News from the Round Table at Pouland's

Written by Sandra Pouland
Published by The Diboll Free Press

September 25, 2017


John and Lynette Monk were married August 30th, 1957. Lynette’s birthday was two months before on June 27th when the eye of Hurricane Audrey came over her home in Sulfur, LA. John was in his senior year at LSU and attending Bougaloosa Forestry Camp. He knew the storm was brewing but back then there was no weather channels or cell phones. He stood in line at a pay phone to call and check on Lynette. She was OK but the whole town was caught off guard causing total devastation and loss of many lives. John didn’t waste any time in setting a date two months later to get married on August 30th. 60 years later, they had plans to celebrate their wedding anniversary at their favorite French restaurant in Humble, Chez Nous but another devastating hurricane Harvey prevented that from happening. They are still waiting to enjoy that special celebration but it may be after the hurricane season is over. Congratulations to the John and Lynette Monk!

One never knows where Wayne and Cindy Clark will be one week to the next. They have just returned from a quick trip to Las Vegas with their friend Kathy McKnight, to see best-selling female artist in history on the Caesars Palace stage for a powerful set featuring all her greatest hits. Céline Dion’s Colosseum show has been called “the show of shows and “Las Vegas’ biggest act since Elvis.” Céline Dion has won five GRAMMY Awards, Record of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, two Academy Awards for the title songs “Beauty and the Beast” and “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic and many other awards. These three from Diboll were certainly impressed with her show. Since the purpose of their trip was mainly to see Celine Dion they didn’t leave much time for sightseeing or anything else. They spent two nights in the Four Queens and enjoyed the nightly show on Fremont Street and a tour of Hoover Dam the next day. Wayne was disappointed the elevators at the dam were not working that go down into the bottom where the huge turbines are.  Having worked in a plant he would not have believed the dam’s basement was clean enough to eat off the floor.

Lisa Dotson who has worked at Temple (now GP) for 33 years came in to pick up insecticide for her dad, Darryl Richardson, who also was a longtime employee there. Lisa and Greg Dotson are first time grandparents and she just happened to have a few photos of Gregory Logan Dotson who has beautiful red hair and was born on September 11th in Waco, Texas. He weighed 8 lbs. and 12 ozs and was wearing a Baylor Bear shirt in one photo. They have already determined the baby will be called Logan. His parents are Blake and Amanda Dotson of Waco. Greg is already wanting to move to Waco. Blake graduated from Baylor and continues to live there and work for United Health Care while Amanda is fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom. Logan’s aunt is Alyssa Dotson who is in her senior year of pre Physical Therapy at Texas State University in San Marcus. Proud great-grandparents are Annette and Darryl Richardson.

We had an interesting visit with Danny Vinson who now lives in New London. Danny said he “finally” stopped to see the Everything Store after passing it for so many years. He thought it was a place that sold Poland chainsaws. Danny was in the US Coast Guard for 22 years and played professionally in the CG band while living in New London, Connecticut. He moved to New London, Texas and is the 5th generation to live on the old home place. He presently travels to colleges to teach students, most of whom are aspiring band directors, how to play the euphonium. He travels to University of Houston to teach two days a week but he also teaches at Blinn College, Kilgore Junior College, UT at Tyler and other places.

Tommy and Lynn Marie Bryan also made their first trip to Pouland’s. They are the new owners of the Swap Shop on KRBA 1340 AM radio where you can buy, sell or swap. The popular radio show originated in 1953. Tommy and Lynn Marie purchased the show about six months ago. They previously owned Bryan’s BBQ and were featured on Robert Irvine’s “Restaurant Impossible” show but sold the property later. They have had other ventures but said The Swap Shop has been the most fun. The couple has been married for 28 years and love to interact “on the air” between 10:30 and noon, Monday through Friday. Lynn Marie grew up in Lufkin where she was head cheerleader, FFA Sweetheart and involved in lots of pageants. She met Tommy at a fund raiser and they were married three months later. Check out their FB page Bryans Swap Shop Group.

Logging contractor and 1989 DHS graduate, Clint Ramsey, stopped by to leave a flyer about The Gypsy Horse Show Association’s regional fall show October 13-15 at the Henderson Expo Center. A typical horse show with halter classes, trail classes, English and Hunter Pleasure, Driving classes, Freestyle Riding, Costume, Ranch Riding classes and much more. The Gypsy Horse was bred and developed many generations ago by the Romany Travelers of Wales, England and Ireland. The Gypsies desired a small draft horse colorful enough to match their caravans. These horses are easily recognizable by their long, flowing manes and tails, and the abundance of feather on their legs. “Three extraordinary days of showing some of the most beautiful horses in the world!” Clint and his wife, Jenny, own several of these horses some of which are for sale. Their two oldest children Colton and Cara are married and have made Clint and Jenny grandparents four times. Schooled at home are 11-year-old Tucker; 16-year-old Gabe; 15-year-old Delaney and 13-year-old Lucy will be participating in the horse show. The Ramseys live in Timpson.

Precious Lewin Colwell is in his second week of Preschool 4 and insisted his mother Brooke bring him to see John Ralph at Pouland’s. Clay and Brooke are thankful he likes school. Dalton Havard came in to get a lawnmower tire repaired for his grandmother, Kaythryn Havard. Gary Gores was in getting new tires. Tommy Fenley is anxious for winter to get here and wished he lived in Alaska. In the meantime, he plans to go fishing and came in for his new license. Others doing the same were: Lewis Ivey; Chad, Caleb and Allee Stewart; Ray Lenderman; Amanda, Josh and Dalton Moreno; Clyde Maxey; Tic Toc McClintock; Sherrill Fears; J.D. and Sue Johnson Korye Stewart; Cloyce Evans; David Thelen; Robert Ramsey and son Cash.

Don’t forget Pouland’s can be your Deer Hunter Headquarters with guns, ammo, feeders, seed for deer plots; corn, peanut flavored rice bran and of course, 2017-18 hunting & fishing licenses.

The coffee pot is always on so come see us…’round the table

September 18, 2017


It was good news for Bettye Greer when she finally heard from her daughter and son-in-law, Jean and Mike McCollum who live in Naples, Florida, that their new home sustained minimal damage from the 140 MPH winds of hurricane Irma.  Mike and Jean voluntarily evacuated and waited for the storm to pass in a motel in northern Florida. Bro. Larry and Anita Weaver moved in with ‘lil Larry’s family and learned their house was fine but no electricity; they live in Jacksonville. My brother and his wife, Jerry and Annabelle Powell, stayed in contact about hurricane Harvey with neighbors near their home in Bailey’s Prairie (Angleton) as they were vacationing in Ruidoso, NM. And more recently, Judy Carrier posted to all her friends that she is OK after the earthquake on Tuesday in Mexico City.

Another couple, Bob and Gail Long, who live two miles from Tampa Bay, also voluntarily evacuated with their Shih-tzu “B-Beau”. They put up as many things they could off the floor, packed a suitcase with enough clothes for 5-6 days and headed toward his sister’s home in Memphis, TN. What is normally a 4-5 hour drive took them 14 hours. The further they went the harder it was to find food, fuel and restrooms but they finally made it. After three days in Memphis Bob and Gail decided to drive to Nacogdoches to visit good friends, David and Traci Hanson. David is a lumber salesman for Snider Industries. The Longs attended Harvest Point Baptist church with the Hansons and Bob taught the Sunday School class. Bob Long said, not braggingly, he is an itinerant evangelical Bible Professor with a diploma in Bible Theology. But he also has a BA in English; MBA from University of Oklahoma City and a Doctorate of Theology. Bob and Gail also sang a duet during the worship service. Gail has a Bachelor of Music degree and is an accomplished organist, pianist, vocalist and music teacher.

Now, you are probably wondering how they got to the round table and enjoyed eating a bowl of pinto beans and cornbread? Bob and Gail were in Sam’s looking for flea medication for “B-Beau” when someone recommended they come to Pouland’s. We certainly would like to thank that person! Bob and Gail walked in Pouland’s about noon and immediately smelled something good. Andrea told them she was cooking pinto beans and cornbread for lunch and invited them to eat at the round table.

Also eating pinto beans at the RT that day were Jerry and Geraldine Bishop who are volunteers and part of the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Task Force. They were waiting for tires to be mounted on the “water truck” that they maintain during disasters such as hurricane Harvey. The truck is actually a water purification system that is used for workers to shower and was recently taken to Rockport. Woody Ingram also enjoyed the lunch. He is one of the newest certified “yellow hat” volunteers recruited by the Bishops. During the lunch discussions, Woody and the Longs discovered they both had eaten and recommended Pop’s Soda Ranch on the side of the iconic Highway 66 in Arcadia, OK. They say you can’t miss the 66 foot tall neon soda bottle and the 700 varieties of bottled sodas that are available inside.

The Over 50’s Group met this month at The Cracker Barrel to catch up on the news since the month before. Attending and enjoying the food and fellowship were John and Ann Jones; Newt and Jeanne Courtney; Darryl and Annette Richardson; Barbara Clark; Bob and Nell Horton; Bobbye Burroughs; Jerry and Geraldine Bishop; Pat Brown and Rufus Dunn. Pat Brown was proud to announce she had a new great niece, Emmerson Ray Todd whose parents are Abby and Brent Todd. Emmerson’s paternal grandparents are Dr. Jansen & Pat Todd. Her maternal grandparents are Paul and Tamesha Root and great-grandparents are the late Bill and Louise Lindsey. Pat Brown and Louise are sisters. We have fond memories of Bill Lindsey coming into the store and sitting on a stool at a child’s table having tea with our young preschool granddaughter, Cheyenne Swor; they had some great discussions. My, how time flies, Cheyenne is now a senior at SFA!

Joe and Kay Gage of Diboll are proud to announce their youngest son who serves in the military has been promoted to Col. Phillip K. Gage, United States Army Garrison Japan. Phillip graduated from DHS and on to Texas A&M where he received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from Kansas State University. He is a graduate of the US Army War College, Carlisle, PA where he earned a Master of Strategic Studies. Phillip has served around the globe including Fort Carson, CO; Camp Casey, Korea; Fort Knox, KY; Saudi Arabia; Fort Irwin, CA; Iraq; Fort Hood, TX; Vilseck, Germany; Afghanistan and Fort Benning, GA. Presently he is the commanding officer at the US Army Garrison Camp Zama, Japan where he resides with his wife, Janie. Joe and Kay keep up with Phillip on You Tube.

David and Charlotte Carter are changing the name of their business in Burke from His & Hers Trade Days to His & Hers Mercantile since they are now open regular days during the week and not just one weekend. It is such a fun place to shop and look for interesting “Oh, I remember having one of those” items.

David Carter is president of the Diboll Area Lions Club which is making plans for the annual Lions Club golf tournament at Neches Pines, October 14th. A few of the folks that have been in buying hunting and fishing licenses include: Rhonda Hoover; Henry Hayden; Mona & Fox Adams; Darryl Stanley; Harold Maxwell; Raymond Bounds; Donnie & Darlene Stephens and Bryan Wilson. Junior Young learned he was just one year too old from receiving a free fishing license.

The Diboll Business Association appreciates Rick Patel allowing us to meet in the hospitality room of the Diboll Inn & Suites. Rick has purchased the washteria next to the hotel. It is now Diboll Washteria and has some brand new top loading washing machines and commercial dryers. He invites people to use the new equipment.

Stop by when you can and see us…’round the table.

September 4, 2017


Kudos to Diboll Firemen! Fire Chief, Gary Jones, was seen eating lunch at Los Jarritors with several other firemen on a Saturday during a workday for the department. Others enjoying the delicious food included: John Alvarez, William Courtney, Joe Parish, Keith and Gary Dover, Raymond ‘Shadow’ Ryan, Grady Courtney and Aaron Smith. The guys spent the day doing general maintenance at the substation on Neil Pickett and also poured a foundation for a communication tower. Little did they know a few days later, after Hurricane Harvey made it devastating landing, some of these same guys would be packing up and driving to Rockport to help people in need.

Diboll FBC Pastor Kenny Hibbs and his wife Carrie have two daughters in the Rockport area; April and Mike Striedel and Amanda and Bobby Bickle. Amanda coaches Rockport Pirates girls’ volleyball and basketball teams. After the storm she went to the campus and the gym where they recently played was no longer there. Kenny and Carrie left on Thursday for Rockport and members of the Diboll Fire Department left on Friday, including: Gary Jones, his 12-year-old grandson Ben Smith and Ben’s dad, Aaron; Joe Parish, Larry Lucas, Chris Hambrick and Grady Courtney. They met up with Bro. Kenny who had made arrangements for them to stay at the Assembly of God Church in Portland. Previously, in making the arrangements at the church, Kenny was surprised to learn their pastor, Woody Woodard, pastored and lived in Lufkin at one time. Woody asked Kenny about Steve Comstock who is pastor of Diboll’s Assembly of God…small world!

This group of volunteers from Diboll put the experience behind their tools and cleaned up debris left from the storm. They worked on an elderly couple’s garage that had fallen on their vehicles and removed the metal beams of the garage to get both of their cars out. They were strong enough to roll tin down from a mobile home and put a tarp over it. They also helped erect a large tent on the grounds of the First Baptist Church where they had services on Sunday and stretched tarps to cover the end of the church that is missing. Another elderly couple in Taft was grateful to these guys for cutting up a large tree. These guys found it hard to believe that so many people were offering them water and food. Aaron Smith said, “This is what makes you proud of Texas”. April and Mike Striedel prepared two meals for these appreciative volunteers. If you are interested, go to Diboll FBC Face Book page for the link to and watch the video “Rockport Cleanup-Diboll” with Stephen Curtis Chapman singing Beauty will Rise in the background.

Diboll First Methodist Church got busy after receiving a text from a former pastor, Jeff Stuff, that Buna needed help. Lists of items for “flood buckets” and “hygiene bags” were distributed for anyone who was interested in providing the items. Melanie Goodwin, the pastor’s wife, was in a store checking out with items on the lists when the person behind her in line paid the bill. The church put together 32 Flood Buckets, 134 Hygiene Bags and 50 loaves of bread that was delivered to Central Baptist Church in Buna by Pastor David Goodwin, Brandal Porter, Teresa Medina, Gene and Ronna Winchester. People were lined up to get the buckets and bags when they arrived.

Members of Faith Family Church traveled to Batson, Texas to “clean up” and later Pastor Leo Lytle and Randy Pilcher went back to drop off $7,000 to $10,000 worth of much needed donations to a new shelter that was opened at the Assembly of God church on highway 105. Leo said, “The church bus was packed tightly with literally no room to spare with donations from the area. Special thanks to Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Abeldt’s Pharmacy, The Medicine Shoppe, Trinity Baptist, a generous donor and dozens of people who brought what they could right up until we left at 11AM”. Bro. Leo also said that while standing in the checkout lines that people were giving him donations.

Diboll FBC Super Seniors thoroughly enjoyed having Margie Harrell at their September luncheon. Margie, who grew up in Diboll and is the Director of the Diboll Housing Authority, says she is not a speaker but once she begins to talk about Diboll there is no slowing her down. She LOVES Diboll, its people and is proud of her heritage and we are proud to call her friend.

It was good to see Theresa Lyles come in with her husband, Roy Lee. For years she worked across the street at the scale house but we never got to see her. She is no longer working and Roy Lee is taking good care of her as her health is improving. Arthur Bean from Corrigan came in with his adorable 3-year-old granddaughter, McKensie, who was not intimated by any adult and spoke freely. Mr. Bean has worked 37 years at what is now GP in Corrigan.

C.W. Loftin came in to buy his hunting/fishing license which were, first time ever, at a reduced price this year. He checked his cell phone and let us know that the Neches River was at 14.32 feet, down from Thursday’s 15.03. He was feeling kinda bad because his 4-wheeler wouldn’t start that day; he had spent more than he wanted to with eye issues and the pump had gone out on his aerobic system.  Some others that have been in buying their new licenses were: Christi Quarles, Barley Lenderman, Randy Nerren, Melvin Linton, Sr., Bubba Nevills, Jeff Capps, Allen Bailey, Woody Ingram, Jay Shands, Trey Denman, Jr. Grandgeorge, Bob Davis, Hunter Stewart, Jason Cook, John and Carolyn Richard, Richard Rainwater, Angela Havard, Randy Havard, Cody McLin, Mason Ford, and John Cassata . John Wallace also bought his license and called back to ask Andrea if she undercharged him. She had to remind him he too has had a birthday that permits a reduction in the price of his license.

Come see us…’round the table.

August 29, 2017


Ben Smith was invited to take a vacation this summer that he will never forget. Ben is the 12-year-old son of Aaron and Jennifer Smith of Diboll and the trip began with a destination of Eureka Springs, Missouri to attend the popular outdoor drama of the greatest story ever told in The Great Passion Play. Ben was excited explaining to me how “cool” the Holy Land tour was which included the colorful market place, the pageantry of the chariot and camel caravan and the hustle and bustle of the crowds as they go about their daily activities.  He loved the live animals on the streets of Jerusalem, visiting a replica of a first century Inn and stable typical of where Jesus was born, a life size Tabernacle with a guide explaining each part of it, the Tomb with the folded napkin and the dramatic and exciting ascension of Jesus into the night sky. He learned from visiting the Upper Room, where Jesus and his disciples feasted for the Last Supper, how differently dinner was served and that the guest of honor always faced the door. The Passion Play was the highlight of the evening.

On the next day’s itinerary Ben saw the famous arches in St. Louis which were under construction and unavailable. Going through Springfield, Illinois the next four nights were spent as guest of a farmer in Madison, Wisconsin. I know personally that Ben is not afraid of working and when he overheard a conversation about gathering cucumbers the next day, he volunteered to help. He was up early picturing the cucumbers along a fencerow like home. His eyes got big when he was told there was FOUR ACRES of cucumbers to pick but he and eight other pickers gathered over 2,000 cucumbers that day! He was truly impressed when the buckets of cucumbers were put on a conveyor where they were washed, boxed, loaded on pallets and then into a truck to be delivered to market. The rest of day was spent riding bicycles everywhere…sightseeing, visiting yard sales and even to the restaurant. Another day was spent at an indoor theme park in Wisconsin Dells. Ben was totally impressed with the six-story Ferris wheel and the African-themed carousel. There was also challenging ropes course, climbing walls, 24 lanes of bowling, go carts, mini golf, hundreds of arcades and much more. The rest of that day was spent on a pontoon boat on the Wisconsin River where Ben enjoyed jumping into the icy cold water. That evening he attended his first ever, drive-in movie and watched Plant of the Apes sitting aboard the pontoon boat. The next day Ben watched the Milwaukee Brewers win a baseball game over the Pittsburg Pirates and enjoyed watching the mascot slide down a long slide after a homerun.

The next day was spent mostly driving toward Minnesota and spending time at the Mall of American in Bloomington with more than 400 shops. Ben loved the Nickelodeon Universe which is seven acres of unique attractions and entertainment which includes Fly Over America flight simulator, Sea Life and most impressive to him, a 34’ tall LEGO Robot and roller coaster. That night Ben attended the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks game. He couldn’t believe they were giving away Rod Carew “bobble heads” and he got one. (Rodney Carew is a former Major League Baseball first baseman, second baseman and coach. He played from 1967 to 1985 for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels and was elected to the All-Star game every season except his last.) Ben laughed about witnessing a marriage proposal on the Kisscam.

South Dakota’s Original 1880 TOWN is something I have seen and it also impressed Ben with more than 30 buildings from the 1880 to 1920 era, authentically furnished with thousands of relics and Dances with Wolves movie props. (I was disappointed Kevin Costner wasn’t there). Ben, like me, didn’t really appreciate and soon got bored with the drive through the Badlands on the way to Mount Rushmore National Park and on to see Crazy Horse which is the world’s largest mountain carving located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is a memorial for all Native American tribes. Ben was more impressed with Crazy Horse than Mount Rushmore. He spent the night in Nebraska and was one of the few thousands that watched the total eclipse in the Agape National Park. He said the park was filled with people 35 miles on both sides of the highway.  It was on to Kansas, Oklahoma and back to Texas to complete his memorable trip in time for Ben to begin school at Diboll Junior High. I was frantically taking notes as Ben told me about his trip without any notes. Thank you Ben for sharing your story.

With the devastation and flooding from the hurricane Harvey, Cassi (Lenderman) Davis and her two sons, 3-year-old Jase and 10-month old Mack, left Stacy in Magnolia and came to her parents in Diboll. Her parents are Karon and Dennis Lenderman affectionately known as “Cootie” and “Grumps”. Jase told his dad that he planned to stay here “forever” with them.

Dwayne Jordan was in getting tires put on their Kubota ATV because the kids love to ride, especially Laura. Our thanks to Mark Hafernick for the Prickly Pear jelly he made from the cactus off Richard and Lisa Warners’ ranch. Barrett Duren came in for deer corn. If you ever have the opportunity, ask him to sing “Desperado”.

With the summer coming to an end, one certain grandmother and retired principal, Helen Cheshire, was determined four of her grandchildren would see the life-size recreation of Noah’s Ark and The Creation Museum in Williamstown, Kentucky. Helen drove the long distance not once, but twice! The first trip she took 14-year-old Garrison Cheshire and his 10-year-old sister, Laycee. The second trip she took their two younger sisters; 10-year-old Kaydee and 8-year-old, Emmee. The parents of these four are Chandra and Bobby Cheshire of Diboll. The ark is 1-1/2 football fields long and 7 stories high with animatronic life-like models. The developer, president and founder of Answers in Genesis, Australian-born Ken Ham, is good at spreading our belief, “That the Bible is a book of history and that this ark is intended to serve as a vivid warning that, according to the Bible, God sent a flood in Noah’s time to wipe out a depraved people, and God will deliver a fiery end to those who reject the Bible. We’re becoming more like the days of Noah in that we see increasing secularization in the culture,” Mr. Ham said.

Continue to remember those who have lost so much and come see us…’round the table.


August 21, 2017


Brigette Tobias, a frequent customer, practically grew up on the back of a horse being coached in barrel racing by her dad, Ronnie Casburn. She has passed the tradition on to her 14-year-old daughter, Lucchesse, who has won several barrel racing championships. The most recent being this month in Waco at the 2017 Texas National Barrel Horse Association State Championship where her winnings included: 1D Youth Champion and 1D Open Reserve Champion (competing with all ages). She also won Open 1D 1st Go and ran the fastest time during the whole competition. That’s quite an accomplishment for a ten year old! Her proud parents are Jason and Brigette Tobias and her maternal grandparents are Deborah (Bourrous) and the late Ronnie Casburn. Keep up the good work!

It was a real pleasure to meet 13-year-old Hannah Hagle who came in with her dad. She is the daughter of Brandon and Heather Hagle of Chireno. Hannah has been in training for Junior International Elite Gymnastics since she was six years old. It began when she broke her arm, was sent to rehab and got seriously interested in gymnastics. She is presently coached by Martin and Stacy Parsley in Tyler. Hannah and her parents are dedicated to this rigid training program which means she had to move to Tyler to live with her grandfather, Harold Hagle. Hannah begins her day in the gym from 7:30 to 10AM. She attends school from 10-2 with 7 others who are also in training and then back to the gym from 2 until 5:30. During the fall she will come home on weekends but during the summer she goes home every other day. In Chireno her parents have chicken houses and cattle and she loves following her 16-year-old brother Wyatt as he competes in showing steers across Texas. In her quest to be a future Olympian, Hannah is looking forward to October when she attends the National Developmental Team Training in Huntsville where she has met several members of the US Olympic Team including 2008 member Nastia Luikin and Gabby Douglas who was a member in 2012 and again in 2016. Good luck to you Hannah!

One of the fun things about working in a feed store is that we get to see people’s pets when they come to us for help. DHS sophomore Jessica Castor came in with her mom, Debora. Jessica found three baby rabbits in their yard and her dad, Fernando, said, “Go to Pouland’s they will know what to do”.

It was good to visit with Joe Flowers (senior) who recently retired in June. Joe has been driving trucks most of his life. He owned and operated his own truck for 25 years and for the last 15 years he drove for Lyons Propane. The first couple of months was difficult adjusting to being retired, Joe said, “you can only mow the grass so many times”. It’s better now that he is driving again, part time, for Johnson Excavating. Joe and his wife Connie just recently returned from a trip to Colorado to visit with her family in Lamar where Connie grew up. Connie now works at Albeldts after working 15 years at Timberland Pharmacy.

Rachael Chapman, daughter of Kim (Placker) and Darrell Chapman, is an independent young lady who earned a degree from Texas A&M and presently lives in Houston’s Rice Village and works in Spring. She proudly negotiated on her own to buy a beautiful new Cadillac SUV. She drove it to Diboll to show her “Granny Jo” JoNell Placker, and parked it under her wooden carport. Rachael told JoNell there would be “no eating”, “no drinking” and certainly “no pets” inside her new car. Rachael took her Granny Jo on a test drive the next day. They were enjoying a beautiful day until Rachel decided to demonstrate the open sun roof, immediately they both were covered in a ton of sawdust from the carpenter bees that must have worked all night in the wood of the carport where she had parked. Returning home they both worked for hours cleaning the new car!

Billie Jean (Walker) Jones took the time to drive from the Humble area to pick up former DHS classmates, Barbara (Vaughn) Spradley and JoNell (Vaught) Placker, to celebrate Barbara’s August birthday at the Olive Garden. Charlene “Polly” Leavell celebrated her August birthday with longtime friends and lunch at the Angelina County Airport. Those enjoying were Betty Hendrick; JoAnn Rainwater; Ginger Capps; Nita Hurley, Billie Jean Capps and of course, Polly; sorry I had to miss. It seems the conversation has switched through the years to discussing doctors’ visits.

Monthly flea pills for pets is a new item for us and seems to be very popular. In a month or so, we can ask Louise Ellison, Ronnie Kilgore and G. B. Treadway, “How did it work?” R. W. Oaks comes to Diboll quite frequently to his childhood home place where he loves to garden. He came in to buy pea seed for his fall garden and came back later with his great-granddaughter, Mattie Neiman, to get local honey and watermelon seed. Max Purgahn is a serious farmer; he plans to sell his crop and came in to buy enough cream pea seeds to plant on seven acres! Billie Jean Capps was in buying birdseed, sunflower seeds and reported, as always, busy making her famous jellies; mayhaw being the most popular. Glenda Tobias frequently comes in to buy chick feed. She’s learned from my experience how chickens love “Happy Chickens Mealy Worms”. These delicious treats make your chickens love you. Joel and Tammy Cheshire enjoyed visiting and looking around while waiting to get a lawnmower tire repaired. Earl Hutson was angry at all the wasps and ants around his house and had plans to get rid of them. DEMON XP is hard to keep in stock because it is such a good product to keep the unwanted pests away. Our thanks to Roy Lee Lyles for the fresh okra.

I appreciate friends who feel they can use this column to ask for prayers from its readers. A longtime friend, Janet Kilgore, called to share with me the devastating news her youngest son Johnnie has been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Janet is home after being in Oregon for a month with Johnnie and his wife, Teresa and children; 14-year-old Gracie and 9-year-old Wesley. Janet grew up in Diboll and retired from Memorial hospital after 33-1/2 years. She worked as a surgical nurse so you may not have seen her. Janet is a strong woman and has battled with cancer for a few years but she is surrounded with love from her five sons: Lonnie, Ronnie, Donnie, Tommie and Johnnie. Please remember this special family in your prayers.

Come see us…’round the table


August 14, 2017


More than 60 years ago was the first Fastrill reunion. Established in 1922, the Fastrill logging camp eventually became the largest and longest-lasting of all the Southern Pine Lumber Company (SPLC) camps in East Texas. The camp operated for almost 20 years, and served as the home for 600 residents. Three of those original residents attended the small reunion last Saturday. Mary Lou (Stokes) Havard, Sherrill Fears and John Richard Powers all remember it being the best part of their young lives. Fastrill was a company town, owned and operated by Southern Pine Lumber Company, SPLC. But, it was also a permanent site that differed from the mobile logging camps that sprang up across the region. A post office opened shortly after the town was founded in 1922, and soon thereafter Southern Pine opened a general store, barber shop, cleaning and pressing shop, gas station, cannery, school and church. SPLC provided electrical power at certain times of the day. Mary Lou’s dad, Fisher Stokes, operated the dynamo and would “flick the lights” at 9PM and leave them off all night unless someone had died in which case he left them on.The camp employees worked six days a week, getting Sundays off to go to church and spend time with their families. Mary Lou also remember a favorite recreational activity for the people of Fastrill, swimming in the nearby Neches River. The Fastrill camp operated through the Great Depression, lasting until 1941, when it finally exhausted the available timber in the surrounding forest. That September, the local post office closed, and the town quickly shut down as well. The residents of Fastrill were sent to Diboll, where the men were given new jobs with Southern Pine. John Powers has been heard to say more than once, “That’s the best move that ever happened to Diboll”. John and his wife Mable and daughter Natalie enjoyed the reunion. Also present was Wanda (Burchfield) Guidry whose Aunt Gertie White was well known among the residents. Ada (Smith) White who was married to Herman “Mousey” White attended with her children: Morris who was there with his two children, Natalie and Nick and granddaughter, Aria; her daughter Lori Boonstra came from the Tyler area.

Burlon and Jan Wilkerson have returned from a week in Maryland.  The couple flew from Dallas Love Field to Baltimore where they were met by their daughter Krista Canfield. Krista is a third year student of the Texas A&M Vet School.  Her husband Shaun is stationed at Walter Reed Hospital in Silver Springs, Maryland and Krista is spending the summer there with him in Middletown. During the visit the Wilkersons spent a day in Washington, D.C. visiting the Memorials and Monuments.  They also went to the Museum of American History and the Native American Museum. One day was spent in Luray, Virginia at Luray Caverns which is the largest cavern on the east coast.  In addition to the caverns, there is a huge maze, a ropes course and several museums.  It was a fun adventure that was located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the Amish country, the group visited Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania and took a tour through the farm land with a stop at a dairy farm and ended the day with homemade ice cream made with fresh milk.  The Amish live a very uncomplicated life and visits are so peaceful. Jan and Krista found plenty of shopping there. The last trip of the week was to Hershey Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  All things chocolate!  The group enjoyed a 4-D movie, a trolley tour of the town, a chocolate tasting and a tour of the factory.  The highlight was making their own Hershey chocolate bars.  Each of them designed their own labels for the bars.  Hershey is a must for families.  It was a fun day, filled with chocolate treats at each activity. The last day, Burlon and Jan joined Krista and Shaun for Trade Days.  Jan carried several of her handmade crochet items to sell and also enjoyed walking around seeing all the unique items for sale.

Super Seniors of Diboll First Baptist traveled to the new Del Rio for lunch on Tuesday. Driving the church van was a young adult, Marcie Fenner, who also drives for the children’s activities. When asked her if the seniors behaved any better than the children, she responded “Well, I only had to tell the seniors to sit down one time.” Some folks met at the restaurant and others rode with Marcie including her grandmother, Garvis Baldree; Billie and Leonard Robison; Leonard, Jr. and Camille Robison; Betty Kee; JoNell Placker; Joyce Carlton; Isabelle Hardy; Ruth Mullins; Jim and Polly Leavell. Others were: Bro. Kenny Hibbs; Earl & Joyce Carr; Geneva Ard; Ginger Capps and Sue Baker. Hopefully, I didn’t miss anyone.

Bro.David Goodwin, pastor of Diboll First Methodist, is recovering from knee surgery and having to slow down and take it easier. He came to the round table early one morning bringing a sugar free pumpkin pie that his wife Melanie, had made. Several folks enjoyed a slice including a couple from California who have decided to move to beautiful East Texas.

I learned more about the recent 61st commissioning ceremony for Texas Game Wardens during which 21-year-old Justin Lenderman was memorialized. Justin was an SFA senior criminal justice major from Jasper when he passed away on Feb. 12, 2016. He had already been accepted for this 61st training session. The rugged seven months of training took place in Hamilton and during the commissioning ceremony Justin’s dad, Ray Lenderman, was presented with the US flag that flew over the cadets during that time. Ray was also presented with Justin’s official Game Warden badge.

The film crew of Lone Star Law was present at the commissioning ceremony and interviewed Ray Lenderman afterwards about Justin’s dream of being a game warden. That episode will air during this fall season.

Buddy and Susie Jordan attended the “Meet the Jacks’ Friday evening and returned to Diboll Saturday morning to watch them and their grandson, Brady Jordan, scrimmage  They arrived at 9AM and learned it didn’t start until 10AM and decided to visit the RT. With five children and 15 grandchildren Buddy and Susie stay busy following and supporting them plus they are all invited every Sunday for lunch after church. Their children are: Manonne Johnson; Matt; Muriel Pope; Marian Ellis; and John. Most everyone lives rather close except Marian who lives in Boerne. Matt’s daughter, Allie, will be moving to Sweden this month to work two years for Campus Crusade for Christ. Susie encourages everyone to follow her daughter Marian’s blog on which is also available as an “app” on your phone. Check out her website for many good bible studies and devotionals.

Vera Jones had let her family know that she didn’t want a party for her birthday that is on August 16th. Little did she know that her family had planned a party last Sunday in the home of her granddaughter Jennifer and Aaron Smith. All the family members were present to surprise her with a 103 birthday celebration but they also surprised her son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Brenda Jones with a 45th wedding anniversary party. Each special occasion had its own cake. Congratulations to Vera, Brenda and Gary.

Come see us…’round the table.


August 7, 2017


You may know Leo Lytle as the pastor of Faith Family Church for the past two years but he is also a phenomenal and rare wood craftsman. Leo stopped by to show us a photo of his latest project that is completed and ready to be delivered. It is a beautiful white oak curved staircase that Leo said, “requires using all of your skills and critical layout but it’s also the ‘dessert’ to a seasonal craftsman and makes you look forward to going to work”. Leo began his career sweeping up in his dad’s shop who did architectural millwork and owned Southern Woodcraft in Shreveport, LA. By the age of 16 Leo had been trained in the millwork and earned $1.65 an hour. Through experience and work ethics he became a foreman at the age of 18 responsible for 20 men who worked under his management. His life changed at 19 when he surrendered his life to the ministry and attended night classes at the Baptist Theological Seminary and worked during the day. With his hammer, a few tools and a skill saw he left footprints all over New Orleans including lots of work on the World’s Fair in the 80’s and the many hotels that were built during that time. July 21st ten years ago he married Valerie Culp and moved his business to their home in Pine Valley. He is a bi-vocational pastor and continues to do specialty work in Louisiana. Presently he is working on a plantation home north of Alexander that was built in 1835, the only one that didn’t get burned during the Civil War.

Sophie and Raymond Lenderman were proud to attend the 61st graduation of the Game Warden Academy held on the floor of the House of Representatives in the Texas capitol. Their grandson, Justin Lenderman, would have been the 42nd member of this class until his untimely death in 2015. Justin’s dad, Ray Lenderman has worked for Texas Parks and Wildlife for 16 years and was very influential in Justin wanting to become a game warden. At SFA Justin was an honor student who made the dean’s list while pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice and would have graduated in May of 2016 and had been accepted into the academy the following January. A black draped desk was present during the entire training to remind those trainees that Justin was “watching over them”. During the solemn graduation many fine comments were made by Carter P. Smith. Afterwards, a portrait of Justin and a framed poem signed by all 41 new game wardens was presented to his family. Dennis and Karon Lenderman drove his parents to this special occasion which was also attended by about 20 other family members and friends. Raymond and Sophie were glad to have a short visit with their grandson Zach on their way home. Zach is a highway patrolman in Polk County and was glad to see his parents and grandparents.

JoNell Placker was invited to celebrate her birthday in the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Derrell Chapman who live in Bullard. Granddaughters, Elizabeth and Rachel Chapman were also present for Granny Jo’s party but JoNell was surprised to see so many others that had been invited for the special occasion. JoNell is part of a special group that call themselves “the Park Street Kids” as all of them at one time lived on Park Street here in Diboll. That group included: Linda (Johnson) Cook and her son, Jim; Mary Alice (Bunch) and her husband, Billy Shivers; Elaine (Bunch) and her husband, Donald “Pinky” Pinkerton. Others family present were: William and Vivian Vaught; Carlie Vaught and Emily Vaught. Classmate, Barbara (Vaughn) and Roxann Spradley. And, Diana and James Wilson; Hunter Rush, Trace Turgood, Ann and Allen Koch. It was a good day and memorable birthday.

Two longtime friends since the church nursery at First Methodist in Lufkin, Jonanna (Perry) Reidinger and Alyceanne Baggett, made a special trip to The Everything Store. They came to purchase Green Tomato Pickles after seeing them on Facebook. Jonanna’s dad was A. G. Perry and Alyceanne’s dad was Ele Baggett. We also learned that Joe and Beth Denman were Alyceanne’s godparents. She followed in her family’s footsteps and worked as a banker in Austin for 50 years. Jonanna who lives in Ft. Worth shared memories of having butterscotch pie at the Pine Bough. She also was hungry and anxious to get to LaUnica’s for lunch.

Rolando Salazar came in with his mother Juana, carrying a cute solid white puppy that was part St. Barnard. Rolando graduated from DHS in 2014 and attended two years of college on an academic scholarship. He will be transferring to Illinois College where he plans to complete his major in Mathematics and Spanish. He has been on a tennis team since a sophomore at DHS.

JJ Wyatt will be leaving DISD to accept a teaching and coaching position at Texas City. He will be teaching high school and coaching wide receivers in football and also girls JV basketball. The good thing he will be living near fresh seafood, just two miles from the boardwalk in Kemah.

Don’t forget should you be interested in hearing stories and learning more about the logging camp, Fastrill, to meet at Catfish King for lunch this Saturday, August 12th at 11:30. I’ve heard that John Powers and already been rehearsing his stories at the Burchfield family reunion last Saturday.

Come see us..’round the table.



June 19, 2017

Claire Roche, daughter of Merrick and Diana Roche, graduated from Lesley University’s School of Art and Design (Cambridge, MA) on Saturday, May 20, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with an emphasis on photography. The commencement ceremony was held at the beautiful Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, overlooking Boston Harbor. Claire assumed that her parents and brother Zach would be the only family members attending her commencement; however, she was surprised the day before with the arrival of two of her aunts, Julie Mettlen and Allison Amason, as well as cousins Mallory Dorman and Parker Amason. Zach had arrived Thursday night and was in on the surprise. He told Claire that they were meeting their parents at the airport Saturday at noon, where the four of them would then leave from there for a day trip to York Beach, Maine. Of course, upon arriving at the airport, Claire had a wonderful surprise awaiting her! Her Aunt Allison was ready with her cell phone to video Claire’s arrival and reaction to seeing her family members there. The look on Claire’s face was priceless! Blessed with absolutely perfect weather, Merrick and Diana rented a Ford Expedition that would accommodate all eight of their party and headed north to York Beach, Maine, a little over an hour’s drive from Boston. Merrick’s mother, Evelyn, is from York Beach, so Merrick and his family have spent many vacations in Maine, and wanted to share a few of their favorite sites with their guests. Their first stop was at Cape Neddick, (in York), where the Nubble Lighthouse, one of the most famous and most photographed lighthouses in the country is located. Within walking distance from the lighthouse is Fox’s Lobster House, a popular mainstay for lobster, chowder and ice cream. It was here that Claire and her family enjoyed Fox’s clam chowder, lobster bisque and ice cream, while soaking in the warm sunshine and the beauty of the Nubble Lighthouse. From there, they took a short drive north to Ogunquit to see the picturesque Perkin’s Cove. On the way back to Boston, they stopped in Kittery at the famous Bob’s Clam Hut, which has been in operation since 1956, known for their fried clam strips, lobster rolls and other traditional coastal Maine comfort foods. Claire and her family pretty much sampled everything on the menu! The lobster rolls were definitely a favorite!

On Saturday morning before her commencement ceremony, Claire gave her family a quick tour of her school and the art center, where some of her work was on display. From there, they took the subway to Harvard Square and walked around the Harvard campus. After the commencement ceremony, a celebration for Claire was held at Ristorante Limoncello, in Boston’s famous North End Italian District. It is one of many incredible Italian restaurants located along the historic cobblestone streets in the North End and is actually located right next door to Paul Revere’s home. After dinner, Claire took her family to her favorite bakery, Modern Pastry Shop on Hanover Street, where they purchased cannolis and other sweet treats. From there, it was on to Quincy Market and finally, the beautiful Boston Gardens and Boston Common. Despite sore feet and exhaustion, a wonderful weekend was had by all. Claire is currently employed at The Knot, in Boston, and is also teaching a weekly hip-hop class at the Dance Complex in Cambridge.

Over the years we have heard lots of fishing stories but the following from Robert Ramsey who works in sales for GP, tops every other story. Robert tells it as follows.  I was fishing with two hook droplines in a local creek catching a few fish for supper with my two buddies in Albany, TX when this monster showed up.  Two fat grown men in a canoe, no net, and trying to wrestle a 60lb op into an already unstable canoe was quite a rodeo.  We landed it, took pictures, and let it go about 1/4 to 1/2 mile from where we caught it.  We doubled up on bait the next night expecting to catch another one. As we were running the lines on the second morning we found we had “another” big’un.  I and our other friend finally landed another one under same conditions only to find out the fish looked very similar; had the same cut and abrasions.  We were able to identify from the pictures that were taken the day before; it was the same fish!  A couple of observations…..either the fish was stupid, hungry, or we were just that good of fishermen.  We went with the latter!!

Kathy Sample is thrilled that Cindy Barmore has moved to Diboll. Kathy and Cindy were friends in high school. Bonnie Donovan said it made her day when she stopped by and enjoyed visiting and reminiscing at the round table with Harold Maxwell, Sherrell Fears, J.R. and Mark Hafernick. Mark came another day with his daughter, Lauren Johnston, who decided to spend more time in Diboll with her family. Her plans were to travel on to Lafayette but decided to stay in Diboll due to possible stormy weather. She was looking forward to her dad preparing shrimp that evening, Cajun style. Our thanks to Mark for the wonderful sweet corn and tomatoes he brought us from his garden. Our thanks to Skeeter Scarborough who also brought us sweet corn. Keith Spencer brought cucumbers and figs that Andrea preserved.

Enjoyed a nice visit with Joe Anthony, retired post master from Lufkin. Joe grew up in Diboll. He and John Ralph shared lots of stories, most of them had been told and retold but we still enjoy hearing them over and over. Joe brought us beautiful “Champion” tomatoes from his garden. He told us that Myrtle Parker, who is a faithful reader of the Diboll Free Press, is recovering from hip surgery in Larkspur and looking forward to going home after completing physical therapy. A special note to Myrtle; do all that the therapists tell you to do, they know what’s best and thank you for your faithfulness to read The Diboll Free Press.

It’s been a happy “homecoming” for the postal employees in Diboll. As of June 10th, all the mail carriers are elated to be back working in the Diboll post office. We are happy too, our mail is arriving much earlier. Glenda Tobias shared this with me. She is one of the five carriers; the others are: Carolyn Stover, Christina Zamora, Arnold Buenustro and Blake Nerren.

It was a bittersweet celebration for the family of Dalton Powell who recently graduated from DHS, turned 18 on June 14th and will be leaving for the U.S. Army on July 3rd. His grandmother, Betty Powell, said friends, family and neighbors enjoyed a hamburger cookout at their home.

Dwayne Stanford fried fish at his and Stephanie’s home for another bittersweet celebration for his nephew, Jacob, who is also going into the Army; his older brother, Daniel, will be following him in a couple of months. Jacob’s twin brother, Michael, plans to attend SFA. These three boys are the sons of Lynn and Diana Stanford. Others of Dwayne’s family enjoying the delicious fried fish cooked on the Cajun Cooker from Pouland’s were Caleb and Hannah Stanford from Corrigan; Morgan and Julian Rios and four grandchildren.

Our granddaughter, Cheyenne Swor, is still having fun showing animals even though she is a senior at SFA. She and the show team from SFA recently attended the World Pork Expo in DesMoines, Iowa where she exhibited a Chester gilt and placed 4th in her class!

We have some interesting new yard art that’s just arrived. It will be very obvious when you come see us…’round the table.




July 31, 2017

Jimmie Woodard was on another one of her adventures Friday.  Her sister-in-law, Cindy Parish, invited her to go with her and husband Andrew Parish to the Longview Hot Air Balloon Race and Show.  Also along for the fun was Cindy and Andy’s daughter and son-in-law Traci and Andrew Hall and their daughters Remie and Sadie, daughter Hannah Parish and her son Aiden and daughter Emily Hale and her step daughter Kynsleigh and niece Josie Hambrick.  Andrew Parish drove the front caravan vehicle and Cindy navigated!   The only problem was, Cindy thought they were on their way to Longview where they saw Santa Land, which was totally incorrect!!!  Santa Land — was in Lindale!!!!!  SSOOO, 45 minutes into the trip it was noted that they were headed to the wrong city and going the wrong way!  No problem for Cindy, she immediately checks with SIRI, who lead them down some narrow, bumpy, curvy, dusty, yet scenic back roads. Vehicles following them were in tremendous wonderment as to where they were headed and would they arrive in time for the show. At one point Andrew decided to get a paper map out and check to see what was up??!!

The 1 hour 45 minute trip only took 2 ½ hours, but the journey was definitely well worth it.  There were 55 balloon teams and as they began to prepare their balloons, audience members were invited to come and help roll out the balloons.  It was a fun experience as adults took children to the field to participate in the balloon roll out and the children definitely enjoyed participating in the event!   The teams began to inflate their balloons. One team member informed them that the balloons held an average of 88,000 cubic feet of air.  Balloons were extremely colorful and beautifully designed.  Some of the balloons were designed in animal shapes such as a cat, Keystone cop, bulldog or a clown.   After all balloons were inflated the National Anthem was sang and there was a countdown for the balloon glow.    The teams ignited their fuel and the glow of the flames filled the balloons with light which reflected their colorful beauty.  It was exciting and totally awesome!!

Since the event is produced by the Detached Marine Corp League, there were helicopters and jets on display for viewing.   At this event, there were vendors and food booths to take your money but also live musical entertainment.  It was an awesome adventure and everyone should attend the event to experience the excitement of the Hot Air Balloons!!!

Following is news from Jan Wilkerson about their latest adventure: Each summer we (Jan and Burlon) take the grand kids on an adventure.  This year we went to Waco for a couple of days.  We left Diboll on Thursday morning with grandchildren; Annabeth, 11, and Ryan Wilkerson, 8.  We stopped in Marquez to pick up 4 year old Neely.  After lunch in Waco, our daughter Melanie and 11 month old Jake met us at the Mayborn Museum.  The Museum is a hands-on experience for children.  Adults have almost as much fun in the different rooms where everything from a small town, the electricity and music to telephones can be experienced. It is all indoors and offers hours of fun for everyone.  Following a full afternoon, the kids were ready to head to the hotel and swim.  We had picked a hotel with an indoor pool–pretty smart for hot July days! On Friday, the morning was spent at the beautiful Cameron Zoo.  The Zoo is laid out in a circle and is very shaded making for a comfortable walk through to see the animals.  That afternoon was spent at the Dr. Pepper Museum. A stop back in Marquez and the kids getting to swim again topped off the trip.  Everyone had a great time.

Recently Jan was a guest at the Texas PTA Summer Training held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.  As a past president of the association, Jan was invited back to help with the event and Burlon joined her for part of the weekend.

Ruth Mullins recently attended a Neil Diamond concert in Houston’s Toyota Center. Her daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Bob Pennington, treated her to this special event.  Although he is 76 years old he still has devoted fans as Ruth and thousands of others. Neil Diamond is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor. One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, he has sold over 135 million records worldwide since the start of his career in the 1960s. With 38 songs in the Top 10, he is the second most successful artist in the history of the Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 10 charts.

Earl and Carolyn Hutson heard it was time to fertilize azaleas and came in for special fertilizer. Trey and Rachel Brown came in to get a tire repaired on their cattle trailer. They were taking cows to the auction and had plans to pick up their daughter, Kynlee from her great-grandparents Alma and Billy Wayne Breazeale. Kynlee loves going to the auction and seeing the cattle. One of the newest people to move to Diboll from Texarkana is Erna Adams who is a sister to Leonard Robison. We are happy that she came in and purchased new tires and enjoyed visiting at the Round Table. It must have been the day for flats: Jerri Kay Minchew came in for tire repair as well as Don Bess who was trying hard to get hay cut, raked and baled before it rained. Not worried about the rain was Skeeter Scarborough, Joe Paul Stovall and Jimmy McCall who enjoyed visiting at the RT. Poor Rodney Cheshire had to get out in the heat to use his new Stihl weed eater

It was a sad day for Kathy Sample when her mare “Goldie”, died. Her full name was “Twice the Gold”. Once retired from the race track, she was a gift from Clifford Grum and became a broodmare for race horses at the Sample’s on FM1818. Kathy said Goldie was a good mother and took care of the calves, donkey and horses. Kathy said when the cows got out of the pasture, Goldie would come to the back fence and “whine” to let Kathy know something was wrong. Goldie was truly Twice the Gold and “queen of the pasture”.

Anyone that has heard of Fastrill, an early Southern Pine logging camp near Forrest, Texas might want to join others who have stories from that time in the history of Southern Pine Lumber Company. Several who remember living there plan to meet at Catfish King on Saturday, August 12th at 11:30. John Powers remembers growing up in Fastrill and is encouraging anyone that is interested to join them for lunch. The name Fastrill came from three men who had an important part of the logging camp: Farrington, Strauss and Hill: Fa-Str-ill.

Stay cool, send me your news and come see us…’round the table.


July 17, 2017


David and Charlotte Carter owners of His & Hers Trade Days in Burke shared the following about their recent trip. We left Diboll with the goal of going to the famous  Brimfield Antique Flea Market in Brimfield Massachusetts.   It is held 3 times a year –  May, July and September – for 6 days each time.  We arrived in Sturbridge Monday evening ready to hit the sales the next morning.   The flea market consists of several fields and each field had many vendors set up. The key to success we had learned in preparing for the trip is get to the market area before 6am to get the best parking because you will do a lot of walking.  We were about 25 minutes from Brimfield so we were up at 4:30am and shopping by 6am.  We spent the most part of 2 full days visiting the various fields and finding treasures.  There was a lot of back and forth to the van but thankfully the temperatures were wonderful! Among other things we brought back were vintage metal egg collectors used for mailing, several spindles, a table pin ball machine, lockers,  a checkerboard table, manual ice crusher, lots of galvanized watering cans and a couple of sleds. We are working on a special section at trade days at His & Hers for our finds. In our shopping we met a wonderful family in a small town about 45 minutes from the flea market who invited us to go to their home place and go through old buildings. We chose to do this Thursday while doing some sightseeing in the area. The home site was the lady’s parents’ home and her father had been dealing with antiques before he suddenly became ill and passed away.  The family has been overwhelmed with so much stuff in outbuildings which were in disrepair. David found a milk box which the gentleman had used to store several Winston book matches. Great condition!

We left that area Friday morning and started toward home.  Friday night we stayed in Staunton, Virginia where I visited with friends. Saturday we had one goal, to go by Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Virginia.  We enjoyed looking at the beautiful pieces they make by repurposing items. We noticed they now have a warehouse so we drove over and found one of the cast crew members for the TV show ‘Salvage Dawgs,’ Grayson Goldsmith. She was busy cleaning items from a salvage job and getting them ready to sell.  We love that show and what they do.  The warehouse was very nicely organized. We bought bowling pins and ask Grayson if she would autograph them for us; she graciously agreed.  She then told us that other guys were in the office at the main store so we drove over there.  Once there a nice gentleman we had met earlier took our pins and got them autographed from Robert Kulp and Mike Whiteside. We have great plans for these special items.  That made our day so we then set forth toward home.  We made a couple of stops at flea markets but when you have been to Brimfield there wasn’t much you have not already seen.  Great trip of almost 4,000 miles.

Another couple, Burlon and Jan Wilkerson, recently drove to Mountain Home, Arkansas to meet their son Trey and his family.  On Friday, Burlon, Trey and his two young children, Annabeth and Ryan, floated the Buffalo River and had a wonderful time while Jan and her daughter-in-law, Michele, enjoyed shopping and having lunch together. Saturday was spent driving toward home on scenic Highway 7 through the Ozark Mountains.  It was a fast trip but one that made memories for the kids.

A group from Fairview Church enjoyed an outing that included a Swamp Tour on Caddo Lake. After the impressive tour they enjoyed a delicious meal at the Pine Lodge. The group included Earl & Joyce Carr; Trent & Carlene Squyers; John Barnes; Kay & Ronnie Fitzgerald; Terry Jo Murray; Frank Miranda & Tracy; Alma Cagler; Kenneth & Rita Hays and friends. When everyone else headed back toward home, Earl and Joyce Carr got in their bright red Toyota Corolla and headed toward Raton Pass in Colorado. They encountered a detour due to a land slide before arriving at Royal Gorge where they did the traditional drive across the bridge and gondola ride but no zip lining. They spent the night in Manitou Springs in the same Eagle Inn where they stayed 25 years ago. They had been enjoying pleasant 80 degree weather until they rode the cog train up Pikes Peak where it was sleeting. These two were retracing a trip they took 25 years ago that included Cripple Creek and saw lots of changes since then. During the trip they had a blowout but Triple A came to put their spare on and the next day after getting a new tire at a Toyota dealership, they headed toward Texas stopping to eat in Amarillo at The Big Texan before arriving in San Antonio to visit with their daughter and son-in-law, Cathy and Ralph Isham. Joyce was praising the new toll road from Katy to New Caney that misses the Houston traffic.

Barbara Camp was treated to a special birthday meal at Manny’s in Livingston where they were met by her son Chris Wells and her two beautiful granddaughters, Pressley and Kennedy. “Pa”, Sherrel Fears, also enjoyed seeing and visiting with Chris, his grandson and great-granddaughters.

Caleb and Cristin Ellison became proud parents on June 15 when their son, Case Quinin, arrived. Case’s paternal grandparents are Larry and Aundra Ellison of Diboll; his maternal grandparents are Ricky and Paula Burton of Nogalus Prairie. Caleb is building a good reputation as a fine cabinet maker and also has a commercial and residential lawn care service. Should you need his services, call him at 936-635-2144.

Joyce and Edward Terrell came in for fishing licenses, hopefully to go fishing between the many showers we have had that is making everything green and grow, especially the weeds. Debbie and Mike Haas purchased some of the Rocky’s Seasoning that we sell and market for Rocky Thompson. We get great reviews from people who try his famous seasoning. Sam Coleman came in for new tires while Billie Jean Capps came in for bird and sunflower seeds.

Glenda Tobias and Joe Paul Stovall swapped post office stories when she stopped by to buy feed for baby quail she hatched. Joe Paul retired after 30 years with the postal service. Glenda has worked for 34 years and is looking forward to retirement. Jessie and Terry Saucedo from Hudson came in and enjoyed visiting with J.D. Johnson, all of whom have retired from Temple. Jessie worked at the Fiberboard plant for 28 years and Terry worked at the Particleboard plant for 35 years. They now have a landscaping business.

Enjoy the week and come see us…’round the table.