Continuing the Josey Legacy

R.E. and Martha Josey began their rodeo careers in the 1960s when Martha competed as a barrel racer, and R.E. competed as a calf roper. After meeting at a Rodeo, the couple fell in love, got married, and started down the rodeo road together. As they began to progress in their respected events the couple was seeing great success in their events. With a shared vision of starting a rodeo school, the couple moved to Martha’s childhood home Marshall, TX where they hosted their first rodeo school in the summer of 1967.

For the last 55 years, the Josey Ranch has continued to build a legacy through the Rodeo Industry training World Champions as the longest run rodeo school in the world.

This past weekend the Josey Ranch concluded its annual Spring I clinic with 77 barrel racers coming from ten different states including, Florida, Colorado, and Brazil. Students and their families spent the weekend on the Ranch working on barrel racing techniques, training methods, perfect practice, and learning how to set attainable goals for 2022 with Martha, Gary, and their impeccable staff.

Amongst the 77 students, many came together to spend the weekend learning from the Josey Ranch Instructors. Brandi Williams, a Texas Trainer, brought 12 students from her lesson program. This group included 12 students, 15 horses, 5 dogs, 5 trailers, and nearly 30 people total to all to Marshall, TX for the weekend.

“We love teaching,” explained Martha’s nephew and Josey instructor Gary Arthur. “We have taught thousands of students in the last 54 years, and they have all become part of the Josey Family. To see a clinic filled with so many students who were making their first trip to the Josey Ranch was incredible. We are truly blessed to be able to touch so many kids and adults in their dreams and passions.”

Along with these Texas students, one family came from Colorado. Andre Coelho, a native Brazilian, brought his family and 9-year-old, Maria Coellho, to ride in the clinic. The Coelho’s are currently staying in Colorado but going back to Brazil soon. They took the chance to attend a Josey Clinic before returning home.

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Oscar-winning Music from the Movies

Jefferson’s Opera House Theatre Players

 March 19, 2022

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In a salute to the Oscar-winning music from the movies, Jefferson’s Opera House Theatre Players will present well-known percussionist and instructor, AnthonyRobinson, in a concert of some of the greatest songs ever composed for films.  

The concert is fund-raiser for the thespian group now in the 33rd season andwill be held at the historic Union Baptist Church in Jefferson that was restored in recent years by Mr.Richard Collins of Dallas. It will begin at 5 pm on Sunday,March 27, the actual time of the Oscar ceremonies in Los Angeles. 

Anthony Robinson is a graduate of Northwestern State University with a Bachelor Degree and of East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce) with a Masters  He also is a graduate of the First Sergeants Academy, Maxwell AFB.  

He is the current Assistant Conductor/Principal Percussionist with the Marshall Sympathy Orchestras,a Percussionist with the Shreveport Symphony, a Percussion Specialist with the Springhill ISD, and a Section Percussionist with the Longview Symphony. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Percussion at East Texas Baptist University  and following his retirement as head band director for the Marshall ISD, he frequently donates much of his time and talent to area nursing homes.

According to Robinson, most of his program will be the highly popular songs that were themes for movies of the past including “My Funny Valentine”, “My Heart Will Go On”, “Strangers in Paradise”,”Send In The Clowns” and a number of other famous songs.  One song that will hopefully be featured is “If I Could Reach You” by Randy McNeill of Marshall, Texas who was also a Golden Globe Nominee.  The song won an Oscar in 1972  and was featured in the movie “Butterflies Are Free” . Mr. McNeill and family members who still live in Marshall will be invited to attend.

Other additions to the concert will be a small exhibit of clothing worn by two stars of Hollywood.  One is a beautiful purple velvet pantsuit that was owned by actress Rita Moreno, an Oscar winner who is currently up for another shot at the award.  The other item is a glamorous peau de soie full length cape trimmed in fur that was worn in the movie “These Old Broads” by either Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, or Joan Collins.Both items are from The Marcia Collection of vintage clothing.

Tickets at $15 per person will be available at the door by 4:30 pm the day of the concert and open seating is available on the pews.  Following the concert,the audience will be invited to the anti-room behind the church for wine, tea, canapes and to meet the entertainer.  Photographs and autographs are also encouraged be allowed also.

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These 12 Things Are Actually Illegal In Texas

Entertainment – February 15, 2022

from  Only in Texas

Most People Don’t Know That These 12 Things Are Actually Illegal In Texas

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7. Eating someone’s garbage without their permission

Check out the rest of the list at the link below.

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When Boogie Woogie came back to Marshall

Entertainment – February 14, 2022

from  Marshall News Messenger

When Boogie Woogie came back to Marshall

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Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a multi-part series on the history of Marshall’s musical history, and the Black residents who created the legacy of music we know today.

Marshall’s musical legacy as the birthplace of boogie woogie is a legacy that goes back to the 1800’s, but for a lot of local residents it was an unknown legacy until just a decade ago.

It was January 2010 when Dr. John Tennison first came to Marshall, bringing with him his gathered knowledge of the history of boogie woogie and East Texas that would change the way residents thought about their small town.

Tennison said that he grew up in Texarkana and heard the sounds of boogie woogie for the first time around first grade, becoming captivated with the sound ever since.

“I was always interested in the music and the sounds of Boogie Woogie, but my interest in the history of it was really reinvigorated when I was in medical school,” Tennison said.

Through around 33 years of researching the subject on and off, Tennison said that he was able to determine that Marshall was the closest municipality to what could be best determined as the originating location for the musical sound we know now as boogie woogie.

“Really by birthplace we mean the closest city or municipality at the time to the area that historians have determined that particular sound originated from,” Tennison said, “Many other cities have similar history, like New Orleans which is the birthplace of jazz.”

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The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

Relationships – February 13, 2022

from  The New York Times

The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

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In Mandy Len Catron’s Modern Love essay, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” she refers to a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.

The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.” Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.

The final task Ms. Catron and her friend try — staring into each other’s eyes for four minutes — is less well documented, with the suggested duration ranging from two minutes to four. But Ms. Catron was unequivocal in her recommendation. “Two minutes is just enough to be terrified,” she told me. “Four really goes somewhere.”

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

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Goodbye Betty White

Goodbye Betty White – January 1, 2022

Saturday – from  the Washington Post

Goodbye to Betty White, popular culture’s beloved (and saucy) great-grandma

She was a dedicated actress and showbiz personality to the very end. She was also something much more to the millions who loved her.

Oh, Betty! Dear Betty, sweet Betty, saucy Betty. We always knew the day was coming, but you were so good at helping us pretend it would never get here.

And now there you are, all that sparkle and happiness, smiling at us in the checkout line just as we are sad-scrolling through the breaking news of your death on an already bummed-out New Year’s Eve: People magazine, hedging all kinds of bets against the universe, has an issue on the stands touting your 100th birthday in January. It’s so like you, Betty, to get in one last good one. The joke is on them now, along with assuredly terrific newsstand sales. The sorrow, meanwhile, is on us.

Betty White, who was found dead Friday at age 99 in her Brentwood, Calif., home, did not, as the obits are factually obligated to tell us, leave behind any children — or grandchildren or great-grandchildren or great-great-grandchildren.

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Amazing Christmas Gift

Amazing Christmas Gift

December 23rd, 2021

December 23rd, 2021 by MarshallCVB

I am happy to provide you with the following credits, foreword and link, announcing an amazing Christmas gift for the city of Marshall, Texas compliments of singer, guitarist, songwriter and author, the legendary Dale Watson!

“Filmed backstage at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas, December 13, 2021 by John Tennison, nonjohn.com

Dale Watson Guitar and Vocals / Huck Johnson – Upright Bass / Manny Pagan – Slap Bass Percussion.

Foreword by Alan Loudermilk, owner of The Ginocchio restaurant in Marshall, Texas.”

“A month or so ago, a man came into the Ginocchio with his wife.  They headed to the Ginocchio trackside patio, and I went out to introduce myself.  While I was familiar with his music, this was my first time to meet Dale Watson and his wife Celine.

As we talked on the patio, we discussed Dale and Celine’s purchase of a historic home in Marshall, his frequent performances in Austin and his music venue in Memphis, and the reason that he chose Marshall – it was a small town with rich history that happened to be roughly halfway between Austin and Memphis.  The discussion quickly turned to the fact that we were standing around 10 feet away from the Texas historic marker commemorating Marshall as the Birthplace of Boogie Woogie.  Dale noted the important influence of Boogie Woogie in much of his music and also on the music of countless artists in Texas and around the world, playing a wide variety of music.  What a remarkable turn of events – Dale and Celine (a singer-song writer who often joins Dale on stage) chose a new town to call home, midway between Austin and Memphis, and they found themselves in the birthplace of a music genre that they celebrate almost daily in their performances.

I connected Dale with Dr. John Tennison, the doctor-musician-film maker-historian whose extensive research indicated that Marshall and the surrounding area is where Boogie Woogie music originated.  John and I agreed to meet Dale at the Continental Club in Austin, where Dale was to perform.  There was a wonderful gift awaiting us in Austin – the first public performance of a song that Dale had written on his train ride from Marshall to Austin – The Marshall Boogie.

John recorded the performance, and perhaps most interestingly to me – the non-musician – recorded the backstage rehearsal.  I was witnessing something special – the birth of a song that celebrates Boogie Woogie, the railroad, Marshall, and the spirit of movement and enjoyment that is the essence of Boogie Woogie.  Wow – blown away.

The Marshall Boogie – a most wonderful Christmas gift from Dale Watson to the City of Marshall and to all of us who appreciate how the world of music has been enriched by the ever-widening influence of Boogie Woogie.  Thank you Dale, Celine and the band, and thank you John for recording the performance.  Enjoy.”

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The Leaves are Falling Josey’s is Calling

 

 When it comes to barrel racing the work never stops, which is why barrel racers from across the country are headed to the Josey Ranch in Marshall, Texas. Home of legendary World Champions R.E. and Martha Josey students are coming to learn from these champions right in their backyard.

Coming from nine different states, over 160 students and their families will be attending clinics at the Ranch in the next two weeks. Students will be working on barrel racing techniques, training methods, and learning how to practice perfect with R.E., Martha, and their impeccable staff in the Fall and Thanksgiving Barrel Racing Clinics November 19-21 and November 26-28.

“We love teaching students all year, but the fall and thanksgiving clinics are always a little special,” explained Martha’s nephew and Josey instructor Gary Arthur. “We have taught thousands of students in the last 54 years, and they have all become part of the Josey Family. When we get to see returning students around the holiday times it’s a special experience, not to mention meeting new students and adding to the ranch family. They love coming to beautiful East Texas!”

Along with R.E., Martha, and Gary, the Josey Ranch has a very talented staff that works through the Ranch year-round to teach the future generation of barrel racers. Many of the staff members not only live in Marshall but drive in from across Texas and Louisiana. The staff includes Ty and Lisa Mitchell, Terry Thomas, Pamella Randall, Suvoy and Cheryl Rosser, Ashley Schenck, Elaine Lambino, Whitney Bettis, Marj Dahle, Micah Sebranke, Keely Henry, Luke Cruze, and Haley Coleman.

The Josey Ranch is always open to the public to offer shopping in the Josey Western Store, lunch at the concession stand, or family-friendly fun watching the barrel racers train through the clinics.  

Photo of Martha Josey teaching a student in the main arena.

Photo of Gary Arthur teaching a student in the main arena. 

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Pioneer Days Festival Big Success

 Pioneer Days Festival Big Success

9/8/2021

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

newscast.

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 

distributed.

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

membership. 

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Pioneer Days Ahead

 Pioneer Days Ahead

9/1/2021

Don’t be surprised if you feel your in a different century when you 

visit Jefferson, Texas this weekend, because its “back to the earliest days” as the community showcases what is hoped to be the 1st Annual Pioneer Days Festival, Sept. 4, 5 and 6.

Begun as a project when the Opera House Theatre Players, a local

community theatre, decided to bring in the world renown musical

group, The Sons of the Pioneers, for a concert on the Monday of

Labor Day weekend, the excitement and anticipation of such big name entertainment gave birth to the idea that the entire community could and should benefit from the extra visitors it would likely bring in.  Thats when the theatre board members put their ideas together and came up with an entire weekend of activities geared to not only attract attention for the concert but create a festival that would hold people in town for the last long weekend of the summer. 

After organizing a working committee made up of board members and community volunteers, the committee set about soliciting

donations and service donations to the non-profit group that

would fund an event of three days.  Theatre board president

Marcia Thomas said that “they have been greatly pleased and

gratified to see so many businesses and individuals were 

really interested in supporting Jefferson tourism with this

idea. We’ve been able to make it all free except the concert! 

The perfect event for all the family. We have been blessed!”

The festivities will begin on Saturday, Sept. 4, with a Parade

at 10 am that will be comprised of horseback riders, wagons 

and walkers in period costume.  One local resident, Howard

Blatch, will wear  an exact replica uniform worn on the Lewis

and Clark Expedition that started in 1803 to explore the

New Louisiana Purchase or The New Frontier. Another par-

ticipant will be the Bayou Trailblazers Trail Riding  Group

who will be in period costume as they ride. A covered 

wagon with costumed passengers is also expected to be

part of the parade.  A trophy and prize will be awarded to

the most authentic costume.

Following the parade at 11:30 the re-enactment of an 

historical shooting incident that occurred in the wagon

yard of downtown Jefferson in 1906 will be performed

in the spot where it actually happened.  Board member

Jim Blackburn will portray Sheriff Will S. Terry and

theatre member/actor Mark McKay will play the Deputy

who “went bad”, Charlie Proctor.  A narrator will read

briefly read the background of the shooting to the

audience and several theatre members will appear as

some of the citizens who witnessed the event,   The

idea to do the re-enactment came from Thomas who

had been told of the incident by her grandfather and

his twin brother many decades back.  The two were

witnesses of shooting as young teenagers.

At Noon to 12:30 pm, singer Ann Leslie of Marshall

will entertain with country songs at the Otstott Gazebo.

Ms. Leslie writes her own music and accompanies

herself with recorded background music geared for

all ages.

At 6 pm, the crowds will be steered toward the east

end block of Austin Street where a Street Dance 

will play until 8 pm with music by the award-winning

group Sheila and the Caddo Kats.  There will be some

seating available and beverages will be available from

nearby businesses.

On Sunday, Sept. 5, a Cook-Out with Barbeque and

Beans will be served beginning noon at the grassy 

riverfront area near the stagecoach and horse dis-

play courtesy of the Collins Institute. Entertainment

will begin about noon and continue until 4 pm.  Sche-

duled to perform are cowboy singer John Nance,

Ann Leslie and Riley Cox (pending availability).  The

Players are also squeezing in a brief audition period

beginning at 4:30 at the Visitor Bldg lobby front to

cast two upcoming productions.

Monday Sept. 6 is the date for the much-anticipated

concert by the fabulous and famous Sons of the Pioneers

who will present a show of just under 2 hrs followed by

an autograph and photo session with the audience.  The

groups latest CDs will also be available for purchase.

VIP tickets are sold out but some general seating tickets

at $25/person are still available online at 

http://www.JeffersonOperaHouseTheatrePlayers.com or at 

The Willow Tree 903-601-4515.  If there are any left, tickets

may be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

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