Linda K. Ballard

Linda K. Ballard

If you had a roof over your head on Thanksgiving this year, you were blessed. If you had food on the table, you were blessed, and if you were acknowledged somehow and sometime throughout the day by family and friends, you were blessed.

Through the work of our city officials and staff, Kilgoreites have also been blessed with the enhancement of parks and nature trails, according to Robin Laird Brown, who grew up in Kilgore. She currently resides in Austin and made it home recently for a visit and “took to the trails.”

Robin penned the following note to Mayor Ronnie Spradlin. In it she said, “I just want you to know how beautiful Kilgore is. Seriously, Ronnie, your guidance and influence has made an enormous difference. We are going to walk the trail today. I just want you to know that I used to be embarrassed how trashy and poor Kilgore looked. No longer and I really want to give you the praise because it takes a good leader to hire the right people and get the job done. It’s amazing! Thank you so much! Bravo!!!

We parked at the Dudley Rd location. We walked from there to Leach and back then to Houston St and back, 3.7 miles. Tomorrow we will go all the way to Stone Rd which will be around 6 miles. Every step was wonderful! We loved walking in the woods.

it has added to Kilgore...WOW! You have made Kilgore its own little town and it’s not totally dependent on the oil industry. It seems contagious. People’s yards and houses look cared for and there doesn’t seem to be any clutter or abandoned equipment. You have really done something amazing. I can’t say enough! Thank you!!!”

During a phone interview, Robin concluded, “It truly was a beautiful sight for me to see. Although the oilfield was down and with the virus as a threat, Kilgore seemed to be thriving!”

For those that know the Mayor, they also know the genuine love he has for Kilgore and the people in it. Her recognition of his helping to initiate the continuous growth and upkeep of the community was well-received and touched his heart tremendously. He does an excellent job in continuing his family’s legacy, in which we are all been blessed in one way or the other.

Now that we have made it through one holiday and with another one on the way, we can certainly appreciate our bakers and caterers. This one I met up with last year as one of the Kilgore Public Library’s gingerbread house winners. It was in August 2020 that she officially opened her own cottage bakery called the Zen Kitchen.

Casey Moehring said, “I tested my baking on friends, neighbors and my husband for the last 10 years. They convinced me I should have my own bakery. I finally decided to go into business and COVID hit. Instead of a bakery with a store front, I have a cottage bakery, with a separate kitchen for preparation of my baked goods behind my home.

I worked in a food industry a long time and I take all of the cleanliness, etc. very seriously. I worked in an office too, for awhile and it just wasn’t for me. I love what I am doing and wouldn’t go back no matter what.”

Casey has some Christmas specialty delicacies in the works. Orders for Zen Kitchen can be placed through their website at, Facebook or Instagram. The baked goods can be picked up at Mitch Moehring Strings located 116 S. Kilgore St. to the right of the old Crim Theater.

The Backyard Bakery owned by Chasity Dillard is also in full preparation for Christmas. She is a full time nurse and she does “baking on the side” and also operates under the Cottage law. She has been listed as 2020 Baker of the Year for Kilgore.

Chasity said, “I bake it all from cookies, cake pops and cakes to meals for out of town guests. Yes, I will make a meal and take it out — whatever the community needs.”

Her favorite cake is a white chocolate with raspberry filling. The Backyard Bakery is unique to most as Chasity owns a specialty machine that can paint pictures directly to the cookie or cake.

“It a very expensive piece of equipment and not very many bakers own one,” she said. “It is a very unique feature. People can pick up their orders from my home or I will deliver. I am pretty flexible seven days a week although Sundays for the most part is for family and church.”

The Backyard Bakery can be reached by Facebook or by Chasity’s cell (903) 452-1310.

Wiffle Waffle is what we may be dubbing the Christmas parades that were cancelled last week due to the rise in COVID. Now, we are hearing the possibilities of a drive-by Christmas parade to be held in Liberty City. Read it in KNH as more details come in.

Deer season open, really? I know deer hunting season has arrived, but when I dodge four of them in one day tells me the deer are not aware of it. If only I could have photographed how graceful they looked as three of them jumped a fence last week and virtually flew across the road in front of me. It is a beautiful but dangerous sight. Drivers beware.

May His Love and Laughter fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or (903) 984-2593.

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