The lumber mills in Winnfield are closed or barely functioning. (The only activity I could see were a few piles of wood chips for mulch.) The logging trucks, ubiquitous in northern Louisiana and East Texas, are now rarely seen. Things are so bad that D.J.'s, the beer joint across the highway from the timber mill, shut down recently. The door factory I wrote about last year that would provide 200 permanent jobs was built but never opened up for business. The only local auto dealership offers an unlucky combination of GM and Chrysler products. Here's how bad it is: The local Popeye's shut down. When Popeye's shuts down, you know things are bad.
But it's not universally bad. Relatives say there is a mini-boom up in Shreveport thanks to a massive natural gas play.