Drive in or out of Overton on Texas Highway 135 – a clump of huge pine trees on the north side of the road is sure to capture your attention. Perhaps it is because of the height of the trees towering over the smaller scrub oaks or perhaps it is because the meadows nearby have been cleared for ranching. No matter what, the closer you get, the more you realize there is a rustic little shop building that blends in with the environment and overshadowed by those trees.
THE SHOP belongs to David and Linda Gayle West; more David’s than Linda’s, naturally, you come to realize as you step inside what they call 3W Trading Post. In reality the trading post is a gun shop that has grown and continues to grow in quantity over the years.
“I started the business in 1995,” said David. “And I enjoy it or I wouldn’t be doing it,” he quipped. “It is just a pretty good job, now.”
For years, the West family has been associated with law enforcement as he and his brother Cecil gained a reputation for their work throughout Rusk and neighboring counties.
David, the older of the two brothers and not happy to admit it, does however, claim to be the “prettier of the two” which sounds like an ongoing family issue that may never be resolved. Perhaps we need to ask their sister, Nancy Graham who lives in the Stewart community near Tatum and just near enough to set them both straight.
David was born in Tyler, raised in Wright City, Turnertown and Henderson. He and his brother played football for Henderson High School where they did get to play against Kilgore although he said at that time neither place had a good team. The two were like most other country-raised kids: the cows had to be milked every morning and every evening with other chores always bountiful.
David started his law career with security work. His brother began working at the Sheriff’s office and David ended up riding along. Before he knew it, he was working full time, becoming Constable from 1985-1997 three terms.
“It is kind of weird,” said David. “I met my wife when she ran over a man in Overton,” he laughed. “The man was wearing dark clothes and she didn’t see him. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt bad, but, she was beside herself.”
She, Linda Gayle Newcomb was born in Houston but raised and attended school in Overton where she was cheerleader throughout high school.
The couple married on March 4, 1977 the wedding anniversary of his mother and dad Betty and Jack West.
Linda worked as a dietician at the Overton Hospital before its closing, then for the Overton nursing home and later drove the senior citizens bus for twenty years.
Complete retirement is not on the agenda for either one although David retired totally from law enforcement in March 1991. “It was time to turn it over to the younger ones,” he said. “I started with an old revolver and a radio that worked part of the time. It is a totally different world, now.”
He speaks fondly of his wife, noting she swork hard with her own greenhouse and a garden every year and continues to can and preserve her own vegetables.
“We like lots of people,” said David, “just not in big cities. Stop by anytime.” And he means just that – a country invite from some country-raised folks. Not weird at all from this neck of the woods.
“GOD BLESSES me everyday with anything that comes my way,” said Ventriloquist Rod Green after traveling through Kilgore on his way to Monroe, Louisiana this last week.
Rod makes it a practice during his scheduled tours across the United States to stop at truck stops and entertain the customers with his vent figures. His goal with his presentation is simply to make people happy with good, clean Christian comedy.
His stop at Wendy’s at the Gateway Travel Center found him without an owner present to give him permission to entertain. Rod left his magazine and other information and asked for directions to the Four Star Cinema. Those directions were given by our Kilgore photographer Bill Hedrick whon intrigued by the ventriloquist, quickly snapped a picture.
Rod and his family of ventriloquist figures perform at all kinds of venues including birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, chamber banquets and other organizational functions.
His motto is: Not just a joke. Rod is serious about what he has been inspired to do. Four different characters, or vent figures, travel with him and after a brief stint at home in Arkansas this week he will be heading to Tucson, Arizona to perform.
For more information check out www.roadking.com or he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AS SEEN IN OUR TAX OFFICES – Due to the PATH Act, it is now against the law for the IRS to issue a refund before February 15th to any taxpayer claiming the Earned Income Credit (EIC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). Also, copies of birth certificates on children claimed are now requested.
MAY HIS LOVE AND LAUGHTER fill your hearts and your homes. In the meantime, we may be reached at email@example.com or 903-984-2593.