CHITCHAT CORNER

Turning on a light bulb

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WHAT AN ENJOYABLE time I had last week in preparing for and giving a program to the Longview Chapter of the East Texas Writers Association on Friday, Jan. 13. Creative minds were flowing and laughter filled the room with the thoughts of utilizing the best of Friday 13 at the beginning of the program and seven steps were given on how to “find the story.”

The room was packed with ETWA members, friends and supporters to hear and to learn some things I had learned since youth, as owner of The Bookworm book store and in the last 15 years at KNH. I was quite blessed to have Sisters in Christ and dear friends show up to “learn the

scoop” on yours truly and to see journalist and photographer Joe M. Jones at the meeting lending feedback and confirmation as the program unfolded.

PRIOR to that meeting, I decided to have some fun by finding “the story” during my lunch hour to use as an example for meeting. So, I pulled into a local restaurant and found myself staring at a 2006 camouflaged Commander Jeep wrapped (proper terminology) with the words Texas Defense Art emblazoned on it. Aw, the first light bulb, I thought, and I quickly entered and asked who owned the vehicle.

The driver was walking out as I was ordering. It was not the first time people in this town saw me slam a drink down and go on the run. Standing in the rain, I learned the jeep belonged to Reagan Cole and the word “Art” stood for “articulation” another term he preferred to use instead of, in his opinion, the overuse of the word “tactical.”

Reagan is a fire arms instructor and trains others to obtain their handgun license, gun handling, rifle training and shot gun training (requiring a different training) and teaches competition shooting.

“I was in competitive shooting myself for five years prior to the instructor schooling,” said Reagan during a follow-up call. “Believe it or not, there is a difference in the shotgun over other rifles,” he laughed, knowing he had a rookie on the other end of the phone line.

“I take extra pride in training school faculty in this area for teachers to be able to carry on campus. Some instructors don’t want the liability in case something goes wrong, but I insist on working within the school policy. If it is in the policy then I will provide the on- campus training.”

Part of his credentials include the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Certification – he took police courses in order to teach firearm training to police officers, a rarity among civilian instructors.

“Safety is a big factor with me and has been before the children were born.” Reagan explained all the steps he takes with firearms in his personal vehicle and in the home, ensuring safety first: “There is no room for error. You can’t put the bullet back in the barrel.”

Reagan can be reached at TexasDefenseArt@gmail.com.

THE STAFF at the Charburger Restaurant kept my hamburger warm. When I stepped back in during that Friday lunch hour other “light bulbs” came on with Nita Beale and Koleta Kinney. Nita was busy giving the weather report for Oklahoma to help delay trips for those whose plans were to travel north of the Red River – such information comes from a granddaughter-in-law who lives in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Koleta was seen with a handful of friends. A retired teacher, she gave some helpful hints for the ETWA program.

When searching for a story, “Always be nosy with a capital N,” she said with a laugh.

DEFINITIONS of creative writing, reporting, journalism, staff writers, columnists, historical fiction, autobiography and biographies were also discussed during the ETWA meeting. Creative juices were definitely flowing at the end of the evening and continued outside of the banquet room.

Members included published and self-published writers as well as aspiring writers. My last visit was more than 10 years ago, a time with Sandra Brown was on the rise with her writings. Changes have taken place, but the atmosphere remains the same.

MANY THANKS to all my supporters including Fay King, Wanda Billings, Sheroa and Stephanie Hennigan, Gayle Mitchell, Cynthia Beck, Janice Cameron, Kim Gore and Joe.

THE PURPLE HULLS, Katy and Penny Clark will be performing for the

Kilgore Church Women on Friday, Jan. 27. The women work with nursing homes to provide birthday cakes, blankets, walker caddies and deliver food. They are the sponsors for Meals on Wheels and their work is well known in the area. It is a covered dish luncheon provided by the members and visitors are not obligated to bring. They will be meeting between 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at First Christian Church.

MAY HIS LOVE AND LAUGHTER fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at chitchatlinda@aol.com or 903-984-2593.

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