Linda Ballard

Linda Ballard

THE construction crane that collapsed into Elan City Lights apartments last Sunday in Dallas fell close to home as Kilgoreite Emily Fried was one of the tenants at the apartment complex. With multiple injuries and one deceased, the week has been one filled of fear, distress and anticipation of investigations completed for Emily and her parents Mark and Janet Fried.

“Emily’s watched it as it fell inside the building,” said Mark. “Her apartment was two doors down from where the crane collapsed. It was  God’s grace it hit a concrete structure and kept it from bringing harm to her. She had just enough time to grab her purse and her dog and run to safety. Emily got out with just the clothes on her back and did not sustain any injuries. Others were not as fortunate and there has been one casualty of young lady that has saddened all of our hearts.”

The whole apartment complex has been condemned with 540 people left without a place to stay and without their belongings.

“The owners of the business have been real good about putting them in hotels and trying to help with incidentals,” continued Mark. “You have to understand, most of them like Emily had to leave without even a toothbrush. They have nothing. They can’t even get their vehicles out. There are no ramps to drive them out of the building parking unless they use a helicopter to extract them. You can still see some of the vehicles on top of the building.

Mark and Janet went to Dallas on Monday morning to be with their daughter and check out the scene. Monetary funds were sent from her lifelong church, friends and family to help with the finding of a new apartment.

“The outpouring of love and support has come from all over the country,” said Mark. “Shelly Briggs, daughter of Wayne and Susan Briggs lives in Dallas and offered her a place to stay for however long she needed it and other friends with family in the area have done the same. And I have heard from Centurymen all over the nation offering help. We are so blessed with the outpouring of love,” he reiterated.  As of this writing, Emily has found an apartment with hopes of obtaining belongings to move in soon. Please keep all of them in your prayers.

The Centurymen Men’s Chorus Singers is an auditioned men’s chorus of professional musicians who are directors of music in Baptist churches across America and from around the world. The Centurymen tour all over the United States and many countries. Mark is a longtime member if the group.

ST. LUKE’S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH embarks on Serve Day and Random Acts of Kindness this upcoming week. Projects include sorting supplies, making and distributing cards at nursing homes, baking cookies for community workers and sorting donations at Rags to Riches thrift shop ran by Rahab’s Retreat. It sounds like a fun and busy week ahead for this bunch.

OVERTON’S FIREWORKS in the Park is Independence Day, Thursday, July 4 in City Park. Daylight activities start at 3 p.m. and cumulate with what the city boasts is the longest fireworks show in East Texas. There will be refreshment and food vendors, inflatables and the fireworks display that will begin at dark by the lakeside.  Souvenir caps and tee shirts are available at Overton City Hall. Anyone wanting to be a sponsor should contact City Secretary Rache’l Gafford at 903-834-3171, ext. 235. Interested vendors can call Janice Bagley at 903-834-3145, ext. 229 for booth rental.

IT WAS in the late 50’s and early 60’s a group of Kilgore and Sabine High School boys were known to hang out at Rudy Thrower’s Gulf Service Station located on the corner of Meadowbrook drive and U.S. Hwy. 259. It’s been told that when a vehicle passed by especially with a female driver all heads would turn in unison to watch. Rudy, who helped the kids with gas and vehicle problems gave the group the nickname of the “Meadowbrook Lizards.”

“Oh, yes,” laughed Tommy McKnight as he readily admitted to being one of the “lizards.” “We would lean on the pumps and our heads would turn watching the cars go by. There were a bunch of us including Bill Kears, Rodney Clinksdale and Joe and Robert McMurray that hung out at the station.  I graduated in 1962 went on to college at Stephen F. Austin and graduated from U.T. Tyler. I went back to hanging out there even

after I graduated! I never did give up hanging out,” he said. Evidently he did somewhere down the road as he went to work at Continental Cans off Fisher Road and Hwy. 80 in Longview. He retired after 24 years.

It was understood a photo was taken of the Meadowbrook Lizards. If you have any further information regarding when that photo was taken please notify me at the Kilgore News Herald.

AS SEEN posted on a building in downtown Overton: Need Prayer! We’ve Got It! Overton’s 1st & Only Drive-Thru Prayer Line, First Baptist Church Every Sunday Morning from 9:30-10:30.

The sign definitely caught my attention and I was tempted to drive-thru and grab one for the day until I realized it was for Sunday. Someone else will have to let me know how it goes.  I love reading signs, a carry-over from childhood I presume and with that being said send me your favorite verbiage found posted on the marquees. Don’t limit it to just churches - I have found some really good ones at restaurants and medical facilities.

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

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