Mason Walk

We applaud the Masons this week in Gushers & Dusters. Claude Hammond of Longview Masonic Lodge No. 404 speaks Wednesdayto members of multiple area Masonic lodges during a ceremony as part of the Walk on St. John the Baptist Feast Day. The walk started at Oil Horse Brewing Co. in downtown Longview and ended at the Gregg County Courthouse steps. The event, which hadn’t been conducted in East Texas in more than 70 years, honors the birthday of John the Baptist. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

DUSTER: For Amtrak reducing service in Longview to three times weekly. Is this more of a duster on the pandemic? Probably. A train track looks like a spine, and Amtrak is a backbone of the community. Commercial and passenger travel is vital, and look at a community dry up when trains stop coming through town. Amtrak is hoping this is just from Oct. 1 to mid-2021, and kudos to the rail giant for being prepared to open up full-service if the demand allows it sooner.

GUSHER: For the Juneteenth celebrations in East Texas and around the nation. Junteenth wasn’t always on the radar in history class, but it is today. The more we learn facts about our history, the fewer fights we will see on social media trying to interpret information coming from people we don’t know.

DUSTER: For not having a state-wide opinion on wearing masks in public. From Dollar General-to-shining-Walmart, stores are making decisions, and each county has a different view. Gov. Greg Abbott should make a decision for all as cases rise and the economy continues to reopen.

GUSHER: For coming up with guidelines to start school, the Texas Education Agency is helping students: open windows, masks and distancing. We learned from Dr. Robert Haley of UT Southwestern Medical School this week when he spoke to the Rotary Club of Longview of the importance of masks and other ways to fight COVID-19. We love parenting, but we just don’t want another year of parenting and teaching.

DUSTER: For posting things on social media that cause you to lose your job. Have an original opinion or thought and be aware who you could hurt or offend when you are in a public position. Sharing that post or photo with a graphic from someone with an agenda is enough to change your life. Jefferson Police Chief Jason Carroll quit his job Monday after deleting what he called “insensitive” memes and photos on his personal Facebook page.

GUSHER: For Longview Masonic Lodge No. 404 bringing back a tradition after more than 70 years. To see our friends and neighbors participating in The Walk on St. John the Baptist Feast Day made life feel normal for a day. Claude Hammond of Lodge 404 summed it up best when he talked about the importance of brotherly love in society today and the freedoms that Masons learned, freedom of thought and freedom to assembly.