Our Love Note to Downtown Kilgore


In 1955, soon after graduating from Southwestern Medical School and interning at Baylor Hospital, my Daddy set out to find a town to set up his practice and raise his growing family. His father was a successful neurosurgeon in Fort Worth. He desired a different experience for his new career in the medical profession. He wanted a much smaller town environment so he could get to know the families a little more in his general practice.  When he drove into the town of Kilgore, he quickly knew that this would be the place. He loved the tall pine trees and the vibrant downtown that was sprinkled with even taller oil derricks. He quickly moved his family from Dallas and opened up his practice that would continue for almost 40 years. He spent countless hours in Roy H. Laird Memorial Hospital where he tended to so many families that he had grown to love like his own family. He passed away in 1996. He raised nine children in a town that he was so happy to call home.

I can only imagine how different my life would have been if my Dad would have picked a town other than Kilgore. I would have never met all the families that helped raise my brothers and sisters and help shape us into who we all are today.

A strong sense of community and even stronger work ethic is apparent here. I am certain that these traits come from the cyclical nature of the oil business. Most of the families that are around here for any length of time have experienced for themselves the booms and busts associated with the oil business. Everyone suffers when there are leaner times and appreciates the boom periods when the price of a barrel of oil is lot higher.

In my opinion, this is the common bond that seems to bring the town together.

In recent years, the city has taken on a careful revitalization project that would help move its citizens to the downtown area. It has improved sidewalks, held festivals, installed street lights.replicated the oil derricks and added lights. The city has attracted new businesses in an effort  to make Kilgore the vibrant hub that it once was when oil was first discovered in 1930.

When I went home for Christmas, I couldn’t believe the transformation that had taken place. The city was alive and buzzing with traffic and visitors from all over the country.

Shortly after the holidays, some friends of mine were discussing how much fun we had all had and how excited we were about all the recent changes to our hometown of Kilgore. This is when I got the idea to ask my friends who had grown up with me to help me show off our city for Livin’ Sassy. I wanted them to model the clothes from some of the downtown stores while they posed for pictures around all the wonderful landmarks. We could then have lunch and do what we do best; talk, laugh, talk some more and hug and then all go home!

We had so much fun and they posed for so many pictures that it took the entire day.  I have decided to break them up in three different posts.

This first post showcases the many landmarks of downtown. The next two posts will be about the  places to shop and eat while you are downtown. I am so thankful to my friends that took part of their spring break and some of them even took a day off of work so we could all show how much we love our small town. We were all so eager to brag about a little place we will always call home.  My friends are all beautiful souls and I am so very blessed to have known them my entire life.

We hope you can come and visit real soon and see for yourself!


Our first model is Joy.

She is standing on the balcony of what used to be Longhorn Drug.

Aren’t the new street lights just beautiful?









Melissa is posing in front of one of the newer stores, J and Co.

The First Baptist Church’s steeple in the background.

Her Mom was the quintessential sassy lady.







Sally has some of the replicas of the World’s Richest Acre oil derricks in the background behind her.










Vickie looks at ease showing you the beautiful outside of the store, Two O Five.

The store is even more beautiful inside, with lots of unique home furnishings.










Cheryl is shown with a splendid view of downtown and the old Crim Theatre.

It is not open for business but is vividly lit up at night.










Terri shows us the details on the doors of the Texan Theater that is decorated in a western theme.

We all have so many cherished memories of watching our first movies in this building.

Hopefully, the theater will be opened again some day.









We leave you with a group shot outside one of the many beautiful buildings in downtown.

Our next posts will give you more details about the clothes our models are wearing in these pictures

. We will also show you inside the restaurants,stores and coffee shop.

We all enjoyed such a wonderful day in our hometown!

We hope you come and visit real soon.


Stay Sassy Y’all.














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  1. Jane Lane says:

    Oh, just loved every word. It was a thrill to hear about our city. Ya’ll come visit sometime. A visit during the Texas Shakespeare Festival in the summer is a wonderful time.

  2. Cheryl Manker says:

    I had so much fun! There is such a sense of community in my hometown! People that had no idea who we were were so supportive! They call it “Southern Hospitality” for a reason! Come to Kilgore and see for yourself!

  3. Melissa Stewart says:

    I just want to tell you Laura thank you for bringing all of us together and taking our picture. It’s been a long time since I had seen some of you. I just wanted everyone to know that I had a blast and we really need to get together more often. Loved it Loved it.

    • Oh I am so glad Melissa! I swear this has been the best part of Livin’ Sassy. Bringing my friends together that are busy Moms and making them stop for a day to just be with your friends. Don’t you just feel like a supermodel by the end of it all! I just love taking pictures of women our age. There is such a beauty and confidence about us~life has thrown us some curve balls and we are still here and smiling! Love you!

  4. I loved the pictures! Great intro about your dad, Laura! He must have been quite a man and an amazing doctor!

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