Centenarian speaks out


IN celebration of her 100th birthday, Ms. Lou Hanks was honored last week with a proclamation from Mayor Ronnie Spradlin at Forest Home Baptist Church where she has been a member since 1938 and taught Sunday school for 70-plus years.

Her Sunday school classmates dropped by her home that afternoon to wish her a happy birthday and helped read the numerous cards she had received from the congregation.

“Oh, I felt so sorry for some of them,” she said from the heart. “They came using canes and hurting from other ailments to see me. We all have aches and pains from something every now and then, but I am blessed. I do not need a cane and I am healthy.”

Ms. Hanks takes an aspirin and her vitamins daily. “I eat just about anything I want and I eat like a horse,” she readily admits. “I don’t think of myself as being 100 because I don’t feel like I should be that old.”

“The one event over the years that was the most traumatic to me was the (1937) explosion of the London school,” she said. “I was a senior in high school at the time and it could have easily been our school. It was such a tragedy, people digging through rubble hoping to find their child and hoping they had already been shipped to one of the hospitals all over the countryside. The children were sent everywhere with parents hunting for them. And the amount of rubble hauled off was unbelievable. It was just such a tragedy.”

On a brighter note, Ms. Hanks shared what she believed kept her healthy over the years. “Put God first and serve God,” she said. “Actually serve God and He will take care of you. Take care of your bodies with what you eat and what you do. I love to cook although I don’t do much anymore and I do like sweets, but not a lot. Laugh a lot. Laughter really does heal. Count your blessings each night before going to sleep and it will erase you worries.

I am just so blessed, I don’t have problems sleeping and I am healthy.”

Ms. Lou Hanks is such a joy to be around. She practices what she teaches. We expect her to be with us much longer.

THEY took the Facebook post seriously. You know, the one that read “once a year, go someplace you have never been before.” So, Grapevine was the chosen spot for this handful of gals who are friends and Christian sisters from the Kilgore and Longview area. A few had been before and some not, but it is believed the vintage train was the deciding factor to this historical city, now a suburb of Dallas and Fort Worth.

The girls managed to get off work an hour or two early last Friday evening; piled into a vehicle and hit the road trying to beat the dark. It was decided to wait until reaching Grapevine before eating and by that time those gals put away steaks faster than any man on a cattle drive and oh, the excitement at arriving at the luxury motel!

They watched an old west gunfight on top of the visitor’s center, shopped, took pictures, located all chocolate stores in town and tried to adopt Pebbles the balloon lady in the lobby of the hotel.

The town was filled with people in costumes, with many carrying a glass of wine in celebration of Hallo-wine Day. Yes, the town had been named from the wild grapes that grew around it. And that train? You got it, filled with costumed trick or treaters. Those gals managed to fit into twenty-four hours what most would take three days to accomplish.

Tired, but feeling quite blessed and after a prayer for safety, headed back home making plans for the next trip along the way. That zany bunch included Janice Cameron, Wanda Billings, Jeanie Thompson, Kelly Watson, Robbin Hedrick and Linda Ballard.

After hearing of the trip, Kilgore’s Tourism Manager Ryan Polk advised all to go back at Christmastime to see something unbelievable. “Of course, they (Grapevine) have a tremendous budget to work with, too,” he added. We take that as a hint, Kilgore. For the ones who are married, I am sure their husbands will appreciate hearing that one.

TAMMY HALE’S Star Makers of Overton are raising funds to participate in Thanksgiving’s Macy’s Parade in New York City. The dancing gals are about $1,000 short of their goal to pay expenses. Any business that would like to contribute can do so by contacting Ms. Hale at the studio Monday – Wednesday evenings. The studio is at 123 East Henderson Street, Overton and the phone number is 903-834-6200. Donations can also be left next door with Jeannie Barber at the Overton Chamber of Commerce Tuesdays – Thursdays. It goes without saying what a big deal this could be for the little ladies. They won’t watch Macy’s roll, they will be in it!

THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF KILGORE will hold its semi-annual Women’s Brunch on Saturday morning starting at 9 a.m. The theme for the event is Extravagant Sacrificial Worship and based on Hebrews 13:15-16. Various women from the church will be decorating their own tables based on the theme.

“The event is hosted for the women of the congregation, relatives and a few friends as guests, but we turn no one down who is needing a little ‘girl time,’ hear the word and worship,” said Vicki Shriver, one of the coordinators for the brunch. “It is fun to see how each lady interpreted and displayed the scripture. Our lady praise team will lead the worship and fellowship will take place at each table. It’s exciting to me,” she said.

The women at First Baptist were decorating the tables Friday but thought they would slip off in time to enjoy soup and pie at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, Friday was definitely the day to enjoy homemade soup hosted by the church women at St. Luke’s.

“Over ninety gallons of soup, fifteen sheet pans of cornbread, numerous pies and cakes were served to approximately six hundred people,” said Richelle Rathbun, spokesperson for the cooking bunch. Hopefully, you took advantage of their craft tables. Those RADA knives can’t be beat.

GO NOW and set at least one clock in the house back, so you can enjoy that extra hour of sleep. In the meantime, May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes. We may be reached at or 903-984-2593.


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