Saturday, June 10, 2017

Take a Trip to Scottsville Cemetery in Harrison County Texas

Victorian fencing and magnolias: Scottsville cemetery
With an urge to get out of town for a few hours, Steve and I piled into the Jeep this morning and headed for East Texas.

Steve has had an urge to visit an old general store in Jonesville, TX (that's another post to come) and so we headed west on Highway 80 (we don't like interstate) and overshooting Jonesville by several miles, we ended up first in Scottsville, Texas, which  is about five miles east of Marshall in Harrison County, Texas. There's not much to Scottsville and at its best only boasted about 300 people. What's notable these days about the place is the stunning cemetery there on Farm Road 1998.

The town of Scottsville was founded by William Thomas Scott who was born in Mississippi in 1811; his father, Thomas Scott, was a planter who fought heroically in the Battle of New Orleans. He sustained wounds from which he would never recover and died in 1823. His son, William Thomas Scott, went to work in a store in Mississippi which enabled him to prove himself, enter into a partnership with the owner of that store, and to save enough money to buy land. He married and brought his bride to Texas in 1840 where he founded Scottsville.

William Thomas Scott established five cotton plantations and he built a home that reportedly was modeled after Beauvoir, the home of Jefferson Davis in Mississippi. He was a proponent of the railroad and had an active legislative career, serving in the House of Representatives for the Republic of Texas, the state Senate, and in 1861 he was a member of the Secession Convention.

During the Civil War, it is reported that his plantation provided provisions for the Confederate troops.

Scott and his wife had perhaps ten children and the eighth was a daughter,  Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Scott who would eventually marry a fellow named Peter (Pete) Youree who was born and educated in Missouri. When the War Between the States broke out, Pete Youree was 17 years old; he volunteered to serve with Company A of Shelby's Missouri cavalry in 1861. He was wounded two times, once at Shiloh and once at Helena; by the end of the war he was captain of Company I, Slayback's regiment, Missouri Rifles.

Youree was honorably discharged from the war in Shreveport where he stayed and in 1870 he married Betty Scott. The Yourees began to establish themselves in Shreveport and Pete worked as a clerk, saved his money, invested wisely, and eventually established the electric streetcar system in Shreveport and he worked as Vice-President and later President, of Commercial National Bank. He was also instrumental in building the McNeil Pumping Station: Shreveport's waterworks, which is a fascinating museum to visit today.

Pete and Betty had two children, one son and one daughter, William Scott Youree (1872-1904) and  Susan Rose Youree (1881-1974). The son, William Scott Youree, died mysteriously in Monterrey Mexico which naturally devastated the family.

Betty was elected President of the Shreveport Chapter #237 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1898, a position which she held for two years, and then was re-elected as President of the organization in 1904 and served until 1926.

Pete Youree was obviously a supporter of the Confederacy and he donated a monument to the UDC which stands in Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport. That monument is similar to this monument that stands at the entrance of the Scottsville cemetery although the engraving is different, of course.

Confederate Monument: Scottsville Cemetery

The Greenwood cemetery monument names Youree as the benefactor while the Scottsville monument lists the names of the family's Confederate dead on one side...

Confederate monument: Scottsville

...and the other:

Confederate monument: Scottsville
And this inscription:

Confederate monument: Scottsville

Both were by Frank Teich and both have the lone soldier with arms at rest at the top.

Youree had an apparent love for statuary and classic art. The cemetery at Scottsville is a testament to that. The cemetery is filled with beautiful monuments and sculpture as well as a stunning chapel built in the memory of his son.

Youree Chapel: Scottsville

As beautiful as the chapel is, what most people seem drawn to is the weeping angel statue, entitled Grief, or sometimes called Weeping Angel.

Weeping Angel: Scottsville

Her arm is broken and she needs cleaning, but my goodness she is something to see.

She was sculpted by artist Frank Teich from Llano, Texas who also created many, many of the Confederate monuments in this area, including the stunning monument in front of the Caddo Parish Courthouse.

The angel is ten-feet tall and carved from Carrara marble from Italy. She reportedly cost $40,000 in 1904.

Weeping Angel: Scottsville cemetery

The cemetery is filled with beautiful sculpture:

Scottsville cemetery
A closer look:

Scottsville cemetery

...and monuments:

Scottsville cemetery

But that angel!

There are some tragic mysteries too - I was struck by these three tiny graves. Infant children - two died at age two and one at age 3.

Scottsville cemetery

There are many Confederate graves there, most marked with the First National Flags, likely from a recent Confederate Memorial Day event.

The cemetery has many other beautiful pieces of statuary and is quite old. The landscape is beautiful, atop a hill and filled with hardwoods, walnut trees, and magnolias.

It's worth the short drive from Shreveport to visit the Scottsville Cemetery.

Eric Brock: Shreveport Chronicles
Texas Escapes: Scottsville, Texas
Texas State Historical Association: William Thomas Scott Biography

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The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mitch's Masked Men Scrape Jefferson Davis From his Pedestal in a Failed Effort to Heal NOLA

Jefferson Davis monument removal: NOLA
There is something about New Orleans today that feels like a crime scene, like something terrible has happened there. It is a raw, sort of apprehensive feeling,  like you shouldn’t be there. It's like a gaping wound.

The twenty-five foot bronze statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was ripped from its granite pedestal about 5 a.m. this morning by city crews hiding behind masks as monument supporters quietly sang “Dixie.” Some stood and solemnly saluted the desecrated statue of Davis as it was moved to the flatbed truck nearby. 

Days before the removal, the monument was virtually imprisoned behind barricades and cyclone fencing after violent clashes between monument supporters and the Antifa/Take ‘Em Down groups.

Crews gathered around the statue just after midnight last night, partially wrapped the statue’s mid-section in green bubble wrap, tied a thick yellow strap around the torso, and lifted the statue, which was slowly spinning, Davis’s arm pointing at both demonstrators and supporters as the statue twirled in mid-air.  A makeshift crate was placed around Davis and crews lowered the statue onto the back of a flatbed truck and hauled it off to an undisclosed warehouse.

Arlene Barnum at Jefferson Davis monument
The pedestal is another matter – it took the untrained city contractors and firefighters several more hours to figure out how to remove the heavy granite pedestal which sat most of the morning with a limp strap around it while engineers phoned into television stations warning that if it was lifted it would probably tip over. It is as if Jefferson Davis himself was mocking them, declaring his right to be there as the inscription on the pedestal reads, “His name is enshrined in the hearts of the people for whom he suffered, and his deeds are forever wedded to immortality.”

Arlene Barnum was there last night. She came to New Orleans as soon as Mayor Landrieu had Liberty Place monument removed two weeks ago; she’s been there standing guard at the Jefferson Davis monument day in and day out with her battle flag and a growing crowd of supporters. 

Arlene is a 63-year old black woman from Oklahoma, an Army veteran, and a woman with Confederate ancestors from north Louisiana. She felt that as Davis was “the one and only president of the Confederacy,” she was obligated to stand with him. As she stood at the monument, Arlene has been called a variety of racial slurs: “Aunt Jemima” seems to have been the most offensive to her. Her truck tires were slashed, her cell phone was knocked from her hand as she tried to live stream, and she has gone without much sleep.

Pastor Larry Beane
Arlene has been dubbed “General Arlene” by some of the other monument supporters standing guard with her, and they have followed her lead. She has encouraged peaceful protest and non-violence.  “Fly those flags high,” she would shout, “Keep ‘em up! Don’t let that flag touch the ground!” Last night she had Pastor Larry Beane from Salem Lutheran Church lead the crowd in a prayer service before the city workers came to dismantle the monument.

Mitch Landrieu spent the evening hobnobbing with donors at the home of Mary Matalin and James Carville for Mitch Landrieu’s NOLA Pac.

This morning Landrieu issued a statement:
After nearly two years of planning and court battles, City officials began the process today of removing the three remaining monuments that prominently celebrate the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy.” The statues that are being removed were erected decades after the Civil War to celebrate the “Cult of the Lost Cause,” a movement recognized across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy.

There are four prominent monuments in question. The Battle of Liberty Place monument, which was removed three weeks ago, was erected by the Crescent City White League to remember the deadly insurrection led by white supremacists against the City’s racially integrated police department and government. The statue coming down today is the Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway. The statues slated to come down next include the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle and the P.G.T. Beauregard equestrian statue on Esplanade Avenue at the entrance to City Park. 
“Three weeks ago, we began a challenging but long overdue process of removing four statues that honor the ‘Lost Cause of the Confederacy.’ Today we continue the mission,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “These monuments have stood not as historic or educational markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in celebration of it. I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it. To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in some of our most prominent public places is not only an inaccurate reflection of our past, it is an affront to our present, and a bad prescription for our future. We should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past.”
Steps of Jefferson Davis monument

This is a terrible slippery slope and there will be no end to it. Soon New Orleans will be no different and no more unique than any other city in the country once it is cleansed by Landrieu and his cronies. Well, except for the highest murder rate distinction; there's still that. It's clear by his statement that Landrieu totally misunderstands the purpose of the monuments. They were not erected to promote white supremacy but to honor the dead who fought to defend their homes and families.

It's not only that Landrieu is trying to rewrite and erase history, which as we all know is a mistake and impossible, but the fact that he cares so little about the constituency in New Orleans that is troublesome.  Remember, this issue was never put before the voters but was decided by a city council after very limited public input sessions. The outrage and protests on both sides have ripped the city apart and caused many to vow to boycott the city.

Interestingly, it's not the African-American constituency that it so outraged by the monuments but white, liberal young people who mostly make up the Antifa crowd and who have been the most vulgar and violent in all of the live-stream videos we have seen. If it is this group of people we are "cleansing the city" for, they can have it; I want no part of it.

It took no time at all for Google to change its page on the Jefferson Davis monument; by 11:15 or so it was already altered to "Permanently Closed." 

It will of course be interesting to see how fast the murder rate drops in NOLA now that two of the four monuments are down. 

Which will be next? Lee or Beauregard? Anyone want to make bets on how long Andrew Jackson gets to stay? Despite ones feelings about the message the monuments may or may not send, all of these are works of art that were commissioned by the people of the period, paid for by private donations and fundraisers, and presented as a gift to the city. They have stood for decades and have become part of the landscape and pay homage to those who came before us. 

Nothing is left of Liberty Place monument or the Jefferson Davis monument but an ugly concrete slab and ugly videos of TEDNola and Antifa acting in an ugly fashion.

What an improvement.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Remembering Leo Thorsness 1932-2017

I originally posted this eight years ago, in April 2009. Reposting to remember the life of Leo Thorsness who died today at the age of 85. Rest in peace, sir.

mentioned last week that I'd ordered Surviving Hell by Leo Thorsness; I finished it last night.

Thorsness, as you may know, was a POW for 6 years in Vietnam and was at the Hanoi Hilton. I was lucky enough to meet him several years ago when he came to the school where I teach to speak to our students.

NRO recently excerpted the chapter where Thorsness and his cellmates (at times he was in solitary and other times with cellmates) were determined to have a church service on Sundays.

Thorsness has an easy writing style; the book reminded me of Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell in the fact that I just could NOT put it down. I couldn't put Lone Survivor down until "I" got Marcus off the side of that mountain in Afghanistan and I was the same way with Leo. Until "I" got him out of that cell, I had to keep reading.

He tells you, of course, that he was tortured and a little about that, but that's not the focus of the book.  He writes of how they got through the days (the "Tap Code" was like POW texting! An ingenious system!) As Gary Sinise said in his jacket-blurb: "Surviving Hell tells it like it was in combat and in prison, but the story is also uplifting and helpful for anyone going through tough times. Leo is a survivor who shows us that, even in hell, we are much stronger than we think."

At 127 pages, there's no excuse for anyone not to read this book.

I'll leave it with this story he told about his cellmate Mike. Mike scrounged a small piece of fabric from the bath area one day. All the cellmates pitched in a tiny chip of precious soap so Mike could wash his fabric.

"Mike scrounged a small piece of red roof tile and laboriously ground it into a powder, which mixed with a bit of water, became a faded red or maroon color to make the flag's stripes. We had gotten a bit of medicine in the last year of our captivity, usually a blue pill of unknown provenance prescribed for afflictions. Mike patiently leached the color out of one of the pills and used it to make a blue square in the upper left of the handkerchief. With a needle made from bamboo wood and thread pulled from our single blanket, he stitched little white stars on this field of blue."

It took Mike a couple of weeks to make that flag, working secretly so the guards would not know, and when he proudly showed it to his cellmates, some of them cried. When the guards found the flag, of course, Mike was tortured as he knew he would be all along.

It's men like that, and like Thorsness, that inspire me. It's men like that who I look up to and admire. Those are Americans.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

In Defending Jefferson Davis Arlene Barnum is a Class Act

Arlene Barnum: Keachi, La., April 22, 2017
On April 22, Arlene Barnum’s biggest problem was that she’d worn the wrong petticoat to the Confederate memorial service in Keachi, Louisiana. "I wore the wrong petticoat today," she told me. "This one's too long."  By April 30, that petticoat was the least of her problems.

Arlene Barnum is a sixty-three year old Army veteran and staunch supporter of Confederate history; her ancestors are buried in the Confederate cemetery in Keachi, thus her annual attendance at the memorial service.

After the memorial service, Arlene heard about Mitch Landrieu’s midnight grab on the Liberty Place monument and knew she had to go to New Orleans to stand guard over the Jefferson Davis monument. With her Confederate battle flag tied to a sturdy crooked stick, she has been standing vigil at the monument since last Thursday and she live streams every moment of it. "I have to document this," she says, "in case something happens."

As the days have passed, more and more people have come out to support her. Various heritage groups as well as many local citizens have come from all over the South, all with flags.

Arlene is a strong woman and is no stranger to violence. In 2015, Barnum and Anthony Hervey were run off the road near Oxford, Mississippi after speaking at a rally in Birmingham where Arlene burned her NAACP card. Hervey was killed in the accident and Barnum suffered a broken foot. Arlene posted a plea for help on her Facebook page.

In New Orleans, Barnum stands in support of “the one and only President of the Confederacy” and refuses to engage with the hecklers that come by calling her “Aunt Jemima” or worse epithets.  “Just don’t talk to them,” she can often be heard saying to other protesters standing near her.

Last night, Arlene was assaulted by an indignant young white woman who had just thrown water on a monument supporter. When Arlene asked the woman why she did that, the woman attempted to engage Arlene in a history debate. The conflict begins at 6:12 in the video. You can see the young woman admitting that she lives in the neighborhood and she says that she did indeed throw a drink on
Suspect wanted for assault on Arlene Barnum
another protester.

“Y’all can pretend this isn’t about race,” the young woman says.

“You wouldn’t have done that to me,” Arlene responded.

Other people jump in and the girl continues to defend her actions. The young woman insisted, 

“You can have a black person like on the front of your [F…] white supremacists bullshit but it’s still bullshit,” she says.

“I’m the one who organized this rally!” Arlene pointed out.  “That’s all right,” the girl said, “it’s still bullshit.”

Attempting to preach to Arlene, the girl said “The [f’ing] Confederacy was built on defending the interests …of white slave owners and a lot of white people defected from the Confederate army; in fact a lot of white people were held at gunpoint …and they hid in the hills so they didn’t have to defend the Confederacy!”

“Who held a gun at your head and forced you to pour water on him,” Arlene demanded.

“Nobody,” she says. “I chose to do that.”

The woman holds her hand in front of her face for most of the video but then she knocks Arlene’s
phone to the ground and smashes it. Facebook sleuths have posted a photo of her and reportedly, NOPD are looking for her, but I have my doubts.

Also protesting in New Orleans is Andrew Duncomb; he is also from Oklahoma; Andrew is a black man who has attended many rallies in support of the Virginia battle flag across the south. Duncomb calls himself Black Rebel and is less reticent than Barnum in engaging the liberal millennials who show up at the monuments to heckle him.

Last night at the P.G.T. Beauregard monument Duncomb and his group were pelted with paintball guns, rocks, and verbal insults. When Barnum was attacked she insisted the police take a report, but at the Beauregard monument, the police told Duncomb they’ve been told by city leaders to stand down. Duncomb said in a video that when he asked the police department why they couldn’t get help “they had said they have a stand down order from getting involved with any conflict between the two groups,” either the protesters for or against the monuments.  Duncomb promises a lawsuit to come because officers “took an oath to serve and protect.” He calls the situation a disgrace.

Arlene is okay – she is back at the monument today, in the rain. It will take a lot more than a snowflake with a mean stomp to slow her down. You can  hear the fatigue in her voice but you don’t hear defeat. She’s in it for the long haul.

As for Mitch Landrieu, I believe his position is a bit more tenuous than it was this time last week. The firefighter's union has come out against him and against his use of firefighters to remove the monuments.  Landrieu has much more national attention on him right now than he did this time last week. His cronies are being exposed. He is opening himself up to investigation on one front after another.

Will that stop him? Probably not. And this battle is far from over. With Take Em Down NOLA still clamoring for the renaming of many of the landmarks in New Orleans, and from listening to the vitriol coming from the millennials at the protests, it's clear that we have much work ahead of us to educate and protect. 

But Arlene Barnum? She's a warrior.  She has backbone and strength these punk kids have never seen before and she's doing it with class and integrity. She's schooling them: you can protest with  dignity and conviction and you don't have to hurl curses and insults, rocks, bottles, paintballs. 

Arlene Barnum is a class act.

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Previous Posts at DaTechGuy blog:
Mitch Landrieu Begins his Plan to Erase History in NOLA (4/24/17)
Mayor Landrieu's Plans to Remove Monuments in the Dead of Night Exposed (4/17/2017)
The Slippery Slope is Now Open (3/27/17)
A Disappointing Ruling from the 5th Circuit (3/13/17)
Still Fighting the Civil War (2/5/17)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Solution to 172 Murders: Equity Circles (12/26/16)
Removal of Historic Confederate Monuments in New Orleans Thwarted -- For Now (12/21/2015)
Report from Louisiana: Update on the Confederate Monument Removal Controversy (1/18/2016)
The Lives of My Ancestors Mattered Too (2/1/2016)
The Ongoing Battle of the Confederate Monuments: An Update (4/18/2016)
Confederate Monuments and Unintended Consequences (6/27/16)
Report from Louisiana: Revisionist History and Confederate Monuments (9/19/2016)
Report from Louisiana: Mass Shooting in New Orleans While Landrieu Fiddles (11/28/2016)

Previous Posts on This Blog:
List of Offensive Monuments, Streets, Names in NOLA Puzzling (4/23/17)
Confederate Monument Removal Scheduled for 1:00 a.m. Monday (4/22/17)
The Confederate Battle Flag Rises Again in South Carolina (2/6/17)
Can the Violence in NOLA be Alleviated with Equity Circles? (12/26/16)
Shreveport Work of Art Still Needs Funding for Restoration (10/22/16)
Can You Help Clio? Restoration Fundraiser is Now Underway (9/5/16)
Epperson Demands UDC Remove Confederate Monument Within the Year (7/6/16)
Epperson's Continued Attack on the Confederate Monument (6/22/16)
Report from the Caddo Commission Meeting in Which Ken Epperson Blasts "Jake-Leg Bloggers" (6/9/16)
Caddo Parish Confederate Monument Under Attack (5/19/16)
Joseph Welsh Texada's Life Mattered Too (1/31/16)
The Heartbreaking Removal of the New Orleans Confederate Monuments (1/17/16)

Craft Beer Catching on in Shreveport

The craft beer industry is on the rise across the nation and in the past few years the Shreveport-Bossier area has been the beneficiary of that. We now have three craft breweries in our area and within a slightly larger radius many, many more. In Texas, craft beer is a huge industry and you can plan an entire vacation travelling around the state to sample craft beer in cities from Nacogdoches to Austin, to Houston, San Antonio, McKinney, Dallas, and Fort Worth. There are over 100 microbreweries in Texas alone.

According to the Brewer’s Association, small and independent breweries grew by eight percent in 2016, and in 2015 the craft beer market was $22.3 billion dollars which is 21% of the market. That is getting into pretty big money. There are over 4,000 breweries in the United States. Bars are getting in on the wave too; The Round Bar in Shreveport has 60 taps serving craft beer. In Des Moines, El Bait Shop, has over 200 craft beers on tap. Shreveport-Bossier is a little behind the curve in embracing craft beer but now that it’s finally here the public is supporting it in a big way.

The first craft brewery to open a tasting room in Shreveport was Great Raft Brewing in October 2013. Bossier City’s first craft brewery, Flying Heart, opened in Spring 2015. Our third brewery, Red River Brewing, licensed the day before Great Raft in 2013 but opened their tasting room in
The patio at Flying Heart
2016 just on the edge of downtown Shreveport.

Each of our three breweries have a distinct personality and ambiance. There are no beer snobs here: everyone who patronizes one of these establishments is a lover of craft beer – period. While the brew houses hope to make a profit, and a perhaps a living, each supports and encourages visitors from out of town to visit the other breweries.

This is the craft brew culture: of course there is competitiveness, but there is also support. In the eyes of a local brew master, “it’s us against the big guys like Anheuser-Busch.” It’s clear that Big Beer would like for the independents to go away. Sales of brands like Miller Lite and Budweiser are down and Big Beer is responding by buying out small breweries. Consider that in 2015 Time Magazine reported that Big Beer’s plans to quash the rising challenge from microbreweries included buyouts, and now in 2017 craft beer sales have declined slightly because of these buyouts:

“The [Brewers Association] reports that, in 2016, craft brewers produced 24.6 million barrels of beer, or 1.4 million more than the previous year. However, the craft beer industry also lost out on 1.2 million barrels that would have been considered ‘craft beer’ had their breweries not been acquired by larger corporations prior to the start of the year.” 

How is a little brewery to compete with Big Beer and why should we want them to? Craft beer is popular because each blend is unique. To qualify as a craft beer, according to the Brewer’s Association, a brewery must produce “less than 6 million barrels per year; not be more than 25 percent owned or controlled by a non-craft brewer; and brew beer using only ‘traditional or innovative’ ingredients.”

Strawberry Shandy with fresh watermelon
 For example, Flying Heart produces several delicious seasonal Shandy style beers which are very popular: the Strawberry Candy Shandy and the Blackberry Shandy they produced in the summer of 2016 were extremely well received. While  not always embraced by some craft brewers, the Shandy beers are often favorites because of their versatility and light alcohol content. On a hot, humid summer day in Louisiana, a Flying Heart Strawberry Candy Shandy with a chunk of cold watermelon floating in it can’t be beat. For the consumer who wants a heavier, stronger beer, Flying Heart’s Barrel 52, a robust porter with a whiskey finish, is the way to go.  That’s the beauty of craft beer – it’s not mass produced one size fits all anymore.

Red River Brewing has their own specialty beers with a strong line of rich porters, a popular wheat ale named Hay Ryed, and a German style lager, Heliopolis, which is very popular.

Great Raft’s popular Southern Drawl and their pale ale, Commotion are found pretty much everywhere in town: their taproom, restaurants, grocery stores, bars. As the only local brewery of the three to be distributed by Eagle Distributing, Great Raft is closer to the Big Beer model than the other two breweries. Eagle distributes Abita, Budweiser, Corona, Michelob, etc., as well at the Great Raft beers.
Red River Brewing Hay Ryed
 Against the big beer names like Budweiser and Miller Lite, the craft breweries work a little harder to get their beer, and their name, out there. All three breweries host events such as game nights, cornhole tournaments, local history seminars, and book clubs to help draw in customers. Food trucks are a huge part of the craft brew game: the two cottage industries often piggyback on each other.

With summer in the South upon us, take advantage of Shreveport’s growing craft industry and check out each brewery. Don’t feel obligated to pick a favorite: each offers a unique contribution to the craft industry and we certainly need to support local business. Take advantage of Flying Heart’s large patio from where you will soon be right in the heart of the very exciting Downtown Bossier expansion which is nearing completion. Visit Great Raft’s huge warehouse, play a game of cornhole, or sit inside their tasting room. At Red River, their large, brightly lit interior provides space for a medieval sticks game and cornhole as well as gallery space for local artists. They also have a patio in the shadows of I20 near downtown Shreveport. All three offer tours of their brewery.

Encourage your favorite restaurant to carry options from all three local breweries. If you don’t see the brew you want, ask for it. The craft beer industry has arrived and brings new and exciting things with it. We should all support that.