Kiwanis December 2022 Terrific Kids

The Winnfield Kiwanis Club recently presented its Terrific Kid awards to students around Winn Parish.

Terrific Kids is a student-recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem and perseverance. “Terrific” is an acronym for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive and Capable.

Students work with their classroom teacher to establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance or schoolwork. All students who achieve their goals after a specified time are recognized as Terrific Kids. Recognition includes being pinned as a Terrific Kid; a pizza, ice cream or other food-themed party; and presentation of certificates and other giveaways.

ATLANTA
Left to right: Kara Martin, Ava Munoz, Matilyn Flack, Collyn Williford,
Maddilyn Joseph. Kiwanian Margaret Coon, Principal Wendy Miller

WINNFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL
Kindergarten
Left to right: Rayyleigh Walker, Isabella Guerrero, Justice Bishop.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda
Atkins

Grade 1
Left to right: Lakynn Mcduff, Lilly Rockett, Jamar Whitaker, Karter Pennington.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins

Grade 2
Left to right: Keegan O’Bryan, Eryn Howard, Audrey Carpenter, Alex Abrams.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins

Grade 3
Left to right: Nola Franks, Nicholas Shufflin, Dominic Shelton.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins

Grade 4
Left to right: Sophia Maxwell, Mia Whisonant, Cincere White.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda
Atkins.

CALVIN
Left to right: Kenna Bonnette, Nikki Mercer, Zyla Beabouef, Blaine Mitchell,
Harper Vaughn. Kiwanian Dylan Womack

Grade 2
Left to right: Keegan O’Bryan, Eryn Howard, Audrey Carpenter, Alex Abrams.
Administrative Assistant Resa Johnson, Principal Byron King, Kiwanian Miranda Atkins


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8th Annual Caring and Sharing Community Feast!

Saturday, February 4th, from 11 am through 2 pm, Winn residents are invited to participate in the 8th annual ‘Caring and Sharing’ community feast held within the Winnfield Civic Center! Those who attend can choose grilled chicken or pork steak, corn casserole and green beans, dinner rolls, and a tasty apple crisp for dessert (dine in or carry out)!

Last year ‘Caring and Sharing’ served over 500 hundred plates as they ministered in Jesus’s name, this year they’re aiming for over 700!

‘Caring and Sharing’ requires donations all year round in order to continue giving back in the four ministries they carry out within Winn Parish, including this annual feast, Tuesday school, the August Back to School Bash, and the Coat and Distribution Drive every December. Any and all help is welcome and much appreciated!

For more information on this event or inquiries on offering help, please call (318)-481-0227. Please note that monetary donations, specifically written checks should be made payable to “Caring and Sharing in Unity’. Come and break bread with your fellow community members, and get your belly full of a hot delicious meal before the Mardi Gras parade begins. Hope to see you there!


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Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report

Date: 1-13-23
Name: Michael Brett Keiffer 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White
Sex: Male 
Age: N/A
Charge: Failure to appear, Posession of schedule 2 (meth), Resisting (by giving false information), No seatnelt, No license 

Date: 1-14-23
Name: Mary W Litton 
Address: Coushatta, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Female 
Age: N/A
Charge: Failure to appear 

Date: 1-15-23
Name: Kerri Sharee Bush
Address: Atlanta, LA 
Race: White
Sex: Female 
Age: 48
Charge: Simple battery 

Date: 1-16-23 
Name: Mack Edward Porter III
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 45 
Charge: Contempt of court 

Date: 1-17-23
Name: Robert L Brown 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Male 
Age: 62
Charge: Theft (>over 1,000)

Date: 1-17-23
Name: Jamie L Brown 
Address: Houma, LA
Race: Black 
Sex: Female 
Age: 39
Charge: Simple battery (warrant) 

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.


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NSU Announces Fall 2022 Honor Rolls

Five hundred sixty-six students were named to the Fall 2022 President’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a grade point average of 4.0.

Winnfield — Richard Bishop, Haley Collins, Ashlyn Little, John Spikes, Kaitlyn Turner, Natalie Womack, Taylor Womack, Alecia Zimmerman; 

Dodson — Heather Wehunt  

Atlanta — Emily Thomisee;  

Seven hundred and fifty-six undergraduate students were named to the Fall 2022 Dean’s List. Students on the Dean’s List must be enrolled full time and earn a grade point average of between 3.5 and 3.99.    

Dodson – Gaje Womack;  

Winnfield – Kimberly Bedgood, Emalee Dill, Brian Griffin, Anthony Knight, Kelli Leeper, Emily Shecton, Maggie Womack; 

Six hundred and ninety-three students who were named on the Fall 2022 Honor List. Students on the Honor List must be enrolled full-time at Northwestern and have a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.49. 

Dodson – Faithe Williams, Logan Womack; 

Winnfield – Mattie Beaubouef, Keaton Burnum, Haley Chandler, Matthew Harrell, Lucas Homan, Victoria Hubbard, Adrienne Jones, Kayla Jones, Jordan Patterson, Landen Womack; 

For questions about the honor lists, contact the University Registrar at (318) 357-6171, toll-free at (800) 807-8849 or registrar@nsula.edu.   


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Remember This? The Chinatown Revelation

John Joseph was born in Neptune City, New Jersey on April 22, 1937.  He was raised by his parents, Ethel May and John, and sisters June and Lorraine.  June was 18 years his senior, and Lorraine was 15 years his senior.  June aspired to become a famous entertainer.  In the 1930s, June Nilson, as she was known professionally, began her dancing career under the tutelage of dancing teacher Eddie King.  She danced in several performances and was featured in the opening of a club called the Pic and Pat club in New York City.  She also appeared in several off-Broadway productions.  On New Year’s Eve in 1935, she was featured as a specialty tap dancer in Earl Carrol’s Palm Island club in Miami, Florida.  Earl Carrol was a controversial figure because his showgirls were usually scantily clad.  He was known as “the troubadour of the nude.”  At some point, June returned to the family home.  In 1941, when John was four years old, June moved again to Miami, Florida to work for Earl Carrol.  Her aspirations eventually led her to Hollywood, California. 

Perhaps, his sister’s ambitions rubbed off on John.  In 1954, John, then 17 years old, moved in with June in Hollywood.  John found a job as an office boy in MGM Studios’ animated cartoon department.  While at work one day, a producer noticed something special in John.  It may have been the way he carried himself, the way he said a certain sentence or phrase, or the way he smiled.  At the producer’s recommendation, John began taking acting classes.  In 1956, John received his first acting credit for his performance in one episode of a television series called Matinee Theatre.  In 1958, he performed in the film The Cry Baby Killer.  John’s career as an entertainer had been slow in the late 1950s.  In 1960, however, John’s career “took off.”  In that year alone, John appeared in four films and two television series.  Unlike June, whose Hollywood career never came to fruition, John’s career flourished for the next five decades.    

It was through his acting career that John learned a secret.  John was scheduled to be interviewed about one of his upcoming films by a writer from Time magazine.  As part of the preparation process for the interview, researchers from the magazine began exploring John’s background.  It was then that they uncovered John’s family’s secret.  Rather than revealing this during the interview, a representative from the magazine revealed the secret to John in a telephone call.  John sat in stunned silence while the magazine representative revealed that June and Lorraine were not his sisters, and John and Ethel May were not his parents.  The evidence provided made the claims undeniable.  John’s family had kept a secret from him his entire life.  John and Ethel May died without ever revealing that they were not his parents, as John had always been told, but his grandparents.  Lorraine, whom John thought was his sister, was actually his aunt.  John’s mother was June.  According to the researcher, John’s father was Don Furcillo-Rose.  June had gotten pregnant out of wedlock, which would have reflected badly on the whole family in that era.  After careful consideration, the family agreed to keep John’s true parentage a secret.  They hoped it would remain a secret forever.

John needed to confirm this for himself.  John and Ethel May were long dead, and June died in 1963.  The only person left alive who could verify or deny the claims of the Time magazine researcher was Lorraine.  He called and spoke with Lorraine’s husband whom he affectionately called Short.  “A guy calls me on the phone, and says that my father is still alive, and that Ethel May wasn’t really my mother, that June was my mother.”  Shorty was in disbelief and handed the phone to Lorraine.  John repeated the information.  After a moment of silence, Lorraine confirmed that the story was true although she was unaware of the identity of his real father.

John described the discovery as being “a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn’t what I’d call traumatizing.  After all, by the time I found out who my mother was, I was pretty well psychologically formed.”  He added, “I was very impressed by their ability to keep the secret, if nothing else.”  John jokingly referred to June as his “sister-mother.”

John is considered by many to be one of the greatest actors of all time.  He has won 3 Oscars and a host of other awards for films such as Terms of Endearment, As Good As It Gets, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  The film for which he was being interviewed when he learned his family’s secret was called Chinatown.  You and I know John Joseph Nicholson as Jack Nicholson.

Sources:

1.      Asbury Park Press, January 2, 1936, P. 15.

2.     Trey Taylor, “Jack Nicholson Grew Up Believing His Mom Was His Sister,” August 6, 2020.  https://www.instyle.com/celebrity/jack-nicholson-mom-sister.

3.     Swapnil Dhruv Bose, “When Jack Nicholson discovered that his sister was actually his mother,” April 6, 2022. https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/jack-nicholson-sister-was-his-mother/.

4.     Aaron Homer, “How Jack Nicholson Discovered His Sister Was His Mother,” July 18, 2022.  https://www.grunge.com/621340/how-jack-nicholson-discovered-his-sister-was-his-mother/


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Out with the ‘in’ crowd

“Sir, I’m sorry, but we don’t have you in our computer.”  

Can you hear worse news? 

You can — “Sorry, we’re out of bacon” — but it’s a short list.  

Such was the case this week when my friend Shine Broussard called a government entity about something governmental. 

“We don’t have you In our computer,” he was told. Cold words to hear in person, colder over the telephone. 

“Now I’m out here with the gnashing teeth bunch, out here where the sun doesn’t shine,” Shine told me. “No program. No starting lineups. No jersey numbers. ‘Not in our computer.’ I’m on an island with the lepers.”  

If you’re ‘not in our computer,’ you are a non-person, is what you are. These days, you have to be in the computer. In a lot of computers, actually. You might be in your dentist’s computer, which is good when a molar won’t behave, but being in your dentist’s computer won’t help you a lick if a kidney wants to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Then you’d better be in your urologist’s computer. Now. Today.  

There was a time when you didn’t need to be “in our computer.” There was a time when people knew your voice on the telephone, or trusted to some extent that you were who you said you were. Those days vaporized with vaudeville.  

Then you had to be “in our files.” A lot of trees died for those files. If you wanted a Social Security check or a driver’s license renewal or a copy of your transcript, you had to be in the files.  

Now the files are “in our computer.” You are in our files and in our system if you are in our computer. And if our computer says you aren’t in there, well, you can’t argue with our computer. Forget that a computer is only as smart as its programmer, as energetic as its power source and as efficient as the person who typed you “in” to start with. 

It’s the computer, bud. Don’t argue with it. You might as well try to win a spat with Aunt Ethel about how to cook greens or shell peas or do the jitterbug or read your Bible. Good luck with that!  

So if you’re not In The Computer, you’re out of the loop. In a fix. Up a creek. Down the river. Out of luck. In a jam. Between a rock and a hard place. Out of the picture. Off the radar. 

“Sir, I’m sorry, but we don’t have you in our computer.” (That’s just one frantic, lonely step removed from the hazy “I’m sorry, but our system’s down” No-Man’s Land. If the system’s down, you might as well call in the general and tinkle on the fire because the game, my dear friend, is over.) 

I can imagine the computer people talking on their break. “Some poor guy called and wasn’t in the computer. I mean, come on! Idiot…Haha. Hahahahaha….!” 

Makes you jealous of people who are “in.” Things are easier for the in’s among us. But how did they get in, anyway? Being “not in” makes you feel like those people Hunter S. Thompson wrote about in the Gonzo Papers, people who chase something they’ll never so much as sniff. Missing. Back-ordered. No teng .Vaya con dios. Seeya! 

But do you really want to pay the price for ins-manship? First-born child? Life savings? Moe Bandy record collection? What do I have to give up? And here’s a question: What if you get in and you can’t get OUT? There’s you a pickle. 

Such are modern times. All the more reason to hope that when I meet St. Peter, I’m in the computer and the system’s not down. 

(Originally ran August of 2010, when all the computers seemed hot and angry … ) 

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 


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Notice of Death – January 24, 2023

Sammie L. Kitchen
Arrangements TBA
 
Doris J. Williams
Arrangements TBA
 
Gladys Bloodworth
Service: Saturday, January 28 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
 
Juan “Foojuan” Braden
Feb 26, 1969 – Jan 21, 2023
Service: Saturday, January 28 at 1pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
 
Rudolph Hamilton
Service: Wednesday, January 25 at 12:30 pm at the Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Leesville
 
Jerry Don Tillman
July 17, 1946 – January 20, 2023
Service: Wednesday, January 25 at 10 am in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home 

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Winn Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Business After Hours January 26th

Join the Winn Chamber of  Commerce and Tourism for their first Business After Hours of the year. The event will begin at 5:30 PM on January 26th at the Louisiana Political Museum located at 499 E. Main St. Winnfield, LA 71483.

Mayor Hamms will be speaking. Please come or send a representative from your business. Refreshments will be served.


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Dr. Mohammed Aziz Speaks to Kiwanis Club

Tuesday, January 17th Dr. Mohammed Aziz spoke to the Kiwanis club. He is originally from Chicago and came to the Winn Wellness Center in October of 2022. He is an internal medicine doctor. Dr. Aziz did not follow the traditional educational pattern to become a doctor. He attended college and was good in math and ended up in the control tower at O’Hare Airport in Chicago for 2 years. He decided to look for something different and ended up going to nursing school. He worked as a tech, a can and as a nurse after getting a BS in Nursing. Then he decided maybe he would go on to be a Nurse Practitioner and ended up going to medical school. At the start of his residency he joined the Army. He did his residency at the base in San Antonio. His last station was at Fort Polk in Leesville, La. He was there for 3 years and it was a great experience so they decided to stay in the area. He signed a one year contract with Cabrini. Because he wanted to have outpatient opportunities he signed with Winn Parish Medical Center and the Wellness Clinic in October.

The Wellness Clinic was started to focus on preventive care which means annual checkups, lab values, and other tests as recommended for age and risk factors. Most diseases have great outcomes when they are caught early. A cardiologist comes to the clinic once a week and there is also a nephrologist. They are planning to have more sub specialists coming to the clinic. They are looking for another location for the sub specialists. The clinic has a women’s health specialist and a pediatric specialist.
The Wellness Clinic will begin weekend hours this weekend with hours from 7 AM to 7 PM on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tony Acosta will be responsible for weekend hours.

One of Dr. Aziz’s goals is to increase the number of ICU beds. His overall goal is to increase preventive care. Our community is very fortunate to have Dr. Aziz at the Winn Parish Medical Center.


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Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

Date: 1-12-23
Name: Shane E Dupree 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Male 
Age: 45
Charge: Criminal trespassing, Possession of a firearm, Possession of a schedule 2, Prohibited acts (Meth)

Date: 1-14-23
Name: Juan Eduardo Cervantes Valle 
Address: N/A
Race: Hispanic 
Sex: Male 
Age: 26
Charge: Flight from an officer, Driver must be licensed 

Date: 1-14-23
Name: Bill Ngoc Ngvyen 
Address: Oklahoma City, OK
Race: Hispanic 
Sex: Male 
Age: 30
Charge: Flight from an officer, Prohibited Acts with Schedule 1 (marijuana) 

Date: 1-14-23
Name: Jadon Lewis Myers 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male 
Age: 24
Charge: Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Date: 1-16-23
Name: Jamal T Tobbs
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Age: 30
Charge: Simple battery, Criminal mischief (false reporting of a crime)

Date: 1-16-22
Name: Deatsey W Dunn 
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: White 
Sex: Male 
Age: 45
Charge: Disturbing the peace (x2) (language and drunkenness)

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.


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Winn Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Business of the Week – Dixie Medical Equipment

Dixie Medical is a durable medical equipment company that provides medical equipment in the home established in 2006. They have everything from oxygen, hospital beds, wheelchairs, c-paps, bi-paps, nebulizers and much more. Working with doctors, hospitals and home healths to help a patient get the medical equipment they need. Dixie Medical is locally owned and services Winn, Natchitoches, Jackson, Lasalle and many other surrounding parishes.

Accepting Medicaid, Medicare and private insurances.

CONTACT INFO:
☎️ 318-628-6900

⏰ HOURS:
Mon – Fri 8:00-5:00pm
* On call drivers after hours and on weekends

📍ADDRESS:
430 W South Ave
Winnfield, La 71483
* Across the street from the hospital emergency room

💻 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057359385701


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Registration Open for Krewe of Kingfish Mardi Gras Parade

The Krewe of Kingfish’s Mardi Gras Parade will be February 4, 2023 at 2 PM. Lineup will begin at 12 PM at Earl K. Long Park and judging will begin at 1:30 PM.

Please register to participate online using the ling below. 

Krewe of Kingfish Mardi Gras Parade Registration

Registration deadline in February 1, 2023. Please contact Shannon Thompson at 318-623-6700 for more information.

Printed forms may be mailed to:

Shannon Thompson
2154 Highway 1226
Natchitoches, LA 71457

You may also drop off completed forms to Caitlyn Hemphill at Envy Salon in Winnfield.


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Remember This? A Family Feud

By Brad Dison

 
During World War I, teenager Adolf Dassler became adept at repairing shoes in his parents’ home in Herzogenaurach, Germany.  Adolf was his given name, but family and friends called him Adi.  He scavenged the war-torn countryside for his supplies, and got his much-needed leather from belts, holsters, and worn-out shoes.  He took and modified abandoned machine parts and created a stationary bicycle powered leather milling machine.  Adi hired his first employee to pedal the bicycle so he could run the milling machine.  Following World War I, Adi’s business grew as he experimented and developed stronger, but more lightweight shoes.      
 
In 1923, Adi’s older brother, Rudolf, joined Adi in developing and manufacturing shoes.  One year later, they formed Gebrüder Dassler, Sportschuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Factory).  Their factory was the front room and, when not in use, the kitchen of their family home.  By 1925, their shoe line included football boots which had nailed studs and track shoes with hand-forged spikes, all of which were still made in the family home.  In 1927, the brothers sold enough shoes to allow them to move their operations from the cramped family home into a small factory.
 
Dassler Brothers shoes became popular with athletes early on.  In 1928, several athletes wore Dassler shoes in the 1928 Amsterdam games.  German middle distance runner Linda Radke won gold in the Amsterdam games while wearing Dassler shoes.  Another German runner won gold in the 1932 Los Angeles Games while wearing Dassler shoes.  In the 1936 Berlin Olympics, athletes from several countries competed in Dassler shoes.  American track and field star Jesse Owens won three gold medals while wearing Dassler shoes, which led to large international orders for sports shoes of different varieties.
 
In the early 1930s, Adi and Rudolf saw an opportunity to expand their shoe business through politics.  On May 1, 1933, Adi, Rudolf, and other members of their family joined the Nazi Party.  Adolph Hitler prioritized athletic teamwork and the Dassler brothers became a major supplier of shoes to the athletes.  Adi became a coach in the Hitler Youth movement and supplied those young athletes with footwear.  While members of the Nazi Party, Adi and Rudolf ended their letters with “Heil Hitler.”
 
World War II forever changed Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Factory as tension within the Dassler family grew.  Adi and Rudolf and their wives and children all shared a single home, along with Adi’s parents and his siblings’ families.  To protect them from being drafted into the German military, several members of the family worked at the shoe factory, which often caused friction in the family. Adi and Rudolf struggled for control of the company.  In August of 1940, Adi was notified that he was being drafted into the Wehrmacht.  He reported for duty in December but was released two months later as his work with the Dassler company was deemed essential.  Rudolf became angry and more assertive when he learned that Adi claimed leadership of the Dassler’s shoe factory to secure his release from the Wehrmacht.  While Adi was away, Marie, their sister Marie tried to convince Rudolf to hire her two sons to keep them from being drafted into the German military.  Rudolf refused because he claimed there were already enough family problems within the company.  Marie was devastated.  Just as Marie feared, her two sons were drafted into the German army and never returned.  Marie never forgave Rudolf.  Ironically, in January of 1943, Rudolf was also drafted into the German military.  Unlike Adi, Rudolf was unable to secure his release for military service.  He blamed Adi and his connections within the Nazi party for his being drafted.  In a letter to Adi, Rudolf spitefully wrote that he would not hesitate to seek the closure of the factory so that Adi would be forced to fight in the war.  The Reich eventually shut down the shoe factory.  Rudolf, on leave at the time, decided to take some of the leather from the factory for later use.  Rudolf was angered when he learned that Adi had already removed the leather from the factory and reported Adi to his Nazi friends.
 
While the world celebrated the end of World War II, the Dassler brothers’ war for control of the company continued.  Adi and Rudolf were arrested and tried separately for their actions within the Nazi party.  The brothers testified against each other in a bid to save themselves.  Rudolf was not deemed a threat and was released in July of 1946.  Adi was found guilty of minor infractions and put on probation with the stipulation that he could not operate the Dassler shoe factory.  Rudolf saw this as his chance to take control of the factory.  Adi and Rudolf continued to make claims, some true some false, against each other.  Adi appealed the decision and, in February of the following year, was granted permission to resume management of the Dassler shoe factory.
 
Adi and Rudolf were unable to repair their relationship, and the rift spread throughout the family.  By this time, the Dassler company had grown to include two factory buildings.  Some family members sided with Adi and others sided with Rudolf.  Knowing that the rift between the brothers could never be repaired, Adi and Rudolf painstakingly divided the company’s assets one-by-one.  Adi took the original factory building and Rudolf took the other.  Employees were forced to choose which brother they would remain with.  Rudolf and the members of the family who sided with him moved out of the family home.  Adi and Rudolf never spoke again.
 
Following the separation and dissolution of the Dassler Brothers’ company, both brothers created new companies and continued to manufacture shoes and sportswear.  Both of their companies grew to international success.  Adi’s company is currently the second largest sportswear manufacturer in the world, second only to Nike, and Rudolf’s company is the third largest in the world.  Rudolf’s company name translates to cougar in several countries.  Rudolf named his company Puma.  Adi’s company name was comprised of a combination of his first and last names.  He called it Adidas.
 
Sources:
 
1.     The Los Angeles Times, June 27, 1976, p.129.
 
2.     The Ottawa Journal, May 13, 1978, p.104.
 
3.     Asbury Park Press, November 1, 1978, p.45.
 
4.     The Age, September 11, 1982, p.20.
 
5.     The Miami Herald, April 11, 1987, p.115.
 
6.     Chicago Tribune, April 11, 1987, p.8.
 
7.     The Daily Telegraph, June 15, 1996, p.156.


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Can’t Put a Price on Library Love

Shreve Memorial Library turns 100 this year, a celebratory occasion but bleak reminder that there could be a steep price to pay for that book you’ve been meaning to take back since 1926. 

Part of my feeble life has been marked by library intrigue. The smell of the books. The intent of its visitors, heads down in learning repose at neat and sturdy tables. That unique library quietness — not a still quietness like the cemetery but a very alive and purposeful quietness.  

Love the library. 

When it came to hero worship, while other first and second graders were locked in on their sports idols and television stars, I wanted nothing more than to meet Captain Kangaroo (another story for another time), Charley Pride, and Dewey Decimal. 

Mainly Dewey Decimal. 

I was a weird kid. 

But something about the library fascinated me, from the card catalog right on through the little packet glued to the inside back book cover that held a card with all the information concerning where that book had been and when. You could look on the little card and see that Lee Ann Rozier had checked this book out before you did, which meant that she had held it in her precious little second grade hands, and all you had to do was read it and you’d have a conversation starter next time you were lucky enough to sit by her in the lunch room. 

Who knows when I first heard the term “Dewey Decimal System,” but the alliteration alone must have made my tiny head spin. This meant that one day a guy sat down and figured out how to put All This Stuff in order, that General Works would go in the 000 section, Philosophy and Psychology would go in the 100s, and on like that. 

Must have took him a while. 

Investigation revealed that “Dewey” had figured out where all these books would go, and that his name wasn’t Dewey Decimal at all, but Melvil Dewey, a New York native born in 1851, lifelong librarian and founding member of the American Library Association (ALA). The Dewster could hit .300 while reading a Victorian novel and straightening up with Biographies section, (which is in the 900s, just for the record).  

Turns out Dewey was one of those books you can’t judge by its cover. He actually had to resign in 1905 from the ALA he helped found, due to allegations of sexual harassment and other things people in charge of the card catalog won’t allow. 

So, my library idol turned out to be a dud. Rascal could catalog a book though; you’ve got to give him that. You just didn’t want to share a study nook with him. Well, you didn’t even want to be in the same library branch with him. 

We haven’t come too far in improving human nature during the past century, but we sure have improved the library. Dewey wouldn’t even recognize the libraries he’d get thrown out of today. 

There are tutoring programs. Ways to look up your ancestry; (hope you aren’t kin to Dewey). Ebooks and audio books to check out. CDs. TV shows and music to stream. And some of these things you check-out digitally automatically check themselves back in. Correct: the library material is smarter than we are. 

Last month I went to get a new library card. Cost one dollar to replace my old card. I got a pin number so I can do online books now for free, minus my initial one whole dollar investment.  

There was one downside. Pam, the gracious librarian, looked at me like the doctor looks at you right before he says he’ll have to amputate your leg. 

“You do owe a fine,” she said. “Overdue book.” 

Me: “Oh lord. I’m sorry. How mu…?”  

Pam: “It’s from 2006.” 

Me: (Weak-kneed, calculating what I’ll have to sell to pay the fine on a book 17 years overdue…

Pam: “That’ll be dollar and thirty cents.” 

I love the library. 

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 


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