Out-of-town balloonist drops-in


IT came and it went, but not without leaving a lasting impression at least with especially with one Kilgore couple.

“We were having breakfast and heard a whoosh and looked at each other bewildered,” she said. “Then we heard another larger sounding whoosh and ran to the front door to see what could possibly be happening. You wouldn’t believe what we saw,” she continued excitedly. “It was big, green and black and sitting in our front yard.”

Last Sunday was the final day of the 40th Anniversary of the Great Texas Balloon Race and one balloonist had to make a last ditch effort to land safely doing so in the yard of Sue and Wayne Bass. The couple lives off FM 2276 in Kilgore.

“He said he was tired and ran out of steam,” said Sue. “Then he asked politely if he could park it in our yard until his team caught up with him. We got to see it up close and personal and just stood in awe on how he managed to get the balloon down in our front yard.”

“He was flying toward the airport and there was a 150 acre pasture on past us but, he couldn’t make it and opted for our yard,” continued Sue. “I just don’t know how he did it to the left and front of us were high line wires. We just had a large pine tree removed or there definitely would not have been room for the balloon,” she said.

“He was so nice and you could tell he was tired, but in a little while we saw a van pull up and his team started bustling around the balloon like a bees around a hive. Before you knew it, they were packed up and gone,” she laughed. “We were so awe-struck we failed to get his name, but, a neighbor said he counted 26 balloons in the air when his went down.”

The Great Texas Balloon Race Competition, the last of a three-day event began at 6:30 a.m. Sunday with a flight to East Texas Regional Airport in Longview. This year’s event had 80 pilots participating. It is held the second weekend of July.

SPEAKING ABOUT whooshing through a competition, 8-year-old Josey Perkins did just that in Regional’s TAAF placing first in the 800 and long jump and fourth in the 400 qualifying her for state finals.

The state meet took place in McAllen, Tx. She got 14th in the 800 and 400 and 15th in the long jump. In each event she competed against 34 or more girls. Josey attends school in Greenville, Tx. She is the daughter of Penni Perkins and granddaughter of Kilgoreites Larry and Judy Perkins. They are very proud of her first time competing at that level and at her age.

IT IS CARNIVAL TIME for St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The carnival will be held at 11:45 on Sunday, August 20 in the gym. Have fun while getting kids registered for children and junior choirs. If you can’t make the carnival you can still register at The church is located at 401 E. Main Str., Kilgore, TX.

TEXAS HEAT hasn’t slowed down the Red Hat Ladies. The Derrick Dolls met last week at Mazzio’s in Kilgore to catch up and make new plans for the upcoming months.

“Oh, yes, we are definitely still red-hatting it,” said JoeAnn Knight, a member of the Derrick Dolls. We are to meet at Copeland’s next month.”

“IT IS SPECTACULAR just keeping up with him,” laughed Sherron Hill when asked about her grandson Cash Hill. “He loves to come to our house to do what eight-year olds do best, run, play and swim. He did have to go to work with me one day last week, the rest of the time we just spent together.” Cash lives in Tyler. Sherron is resting up so two more can come next week from Oklahoma.

“That’s what summer and being a grandparent is all about,” said Sherron.

WE want to hear from you. We may be reached at or 903-984-2593. In the meantime, May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week.


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