Linda K. Ballard

Linda K. Ballard

As the season changes, so does the facade of the town and the mind-sets of the towns people.

Golden, burnish-colored leaves and brisk morning air marks the beginning of October for East Texans. It is football with a new twist this season and workers in pumpkin patches practicing social distancing and facemasks. It is also about new businesses daring to open and an upcoming election that has Kilgore seemingly stirring out of a sleepiness and figuring out ways to cautiously move ahead.

The weather cooperated perfectly last weekend for Avalon Faire’s Oktoberfest. If you were looking for a relaxing, fun atmosphere with a beautiful environment and friendly people that was the place to be.

Adi Dishon said, “It was awesome. There were more people that came than anticipated; we sold out of our mugs; Bratwurst and almost all other food items. People seemed to feel comfortable with how we handled the opening of the grounds and nobody complained when we asked to take their temperature.

“I was so relieved everybody was getting along and staying within their own group. Whole families came and stayed together, so we didn’t have to monitor the social distancing. Everybody was respectful and responsible and seemed to enjoy bringing the kids and getting out of the house.”

COVID-19 prevented the use of bounce houses for the children this year, but it didn’t prevent them from enjoying dancing along to the Chicken Dance and the Git Up Dance among other games designed to allow social distancing. Face-painting and balloon art was also enjoyed.

“We try our best to keep our fair family friendly. We usually have much more in the way of games for the children like three-legged sack races and Simon-sez but again, we have

COVID utmost on our minds right now. Our fair is not like the big ones, where you do have to watch your children. Here we watch out for everyone to make sure they have a good time and stay safe,” said Adi.

The Avalon Faire group and vendors are currently planning to offer a couple of hours opening with early closure at 7:30 p.m. on Halloween evening for the kids to come by for some trick or treat candy and fun. You can learn more at or their Facebook page.

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YES! If you don’t know it by now the pumpkins are in at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Facemasks and all, you could tell they were having a good time unloading and decorating. Changes have been made to their annual month-long events, so be sure and

watch for their ads in the Kilgore News Herald and Friends to Follow Facebook also on the KNH website.

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Kilgore is not the only place with chicken restaurants with more to come. If you are passing through Overton, you will see Kz Chicken. This restaurant opened the week prior to the COVID shut-in, but they have been re-opened and going strong once regulations eased off.

By the way, the correct pronunciation of the name is “Kay’z” not “Kzee” as many like to call it. The girls are a fun bunch and offer out award winning games to entice you in. If you are in a hurry, you may want to call ahead because that golden fried chicken takes 12 minutes to cook and worth every minute of it.

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While in Overton, you may want to run by the ONL Chamber of Commerce and take the history tour given by Executive Director Bonnie Schurbon. Did I say history? Yes, the new makeover of the office and hospitality room has been pleasantly decorated with framed photos and memorabilia as far back as 1932.

Guidelines from the London Museum were used to help them showcase the rich history of Overton according to Bonnie. It is an interesting must-see.

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All right, leave it to Betty Baker to give me the heebie-jeebies and I have been putting off until now to tell the latest. She had the audacity to send me this long highly informative letter ants!

Now, if you live in East Texas you know the sting of a fire ant and you know how mad you can make them, if, like me you tried to tame a pasture into a yard. So, she sends this letter that starts out “it has been raining here in Kilgore lately so much so that the fire ants are building even taller mounds.”

She goes on to tell how many large mounds she found in her own yard but, even that was not enough because then she tells an incident of how an elderly widow woman fell in her yard and could not get up. The woman was being covered with fire ants when her youngest son, Jeffrey, was riding a bicycle past her house and saw her; helped her up, wiped the fire ants off and helped her get into the house.

Needless to say, that brings up remembrances of other locals found that had been covered in fire ants. Now, after a rain, I am watching everything from crook and crevice for fire ants.

Are fire ants dangerous? A fire ant bites to get a grip. That painful burning sensation you feel comes from the little stinger on the end of its abdomen. With this stinger, it administers a venom called solenopsin. A sting from one ant isn’t dangerous but several stings can kill a small animal.

When fire ants start creating mounds in a yard, homeowners often take matters into their own hands. Be aware fire ants have more than one exit into their tunnels. Any attempts to drown them, boil them with hot water, kill them with vinegar, or wipe them out with toxid liquids, is not likely to work.

It is suggested to call a pest control technician to deal with fire ant infestation in your yard. They will know how to administer the product in a way that will prevent budding (a colony splitting into two or more colonies) and to ensure no harm comes to your pets. Thank you, Betty. Right now, I am heading to the nearest feed store to re-supply and hope I don’t have any more night

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Our mayor, Ronnie Spradlin, does love this town in which he grew up in. He is always sharing fond (and not-so fond memories) of his childhood days. Recently, in a conversation regarding nachos and hot sauce he said, “My mother would place Doritos one by one on a cookie sheet, add a slice of jalapeno pepper to the top of some for those that like them that way; cover it with a little square of Velveeta cheese and then place it in the oven just long enough for it to melt. That was our nachos, but, in my lifetime, we also consumed about 10,000 gallons of Albert’s Hot Sauce.

They even paid us five cents for every empty jar we returned. The jars were clear with a green stamp on it. Albert sold that recipe in 1973 for $12,000 and a quarter off every case sold. His son, worked for me at the lumber yard and now lives in Dallas.”

Now, see, Ronnie, I didn’t tell about the burnt toast and burnt tongues of the dogs. We will save that for another time when I don’t have to deal with ants.

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


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