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“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”

Awe, the innocence of a child and the look of wonderment across their face can be priceless and so it was for this grandmother when her 5-year-old granddaughter, Emory, asked if she would be writing any more books. Her reply to the child was, “Yes, I do plan on writing more. In fact, I have just written one and the title is the ‘Farting Four-Toed Troll.’”

War has come to my yard!  But this battle doesn’t involve modern conventional weapons with individual rounds of ammunition that cost almost as much as my eldest and most expensive daughter’s wardrobe.  Instead, this is a battle against one of the most annoying forces of nature known to man–the scourge of autumn leaves. 

The third annual Reel East Texas Film Festival is underway this week with several days of film screenings, events and awards. Filmmakers from across the state and the country are descending on Kilgore to screen their films, answer audience questions and network with other filmmakers.

“Trains are wonderful... To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers, in fact, to see life.”

He stepped up to the podium on stage in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church in Kilgore with a slide presentation well-prepared to capture the attention of a large crowd of listeners.  The 1961 KHS graduate began to talk about a subject dear to his heart and one he had approached before only this time his presentation began with Bible verses and the importance of God’s presence at NASA.

In 1935, the city commission – in those days a three-man (all male until Janice Hancock was elected more than six decades later) panel – agreed the city needed a motor grader. As is custom, they solicited bids and received three: $3003.50, $3006.50 and $3006.50. Ultimately, they bought the grader for $3006.50 and we’re left to wonder why that one bidder failed to get the memo.

Nothing to see here, folks. No collusion here, move along.

“People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

They’re some of downtown Kilgore’s biggest fans, regular attendees and participants in events during the past several years. Vivian and Fred Gebhardt have been angling to put down roots in the Main Street District for a couple of years, but it was a matter of finding the right fit.

“United wishes and good will cannot overcome brute facts. The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

“If I could turn back time / If I could find a way / I’d take back those words that hurt you / And you’d stay.”

Local parade-planners are putting their organizational skills to the test once again as they recruit entries for events in Kilgore and Liberty City. At Kilgore Chamber of Commerce, there’s a little more than a month until the 89th annual Kilgore Christmas Parade rolls out at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3. In the Sabine area, firefighters are getting prepped to get moving at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

Now that America is deep into the bowels of football season, I’m experiencing my yearly gastrointestinal angst about my Texas A&M Aggies. I call them “my” Texas A&M Aggies because I spent an untold amount of my parents’ cash in College Station on textbooks, apartment rent, and Double Dave’s pizza rolls in my pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in English (yes, English) from Texas A&M University.

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”

Awe, the innocence of a child and the look of wonderment across their face can be priceless and so it was for this grandmother when her 5-year-old granddaughter, Emory, asked if she would be writing any more books. Her reply to the child was, “Yes, I do plan on writing more. In fact, I have just written one and the title is the ‘Farting Four-Toed Troll.’”

War has come to my yard!  But this battle doesn’t involve modern conventional weapons with individual rounds of ammunition that cost almost as much as my eldest and most expensive daughter’s wardrobe.  Instead, this is a battle against one of the most annoying forces of nature known to man–the scourge of autumn leaves. 

The third annual Reel East Texas Film Festival is underway this week with several days of film screenings, events and awards. Filmmakers from across the state and the country are descending on Kilgore to screen their films, answer audience questions and network with other filmmakers.

“Trains are wonderful... To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers, in fact, to see life.”

He stepped up to the podium on stage in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church in Kilgore with a slide presentation well-prepared to capture the attention of a large crowd of listeners.  The 1961 KHS graduate began to talk about a subject dear to his heart and one he had approached before only this time his presentation began with Bible verses and the importance of God’s presence at NASA.

In 1935, the city commission – in those days a three-man (all male until Janice Hancock was elected more than six decades later) panel – agreed the city needed a motor grader. As is custom, they solicited bids and received three: $3003.50, $3006.50 and $3006.50. Ultimately, they bought the grader for $3006.50 and we’re left to wonder why that one bidder failed to get the memo.

Nothing to see here, folks. No collusion here, move along.

“People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

They’re some of downtown Kilgore’s biggest fans, regular attendees and participants in events during the past several years. Vivian and Fred Gebhardt have been angling to put down roots in the Main Street District for a couple of years, but it was a matter of finding the right fit.

“United wishes and good will cannot overcome brute facts. The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

“If I could turn back time / If I could find a way / I’d take back those words that hurt you / And you’d stay.”

Local parade-planners are putting their organizational skills to the test once again as they recruit entries for events in Kilgore and Liberty City. At Kilgore Chamber of Commerce, there’s a little more than a month until the 89th annual Kilgore Christmas Parade rolls out at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3. In the Sabine area, firefighters are getting prepped to get moving at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

Now that America is deep into the bowels of football season, I’m experiencing my yearly gastrointestinal angst about my Texas A&M Aggies. I call them “my” Texas A&M Aggies because I spent an untold amount of my parents’ cash in College Station on textbooks, apartment rent, and Double Dave’s pizza rolls in my pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in English (yes, English) from Texas A&M University.

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Kilgore is known for many things: the East Texas Oil Boom, the Kilgore College Rangerettes and the oil derricks which make up its skyline. Thanks to the hard work of Lorenz Maycher and many talented musicians, the City of Stars is quickly gaining a reputation for another of its features: the…

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Earlier in this millenium, Mayor Ronnie Spradlin and our dear pal Jean Laird decided Kilgore’s municipal finery should include a coat of daffodils. Together they ordered a huge quantity of daffodil bulbs and set about turning Kilgore yellow.

They came, those that could. One more time they came to sit under the giant oak that adorned the home of Dorothy Mitchell. It was a spot they had gathered before on numerous occasions to visit with friends and family, to hold reunions and more importantly to hand down history to the next gen…

For Mike Chubboy, a man’s whiskers are about a lot more than just keeping his chin warm. Chef at Brigitta’s Hungarian Restaurant, Chubboy has some life lessons on the menu for the eatery’s Oktoberfest celebration Saturday.

“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

“My pro tips?” Lauren Cammack laughs incredulously at first, but after a moment’s thought, yes, she does have some pointers for visitors attending the East Texas Oilmen’s Chili Cook-off. Setup for the downtown event began Tuesday and everything should be in place by midday today before the 27th annual celebration’s participants gather tonight for the year’s Wednesday evening teams-only networking and revelry. The main event runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.

Jump-scare classics, comedy and even some family-friendly frights: there’s an eclectic mix of films on the schedule for Kilgore College’s first Horror Movie Festival. The five-day event kicks-off Friday evening in Dodson with one scary movie nightly in addition to an all-ages matinee Sunday afternoon.

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

It seems to be just an ordinary thing to Christopher “Wyatt” Baker who, with the help of his grandmother, has just published the first of what may be many cookbooks. He takes his interest in cooking in stride, though, and now that the first book has just come off the press, he is ready to mo…

Fall has always been my favorite time of year, not due to the splendor of the colorful foliage, the crisp breezes heralding a new season, or the savory scents of autumn that inspire us to get our pumpkin-spice freak on. Instead, what I love most about the fall is that it kicks off a series of beloved holidays in quick succession, giving me an excuse to ingest my own body weight in pie. These indulgent celebrations begin with glorious Halloween, an event illuminated by jack-o-lanterns and awash in corn syrup.

The last Big Boy locomotive in operation will steam its way into East Texas in early November, with a handful of local stops for enthusiasts – including in Overton and Longview Nov. 10. The train’s trip is part of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The route for ‘The Great Race Across the Southwest’ takes the vehicle through Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The ongoing renovation of the Texan Theater has seen some major steps forward in recent months, and Reel East Texas Film Festival hopes the community will come take a peek Thursday evening. Come for the free tacos and beverages, RETFF Director Chip Hale quipped, stay for a tour of the theater and a sneak peek of the 2019 film festival’s lineup. The Oct. 17 Texan Open House is free and open-to-the-public, running 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 201 South Kilgore St.

“You cannot be protected from the things that frighten you and hurt you, but if you identify with the part of your being that is responsible for transformation, then you are always the equal, or more than the equal of the things that frighten you.”

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

THEY ARE KNOWN in Texas and surrounding states for home-made ice cream. Only their home- made is actually cranked from the use of a John Deere engine and their bucket is of a 10-gallon size compared to the old-fashioned 1-gallon ice cream freezers still found in the heat of the summer on the…

“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”

“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.”

Garage sales are a little ridiculous if you think about it.  As a society we spend untold millions trying to protect the sanctity of our homes from intrusion, and then we hold garage sales, where the entire point is to lure nosy strangers onto our property to rummage through our personal belongings.  I spend most of my time at garage sales fighting off my three daughters from hauling merchandise back into the house.  And let’s face it.  The stuff we put up for sale at these events is one “Thanks for coming” away from the city dump.  I mean, who really wants to purchase a Target sack full of used My Little Pony underwear?  (Oh, never mind, I actually got a dollar for those.)

Scott Mulvahill has shared the spotlight with a number of big name artists – Alison Krauss, Brad Paisley, Peter Frampton, Steve Curtis Chapman and more – but he’ll have a Kilgore stage to himself next week as he brings his skills on the double-bass to the Texan Theater.