CHITCHAT CORNER | LINDA K. BALLARD

Stuffed is a good thing

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Whether you have already been stuffed or are still waiting to be stuffed, Thanksgiving moves us quickly on into the Christmas season. The focus seems to be more about family involvement and all-steam-ahead for the local businesses trying to make it happen.

With this season of thanks also come favorite memories. Kassy Paris from Liberty City shares this:

“One year, about a month before Thanksgiving, our built-in oven went out. My father was a do-it-yourself man. When he couldn’t fix the old one with new parts, he ordered a new oven. It arrived on Tuesday the week of Thanksgiving. When daddy got the new one home, it wouldn’t fit into the space the old one occupied. The turkey thawed in the refrigerator, no cornbread was cooked to make dressing and there were no pumpkin or pecan pies made.

“My mother always prepared the cornbread on Wednesday evening, cooked some of the desserts, and put the turkey on to roast just before she went to bed. Mr. Turkey would slow roast all night. On Thanksgiving Day, she would bake the sweet potato casserole and finally the dressing. Everything else we could prepare on the stovetop.

“That year, Momma suggested we go out for Thanksgiving dinner. My father vetoed the suggestion and went to work. Time ticked away as he tore the back off the cabinet housing the oven and hooked the new oven up to the existing wiring. The new oven sat balanced on a stool in front of the cabinet while he worked. When the connections were made, my father checked to see that the oven worked. It did.

“By that time, my mother should have been baking, but Daddy couldn’t make the oven fit without cutting away some of the cabinet wall. After a brief discussion, they decided that the oven could be used sitting on the stool, and he would finish the installation after Thanksgiving.

“Momma got to work and cooked a whole Thanksgiving dinner with the oven propped on a stool.”

Kassy loves to write about her daddy and claims to have a bunch of stories centered on Christmas. Perhaps we will hear more. Kassy is an author/editor/writing mentor. Her last release was Murder in Maggie, a cozy mystery written under the pen name of Kasandra Elaine and co-authored with her friend, the late Elaine Bonner. She also writes Christian Romantic suspense and is currently working to complete several novels.

THE PATTERSON reunion was held in the country near Troup on Friday after Thanksgiving at the old home place of Mrs. J. H. “Lou Ella Patterson” Mahurin and the mother of Betty Mahurin Baker. The women in the family cooked up pounds of meat and stirred it up into a huge black kettle hanging from a tripod over wood burning fire and made enough chili to almost feed the entire county.

For the “picky” eaters, crock pots filled with turkey chili, vegan chili and extra hot chili could also be found. Relatives came from all over Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. They had a fabulous time.

PATTERSON Chevrolet/Chrysler/Dodge dealership fed approximately 60 employees and family on Tuesday of last week. We don’t know if they were any kin to the above Patterson family, but they sure knew how to put on a feast according to Mike Johnson, sales manager.

“It has always been good, but this year tops them all,” he said. “Steve Beasley, our general manager managed to get us all together. You have to understand in a dealership it can become splintered with separate departments like service department, sales and our body shop. This year,

we managed to put everything on pause and unite. The food was fantastic. It was just great fun,” he added.

THANKSGIVING was held on Monday evening for the families of residents at Overton Health Care.

“We were busy,” said Melba Killyon, administrator. We fed one hundred twenty-two. It was good. We had no complaints,” she laughed.

THE KILGORE HISTORICAL PRESERVATION has a Christmas quilt fundraiser taking place.

“Kilgore citizens Jimmy and Betty Baker donated three quilts for our fundraiser,” said Sue Brown. “One can be seen through the window at 109 N. Kilgore Street. Be sure to go look at it. The detail is unbelievable and has the Kilgore skyline of oil derricks in the center. The quilter used the same design as what is on our t-shirts but the detail around it is exquisite,” she said. Tickets ($5 for one or 3 for $10) for the quilts can be purchased at 105 N. Kilgore Street and from KHPF board members. The other two quilts can be seen at the old Post Office. The drawing will take place December 17 and will make an excellent Christmas present and special souvenir from Kilgore. Orders are also being taken for the t-shirts which should be back in stock before Christmas. For more information call 903-984-3038.

THE OVERTON CHRISTMAS PARADE rolls on Monday, Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Warden Hudson from the Billy Moore Correctional Facility will be the Grand Marshal this year a well deserved spot for his community awareness.

Immediately following the parade, Mrs. Santa will entertain with stories at the McMillan Library. Santa has scheduled a special reindeer flight in on December 4 and December 10 to check on Overton and Leverett’s Chapel

Pre-K through second grade students. The jolly ol’ man will be finding out if they have been naughty or nice.

KILGORE’S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CHRISTMAS PARADE will be Tuesday, November 27 at 6:30 p.m. Chamber secretary/assistant Lisa Morgan is in search of volunteers for the big event to help line up the floats, etc. She can be reached at 903-984-5022. The Polar Express is the theme this year and promises to be lots of fun for everyone.

IF the Mingle and Jingle and all the other events going on so far for Christmas haven’t put you in the mood for the holidays head to the Christmas Open House at the Kilgore Public Library. It is one of my personal favorites. It starts at 6 p.m. on November 30 and is located at 301 N. Henderson Blvd.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU goes out to Wilbur and Kay Yates and the team at Edward Jones Investments for once again blessing my family with kindness. They have spoiled my grandson(s).

My Houston readers, Mary and Wayne Wright never fail to acknowledge me with cards throughout the year. I can tell they were busy though…as they failed to sign it! You gotta love them for thinking about me anyway!

MAY HIS LOVE AND LAUGHTER fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at chitchatlinda@aol.com or 903-984-2593.

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