Pioneer Days Festival Big Success

 Pioneer Days Festival Big Success


Jefferson’s Opera House Theatre Players pulled off a fantastic weekend

with the first annual Pioneer Days Festival event Sept .4-6.

Featured to kick off the 3-day Labor Day weekend for the public, was a parade that

had wagons, horseback riders, and walkers, all in costume of the pioneer days

(or close to it) as that marched in the sun on one of the hottest days of the

summer through the streets of downtown.  Winning the trophy and a gift certificate

from the Jefferson Nail and Spa was Evelyn Rene Matthews of Texarkana, Arkansas

dressed as an early Texas pioneer cowgirl. Other notables were Shawn and Demetrious 

Thurman in two separate wagons with passengers and a horse-back rider from Lodi, 

Larry Bearden & family on  horseback; the Bayou Trailblazers; walker Howard Blatch; 

and Jane Maddix, Sara Davis, Ann Leslie, and her granddaughter, Isabella.

Following the parade, a crowd gathered at 11:30 am for the re-enactment of one of

the town’s most infamous gunfights between the then Sheriff Will S. Terry and his

Deputy, Charlie Proctor.  It was held in the original location of the incident which

is the site of the old wagon yard from the days of the 1800s to the early 1900s.

KTAL-TV, Ch. 6 of Shreveport videoed the shoot-out and interviewed a number

of audience members.  The story aired later that night during the stations 10 pm


At Noon, a singing pioneer in the person of Ann Leslie entertained in the Gazebo

at the park in downtown using her repertoire of original & old songs including “Home On

The Range”, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, and “Comin ‘Round the Mountain”.  

At 6 pm, a western street dance was held on the east end of Austin Street until 8pm.

The band, Sheila and the Caddo Kats, played for the two-hour dance and an award

was presented to the group by the Opera House Theatre Players president, Marcia

Thomas, as the “Rising Star Award” for their exciting career accomplishments,

The thespian groups new season will begin their 33rd year of operation.  The band 

is featured in the new brochure produced by the Players and is currently being 


On Sunday, a Barbeque Cook-Out with Entertainment was held on the riverfront

area that is owned and maintained by the Collins Institute.  The free food was

given to those who wandered up from the downtown area and entertainment

was provided by Johnny Riverrat, Ann Leslie and Riley Cox.

To complete the festival, a concert was given to a crowd of over 200 persons in

the Visitor Building.  Audience members gathered as early as 3 pm to get 

their seats for a 2-hr concert by the internationally famous Sons of the

Pioneers.  Visitors from as far away as Missouri, Wisconsin, Arkansas

and other states were obviously thrilled to get to hear one of the most

famous and favorite old-time cowboy singing groups in the world.  A

member of the group, Ken Larttimore of Marshall, welcomed all his Marshall

friends to the show and provided laughs as he told a few jokes about his

life at Marshall High School as a teacher of string instruments.

According to theatre board members, the Players were so pleased with 

the outcome of this first attempt that they are already thinking of what

they can put together for next year’s Pioneer Days weekend which will

occur in September of 2022.  Anyone wishing to join the group and work

with them on the idea as well as support the theatre organization may 

do so by filling out the information on the brochure and submitting a



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Startling COVID report: Five things to know

J. Harris: Read it and weep — from the Longview paper.


1. Americans didn’t avoid travel over holiday,

”…Daily infections reported were … higher than last year, with 316 percent more new daily COVID-19 cases reported on Labor Day this year compared to 2020, according to Baltimore… Daily virus deaths were almost twice as high, and hospitalizations were up 158 percent compared to the same time in 2020…”.

2. CDC: Child COVID-19 hospitalizations 10X higher for unvaccinated

”…The hospitalization rate among unvaccinated adolescents aged 12-17 was 10 times higher compared to those who were fully vaccinated…”

(J. Harris: Short article with 6 good points.)

3. LA reports 167 cases of new ‘mu’ variant — 8 updates

”…California had reported 399 cases of the strain as of Sept. 6, the highest in the country…The strain still accounts for less than 1 percent of samples sequenced in the state…Current evidence suggests the strain is likely “more transmissible,” according to Paul Cardenas, MD, PhD, an infectious disease and genomics expert in Ecuador who is studying the virus. Mu has “been able to outcompete gamma and alpha in most parts of Ecuador and Colombia,…”


1. Covid-19: Malaysia Hit by Record Cases Despite Prolonged Lockdown (BMJ) On 23 May 2021, Malaysia surged past India to record one of South East Asia’s highest covid-19 infection rates, with deaths per capita now exceeding India and neighbouring Indonesia. Since then, the numbers have only grown, despite the nation being in a state of emergency for seven months and in lockdown since June. Malaysia reported a record high of 22 242 daily cases on 18 August 2021, with a total of 1.47 million cases and 13 302 deaths during the pandemic. Doctors in east Malaysia and the southern state of Johor told The BMJ that emergency departments are seeing a surge in cases and have reached maximum capacity. The situation has been worsened by insufficient ventilators and staff. Musa Mohd Nordin, paediatrician and resident doctor in KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital, told The BMJ that patient-facing staff are “overstretched and overworked” and have “reported physical, occupational, psychological, and socially negative impacts.”

(J. Harris: In May, most of these cases were various variants. Now the new cases are primarily Delta according to various Malaysia sequencing reports.)

2. US HOSPITAL BURDEN Across the US, hospitals are straining under the volume of COVID-19 patients, and several states are nearly out of ICU beds. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Texas have less than 10% of their ICU beds available. Georgia hospitals have topped their January highs on some days, and adult ventilator use has far outpaced the previous high. A US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)


What the Sturgis rally shows us about the delta variant (and Twits)

 By Ashish K. Jha

Ashish K. Jha is a physician, health policy researcher and the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.


I  ”…The annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota is America’s largest bike rally, a 10-day blowout, with attendance this year exceeding 250,000.If it [the 2021 Sturgis Rally] had gone off without big spikes in covid cases, it would have provided strong evidence that this level of population immunity — around 75 percent [in SD] — would allow us to get back to the way we did things in 2019. But unfortunately, that’s not what happened. In the weeks since the rally began in early August [2021], infection numbers have shot up more than 600 percent in South Dakota. We can expect to see big increases in other states, too, since bikers returned home from the event. Last year, after Sturgis, we saw massive outbreaks across the Dakotas, Wyoming, Indiana, even Nevada. Much of the region was aflame because of Sturgis, probably causing thousands of deaths...[attendance each August in Sturgis is usually over 400,000 people as it was in 2020]

II  [In contrast] ”… what happened in Provincetown, Mass., over the July 4 weekend. Provincetown unfortunately also led to a spike in cases — but the infection numbers peaked quickly, dwindled and were gone three weeks later. There were very few hospitalizations and no deaths. Why? Because most of the people in Provincetown were vaccinated. That may be an indicator that population immunity from vaccinations is better and more protective than immunity from infections…”

III. ”Consider also this summer’s Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. All those attending were required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. Anyone unvaccinated was required to wear masks throughout, even though the festival was outdoors. And those attending were asked to accept a “Lollapalooza Fan Health Pledge” promising they had not tested positive or been exposed to covid within two weeks or experienced any covid symptoms within 48 hours. The result? Of the hundreds of thousands of fans who attended the festival, only a few hundred have subsequently tested positive — and it is unclear whether any of them were infected at Lollapalooza.”

”Over the past year, every time we have tried to defy the virus by scorning precautions, the virus has won, and people have suffered and died: significant outbreaks, a lot of hospitalizations, too many deaths. Large gatherings like rallies, festivals and fairs are the biggest test of what our society can do in a pandemic….It’s important for Americans to find ways to come together. So we should ask how we can make gatherings safer…Here, the pandemic playbook is straightforward: Ensure you have a highly vaccinated population. Verify people’s vaccination status. Require rapid and frequent testing, especially for the unvaccinated. Improve indoor air quality, and use masking intermittently when needed.

None of these are difficult to achieve. And none of them should be particularly inconvenient. If we do all that, we can safely get back to the things we love and the events that bring us together, like music festivals, concerts and motorcycle rallies.

Resolution on Continued COVID Prevention by the NET Health Board of Directors (September 2nd 2021) (J.Harris: Our neighboring medical authorities are ahead of us, again.  It is worth reading the “whereas’. ”)


(J. Harris: Thank you, Dr. Allman)


As I watch this new generation try to rewrite our history, one thing I’m sure of … it will be misspelled and have no punctuation.

Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves.


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