Cumbie introduced to Tech faithful

Wednesday proved to be Sonny in Ruston.

With a packed house on the club level of the Davison Athletics Complex, Louisiana Tech President Les Guice and VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood introduced one of the most innovative offensive minds in college football as Sonny Cumbie was welcomed to Ruston as the 34th head football coach in Bulldog history.

Cumbie has spent the past 12 years as an assistant coach in the Big 12, including two stints at Texas Tech (2009-13, 2021) and one at TCU (2014-2020). He has served as offensive coordinator the past nine years for the Red Raiders and Horned Frogs and worked under some of the top coaches in college football, including Mike Leach, Tommy Tuberville, Kliff Kingsbury and Gary Patterson.

“Sonny Cumbie is the perfect fit for our program, our department, our University, and our community,” said Wood. “Culture. Class. Competitive Excellence. He exemplifies all of these things. As our student-athletes, staff, and fans get an opportunity to know Sonny, they will see what we saw during the interview process.

“I’ve heard so much in the last year about the history of high-scoring offenses and hard-hitting defenses. Our fan base wants an exciting brand of football. They want to win conference titles. They want to continue to build upon the success we have had over the past decade. Sonny will bring all of that to Ruston.”

Cumbie comes to Tech after serving as the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech in 2021, including serving as the interim head coach over the final four games of the season. This was his second stint in Lubbock, after beginning his college coaching career with the Red Raiders in 2009.

He also served as the quarterbacks coach and the offensive coordinator at TCU during his seven seasons in Ft. Worth. And everywhere he has been, his offenses have been innovative and entertaining.

“Sonny Cumbie is a strong young coach who impressed us all with his depth of understanding and focus on the game,” Guice said. “His ability to recruit promising student-athletes and maximize their talents will help us continue to take our football program to a higher level of competitiveness. I look forward to seeing Sonny be the next in line of so many great Louisiana Tech coaches, and I know he and his family will be a great addition to our Tech Family.”

During his tenure at TCU, Cumbie oversaw the Horned Frogs’ quarterbacks and served as the sole offensive play caller each of the final four years. TCU boasted the Big 12’s second-best conference record (38-25) and its third-best overall mark (58-30) over his seven seasons, which coincided with six bowl appearances.

His impact was felt immediately at TCU as the program broke the Big 12 record with a 21.4 points per game improvement, the largest by any team nationally since 1999-2000 (Northwestern). TCU ranked No. 2 in scoring (46.5) and No. 5 in total offense (533.0) on the way to a 12-1 record.

“My family and I are extremely excited and honored to be the head coach at Louisiana Tech University,” Cumbie said. “We look forward to many successful seasons in Ruston with an exciting brand of football. I cannot wait to assemble our staff and get to building relationships with our players and the coaches across this great state.”

During his first stint with the Red Raiders, Texas Tech threw for more than 4,000 yards each of the four years while averaging more than 35 points per game.

“I’ve gotten a chance not only to experience first-hand the tremendous coaching ability of Sonny Cumbie, but also to understand how exceptional a person and leader he is,” said Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury. “Coach Cumbie is one of the bright young offensive minds in football. This opportunity is a great one, and I am excited to watch the success he will have at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are getting a good one.”

His passion for high-octane offenses comes from his playing days at Texas Tech.

After walking on for the Red Raiders in 2000, he earned the starting role his senior season and led the country in passing yards (4,742 yards) and total offense (4,575 yards) with 32 touchdowns. Texas Tech went 7-4 in the regular season and earned a berth to face Top 5 Cal in the Holiday Bowl, where the Red Raiders were huge underdogs. Cumbie completed 39 of 60 passes for 520 yards (still a Holiday Bowl record) and three TDs in the win over the Bears.

“Sonny is a fantastic choice for Louisiana Tech,” said current TCU and former LA Tech head coach Sonny Dykes, who coached Cumbie at Texas Tech. “He will connect with both players and recruits. His energy and optimism will be contagious and create excitement within the football program. Also, he’s a perfect fit in Ruston and will embrace and serve the community. I have no doubt he will be highly successful.”


Train crash kills Delhi resident

Earlier today, shortly after 4:00 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a crash on Speirs Drive just south of US Hwy 80 that involved a truck and a Kansas City Southern train.  This crash took the life of 55-year-old James Kelly of Delhi. 

The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Kelly, was traveling south on Speirs Drive when he failed to yield to the oncoming train.  The train collided with the driver’s side of the Chevrolet which caused it to travel into the ditch and overturn.   

Kelly, who was unrestrained, was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.  A toxicology sample was obtained and will be submitted for analysis.

Troopers want to take this time to remind motorists that trains can stop, but they can’t stop quickly.  That is why it is very important to look and listen for trains when approaching a railroad crossing and to always yield the right of way to trains.

For more information about rail safety or to request a free safety presentation, please visit the Louisiana Operation Lifesaver web site at www.laoperationlifesaver.org.

Buckling up is the most effective way to protect yourself during a vehicle crash.  Failure to take a few seconds to buckle up can have devastating consequences.  Louisiana law requires every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, to be properly restrained day or night.

This crash remains under investigation.

In 2021, Troop F has investigated 56 fatal crashes resulting in 67 deaths. 

Lincoln Lights Up The Pines starts shining tonight

By T Scott Boatright

The colors of Christmas will flow like an exhilarating holiday wind through Lincoln Parish Park this weekend as the seventh annual “Lincoln Lights Up The Pines” display is presented.

From 5:30 to 10 p.m. today through Saturday the display will be held, with admission fees at $10 per car and $20 per bus.

The driving path through the park will be lined with a multitude of Christmas lights and holiday decorations as well as some travel trailers joining in the festivities.

“Lincoln Lights Up The Pines” began as a team formed between travel trailer enthusiasts using the park along with the Ruston Chamber of Commerce, Experience Ruston, the park itself and other local businesses.

All fees will benefit Lincoln Parish Park. Life-sized Christmas cards created by Lincoln Parish Schools will also be featured as will a “Live Nativity” Scene presented by CenturyNext Bank on Friday and Saturday.

“It’s just a great thing for everyone who lives in Lincoln Parish, and it also draws in visitors from out of town and that ends up helping the whole parish just by them being here,” said LPP Director James Ramsaur. “Holiday lights are a big part of the fun of the season.”

The first outdoor public electric light Christmas holiday display is believed by historians to have been organized by Fredrick Nash and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce on Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena, California, named Christmas Tree Lane. 

That lane has been continuously lit except during War World II since 1920. 

The light display trend soon crossed the country and beyond. Annual light displays on Regent and Oxford streets in London, date back to 1954 and 1959 respectively.

All proceeds from entrance fees to “Lincoln Lights Up The Pines” will go back to the park for use for maintenance and improvements.


Junior Auxiliary seeks Christmas sponsors

Shine a light on Christmas Clearinghouse. Junior Auxiliary of Ruston is seeking sponsors to adopt children for its annual service project, Christmas Clearinghouse.   

Junior Auxiliary pairs sponsors with adopted children to make the children’s Christmas extra special. All it takes is $50 to change the Christmas experience for one child. Sponsors are asked to adopt, shop, wrap and deliver gifts of necessities to children nominated by their teachers. This year, more than 400 children in Lincoln Parish have been nominated.  

For those interested in adopting a child or family, please email cch@jaofruston.org for more information. 

Junior Auxiliary is a non-profit organization comprised of women who desire to make a lasting difference in Lincoln Parish by meeting the needs of its citizens, especially children.

 


LPJ returns to five-day publishing cycle

Starting this weekend, the Lincoln Parish Journal will return to publishing just five days a week (Monday through Friday).

With the end of football season, the LPJ will publish exclusively on weekdays with breaking news still being provided on Saturday and/or Sunday as needed.

We want to encourage our readers to continue to send us feedback: the good, the bad and the ugly. We want story ideas, suggestions of how we can serve Lincoln Parish better, and anything that our readers feel will help us as we continue to become the No. 1 source of news and sports in our area.

We want to thank your readers for helping us grow by more than 250 percent over the past three months and we look forward to continuing to grow as we head into 2022.


Traffic stop leads to arrest

On the evening of Nov. 30, a Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy made a traffic stop that led to an arrest due to an active warrant.

Deputy D. Johnston noticed a vehicle that failed to signal at a turn at the intersection of Celebrity Drive and East Reynolds Drive. The vehicle made a lefthand turn onto Celebrity from East Reynolds and then crossed the left hand barrier of the travel lane separating the travel lane from the center turning late.

Johnston stopped the driver and identified the driver as John C. White of Ruston. When his driver’s license was run through the dispatch, it was determined that there was an active arrest warrant through the Third Judicial District for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

A search was performed on the vehicle, and no contraband was found. White was transported to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center and booked without incident. Bond was set at $40,000.


Lewis, Reed, White finalists for BCFHoF

Albert Lewis, Jake Reed and Sammy White were among the 29 selected on Wednesday as finalists for the induction into the Class of 2022 Black College Football Hall of Fame.  

“Congratulations to each of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 Finalists on this achievement,” said James “Shack” Harris, BCFHOF Co-Chairman and 2012 Inductee. “Each finalist had a career that represents the very best of Black College Football.” 

The finalists were selected from a field of over 200 nominees by an 11-member selection committee composed of prominent journalists, commentators, historians, former NFL general managers and football executives. 

 Lewis, who played in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, played under Eddie Robinson from 1979-1982. He was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft (Pick 61) by Kansas City, where he was a four-time Pro Bowler, two-time First Team All-Pro and is a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame. 

Reed, who played from 1987-1990 under Robinson, was selected in the third round (Pick 68) by the Minnesota Vikings. He had four 1,000-yard seasons as a wide receiver, with a career-high 85 receptions in 1994. Reed played 11 seasons, splitting time between Minnesota and New Orleans. He amassed 450 receptions for 6,999 yards and 36 touchdowns. 

White, who played under Robinson, was drafted in the second round (Pick 54) by Minnesota and spent 10 seasons as wide receiver with the Vikings. He was a First Team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) selection in 1973 and 1975. During his senior season, White caught 37 passes for 802 yards and 17 touchdowns. In 1976, he was selected the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. White was a three-time All-Pro and named to two Pro Bowls. In addition, he is one of the 50th Greatest Vikings and part of the Minnesota Vikings 25th Anniversary Team. 

“The job of picking the finalist for selection to the Black College Football Hall of Fame becomes increasingly difficult each year because everyone on the list is so deserving,” said Committee Chairman Charlie Neal. “The selection committee has again come through with flying colors and we congratulate those who have made great contributions to the game.” 

This year’s inductees will be announced on December 28. They will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Atlanta. For more information on the Black College Football Hall of Fame and the Class of 2022 Finalist, visit www.BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org


Dogs dominate; Techsters head to ULM

David Green scored a career-high 19 points and Kenneth Lofton, Jr., and Amorie Archibald each added 15 points in limited minutes to lift the Bulldogs to an 87-60 win over Texas Southern Wednesday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.

LA Tech (5-2) continued to click offensively, eclipsing 80+ points for the fifth straight game while scoring at all three levels – from the field (season-high 33 made field goals), from beyond the arc (10 made three-pointers) and from the foul line (went 11-of-13).

It was the defensive end though that head coach Eric Konkol wanted to see cranked up a notch, specifically in the rebounding category against one of the best rebounding teams in the country in Texas Southern (0-7). 

“I was very concerned coming into this game because of what Texas Southern has shown in games,” said Tech head coach Eric Konkol. “They have played some really good teams, been ahead at the half in four of them and come down to the wire in several.  Rebounding was the biggest concern. 

“We challenged our team to fight for every rebound out there.  I thought holding them to just three offensive rebounds in the first half was a huge measure of where we wanted to be.  And we took care of the basketball to help us build a good lead and were able to extend it in the second half.”

LA Tech ended up setting the tone on that end of the floor as well, holding the Tigers to just 23 first-half points to help take a 42-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

Lofton, Jr. was starting to take over, juking his defender with the ball to make a three-foot floater to give the ‘Dogs a 48-30 edge with 15:09 to play.  He immediately came out of the game due to injury, but the offense stayed in rhythm.

Archibald took over for a stretch, scoring seven straight points.  The advantage continued to grow with scoring from all Bulldogs, especially Green who’s fourth (out of five) three-pointer gave the home team their largest lead of the contest at 82-47 with 4:12 to go.

Green ended up scoring a team-high 19 points while Archibald and Lofton, Jr. each chipped in with 15.  LaDamien Bradford and Kenny Hunter were not far behind with eight apiece, combining to make all seven field goals.

LA Tech heads to the west coast to face Santa Clara on Saturday, Dec. 4.  Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. CT and will be streamed on the WCC Network.

Techsters at ULM Thursday

The Lady Techsters will travel I-20 Thursday to face ULM in the 57th meeting all-time between the two women’s basketball programs. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 97.7 FM with the pregame show starting at 6 p.m. The game will also be streamed live on ESPN+.

Tech (4-2) leads the all-time series 47-9, including a 63-45 win over ULM last season in Ruston. Tech is 18-7 all-time against the Warhawks in Monroe.

The Lady Techsters are coming off a two-game split at the Rocky Mountain Classic with a 60-57 win over Boise State and a 58-49 loss to Colorado.

ULM (2-6) are undefeated at home this year, posting wins over Louisiana College and Centenary. The Warhawks dropped games to Stetson, New Mexico and Stephen F. Austin last weekend at the Van Chancellor Classic in Texas.

Photo: Sadie Patton


Center for Economic Research shows picture of state economy

The Center for Economic Research, housed in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business, recently published the 2021 Louisiana Economic Abstract. The publication is the first in an ongoing annual series designed to report state-level economic developments and the impact of policies in Louisiana. 

The report was written by Dr. Patrick Scott, the Center’s director and an assistant professor of economics at Tech. This issue of the Louisiana Economic Abstract can be downloaded at business.latech.edu/cer. 

“The Center for Economic Research has been publishing the Regional Economic Analysis of Louisiana (REAL) Report for three years,” said Scott. “As I talked with business leaders, policy makers, and journalists about the report, it became clear that a more comprehensive picture of the state economy could and should be painted.” 

While there are other reports that discuss the state of Louisiana’s economic situation, this abstract explains the importance of economic indicators using underlying economic intuition. The Louisiana Economic Abstract sits squarely at the intersection of economic rationale and data science, providing another dimension of economic welfare in the state.  

“At the same time, current conditions are placed in broader context with both recent and distant past performance,” said Scott. “Most of the other reports produced around the state tend to focus relatively more on specific markets and industries. While Louisiana does have a few industries that tend to drive the macro data, examining a wider cross-section of industries helps to better understand the evolution of the Pelican State.” 

The 35-page report analyzes three distinct areas of economy: output and income; employment and unemployment; and the housing market. 

“In short, production of goods and services is down, but personal incomes do not match that decline (this is not usually what we observe during recessionary phases),” explained Scott. “While employment has improved since the worst of the pandemic shock, total employment is still below pre-pandemic levels and growth has stalled. While much of 2020 and 2021 has seen robust demand for housing, the housing market is cooling across the state.” 

In addition to producing the Louisiana Economic Abstract and the REAL Report, the Center for Economic Research is a hub of industry and research expertise, providing economic analysis to private businesses, media, and government agencies in Louisiana and beyond. It serves to connect the University community with economic development efforts in the state by supplying detailed economic impact analysis of both private enterprise and government policy initiatives. 


Jack Frost in Paris

In the summer of 1929, Anne Parrish and her husband, Charles Albert Corliss, were strolling leisurely along the picturesque Seine River in the City of Light (La Ville Lumière), Paris, France.  They spent their time taking in the sites and browsing through the numerous bouquinistes stalls along the Seine River.

Bouquinistes, French for booksellers, have sold used and antique books in small green stalls which line the banks of the Seine River at fixed points since 1859.  Prior to that, beginning around the 16th century, bouquinistes peddled their books from carts along the river. 

Anne derived great enjoyment from looking through the stalls of old books.  Anne was a lover of books.  She was a successful American novelist and children’s book writer.  Many of her books appeared on the New York Times best sellers lists. 

In one of the 900 bouquinistes stalls somewhere between Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre, Anne saw the cover of a familiar children’s book which brought back memories from her own childhood.  The book, “Jack Frost and Other Stories”, was worn from age but still in decent enough condition.  It was a book like the one she had as a child in Colorado.  Although she had never tried to seek the book out, she had never seen another copy.  Her mind raced back some 30 years back in time to the Colorado Springs of her childhood.  She glanced at the book for only a second or two and her mind was made up.  She bought the book for a single franc.

Anne was elated to find a book like the one she had cherished as a child.  Her husband was less than enthusiastic and was “skeptical as to its literary value”.  Anne explained that she wanted the book not because it was an important literary work but for its sentimental value.  Anne’s husband challenged her to recall anything about the contents of the book.  She thought for a moment and remembered a story about a girl named Dorothy who hated her nose.  Her husband, still skeptical, shuffled through the book until he came upon the story of Dorothy, just as Anne has claimed.  Her husband knew it was useless to question her further and shuffled through the pages.  Just then, something caught his eye.  On the front page of the book, the flyleaf, he saw a name and address written in a childlike scrawl.  He looked at the book with a seriousness that took Anne by surprise.  Without saying a word, he turned the book around and pointed to the writing in the book.  Anne read the childish scrawl and was just as shocked as her husband.  Written in the book was the original owner’s name, “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber St., Colorado Springs.”  Anne had unknowingly bought her own childhood copy of “Jack Frost and Other Stories.”

Sources: 

1. Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa), July 28, 1941, p.9.

2.  Lauren Gray, “40 Amazing Coincidences You Won’t Believe Actually Happened,” Best Life, June 14, 2019, bestlifeonline.com/weird-coincidence/.

3.  “Les Bouquinistes,” Afar, accessed November 23, 2021, afar.com/places/les-bouquinistes-paris.


FBI warns of holiday shopping scams

The FBI New Orleans Division warns of cyber criminals targeting shoppers hoping to take advantage of online bargains and hard to find gift items for the holidays. Shoppers looking for a good deal this holiday season should also be aware of increasingly aggressive and creative scams designed by criminals to steal money and personal information.  

Consumers need to be vigilant in knowing who you’re buying from or selling to, be careful how you pay, and monitor the shipping process. Fraudsters are looking to scam victims through online shopping, charity, work-from-home, social media, gift cards, and smartphone apps.  As always – if the deal sounds too good to be true, chances are it is a scam. 

Consumers can do the following to reduce their chances of being victimized:  

  • Check bank and credit card statements routinely, including immediately after making an online purchase and weeks following the holiday season. 

  • Only purchase merchandise from a reputable source. 

  • Don’t trust a website to be secure just because it claims to be. 

  • Do not respond to spam e-mails or click on links contained within them. 

  • Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mails that ask for personal information. 

  • Be cautious of all e-mail attachments and scan them for viruses before opening. 

  • Verify requests for personal information from businesses or financial institutions by contacting them using the main contact information on their official website. 

  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country. 

If you suspect you’ve been victimized, contact your financial institution immediately, call your local law enforcement agency, and file a complaint at ic3.gov or the FBI (visit tips.fbi.gov or call 1-800-CALL-FBI). 

For more information on holiday scams, visit www.fbi.gov/holidayscams. 

Follow us on Twitter @FBI New Orleans for tips on scams and safety throughout the holiday season. 


Notice of death — Dec. 1, 2021

 Terry Lynn Nelson 
April 27, 1964 – November 28, 2021 
Visitation: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Farmerville, Thursday, December 2, 2021, 11:00 am 
Service: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Farmerville, Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1:00 pm 
Cemetery: New Hope Cemetery, 339 New Hope Road, Choudrant, Thursday, December 2, 2021 

Veronica Cregut 
January 24, 1955 – November 27, 2021 
Visitation: St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1:00 pm 
Service: St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Thursday, December 2, 2021, 2:00 pm 
Cemetery: Palestine Baptist Church Cemetery, 114 Palestine Road, Columbia, Thursday, December 2, 2021 

Ethel Evans 
September 15, 1923 – November 19, 2021 
Visitation: Friday 12/03/2021 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home, 1511 W. California Avenue; Ruston, LA 71270 
Funeral Service: Saturday 12/04/2021 1:00pm at King’s Funeral Home, 1511 W. California Avenue; Ruston, LA 71270 
Interment: Saturday 12/04/2021 at China Grove Cemetery, 699 Mondy Road, Grambling, LA 


LA Tech Sets Wednesday Press Conference to Introduce Sonny Cumbie

RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech will hold a press conference Wednesday at noon on the third floor of the Davison Athletics Complex to introduce Sonny Cumbie as the 34th head coach in the history of the Bulldog football program.

The public is invited and doors will open at 11:30 a.m. Fans should enter through the west side doors of the Davison Athletics Complex.

Louisiana Tech President Les Guice and Vice President/Director of Athletics Eric Wood will introduce the former Texas Tech record-setting quarterback and most recently offensive coordinator/interim head coach and his family to the Bulldog faithful.

The press conference will be streamed live on Facebook through facebook.com/LATechAthletics.


Leafing through your 2021, book by book

Is this the 12th month of 2021 or the 24rd month of 2020? When Waylon Jennings recorded “Stop the World and Let Me Off” in 1965, he was a man way, way ahead of his time.

Crazy, crazy …

But things are getting better, as evidenced by our annual Best Books of the Year list. You won’t find any pandemic-related works here like you did last year. Who can forget the 2020 bestsellers, like LOCKDOWN!: Your Place or Mine?, or 1,501 Ways To Make Banana Bread, or The Vaccine Two-Step: Let’s Give it a Shot.

And of course, everyone’s favorite recent trilogy, Why Masks Work and the sequel, Why Masks Don’t Work, followed by the recently published Why Masks Might or Might Not Work.

Crazy crazy crazy crazy crazy…

For years we’ve published our favorite books in late December, but in a rare moment of logical thinking, I figured it would be best to do this now in case you need a Christmas present idea. So …

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson was my favorite book of the year. Published in 2000 and on my shelf since, I just got around to reading it, about the Galveston hurricane, Sept. 8, 1900. I have a friend who’s read it three times, and I can understand why.

These others get four of five stars:

News of the World (2016) by Paulette Jiles, about a 72-year-old man in post-Civil War times on a journey from Wichita Falls to San Antonio. In small towns along the way, he reads the news to people who have no access to it. His companion is a girl, 10, kidnapped but now safe, who he’s returning to her family. She basically brings him to life again. I haven’t seen the movie yet, starring Tom Hanks.

Also The Music of the Statler BrothersAn Anthology (2020) by the retired group’s lead singer, Don Reid, and Songteller: My Life in Lyrics (2020) by Dolly Parton. And two books by the late Carl Reiner, My Anecdotal Life (2003) and I Just Remembered (2013). I listened to the authors read the Parton and Reiner books, which was part of the joy. Same with a couple of Dick Van Dyke books, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business (2011) and Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Living Well Longer (2016). Van Dyke will be 96 Dec. 13. Also Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, and Other Things I’ve Learned (2005), written and read by Alan Alda, if you happen to be a fan. Finally, This is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith and Life (2013), a nice surprise by the entirely likeable Gavin MacLeod from “The Love Boat” and Murray on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Same with the just-released The Boys, written and read by brothers Ron and Clint Howard, about growing up as child actors but mainly about their endearing relationship with their less-successful actor parents.

Loved it.

Other biggies:

Life Lessons (2021), a book of semi-Sunday school lessons, also by the Statlers’ Don Reid;

A Burning in My Bones (2021), the authorized biography of Eugene Peterson, translator of The Message, authored by Winn Collier;

Also The End of Me (2015) by Kyle Idelman, about the tricky business of dying to self, Improving Your Serve (2004) by Chuck Swindoll, and Anne Lamott’s 2012 Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. Pastor Tim Keller and others would suggest she left out confession, that;

Help, Sorry, Thanks, Wow would be a more exact title, but most all agree, including Keller, that it’s a thoughtful and most helpful little book.

Also four of five stars to Inside Comedy (2021) a semi-modern history of comedy by David Steinberg, The Only Plane in the Sky (2019), an exhaustive oral history of 9/11 by Garett Graff, Squeeze Me (2020) by Carl Hiassen, who writes brilliant novel after brilliant novel defending his native Florida, pointing out political absurdities in ways that are scorching and funny, and The Queen’s Gambit (2003) by the late Walter Tevis about a female chess prodigy. (The recent drama series on Netflix, set during the Cold War 1950s, is as many thumbs-up as you can give it.)

Three of five stars to The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (2020) by Erik Larson, The Dutch House (2019), a novel by Ann Patchett, and March Violets (1989), a Berlin noir-like novel by a new guy for me, the late Phillip Kerr, about his German private eye Bernie Gunther.

Finally got around to Moneyball (2011) by Michael Lewis; loved it. And Tobacco Road (1932) by Erskine Caldwell. Re-read The Adventures of Huck Finn (1884) by Mark Twain and The War of Art: Break Through Your Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (2002) by Steven Pressfield, always a good call.

See you at the library. Read on!

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu