About the Author

Courtney McNeal

Local esthetician offers alternatives to medical skincare treatment

Few things are more important in terms of how we define physical beauty than our skin. Whether our skin is oily or dry; whether there are some pimples or wrinkles we’d prefer to not have, the state of our skin has the power to make or break our self-confidence.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of skincare products exist on the market today, each promising to treat or cure whatever ails the consumer. However, not every product will work the same way for each person, if at all. So, how can we really know what works for us? Medical treatments are undoubtedly a viable option for many, but for those who wish to remedy their skin problems without surgical or other medical means, a visit to an esthetician is definitely something to look into.

DeannaSimply put, an esthetician is an expert trained in the cosmetic treatment of skin. When faced with skincare issues, many may automatically turn to a dermatologist. While the two may work together if necessary, their specialties are different. Whereas a dermatologist is a medical doctor who diagnoses patients, estheticians can help assess a client’s condition and offer alternatives to medical treatment, injections and surgery.

Luckily, anyone wishing to improve their skin without a doctor’s visit needs to look no further than Paris. Deanna Joplin has practiced as a holistic skincare practitioner in Paris for the past year, and currently operates independently through Red Roof Spa. Her specialties include anti-acne and anti-aging regimens and remedies.

Everything about a visit with Joplin is personalized. Whether you wish to rid your skin of stubborn acne or turn back the clock, she will work with you to discover which treatment option is best for you.

“I’m not a facialist. I’m not somebody you go to to get a relaxing skincare treatment,” she said. “I’m a person you go to if you want a marked difference in your skin.”

Each individual treatment generally lasts about 45 minutes, though the first visit generally runs longer due to patient assessment and education, according to Joplin. No matter what you go in for, however, you can rest assured that you will be in good hands.

The truth is, nobody wants acne. This affliction is generally thought to affect teenagers, but, sadly, not everyone outgrows it. Skin chemistry can change as a person ages, and so treatments and medications geared toward teenagers may prove to be ineffective against adult acne. No matter your age, Joplin can offer guidance on which products would be most effective, as well as various facial treatments.

“So, if you’re looking at anti-acne, we’re obviously looking to clear up the skin, to create remedies that are non-medical,” she said. “So, in other words, as an alternative to taking systemic medications, we use different services, different topical applications, chemical peels, [and] things like that to clear it up.”

Though acne can (even if rarely) affect people of various ages, specific skin conditions are more likely to occur the more a person ages. Wrinkles are probably the most common sign associated with aging, but, according to Joplin, the skin is affected both structurally and on the surface. Common structural changes include sagging skin, laugh lines, loosening jaw lines and overall lifting and plumping of the skin. Surface issues many may encounter include uneven skin tone, fine lines and lethargic skin. While changes in the surface and structure of the skin are unavoidable over time, through individualized assessment, Joplin can help combat them through the most effective means possible.

“…We use different skin care services, like micorcurrent face lifts, chemical peels, ultrasound, LED light therapy. What we’re looking to do is to affect either the surface of the skin, which would be wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores,” Joplin said. “Or the structure of the skin, which would be sagging jowls, folds, dark circles or bags…around the eyes. Just basically a lifting and toning of the whole face.”

Deanna2Many treatments involve surface treatment, but the path to healthy skin runs much deeper. In order to improve the outside as much as possible, we must also work on the inside. Knowledge of all that affects our skin- what we physically put on it, our diet, and our sleeping patterns- is essential. Through individualized consultation and assessment, Joplin can help provide you with vital information toward understanding your skin.

“…There’s a lot of lifestyle coaching that goes with what I do, and so there’s a lot of nutrition coaching, there’s a lot of supplementation coaching…” Joplin said. “You know, it’s about stress, it’s about sleep, it’s about juicing, it’s about different products that are safe, it’s about natural remedies, it’s about serums that we make together.”

There are many perks that come with working with Joplin-not only, as a client, do you have access to a professional skincare line, but you also get to be creative.

“[I] also work with clients to create their own products using ingredients for serums and masks that can be purchased at health food stores,” she said.

Anti-acne treatments range from $75-$100, while anti-aging therapy sessions can cost between $85 and $125. Clients who purchase sessions in a series will receive a discount. Though the number of visits is essentially at the client’s discretion, many may choose to continue treatment until their skin’s beauty reaches its full potential.

“And so, when people come to see me, it becomes part of their maintenance. When you have somebody that you use for your hair, and you see them every month, typically people will see me several times back-to-back-to-back until we get them where they want to be,” Joplin said. “Then after that, it’s a maintenance schedule. When they agree to see me several times, then they get discounts for series.”

Joplin also accommodates those who wish to change their skin on a more temporary level, and offers waxing (including Brazilian) and spray tanning.

So, whether you’re looking for an alternative to medical or surgical treatment or to receive invaluable advice toward understanding your skin, book an appointment with Joplin today! There’s no reason why you can’t be comfortable in your own skin.

For more information, contact Deanna Joplin at (903)436-1567

By Courtney McNeal, eParisExtra

Chamber of Commerce unveils new “Trolley de Paris”

Trolley (2)Tuesday, May 27th, was an eventful day for the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce and Paris Visitors & Convention Council. Attendees of last month’s “Live at Five” event (which lasted from 5-6:30 p.m.) were in for a special treat as soon as they arrived at the Love Civic Center. Not only did they have the opportunity to go on a virtual tour of the Chamber’s updated website, but they also received a first look at the new “Trolley de Paris.”

Whether you’ve lived here for six months or sixty years; whether you’re just visiting family or passing through, you will always be able to find something to see and do in Paris. With so many historical sites, beautiful houses, elegant churches to see and festivals to attend, it only seems natural that residents and visitors alike have every opportunity to take advantage of all the city has to offer. This is where the trolley comes in.

“We had been wanting a trolley, because in our pictures that showed Paris before the fire of 1916, there’s a trolley and so we said, ‘You know, we have to have this trolley’ and it’s been great,” said Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director Becky Semple. “Great taking people around and people in town that live here love getting on it and going.”

Guided trolley tours are relatively new in Paris, with the first one occurring in 2011. The trolley proved to be an instant success and has provided an average of approximately 30 tours a year, according to Semple.

While the previous 1984 model was much loved, certain upgrades were deemed necessary in order to provide the most comfortable experience for all involved. Eventually, a new trolley proved to be the best, most practical option.

“It was not air-conditioned, it was not handicap accessible. Of course it wasn’t heated, either,” Semple said. “It was fine, but this came up and it was just a great trade. Randy Nations of the Civic Center did all this finding and locating and they took our trolley and got this one with a little bit more for them.”

This newer 2001 model, transferred from Florida, promises to provide a much smoother, quieter ride, and guides will no longer be required to use microphones to be heard by everyone on board. Guests with disabilities can now access the trolley via an outward-folding lift; inside, two benches fold up to provide space for wheelchairs, which will be secured in place with safety belts. While its seating capacity is the same as its predecessor (126), it is much roomier, according to Semple.

Trolley (4)“It’s comfortable, the seats are comfortable,” she said. “The other one, some of the seats were real close…there were fixtures there in your way…and your knees touched the fixtures, and here it doesn’t do that, so it’s more comfortable.”

So, what does a tour on the “Trolley de Paris” entail? At any given time, one of five drivers and one of five guides will be on board the trolley. Passengers are able to hop aboard and take a guided tour of several Paris landmarks, including the Sam Bell Maxey House and Evergreen Cemetery.

“They want to see the fountain, the downtown courthouse,” Semple said. “Sometimes they want to see Campbell Soup and Kimberly Clark. They want to see Paris Junior College, where Davy Crockett took a rest before going to the Alamo; it’s right there by Paris Junior College. The Eiffel Tower’s the most requested and the cemetery.”

“We have like an hour and fifteen minute historic tour to go around and see the history of Paris,” Semple added. “The founding and how it’s laid out and just tell all the stories about how Paris came about.”

The trolley is also available for more personal uses, but does have to be reserved in advance.

“It doesn’t run every day like a transportation vehicle,” Semple said. “It is merely for tourism and taking people around historic places and, you know, entertainment…things like that.”

Different uses vary from wedding transport to field trips, from parades, to Christmas light tours to parties-yes, you read that correctly. You can actually have a party on a trolley as it drives around town!

Preparation for the tours is worry-free, as the trolley will pick up passengers virtually anywhere in Lamar County, so long as the proper preparations are made. Rental rates start at $75 for one hour and $125 for two hours. To reserve the trolley today or for more information, contact Randy Nations at 903.739.9912.

By Courtney McNeal, eParisExtra


Lamar County Spring Trash-Off this Saturday


Judge Superville stands in front of a pile of tires collected from last year’s Trash-Off. Photo provided by Jimmy Don Nicholson.

It’s that time of year once again! Step away from your calendar, you didn’t forget a holiday (though, just in case you did, Easter is on Sunday!). Rather, it’s time to get up, get dressed and help make Lamar County a little more beautiful. How, you may ask? This Saturday, April 19th, “Keep Paris Beautiful-Make Lamar County Shine” will once again sponsor its annual Spring Trash-Off. Everyone is invited to participate.

The event (held in the spring and fall) has been a part of Lamar County for over a decade, but many may still not be aware of its existence or even its purpose. To explain, let’s briefly go back a few years, to 1985. Seeking to combat littering on Texas roadways, the Texas Department of Transportation launched a statewide anti-litter campaign known as “Don’t mess with Texas.” This slogan has become well-known in Texas throughout the years, appearing on bumper stickers, highway signs, and even in celebrity-endorsed television ads. Since its inception, the campaign has helped to significantly reduce the amount of litter and debris on Texas roadways.

Each year, as part of this campaign, TxDOT hosts the “Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off.” Anyone and everyone who is willing and able can participate in this program. The official date for this spring’s event was April 4th, but the dates vary across the state, depending on the individual communities.

Jimmy Don Nicholson is the Community Service Coordinator for the Adult Probation Office. According to him, each year, the office receives a letter signed by all four Lamar County judiciaries. This letter requests that all probationers ordered to perform community supervision restitution be required to report to the Trash-Off. As an incentive, they are offered double community service hours’ credit- “two for one,” Nicholson said.

Court-ordered community service workers will sign in at 7 a.m. and will work either until noon or until all of the assignments are completed in a satisfactory manner. Everyone involved will leave with a feeling of accomplishment.

“It has been my experience that probationers leave feeling that they had made a difference in the appearance of our roadsides and community trails,” Nicholson said. “This is a service that we are glad to provide for the entire county.”

“However, even though the majority of those cleaning up the roads and streets will be probationers, everyone can play their part in this cleanup event. Volunteers are still needed and very much appreciated!

“Everyone is invited to come and participate. Some civic volunteers may want to carry a group of probationers out to a roadside cleanup site and this assistance is welcomed,” Nicholson said. “Roadside cleanup locations are not limited to those being offered by [‘Keep Paris Beautiful-Make Lamar County Shine’].”

Those wishing to participate and volunteer their assistance can’t expect to sleep in. Volunteers can arrive and sign in at 7:30 a.m. at the KPB/MLCS table, in the Home Depot parking lot. Here, they will receive assignment folders and trash bags. They may be picking up trash, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun doing it.

“Persons should pick a trashy roadside and come to [a] gathering point and team up with a group and go have fun cleaning it up!” Nicholson said.

Naturally, safety is a top priority to everyone involved, so safety meetings for both probationers and crew members will occur prior to departure.

“Everyone is urged to bring and wear gloves and to wear long legged pants and closed-toed shoes,” Nicholson said. “Be prepared for inclement weather and follow safety instructions.”

From 8 a.m. until noon, the collected trash can be brought back to the Home Depot parking lot for disposal. Here, soft drinks, hot dogs and water will also be available to the volunteers.

“…As the volunteers come back from cleaning up their assigned roadside they can stop by the refreshment stand,” Nicholson said.

According to Nicholson, there will also be an electronic recycling event for those who wish to discard used or unwanted electronic devices that cannot be collected during the Trash-Off. This event, known as “E-Cycle,” will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds.

Although there has been a slight decline in civic leadership since previous years, Nicholson does not anticipate an end in the near future.

“The civil leaders from our county know the importance of trash abatement. We will be there to help out with the event regardless,” he said. “It would really help out if more civic minded citizens would come out to help with the event. I think it’s a matter of getting the word out to the public about the event.”

So, whether you wish to help clean up the streets with the Spring Trash-Off or simply recycle your old computer or monitor, any assistance, no matter the capacity, is invaluable.

“’Keep Paris Beautiful-Make Lamar County Shine’ encourages all citizens of the county to get involved in a beautification project on the 19th and help make a difference where they live,” Nicholson said.

Keeping Paris beautiful: a reward in itself.
According to Nicholson, the timeline for the Trash-Off will be as follows:

7 a.m. – Court-ordered community service worker sign-in

7:30 a.m. – Safety meeting for probationers

7:45 a.m. – Safety meeting for crew leaders

8 a.m. – Assignment folders and trash bags are handed out to volunteers

8 a.m. to noon- Bagged and loose debris are brought back to the Home Depot and put into the collection container

Noon – Court-ordered community service workers can sign out after gaining permission to do so.


For more information about anything listed in this article, contact Jimmy Don Nicholson at 903.517.2394, Edwin Pickle at 903.785.6320 or the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about E-Cycle, contact Robert Talley at Paris Code Enforcement at 903.784.9219.

For more information about “Don’t mess with Texas” and its efforts statewide, visit www.dontmesswithtexas.org/.

By Courtney McNeal, eParisExtra







Sandy Creek Bridge on CR 16590 to be dedicated in honor of Duane Allen, lead singer of The Oak Ridge Boys


Final drawing plan of the plaque, as provided by the Southwell Co.

The Big Sandy Creek Bridge over County Road 16590 will soon receive a new name. On the afternoon of Tuesday, April 15th, the bridge will be officially renamed and dedicated in honor of country music artist and Taylortown native, Duane Allen.

The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. at the bridge, where a plaque detailing the location’s significance will be permanently placed and unveiled. The cast aluminum plaque is 20″ wide and 18″ tall, with a black leatherette background and will read as follows:

Award winning singer-songwriter-producer Duane Allen was born April 29, 1943, a few hundred yards from this bridge. Big Sandy Creek ran through the middle of the Allen family farm, where Duane picked cotton as a young boy. He learned to fish and swim in Big Sandy Creek. He rode over this bridge each day on his way to school. 

It was in this area that Duane dreamed the dreams that began a long and acclaimed musical journey. He learned to sing in this community. He graduated from Cunningham High School, Paris Junior College, and Texas A & M at Commerce.

Duane joined The Oak Ridge Boys in 1966, and the group went on to break musical barriers, not only across formats, from gospel to country to pop, but across borders, touring and winning awards internationally.

Allen is currently the lead singer of the Oak Ridge Boys. Founded in the 1940s (originally named The Oak Ridge Quartet), it is one of the longest-running groups in country music history. The band has lost and gained members, but it has held its current lineup for over 40 years. William Lee Golden, Duane Allen, Richard Sterban and Joe Bonsall have been together since the latter joined the group in 1973. Allen himself has been with the band since 1966, the same year he graduated from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University) in Commerce.

Ronnie Nutt, Preneed Counselor for Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home and retired Regional Director of The Texas Department of Human Resources, is a longtime friend of Allen’s, and it was he who brought the bridge dedication idea forward to Lamar County’s Commissioners Court. Since then, he said, Commissioner Lawrence Malone and County Judge M.C. “Chuck” Superville have worked hard to make his idea a reality.

“[I] just thought it was the right time to find a permanent way to memorialize his success in the music industry,” Nutt said. “…He still is introduced as Duane Allen from Taylortown, Texas and [he] always treasured the life and music values learned and taught by his family and friends of this area.”

The band has certainly had its share of well-deserved success over the years, including several ACM and American Music awards, and a Grammy award; it also had the honor of being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2011

“[Allen] is being inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame this summer and has already been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame,” Nutt said. “We anticipate [the group's] introduction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in a year or so…”

Still, despite all the success Allen and the band have had over the years, he remains the picture of humility. Nutt shared quotes from direct conversations he had with Allen himself concerning the bridge dedication. These correspondences prove that, no matter if you move away or how far you may travel, you never truly forget your roots.

“Ronnie, thank you so much for this huge honor. There is a wonderful feeling about a small-town boy being honored with a small bridge being named for me,” Allen said. “That just humbles me to the core. My family had its heart and soul in that community, just as all of the people in that area.”

Allen always retains his modesty, even when speaking with a close friend, as evidenced in another conversation between Nutt and himself:

“…I don’t really seek applause or honors. However, when it is done the way you have done it, I have done it, I have to tell you that it humbles this old country boy’s heart and soul.”

Commissioner Malone and Judge Superville, along with other county commissioners will be present for the dedication ceremony. Of course, what kind of dedication would it be without the man of the hour?

“He is bringing his entire ten-person family of kids, grand-kids, and son-in-law from Tennessee for this,” Nutt said. “Yes, Duane will be there in his Oak Ridge Boys tour bus.”

Before the official bridge dedication, the day will begin at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial, where Allen and family will take a private tour.

“I have been sharing with him the progress on the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial since it started,” Nutt said. “…He and his family want to tour it and honor their relatives who served by making a contribution and encouraging others to continue to support this project.”

From 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the Allen family will present a bench and markers for the memorial, and will then be available to the media for questions and conversations.

Directions to the bridge from US Hwy 82 coming into Paris: take a left on Loop 286 South as you go under Loop 286 turning on access road to the left of Burger King. Proceed on Loop 286 South for approx. 2 mile or so turning left onto Farm Road 905 as you pass a big green roof Covenant Christian Church on your right. Stay on 905 until you come to stop sign then take a left on FM 905 and travel approx. 14 miles on FM 905 until you come to County Road 16590 (green sign) take a right and the Duane Allen Memorial Bridge Dedication is at Sandy Creek about 1/2 to 3/4 miles after you take the right turn off FM 905.

For more information about the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial Public Event, contact George Wood at 903.905.2711.

For more information about the Duane Allen Memorial Bridge and Road dedication, contact Commissioner Lawrence Malone at 903.782.6557.

For more information about the Oak Ridge Boys or Duane Allen, visit the band’s website at http://www.oakridgeboys.com/.

By Courtney McNeal, eParisExtra

Lamar County Junior Livestock Association celebrates 46th anniversary with ribbon cutting event


Yesterday was certainly a day to remember for the Lamar County Junior Livestock Association. Not only did it mark the organization’s 46th anniversary, but it was also officially welcomed as a new member of the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce.

The ceremony was held in the Coliseum at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds. Chamber ambassadors and organization members alike gathered in the ring at 3 pm, anxiously awaiting the ribbon cutting that would mark this momentous occasion.

Phyllis Brumley, one of several directors-at-large who has been involved in the organization for 38 years, did the honors of cutting the ribbon. Though the Association has existed in Lamar County for nearly 50 years, Brumley stated that many in the area are still not aware of the organization and all the work involved. She hopes to raise awareness through this new membership.

“Since Lamar County is an agriculture-based county, we hope that by us joining the Chamber, this will make more people aware that this goes on. Some people here in Lamar County have no idea,” she said. “They’ve never been to a livestock show. They don’t know what we do, they don’t know how hard it is for these kids to show these animals and work these projects. They have to buy them, feed them, and it takes a lot of time, a lot of money, and also, it teaches them lots of responsibility.”

Simply put, the Lamar County Junior Livestock Association consists of all Lamar County 4-H Clubs and FFA chapters. Whereas FFA is a program associated with schools, 4-H is on a national level. According to 4-H director, Paula Sorreno, those who wish to participate in the shows must be members of both organizations in order to qualify.

“Here, all five school districts come together as well as all the 4-H kids,” she said. “They all come together and show their projects here.”

The shows may involve the selling and buying of livestock, but rest assured, no paychecks go to the undeserving. The kids do not have to worry about their hard work going to waste. The primary focus is-and always will be-on the kids.

“Everybody in this organization is a volunteer,” said Association Treasurer, Steve Tucker. “Nobody gets paid. [It’s] non-profit. All the money goes back to the kids.”

With the increased awareness from the Association’s new place in the Chamber of Commerce, Brumley hopes the community can come together and help ensure every animal is sold. If one buyer does not have enough money to pay for an animal, he/she and another buyer(s) can start a buying pool together.

“We need help from the community,” she said. “You know, we sell up to 115 lots of animals every year. This year, we’re only going to sell 103 and each of one of those animals needs a buyer.”

Both Brumley and Tucker stated that knowledge and acceptance of the fact that the animal is a market animal (intended to be eaten) is crucial before becoming a member.

“This is the cycle, this is where our food comes from and we need people to be aware, to raise this,” she said. “Because if we didn’t, we’d be like one of those countries that [doesn’t] get to eat.”

Just like in any other good organization, members must learn skills that don’t just help them in the present, but will allow them to succeed later on in life.

“Really, that’s part of our organization, it’s showing kids, parents, the community, this is where our food comes from,” Tucker said.

The Lamar County Junior Livestock Show begins at 8 this morning with a horse show check-in and the final sale of market animals will begin at 6:45 pm in the Coliseum. For more information about the association or 4-H, visit http://www.lcjl.org/ or http://www.4-h.org/.