Friends for a lifetime


We all have friends that no matter the miles or the years between the last contact when the going gets tough they are there to help see you through.

It was in the year 2002 a couple of friends met in the KNH office of Bill Woodall. The two were full of vim, vigor and creative ideas as they attempted to convince the owner/ publisher of the need of a way for Kilgoreites and surrounding communities to have their own “Dear Abby” of sorts: a place to tell off on what was happening in their own neighborhoods, not necessarily front page news.

That meeting resulted in the creation of this ChitChat Corner. The friends were Bobbi Highsmith and Linda K. Ballard. The sky was the limit, the gals were told, with two rules that must be applied. The first rule: the writings had to contain names of people not always found on the front page or the society section. Second, the writers had to get permission from each of their subjects.

In the months that followed, Bobbie gave up the writing part due to computer problems and other conflicts and became more of an occasional informant offering contacts to be followed up on. The column grew (in spite of bets to the contrary and to the surprise of both).

On Nov. 15, 2017, Bobbie Highsmith passed from this earth. The following excerpt was taken from her first ChitChat writings published on February 9, 2003:

“The constant ray of sunshine in my life is my family and friends. I remember always telling my kids when they were having problems you can’t choose family, but you can choose your friends. And I have always been fortunate to have chosen well.”

Bobbie lived by those words which should be a comfort to those fortunate enough to know her. She was the type of person for whom finding a four leaf clover in the yard put a smile on her face as if she had won the lottery. Simple words of wisdom for daily living – such as “never put anything on a credit card that you cannot pay for with cash” – were part of her philosophy of life. Yes, there was a lot to Bobbie Highsmith. She made people smile, and she made people think. Now, her words live on. May She Rest in Peace.

SON SHINE LIGHTHOUSE is requesting Walmart gift card donations for the women in-house so they can buy their children Christmas gifts.

“Some of the ladies have no family or any way to support their needs,” said Whitney Folsom, administrative assistant at the facility. “You must remember they are here because of abusive and/or addictive behavior and have never actually gone Christmas shopping. They have had to rely on Angel Tree-type giving to provide for their children.

“This year, we would like to take the women as a group for a Christmas shopping experience. If enough cards are received they can shop for their children and get necessities needed for their own use.

The gift cards need to be delivered to the center no later than Dec. 13, Folsom added. That would give the group three days (before the children are out of school on Dec. 18) to go shopping.

"It will be more fun for the ladies that way," she said. "They can bring or mail the cards directly to us, preventing a percentage of their proceeds going to other financial avenues ... that way they will know 100 percent of their gift will go to the ladies and children. If they prefer to write a check, we will go purchase the cards for them."

To donate a Walmart gift card or to make a donation by check, contact Son Shine Lighthouse at 903-895-4577.

I WASN’T THE ONLY KILGOREITTE standing in a half-mile long line at Greenberg Turkey farm this year. This was however, the first year, I have gone myself and witnessed firsthand a scene that has been previously reported by Oprah Winfrey – who, I'm told by the workers, had a turkey shipped to her again this year. If only I had known beforehand Mr. Greenberg supplied hot dogs, chips and drinks as a complimentary gesture upon day, I would not have bothered to grab a sandwich as I was going out the door. I have the experience, now. Next year the smoked bird will be shipped, even though I live only a few miles away.

GETTING BIGGER AND BETTER: Forest Home Baptist Church will be celebrating their 25th anniversary of the Christmas in The Woods Drive-Thru Nativity running Dec. 7 to 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly.

Pat Monk, Minister of Education always heads the team of workers required to assemble and participate throughout the event. He has scheduled a workday for Saturday, Dec. 2, for anyone who would like to help erect the sets.

Last year, 1,117 cars containing 4,044 people visited the drive-thru nativity – it's the desire of all workers and staff this year will bring out even more visitors to take part from the comfort of the vehicle.

THERE WERE 1,217 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes filled in Kilgore this year, according to Kim Gore. This ministry touches children world-wide. Kim puts in numerous hours to see that Kilgore is well-represented in the drive that takes place each year during the third week of November.

IT IS THE READERS of this column that have given it roots over the years. We are thankful to each one of you who continue to help contribute to its contents. May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Homes Throughout the Years. In the meantime, we may be reached at 903-984-2593 or


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