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The Paris Junior College History Department, in a continuing project, collects oral histories from Lamar County veterans of World War II. In recordings and transcripts, the veterans bring to life what it meant to serve 60 years ago.

Listed below are links to historical and genealogical societies and related groups and institutions within the Paris Junior College service area.


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Guns and the politics of fear

Posted 04.10.07 at 10:04 AM

By Rick Duren

Texas possesses the dubious honor and distinction of having more inmates on death row than any other state. Now, the Legislature is considering the granting of further rights of execution in the form of the new legislation which bestows the right to kill in “presumption of self defense.”

Texans are universally identified with guns. More than once, I have had visitors from other parts of the country and the world remark on the number of pickup trucks with gun racks behind the seat: “With guns in them!”

There is a disturbing problem emerging, whereby legislators seem to be creating laws driven by the politics of fear.

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The Mushroom Incident

Posted 04.05.07 at 1:48 PM

By Jennifer LaRue

I’ve always been told that the average person doesn’t have the capability to recall memories before the age of three. However, this is not the case for me.

Maybe I can’t recall all the details of this memory, but I do remember something that stands out from my early childhood. My older sister (my only sister at the time) Andrea and I were playing outside in the backyard of our old house on Sycamore Street in Paris, Texas. My mother, Ella, was sitting on the back porch watching us play together when, for some reason, she had to run in the house for a second or two. She asked my sister, who is two years older than I am, to watch me while she went inside. “O.K., I’ll watch her,” said Andrea.

Not long after our mother went inside, Andrea approached me with one of the large white, spongy mushrooms that grew in our backyard. “Eat it. Eat it, Jennifer!” she taunted me.

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Memories of after-lunch stories

Posted 04.05.07 at 1:41 PM

By John A. Koehn

The earliest scene I can remember happened when I was approximately three years old (1989) at our home in Petty, Texas.

My mother, Catherine Leah Kanagy Koehn, quit working when her children were born so she could care for them. During my growing-up years, she would read stories to me, such as tales of Johnny Appleseed or Davy Crockett, almost every day after lunch, and I remember sitting beside her on the couch as she read to me.

While she read to me, she was feeding my sister, Melody, a little girl with blue eyes and blonde hair who was about two years younger than me. I remember the sun shining down on us through the south window and how good it felt. I remember thinking how pretty Melody looked with the sun shining down on her face as Mama held her. I remember feeling happy because I had a sister.

I do not know why this one scene stands out to me, because it happened nearly every day. I suppose I was becoming aware of how I loved others in my family and that they loved me. It has remained with me, as I have grown older, because it seemed special to me, an almost perfect picture, a symbol of what a home should be.

John A. Koehn is a freshman foreign language student from Sumner, Texas.

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It’s up to the parents

Posted 02.06.07 at 6:54 PM

By Samantha Robbecke

Like many other good things, especially on the Internet, MySpace does present certain dangers. It is hard not to find something these days that doesn’t pose some sort of threat to teens and young adults.

The word is out that millions of people, a majority being minor-aged teens, are using this Web site, so, of course, predators are predictably going to flock to MySpace. It has somewhat become the new carnival or city park, a place where teenagers and younger kids meet up, and older sexual predators take advantage of their “safe” surroundings.

Any major point of interest for teenagers will attract these sorts of “individuals,” so honestly, what is with these ridiculous lawsuits? Should a person sue the park in which their child was abducted? No, just like everywhere else, it is primarily the parents’ job to keep their kids safe.

If parents are afraid of MySpace, they should take certain Internet precautions. There is so much software out today that can be used to protect children and teens on the computer that there can be no excuse for parents not to be responsible for their own children both on and off the computer.

Samantha Robbecke is a freshman general studies student from Paris, Texas.

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Be careful while on MySpace

Posted 02.06.07 at 6:49 PM

By Deborah Crowell

Although MySpace is a great time killer, I would have to agree with Tommy Felts (freelance columnist based in the Kansas City area) that it should be considered more a danger.

About two months ago, I started my own MySpace web page. I met lots of new people, got in touch with some old friends, and vented about my daily life. Every day I was eager to find out who had left me a comment or had messaged me.

It wasn’t too long before I started receiving messages that made me uncomfortable. People would get mad when I wouldn’t go on a date with them. New users who wanted to be my friends turned out to actually be links to pornographic websites. At one point, a new friend even showed up at my work unannounced to “meet me.” It was very creepy.

Now, as for the young girls mentioned in this article, (“ A Place for Friends and Predators”) I believe they made very unwise decisions in meeting their “online friends.” Their parents should have kept a better eye on what their children were getting into.

I have a daughter. If she decides some day that she wants to MySpace or chat with people, I will closely monitor the conversations, and of course, we should only have people we are acquainted with to be our “friends.” If people and parents are more cautious, then MySpace dangers should not be a problem. However, just so you know, I deleted my account.

Deborah Crowell is a freshman pre-nursing major from Paris, Texas

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