OBSERVATIONS by Robert
Wednesday, April 23,
Some time ago, Tedd Dumas
asked if I would be interested in resurrecting my "Observations"
column as a weekly feature on bdcradio.com. I thought about it a few
weeks, and then decided it would be something I would enjoy doing
I first started writing a
column when I worked for the Natchitoches Times in 1963 and
continued until I came to The Sabine Index in November 1964. I also
wrote a column when I was editor of the Current Sauce at
Northwestern in 1963-64. At the Index I wrote columns titled "From
the Editorís Easy Chair" and "Ballyhoo," before finally settling on
I intend to make
this column of interest about a lot of different subjects. If you
have suggestions, I would love to hear from you. Contact me at
email@example.com or call 318-332-8653.
And thanks to Tedd for
giving me the opportunity to again write the column.
You might say Ken Hale,
president and CEO of the Bank of Montgomery, really knows how to
throw a party. The recent Open House at the new full-service branch
located on the Hwy. 171 Bypass in Many drew more than 500
Someone described the Bank
of Montgomeryís entry into Sabine Parish as the arrival of "your new
hometown bank." Mr. Hale stated, "We are a community bank that
offers old fashioned bankingÖwhere we know you by name and not by
The Bank of Montgomery was
established June 9, 1903 in Montgomery, LA. The bank opened a branch
in Derry in 1996 and in Natchitoches in 2000, where it now has three
They opened an office in
Many last year as a loan production center, but itís now a
Mr. Hale is a direct
descendent of the Wardlow family, who was among those starting the
bank more than 100 years ago. Mr. Hale represents the fourth
generation of the family to run the bank, being the sixth president
and CEO. The bank currently has about $170 million in
Concerning the Open House,
Mr. Hale said, "We were more pleased than I can put into words. I
was personally humbled by not just the Open House and the turnout
and support from the community, but also how nice, gracious and
welcoming the whole Sabine Parish community has been to the bank and
our staff from the day we decided to open. The residents and the
local government have made our opening a huge success. My staff and
I will work as hard as we can to serve the market and be a good
corporate citizen and do all we can for the community as a
Mr. Hale said his bank
decided to come to Sabine because of the diverse market that fits
the bankís niche of providing quality banking services to rural
markets. He commented, "We felt Sabine wasnít being served the way
Bank of Montgomery serves our customers. Sabine has a mix of
agriculture, timber and consumer business thatís similar to the
markets we currently serve."
Ground should be broken for
a permanent building in late summer or early fall. The tract the
bank owns once housed the old Hoagland Store. The lot is large
enough to continue operating the temporary branch while new offices
are being constructed. The new building will look like the bankís
building located on University Parkway in Natchitoches. It will have
a little different floor-plan to allow for more office space, but
the exterior will be the same style.
Debra Funderburk is the
Many Branch Manager, Daniel Bennett is Vice-President and Commercial
Lender, Linda Guay is Vice-President and Consumer Lender, and
Tiffany Miller rounds out the employees.
Stephen Van Sickle, son of
Mrs. Don Burkett and stepson of District Attorney Don Burkett, has
worked for a Bank of Montgomery Natchitoches location awhile now and
recently received a nice promotion.
In closing, Mr. Hale said
the Bank is very pleased with business thus far in Sabine Parish.
Said he, "We are well above where we forecasted we would be, but
weíll continue to work hard to grow our market share."
Sabine Parish churches were
all packed Sunday for Easter services, according to reports reaching
At the First United
Methodist Church of Many, where my wife and I attend, Pastor Elaine
Burleigh said she had been called a lot of things since becoming a
minister, but said Sundayís experience topped it all. When she got
to Church on Easter and walked down the aisle in her robe, a child
approached her and said, "Hello, Jesus."
We were very fortunate that
someone didnít get killed or injured when the high winds came
through our area Friday night, March 29. The citizens of Many were
out en mass the next morning cleaning up debris.
A tip of the hat to Many
Mayor Ken Freeman for the great job the Town did in getting the
streets back open. And, last but not least, CLECO went all out to
get service back to its customers.
There are those who say we
had straight-line winds, others say it was a tornado, but my
neighbor Paul Gewin referred to it as "Wind Bursts." We agree with
Tractor Supply Co.
continues to get things ready to move into the old Wal-Mart building
on Hwy. 6 West in Many.
The Rev. Ray Spiller was
recently named Pastor-Emeritus of the First United Methodist Church
of Many. We add our congratulations to this honor that has been
bestowed upon him. He previously served for several years as pastor
of the church. He and wife Nancy are great assets to our
Clarence (Bronc) Gewin
of Pleasant Hill has been ill, but is now on the mend. It was good
to visit with him recently. He said something has been getting in
his cow feed, and he set a trap. He caught 16 coons, two possums and
Our good friend Pete
Abington celebrates a birthday this week. We wish him many happy
returns and a great upcoming year. One of Peteís sayings is, "Letís
do it while we can." We agree wholeheartedly with that philosophy
and trust Pete will enjoy doing all he can on his special
Bob Gates in his Easter
finery at Church Sunday: He was as sharp as a tack.
The Rev. Daniel Lowe,
pastor of the Many Church of the Nazarene pulled a cross through
downtown Many on Good Friday, signifying the suffering, crucifixion,
death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rev. Lowe has pulled the
cross through town for several years on Good Friday, and it is an
inspiring reminder of what Jesus went through for the redemption of
Thatís it for this week.
Thanks so much for visiting us. Keep in mind that if you have a
comment, suggestion or tip for a story, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 318-332-8653.