Linda Ballard

Linda Ballard

AS the Fourth of July, a day in which Americans celebrate its freedom as a nation with fireworks, cook-outs and visits to lakes. There is nothing fun or patriotic about spending the day or evening in an emergency room due to an accident and thus a few tips for safety to make sure your day is all that you are looking forward to experiencing.

On a personal standpoint, the first year I moved to the country, we set the pasture on fire with one puff of wind and a firecracker.  It got away from us so quick, we thought we were going to lose everything, but neighbors came running with extra water hoses, shovels, and wet towels to help put the fire out, but not before over an acre was burned.

So, lesson number one - be prepared to help your neighbor if their excitement of the day gets carried away.  

While speaking of living in the country,  let’s get real here, everyone is always reminded to take your fireworks outside of city limits to set them off which means the country-side.  So, if you are just firing them off at the roadside, make sure you have carried enough water to douse the fireworks even after they have been fired off before leaving the area.  Again, one puff of wind and its gone. Do not let minors set off  fireworks, and don’t make your own. Wherever you go, carry an emergency safety kit.  

IF you are going boating, it is suggested to leave the fireworks behind but be sure to carry essential gear , like flashlights, batteries, ropes, duct tape, a waterproof whistle , first- aid kit and properly fitting life jackets. A life jacket light that will come on when you hit the  water  and will help others find you if the current moves you away from the boat. It will also alert other boaters you are in the water.

While grilling keep your grill 10 ft. away from the house; make sure your grill is stable, if the flame goes out wait before dousing on more charcoal fluid or adding more propane and keep that spray bottle of water handy. Keep your food cold before hitting the grill.

And of course, no matter where you are have the sunscreen and extra bottles of water to prevent dehydration.  

You can have fun by attending the neighboring firework shows: the Fourth of July Extravaganza will be held at the Kilgore City park from 6-10 p.m. and  the Overton Lake around 9 p.m.  Events and food booths will be set up at 6 p.m. in Overton.

OH, that Rhonda McPherson, has been stirring up trouble again at the London Museum & Cafe over a piece of home-made coconut pie! Recently, Rhonda and Beverly Uzzell from Insurance One met up with Jeannie Barber from the Overton/New London Chamber for lunch at the cafe. Now, that alone should have spelled trouble, but it seems Rhonda ordered dessert without other food to go with it at first, which started a banter with the waitress and those around her.

“I did finally order a bowl of macaroni and cheese,” said Rhonda. “But, that piece of coconut pie is all I really wanted,” she laughed. “The waitress bought that pie before we got the meal and set it down before me. She promptly told me to not eat it until my food arrived and she kept reminding me to wait with each passing. Well, that pie was so beautiful looking that a bite came up missing from it,” she said. “The waitress brought the others their food first, making me wait for my macaroni and cheese and noticed the bite gone from the pie. I had no choice, but to blame it on Beverly and her eyes got as big as Texas when I did that. The next thing you know, we had everyone in the cafe laughing over our antics with the pie. You know, I have to go back. It was worth it all,” she concluded.

The London museum and cafe  is ran entirely by volunteers.  No one is paid for their work or their cooking and it sounds like they know how to have fun in the process.  The London Museum will be selling some of  its non-museum collectibles through the month of July as a clearance and fund raiser.  Interested parties can view the items during regular visiting hours throughout the month. Point of contact is Becky Tyner, museum archivist.  It is located at 10690 S. Main St., New London and for further information call 903-895-4602.

HOORAY! The Tackle Box Restaurant opened on Friday and offers seafood and southern cooking. Family owned just ask for “the seasons” and Winter or Summer will help you out. They are located on 2700 U.S. Hwy. 259, Kilgore.

SPEAKING of restaurants, we think the bus unloaded loads of out-of-town visitors at Down Town D’Lites this week. Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck was seen dining with two sisters from Illinois; Jaysiey-Mae Williams was in from Oklahoma visiting with her grandmother and Penny Clark of the Purple Hulls had just arrived from being on tour in Arkansas and so many more. It may have been packed with people, but where better to be?

MISS MEAGAN CREWS won the Miss Louisiana title last Saturday evening. Her mother Susan Jackson Crews is a 1986 KHS graduate!

BOY, do I have a story to tell you about Kilgore’s Lizards - stay tuned!

Have fun! Stay safe! I will be hunting for the best Fourth of July hotdog again this year.

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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