Louisiana Stories

A Good Term: It is a Privilege

It is a privilege… When we count our blessings, we’ll realize how many we have. With that on my mind, I’ve been stuck on this wonderful phrase, “It is a privilege.” I find myself applying those words to every opportunity, challenge, problem, and joy I encounter on this rocky yet wonderful road of life. It’s a privilege to ___________. “IAP” …

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The Big Rocker at DC Camp

Sitting in the Big Chair Our grandson, Jack Iles, is shown with his new friend, Addie Soileau today at Dry Creek Baptist Camp. Today was catfish lunch at the Camp and we had a good time eating and visiting. I’d like to share the story about this large rocker that sits on the Tabernacle porch. When I was manager at …

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What’s a “Baygall?”

A small baygall in a growing pine plantation near Dry Creek.   What is a ‘Baygall’? Most people today have no idea what a “baygall” is.When I speak to students and read a passage from The Wayfaring Stranger describing a bay gall, they stare as if I’m talking about something on the moon. The No Man’s Land of westernLouisianais mainly …

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Joe Moore Camps Out

Joe Moore camps out at a bay gall. The following passage is from The Wayfaring Stranger. The Irishman Joe Moore, is wandering among the piney woods after crossing the Calcasieu River near Hineston, Louisiana. He had now entered the “No Man’s Land” of Louisiana which in 1849 was wild and unsettled. Joe sets up camp in a swampy area by …

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A Dead Beech Tree Bridge

A dead beech log across Crooked Bayou This companion passage to Joe’s visit to the baygall occurs over a year later in our story. It’s near the end of The Wayfaring Stranger. It’s my favorite passage and when I read the end of it to groups, their reactions are always a mixture of nods, smiles, and tears. Enjoy it! -C.I. …

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Terry marries Sara

Terry and Sara Iles We had a wedding today. DeDe and I didn’t lose a son, we just gained another daughter. It’s a bittersweet moment when your youngest child marries. There is a finality to it. We’ve had a partial empty nest for two years, but the nest became truly empty today at 10:00 am. And that’s a good thing. …

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Clayton Iles Memorial Highway

  Clayton Iles Bio I was recently asked by the East Beauregard Elementary Student Council to write a short bio about my dad, Clayton Iles. These students adopted a stretch of Louisiana Highway 394 named in memory of Daddy. Daddy worked with youth for his entire life. He enjoyed young people and was committed to teaching them about God as …

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The Sign Phantom of Dry Creek

The Sign Phantom It all began in the spring of 1974, just prior to my graduation from high school. A rainy April had kept the local streams flooded in “Dry Creek.” (The world’s most overworked cliché, “Well, how wet is it in Dry Creek?”) One afternoon I went down to the green “Dry Creek” sign that informs the northbound traveler …

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A Friendship Fire

A Friendship Fire Author’s note of 5/20/09 : This story, written eight years ago in 2001, is one of my favorites. It is especially poignant because our son Terry, who the story revolves around, gets married in three days. At the end of this, I’ve added a postscript about a very special friendship fire we had last night. A Friendship …

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The Writing Life: DeRidder H.S.

School’s out for summer… nearly Mrs. Shirley’s English class at DeRidder High As an author, I’m always involved with three (3) books at a time. 1. Marketing my latest published book. In this case, The Wayfaring Stranger. 2. Finishing up with my latest manuscript. In this case, A Good Place. 3. And beginning on a new novel. In this case, …

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Branded

Branded A lesson on keeping your mouth shut I came of age in the 1960’s and early 70’s. It was a time of great upheaval and change in America. I saw the events of this time one by one on TV – the assassinations and an unpopular war that brought down one president followed by the political underhandedness that brought …

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Revival in Shreveport Aunt Margie

Aunt Margie and the “Shreveport Revival” (Pictured above) My musical heritage. My great grandmother, Theodosia Wagnon Iles, on the fiddle, my grandfather Lloyd Iles “playing the saw” and my barefooted Aunt Margie Nell Iles Walker on the piano. This picture is circa 1950 and taken at The Old House in Dry Creek. The Revival comes to Shreveport This story on …

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An Unbroken Circle

The following story comes from my second book, The Old House. An Unbroken Circle of Music One of life’s greatest joys is gathering with friends and family to share together in something we all enjoy. It may be fishing, playing dominoes, or just eating a meal together. But anything we do with those we love multiplies the joy. Therefore, on …

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A Dropped Wedding Ring

A Dropped Wedding Ring I’ve spent my life sitting in the pews, and have seen so many interesting things happen. Most memorable are times when I’ve seen (or heard) items dropped in church. I’ve seen the embarrassment of ushers dropping the collection plate as the coins rolled all over the auditorium I’ve heard songbooks slap loudly as they landed on …

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