THE ART OF WRITING HUMOR

By: Glynn Harris

As an outdoor writer for over half a century, there is one style of writing I have always wanted to master, a style that I occasionally and accidentally stumble on but with no consistency. Humor writing.
I have been an admirer of the writing of one fellow who had it down ” pat”, as in Patrick McManus who died in 2018 at the age of 85. He could reduce me to thigh-slapping guffaws every time I picked up a copy of Outdoor Life or Field and Stream magazines and read one of his humor columns.

I even got up the nerve one time to write him a letter asking about how I could improve my humor writing. I was astounded and dumbfounded when he answered my letter with a two-page handwritten reply. One thing that stands out in my memory of his reply was that to evoke laughs from readers, the punch line was the key. Have your readers expecting what should be the obvious conclusion to one of his tales was to come out of left field with a zinger that was totally unexpected. I have three of his books in my library that I’m going to read again after recalling what a special type of writer he was.

I have a friend, Jim Mize, who writes humor pieces for a number of publications. The title of his three books gives an indication of what you’ll read when you pick one up….”The Summer of Our Discount Tent”; “A Creek Trickles Through it” and “Hunting With Beanpole”

I had Mize as my guest on my Glynn Harris Outdoors radio program recently and had him discuss how he got into humor writing.

“I’ve been writing humor stories for more than 30 years and it’s sort of interesting the way I got started,” said Mize. “I had an assignment from a magazine for a fishing story and I injected humor in my introductory and ending paragraphs. The editor contacted me and asked why I didn’t make the middle of the story funny like the beginning and end so I did.”

Mize said that he began studying humor, how stand-up comics came up with their jokes and how they learned to create them.

One thing Mize shared was the same thing McManus had said, and that had to do with the punch line.

“If you’re ending your story with a predictable punch line, something the reader expects, he’s not likely to be impressed. However,” Mize continued, “if the punch line involves an element of surprise, something totally unexpected, that’s what grabs his attention.

“My first two books contain the stand-up comedy style of stories while ‘Hunting with Beanpole” puts the main character into situations. This fictitious character is unpredictable and jumpy; he is constantly digging himself deeper into the hole he’s created. He is the sort who manages to find the cloud in every silver lining.”

Chapter titles give you an inkling of what you’re about to enjoy as you follow along on hunting trips with this guy who always finds a way to get himself entangled in one zany episode after another. “When Boxer Shorts Save Your Life”; “The Premonition and the Talking Frog”; “The Stuffed Moose” and “The Campfire Ghost” are among the 25-plus chapters in Mize’s book.

For my readers who are interested in any or all of Mize’s humor books, each of which is illustrated by well-known cartoon artist, the late Cliff Shelby, visit his website http://www.acreektricklesthroughit.com. You won’t be disappointed.


Angler’s Perspective – My Battle with Melanoma Continues

My battle with Melanoma continues, and for those that are new to this column, I’ll backtrack. In June of this year, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Class C Melanoma. It all started back in 2021 with a small spot on my upper left ear…a spot that after a limb fell across my ear, opened a dot the size of a BB. Several weeks later, it just would not heal properly. After a routine visit to my dermatologist, we started treating the area with a chemo crème. This treatment worked for a short period, but the spot came back this past March. We treated the spot again with chemo crème, but this time it did not have the same healing effect as before.

I was scheduled to meet with my dermatologist again the first week of May, but the appointment got canceled and they rescheduled me for late June. It was during this eight-week period that it ulcerated and turned into my worst nightmare. After my dermatologist removed the spot and overnighted it to Birmingham, Alabama, for evaluation, the results came back positive for Melanoma.

These are words you never want to hear! Next, surgery was scheduled at LSU Ochsner in Shreveport to take off one inch of my left ear and remove 4 lymph nodes, 2 of which tested positive. I had two PET scans and one brain MRI and up till now, all my scans have been negative for Melanoma anywhere else in my body. Hopefully, that will continue to be the case.

It was at this point that I was advised by my Melanoma team at MD Anderson to undergo immunotherapy treatments with a drug called OPDIVO. This is a drug that boosts your immune system and attacks any cancer cells that might be present anywhere in the body. Well, your first question might be, “I thought you said your scans were negative?” It’s true, they were, but one thing I learned at MD Anderson is how Melanoma can hide in different places in your body and go undetected.

That’s why my monthly immunotherapy treatments will go on for at least one year with scans periodically every three months. I did ask the doctor at MD Anderson how long it would be before they would declare me cancer free. His response was, “It would be at least five years, as long as all your scans are negative.”

The treatments have been a little rough, especially my last two for some reason. My first injection was great with no problems or side effects, but my last two have been another story. About halfway through injection treatments two and three, I’ve had severe pain that starts out at the tailbone, spreads into the hips, and progresses up toward the chest. Not sure why, but everyone responds differently to these treatments. We’re still trying to figure out why I’m having this pain. They’ve had to give me Ativan and Demerol to help subside the pain and make me relax in order to get me through the treatment.

Hopefully soon, we’ll get a better grip on how to take these treatments. My point to this update is to remind you about being diligent when it comes to wearing proper clothing and sunscreen. Don’t take your health for granted! I never thought I would be THAT guy who had to deal with this. Even my fishing buddies who I’m closest with are shocked that I got this because I have been very consistent with sunscreen and wearing long sleeves shirts with built-in sunscreen, wearing the wide-brim hat and long pants…and I still got it.

The best advice I can give you is to see a dermatologist on a regular basis and if you have a suspicious spot anywhere on your body, get it looked at. If you don’t have a dermatologist, FIND ONE! The absolute worst thing you can do is ignore these spots! Catch it early and you might be lucky like me. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
& Tackle Talk Live


Notice of Death – December 1, 2022


WINN

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

NATCHITOCHES:

Jared Riley
November 28, 2022
Service: Saturday, December 3 at 1 pm at St. Augustine Catholic Church

Peggy Woodel Sanderson
May 11, 1957 – November 29, 2022
Service: Tuesday, December 6 at 12 pm at Central Baptist Church in Robeline

Lynwood Ray Powell, Sr.
October 4, 1935 – November 28, 2022
Service: Friday, December 2 at 11 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

WINN COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY NAMEDGRAND MARSHAL OF WINNFIELD 2022 CHRISTMAS PARADE

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: 


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


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.
 
Sources:
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, www.findagrave.com, accessed November 25, 2022, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9906088/evelyn-may.


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 teddy@latech.edu 


Notice of Death – November 29, 2022


WINN: 

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

NATCHITOCHES:

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

RED RIVER:

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

Winnfield Recognized for Sending Electrical Crew After Hurricane Ian

The Louisiana Energy and Power Authority (LEPA) Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution at its Nov. 17 meeting, commending the City of Winnfield line workers who traveled to Florida to assist the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) in restoring electric service after Hurricane Ian.

The City sent a 4-member crew, two bucket trucks and a pick-up truck to assist FMEA after Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on September 28, 2022. The Winnfield lineworkers traveled and worked for two weeks with lineworkers from Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) to help restore electric service in the communities of Gainesville and Lakeland, Florida.

FMEA requested mutual aid assistance from LEPA just prior to the hurricane’s arrival. Winfield had received valuable assistance from mutual aid line workers from other states, including Florida after it suffered significant damage from Hurricane Laura in 2021.

“This was Winnfield’s first out-of-state mutual aid callout. We are forever grateful,” said Amy Zubaly, Executive Director of FMEA, who said the hurricane had caused horrific destruction. She noted that the coordination from LEPA, along with the response from Winnfield and LUS, helped get power restored quickly.

“Here in Louisiana, we know, all too well, the devastation that hurricanes cause, and how difficult it can be to get electrical power restored in these communities,” said Kevin Bihm, LEPA General Manager. “Mutual aid is essential to getting vital power restored as quickly as possible after hurricanes, and in this case, the Board of Directors recognized that Winnfield played an important role in that effort.”

LEPA is a joint-action agency made up of 19-member municipalities, each owning their own municipal electrical systems. It is based in Lafayette. LEPA Members include Abbeville, Alexandria, Erath, Gueydan, Houma, Jonesville, Kaplan, Lafayette, Minden, Morgan City, Natchitoches, New Roads, Plaquemine, Rayne, St. Martinville, Vidalia, Vinton, Welsh and Winnfield.

Above: Shown at the LEPA Board of Directors meeting after receiving their commendation are the Winnfield linemen who provided mutual aid in Florida. They are, from left, lineman Joseph Conroy, groundman Josh Colyer Jr., LEPA Chairman and Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft, Jonathan Paul, Lafayette Electric Operations Manager; Greg Labbe’, and apprentice Grady Williford.

Mayor Gerald Hamms was also recognized for approving this mutual aid effort.


Be a Part of the 2022 Winnfield Christmas Parade December 2 – Enter Your Float Today

The 2022 Winnfield Christmas Parade is scheduled for December 2nd at 6:00 PM on Main Street with a wonderful fireworks display to follow.

If you are interested in participating in the parade, please complete an entry form and return it to the The Louisiana Political Museum or email to shonnasmoss@gmail.com. The Entry deadline is November 30th.

Entry forms may be picked up at The Louisiana Political Museum, Winnfield City Hall and Sabine State Bank.

This year’s theme is A Louisiana Christmas.

Parade sponsors are:
Kiwanis of Winnfield
Winn Chamber of Commerce
The Louisiana Political Museum