Category: Videos/Slideshows

We try to select the very best for you.  Time is spent searching and researching.  On this glorious time of year, we have chosen the Vocal Group, Pentatonix, to escort us into the Celebration!  We have also included an easy read Christmas Story for us to read on Christmas Morning.  REALLY Celebrate the Birth of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.

 The Birth of Jesus

Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2

An Angel Visits Mary

An Angel Visits Mary
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (TNIV)

One day about 2,000 years ago an angel named Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish woman named Mary. Gabriel told Mary she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the Son of God! Mary was confused and worried about this sudden news, but she had faith in God and said, “I am the Lord’s servant; let it be as you say.”

Journey to Bethlehem

Mary and her husband-to-be, Joseph, lived in a town called Nazareth. But they had to travel to the city of Bethlehem to register for a census ordered by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Both Nazareth and Bethlehem are in the country now called Israel. It is about 65 miles (105 km) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and the trip probably took them several days.

When Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem, there was no place for them to stay because the inn was already full. They ended up spending the night in a stable, a place where animals were kept. There was probably fresh hay on the floor that they used for beds.

That night, Jesus was born. There was no crib, so they laid baby Jesus in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. The manger probably had fresh hay in it and made a nice bed for the baby.

Shepherds Visit Jesus

Shepherds Visit Jesus
Jesus was born in a stable and laid to sleep in a manger. The shepherds came to see firsthand the things the angel had told them.

That night, some shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem, keeping watch over their flocks of sheep. An angel appeared to them and gave them the good news that a Savior, the Messiah, had been born. The angel told the shepherds they could find Jesus lying in a manger. Suddenly a whole group of angels appeared saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

The shepherds hurried into Bethlehem and found Jesus in the manger, just as the angel had told them. After they had seen Jesus, they spread the news, and everyone who heard was in awe.

Wise Men Visit Jesus

Wise Men Visit Jesus
Wise men from the East came to worship Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Some time later, wise men, or magi, from eastern countries saw a star in the sky that signaled the birth of a new king. They came to Judea, the region around Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to worship Jesus, the new king.

A man named Herod was the king of Judea. He called the wise men to a meeting and told them to find the new king so he could go and worship him, too.

The wise men continued on to Bethlehem and followed the star until it was directly above the house where Jesus was. They found Mary and Jesus in the house and knelt down to worship Him. They brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, some of the finest things in the ancient world. Frankincense was burned to make a sweet smell, and myrrh was an expensive perfume.

After visiting Jesus, the wise men had a dream that warned them not to go back to King Herod, so they took a different route home.

Journey to Egypt

King Herod lied when he told the wise men he wanted to worship Jesus. He was afraid this new “king” would replace him as king of Judea. He did not understand that Jesus would grow up to be king of God’s spiritual kingdom, not king of Judea.

What Herod really wanted was to find Jesus and kill Him! Herod was furious when he realized the wise men had not come back to tell him where to find Jesus. He sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill all the children under two years old, thinking Jesus would certainly be one of the ones killed.

But God had told Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt. Joseph took Mary and Jesus to live in Egypt where they would be safe from Herod. Joseph, Mary and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod had died, and then they returned to Nazareth.

After writing of how Mont Belvieu’s Manger scene touches us all, I found myself at work listening to the Christian Radio Station KSBJ, as I do every day, and on came a song I had heard so many times and loved the melody so much.  

But this Christian Band, Cloverton, had rewritten the lyrics and made it into a Christmas song.  A song about the REAL meaning of Christmas.  It moved me so much, I wanted to share it with you, my readers, in prayer and hope that it would affect you as much as it did me.

Just a little background first or go straight to the video below and listen to this song that brought tears to my eyes.  The lyrics are below the video.

Funny, all of this started with the Manger Scene in Mont Belvieu!

The song Halleluhah was written by a Canadian named Leonard Cohen prior to his 1984 release.  This work received little success until John Cale and then Jeff Buckley sang it.  Buckley’s version is the most enduringly popular and critically acclaimed rendition of the song to date.

It is written that Cohen labored for years struggling with his song ‘Hallelujah.’ . . . He wrote perhaps as many as 80 verses before paring the song down.

5525063The Christian Band, CLOVERTON,  recently released Halleluhah as a Christmas song tilted, “A Hallelujah Christmas.” For the song, the band changed the lyrics to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and turned it in to a beautiful holiday rendition that speaks of the miraculous birth of Jesus. “We’d actually been covering Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in some worship settings for a year or two.

We had re-written the lyrics for the song and people often asked us if we had a recording of that version,” Lance explains. “So, we decided to re-write the song to tell the Christmas story…with an ending that we often don’t think about at Christmas. The entire celebration of Christmas has no purpose without the eventuality of the cross. As for using Leonard Cohen’s melody…it is such a beautiful melody and we wanted the “Hallelujahs” to really mean something when we sing them. It’s almost like these Hallelujahs have been floating around trying to find the write story to attach themselves to. We think that pairing them up with the story of Jesus couldn’t be a more perfect fit.”

“God created everything. He created each of us. He created our voices. He created our ears, our emotions, our tastes, our creative spirits. Each of these is related to music, whether it’s enjoying it or creating it. There are thousands of artists out there creating, writing, and adding to the musical conversation daily. We want to reclaim music as a spiritual act. We want to reclaim the creative inspiration that God gives so that music trends and limits are set and pushed from a sacred outlet and not just a secular one. Music is a great common ground that crosses generations and cultures. We want to shed light on His truths while reaching people creatively with melodies that seem familiar and songs that touch souls. We are messengers, hoping to creatively communicate the truth of God’s word and love for us.” 

Next week we celebrate the birth of the Only Son of God who left GLORY and was born on earth of a virgin.  Celebrate this and let your heart fill with love for the LOVINGKINDESS of the One and Only God. 

I invite you to Renew Your Spirit, maybe even a little, by listening to this song thinking on the meaning of Christmas.  (You will find the people at the little coffee shop where they are texting on their phones and talking.  By the end they are singing along)


The Lyrics:

I’ve heard about this baby boy
Who’s come to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing this song to you
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I’m singing Hallelujah

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God’s only Son was born, oh Hallelujah

The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light
A host of angels led them all to You
It was just as the angels said
You’ll find Him in a manger bed
Immanuel and Savior, Hallelujah

A star shown bright up in the east
To Bethlehem, the wisemen three
Came many miles and journeyed long for You
And to the place at which You were
Their frankincense and gold and myrrh
They gave to You and cried out Hallelujah

I know You came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be
A man and one day die for me and you
My sins would drive the nails in You
That rugged cross was my cross, too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah

New Video Will Be Shown in Driver Ed Features Teens Talking To Peers

AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has released a sobering video aimed at motivating teens and young adults to follow simple safety guidelines while boating. It debuts in the wake of an unusually high number of drownings and fatal boating accidents across the state in recent weeks.

“The video, ‘Never Happens: True Stories From Texas Boaters and Swimmers,’ is a compelling reminder to be safe on the water by wearing a life jacket, learning to swim and closely supervising children to prevent drowning,” said Tim Spice, TPWD’s boater education manager. “Thanks to the Texas legislature, which mandated the new video and directed that it to be shown in driver education classes, the message will be reaching some 225,000 15- and 16-year-olds annually.”

In the video, which will be shown to all teenagers taking driver education courses, several teenagers who witnessed or survived a boating accident or drowning tell their tragic stories.

A Jet Ski accident changed the life of one of the teenagers in the video, Zack Parker.

“Their jet ski crushed my knee into eight pieces,” recalls Parker in the video. “Lacerated my spleen, liver and pancreas. My aorta had… torn. I’m alive because I was wearing a life jacket.”

Parker survived. A friend of Katy Copeland did not.

“They tell you what they did, how hard they tried, and that she just wouldn’t, she just wouldn’t come back,” Copeland said. “And that’s what happened.”

Since May 9, at least 24 people have lost their lives on Texas waters in boating or swimming accidents worked by Texas game wardens, an unusually high number of fatalities.

Last year in Texas, 146 accidents were reported by the U.S. Coast Guard, 31 of which ended with deaths. Statistics show many of these tragedies could have been prevented.

“The Coast Guard says that 90 percent of the people who drowned in a boating related accident would be alive if they had a life jacket on,” Spice said. “That’s significant.”

State law requires that a personal floatation device is available for each occupant of a boat, and children under 13 years of age are mandated by the law to wear one while the boat or paddle craft is underway or drifting.

The video resulted from HB 673, authored by Rep. Tan Parker, with help from Rep. Lyle Larson to secure funding for the project.

Stressed in the video are four basic precautions for boaters of any age:

  • Wear a life jacket. Most persons who have died in a boating accident would be alive today if they had worn a life jacket.
  • Use the ignition safety switch. Commonly called a “kill switch,” it stops the engine if you fall overboard. Don’t be stranded, or run over by your boat.
  • Learn how to swim.
  • Take a Boater Education course from TPWD: It could save your life.

TPWD produced a 2:41 video news report about “Never Happens” for use by news outlets. View the news video on YouTube at

For a high resolution download of the news video, go to, and look for the file “May VNR_Never Happens.”

To see the full 10:36 “Never Happens” video, as it will be shown in driver education classes, go to the TPWD webpage at and click on Boating and Safety.

It is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1993 to obtain a boater’s education certificate before they can legally operate a vessel with a rating of more than 15 horsepower. Anyone supervising the operation of a vessel by another must be 18 or older and exempt from the boater education requirement (born before 1993) or have a boater education certificate.

For information about boater education courses, visit:

Boaters with the online course certificate may receive a discounted rate from their boating insurance provider.

 “You never think it’s going to happen to you or anybody you care for,” says Jessica Montez, who lost a friend to drowning.



Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Local Observances Claim To Be First Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.

Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.

Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.

Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.

The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found in antiquity. The Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War over 24 centuries ago that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who have died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.

The American PEOPLE will never forget your sacrifice and that of your families who waited and those who still wait!!


Our lakes and rivers are under attack by zebra mussels.

This destructive invasive speciesharms aquatic life, including native mussels and even popular sportfish, damages boats and fishing equipment, and hinders water recreation. Lake Texoma, Ray Roberts, Lewisville, Bridgeport, Belton and Lavon are already infested — and without your help, zebra mussels could spread throughout the state. Watch this short video to learn more.

It’s Illegal to Transport Zebra Mussels

When you boat this summer, adult zebra mussels or their microscopic larvae could hide in your boat and trailer. By hitching a ride on boats like yours, zebra mussels can spread and infest new lakes and rivers across Texas.

It is illegal to possess or transport zebra mussels knowingly or unknowingly. In addition, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved expanding from 47 North and Central Texas counties to statewide the rule requiring boaters to drain all water from their vessels, including live wells, bilges, motors, and any other receptacles before leaving or approaching a water body. This applies to all types and sizes of boats used on public fresh waters, effective July 1.

Zebra mussels on boat trailer

Don’t Be a Carrier: Clean, Drain, Dry

Prevent the spread of zebra mussels by always following these steps:

CLEAN off any vegetation, mud or foreign objects on your boat, trailer and gear before you leave the lake. Adult zebra mussels attach to hard surfaces such as boat hulls and motors.

DRAIN all water from your boat and gear. Zebra mussel larvae are invisible to the naked eye and can hide in the water in your motor, bilge, live wells and bait buckets.

DRY your boat and trailer for a week or more before entering another water body. It’s a surefire way to kill any remaining zebra mussels.

Visit to find more information.

Thank you for doing your part to stop the spread of these destructive invaders.

This is a MUST see!  Great job kids!


You didn’t enter your dog at the 2013 ORWFD!  There is always this year at the 2014 ORWFD.  Second weekend in October.

Such fun for all the family and the dogs, too!

Categories are Small, Medium, and Large Dogs with SubCategories of “Best Dressed”,  “Most Talented”, “Best Smile”,  “Best Tail Wag” and Best “Caught in the Act” (dog must be present to with this one)

Here is a sampling of some of “My Best Friends”!

Until the last soldier or marine comes home, ORWFD 5K Run/Walk will support the Wounded Warrior Project and the Pfc Wesley Riggs Memorial Scholarship Fund.

You can still donate to the WWP and the Scholarship Fund at:

If you look hard, you will see Commissioner Rusty Senac and Old River-Winfree Councilwoman, Jackie Johnson running or walking to support our Veterans!  You will also see the Family of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs, Daniel Riggs, Vickie Riggs, and Brian Riggs.

Special thanks to Bob Botto, Race Manager, Tracie Comeaux, Shane Brand, Kiel Williams, Linda Murphy, Colleen Fontenot, among a few for organizing the race.

Thanks to the best hosts around, Barbers Hill Independent School District.

Barbers Hill Bank supports and continues to support, four years running, ORWFD, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Scholarship Fund by paying all expenses incurred with their $5000 Sponsorship!

We welcome you to Old RIver-Winfree Founders Day 2013 with a look at the last 4 years.  We hope you enjoy a look back and come to the 2013 ORWFD.

Absolutely FREE Carnival Rides and games!  Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall; Portrait of a Warrior, Ken Pridgeon;  Jean Epperson, Published Author of Bay Area History; Boyce Morris, Jr. Historical Old River-Winfree Artifacts; Vendors Galore, Miss Old River Country Pageant; “My Best Friend” Dog Contest; Pie, Cake, Cupcake Bakeoff and auction; Vintage Car and Truck Contest at R&L Auto Supply, and lots of fun!

Enjoy the video!

While you are at ORWFD, be sure and visit the Hospitality Room in the ORW Community Building. Chairman Tracie Comeaux will be on hand with fresh coffee, while you stroll around the exhibits of Boyce Morris, Jr. ORWFD Historian! Below is a sampling of the Historical Artifacts of our area Boyce has, through his on blood, sweat, and tears, brought up from the ground surrounding the Old River. You will want to see this! Thanks Boyce for all you do!

You will be amazed at what Boyce has discovered about our history in Old River-Winfree and the Beauty of the river that runs through us, Old River.

We are unique in our name, our heritage, and our bond to each other.  Old River and Winfree, Texas come see your history!


dogshowlogoOn a Friday Evening, October 12, 2012, community dog lovers gathered for the “My Best Friend” Dog Contest.  This year, the Dog Contest will be on Saturday and is sure to be a good time for both dog and “friend”!

They entered into the following Categories:

Category (check one or more) $5.00 ea category

   _________ Best Trick (Talent)

   _________ Best Dressed

   _________ Best Tail Wagging (Personality)

   _________ “Caught in the Act” Photo Contest  (simple

                       camera pictures are fine)

Each dog is divided into Small, Medium, and Large Breeds, so everyone stands to win!

We had some really interesting entries last year.  A couple of the dogs were rescued dogs and one, the Black Lab, understood commands in German!

Why this fun, cheap to enter, dog contest……Read below:

They are the ones that greet us at the door;  the ones that are in the back yard yapping up a storm, jumping for joy, and dancing around just because we are home, finally.

They guard our children, our homes, our lives; and let us know when danger is around real or perceived by them.

They help us to remember our childhood; those days of carefree abandon.  Before we knew the world was not always nice.

We are so busy and caught up in our lives; but look down into their eyes and see such love, unconditional love, loyalty, and devotion even though sometimes we forget to let them out and shame them because they potty on the floor.  Sometimes their food bowl goes empty a little too long and we wonder why they are gnawing on the furniture.  We forget to fill their water bowl and wonder why they drink out of the toilet.

Sometimes forgotten in the back yard, they stand vigil for us, their family.

Enjoy the video of some of our entrants and winners!  It was so much fun for everyone!

Go to the Events Page on Old River-Winfree Founders Day Website, scroll down to the Dog Contest, click on the Form page, save and print.

Yes, it’s time again for all our little girls and young ladies to shine.  Great -Grandparents, Grandparents, and mom and dads will be busting with pride as their little babies join us in our unique Pageant where Natural Beauty that only comes from sweetness within WINS over outward beauty!

This Pageant strives to instill in our girls that each is unique and wonderful, just as they are!

It’s a fun, fun, fun contest, so get those entries in or come out and support Old River Country (now known as West Chambers County) girls.  Other counties are allowed to enter.  We understand that they got here just as soon as they  could!

Enjoy the Video!

Editor’s note:  This is a tribute to Ken “The Dauber” Pridgeon, a War Veteran himself, (serving from the age of 19 to the age of 27), Portrait of a Warrior Memorial Gallery, our Fallen Heroes, all American Veterans, and those who serve today or those who stand ready to go to battle for American Freedom. You must go, if you haven’t already.  Take the kids, the grandkids, grandparents, Veterans in your family; it is a must see!

FIRST:  When I walked into the Portrait of a Warrior Memorial Art Gallery, I thought of the famous “Jaws” movie line “WE’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BOAT!”


kenpridgeonmural4webI met Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon when Old River-Winfree Founders Day was looking for someone to paint a roadside mural for our Founders Day.  Ken is famous for the mural at the Baytown Museum and I thought, that’s our guyI

I remember going to his house in early to mid 2009 and saw the work he does. We did commission Ken to do our Roadside mural.  

Go to this ORW Community News posting to see Ken painting our mural:

It was months after that, I felt led to ask Ken to do a portrait of Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs for Founders Day.  Ken says when do you need it…..  Ken tells the story that it was on a Wednesday I asked him to paint the portrait.  He remembers me saying, Saturday, of course!  That was two days away!

20100717_68Ken came to Founders Day that Saturday, sat in Mayor Joe Landry’s chair, and painted away on the portrait.

(This portrait of Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs turned out to be the FIRST portrait in the long line of Portraits of our Fallen Heroes that Ken has done since that day.  It started Ken on a Journey of a lifetime, blessed by God.)   As Ken set there painting, we didn’t know that another soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Jesse W. Ainsworth, was being escorted by the Patriot Guard going north on Hwy 146 taking him back to his final resting place in Dayton, Texas.  Staff Sgt. Ainsworth was the second portrait.  The rest is history.

I see Ken when he comes back to where it all began at Old River-Winfree Founders Day and follow his posts on Facebook,  but, I had never been to the Memorial Gallery.

August 30, 2013

Yesterday, I was dropping off flyers for the ORWFD 5K Run/Walk Benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project in Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs and I put the Gallery and Ken on my list of places to stop.

I shot pictures up a storm outside, making sure that all of those who saw this post would feel as it they were with me on this visit.  I was a happy little camper; hot , but happy.

I then opened the door to go into the Gallery.  It was then the 6 senses we are all born with, normally, took over.

First was the gift of sight:  My eyes opened wide at the color they were viewing, brilliant in red, white and blue.  The Red, White, and Blue of our Fallen Heroes.  When my eyes started going from left to right around the Gallery, my thoughts were, “So many portraits”.  Meaning, so many lost lives.  I took in the portraits that go from ceiling to floor and my eyes started misting up and tears flowed gently down my face.

Mind you, I’m not out of the doorway yet.  I’m just standing there taking it all in.  

Then my hearing took over and I could hear music, Patriotic Country Music coming from a radio in the back; and, something else;  a voice, and I realized and recognized Ken singing at the top of his lungs along with the radio.

I could smell the very faint aroma of paint and started taking pictures to make sure you were seeing what I saw.

I worked my way back toward the music and Ken, all along snapping pictures and just looking at the lives affected by our last two wars and beyond.  As I neared Ken, I saw him with his paint brush up, just a painting away on another portrait of a hero, a special kind of hero.

I called to Ken and approached him as he sat and we greeted one another.  I turned around from him, telling Ken how wonderful the Gallery is, and I spotted it.

Right behind where Ken paints is his first Portrait, the portrait of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs son of my friend, Daniel Riggs.   I’m an emotional person, but it seemed like Wes was there cheering Ken on and watching over the work.  Right by Wes was Staff Sgt Ainsworth, Ken’s second portrait.

Ken and I started talking and I continued my way snapping pictures, sharing with Ken, reminiscing, and talking about the upcoming 2013 ORWFD on October 12, 2013.

We talked and I saw soo much more, like the Vietnam jacket pictured in the video below.  SO much more to see.

But, YOU will have to go find out the rest of the story on your on.  Ken is getting older and his health seemed off to me, he seemed tired.  But when he starts talking about his “boys and girls” his face lights up and it’s a beautiful transformation.

Go….. go soon, to see Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon, a Texas Icon!

If you don’t laugh at this, check your pulse!

This little pug lives in Belfast, Ireland.  If she doesn’t make you smile, the song sure will.  Sometimes we all feel a little like this!  By the way Loca has other videos.  This is making the rounds on email and Facebook.

Please, enjoy and SMILE!!  



As a side note, his inability to run is caused by a neurological disorder called ataxia, which is in most cases neither life-threatening nor painful.

Aaawwww!  Got to love it!

Laugh out Loud Fishing Bloopers; AND Never take a Prissy Girlfriend Fishing; Boy Catches First Fish





In Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs, who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and all that have served and are serving today, who fought and fight FOR FREEDOM!

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts 

On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.

In 1958, the White House advised VA’s General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee’s chairman.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Just in case people forget, there are Amazing Soldiers  standing at the Tomb through this craziness. This a picture from this morning, 10-29-12.

Some posts are never abandoned. The “Old Guard” will continue to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier throughout Sandy.

The Tomb of the Unknowns, near the center of the cemetery, is one of Arlington’s most popular tourist sites.

The Tomb contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict and (until 1998) the Vietnam War. Each was presented with the Medal of Honor at the time of interment and the medals, as well as the flags which covered their caskets, are on display inside the Memorial Amphitheater, directly to the rear of the Tomb.

The Tomb is guarded 24-hours-per-day and 365-days-per year by specially trained members of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard).

The Memorial Amphitheater has been the scene of the funerals of some prominent Americans (such as General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing) as well as the site of both Memorial Day and Veterans Days celebrations.

Find out more at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Nowhere but Small Town USA can you find the best people and the most fun, and Old River-Winfree is a perfect example.

R&L Auto Supply, Page’s Paint & Body, and Mont Belvieu Auto Supply really put on the Ritz, hometown style.

Lots of Classic cars and trucks, PLUS a vintage Tractor and Motorcycle, really showed their shine at the 2012 ORWFD Classic Car & Truck Show.

It doesn’t get any better that this ORWFD Event put on at R&L Auto in good old Old River-Winfree.  

See some of the pictures below!

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