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Child abuse/neglect statistics show 173 dead in 2023

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com During Monday morning’s regular meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court, County Judge Milton Powers read some sad, sobering and stark statistics. In Tyler County, last year, there were 267 reports of child…

Arrest made following pursuit

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com SPURGER – The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office recently made an arrest following a high-speed pursuit in the Spurger/Fred area, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford. Weatherford reported that on the night of Monday, March 18, TCSO deputies were patrolling the area, and observed a…
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Charges dropped against constable candidate

By Tony Farkasnews@sanjacnews.com Peter SpartaThe felony charge against a candidate for the San Jacinto County Precinct 3 constable’s position, arrested in January, was dismissed Friday because it was characterized as a case of mistaken identity. The charge was dismissed by a representative of the Waller County District Attorney’s Office, Tiffany…
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Fire department rescues stranded boaters on river

Four people were rescued from a sinking water craft on Thursday. Courtesy photo TCNS staff TRINITY —Trinity Fire & Rescue rescued four adults from a sinking boat on Thursday. Fire Chief Keith Johnson said that at approximately 8:30 p.m. Thursday, rescue personnel were sent to the site of the sinking craft on the Trinity River across from Trinity…
Four people were rescued from a sinking water craft on Thursday. Courtesy photo

Stolen trucks

On Thursday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received reports that three newer model Ford pickup trucks had been stolen from multiple locations across Polk County. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has requested the public’s assistance in locating the vehicles pictured that were stolen. Those with information in reference to this casethat may help…
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Hybrid bass stocking program could have huge economic impact

Mike Bischoff of “The Happy Hookers” Lake Livingston Fishing Club signs a permit application as Ron Diderich, president of Friends of Lake Livingston, and Dan Ashe, an inland fisheries biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, look on. The three men and the groups they represent are part of a larger effort to stock Lake Livingston with…
Mike Bischoff of “The Happy Hookers” Lake Livingston Fishing Club signs a permit application as Ron Diderich, president of Friends of Lake Livingston, and Dan Ashe, an inland fisheries biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, look on. The three men and the groups they represent are part of a larger effort to stock Lake Livingston with hybrid bass, making it a destination lake for anglers. Courtesy photo

Red Cross Opens Two Shelters to Help those Impacted by Storms

Wednesday, April 10, 2024- The American Red Cross has opened two emergency shelter in our Southeast and Deep East chapter to help those impacted by the overnight storms across the region. Our Texas Gulf Coast Disaster Team is working with local county officials and emergency managers to determine the needs in several communities due to the…
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Online Independent Living class offered

STOCK PHOTO Crockett-Palestine Resource Centers for Independent Living are beginning a new online class, Independence Corner, for people with disabilities. Classes will be held on Mondays from 1-2 p.m., with the first class on April 8. The topics for the first series of classes include making decisions, money management, career preparation, health…
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UH musical theatre showcase concert slated

From Enterprise Staff The Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts is proud to announce a collaboration between Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown and acclaimed actress and singer Sally Mayes at the University of Houston on April 12. This concert, a highlight of the spring semester, serves as the culmination of the “Song…
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Eclipse to hit Texas Monday

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com TYLER COUNTY – A cosmic event that at least one economist is predicting to be “the most profitable 22 minutes” in Texas history is occurring next Monday, April 8. A total solar eclipse, which the site Great American Eclipse, is calling “the greatest sight nature offers,” where the sun will be eclipsed by…
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Arrests made for drugs, road rage incident

From Enterprise Staff Polk County Sheriff’s Office narcotics detectives served a felony warrant on Brandon Michael Dunaway, 21 of Livingston, on March 26 in relation to an overdose that occurred at a Polk County residence earlier this week. Upon arrival, detectives identified Dunaway’s girlfriend, Christian Cari Stanley, 19 of Livingston, who…
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Trinity-Neches Livestock Show kicks off Monday

STOCK PHOTO From Enterprise Staff The 78th annual Trinity-Neches FFA and 4-H Livestock Show kicks off Monday at the Barney Wiggins Memorial Arena on S.H. 146 and will run through April 6 with a rodeo slated for 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Gates will not open prior to 6 a.m. each morning and will close at 10 p.m. each night. Everyone must leave the…
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Dogwood parade, coronation this weekend

All manner of vehicles and floats will be on display during the Queen’s Parade on Saturday. BOOSTER FILE PHOTO | JIM POWERS By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com WOODVILLE – This weekend will see the coronation of a new Dogwood Queen. The annual Dogwood Festival, which celebrates its third and final weekend as “Queen’s Weekend,” will take…
All manner of vehicles and floats will be on display during the Queen’s Parade on Saturday.  BOOSTER FILE PHOTO | JIM POWERS

Sting operation nets prostitution charge

STOCK PHOTO By Emily Banks Wooteneditor@polkenterprise.com The Livingston Police Department, with assistance from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a sting operation at the Su Massage Parlor located at 913 N. Washington Ave. on March 28. One female, Shijiao Jiang, 65 of Livingston, was arrested and charged with prostitution which is a…
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Deadline approaching for SBA drought loans

Special to the News-Times SACRAMENTO — Francisco Sánchez Jr., associate administrator for the Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience at the Small Business Administration, today reminded small nonfarm businesses in 53 Texas counties and neighboring parishes in Louisiana of the April 22, 2024, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan…
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Western Weekend Kicks Off Friday

Special to the Booster WOODVILLE – The Tyler County Dogwood Festival Western Weekend, which is the second weekend of the festival, is this weekend, running March 29-30. The Western Weekend Parade is an event that many spectators attend every year and has been around for more than 60 years. In 1958, 75 horseback riders formed on Highway 190 West at…
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White named ‘Mr. East Texas’

By Chris Edwardsnews@tylercountybooster.com WOODVILLE – Former State Rep. James White has another honor to add to his already impressive mantle or brag wall – that of Mr. East Texas. Last week, the Dogwood Festival board of directors made its announcement that White has been bestowed the title for the 2024 festival year. White, a Hillister…
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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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