
  7. Friends and fellow competitors…. This is what makes tournament bass fishing special. The friendships and connections I have made through bass fishing is insane. While all of us want to win every time we launch our boats, there’s something special about the relationships you form with fellow anglers that cannot be explained. Just like any other sport, there are “clicks” or groups of guys that will help each other during an event like maybe sharing a technique they’re using or sharing information about a bait they’re getting bites on. Within each of these clicks though, is a word called trust. Bass anglers are a funny bunch when it comes to sharing info and before they will share, trust must be established. Just like a marriage, if trust is broken, that bond is severed forever.

One more thing, as an outdoorsman I’ve had the joy of watching some of the best sunrises and sunsets ever seen. God paints an awesome display each and every day on a giant blue canvas. There’s something special in the air on a tournament morning just before take-off with the sun rising in the east and anglers sitting on the water. It’s an indescribable feeling of how good God is and what a privilege it is to get to do what I do. I’m truly thankful for all of this, and so much more, that I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy during my long bass fishing career. Till next week, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Journal Accepts Announcements

The Red River Parish Journal publishes public and private announcements.  Some of the categories of announcements we publish include Help Wanted, Public Meetings, Obituaries, Engagement, and Wedding announcements.

Please submit details and photos to:  Be sure to include your name and working cell phone number.  You will be contacted to make arrangements for publication and pricing.

Don’t Let Your Holiday Travel Turn Tragic

Throughout the holiday season, millions of Americans will be on our roadways eager to spend time with family and friends. According to the American Automobile Association, 2021 is expected to be one of the busiest travel years due to new health and safety guidelines. An estimated 53.4 million people will travel this season compared to 47.1 million in 2020. This increase in travel could also potentially lead to an increase in motor vehicle crashes.

In 2020, nearly 800 people were injured and eight people were killed in fatal crashes in Louisiana during the Thanksgiving holiday period (November 25-29).  In an effort to decrease the number of crashes and keep our roadways safe, Louisiana State Police will be proactively patrolling our state’s highways during the Thanksgiving travel period focusing on impaired driving and occupant protection, as well as aggressive and distracted drivers.

Last year, nearly half of fatal crashes investigated involved impaired drivers. Alcohol and drugs can impair visual ability, alter sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. Troopers have a “zero tolerance” policy and those caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be arrested. Motorists are encouraged to either designate a sober driver or utilize an alternate ride home before consuming alcohol.

Louisiana State Troopers and local law enforcement partners will be working to enforce the state’s seat belt laws as part of NHTSA’s high visibility Click It or Ticket seat belt awareness campaign.  Louisiana law requires all vehicle occupants to be properly restrained, regardless of their seating position, day or night.  While not all crashes are survivable, wearing a seat belt is the single most effective action motorists can do to reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of a crash. Troopers along with the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission urge all drivers to ensure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained. Every Trip, Every Time!

Aggressive driving behavior, such as speeding and distracted driving, are among the leading causes of highway crashes. Speeding and driver distractions can reduce a driver’s ability to react to a roadway hazard and extend their distance necessary to stop a vehicle. Distracted driving can take many forms, but all remain extremely dangerous to everyone on our roads.

As you plan your travel route this year, visit or dial 511 for the latest road conditions, including closures and construction. The Louisiana 511 phone app is also available for download.  Motorists that witness hazardous road conditions or reckless drivers are encouraged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police troop location.

Every day, Troopers witness preventable crashes that lead to lifelong consequences. As you travel this Thanksgiving holiday period, we ask for your help in making Louisiana’s roadways safe. We are thankful to serve the citizens of Louisiana every day, and we hope you and your family have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

ETC… For Friday, November 26, 2021

First United Methodist Church on Front Street will begin a series of Advent Lunches next Wednesday.  Each event will include lunch and a short devotion.  This series runs every Wednesday until Christmas.

BETA club at Magnolia Bend Academy will sponsor two blood drives this school year.    The first will be January 25th and the second will be April 5th.    We will publish more information closer to the event.

Everyone likes holiday treats.  Same for local 4-H club members.  It was hard not to get in the holiday spirit with this group!  Mrs. Kimberlyn, our FCS agent, helped us create food mixes in mason jars, candy cane hot cocoa pops and bath salts, trees and peppermint bark.

Bulldogs Season Ends at Rosepine

By Christy Suggs

The Red River Bulldogs traveled to Rosepine to take on the Eagles in the 2nd Round of 2A football Playoffs.  Rosepine took first possession and easily scored in the first few minutes. This would set the tone for the 1st half of the game. Red River was unable to score any points in the 2 quarters. Rosepine capitalized on this and put up 21 points going into the half. 

The Bulldogs did not let the first half be the end of the story. They came out with a vengeance fighting for the season not to end. The Dawgs scored off a Quarterback run by Tre Smith from Rosepine’s 5 yard line.  Ryder Hogan kicked in the Point after Touchdown. The Bulldog defense came out ready too, getting a sack on third down forcing the Eagles to punt. On a 38 yard pass to Antron Williams the bulldogs put another touchdown on the board and Ryder Hogan topped it off with a PAT. This made the score RR 14- Rosepine 21.  On the following kickoff, the Bulldog special teams unit forced a fumble on Rosepine’s 33 yard.  The Dawgs would not let this opportunity go by and score off a 13 yard run by QB Tre Smith. (RR 21-Rosepine 21). The third quarter ended tied. 

The Eagles scored off a 10 yard run early in the 4th quarter (RR 21-Rosepine 28).  But the Dawgs would not let that stop them. Red River replied with a touchdown from Stanley Maxie on the next drive once again tying the score at 28. On fourth down, the Eagles tried to be tricky with a fake punt but were unsuccessful and gave the ball to the Bulldogs at midfield. Red River took the ball with time winding down.  The Dawgs would have one last play before the game would go into overtime. Tre Smith passed the ball to Stanley Maxie who would run about 12 yards before lateraling it forward to D’Evin McDonald who ran it in. The touchdown was called back and the quarter ended.

The Dawgs started on Defense in overtime. The Eagle put up the first touchdown and PAT. Red River would not go quietly into the night. On a fourth down effort, Tre Smith threw a 5 yard pass to D’Evin McDonald for a touchdown. Ryder Hogan kept us in the game with a PAT that forced a double overtime . The Dawgs got the ball first in the second overtime, scoring on a pass to Stanley Maxie and Hogan with the PAT.  The Eagles would score on their turn to make the score 42-41 Red River leading by 1. Instead of going for 1 point, the Eagles decided to go for a 2 point conversion. This would either end the Eagles season or they would be moving on to the third round. As the ball was snapped the whole place was quiet. The Quarterback would take the ball to the left side, putting it inside and barely making it across the line, making the score 43-42.

From Head Coach Jeff Harper:

I’m proud of our team and coaches. Friday night was painful because we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do at the beginning of the season. I’m heartbroken for our seniors who played their last high school game for Red River.

I’m proud of how they responded to adversity. We played one of the worst halves of football this season. We responded well in the second half by scoring 21 consecutive points to tie the game before heading into the fourth quarter.

As coaches that’s what we want from our guys. We didn’t quit, we responded. When things were against them they kept moving forward.

Late in the fourth quarter we had the ball, a timeout, and the opportunity to win the game in regulation. That’s all we can ask for from our team. We had a chance to win the game. I’m proud of our team and grateful to everyone who supported us this year.

Thanks to Quality Ford for the game photo.

We Have A Winner!

The Coushatta Chamber of Commerce has announced the winner of the Coushatta Shopping Event competition.  She is Brittany Borders.

Many merchants in town participating in the two day shopping event last week.  To enter contestants went to at least four participating merchants to shop.  They made a purchase of at least $20 from one of them.  The Journal published a special code word that a contestant could use to increase their chance of winning.

For her effort, Borders won a basket of prizes filled with more than $350 of gift certificates and merchandise.  Congratulations to Brittany Borders.

The Chamber termed Filling Santa’s Sleigh was a great success!  There were 122 participant cards to draw from.  Thank you to all the businesses that participated!

Business Decoration Contest Judging Next Week

The Coushatta/Red River Chamber of Commerce 2021 business Christmas judging contest is underway.  The holidays are right around the corner and this year we are asking businesses to decorate for the holidays. 

The Chamber’s contest is offering cash prizes.  For 1st Place the prize is $200.00.  Second place wins $100.00.  The third place finisher will get a Prize Gift Basket.

Contest Guidelines:

  1. Judging will occur on December 2-4, 2021
  2. Businesses will be judged on:
  3. Design and display
  4. Creativity
  5. Overall Curb appeal or WOW!

The Chamber said the judging will be done by 6 judges and tallied by 2 individuals.  The winning businesses will be announced at the parade on December 9, 2021.

Sports District Reconfigured

The Journal reported several weeks ago that Red River High would remain in class 2A for the next two years.  Now LHSAA has reconfigured the districts for the major sports and Red River’s district will have a new look.

These will be the district opponents for the next two years:


Lakeview, Mansfield,

Many, and


The re-alignment is effective with the 2022-23 sports seasons.  The LHSAA is giving schools who are unhappy with the alignment until 1:00 pm on Monday November 29 to appeal.

High and Junior High Join National Honor Society

On Friday, Red River High and Red River Junior High joined the National Honor Society.  The schools inducted their first classes of members.  Both induction ceremonies took place in the high school auditorium.

Proud friends and relatives applauded for the new members as they were introduced.  They took their oath and received certificates of membership.  Marco Reyes is the society Advisor.

First Inducted class of Red River High’s National Honor Society:

Shakerry Ashworth

Gracie  Baker

La’Dabriana  Calhoun

Vilasia  Calhoun

Brett  Danzy

Seth  Durr 

Keauna Henderson

Madison  Hillin

Ryder  Hogan

Kaitlyn  Housley

Keegan  King

Hayley  Loe

Payal  Patel

Latasia  Perkins

Talasia  Smith

Zintayvious  Smith

Ayana  Williams

Kayla  Williams

Korie  Williamson

Jeyden Young

Red River Junior High reported On Friday, 11/19/21, RRJH inducted it’s very first class of National Junior Honor Society members. We are so proud of our kids and congratulate them! We are excited to see you leading the pack, participating in community service, and setting both a character and academic example for others. Thanks to the NJHS sponsor, Dustie Jo Rambin Gibson, for serving in this capacity and getting this ceremony together. Awesome job to all.

If You’re Dead, Why Even Take A Shower?

By Teddy Allen

Former Times sportswriter Jim McLain died a little more than three years ago, something I’d forgotten about until I saw him the other day in Shreveport.

It is not often you get to talk to your friends, in person, after they die. But Mr. McLain, a reporter for nearly 40 years and a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame since 1995 when he was presented the Distinguished Service Award, is nothing if not durable. Even after he’d died, he’d gone about his business, pro that he is.

Turns out that, according to Jim, the only really good part about being dead and not knowing about it is the being, as he describes it, “blissfully unaware.” But once he found out he was dead, well, it was a bit of a different ballgame.

“I might not have known I was dead for several more weeks if I hadn’t gotten a call from my doctor’s office,” he said.

The woman was pleasant when he answered but confused when, after she asked his name, he identified himself as the proposed deceased. The doctor’s secretary even asked to speak to his wife, who verified she’d been cooking and washing clothes all week for the same 80-year-old she’d been married to for half a century.

Mrs. McLain had done that work for nothing, according to the government. A recent Medicare claim filed on behalf of Mr. McLain had bounced back with the notation that, according to the latest records, he was dead.

Sorry. But there you have it. Who said life, or death, was fair?

Jim suggested refiling the claim. Probably a typing error had occurred, he reasoned. But the following Wednesday after the mail arrived, he heard his wife yelling through the shower door, something about the Caddo Parish Registrar of Voters removing him – well, removing his corpse – from the voter rolls. “Hate to say it,” she said, “but it looks like this time, you really are dead.”

Thought No. 1 for Mr. Jim: “Wasted shower.” Thought No. 2: “The government has lost me and if I’m to be found, I have to send out my own search party.” Thought No. 3: “Why am I still hungry?”

He called his local Social Security Administration, hoping to avoid the fiscal pinch of missed checks and the like since, as the Medicare episode had taught him – and as the mutual funds people who wanted to settle his estate would soon tell him – the money gets sort of shut off or redirected once you start showing up dead. This happens to an estimated 14,000 people a year; if the Social Security Administration accidentally kills you, or lists you as dead, it’s good to let them know they have fumbled. You want to get off their Death Master File. You want to be, in the parlance of the agency, “resurrected” or “un-dead.” It’s not too much to ask, and in simplest terms, this is generally what is advised for you to do: go into the Social Security office with proper ID, the forms listing you as deceased, and prove that you have not “got dead.”

Turns out that in Jim’s case, an out-of-state funeral home had turned in his social Security number, obviously by mistake. The problem was quickly solved, a real shot in the arm to Jim but also for his loyal wife, who wasn’t doing all that cooking and cleaning for nothing after all.

Though he never found out how he died, Jim did find out when: March 12. “I have circled the 12th of March on every calendar since,” he said. “The Feds attempted to eliminate me once. They could try again.”

In the spare time that he’s been alive since retiring, Jim has written “Double Team Trap,” a Cold War spy thriller available online. If you pick up a copy he’s sure to sign it for you – if you can get to him before the government does. – August 24, 2014

Contact Teddy at

MSC Offers 64-Slice CT Scanner

As a health system, NRMC reinvests profits into our campus and technology to bring the latest advances to our community. Imaging plays an important role in a patient’s overall health as it is often an important first step in diagnosing an illness, injury or health condition. It can also be used to monitor a patient’s recovery or ongoing health condition. At NRMC, we are committed to bringing excellent imaging capabilities to our community.

The Multispecialty Clinic, located on the NRMC campus, is equipped with some of the most recent advances in imaging technology including the Siemens Go. Top, 64-slice CT scanner with 3D capability. This donut shaped scanner has many advantages including the ability of imaging grouping. This means that the scanner can view, for example, the head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis in one scan instead of relying on multiple scans and scanning sessions. For people with metal prosthetics, the scanner is able to capture clear pictures without distortion unlike older technology which often had a scatter effect near the metal site. The dose of radiation is lower with this scanner, and technologists can view and talk with patients at all times. The scanner quickly constructs images eliminating the need for patients to wait on the table for extended periods of time.

Sign Up For 4-H Activities Upcoming

Northwest 4-H Region junior leaders (7-12th grade) are getting together on the Natchitoches Riverbank and Red River 4-H is joining them.  You MUST sign up and pay by December 8th so set you a reminder!!!  You also MUST be an enrolled member to go. 

Sign up here:

Registration is still open for Fashion Camp, Culinary Camp, and Photography camp, but not for long!  Call today if you are interested!

Call the office 932-4342 if you want to sign up for any of these camps!

A Thanksgiving Reflection

By Royal Alexander

As we prepare to observe Thanksgiving 2021, there are many thoughts that come to mind. 

This has been another challenging year for many of us.  Many of us have experienced both success and loss.  Our nation still seems divided although the patriotism and sense of community we see in our cities and towns is simply not what is reflected in the national media.  Most of us go to work every day, love and support our families, assist our friends and neighbors if possible, attend religious services if we wish, and try to remain prayerfully hopeful about the future.  While the economy has experienced fits and starts—and in some business and industries workers remain difficult to find due to the Covid shutdown—it will undoubtedly rebound if we give it half a chance and don’t overburden it with onerous taxes and stifling federal regulations.  American ingenuity, entrepreneurship and hard work will again be our guiding lights and will lead us through these difficult economic and political times.

I have also found that it helps when I focus on being thankful—and I feel we are all more at peace—when we get off of social media and ignore the daily bitterness and acrimony reflected in national politics, instead turning our attention to our faith and our families.  I believe that sincere gratitude for our many blessings as Americans is the true key to happiness in this life and salvation in the next.  That is the real source of peace and tranquility and for that we can certainly be thankful.

Further, on the importance of gratitude for our many blessings as Americans, and the need for prayerful reflection on the truth that what binds us all together as Americans is far greater than what divides us, I close with an excerpt from President Reagan’s 1987 Thanksgiving Proclamation, the words of which still ring true to me.

“Thanksgiving Day is one of our most beloved holidays, an occasion set aside by Americans from earliest times to thank our Maker prayerfully and humbly for the blessings and the care He bestows on us and on our beautiful, bountiful land.  Through the decades, through the centuries, in log cabins, country churches, cathedrals, homes, and halls, the American people have paused to give thanks to God, in times of peace and plenty or of danger and distress.

Acknowledgement of dependence on God’s favor was, in fact, our fledgling Nation’s very first order of business.  When the delegates to the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1774, they overcame discord by uniting in prayer for our country.  Despite the differences among them as they began their work, they found common voice in the 35th Psalm, which concludes with a verse of joyous gratitude, “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.”

In 1789 the government established by that great charter of freedom, our Constitution, and “the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed,” were cited by George Washington in the first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation as among “the great and various favors” conferred upon us by the Lord and Ruler of Nations.  As we thank the God our first President called “that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be,” we have even greater cause for gratitude than the fresh triumphs that inspired Washington’s prose.

We have seen the splendor of our natural resources spread across the tables of the world, and we have seen the splendor of freedom coursing with new vigor through the channels of history.  The cause for which we give thanks, for which so many of our citizens through the years have given their lives, has endured over 200 years—a blessing to us and a light to all mankind.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1987, let us, in this unbroken chain of observance, dedicate ourselves to honor anew the Author of Liberty and to publicly acknowledge our debt to all those who have sacrificed so much in our behalf.  May our gratitude always be coupled with petitions for divine guidance and protection for our Nation and with ready help for our neighbors in time of need.” (Pres. Ronald Reagan, 1987).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Winn Parish Journal Executive Editor Chosen to be Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy Fellow

The Parish Journal’s family is proud to announce that one of our own, Executive Editor of the Winn Parish Journal, Jodi Taylor, has been chosen to be a Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy Fellow.  According to the press release distributed by the Delta Regional Authority, the DLI is an extensive, nine-month executive leadership program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders from the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.

Taylor is pictured on the last row, third photo.

The DLI Executive Academy empowers fellows with the tools, experiences, and networks needed to address local and regional challenges. Sessions led by local, regional, and national experts cover policy areas such as infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce development, public health, and other sectors necessary to facilitate economic growth in the region. As a result, DLI fellows graduate with improved decision-making skills, policy development know-how, strengthened leadership capacity, and a mutual understanding of regional, state, and local cultures and issues.

“Every Parish Journal’s editor strives to make a difference in the parish they serve. To that end, I’m very excited to be chosen to be a DLI Fellow to learn all I can to help Winn parish and the Delta Region of Louisiana,” stated Mrs. Taylor.

The 252 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority make up one of the most distressed regions of the country, facing profound economic, health, educational, and infrastructure challenges. The Delta Leadership Institute was created to empower a corps of leaders with the tools, experiences, and networks to address these local and regional challenges. The DLI Executive Academy trains leaders from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and industries to improve the economic competitiveness and social viability of the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions. DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development. DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.

The Red River Parish Journal adds our congratulations to Jodi.  Thanks for all you contribute to the Journal’s efforts to bring our readers accurate, unbiased local news for our respective parishes.

Grandfather’s House

By Brad Dison

On February 11, 1802, Lydia Maria Francis was born in Medford, Massachusetts.  She went by her middle name, Maria, pronounced Muh-rye-uh.  She was well-educated and after finishing high school became a schoolteacher.  In addition to teaching, Maria wrote for newspapers and other publications on a wide variety of subjects.  She became something of a local celebrity.  At 22 years old, Maria published her first book entitled “Hobomok” too much success.  Her second book entitled “The Rebels: A Tale of the Revolution”, was set in her home state of Massachusetts.  It, too, was successful.  She wrote a cookbook, “The Frugal Housewife”, which was considered the authoritative cookbook for much of the United States.

Maria’s passion, however, was for the abolition of slavery.  In 1828, Maria married David Lee Child, a Massachusetts lawyer.  Together, Maria and her husband edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard in New York.  As early as 1833, Maria fought for the abolitionist cause with her “Appeal for that class of Americans called Africans,” the first anti-slavery work printed in book form in the United States.  In 1859, when John Brown was arrested for leading an anti-slavery raid in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, Maria wrote to Brown and volunteered to be his nurse.  She sent a copy of her letter to Virginia’s governor who denied her request and reprimanded her for her sentiments.  The author of her obituary contended that Maria’s writings “undoubtedly had a great effect in helping to create the anti-slavery sentiment of New England,” and noted that “her pen never grew weary in the cause of abolition until the unexpected end was reached.”   

Maria is less remembered for her anti-slavery writings and more for a simple poem she wrote about the anticipation she felt at visiting her grandfather’s house near the Mystic River in Medford, Massachusetts.  If you visit Medford today, you can still see Lydia’s grandfather’s house and the Mystic River.  However, the house looks much different than the one from Maria’s childhood.  Maria’s grandfather transformed the small single-story farmhouse into a majestic 2-story home.  Sadly, the lush woodland surrounding grandfather’s house has been replaced by residential housing.  You will probably recognize her poem though it has been altered with the passage of time.  Originally, Maria’s poem spoke of “wood” in the singular usage rather than its plural form, “woods.”  Maria’s poem mentions going to her grandfather’s house, not grandmother’s house, and most of us incorrectly associate it with Christmas.  Lydia Maria Child’s poem recalls a visit on Thanksgiving Day:

Over the river and through the wood,

To grandfather’s house we go.

The horse knows the way

To carry the sleigh

Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood–

Oh, how the wind doth blow!

It stings the toes

And bites the nose,

As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,

To have a first-rate play,

hear the bells ring,


Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,

Trot fast my dapple grey!

Spring over the ground,

Like a hunting hound!

For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,

And straight through the barnyard gate,

We seem to go

Extremely slow,

It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood

Now grandmother’s cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun!

Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!


  1. The Paxton Record (Paxton, Illinois), November 28, 1872, p.3.
  2. Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut), October 21, 1880, p.2.

BC Opportunity

Come join our team in Coushatta.  The Universal Teller position is responsible for conducting and processing various types of customer bank transactions while delivering the “BC Bank Experience.” This includes providing prompt, efficient and friendly customer service to customers while adhering to bank teller policy and procedure guidelines. This position also requires tellers to maintain a balanced cash drawer and become skilled in the ability to build customer relationships that identify products and services to meet the customer’s banking needs.