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MacGinnis pleads guilty to 1988 murder

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com PORT ARTHUR – Last Tuesday, Daniel Andrew MacGinnis pleaded guilty to the 1988 murder of Patricia Ann Howell Jacobs. MacGinnis, a Warren man, was sentenced to 20 years for the slaying. That sentence will run…

Two face murder charges

By Tony Farkaseditor@trinityconews.com Adeline Esmerelda Aparicio-Rodriguez (left) and Jacob Patrick Chrones have been charged with murder.GROVETON — Two Trinity County residents missing since Sept. 8 have been found dead, and two people were charged with murder in connection with the case. Jacob Patrick Chrones, 34, and Adeline Esmerelda…
Adeline Esmerelda Aparicio-Rodriguez (left) and Jacob Patrick Chrones have been charged with murder.

Divas3 to perform Tuesday

From Enterprise Staff The Livingston Community Concert Association will host its second performance of the 2023-2023 Season – Divas3, a pop vocal trio with piano – at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Livingston Commerce Center located at 1017 U.S. Hwy. 59 Loop North in Livingston. Divas3 are billed as, “A celebration of the biggest hits of the greatest…
Divas3

Preteen to represent ag, Trinity

Shown are (Left)Trinity Fotheringham, (Center) Paisley Fotheringham, and (Right) Mia Zuniga. COURTESY PHOTOS Special to the New-Standard TRINITY — Lansberry Elementary fifth-grader Mia Zuniga recently was named Trinity’s Junior Miss United States Agriculture Advocate. She will be representing Trinity County in the Miss United States Agriculture…
Shown are (Left)Trinity Fotheringham, (Center) Paisley Fotheringham, and (Right) Mia Zuniga. COURTESY PHOTOS

86th Annual Fiddler’s Festival crowns champion Smith

Photo by Jacque Fleming By Jan Whitejan@hccourier.com CROCKETT – At the Annual Fiddler’s Festival held at the Porth Agricultural Arena on Saturday, September 24, a new Champion was announced. After a long, hot, music-filled day at the arena, judges chose Roberta Rast Smith as their new World Champion Fiddler. The contest was divided into several…
Photo by Jacque Fleming

Two crashes, only one injured

TCNS staff TRINITY COUNTY – The Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers investigated a two-vehicle crash on state Highway 94, near the 706 mile-marker, that occurred Sept. 20. The preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 7:30 a.m., a 2015 Ford SUV was traveling east, followed by a 2005 Cadillac passenger car. It is reported…
Car Wreck

Two East Texas counties sheriffs come together as one

San Jacinto County Deputy Jared Oliver, Sgt. Mark Gustafson, Sheriff Greg Capers, Patrol Division Lt. Ray Bowen, K9 Handler Deputy Dustin Oliphant with K9 Lady Duna display a small sampling of the seized drugs and paraphernalia from a recent drug arrest in Cleveland. Courtesy photo Special to the News-Times A cooperative investigation between the…
San Jacinto County Deputy Jared Oliver, Sgt. Mark Gustafson, Sheriff Greg Capers, Patrol Division Lt. Ray Bowen, K9 Handler Deputy Dustin Oliphant with K9 Lady Duna display a small sampling of the seized drugs and paraphernalia from a recent drug arrest in Cleveland. Courtesy photo

Latexo ISD reports possible threat

By Chris Edwardsnews@hccourier.com LATEXO – Administrators at Latexo ISD along with the district’s police department investigated a possible school threat. On Monday, the district issued a statement affirming that there was a possible threat, but evidence “did not suggest that our students were in imminent danger, and there was no threat to school…
Latexc ISD logo

TPWD requesting ideas on improvement projects

From Enterprise Staff The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries Division requests ideas from angling organizations, local governments, non-governmental organizations, river authorities and tribal organizations on freshwater fish habitat and shoreline-based angler access improvement projects to be completed in public waters…
TexasParksAndWildlife

Social media meeting leads to arrest

Angel SantosA Deer Park man is behind bars after his arrest for sexual assault of a Polk County child met online. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a report in July of sexual abuse involving a child. The suspect in this case met the child on social media, then traveled to Polk County, where he sexually assaulted the child. After an…
Angel Santos

The Tao of Billy Joe Shaver

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billy joe shaverBilly Joe Shaver, legendary singer/songwriter/poet/Texan. 1939-2020. IMAGE COURTESY OF BILLY JOE SHAVER.COM

Country music legend Billy Joe Shaver died Oct. 28, 2020, at the age of 81. This column, by Chris Edwards was originally published in the Oct. 16, 2014 edition of the Tyler County Booster. It celebrates the earthy quality of Shaver and the need for heartfelt artistic expression in contemporary culture.
 
By Chris Edwards

Sing it with me, for I know you know the tune: “I’m just an old chunk of coal…”

The man who wrote that famous line (and countless others) just released a new record. Some say it’s his best work yet in a career that’s spanned several decades of highs, lows, in-betweens and episodes in which common sense would’ve dictated his demise several times. Drugs couldn’t kill the man. Financial ruin couldn’t kill him. He survived things the music industry did to him and of all things, a sawmill accident in which he lost parts of several fingers gave him the gusto to play guitar and become a songwriter.

Billy Joe Shaver may not be a household name, but those with household names sold boatloads of records by singing his songs. He’s outlived many of his “outlaw” peers, and like his fellow Texan and songwriting colleague/country music survivor Guy Clark, he only gets better with age. Sure, there’s the tired adage about fine wine, but do me a favor and check out Shaver’s new record and see if you can’t add his name to the list of things that fit that description.

He is anything but his album title suggests (“Long in the Tooth”). He’s an outsider in the world of what they call “country music” for reasons owing only to style and politics, instead of substance and life experience. Even at age 70-something, Billy Joe Shaver could probably out-play and out-fight 99% of the wusses who win CMA Awards and pack stadiums these days.

In a time when so-called “country” music singers wear their $500 blue jeans and blindingly bleached teeth like some sort of crown and badge, Billy Joe is a breath of fresh air. The self-proclaimed “wacko from Waco” with his denim-on-denim atop well-worn workboots reminds me of another Lone Star maverick in his mode of dress, the late poet of the piney deep, Cyd Adams.

Like the improbably brilliant Adams, Shaver is certainly one who, beyond his appearance, is infinitely “more than the measure of what…others [think he] could be,” to paraphrase a line from his classic “Old Five and Dimers Like Me.” The man who looks all the world like a redneck who wouldn’t know Shakespeare from Schlitz is also the man capable of penning a beautiful anthem like “Live Forever” and making such an endeavor look effortless in the process.

His lyrics do a rare thing in the world of popular song, like those of his deceased close friend, Townes Van Zandt: hold up as pure poetry. There’s soul, there’s grit, grace and the joys and pains that come with this life we’re given within his words.

Billy Joe Shaver’s music is art. It’s incredible work that makes the listener think, as well as jump for joy to be alive. In a world full of facsimile, Shaver is the real deal and real people “get” Billy Joe Shaver. If only there were more Billy Joe Shavers in the world and fewer Jason Aldeans, then there just might be hope for those of us who enjoy food for thought along with a scoot across a sawdust-strewn floor, but then again if that were the case, the very thing making Billy Joe Shaver special (as well as Guy Clark, Townes, Robert Earl Keen, Turnpike Troubadours, Walt Wilkins, etc.) wouldn’t come across as special.

That “it” which separates real art from product, whatever “it” is, allows artists like those mentioned in the same breath as Shaver to make their profundity all seem so easy. Shaver himself is famous for saying “simplicity don’t need to be greased.”

Billy Joe’s appeal brings me mind of a shirt I owned (well, still own, but has been relegated to the pile of oil change/car wash rags). I found said shirt, a plain, powder-blue T-shirt, in the laundry room of an old house I once lived in. The very thing that a previous tenant had left behind quickly became one of my favorite belongings; its comfort remains unmatched to this day. As the years moved on, my shirt sprouted a pretty impressive array of holes, which earned stares of derision from some and outright comments from more outspoken folks I encountered, including a highly fashion-conscious neighbor.

Some saw a different thing in that ragged old shirt. One friend of mine remarked as to how comfortable the shirt looked and how his own workshirts, full of holes themselves, were the bane of his well-to-do ex-fiance’s parents at obligatory “family time” appearances.

Like an old shirt, full of holes, but comfortable and like silk on the skin, Billy Joe Shaver’s music provides a layer of comfort for those of us willing to see the beauty in imperfection and to accept the wisdom of life lessons gleaned from outside of the tried-and-true standard existence.

 

 
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