“When the speech condemns the free press, you are hearing the words of a tyrant.”

– Thomas Jefferson

THIS is the season for large crowds downtown.

WEDNESDAY and Thursday saw several thousand people squeezed onto Commerce Street for the East Texas Oilmen’s Chili Cook-off and the Wednesday night “networking opportunity.”

NEXT week several thousand children, parents and grandparents will crowd onto Main and Rusk streets for the annual downtown Trick or Treating (starts at 4 p.m.) and Lions Club carnival.

IT’S quite heartening to see “millennials” (and “xennials”) moving into Kilgore’s leadership roles.

WE couldn’t help but be reminded of that this year when we found that Kevin Kranzman and Nicole Oubre – her father, the late Jim Oubre, himself an active volunteer, would be proud – co-chaired the East Texas Oilmen’s Chili Cook-off this year. And, as far as we could tell from our seat in the consumer section, did an excellent job.

MEANWHILE Jessica and Greg Holmes – following the example set by Greg’s mother, Merlyn – are laboring mightily for United Fund.

THAT’S but four… at virtually every event these days we see leadership roles being filled by Kilgoreos in their 20s and 30s. We’ll expect to start seeing these millennials campaigning for office soon, filling seats on city council, school board and advisory committees.

FORMER Chairman of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce (and former district judge) Alvin Khoury doesn’t get to Kilgore as often as he used to, but you can count him to be here when it’s time to judge chili.

IN FACT, Alvin was here Wednesday evening for the pre-party, accompanied by his wife Dorothy (former chairwoman of the Gregg County Republican Party) and son Andy. And back on Thursday for the main event.

WES Ferguson, a talented free-lance writer from East Texas has written an article for Texas Monthly magazine in which he says the participation rate in UIL-sanctioned football (including 6-man) has fallen from 14.5 percent in 2000 to 11 percent last year. A number of factors likely contribute to the decline – much of the blame is laid on awareness of concussions and on an increasing Hispanic population more interested in soccer (futbol) than in football.


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