Rotary Club of Winnfield Presents Winn Parish Educational Institutions with New American Flags

The Rotary Club of Winnfield presented each school in the Winn Parish School District, as well as the Central Louisiana Technical & Community College, with a special United States flag on November 17, 2021.

What makes these particular flags special? Two things: first, each flag was flown over the United State Capitol Building, the building that represents the center of our government; second, each flag was presented in honor and appreciation of the men and women educated in each school who have served in any branch of the United States military. Each flag was assigned to a specific school by authorities of the United States Capitol, all seven were raised on a flag pole at the Capitol Building at the same time the morning of August 25, 2021, flown over the Capitol all day, and lowered at the same time that evening, and certified by the Architect of the Capitol Building to be presented to the selected school.

The idea behind getting special flags for each school in Winn Parish—the brainchild of Rotary member, Lee J. Taylor—was to “teach the children in our schools about patriotism, taking pride in the flag as the symbol of our country, and treating the flag with respect as it is a symbol of our United States, the greatest country in the world,” according to Mr. Taylor.

Rotarian Ted Wold obtained the flags with the assistance of the office of our Louisiana Senator, Bill Cassidy. He told the groups in attendance about the process: “The government has a process where we [the general public] can get flags flown over the Capitol, or the Pentagon, and a few other important governmental buildings, for personal use. In this case, to avoid delays in getting the flags delivered to us, I asked Senator Cassidy’s office to help make sure the process was handled the way we wanted it—each flag set aside for a specific school, all flags to be flown over the Capitol on the same day, all of them to be processed and certified together, and all to shipped to us at the same time, so all of them could be presented on the same day and no school would be left waiting for its flag.”

A group of Rotarians including the Winn Parish Superintendent of Schools and Rotarian, Al Simmons, toured Winn Parish schools, and presented each school with their special flag.  The group touring with Mr. Simmons included Rotary Club of Winnfield president, Jodi Taylor, president-elect, Mary Lou Blackley, Rotarian Lee J. Taylor, the Rotarian who came up with the idea for the program, Rotarian Ted Wold, the Rotarian who executed the idea, and Rotarian Bob Holeman, photographer. “Everyone always expects something bad when I come around, so it’s nice to be at the schools for a happy occasion,” stated Simmons.

Beginning at Dodson High School, the group went from there to the school in Calvin High School. While Superintendent Simmons participated in a Zoom conference related to other school board matters, the rest of the group visited with Dean Jeff Johnson to present a flag to Central Louisiana Technical and Community College. When Mr. Simmons rejoined the group, they next visited Winnfield Middle School, then Winnfield High School, and concluded the morning presentations at Winnfield Primary School before the lunchtime Rotary meeting. After the Rotary meeting, the group ended the tour with presentation of a flag to Atlanta High School.

Winn Parish Journal Executive Editor Chosen to be Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy Fellow

The Parish Journal’s family is proud to announce that one of our own, Executive Editor of the Winn Parish Journal, Jodi Taylor, has been chosen to be a Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy Fellow.

According to the press release distributed by the Delta Regional Authority, the DLI is an extensive, nine-month executive leadership program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders from the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.

The DLI Executive Academy empowers fellows with the tools, experiences, and networks needed to address local and regional challenges. Sessions led by local, regional, and national experts cover policy areas such as infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce development, public health, and other sectors necessary to facilitate economic growth in the region. As a result, DLI fellows graduate with improved decision-making skills, policy development know-how, strengthened leadership capacity, and a mutual understanding of regional, state, and local cultures and issues.

“Every Parish Journal’s editor strives to make a difference in the parish they serve. To that end, I’m very excited to be chosen to be a DLI Fellow to learn all I can to help Winn parish and the Delta Region of Louisiana,” stated Mrs. Taylor.

The 252 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority make up one of the most distressed regions of the country, facing profound economic, health, educational, and infrastructure challenges. The Delta Leadership Institute was created to empower a corps of leaders with the tools, experiences, and networks to address these local and regional challenges. The DLI Executive Academy trains leaders from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and industries to improve the economic competitiveness and social viability of the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions. DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development. DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.

To read the full press release click here

If You’re Dead, Why Even Take a Shower?

Former Times sportswriter Jim McLain died a little more than three years ago, something I’d forgotten about until I saw him the other day in Shreveport.

It is not often you get to talk to your friends, in person, after they die. But Mr. McLain, a reporter for nearly 40 years and a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame since 1995 when he was presented the Distinguished Service Award, is nothing if not durable. Even after he’d died, he’d gone about his business, pro that he is.

Turns out that, according to Jim, the only really good part about being dead and not knowing about it is the being, as he describes it, “blissfully unaware.” But once he found out he was dead, well, it was a bit of a different ballgame.

“I might not have known I was dead for several more weeks if I hadn’t gotten a call from my doctor’s office,” he said.

The woman was pleasant when he answered but confused when, after she asked his name, he identified himself as the proposed deceased. The doctor’s secretary even asked to speak to his wife, who verified she’d been cooking and washing clothes all week for the same 80-year-old she’d been married to for half a century.

Mrs. McLain had done that work for nothing, according to the government. A recent Medicare claim filed on behalf of Mr. McLain had bounced back with the notation that, according to the latest records, he was dead.

Sorry. But there you have it. Who said life, or death, was fair?

Jim suggested refiling the claim. Probably a typing error had occurred, he reasoned. But the following Wednesday after the mail arrived, he heard his wife yelling through the shower door, something about the Caddo Parish Registrar of Voters removing him – well, removing his corpse – from the voter rolls. “Hate to say it,” she said, “but it looks like this time, you really are dead.”

Thought No. 1 for Mr. Jim: “Wasted shower.” Thought No. 2: “The government has lost me and if I’m to be found, I have to send out my own search party.” Thought No. 3: “Why am I still hungry?”

He called his local Social Security Administration, hoping to avoid the fiscal pinch of missed checks and the like since, as the Medicare episode had taught him – and as the mutual funds people who wanted to settle his estate would soon tell him – the money gets sort of shut off or redirected once you start showing up dead. This happens to an estimated 14,000 people a year; if the Social Security Administration accidentally kills you, or lists you as dead, it’s good to let them know they have fumbled. You want to get off their Death Master File. You want to be, in the parlance of the agency, “resurrected” or “un-dead.” It’s not too much to ask, and in simplest terms, this is generally what is advised for you to do: go into the Social Security office with proper ID, the forms listing you as deceased, and prove that you have not “got dead.”

Turns out that in Jim’s case, an out-of-state funeral home had turned in his social Security number, obviously by mistake. The problem was quickly solved, a real shot in the arm to Jim but also for his loyal wife, who wasn’t doing all that cooking and cleaning for nothing after all.

Though he never found out how he died, Jim did find out when: March 12. “I have circled the 12th of March on every calendar since,” he said. “The Feds attempted to eliminate me once. They could try again.”

In the spare time that he’s been alive since retiring, Jim has written “Double Team Trap,” a Cold War spy thriller available online. If you pick up a copy he’s sure to sign it for you – if you can get to him before the government does. – August 24, 2014

Contact Teddy at

Remember This? Grandfather’s House

By: Brad Dison

On February 11, 1802, Lydia Maria Francis was born in Medford, Massachusetts. She went by her middle name, Maria, pronounced Muh-rye-uh. She was well-educated and after finishing high school became a school teacher. In addition to teaching, Maria wrote for newspapers and other publications on a wide variety of subjects. She became something of a local celebrity. At 22 years old, Maria published her first book entitled “Hobomok” too much success. Her second book entitled “The Rebels: A Tale of the Revolution”, was set in her home state of Massachusetts. It, too, was successful. She wrote a cookbook, “The Frugal Housewife”, which was considered the authoritative cookbook for much of the United States.

Maria’s passion, however, was for the abolition of slavery. In 1828, Maria married David Lee Child, a Massachusetts lawyer. Together, Maria and her husband edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard in New York. As early as 1833, Maria fought for the abolitionist cause with her “Appeal for that class of Americans called Africans,” the first anti-slavery work printed in book form in the United States. In 1859, when John Brown was arrested for leading an anti-slavery raid in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, Maria wrote to Brown and volunteered to be his nurse. She sent a copy of her letter to Virginia’s governor who denied her request and reprimanded her for her sentiments. The author of her obituary contended that Maria’s writings “undoubtedly had a great effect in helping to create the anti-slavery sentiment of New England,” and noted that “her pen never grew weary in the cause of abolition until the unexpected end was reached.”

Maria is less remembered for her anti-slavery writings and more for a simple poem she wrote about the anticipation she felt at visiting her grandfather’s house near the Mystic River in Medford, Massachusetts. If you visit Medford today, you can still see Lydia’s grandfather’s house and the Mystic River. However, the house looks much different than the one from Maria’s childhood. Maria’s grandfather transformed the small single-story farmhouse into a majestic 2-story home. Sadly, the lush woodland surrounding grandfather’s house has been replaced by residential housing. You will probably recognize her poem though it has been altered with the passage of time. Originally, Maria’s poem spoke of “wood” in the singular usage rather than its plural form, “woods.” Maria’s poem mentions going to her grandfather’s house, not grandmother’s house, and most of us incorrectly associate it with Christmas. Lydia Maria Child’s poem recalls a visit on Thanksgiving Day:

Over the river and through the wood,
To grandfather’s house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood–
Oh, how the wind doth blow!
It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play,
hear the bells ring,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast my dapple grey!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go
Extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood
Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?

hurrah for the pumpkin pie!


1. The Paxton Record (Paxton, Illinois), November 28, 1872, p.3.

2. Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut), October 21, 1880, p.2.

My Opinion – A Thanksgiving Reflection

By: Royal Alexander

As we prepare to observe Thanksgiving 2021, there are many thoughts that come to mind.  

This has been another challenging year for many of us.  Many of us have experienced both success and loss.  Our nation still seems divided although the patriotism and sense of community we see in our cities and towns is simply not what is reflected in the national media.  Most of us go to work every day, love and support our families, assist our friends and neighbors if possible, attend religious services if we wish, and try to remain prayerfully hopeful about the future.  While the economy has experienced fits and starts—and in some business and industries workers remain difficult to find due to the Covid shutdown—it will undoubtedly rebound if we give it half a chance and don’t overburden it with onerous taxes and stifling federal regulations.  American ingenuity, entrepreneurship and hard work will again be our guiding lights and will lead us through these difficult economic and political times.

I have also found that it helps when I focus on being thankful—and I feel we are all more at peace—when we get off of social media and ignore the daily bitterness and acrimony reflected in national politics, instead turning our attention to our faith and our families.  I believe that sincere gratitude for our many blessings as Americans is the true key to happiness in this life and salvation in the next.  That is the real source of peace and tranquility and for that we can certainly be thankful.

Further, on the importance of gratitude for our many blessings as Americans, and the need for prayerful reflection on the truth that what binds us all together as Americans is far greater than what divides us, I close with an excerpt from President Reagan’s 1987 Thanksgiving Proclamation, the words of which still ring true to me.

“Thanksgiving Day is one of our most beloved holidays, an occasion set aside by Americans from earliest times to thank our Maker prayerfully and humbly for the blessings and the care He bestows on us and on our beautiful, bountiful land.  Through the decades, through the centuries, in log cabins, country churches, cathedrals, homes, and halls, the American people have paused to give thanks to God, in times of peace and plenty or of danger and distress. 

Acknowledgement of dependence on God’s favor was, in fact, our fledgling Nation’s very first order of business.  When the delegates to the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1774, they overcame discord by uniting in prayer for our country.  Despite the differences among them as they began their work, they found common voice in the 35th Psalm, which concludes with a verse of joyous gratitude, “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.” 

In 1789 the government established by that great charter of freedom, our Constitution, and “the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed,” were cited by George Washington in the first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation as among “the great and various favors” conferred upon us by the Lord and Ruler of Nations.  As we thank the God our first President called “that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be,” we have even greater cause for gratitude than the fresh triumphs that inspired Washington’s prose. 

We have seen the splendor of our natural resources spread across the tables of the world, and we have seen the splendor of freedom coursing with new vigor through the channels of history.  The cause for which we give thanks, for which so many of our citizens through the years have given their lives, has endured over 200 years—a blessing to us and a light to all mankind. 

On Thanksgiving Day, 1987, let us, in this unbroken chain of observance, dedicate ourselves to honor anew the Author of Liberty and to publicly acknowledge our debt to all those who have sacrificed so much in our behalf.  May our gratitude always be coupled with petitions for divine guidance and protection for our Nation and with ready help for our neighbors in time of need.” (Pres. Ronald Reagan, 1987).

Happy Thanksgiving!

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

MSC Offers 64-slice CT Scanner 

As a health system, NRMC reinvests profits into our campus and technology to bring the latest advances to our community. Imaging plays an important role in a patient’s overall health as it is often an important first step in diagnosing an illness, injury or health condition. It can also be used to monitor a patient’s recovery or ongoing health condition. At NRMC, we are committed to bringing excellent imaging capabilities to our community. 

The Multispecialty Clinic, located on the NRMC campus, is equipped with some of the most recent advances in imaging technology including the Siemens Go.Top, 64-slice CT scanner with 3D capability. This donut shaped scanner has many advantages including the ability of imaging grouping. This means that the scanner can view, for example, the head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis in one scan instead of relying on multiple scans and scanning sessions. For people with metal prosthetics, the scanner is able to capture clear pictures without distortion unlike older technology which often had a scatter effect near the metal site. The dose of radiation is lower with this scanner, and technologists can view and talk with patients at all times. The scanner quickly constructs images eliminating the need for patients to wait on the table for extended periods of time. 

Register Now for the Christmas in Whofield Christmas Parade

The Winnfield Christmas Parade sponsored by the Winn Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis of Winnfield and the City of Winnfield will be Friday, December 3rd, at 6 PM on Main Street in downtown Winnfield.

The theme for this year’s parade is “Christmas in Whofield.” There will be a fireworks display following the parade.

Organizations interested in registering a float for the parade please contact Shonna Moss at 318-628-0169.

Notice of Death November 23, 2021

Carolyn Jeanette Maggio
January 13, 1950 – November 21, 2021
Service: Friday, November 26 at 1 pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

Linda Marchand
October 03, 1943 – November 22, 2021
Service: Saturday, November 27 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Wesley Nathan Fredieu
October 10, 1936 – November 21, 2021
Service: Wednesday, November 24 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Judy Lane Foster
October 07, 2021 – November 20, 2021
Service: Wednesday, November 24 at 1 pm at Thomas-Wren Cemetery