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Louisiana Railroad Days Festival

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These were a few of the old railroaders and their wives who attended the Old Timers reunion held Saturday during the Railroad Festival. They met in the Masonic Lodge Hall.

Ole Timers Reunion

By Lola Mitchell

The Masonic Lodge Hall was the gathering place Saturday for the 20th Ole Timers Reunion during the Railroad Festival. It was estimated there were between 60 and 70 attending the reunion this year, a lower number than in the past.

Fred Fluitt, who with his wife Lauretta organizes the annual event, emceed the meeting.

Mayor Jerry Bell welcomed everyone to DeQuincy and to the Festival and reunion and pointed out that DeQuincy did not receive as much damage in last year’s storm as did some surrounding towns.

Those named as having died since last meeting were Carl Lee Johnson, James Jordan, Kenneth Clarke and Harold Dunham.

Fluitt shared letters from Mrs. Irvin Guillott in Sweeney, Tex. and Gerald Irwin, San Antonio, who sent a contribution in memory of his dad and brothers.

Some letters sent out were returned, Fluitt said, and pointed out that correct addresses are needed to get letters to members about the reunion.

Because ‘we are all getting older’ and the lodge hall is upstairs, Fluitt said the gathering next year will probably be held in one of the churches to make it easier for those with difficulties to attend. Arrangements will be made well in advance of the festival and announcement will be made of the meeting place.

The crowd was entertained by Claire Galley and Hershel Frazier with guitar playing and singing and by members of the Beta Club/choir from DeQuincy High School, Kaci Kimball and Bethany Moses sang solos, accompanied by several choir members, which will be part of the Beta Club’s performance at national competition in Greensboro, N. C., in June. An offering was taken to help defray expenses to the convention.

Recognized as registering guests each year were Stella and Gloria Garsee and Carol Canerday.

Door prizes given by the Fluitts with assistance from Frazier included Union Pacific caps, a gift from trainmaster Bob Tippitt from Longview, Tex., and brought to the reunion by retired Road Foreman Phillip Kohler, and other items from the Museum Board. The UP tie was won by Curtis Briley.

Attendees came from Anchorage, Alaska; Angleton, Beaumont, Houston and Orange, Tex.; Merryville, Port Allen, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Eunice, Broussard, Sulphur, Pineville, Ragley and Starks, as well as DeQuincy.

A red beans and rice meal was prepared and served by the Flivver Unit of the Habibi Temple Shriners.

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