2016 Delta Waterfowl Foundation Banquet

By Kevin Shannahan


Kevin’s Gallery

The Cane River Chapter of the Delta Waterfowl Foundation held its annual fundraising banquet and auction Thursday, 27 October at the Natchitoches Country Club. Over 100 hunters, families and supporters enjoyed a superb BBQ dinner, fellowship and a lively auction of shotguns and outdoor equipment.

The Delta Waterfowl Foundation is dedicated to preservation of watrfowl habitat, education of the public on conservation and hunting issues and passing waterfowl hunting heritage to the next generation. The event is expected to raise between 15 and 20 thousand dollars for this worthy cause.

I make weird noises: The many voices of Andy Field

By Corey Poole


From zombie noises to radio spots, Natchitoches native Andy Field is breaking into the world of voice acting.

Born and raised in Natchitoches, Field graduated from Natchitoches Central High School in 1989. He joined the Louisiana National Guard and then attended Northwestern State University. After getting married, he moved to Oxford, Miss. However, Natchitoches will always be his home.

Three years ago Field discovered the wonderful world of voice acting. He’d formerly worked at NSU teaching the Army ROTC, worked as a government contractor and a middle school teacher. Looking to make some extra money and always chosen to be the guy at the microphone, Field discovered his calling while imitating a voice in his kitchen.

“The world became flat all of a sudden,” said Field. “It’s amazing what we’re able to do.”

His first paid gig was making zombie noises for a video game, which led to commercials, e-learning videos, narrating infomercials and anything else that comes along. Field also worked on a radio spot for Natchitoches’ own Dark Woods Haunted Attraction.

Most notably is his voice acting for the popular “Five Nights at Freddy’s” video game series. “Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location,” the fifth installment for Freddy fans, was released Oct. 7. While the original version was released for PC, this survival horror game quickly gained traction and was also released for Android and iOS.

“All of a sudden people want the cast members to show up at conventions and sign autographs,” said Field. “It’s made me realize this is pretty big.”

The voice actor job description appeals to Field because of the constant stimulation.

“That’s what makes it fun,” he said. “I’m not a person who needs to do the same thing every day. With this job I go from talking about diabetes, to American education, to narrating a book, to zombie noises for a video game.”

4-H’ers Meet to Carve and Paint Pumpkins


4-H members spanning grades 4th-12th and their families spent the evening carving and painting pumpkins together at the Natchitoches Parish Fair Grounds. A total of 35 entries were judged with four winners per grade. Winners received gift certificates courtesy of a local chicken store. After the event painted entries were donated to area nursing homes.

“We plan on making this an annual event,” said Pam Pearee the new Natchitoches Parish 4-H Agent. “I’m thrilled with the turn out. We have kids from all over the parish. I wanted to do something fun that would bring the kids and families out for a meet and greet. I must thank the Natchitoches Parish Fair Board for letting us use the pavilion.”

Participants took their time planning out their pumpkins first deciding if they were going for painted, spooky, most creative or silly. Kids got to participate in a cake walk and enjoy snacks. Who needs a dance floor? Kids and parents got busy dancing under the pavilion while judges picked their winners.


1966 Demons, military have deep ties

By Lloyd Courtney


When Northwestern State football lines up against Nicholls on Saturday night in Turpin Stadium, the Demons will be celebrating its annual “Military Appreciation Day.”

For Deacon Lewis, David Centanni, Gary Pittman, and Shelley Dickie, members of the hallowed, undefeated 1966 Northwestern State football team, today comes as a way to express their gratitude for the military, something that goes beyond anything they accomplished on the football field.

While these men were leading NSU to a No. 1 ranking in the NAIA polls, the U.S. was engulfed in a war with Vietnam, which is why those former Demons have such a profound respect for those that serve our country.

“If you are looking for patriotic statements, you’ll get them from us, because we respect the military more than any group in the country,” said Pittman, who lettered at halfback from 1963-66.

“We should do more for our veterans, and we should do more for the people currently serving. I have relatives that have served time in Iraq and Afghanistan that are doing the hard work for us, while we celebrate our fifty-year reunion. All the people that have sacrificed in front of us, we ought to give them a debt of gratitude.”

Lewis, Northwestern State’s starting quarterback from 1965-1968, served in the Army Reserves for a time, but he is proudest of the fundraising he does with a group called “Impact a Hero” based in Houston, Texas.

“With Impact a Hero, we have a whole weekend where we bring in around 50 soldiers and their families in,” Lewis said. “We host a gala of about 1,200 people in NRG Stadium that raises a lot of money for the military.”

Lewis’ connection to the Vietnam War is a personal one. His father-in-law was a Sergeant Major during that time.

“For 28 years he was stationed at Fort Polk,” Lewis said. “He trained soldiers at Tiger Ridge to go to Vietnam.”

While the members of the 1966 Demons played at then-Northwestern State College and attended classmates with those directly affected by Vietnam, the university’s bond with the military only has strengthened in the half-century since then.

Northwestern State has a campus at Fort Polk, which puts NSU at the heart of central Louisiana’s military efforts, according to NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.

In conjunction with Military Appreciation Day, active or retired personnel will be able to get free tickets to Saturday’s game against Nicholls at Turpin Stadium by showing their Military ID cards at the gate.

Pictured from left, Deacon Lewis, Gary Pittman, David Centanni and Shelley Dickie were part of Northwestern State’s 1966 undefated football team whose college memories were partially forged by the Vietnam War, giving them a deep sense of respect for the U.S. military. Photo by Lloyd Courtney/NSU Sports Information.

Fall Carnival at Jr. High offers students a spooky good time


Kevin’s Gallery

Students at Natchitoches Jr. High-Frankie Ray Jackson played games at the school’s Fall Carnival Wednesday evening, Oct. 26. It was also a family literacy night. Teachers dressed in costume as students waked to different game booths. The Natchitoches Parish Library awarded prizes at its booth and members of the NSU basketball team played games with the students. A dunk booth, pony rides and pictures with Dark Woods characters kept students busy.

Ponderings with Doug – October 27, 2016

DougFUMCFor decades I have written these articles. In one church our newsletter was printed by a newspaper in Dallas. My pastoral article was typed and could only be six inches long. Someone had correlated that length to attention span. My current articles are much longer than six inches. The other guide is word count. This is now word sixty-four. The average reader will read 300 words before giving up and reading someone else’s article. My articles are way too long. But I am a preacher; I can say “finally” in a sermon and drone on for ten more minutes.

This is a popcorn article. These are random thoughts that might make you think. They are in no particular biblical order. I’m experimenting with the six inch rule for print media and the three-hundred word count for digital media. Hopefully one of these will strike a nerve in your soul.

Jesus threw a Temple tantrum.

Jesus was always borrowing things. He borrowed a boat; borrowed a donkey; borrowed an upper room; borrowed a sepulcher.

Jesus invited himself to supper at Zacchaeus’ house. Jesus invited himself to join the conversation on the Emmaus road. Jesus inserted himself into the political conversation in Jerusalem when he mounted a donkey and rode into the city. Jesus inserted himself into many conversations and situations and His imposition gave each person something they were looking for and a relationship that changed their lives.

Jesus spent too much time with children.

Jesus was a serial procrastinator. On at least two occasions, Jesus was late, and it cost someone his or her life. However, Jesus was always on time. Go figure.

As an infant, Jesus spooked a king. As a child he shocked the theologians.

Jesus comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.


Delta Sigma Theta alumnae established L.I.F.E. Scholarship


Members of the Iota Mu chapter of Delta Sigma Theta established a scholarship to benefit an African American female attending Northwestern State University. The scholarship was announced during Saturday’s Homecoming celebration at NSU where sorority representatives met with administrators and the scholarship’s first recipient, Azhani Bennett, a nursing major from Shreveport.

The L.I.F.E. (Ladies Investing in Future Education) award is a minority scholarship established this year through the NSU Foundation by Delta Sigma Theta alumnae commemorating their 10-year Line anniversary.

“A group of ladies decided that in commemoration of our 10-year anniversary we wanted to give back to the university with a scholarship for an African American female who demonstrated a financial need,” said Nikki Ceasar-Small. The idea came to the group this past summer during a beach reunion when the group in Line 39 discussed doing something distinctive to celebrate their 10th year as members of the Iota Mu chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.

Applicants to the L.I.F.E. Scholarship must maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or better and preference is given to a student from the Ark-La-Tex.
“I am extremely grateful to have been chosen to receive this scholarship, being that I am from a middle class family and I do not receive much financial aid,” Bennett said. “This scholarship has also helped me realize that all my hard work isn’t going unrecognized.”

For information on creating a scholarship through the NSU Foundation, visit northwesternalumni.com or contact Chasteen at (318) 357-5213 or chasteent@nsula.edu.

Pictured from left are Brandy Tilley and Anastasia Christophe, Akilah Issac, Tiffany Chasteen, Shannon Jones, Brandi Milton, Latesha Espy, Azhani Bennett, Shaundra Webb, Krystal Jones, Ashunti Pearson, Taesia Shello, Ivy Early, Nikki Small, Ida Henderson, Krystle Johnson, LaKeshia Carey, Elizabeth Allen and Tonia and Dr. Jim Henderson.

Early Voting – 10/27/16

Early Voting

Natchitoches Pairsh Early Voting 2016

Early Voting – Thursday 10/27/16
1 327 189 18 534 73.25%
2 55 7 2 64 8.78%
3 62 7 3 72 9.87%
4 36 19 4 59 8.10%
480 222 27 729 100%
Early Voting – TOTALS
1,433 765 102 2,300
  • As reported by the Louisiana Secretary of State

Tri Sigma alumna creates Extra Mile scholarship for Alpha Zeta chapter


An alumna of Northwestern State University’s Alpha Zeta Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority created a scholarship that will be presented each year to members who best exemplify the ideals of scholarship, service and character.  The Sherry Fargerson Morgan “Extra Mile” Scholarship was announced during the sorority’s leadership dedication program on Oct. 22, which took place on conjunction with NSU Homecoming Festivities.

“It meant a lot to be part of a group of young women who were there for me no matter what the need – someone to listen, encourage and love me just the way I am,” Morgan said.  “Several of my lifetime friends are those I met in Sigma Sigma Sigma.  I have been blessed beyond measure and want to give back to a most deserving group of girls who, I know, will strive to do their best and go that ‘Extra Mile.’”

Applicants must be initiated members of Alpha Zeta Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma with a 2.75 cumulative and previous semester grade point average. Students must be a full-time student.  Sophomore clinical students may also be eligible if they are active members of the chapter at the time of application.  Recipients will receive a grant varying from $500 to $1,000.

Recipients are selected through a rigorous application process that awards points for campus and chapter leadership, grades, employment and a series of essay questions.  The program seeks to recognize the effort and seriousness that a student displays in pursuit of academic excellence and their commitment to applying themselves in the classroom and in life outside the classroom by going the extra mile.

The award mirrors a similar one established at NSU in 2008 by Morgan’s husband, David Morgan, who initiated the Pi Kappa Phi Extra Mile scholarship for outstanding and high achieving members of NSU’s Beta Omicron Chapter.  Morgan created the program to inspire students to pursue excellence in academics, campus and chapter leadership, service and employment.

“As someone who works with college students on a daily basis, I am thankful for donors like Sherry Fargerson Morgan, who make it possible for those students, who go above and beyond, to be rewarded for their efforts,” said Kat Gillan (1999, 2002), a Sigma Sigma Sigma alumna. Gillan is director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Alabama.  “Having personally benefited from involvement specific scholarships as an undergraduate, the additional financial assistance made it possible for me to stay involved on campus while completing my degree. I see the Extra Mile scholarship as an opportunity to recognize those students who are making a difference at Northwestern State University. I hope students who are recipients of this award recognize its value and continue to give back to NSU as they pursue their degree and beyond.”

“This scholarship will help deserving young women, those who excel in character, service, conduct, scholarship and work ethic,” said Chapter Advisor Reatha Cox.

Mrs. Morgan said that her life is defined by the Bible verse Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” and by the philosophy that to whom much is given much is expected.

For information on support student scholarships through the NSU Foundation, visit northwesternalumni.com or call (318) 357-4414.

Northwestern State Sigma Sigma Sigma alumna Sherry Morgan created an “Extra Mile” scholarship for members of Alpha Zeta chapter through a donation of $100,000 to the NSU Foundation.  From left are Scholarship Advisor and Tri Sigma Alumna Reatha Cox, David and Sherry Morgan, Jacque Crew, chapter advisor; NSU First Lady and Tri Sigma Alum Tonia Henderson, NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson and Chapter President Abby Hinds of Many.

Natchitoches Parish Early Voting – 10/26/16

Early Voting

Natchitoches Pairsh Early Voting 2016

Early Voting – Tuesday 10/26/16
1 325 205 19 549 73.49%
2 61 14 0 75 10.04%
3 36 9 2 47 6.29%
4 44 26 6 76 10.18%
466 254 27 747 100%
Early Voting – TOTALS
953 543 75 1,571
  • As reported by the Louisiana Secretary of State

Visitation, funeral set for NSU basketball great George McConathy


Visitation is Thursday evening with a Friday morning funeral in Arcadia for legendary Northwestern State basketball star George McConathy, whose nephew Mike is the veteran NSU head coach.

McConathy, 82, a native of the McConathy family’s hometown of Bryceland in Bienville Parish, passed away Monday after a lengthy illness.

Visitation is Thursday from 5-7 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1680 First Street in Arcadia. A 10 a.m. funeral will be held there Friday, followed by internment with full military honors at the Williamson Cemetery in nearby Sailes.

McConathy was an educator, coach and businessman. He was a 1982 inductee in Northwestern’s N-Club Hall of Fame, and was also a Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame member.

He still ranks 10th all-time in scoring in Demon basketball history with 1,436 points in 116 games from 1951-56, an average of 12.4 per game. McConathy stands ninth all-time in rebounding with 715, a career 6.2 average.

During McConathy’s career, the Demons posted an 82-39 record, winning 20 games in two seasons while never losing more than 10 in any season. He had a career high 32 points as a junior against UL Lafayette.

He was the youngest of three McConathy brothers who starred in basketball at Northwestern in the decade following World War II. Oldest brother J.L. and middle brother John, Mike’s father, are also deceased.

He served as a U.S. Army second lieutenant in Korea.

Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Dr. Terry Martin McConathy, and three daughters, Cynthia “Genie” Loftin of Shreveport, Diane Hill-Rothery of Bossier City, and Marianne Nelson of Bossier City.

St. Mary’s Class of 1966 Reunites After 50 Years

By Natalie Covher


St. Mary’s Class of 1966 gathered at the home of Rosie and Bill Finical over the weekend. Classmates and spouses enjoyed the Autumn air and reminisced about life as teens in the 60s.

“McCleary’s Pharmacy had the best soda foundation,” said Tina Thomas Stroud.
“I remember going to McClung’s and getting a Cherry Phosphate,” said Rosie Prudhomme Finical. “They only cost a nickel or a dime.”

While the group thought back on which drug store made the best sodas everyone agreed that St. Mary’s had the best dances. “Little Bob and the Lollipops,” “John Fred and the Playboys” and “The Uniques” were only a few of the bands the classmates fondly recalled playing at the dances. The class of 1966 was the last class to attend St. Mary’s on the hill near the Courthouse. Their dances were held in the basement auditorium and were something that all the teens in town looked forward to.

“We spent so much time twirling that crepe paper,” said Marteel Deblieux Henry.
The group looked through old year books and found a picture of when Tina was Valentine Queen.

“The sixties were a simpler time,” said Marteel. “You didn’t have to lock your car or house. We walked everywhere or rode bikes or skated. Everybody knew everybody; there was no fear. It was free. We never thought about fear; it wasn’t a part of our lives. It was just safe, easy living.”

The way they described it would make anyone wish they could pop on over to Bernard’s Dairy or to Zesto for a burger and fries.

“Not everybody could go anywhere at any time,” said Lou Anne Prudhomme Terry. “We lived out in the country but we did get to ride our horses into town every Saturday.”
Another place they all remembered was the drive-in movie theatre located near where Trail Boss is now. “Wednesday night was buck night,” said Connie Conine. “You could bring in as many people as you could fit in the car for a dollar bill, and we could fit a lot of people in a car.”

Even though they went to the drive in movie theatre, that doesn’t mean they all had cars. The classmates said very few people had cars in high school and the traffic on the road was less than half of what it is now.

Now-a-days there is a lot of traffic on the road. Wouldn’t it be fun to hop in the car and take a trip to Natchitoches in 1966.

Classmates and spouses included Gil Stroud, Tina Thomas Stroud, Richard Zulick, Sara Nell Williams, Lou Anne Prudhomme Terry, Joe Payne Williams, Rosie Prudhomme Finical, Bill Finical, Henry Lemoine, Linda Evans Crafton, Stacy Williams, Dub Jones, Connie Conine, Amy Cloutier Hough, Wilma Jones, Marteel DeBlieux Henry and Skeeter Henry.

He Likes Order — and Lines Up His Socks to Await Their Turn on His Feet


I wouldn’t have made a very good hippy. My formative years were in the late 1950s and early ’60s — my high school and college years — which were a little early for hippies anyway.

But lots of guys of my age in the late 1960s, my late 20s, decided to tune in and drop out. To any younger folks who don’t know what that means, it referred to the hippy lifestyle, which included not having a job, indulging in recreational drugs and maybe even living in a free-love commune.

Some of that (though not the drugs) may have sounded like fun, but I always thought there was something chaotic, or simply too disorganized about the hippy lifestyle. I always preferred structure.

Now I won’t deny that my college friends and later my young reporter buddies at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans liked to party. But our substance of choice was beer and liquor, not marijuana, coke or LSD.

We showed up for work everyday (well almost), kept our own apartments as opposed to having a communal living arrangement and, with a couple of exceptions, didn’t wear our hair too long. I had a crew cut until about 1968 or ’69.
But, as I said, I chose to live the way I did because a certain structure to life just seemed right.

I’ve maintained that preference until today and my predilection for order even gives Mary cause to tease me about being obsessive-compulsive. I might be, but only in minor ways.
For example, I organize my things from bath towels to socks, shirts and paints, so that they each get used in turn. Let me give you an example of why I do that. Let’s say I just stack my bath towels and take one off the top when I shower, Well, if I did that, the few on top would get used over and over again while the ones on the bottom would never get used. So I’d end up with some worn out towels and some brand new ones. Not orderly enough for me!

Same thing for my socks. They are in organized little rows in my chest of drawers.
I organize my books by subject and chronologically. So if I want to find a particular volume on military history, US history or true crime, I know just where to find it. Breaking it down, the books on early US history will be placed before books on more recent topics. That makes good sense, no?

I used to organize my CDs by music genre and composer and artist, but one day my biggest CD rack was accidentally turned over, the CDs scattered n the floor, completely mixed up. I’ve never gone back and reorganized them. That’s a job I may tackle one day. Or maybe not. Maybe I’m just getting old.

But even if I am a little obsessive-compulsive, I’m not an extremist. For example, my drinking glasses are not neatly lined up in rows in the cabinet. And occasionally you’d even find a couple of somewhat sloppy piles of paper on my desk (though generally it’s pretty neat)..

So, overall, the structured life works for me. And I also have the advantage of having all of my towels in an equally used condition. I’ll bet not everyone can say that!