Summer draws to a close


THOSE Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer are supposed to be upon us but with the whirlwind of back-to-school activities and last minute vacations, the atmosphere in this community is far from lazy.

At this point, East Texans have fingers crossed cooler weather will arrive with the beginning of Fall which is officially slated for September 22.

TAKING advantage of leaving town for cooler temperatures was Bill Hedrick. In fact, he took two trips recently, almost back-to-back. The first trip being to Colorado and New Mexico and the second one was to Hot Springs, Arkansas.

“I had been through Ouray, Colorado, a couple of times, but never stayed there,” said Bill. “But, I have a good friend, Steve Kozak from Grand Prairie who has been going to Ouray for over twenty years and had been urging me to go there…so, I finally took him up on it,” continued Bill.

“A condo was rented for several nights and we rented a 4-wheel Jeep to do some off-road driving in the mountains and along old mining roads. Some of the elevations were as high as 14,000 feet. We visited an old ghost town northeast of Silverton, and some other places. But, there was one special destination my friend wanted me to see and that was Yankee Boy Basin.”

Yankee Boy Basin is an alpine basin in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado and is a good place to see native wildlife including deer, black bear, birds of prey and other fauna of the southwestern Rocky Mountains Region.

“When we arrived and parked the Jeep,” continued Bill, “We hiked up a steep trail to a rocky overhang. It is true what they say about high altitudes and we had to stop and rest along the trail,” he laughed. “When we sat down, Steve explained how his mother used to come to this place when she was just a child. Years, later when she was dying from cancer, Steve took her there again. When he finished the story, he pointed out some small grains of white rock under our feet that looked strangely out of place; picked up one of them and informed me this was where he had scattered her cremated remains. Each year, he makes the drive up there to enjoy the beauty of this natural wonder and to remember his Mom.

“It was such a peaceful, place to relax,” said Bill. “The only disappointment I had the entire trip was not seeing a black bear,” he said. “By the way, Steve asked me if I had ever done any off-road driving and I replied, not intentionally…”

LAST WEEK, Bill got the traveling bug again and headed back to Hot Springs, this time staying at Hot Springs Village which is a retirement community north of Hot Springs.

“Being a retirement community,” said Bill. “It was nice and quiet. Coming back I made a point to stay off the Interstate and to take the back roads. One of my favorite spots is Caddo Gap, Arkansas. It has a population of less than 100 but has a rich history. It is best known as the area in which explorer Hernando de Soto and his forces clashed with the Tula tribe, a band loosely affiliated with the Caddo Confederacy. The expedition described the Tula Indians as the fiercest they had faced during their inward journey into North America. After this, the expedition turned back east making it as far as the Mississippi River, where de Soto died. It is contested as to whether he died of fever, or from a wound received during the fighting, or from a wound received during the fighting. There the expedition had a secret burial ceremony and sent his body into the river. A monument to this event stands in the heart of the small community,” added Bill.

Bill is a native Texan, professional photographer of Hedrick Photography for 19 years in downtown Kilgore before moving it to a studio in his home. Today, he continues with commercial photography as well as aerial photography. He was Past President of Texas Professional Photographers 1993 and continues as editor (now 21 years) of the Texas photographer magazine. He also owns Angels Aloft, helping scatter and photographing cremains of loved ones in specific places.

MABEL STREETS and her cohort Delphine Samples boarded a plane to Las Vegas last week. The trip was not about buying pork or even gambling while there, but the latest in fashions was the lure for these two.

“Every year, Las Vegas hosts the largest fashion shows in the world,” said Mable. “We stayed at the Rio Hotel and Conference Center and to view fashions, there. Then a chartered bus picked us up and we went to Mandalay Bay Conference Center, Sands Convention Center and the Las Vegas Convention Center to see more fashions at each center.”

“It was awesome,” she said. “We spent almost 80 hours looking at the latest designs. Five thousand designers from all over the United States, Japan and Europe were there. Now, I am back and ready for our Fall Fashion Show scheduled for Saturday, September 1. A gospel musical will take place at 3 p.m. with a style show following at 4 p.m. Proceeds will be donated this year to three non-profit organizations in East Texas,” she said. The Fall Fashion Show is hosted by First Christian Church of Kilgore located at 306 N. Main Street. Mable is the owner of MLS Boutique and Delphine is owner of Tots R Us Children’s Fashions.

WEST RUSK residents evidently love their teachers, as report after report was coming in on how far out they had to park and walk the distance to see them this last week. No complaints, just a lot of excitement.

KHS students have been learning Bulldog Essentials and doing things like a team-building stacking-cup challenge.

STAY COOL we are almost there! May His Love and Laughter fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we can be reached at or 903-984-2593.


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