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Columns September 21, 2010  RSS feed


Reading the papers

Once a week, I sit on my couch at home and read the weekly newspapers sent to me by the folks who are kind enough to carry this column.

By the time I’m through, I have learned a lot more about East Texas than I knew last week.

Here are some examples:

• The only woman to have a Masonic emblem carved on her tombstone was buried in tiny McMadden Cemetery in Newton County in 1873. She was Mary Jane McMahon Kimmey, who was accepted as a Mason around 1850 because she supposedly overheard some of the Masonic secrets during a meeting. The story insinuated that Mary Jane, if she had not become a Mason, would have been done away with.

• The 28th annual Lovefest was held in February at the Houston County town of Lovelady. Now, there’s a festival name that could make some non-East Texans wonder what goes on at a “Lovefest.” But, I can assure them it’s pretty much like other festivals with a parade, the crowning of a Lovefest queen, a fun run and walk, a baby contest, a dance, and lots of food booths.

• Each week in the White Oak Independent, the local fire department reports on its activities in a column called “The White Oak Fire Log.” This is a good example of what writers call a doubleentendre.

• In the Jefferson Jimplecute, Vic Parker reported on some oddball headlines such as these: Enraged cow injures farmer with ax. Drunk drivers paid $1,000 in 1984. War dims hope for peace. Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say. Death causes loneliness, feeling of isolation. British left waffles on Falkland Islands.

• In the Jasper News- Boy, a story reported that “Invasive Aliens leave mark on Sandy Creek.” Just when I was about to start worry about aliens from outer space, a closer reading referred to green plant species unknown to some foresters.

• In the Buffalo Press, Sheriff Ralph Billings reported that wild turkeys have become a local nuisance by pecking on windows. “Sounds like these wild turkeys have been taking a few nips from a bottle labeled Wild Turkey,” he noted.

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