Got some sad news this past week.
Wes McComb, a columnist for The Slidell Independent on our “Slidell Inspiration” page, is moving to Kerrville, Tex. and will not be continuing as one of our contributors to that page once he leaves soon.
Wes is one of the big reasons our “Slidell Inspiration” page has been a success, and actually, one of the reasons that it even has survived from the beginning of the paper in January, 2009.
When I made a decision in January, 2009 to start publishing The Slidell Independent, one of the things I always wanted to offer the community was an opportunity for pastors to write a free column.
As a Christian person myself, I approach my job doing my best to put God first in all that I do, and with the incredible opportunity to make decisions on what gets printed in a local paper, I always thought it would be right for me to use the paper to spread that kind of message.
So I publicized the fact that we would accept column contributions from local pastors, or church leaders, who could write some kind of inspirational column. We would run it for free, and even give your church a bit of a plug at the end of the column.
Knowing there are over 100 churches in Slidell, I was certain I would have to alternate columnists each week and have dozens of contributions.
Instead, it was a struggle from day one to get three or four columns a week to fill the page. But one of the people who contacted me and wanted to write was Wes. He wasn’t a church pastor, but a devoted Christian man who attended Christ Episcopal Church in Slidell. He had some short, spiritual writings he had finished from the past, and saw the column as a door God had opened for him to be used in that manner.
I was thankful Wes was one of several people who offered to contribute a column, and fortunately, we slowly got others who had been writing for us since that time.
I am sorry to see Wes leave since he has been a faithful man when it comes to sending his column in, along with a handful of other wonderful pastors who have consistently sent in a column every week, or often enough to help our “Inspiration” page continue to “inspire.”
I can’t count the number of people on the streets who have commented to me about the page, and how much they look forward to it. Thanks to people like Wes, Pastor Morris and a handful of others, our page is continuing now and doing well.
I am still interested in others to contribute, so if you are reading this and are a pastor, church leader, or just someone who could write an inspirational, Christian column, we would love to have your contribution. You don’t have to do it every week. For that matter, my initial hope was to have dozens of different people contribute, taking the burden off one or two, and giving our readers some great variety on different weeks.
If you want to contribute, e-mail me at the address at the end of this column.
In the meantime, thanks Wes for your faithful work, and good luck in the future.
My condolences go out to the “family” of Christine Curran Blue at Bayou Country General Store on East Howze Beach Road, just off the Oak Harbor exit in Slidell.
Christine passed away on May 19 after a battle with cancer, and is a sweetheart who will be missed by all who knew her.
I got to know Christine after starting the newspaper in 2009. She was one of our first advertisers and was a great supporter to our efforts to start our little business.
I would occasionally stop to talk with her at the store from time-to-time when bringing the papers there and she always struck me as a very intellectual type who was a deep thinker. For that matter, she was getting alternative cancer treatment at a clinic out West, which apparently had great success early on in her fight against the cancer.
One thing I could tell when stopping by the Bayou Country store is that it was a little family atmosphere, not just for the follks who stopped by, but especially among the employees. As a man who has been the “boss” at a work place, I know that the tone for that kind of atmosphere is set at the top and it’s clear Christine was the one who made it that way. I enjoyed the talks we had and will miss the opportunity for that in the future.
My condolences to her immediate family, and the “family” at Bayou Country.
One thing about heading the operation at The Slidell Independent is that I have had to occasionally inform people from Covington or Mandeville, or even further away, that we don’t report news from out of this area.
But I have made an occasional exception to that rule when something is extremely worthwhile and I have one of those examples now.
Victoria Langlinais, a friend of mine from the Silver Slipper Casino who is their marketing director, sent me a flyer this week seeking information about a missing 21-year-old woman, Mickey Shunick, who is a close friend of hers.
Mickey lives in the Lafayette area and was riding a black and gold Schwinn bike with glittery gold handlebars on May 19 before she disappeared, and has not been seen since.
She is 5-1, weighs 115 pounds and has shoulder-length, curly blonde hair and blue eyes.
Lafayette Police are seeking her whereabouts, and you can see her picture if you go online to theadvertiser.com, which is the Lafayette newspaper.
Even though we are pretty far from Lafayette, Victoria has asked me to publicize this situation even for any remote hope of getting a clue from here. If you have any information about Mickey, please call Lafayette Police at 337-291-8633.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org