The study of countries


“WE have started the year with new adventures,” said Lanea Cope, activity director at Arabella Senior Care. “It is called the Arabella Passport Adventure and we will be celebrating and exploring a new country each month through 2017.

“You must have a passport to join,” she continued excitedly. “And the passports are stamped with each activity the residents participate in.

Each month residents “travel” through the chosen country by learning key language phrases, music, videos, art and history. Asia was chosen for the month of January and a traditional tea was held to represent the customs of China.

“The residents love it,” Cope said. “And I was surprised at how many residents and family members arrived to Show and Tell with souvenirs of their Asian travels.”

France and Paris, the City of Love, are on tap for the month of February. A feast for the day is being planned where the public can attend.

SPEAKING OF OUR SENIOR CARE FACILITIES – Kilgore Health and Rehab welcomes their new director, Vincent Ray. Vincent definitely has ties to Kilgore through a grandmother, Mary Virginia (Herston) Harbor. They were here through the East Texas Oil Boom and at one time had a road named after the family.

“I am not even sure if the road still exists,” he laughed. “That was back around 1922, but, I would like to find out.”

A VALENTINE DROP is being planned by Chandra Watson, Assistant Principal at Chandler Elementary and the students. The drop will be facilitated by Austin Metz, marketing director at Rader Funeral Home of Kilgore. They are looking forward to adding some fun to the day and the faces of the recipients.

A BLACK HISTORY PROGRAM will be presented on February 4 at Greater Saints Chapel COGIC Church. Under the leadership of Pastor Jerry Skinner, the theme of the program is “God Has Used Many Different People To Help With His Promise.” It begins at 10 a.m. The church is located at 3148 FM 1252.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN his friendly smile as much as the vehicle he was driving that had me stopping him as he attempted to pull out of the local Whataburger on Monday evening. The driver was Kyle Embry, a motivational speaker for Youth Alive Texas and he was on his way to Kilgore’s Highland Park Assembly of God Church.

“Oh, he was part of our Speed the Light Tour, a mission’s arm of the National Youth Department,” explained Carol Strait, sister of Pastor Ron Strait of Highland Park Assembly. “Once a year, the youth pastors set goals to give to Speed the Light and then set up fundraisers to meet the goals. The mission uses the money to provide vehicles to our missionaries both at home and in foreign land.

“Monday night was the Longview sectional fellowship and a rally was held here for the youth pastors to set the goals,” she continued. “Kyle was here and gave a presentation.”

Kyle is from the Dallas/Fort Worth area and has the titles of CEO, President and whatever-is-needed for the Youth Alive Texas. He is a former youth pastor and has spoken to more than 100,000 junior and senior high school students in his travels across Texas. He and his wife are proud parents of two kids.

“Look me up on the web!” he laughed with a friendly wave and a smile as he traveled on to Highland Park Assembly of God.

WITH THE PRETTY SUNSHINE we have experienced this week, my fingers had to dial Mrs. Lee’s Daffodil Farm. The answering machine immediately informed me, “It is too early to predict the opening of the daffodil farm. The daffodils normally bloom in middle or late February and last 2-3 weeks.” I must have been in picnic mode.

IF you like taking road trips, the 1885 historic courthouse on the downtown square in Center has been added to the Majestic Castles Road Trip this year, making nine places to see majestic buildings. Included in the list are Kerrville, Burnet, Dallas (two spots), Center, Galveston (two stops), San Antonio and Austin.

The courthouse in Center was built by architect J. J.E. Gibson, an immigrant from Ireland, and was modeled after an Irish castle. Colorful stories exist about the hidden chambers.

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at 903-984-2593 or