Student continues family's traditions


HIS FAMILY became part of a series written about true cowboys still living, breathing and working in East Texas, of those whose livelihood was focused on raising and training horses and cattle.

Fifteen-year-old Kace Murphy has stepped right into the boots of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather of the Halbert family. Last year, at the Houston Rodeo & Livestock show, Kace won the calf scramble. On March 8 and 9 he will take the calf back to Houston for a showing and scrapbook competition with a chance of winning a $3,000 scholarship, well worth the time spent with raising the calf and the elaborate scrapbook he has now compiled for the show.

Kace chose to name his heifer Lou Della after Lou Della Crim of Kilgore.

“We certainly hope the Crim family doesn’t take offense at Kace naming his calf after such a fine lady,” said his grandmother Susie Halbert.

“Each scrapbook entered must have a theme,” she continued. “And I have never seen such regulations on size, thickness and content of a scrapbook before; Kace has worked hard to get it just right.”

After the Houston Livestock show, Kace will be showing Lou Della at the Rusk County Livestock show and Kilgore’s FFA show scheduled for March 30 and 31. His two sisters, Karleigh and Kellen will also be showing in the Rusk Co. and Kilgore shows. Their parents are Carey (Halbert) and James Murphy of Kilgore.

“HE KICKED his boot off on Tuesday of this week and now back on two feet again,” said Donna Hayes. The boot she was speaking about was a surgical boot and not a cowboy boot her husband David had probably preferred.

A skiing accident that caused a broken fibula on their second day at Winter Park, Colorado threw a damper on their five-day trip that included daughter Savannah, son-in-law Andrew Fry and six-year-old grandson Peyton.

“Savannah is a nurse,” said Donna. “So, he was in good hands but we couldn’t do anything until the swelling went down. But, the area was beautiful and we could see the ski lift and people coming and going from our window at the lodge.”

“I didn’t get on the skis and that is one reason why,” she said. “I won’t say we won’t go back because it is so beautiful, but our skiing days are over. Peyton, though, had a grand time and did a good job skiing and tubing,” she added.

“David actually went from the boot to bootstraps as tax season is upon us,” she said. “Just prior to the ski trip we extended his business into Longview, so we can accurately say he is boot-scooting now,” she said.

YOU KNOW, not just everyone names hotdogs after rock bands, but Larrissa and Luke Jackson from Henderson do. A food truck quickly became a hot dog truck after the naming of their hot dogs took place. The couple was at the chili cook-off hosted by Overton Healthcare on Thursday.

“We like to support Overton,” said Larrissa. “Our daughter takes dance class at Overton’s Star Makers.”

The truck may be going up for sale soon according to Luke. “We keep busy with so many other endeavors,” he added.

“IF the weather holds, the Mardi Gras parade will take place,” said Donna Jones. The floating Mardi Gras parade on the Sabine River is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 and the flash floods have everyone holding their breath it will take place.

Twenty boaters are signed up to “float their boat” that day, showing off their unique decorations. The parade will start at the Hwy. 42 boat ramp.

“I have been on the phone with the national weather and river advisors trying to keep abreast of the situation,” said Donna. “As of this morning (Friday) there is a predicted fifty percent chance of rain this week and they expect the river to be 33.8 feet high by Wednesday. The bank deck is 35 ft. high and the road is 38 ft. high. If it goes over the road, we have no choice but to cancel. Right now, it is still on and it is just a gamble as to what the weather will do,” she said.

A Cajun band from south Louisiana will be entertaining during the day. For further information call Donna at 903-812-2940.

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or 903-984-2593.