Linda Ballard

Linda Ballard

There is no place like home and when you can call a workplace home as well it becomes a dream come true. That is exactly how Marla Sers is feeling about returning to Willow Nursing & Rehab in Kilgore, but this time – instead of the seven years previously worked at the facility – she now returns as the administrator.

During a welcome back meet and greet reception at the facility for Marla on Thursday afternoon, she commented, “I have always felt a great connection this home,” she said. “I watched it being built from the ground up. Yes, I am back home.”

“I am not new to the area,” she continued. “My husband, Kevin, and I have been in the Kilgore-Longview area for the last 16-17 years. She and her husband have been married for 18 years and have known each other for 24 years,” she immediately informs those around her. “We have no children, but, we have two dogs that we love.”

Her other charges can be found at the Willow, and she took a moment to acknowledge and laugh with each one that came along during the well-attended reception. Marla’s in-laws, Pat and Ernie Sers, also attended which added a delightful surprise for Marla.

“Our goal is to have a happy home together here,” she added.”Every morning we meet and have someone give an inspirational or motivational story and then end the meeting with a song.”

Marla has over 21 years of long-term care under her belt. She finds great joy in helping others, making others feel appreciated and creating a happy environment.

MENTION The Purple Hulls and a smile will cross your face, especially from hometown folks. If not careful your feet will go to tapping as you learn they will be in concert at Hickory Grove Church this Sunday, July 21, beginning at 5 p.m.

Identical twins Katy Lou and Penny Lea Clark were raised on a working farm near Kilgore and with an aunt and a mother who taught them how to play the piano which increased to the ability to play 5 different instruments, the Clark siblings grew up singing and playing for picnics, churches and other events in the area. It wasn’t long after high school graduation they found their way to Memphis, TN, where they began touring with various country artists and writing songs for Nashville’s largest publishing company. The Clark sisters they are but with a name change to The Purple Hulls they are now recognized abroad as well for good entertainment.

The Purple Hulls deliver Southern Gospel music at its best. If you are looking for a good evening of listening pleasure and a little toe tapping, you will find it at Hickory Grove.

The church is located at 4239 CR 284 E, Kilgore.

LIBERTY CITY AUTHOR Kassy Paris informs us a friend of hers has just released her first book. “A Heart Surrendered,” written by Joy K. Massenburge, was released July 8 by Harambee Press in imprint of Lighthouse of the Carolina. This imprint is for books written by authors of color. Joy lives in Arp, Texas.

OHHHH! A Blue Bell ice cream machine was seen being delivered to the new Mercantile Store in downtown Kilgore this week. They are not open yet, but the equipment is arriving.

A VIDEO has surfaced from the Billy Moore Correctional Center in Overton with comments made from officers and offenders of the importance of their garden which is grown annually by the residents. The food is donated to the community.

“It’s given to the food bank of Rusk County,” says Christy Henshaw, the officer who supervises the gardeners. “And some of it is also being delivered to the Lighthouse (nonprofit organization) in Overton.

“I think it’s a good idea to take these skills for the offenders and teach them how to grow something,” explains Officer Henshaw, “and be able to donate it and put it out there into the community. So, not only are they learning, they’re helping out somebody else.

The garden is just one of many projects the offenders use to help out in the community.

MAY HIS LOVE Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at 903-984-2593 or


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.