If you are friends with someone and something is done that you disagree with, you really should talk with your friend before reacting. That’s exactly what I did recently when Sheriff Scott Franklin ran an advertisement in the newspaper that I didn’t like. I was wrong and some us of was too, and I want to take time to publicly admit that.
Last week, I talked with Craig Franklin, who has been my friend for a long time, and after talking with him and him explaining to me his side of the story, I want to publicly apologize to him and The Jena Times for accusing them of playing dirty during the Sheriff’s election.
Craig just runs his paper. It’s a business and if you want to run an ad, it’s his living. Just like I’ll work on your car no matter who you support or vote for. An advertisement is the same way with him.
Craig is a Christian guy who runs The Jena Times with the same method as his dad, Mr. Sammy Franklin did. We can’t help what family does whether that’s good or bad, even though if our family does something bad it makes us look bad too even though we didn’t have anything to do with it.
Now as far as Scott Franklin goes, I still consider him a friend as well. We might not agree on all things but this is how it works.
I just want to say that I talked with Craig face to face and I was wrong in the things I said publicly on Facebook and to others. I apologized to Craig privately but felt I needed to do it publicly since my comments were out there.
I hope LaSalle Parish will forgive and forget and move on.
Congratulations to Lane Windham for his win on a tight run but a good one for both sides. LaSalle Parish is my home and I plan on being here until I leave this world.
Let’s get up, dust off our clothes, shake hands and work together to keep our parish safe for everyone, which I know Lane Windham will do… no doubt about it.
We need to come back together and be what God has taught us by loving one another and caring for each other. I pray we all do this and support our LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office and our parish.
I was a resident of Jena for 15 years from 1978 to 1993. I worked as a physical therapist at both hospitals in Lasalle Parish, and as a trainer for Jena High School.
While my wife and I lived in Jena, raising our family, we met so many wonderful people, and made so many great friends. June Fowler was one of my best and closest friends while I lived there.
Friends who knew June told me that once I would meet him, I would like him and his unique personality. They were so right! We quickly became great friends. I learned so much about him when we would get together with the other coaches after games to discuss the game, and life in general.
June was a hometown guy, and a little older than me, but we had so many things in common like fishing, golf, going to sporting events, and watching games at each other’s house. He was also like a big brother to me, and I felt like I could talk to him about anything. Of course, I would have to listen to his MANY good old stories of his own life experiences in return!
When I was informed of June’s sudden death, I was shocked and saddened. I was certain that it couldn’t be true! At that time, so many thoughts, memories, and emotions were going through my mind. I regretted not calling June three weeks before, when my family was together and June’s name was brought up. Why didn’t I make that call??
Sudden death is tough on everyone because we always want that last chance to hear their voice or to say goodbye. I hadn’t talked to June since May, for various reasons, but none of those reasons were really good enough to keep me from staying in touch with one of my best friends. It just left an empty feeling in my heart. June’s sudden passing made me realize how God has a way of reminding us that the important things and people in our lives shouldn’t be taken for granted. Appreciate those who are important in your life and acknowledge them often.
When the many special memories of our great times together would come to mind that day, I would just smile and laugh. Those memories kept me going that day in between the tears. To this day, I still can’t stop thinking about June, and all the awesome memories we shared together.
I always knew that June was a well-liked and well-respected man, but it was amazing to see the huge outpouring from friends who offered their condolences, love, and prayers to the family at the funeral home, and on social media. It was a tremendous tribute to June from the people whose lives were so impacted by knowing him. June dedicated his life to coaching young people, in several different sports, and being a part of the school system, in many different roles, where he influenced the lives of many. I’m sure June was smiling in heaven knowing his time on earth was well spent, and meaningful as a servant of God.
I wrote this letter to express my feelings of appreciation and gratitude to June and his family for the important role he played in my life while I lived in Jena. The feelings I didn’t get to tell him before he passed, and the feelings I was too emotional to express at the funeral.
I also wrote this letter in hopes that Jena High School and the athletic department could find a way to remember, and honor June, by giving out an athletic award in his memory. It could be given to an athlete who demonstrates the characteristics June was well known for. He will be remembered for his leadership skills, his hard work and dedication to his job and his students, and his ability to encourage others in a positive way.
I will really miss my dear friend June. May he rest in peace until I see him again.
Sincerely, Mike Sheffield