A Memorial Day Story Worth Telling: A Soldier’s Story

A Note from Curt: As long as I’m alive, the story of Sgt. Leroy Johnson will be remembered. It’s a story worth telling, worth passing on.  We need reminding that our freedom is never free. It’s important to remember stories of heroes who paid for our American freedom with their lives. It’s important to remember …

Dry Creek’s White House

“The White House” from Hearts across the Water Friday, September 23, 2005 It is just before bedtime on the night before Hurricane Rita slams into Southwest Louisiana. A crowd of fifty anxious faces stares into mine as they await words of wisdom from the camp director. The faces are each so different and individual. Some …

Stocking Stuffers from the Creekbank

It’s Christmas and time to help you with stock stuffers and difficult gifts. We are offering five of our Creekbank books for sale during Christmas. Each book is for sale at a discount of $10 per book and to encourage multiple purchases, there is a total shipping fee of $5 regardless of purchase size. Each …

Memorial Day- The Gift of Life: 24,550 Extra Days

Herman Clemenson lived 24,500 days after Sgt. Leroy Johnson saved his life on Dec. 15, 1944. The place was Leyte Island, Philippines. The story is one for the ages. 24,550 days. That’s a long time.  That’s 67 years and over two months. Close to a lifetime.  And Herman Clemenson,  a North Dakota soldier had this …

“Uncle Quincy’s Goose” from ‘Wind in the Pines’

  Uncle Quincy’s Goose   (From Curt Iles’s third book, Wind in the Pines.) “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” -Proverbs 21:23   You are probably familiar with the old story of the gossip who was confronted for spreading an untruth throughout the community. The offending “tale-bearer” apologized and …

Dec. 31: “Finishing Strong” Last Day of the Year

December 31 New Year’s Eve   Finishing Strong   Ted Williams is generally considered the greatest hitter in the history of major league baseball. Two events from his career speak about the concept of “finishing strong.” In 1941, Williams entered the last day of the season with a batting average of .3995. This would qualify …

Down in the Well

Down in the Well   “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”   Proverbs 3:4   My neighbor Dudley Mercer tells a story from his Dry Creek childhood.  His family farm had a 35-foot deep well on which they relied for all of their water needs. Dudley’s family …

A Short, but Unforgettable, Lesson on Prayer

Pray One for Another   “. . . And pray one for another.” (James 5:16) One of my favorite stories concerning prayer is told by my lifelong friend, Della Mercer. She faithfully taught the preschoolers at our church for years. Once at the end of a lesson on prayer, she wanted to finish the lesson …

A Hero and Patriot Remembered

  John McCain   He is a hero and a patriot and fittingly, he is being buried as one. John McCain, regardless of your politics, was a great American. Whether you agreed with him or not, he would do anything for what he considered his country. I didn’t always agree with him. I laughingly always …

Go Trojans! The ASH Streaker of 1976

Go Trojans!   I wouldn’t believe this story (or tell it) if I hadn’t heard it directly from Jimmie Hooks. Mr. Hooks was one of my Dad’s closest high school friends, a successful business in DeRidder (Big D Corral and Hook’s) and a fine Christian man.   I’ll let him tell the story as I …

The Pineywoods Manifesto: Trade Offs

“Son, there are two things you should never sell: a dog or a gun. You’ll regret it later.” -Louisiana Rural Wisdom Life is full of decisions, and each decision you make is a trade-off. You’ll gain some things while losing others. Seldom in life is any decision “a complete win.” To move ahead, you must …

A Remarkable Day: April 6 is Whipoorwill Day

A word from Curt This afternoon my oldest grandson Noah and I will slip into the edge of Kisatchie National Forest near Woodworth. We won’t have our guns. Turkey season doesn’t open until tomorrow. We’ll be there (rain or not) to look and listen. I’m taking him to the area where I encountered a herd …

‘Buried Hams’ A favorite story told by my cousin, Harold Iles, Sr.

The best part of writing about Pineywoods Louisiana is how my books open the door for others to tell me their stories. Most of my historical fiction comes from actual stories told by my friends, both old and new. This is especially true with A Spent Bullet, my 1941 Louisiana Maneuvers book. My cousin, Harold …