While the Grand Marshal of any parade, including the Winnfield Christmas parade, is usually an individual, this year the parade sponsor, Winnfield’s Kiwanis Club, has broken with the usual tradition and honored an organization by naming it as the Grand Marshal of the annual parade. Kiwanis selected as this year’s Grand Marshal the Winn Community Food Pantry, which has been supporting lower income people in Winn Parish with nutritious groceries for almost 40 years.

The WC Food Pantry as it exists today is a community-wide Christian ministry sustained financially by numerous Christian congregations and individuals, as well as local businesses, which gives groceries each month to low-income families in Winn Parish. It was started, however, in 1983 by members of Winnfield’s First Presbyterian church who studied the book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity, by Ronald J. Sider, originally published in 1977 and now in its third revision.

Study of the book revealed startling information about world poverty and the huge disparity between the “haves” and the “have nots,” serious Biblical study highlighting God’s identification with the poor and the “casting down” of the rich, and explanation of the many causes of poverty and food insecurity well beyond personal choice and irresponsibility. The author of the book ultimately challenges Christians to lead by example in helping the poor.

In the course of discussing ways to help alleviate food insecurity for the poor, such as providing food pantries where food is distributed free of charge, someone in the class said, “We can do that,” and our local food pantry was born! Contributions were collected, the health unit was consulted about what to put in the bags to be distributed for nutritional value, and the food pantry opened its doors in November 1983!

Initially, patrons of the food pantry could pick up their bag of groceries every other month. Members of the Presbyterian church bagged the groceries and assisted the patrons. Besides the minister of the church and his wife, church members Tom and Beth Wood were essential volunteers who handled the finances and helped with organization of the ministry.

Mrs. Ruth Beville became involved in management of the ministry after she retired from teaching school. When Mrs. Beville was not able to continue with management of the enterprise, she was succeeded by Mrs. Sara Shell, who by that time was also retired from teaching.

In the meantime, over the years, as word went out about the ministry and more persons became interested in helping, financial contributions came from others besides the Presbyterian congregation, including other local churches, individuals and businesses. The ministry was able to increase distribution to once every four weeks per household from once every two months. Volunteers to assist with packing the groceries, handling the paperwork, and distributing the bags each week began to come from every congregation throughout the parish.

When Mrs. Shell was no longer able to handle the management, the torch was passed to Mrs. Beville’s son Kiah and Mrs. Shell’s daughter Jan Shell Beville, who are to this day the mainstays of the organization. Also very involved in recruitment and coordination of volunteers is Mrs. Jane Purser, a member of the Presbyterian congregation, whose participation in the ministry increased upon her retirement from the school system. From processing financial donations to purchasing and transporting the standard groceries placed in the bags to coordinating volunteers to handling paperwork and recordkeeping, these three persons have kept the ministry running smoothly for many years.

In addition to the Christian congregations which support the Winn Community Food Pantry, the Winn Parish 4H clubs throughout the parish, and other youth organizations sponsored by the schools, have provided phenomenal support for the food pantry by holding canned food drives multiple times throughout the year. For many years now, Jordan Egg Farms has donated many dozens of eggs to the food pantry each week.

Any resident of Winn Parish whose income is below the federal poverty guidelines is eligible to receive help from the Winn Community Food Pantry. The food pantry is open to distribute groceries every Thursday from 12:30 to 2:30, except when a major holiday falls on Thursday. In those weeks, groceries are distributed during the same hours on the preceding Tuesday. Each session of the food pantry distribution begins with prayers of thanks and petitions to the Lord. During the nearly year and a half of lockdowns and restrictions on public gatherings in 2020 and 2021, the Lord kept the donations rolling in and the groceries going out.

The food pantry is supported solely by private donations by local individuals, church congregations, and businesses in our area. It does not seek help from outside sources.

In recent months, donations have slowed a bit, but the food pantry managers, coordinators and volunteers have been able to continue distributing food mostly the same as in the past. Of course, donations of money and groceries are always needed and thoroughly appreciated.

The Kiwanis Club of Winnfield is overjoyed to honor as Grand Marshal of this year’s Christmas Parade the generous group of people who manage, coordinate, volunteer and assist, and donate to the wonderful Christian ministry that is our own Winn Community Food Pantry.

Everyone in the community is invited to the Annual Christmas Parade Reception hosted by the City of Winnfield honoring the Winn Community Food Pantry as Grand Marshal, on Friday, December 2 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Winn Parish Library, 200 N. St. John Street, Winnfield, LA.

The Winnfield Christmas Parade will roll down Main Street on Friday, Dec. 2 at 6 pm with a wonderful fireworks display to follow. The theme for this year is “A Louisiana Christmas.”

WYBL 2023 Youth Basketball Registration Open Now

Dear parents
We are now registering boys & girls for youth basketball through December 17th. You have this opportunity to sign your child up for an exciting season of basketball with the City of Winnfield Recreation Dept.

You can either drop this form by the recreation dept. office or mail to:
City of Winnfield Rec. Dept, PO Box 509, Winnfield, LA 71483*

Download the registration form here: 

Goldonna: November 30, 2022

The Goldonna community was very saddened by the loss of Mr. Bud Garner, father of School Board Member, Eugene Garner. He was a supporter of the community for many years and he will be dearly missed by everyone. Please continue to keep his family in your prayers.

The Native American Santa made a joyous visit to the community this past weekend. He was inundated with grateful children who enjoyed taking photos with him, talking with him and of course left with a Christmas present. Even though it was a rainy landing for Santa’s Sleigh it was a great turnout.

Goldonna Elementary Junior High Students returned from Thanksgiving break and hit the ground running with lots to accomplish before Christmas Break. The students will be attending the NSU Christmas Gala on December 1st. There is a new club called “the Good News Club” that will be forming soon. They are still collecting non-perishable food items for the Central Louisiana Food Bank and they are welcoming all donations for that endeavor.

The school will also be presenting a Christmas Program on Thursday, December 15th at 6:00pm. Parent Teacher Conference will be held on Tuesday, December 20th from 3:30pm to 6:00pm.

Mrs. Aly Erikson, ELA Specialist at the Natchitoches Parish School Board, presented a model WIN lesson at Goldonna Elementary on Nov. 29. In the lesson, Mrs. Erikson taught a wonderful group of young students how to break down words by using individual letter sounds. The students eagerly participated in the lesson and had a great time learning!

Pictured with Mrs. Aly Erikson: James, CJ, Natalie, Declan, and Lilley.

The Village of Goldonna is a little over a week away from the big Christmas event! The community has been working hard organizing the festival to make it one of the biggest yet. It is not too late to get involved.

Goldonna Christmas in the Park Committee is still seeking donations and volunteers for the Festival that will take place on Friday, December 9th. Pictures with Santa will take place at 4:00pm until 5:30pm. The parade will begin at 6:00pm with lineup beginning at the School. The fireworks show will start at 8:00. There will be refreshment served. If you have a business who would like to sponsor please reach out to Mayor Smith or one of the councilmen.

If you have news to share please email Reba Phelps at

Winn Parish Library’s December Event Calendar

December is “Fine Forgiveness” month! For every non perishable food or hygiene product donated, Winn Parish Library will be forgiving 1.00 off your account. This does not include damaged or lost items.

-Thursday, December 1st, Grab and go Christmas tree craft! (while supplies last
-Wednesday, December 7th, Pearl Habor Remeberance Day!
-Thursday, December 8th, Adult Craft “Keepsakes and Cookies” @9am
-Saturday, December 10th, Dewey Decimal Day!
-Tuesday, December 20th, “Tuesday Tales: A Cajun Night Before Christmas” and Christmas gumball ornament @4pm
-Friday and Saturday, December 23rd-24th, closed for the holidays.
-Sunday, December 25th, Merry Christmas!
-Monday, December 26th, closed for the holidays.

Remeber to call ahead for all craft classes at *3186284478

Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

Date: 11-28-22
Name: Misty Martin 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Female
Age: 41
Charge: Warrant, Extortion, Online impersonation, Access device fruad

Date: 11-28-22
Name: Carol O’Bryan 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Female 
Age: 60
Charge: Indentity theft, Forgary (6 counts) 

Date: 11-29-22
Name: Harry J McKinney 
Address: Winnfield, LA 
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 62
Charge: Warrant, Direct contempt of court 

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Window to Winn with Bob Holeman

By: Bob Holeman

As Veterans Day approached this year, I was working on the idea of recycling a series of interviews I began back in 2011 as we were heading towards the annual Veterans Day program put on by Winnfield Intermediate School students.  That would have marked the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011.

I was prompted by the passing of World War II Army veteran Richard Wayne Skains, a member of our church who died just two days after his 97th July 4 birthday.  I interviewed all local World War II veterans who were willing to talk with me a decade ago.  Some did not wish to revisit their memories but 33 did.  Now only one interviewee remains with us, Rev. C.W. “Jack” Jones.  I recently found that another surviving veteran is Lee Young, father of longtime Winn Parish Enterprise employee Minnie Young.  There may be others I did not reach in 2011.

When Diane and I arrived in Winnfield, Veterans Day was celebrated with some pomp and ceremony around the little flagpole on the courthouse corner.  Band music, speeches and the playing of “Taps” preceded a veterans’ march around the courthouse block.  The crowd included some World War I veterans.  I felt honored to cover the presentation of Legion of Honor Awards to two local men for their participation in the liberation of France in World War I.  But then they were all gone.

A decade ago when I undertook my project to interview our surviving World War II veterans, I realized that before long, they too would all be gone.  I was fascinated to discover as I spoke with these many men and one woman that citizens of this small rural community were engaged in the whole gamut of the war, from pre-war to D-Day to the occupation of Japan and Korea that followed.

This work was also a humility-check.  None saw themselves as heroes.  They just responded to their country’s call.  Despite their time away from home and the danger they faced, they viewed their actions as duty.  Most didn’t talk about their role.  In more than one home I visited, family stood in the back of the kitchen to hear the story their father had never told them.

But it is a story that needed to be told, as witnessed by an emotional observation that was part of a love story interview.  As I spoke with Clomer and Audrey Walton in their Autumn Leaves bedroom, he described the whirlwind English weekend romance of an American soldier and a young woman in the RAF. He was ready to finish his tale by saying that when he was next in town, he knocked on her door to ask her to marry him.

Audrey interjected, urging him to tell of days that immediately followed that first weekend.  That was D-Day and the battles that ensued.  From Portsmouth, England, she’d witnessed a harbor filled with boats and ships one day and vacated the next.  By afternoon, young men (“boys,” she emphasized) were being brought back, dead, dying and wounded, by the thousands.  Americans cannot understand the devastation of war, she suggested, for it has not been fought on our shores since the Civil War.

She’d struggled to hold back tears as she told her experience but pushed on, insisting that the stories need to be told so that the lessons of World War II would be remembered.  “If we don’t, all could be forgotten.”  How true.  I feel that even we Baby Boomers never got a full grasp on the hardship and privation our parents, both the fighting men and all who stayed on the home front to keep our country running, endured.  We just enjoyed the euphoria after our soldiers returned home.  Unfortunately, with each generation that followed, the picture of what our country went through during those war years has grown dimmer.

We’ve got to tell the stories and remember.  To this end, I spoke with Jodi at the Winn Parish Journal and we’ve agreed to rerun these interviews, one per week, and ask readers to consider this group of individuals as a microcosm of the millions of Americans dubbed the “Greatest Generation” who fought abroad and persevered at home to protect the future of our nation.

Remember This? An Ugly Duckling

1939 was a hard year for Bob May, his wife Evelyn, and their four-year-old daughter Barbara.  For the past two years, Evelyn had been fighting a losing battle with cancer and was now bedridden.  Bob’s ambition had been to be a novelist, but, so far, his talents had only gotten him as far as creating catalogue copy for Montgomery Ward.  Bob said many years later, “Instead of writing the great American novel, as I’d always hoped, I was describing men’s white shirts.”  
Montgomery Ward’s salary was a steady, much needed paycheck.  Evelyn’s medical expenses took all of Bob’s earnings and more.  Bob was nearing bankruptcy.  He was also exhausted.  Day in and day out, he took care of the many needs of his wife and little Barbara while working a full-time job.  Bob never once complained, but put on a brave, cheerful face for his wife and daughter.
One day in early 1939, Bob’s boss came to him with a project that seemed to fit Bob’s talent and his situation perfectly.  In previous years, Montgomery Ward had purchased coloring books to give away to children during the Christmas season.  The coloring books cost the company a substantial amount of money.  To cut down on costs, the company decided that they wanted to create their own children’s book to give away during the 1939 Christmas season.  The project fit Bob’s situation in that it allowed him to work from home so he could be available for his wife and daughter.
The company wanted the story to be a cheery tale in poem-form about an animal who was an “ugly duckling,” a misfit.  Bob had a difficult time writing the cheery tale because of his concern for his wife.  He could see that Evelyn was growing weaker with each passing day.  Each time he finished a draft of the story, he read it to little Barbara and watched carefully for her response.  In this way, he tweaked and reworked the story.
On July 28, 1939, Evelyn lost her battle with cancer.  Bob and little Barbara were distraught.  To ease Bob’s burden, his boss offered to transfer the project to another writer.  Bob made it clear that it was his project, and he would complete it.  Bob continued to write drafts and read them to little Barbara.  Finally, one day in late August, Bob called little Barbara and her grandparents into the living room.  He read the draft of the story and paid special attention to each of their faces.  He said later, “in their eyes I could see that the story accomplished what I had hoped.”  With the story completed, Bob turned it over to Montgomery Ward artist Denver Gillen for illustration.  
During the holiday season of 1939, shoppers fell in love with the story.  Montgomery Ward gave away 2.4 million copies that year and planned to give away at least that many the following year.  With World War II on the horizon, the United States War Production Board rationed paper, which limited the number of books published in the country.  Bob’s “ugly duckling” story could have fallen into obscurity.  
Following the end of the war, Montgomery Ward decided to revive the book giveaway.  In 1946, RCA Victor contacted Bob because they wanted to record a spoken version of Bob’s story.  Unfortunately for Bob, Montgomery Ward, his employer, owned the rights to the story and declined RCA Victor’s request because they wanted to give the books away again that holiday season.  That year, the company gave away 3.6 million copies of Bob’s story.  
On January 1, 1947, Montgomery Ward president Sewell Avery did something shocking.  Avery transferred the copyright of the story from Montgomery Ward to Bob, free and clear.  Bob searched for a publisher, but none of the major publishing houses wanted to publish a story of which 6 million copies had been given away.  Why, they asked, would anyone pay for a book that had previously been free.  Finally, Bob spoke with Harry Elbaum, the head of Maxton Publishers in New York.  Bob described Harry as being “a little guy with a big nose,” an ugly duckling of sorts.  Harry printed 100,000 hardcover copies of the book for the Christmas season.  The books were a success.  RCA Victor also produced 45 rpm records of the story narrated by Paul Wing and music by George Kleinsinger.  The spoken records were also successful.  Johnny Marks turned Bob’s story into a hit record which has been recorded countless times by numerous artists.  You and I know Bob’s story well.  The “ugly duckling” that Bob created was not a duck, but a red-nosed reindeer named Rudolph.
1. Independent (Long Beach, California), November 19, 1939, p.13.
2. Battle Creek Enquirer, December 6, 1948, p.3.
3. Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 19, 1948, p.74.

4. “Evelyn Marks May (1905-1939)” Find a Grave,, accessed November 25, 2022,

What Will You Read in 2023?

Time for our annual Best Books of the Year list. Read a lot of good books but failed to score a five-star read, unlike last year when I couldn’t turn around without running into something that hit me just right. 

So it goes in the Reading World. You win some, you lose some, but you show up and read and if a book’s no good, chunk it and, guilt-free, pick up another one. 

Still, much enjoyment this year from reading, and hopefully you will get a charge out of at least one or two of the titles below, or something will jog your memory and help you pick out a just-right Christmas gift for someone.  

If nothing else, we can be grateful we are past all the pandemic-related bestsellers like LOCKDOWN!: Your Place or Mine?, or everyone’s least-favorite companion reads, Why Masks Work and the sequel, Why Masks Haven’t Even Ever THOUGHT About Working, Ever Ever Never. 

Mercy on all that … And now on to the bookmobile. 

Batting leadoff is All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business, by Mel Brooks, my favorite of a lot of biographies. Others that were really good, if you’re interested in these people, are The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man by Paul Newman, A Life in Parts by actor Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Home Work by Julie Andrews (had a crush on her since Mary Poppins as I was an impressionable youngster), Miracle and Wonder by Malcolm Gladwell about singer-songwriter-stud Paul Simon (you have to listen to this one for the conversations with Simon and his occasional singing), My House of Memories by Merle Haggard because, well, Merle Haggard, and finally, Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, by Rick Bragg. 

A quick aside about Jerry Lee Lewis: he was nothing short of a keyboard genius. Any piano player from Elton John to Ray Stevens will tell you that nobody should be able to play that fast and that well and sing at the same time. A prodigy and bona-fide genius. 

More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell was released in 1987 and reads as a short (128 pages) research document about the historical Jesus and is much worth your time if, like me, you’d missed it all these years. 

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli by Mark Seal is about the “tumultuous” making of The Godfather and was my second-favorite book of the year. If you like the movie, you’ll enjoy it. How the picture got made is semi-miraculous.  

Speaking of movies, The Church of Baseball by Ron Shelton is about the making of Bull Durham, which he wrote and directed; it’s a baseball thing. 

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen is funny and good, as you’d expect from Carl Hiaasen. Speaking of fiction, if you’ve never read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson or The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, as I hadn’t until this year, you could probably skip those. Didn’t happen for me. But … it’s always wise to consider the similar themes of those two books, which is how the bad part of our nature, which is the main part, runs wild if unchecked, even if that wasn’t our intention. 

Churchill’s Band of Brothers by Damien Lewis was good but a better suggestion would be Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose, which I’ve read three times, about E Company with the 101st in World War II. The British equivalent is interesting but not nearly as rich. 

Also, you will feel a lot better after reading either Everybody Always or Love Does by Bob Goff, or both. Check him out if you haven’t already. 

Books in my on-deck circle for 2023 include You Are Looking Live! How the NFL Today Revolutionized Sports Broadcasting, by Rich Podolsky, When the Garden was Eden by Harvey Araton, about the glory days of the New York Knicks (they were good and fun when I was a boy, believe it or not), Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley because I haven’t read him and have meant to, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, and Prayer by Tim Keller because I really like Tim Keller and because you need the prayers and Lord knows I need the practice. 

Let me know if you come across anything good. Read on! 

Contact Teddy at 

Notice of Death – November 29, 2022


Elaine Sepulvado Henderson
November 2, 1938 – November 28, 2022
Service: Wednesday, November 30 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Zwolle

Rex Wright
June 19, 1955 – November 26, 2022
Service: Saturday, December 3 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church of Many

Maude Vida Monnin
April 23, 1949 – November 27, 2022
Service: Thursday, December 1 at 11 am at Christian Fellowship Church


Alexander Ryan Nobles Jr.
July 29, 1949 – October 31, 2022
Service: Wednesday, November 30 at 1 pm at Blanchard St. Denis funeral home in Natchitoches


Osee Aston Dortlon
March 1, 1929 – November 28, 2022
Service: Friday, December 2 at 11 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel 

First responders participate in active shooter training

Winnfield Fire Department participated in an Active Shooter training on Nov. 22 located at the Winnfield Senior High School hosted by the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office. Personnel went over various scenarios as well as determining staging locations as well as triage locations. The Winnfield Fire Department was glad to be able to participate in this training in order to be more aware in case a situation like an Active Shooter incident occurs.
Agencies Involved:
Winnfield Fire Department
Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office
Winnfield Police Department
Advanced EMS
Winn Parish Fire District 3
Dodson Police Department
Atlanta Police Department

Winnfield Fire Department to resume live burns on November 30

The Winnfield Fire Department would like to announce that it will start back up with live burns starting on Nov. 30. There will be  two burns conducted on Nov. 30, one located on Ogden Street and one on Nash Street. If you would like to see about having one of your properties burned, come by the station located at 306 S. Abel St. and ask for Chief Montgomery or Asst. Chief Martin. If it meets all of the department’s requirements they will add you to the list. All the department is asking for this is a simple donation of bottled water and/or Powerade/Gatorade. Thank you all for your continued support with this program!

Master Gardener Class

Winn Parish Master Gardeners offers classes on raising plants and gardens. These classes begin in January of 2023 and are $150. Call 318-628-4528 to sign up or for more information.