Wheelin' on


Spring, spring, spring, oh, how we love it and it arrived full force this last week! It is a time of renewal, refreshing and of celebrating life.

It is this time of year that I am always reminded of the saying on the marquee of the old drive-in theater where I grew up. That marquee marked the seasons on opening and closing with announcements and the saying “Spring has sprung and the grass has riz, this is where the movie is,” lettingeverybody know there was much to look forward too.

Speaking of movies, we hope you are keeping an eye on the Old Texan Theater as renovation in the way of new flooring, movie screen, etc. is bringing the interior to life. KilGogh Arts Festival held opening night at the theater on Friday evening with their sixth annual Art & Wine Exhibit.

On Saturday, downtown Kilgore comes alive with free to the public festivities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free KidsGogh art activities can be found on South Street.

HELPING to get the spring in my feet this last week were Houstonians and avid KNH readers Wayne and Mary Wright who mark each season by sending out droves of cards to their friends and to Donna Shupe who reminded me of younger days by printing my nickname on a beautiful thermos that I won as a door prize from Main Street Flowers. (No, I am not telling the nickname, but Jessica Woodall thought it was a perfect fit. You must come by the KNH office to see it.)

LAUGHTER was found at the Circle Café as three of our area Rescue Team/Fire Chiefs had everyone in stitches as they tried to figure out their new “smart phones.”

“Stupid people teaching stupid people here,” said Overton Fire Chief Jim White huffily as he promptly got up and left the building to the dismay of all of those within earshot. He returned shortly carrying one of the older models of a flip phone. “I can operate this one,” he continued as he flipped it open as if he was flipping around a revolver which had customers trying to not choke on food for laughing at the antics.

“I guess I got it started,” said Kilgore’s Rescue Chief Edgar Rachal. “I asked if anybody knew how to get my phone to answer people automatically to let them know I was driving and would get back to them later. I could manually do it, but others were getting it to go across automatically,” he said.

Crim’s Chapel Fire Chief Marvin Vinson was in on the act, too, trying to show Edgar and Jim how to do it, but, the next thing you know those phones were being passed to customers and even to the waitresses with nothing being fixed but a lot of laughter going on.

Finally, they all got up to leave, stating they were heading to the nearest Verizon store but not before Marvin told about the fire he fought the day before and how he is now expected to enter all the information on a tablet, which caused more laughter.

Edgar took his to KPD dispatcher Rachel Rowe where she had to inform him it took having Bluetooth in the vehicle and creating another stumbling block.

“You know,” said Edgar, “I just don’t understand why Jim couldn’t just tell me how to do it and why he insists on keeping that flip phone. Before retiring, he taught computer at West Rusk,” he laughed. “Well, we always do have a good time wherever we go.” That good time was definitely shared with all of those poor customers who needed a laugh that day.

WHEELIN’ on into spring are Phil and Karen Rispin who will be retiring from teaching at LeTourneau University at the end of the semester to take up their new project – helping provide wheelchairs in Third World Countries.

Karen, who teaches biology at the university, became involved with the wheelchair needs ten years ago as a research project.

“I grew up as a missionary kid in Kenya,” said Karen. “I was aware of the need for medical equipment. I learned there were sources to get

wheelchairs to mainly the elderly, but no technician to keep them up and the worn chairs would be discarded.”

Their initial interest came from an organization called IDEAS and can be checked out further at That spawned their site, the Assistant Technology Catalyst Project.

“Wheelchairs are like shoes,” she explained. “They can make you sore if they don’t fit you correctly. Older people get tied into them to keep from falling out. Kids that are born unable to walk are left on the floor once they are too big to carry and eventually die because of diseases or bladder/organ failure due to non-movement.”

“Our goal is to get the kids up off the floor,” said Karen. “We will be the link or catalysts from the hospitals to wheel chair associates/providers and technicians. We want to provide shut-ins that are limited in their social, intellectual and spiritual growth mobility to now have that in their lives. It is very sad in the lower and middle-eastern countries. This is a new direction God is taking us,” she said.

Phil teaches aviation at the university. He and Karen live in the Elderville community and are members of Kilgore Bible Church. The couple has two grown married daughters and four of the “cutest grandkids ever” according to Karen.

“Kilgore Bible Church is very caring and supportive,” she said. “And Kilgore is a very friendly town.”

To learn more about the Assistive Technology Catalyst Project, they can be found at and anyone interested in helping or need other information e-mail

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


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