NOTE: This was written for broadcast and reflects the thoughts of Neal Barton.

Ever know one of those people who’d just light up a place? Or you’d be encouraged just by being around them? Those folks are few and far between, but I knew one. His name was Hoss Huggins and we lost him this week.

Hoss was from Paris. As a teen, he quickly cut his teeth playing music on stage and on the radio around these parts. Well-known all over East Texas his entire life, making East Texas a better place. People like him added flavor to a part of Texas we call home.

In later years, Hoss sold commercial time for KETK and other stations, but he kept playing country music all over the area. Many times at the big feed and seed in Troup on weekends. After I took up bass guitar to strengthen my hand and arm after rotator cuff surgery… no one was more encouraging that Hoss as I went through the frustration of trying to learn to play an instrument.

If you knew Hoss, you grieve with me. If you didn’t know Hoss… you missed out knowing an East Texas treasure. That’s my point of view what’s yours? You can email me at or Facebook me at KETK Neal Barton.