Challenge:  Pick the winners

The Journal is challenging our readers to pick the winning teams in high school football.  We will reward the best “Picker” with $100.  Yep a Benjamin!

Each week we will issue a new entry form with ten games of local interest.  There will always be the Red River and Riverale contests.  And the Journal will highlight games of local rivals and district opponents.  Every week, into the playoffs, a new contest and a new winner. And another new Benjamin.

So, let’s get started.  Here is the first entry form.  Deadline for completing it is 4:00 pm on Friday, September 4thCLICK HERE to enter.


LEAP success celebrated

On August 10th and August 16th Red River Elementary School celebrated the accomplishments of its 3rd through 5th grade students on the LEAP 2025 assessment. 

Principal Mike Beck presented awards to the high achieving students.  From the third grade was Barrett-Ray Mangham and from the fourth grade it was Remington Shaver. 

Principal Mike Beck and Assistant Principal LaCurtria Clay presented the award to the highest scoring 5th grader Mathew Jordan.

These young men had the opportunity to select a pair of Beats or AirPods. 

As an incentive the school had a variety of raffle opportunities.  Students scoring at the basic level had an opportunity to win a scooter, those scoring at the mastery level had their names entered in a raffle to win a bike; and those scoring advanced had the opportunity to win a Hoverboard.

The students who won scooters were Jeylian Ortiz-Gonzalez, Torah Smith, Brantlee Desadier, Sire Reeves, Ruby Streetman, Mary-Faith Hinson, and Logan Lindsey.  Mastery level bike winners are Eden Chatman, Mackenzie Housley, Alannah Demery, Destiny Smith, Adien Maxie, Johnari Duplantis, and Elijah Williamson. 

Advanced hoverboard winners were Levi Edwards, Barrett-Ray Mangham, Ivory-auna Pueblo, Quintin Smith, and Remington Shaver.  The fifth grade advanced hoverboard winners were Kameron Nelson, Kindall Speed, Erah Lillo, and Christian Mangham.


Study science out in nature

Sixth graders at Magnolia Bend Academy took their science class out of the classroom and into nature.  They studied tropisms.

Tropisms looks at how plants respond to different conditions. The students saw phototropism as plants respond to light.  Thigmatropism is the response to touch.  And they looked at roots going down which is geotropism.

The school said, “We found an example of each but didn’t have a pond to find hydrotropism.”  Hydrotropism is the growth or turning of plant roots toward or away from moisture, according to Oxford Languages.

The school did issue a “big thank you to Hall Moran for gathering us this local water sample for our Biology and Life Science classes.”  Students will begin to study a closed ecosystem during the semester to see all of the organisms living in it.


Two Coushatta men arrested on cruelty to a juvenile and other charges

Coushatta Police arrested two men August 5th and 7th on various charges including 2nd degree cruelty to a juvenile.  Larry James Rainey was arrested August 5th on charges of 2nd Degree cruelty to a juvenile, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and domestic abuse aggravated assault.  His total bond was set at $20,000.  The weekly arrest report indicated he had not posted bail as of last Friday.

Dan Sharon Rainey, also of Coushatta was charged with 2nd degree cruelty to a juvenile, aggravated criminal damage to property, illegal carrying and discharge of weapons, and criminal trespass. His bond was set at $15,000 and he was released on bond August 8th.


Riverdale Academy Gets First School Resource Officer

By Molly Seales

Faculty, students, and parents came back to school for the 2022-23 school year to another new face on campus-Officer Chris Jordan. Officer Chris is Riverdale’s first ever School Resource Officer (SRO,) and we are all excited to have him on campus.  In the photo, Officer Jordan is being interviewed by Junior Kyle Guillory for a KREB news segment.

Jordan is originally from Winnfield, LA, and moved to Baton Rouge when he graduated from high school in 2005 to attend LSU. While in Baton Rouge, he began working for the undersecretary for the Louisiana State Police. While he was working there, he decided to enroll in real estate school and became a licensed real estate agent in 2016; he is still licensed today.

Officer Chris said he always felt a calling to become a police officer, but he was also indecisive. His father has been in law enforcement for almost 49 years, and he has looked up to him his entire life for the profession he chose. Once the real estate market slowed down, he decided he wanted more structure in his life, so he took a job with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office. He was encouraged by several coworkers to attend the police academy and to be committed to the strenuous training. He successfully graduated in 2019 as a Louisiana POST Certified Deputy. He continued working for the State Fire Marshal until January 2021. After living in Baton Rouge for almost 16 years, Officer Chris decided he wanted to be closer to family and began his career as a patrol deputy for the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Department.

I asked Officer Chris about SRO’s and their duties. He said that an SRO is a sworn law enforcement officer, specifically assigned by the sheriff’s department, to provide security, educational training, and relationship building services in his or her assigned school. He is at Riverdale to help maintain a safe and secure environment for the students and staff, serve as a positive role model to the students, and promote positive attitudes regarding the police role in society to all. He also intends to work with Principal Danny Rester in developing new and revised plans to prevent dangerous situation’s that may occur on Riverdale’s campus.

Officer Chris said his favorite thing about Riverdale so far has been engaging with students and teachers, as well as meeting parents and people new to him in the community. This job opportunity has opened multiple doors for him to make a positive impact on anyone attending Riverdale, the staff, and the parents. He looks forward to learning more as the school year goes on to further his education as an SRO.

In his spare time, Officer Chris enjoys spending time with his dog, Indie, socializing with friends, taking trips, and taking some time to rest and relax. Welcome to Riverdale Officer Chris!


The Good Ole Days

By Steve Graf

As a kid who was raised in the outdoors of East Texas, my days growing up in Mt. Pleasant were filled with fun, fishing, hunting, and work. A water hose was more than something you watered the garden with; it was a survival tool while we played outside all day. You had freedom as a kid as long as you made it home before the streetlights came on. We were up at sunrise and hated sunsets. Our childhood was spent outside and not inside the house. We lived in the great outdoors and found many ways to entertain ourselves. Today, we’ll go back in time and take a good look at what it was like growing up in the late 60s and early 70s…the good ole days. 

Kids of my generation were made and told to get outside and play…and play we did! We played in the ditches, streets, and creeks. We climbed trees for fun and ran barefoot and shirtless daily. Sunscreen did not exist, and we cut the grass barefoot until a parent caught us and made us put on shoes. Our main form of transportation was a bicycle, and we rode our bikes five to ten miles daily. We raced, jump ditches, and ended most of our days by riding our bikes behind the city mosquito fogging truck at dusk as it made its way through town. It’s a miracle we did not die from lung cancer or get run over by a car.

We met at the city swimming pool at least twice a week hoping to get a glimpse of the high school girls sunning and putting on tanning oil. We challenged ourselves to go off the high dive and survive! We peed in the pool because it was convenient while looking around to make sure no one saw us. We played piggyback wars in the water and dove for money at the bottom of the pool. But no one wore a bathing suit…we wore cut-off jeans which I believe are banned at pools today.

Every afternoon we sat under a shade tree listening for the music coming from the ice cream truck as it came within hearing distance. Then we raced into our houses and begged for money and quickly ran back outside just in time to stop the ice cream truck before he got out of sight. We were so out of breath that we could hardly order what we wanted. Some days under that shade tree, we ate watermelon that had been put on ice earlier in the day. But a watermelon feast was not complete without a seed spitting contest, which I excelled at! Just another talent God blessed me with! We made homemade ice cream by turning the handle on a wooden bucket.  Yes, it was hard work, but the reward was worth it!

I learned to hunt at the age of 8 by hunting squirrels with my best friend (Kevin) and his dad, who I called Uncle Tracy. Not really related, but for some reason, I always called Kevin’s mom, Aunt Nancy, and his dad, Uncle Tracy. Uncle Tracy was a great squirrel hunter and taught us how to do it the right way. He took the time to not only take us hunting but teach us gun safety as well. He taught us how to stalk squirrels while keeping an eye out for snakes. There were days when Uncle Tracy would go by himself, and I believe it was so he could get his limit. Due to our inability to stalk quietly, Uncle Tracy gave us nicknames…lead foot and stumblebum. Not sure who was which, but I’m pretty sure the names were fitting.

Uncle Tracy was a great teacher as he taught us how to be patient and take a good shot. I learned to shoot with a single shot 410 and I think that’s why I became pretty good with a shotgun later in life.  My idea of duck hunting was sneaking up behind the dam on our stock ponds at our ranch and shooting ducks while they were sitting on the water. The problem was after I shot them, I had to wait for the wind to blow the ducks closer to shore so I could retrieve them. But one thing was for certain, I never left behind a single duck no matter how long it took for them to drift to the shore. A good hunter doesn’t condone wanton waste.

Next week, I’ll go into more detail about my youth and how my generation was shaped by the time we spent in the great outdoors. Till then, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget your sunscreen!


OPPORTUNITY: Grand Bayou Resort

Looking for: Gatehouse/reservations staff, full or part time (basic computer/office skills needed), Housekeeping staff, full or part time, and Maintenance/groundskeepers, full or part time.

Applications available at the gatehouse.  Salary depends on experience.

Grand Bayou Resort, 5286 Hwy 784, Coushatta, LA 71019.  318-932-0066.


Thrapp to speak at September Man Church

Save the date, Thursday, September 8, 2022.  It is the September Man Church at The Shop where you’ll receive a…

  • Manly Meal: FREE TACOS!
  • Manly Music: Awesome Worship!
  • Manly Message: Word from the Lord via Shawn Thrapp, Pastor of First Baptist Logansport!

For guys of ALL ages (12-120) so make sure to bring a friend. 


Another Witch Hunt: FBI Raid on Trump Home is Unprecedented and Unjustified

By Royal Alexander

A law enforcement action like this against a former president has never occurred before.  It will be construed by millions of Americans as Pres. Biden’s desperate deployment of the power of the federal government to damage his likely 2024 opponent who now leads him in national election polls.

This past Monday, the FBI, in an unannounced raid of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, broke dangerous new ground in the increasing politicization of our government institutions.  Attorney General, Merrick Garland, has stated that he personally approved the raid that reportedly included 30 agents—including SWAT teams—in 20 government vehicles swarming Mar-a-Lago in the Palm Beach darkness.  

As such, he, and Biden—who certainly had prior knowledge of the raid—will squarely bear the cost of this dangerous political gambit. 

Let’s look at the larger issue here. 

The FBI asserts the raid is related to the alleged mishandling by President Trump of classified documents and/or violations of a federal statute entitled the Presidential Records Act.  However, these types of document disputes between a former president and the feds have occurred before and are virtually always worked out amicably with the former president’s lawyers meeting with federal agency lawyers and agreeing on how to resolve the issue.  At most, a subpoena for such documents could be employed.  

But never this.

You know what really highlights the great partisan dishonesty here? The galactic double standard with respect to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling and destruction of classified information before her 2016 campaign for president: Her wiping of her server and the destruction of her blackberries with hammers. 

Yet, she was never prosecuted. 

What about the deliberate effort by the FBI to aid Joe Biden by suppressing the Hunter Biden “laptop from hell”—deeming it “foreign disinformation”—even though we later learned that the FBI had been in possession of the laptop for about a year and knew it was credible.

Since the 2020 election, polls have concluded that had the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop not been suppressed, 16 percent of voters who were unaware of the laptop scandal would not have voted for Biden.  This impact was far more than enough to steal the election for Biden in an election where the difference was 44,000 votes in three key swing states.  (This, of course, is aside from the direct election fraud proven by the 2000 Mules documentary).

The laptop makes clear that the Biden Crime Family, including ‘the Big Guy,’ benefitted to the tune of millions of dollars from the Chinese government.  The laptop contained not only details of the corrupt leveraging by Hunter Biden of his family connections with other nations in exchange for multi millions of dollars, but it also directly implicated through emails and voicemails then-presidential candidate, Joe Biden, himself.

Is the FBI really in a strong position to take an unprecedented action of this kind given its recent history—which includes the Russia Collusion Hoax and the literal attempt by the very top leadership at the FBI—Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page—to remove a duly elected president based upon total fabrications that have since been conclusively proven to be categorical lies?

What about the Steele dossier lie, the false and misleading information used to secure FISA warrants in the Carter Page matter, and the fraudulent and hugely distracting two-year, $32 million taxpayer-dollars inquisition by Robert Mueller that yielded nothing?  What about the grossly abusive treatment by the FBI of Gen. Michael Flynn when the agency fabricated a charge, hatched a plan, and created a crime to entrap him?

In short, will Americans overlook all of these examples of our own federal government grossly abusing its own regulations and core due process guarantees in an attempt to protect and favor a given president?

Scott McKay, publisher of The Hayride, has stated: “There are no documents at Mar-A-Lago worth staging an FBI raid on a former president’s home. That’s the kind of provocative move that can start a civil war.”

No one seeks that, of course, but if the national Left thinks the American people are going to continue tolerating the flagrant abuse of Donald Trump by our federal government agencies it is mistaken. 

What many Americans justifiably fear is that if someone as wealthy, powerful and influential as President Trump can be attacked so dishonestly by our own government, no American is safe from the heel of the boot of an out-of-control federal government. 


OPPORTUNITY- Public Relations & Marketing Manager 

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is currently hiring a Public Relations & Marketing Manager.  

Choose more for your career and join our Team of Champions. At NRMC, we are a highly engaged and supportive team succeeding in the pursuit of Zero Harm care. We are an organization where yesterday’s events serve as a baseline for today’s efforts and tomorrow’s excellence. We are a health system where employees a concerned about people and how best to serve.  We are professionals using our skills in a positive, proactive, and mutually accountable culture. We are an award-winning facility that offers great salaries, benefits, and coworkers. 

Position Summary 

The PR & Marketing Manager will provide leadership to the PR and marketing staff and programs as well as develop, lead and/or execute the annual PR/marketing strategy including external and internal communications. This position is considered a working manager position in that some PR/marketing operational duties are required. 

Required Education and Experience 

  1. Bachelor’s Degree – Preferably in Marketing/PR, Business or equivalent 
  2. 3-5 Years Public Relations/Marketing Experience 

 Preferred Education and Experience 

  1. 3-5 Years of Healthcare Marketing Experience 
  2. Master’s Degree – Preferably in Marketing/Public Relations or equivalent 

To apply, please visit: 
https://www.nrmchospital.org/job/public-relations-and-marketing-manager/ 

If you have questions or would like to speak to our Recruiter, please contact Larissa Cameron at 318-214-5819 or larissa.cameron@nrmchospital.org 


ETC… For Friday, August 19, 2022

If you are looking for something to do Friday night, come out to Red River Junior High School and support your Lady Bulldogs JH Volleyball team.  They play North Caddo and the game begins at 5:30 pm.

Red River High football has a scrimmage at Bossier High School tonight.  It is the first opportunity to catch the Dawgs in action this fall.

Paintings by Dr. Massimo D. Bezoari will be featured in the art gallery at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts Sept. 1-28.  An artist’s reception for “Scenes from the Cane River and Louisiana” will take place from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8.  The event is free and open to the public.  The collection of recent works (2021-2022) relates to the Cane River and Louisiana in general, according to Bezoari, who retired from NSU in 2020 after serving as the Richard Lounsbery Professor of Chemistry at the Louisiana Scholars’ College from 2006-2020.


Brenda Gail Dowden

A funeral service celebrating the life of Brenda Gail Dowden, 61, will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday, August 19, 2022, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home with Bro. Collin Wimberly officiating. Interment will follow in Mt. Zion Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 9:00 AM prior to service time.  

Brenda was born on February 24, 1961, in Shreveport, LA to Don and Myra A. Early Haire and passed away August 17, 2022, in Coushatta, LA.

Brenda was preceded in death by her father; sister, Kathy Pyle; and brother, Danny Haire. Left to cherish her memory are her husband, Rodnie Dowden; mother, Myra Walker; sons, Travis Dowden (Delanie) and Don Dowden (Brittney Lawson); daughter, Christina Keith (Dale); brother, Michael (DeDe) Haire; and ten grandchildren.

Honoring Brenda as pallbearers will be Scotty Swayze, Michael Barrett, Danny Haire, Paul Bogues, Freddie Barbo, and Andy Hinson.


Firefighters recover submerged vehicle

On 08-12-22 Red River Fire District was notified by Louisiana State Police of a vehicle in the water at Loggy Bayou on Highway 515. Vehicle had crashed and went into Loggy Bayou on 08-11-22.  All occupants were reported to be out of the vehicle.

The fire department arrived on location and began to search for the vehicle. Vehicle was found in approximately 23 feet of water. RRFD divers marked vehicle with buoys and planned to recover vehicle the following morning.

On 08-13-22 RRFD Public Safety Divers along with LSP, RREMS and Nolen’s Towing and Recovery recovered the vehicle out of the water. RRFD would like to give thanks to all agencies that were involved in this incident.


Suit-up every morning

When you get up each day, put on the whole armor of God.  That was the message from Bro. Richard Tull given to the August meeting of Man Church.  He said that is our protection.

Tull gave a powerful argument for men to stand up to evil in our society and our world.  He read from Ephesians 6 where Paul is telling the church to prepare daily to stand up for good and battle with the dark forces.

Bro. Tull pulled no punches, telling the men gathered at The Shop what their duty is to family and church and everyone they encounter on a daily basis.  Tull said, “Men are the leaders, and you have to prepare yourself for the battle.  The world looks to men.  What example are you showing?”

Men from Red River and several surrounding parishes came for what organizer Shawn Beard termed a “manly meal” of fried fish and fixings.  They sang and praised.  They listened to testimonials.  And They worshiped.

Beard said at the close, “If you missed it this week, come back on the second Thursday in September.”


Pick the Winners; Win $100

The Red River Parish Journal presents the “High School Pickers Contest.”  Let us know which team will win selected area high school games each week.  The person submitting the most correct entry will win a $100 prize.

The first week’s games will be listed on the “Picker” form to be included in the Friday Journal.  We’ll give complete details in the next issue.

The winner of each week’s game will be published on Wednesday in the Journal.  And there will be a link to the next game.  There are at least 10 weeks, so there are 10 chances for you to win the weekly prize.  Weekly winners are eligible to enter and win again the following week.

CONTEST RULES:

  1. There will be a new game each week. Entries for that week must be received no later than Friday at 4:00 p.m. CT.  Each weekly contest is complete in itself. 
  2. All entries submitted must be on the official entry form. They must be submitted via the entry method provided at the bottom of the entry form. Any entries submitted in any other manner or form will not be considered.
  3. The Red River Pickers Contest is open to residents of Red River Parish as verified by driver’s license or other acceptable form of identification.
  4. Must be 18 or older to enter and win.
  5. Winner must have a valid cell phone for notification purposes.
  6. In the event of multiple entries by the same individual, the earliest entry received will be considered. Other subsequent entries will not be considered.  Incomplete entries (missing or incorrect identification, or not all games filled out) may be discarded at management’s discretion.
  7. Contest rules subject to revision and all decisions by management are final.

Remember the first entry forms will be included in Friday’s Journal.  If you do not have an email subscription to the Journal CLICK HERE so you will get your contest entry in the next issue.


OPPORTUNITY: Grand Bayou Resort

Grand Bayou Resort is looking for: Gatehouse/reservations staff, full or part time (basic computer/office skills needed), Housekeeping staff, full or part time, and Maintenance/groundskeepers, full or part time.

Applications available at the gatehouse.  Salary depends on experience.

Grand Bayou Resort, 5286 Hwy 784, Coushatta, LA 71019.  318-932-0066.


‘Elvis has left the planet’ 

By Teddy Allen

We have boots on the ground in Memphis where the PGA Tour event finished this weekend as Elvis Week was kicking off. 

“The town,” my friend Jay, a bona fide local, reports, “is full of energy.”  

Elvis Presley died August 16, 1977 at Graceland, his Memphis home, and has now been gone, at least in theory, for 45 years, which is longer than he was with us in the flesh, a brief but dynamic 42 years. 

Hurts me. 

We say he’s been gone “in theory” because people have, somewhat routinely, reported seeing him here and there. You can Google — something Elvis would be surprised people were doing to him today — and read of Elvis sightings from Kalamazoo to remote islands in seas you’ve never heard of. In the early-1990s, there was a raft of Elvis sightings on Texas Street in downtown Shreveport, seems like every other Thursday. I’d answer the phone at the paper and, “You gotta get down here to the corner of Texas and Market! Guy who looks, I swear, looks just like Ebis is…” 

Ebis. As in Presley. 

Things were like that then. 

This “Elvis Spotting” trend has waned over a nearly half-century, but there was a time when there was gossip or sensational newspapers at the grocery store, and once a month there would be Elvis on the Front Page, of course.  

He’d faked his death and was living in Aruba. He’d gotten in too thick with the Mafia and was living in a witness protection program at a location undisclosed. He’d had plastic surgery and burned all his sequined jump suits and was employed as a janitor at The MGM Grand in Vegas. 

And, the one I found the most plausible of all, he’s been hiding out in plain sight since 1985 as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association where he goes by the name of “Coach Elvis Presley” but, since it’s Sacramento… 

If you were in Memphis this week, you probably enjoyed the live band playing and “backing” Elvis on the big screen, the re-showing of a long-ago live concert. You watched the Elvis Tribute Contest Special and all the pretend Elvises/Elvi perform. Probably paid your respects at the annual candlelight vigil. 

And you probably concluded as I have, sad as it is, that Elvis really did die 45 years ago, at age 42. I believe it was Horace Logan, God bless him, the producer and announcer of the Louisiana Hayride all those years ago, who innocently uttered what would become an iconic phrase: “Elvis has left the building.” 

Classic. 

Do you remember what you were doing when you found out Elvis had left the planet?  

I was mowing the parsonage grass, front yard, in Homer when the new preacher at First Baptist, my own personal dad, came outside gyrating in a manner that suggested I turn off the mower. Something terrible must have happened, I thought, because he never suggested I quit mowing unless I was on fire or bleeding. 

“Elvis died,” he said, and offered a murky explanation, he having just found out his own self. We had a moment of silence. 

“Well,” he said, “I’m gonna keep unpacking. You keep mowing.” 

Life for us rural non-entertainers rolled on. 

Would love to go to Graceland, but the closest I ever got was the 7-Eleven across the street. Wonder if it’s still there. I had a long layover and caught a cab just to get within Elvis’ gravitational pull. I picked up a pay phone — that’s how long ago it’s been — to call a Memphis-savvy friend. It was one of those moments you have to share. 

“It’s just like you said it’d be,” I told him. “I’ve been here 20 minutes and everybody I’ve seen on this side of town has those Elvis sideburns. Even the women.” 

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 

 


Sign up for a 4-H conference in Tennessee

Jacque Fontenot, the Red River 4-H agent is inviting the 4-H members in the parish to sign up for a statewide conference coming up in September.

SRTLC is open to any Louisiana 4-H member ages 14-18 and forty (40) youth will be selected to represent Louisiana.  To provide this opportunity to all youth, preference will be shown to first time participants.

When: September 22-25, 2022

Where: Clyde York Center in Crossville, Tennessee

Cost: $350

Applications due by: August 19, 2022 by 4:30 p.m.

Application Link:  fs10.formsite.com/lsuagcenter/h2pyxpx4sg/index.html


OPPORTUNITY: Substitute Teachers

Red River Parish School District is looking for qualified substitute teachers for the 2022-2023 school year.

In order to qualify, you must:

Have a valid driver’s license and social security card

Pass a drug screen and background check

Have a high school diploma or GED

Must be 21 years or older

There is a $25.00 application fee that must be paid when you apply.

Please see Ginny Hines at the Red River Parish School Board office at 1922 Alonzo St here in Coushatta.


Planning the school year

The Administrative Conference is an annual gathering of School Administrators.  They reviewed the accomplishments and challenges of the previous year.  And they revealed plans for the coming year that acknowledge the accomplishments and address these challenges.  The conference helps kick off the new school year with team building and positive discussions.

It was held this year at Grand Bayou Resort on Wednesday and Thursday, July 20 – 21.  The conference concluded with a sit-down dinner on Thursday evening that included staff, spouses and School Board members.


Creation Eclipses Creator

By Brad Dison

Daniel Lawrence “Dan” Whitney was born in Pawnee City, Nebraska.  He grew up in a church-going family.  His father, Tom, held many jobs.  Tom was a school administrator, entertainer – he played guitar for the Everly Brothers – a preacher, and he raised pigs, horses, and cattle.  Tom left for work early each morning and returned home late each night.  There was no break on weekends either.  Tom preached multiple services at different churches.  Every free moment Tom had was spent tending to the never-ending chores required to keep the farm running properly.   

Due to Tom’s frequent absences, from an early age, Dan spent most of his time with his grandfather who helped out at the Pawnee City sale barn adjacent to Dan’s family’s pig farm.  Dan helped his grandfather load and unload trucks of pigs and cattle.  Dan so loved the livestock sale barn that he spent every free moment there.  Working at the sale barn with his grandfather, Dan became close friends with his grandfather’s friends despite the differences in ages.  They eventually became comfortable enough with Dan that they shared their life stories with him, which he loved hearing.  Dan later credited his time at the sale barn as one of the most important experiences that shaped his life.  

When Dan was fifteen years old, his family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where his father was offered a job at the fifth largest Christian school in the United States, The King’s Academy.  Following high school, Dan worked as a bellhop at the Hyatt Regency hotel in West Palm Beach, a job that “opened the door” for his future career.  Dan made the guests feel at ease.  They were drawn to Dan’s outgoing nature.  He shared funny stories with them and told them jokes.

Dan realized that his best bet was to get a college education.  He enrolled in college and majored in drama and speech.  During his junior year of college, a few of Dan’s friends convinced him to try standup comedy at a local open mic night.  At first, Dan was intimidated when he saw other comedians, all dressed in suits, studying their jokes on note cards.  Dan was no quitter.  Although he thought he was a novice in a room full of professionals, Dan made it through his first performance.  The crowd’s reaction was enough for Dan.  He was hooked.  He dropped out of college determined to earn a living as a comedian.

Dan performed without pay at open mic nights until he was booked to do a fifteen-minute standup routine as the opening act for the band Chicago.  From there, he made guest appearances on radio comedy shows where he began incorporating characters into his repertoire.  Dan said later, “I wanted to create an Archie Bunker character that was likeable.”  He based the character on a combination of people he knew in Nebraska and Florida, as well as his college roommates who were from Texas and Georgia.  To complete the character, Dan jettisoned his Nebraska accent and incorporated a southern accent.  The character he created was so likeable that he focused solely on it and dropped the other characters.  Eventually, Dan’s fictitious character became so popular that it eclipsed its creator.  The character that Daniel Lawrence “Dan” Whitney created is known around the world as … Larry the Cable Guy.

Sources:

  1. Randy York, “For Pig Farmer-Turned Superstar, Life is All About Faith, Family and Football, huskers.com/news/2009/7/6/3759511.aspx
  2. CableGuyArchives, “Larry the Cable Guy Documentary (Full) 2021,” December 3, 2021, YouTube video, 53:21,youtu.be/1ei-4qsi_uQ.

Junior high volleyball team is a first

This years Red River Junior High Lady Bulldogs Volleyball team is making school history, this group of girls are the First ever Volleyball team in Red River Junior High School History. Many of these girls have never played volleyball before this year, but that is not stopping them. They are working hard every day and it is showing on the court. It is great to see them improving each week, putting what they are learning in practice into a game and to see them cheering for one another on the court. Look out for this group of girls in the future because  they will be dominating on the volleyball court.  Thanks to their coaches Ellie Drew Stockton and Rachael Williamson for giving your time and dedication to this sport and these girls.

6th graders – Chloe Borders, 7th graders – Gabi Bounds , Ava Dickey, Ariel Jefferson, Mary Morse, Ashlee Procell, Addilyn Steinert, Hope Williamson, Khylee Winn, 8th graders – Damieyah Brown, Zaria Jackson, Madilynn VanGundy