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Corpus man sentenced to 30 years in prison

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com CabreraWOODVILLE – A Corpus Christi man who evaded capture was sentenced to 30 years behind bars last week. Manuel Cabrera, 27, accepted a plea deal with the Tyler County District Attorney’s Office on charges of…

Corrigan collision kills two students

Two students have died from a vehicle accident Friday afternoon in Corrigan. The deceased were students at Stephen F. Austin University traveling on Highway 59 at approximately 1:32 p.m. A 2007 Nissan Versa was traveling southbound on Highway 59 in Corrigan, when an 18-wheeler was exiting Plant Road onto the highway. The 18-wheeler made a…
TwoKilled

Edgar transferred to Wainwright

By Chris Edwardsnews@hccourier.com Matthew Hoy Edgar after his arrest. Photo courtesy of Sabine County Sheriff’s OfficeLOVELADY – On Tuesday, January 10, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) confirmed that Matthew Hoy Edgar, convicted for the 2020 murder of his girlfriend, Livye Lewis, is now imprisoned at the J. Dale Wainwright Unit in…
Matthew Hoy Edgar after his arrest. Photo courtesy of Sabine County Sheriff’s Office

Jackie Wilson tribute show coming to town

From Enterprise Staff “Chester Gregory: Tribute to Jackie Wilson & Friends,” the Livingston Community Concert Association’s first concert of the new year, is slated for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Polk County Commerce Center located at 1017 U.S. Hwy. 59 Loop North in Livingston. The concert will feature Chester Gregory, an award-winning actor and…
ChesterGregory

100th birthday

Hershel Mackey of Ace was feted with quite the celebration for his 100th birthday Wednesday. Long involved in the local community, Mackey is well-respected and greatly loved by many. He served many years as the chief of the South Polk County Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) and was also instrumental in the creation of the Ace Community Park.…
HershelChristopher

Meth dealer sentenced to 30 years

Stock Image By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com ABERNATHYWOODVILLE – Last Tuesday, an Ivanhoe man was sentenced before District Judge Delinda Gibbs Walker to 30 years in prison on a drug charge. Jason James Abernathy, age 41, was handed down the sentence for a possession with intent to deliver (methamphetamine) charge. The trial and…
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Multiple arrests made in Corrigan

Three Corrigan men were arrested while law enforcement executed a warrant Monday in north Polk County. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office, along with Corrigan Police Department, executed a warrant service at a residence off of Pipeline Road in Corrigan. Deputies were advised that there were multiple subjects with active felony warrants, living at…
MultipleArrests Corrigan

Leggett man arrested for child pornography

Anthony BartunekThe Polk County Sheriff’s Office executed a residential search warrant last week pertaining to the possession of child pornography. An investigation was initiated by detectives after the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to a male subject in possession of child pornography, at an address off Ollie Loop in…
Arrests Graphic

Suspect in church burglary arrested

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com BarredaWOODVILLE – An arrest was made of a suspect in a church burglary, and could face additional charges in several other incidents, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. Juan Gabriel Barreda, a 47-year-old Houston man, was arrested in Houston on Dec. 30, 2022, by the Houston Police…
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Crockett Police assist with drug trafficking arrest

From Staff Reports BEAUMONT – Last week, the Crockett Police Department cited the agency’s assistance in the federal investigation and prosecution of Ingrid Yaresi Balderas De Leon. De Leon was prosecuted in federal court as part of a large drug trafficking organization responsible for transporting and distributing large quantities of…
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Early morning fire

Three trucks and 12 firefighters with the Scenic Loop Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire in the early morning hours Saturday at Pinwah Pines. The fire originated in one house and spread to a house next door. “I was the first on the scene and our main objective was to protect the exposure from getting to the third house until we got more…
PinwahPinesFire

Warrant stop results in arrests

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com IVANHOE – A warrant service call last week resulted in two arrests in Ivanhoe, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. Weatherford said that on Tuesday, Jan. 3, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office stopped at a residence in order to serve a felony warrant on Jason James Abernathy,…
WarrentStopResults

MLK Day Celebrated

January 16 is Martin Luther King, Jr. day and celebrations were held all over Southeast Texas to recognize the great man's legacy. Here's a photo from the MLK day parade held annually in Woodville, Tx. (Jiim Powers/TCB Photo)
MLK Day Parade 2023

Investigation continues into head-on collision on bridge

By Emily Banks Wooteneditor@polkenterprise.com Charges are pending against a local man as the investigation continues into a two-vehicle collision that occurred at 3:46 p.m. Jan. 9 on the Hwy. 190 causeway in Onalaska. A 2020 Hyundai Elantra driven by Kyle Mitchell Farris, 29 of Livingston, was traveling westbound and a 2010 Lexus GX driven by…
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Livingston man struck by train, later dies

Officers investigate the scene of a train/pedestrian accident that occurred downtown Thursday resulting in the death of a local man. Photo by Keitha Swann By Emily Banks Wooteneditor@polkenterprise.com A local man has died from injuries he sustained in a train/pedestrian accident that occurred downtown Thursday afternoon. The Livingston Police…
Officers investigate the scene of a train/pedestrian accident that occurred downtown Thursday resulting in the death of a local man.  Photo by Keitha Swann

Babin sworn-in for new congressional term

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Brian Babin (R-Woodville) issued the following statement after swearing into the 118th Congress last week: “This week, we saw democracy hard at work, and I believe we all move forward stronger because of it,” said Babin. “The compromises made on the House floor will empower us as individual members to fight the…
Babin for Web

Former detective charged with theft

A former detective with the Trinity County Sheriff's Office, Polk County Sheriff's Office and Polk County District Attorney's Office has been charged with theft. On Wednesday, the Onalaska Police Department was dispatched to the Dollar General Market in reference to a theft. Once arriving, the complainant stated a male subject left the store and…
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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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