Christmas 2015 has come and gone hopefully with good memories to carry us through another year. My sincere thanks to Patsy Colbert who sent an email describing their memorable Christmas. Patsy said, “We had a wonderful fun filled Christmas celebration with all of our children and grandchildren on Christmas Eve! We made Memories at Meme’s making cupcakes and decorating them for Jesus’ birthday. We also decorated tea cakes to leave for Santa and spent the afternoon enjoying a game of croquet with the younger ones. The older grandkids came over early and we enjoyed visiting, napping and cooking together. We had traditional chicken and dressing because we cannot have a family meal without their favorite, PawPaw’s dumplings. We certainly enjoyed the Martha Washington balls, Oreo balls, chocolate cake and cream cheese cherry pies. The presents were opened with such excitement but the time spent with our family was priceless and there is nothing like a new baby to make everything perfect. We are blessed beyond measure and 2015 was a great year for the Colbert Family!”
To use one of Louis Lander’s favorite phase, the RT had a “Blast from the Past” when a young man came in with a photo of “The Fabulous Sonics”, a local rock and roll band in the 60’s. Rusty Harrell attended DHS a short time in the 60’s and became a part of this group when he heard them rehearsing in one of the bays at the Diboll Exxon station. In 1966. Paul Tucker owned the station at the time and his son, Bill Everett a DHS senior, played guitar and sang. Playing the drums was Ronnie Rector. Ronnie Emsoff was the lead singer. Rusty Harrell joined the band and played bass guitar. Little ‘UN (Hulen) Squyres played the organ. All of these members were documented on their business card that Rusty has kept through the years. This popular band played for sock hops and frequently played at the Backdoor Club in Lufkin and battled with another rock and roll band “The Annihilators”. Rusty couldn’t remember but two members of that band and they were David Wimp and Curtis Wayne Grimes.
We had a nice time visiting about “The Fabulous Sonics” with Rusty Harrell who lives in the Beaumont area and works for Gulf States Utilities. While in town he had plans to visit Bobby and Cozetta Watson and his cousin, Betty Jo Jarred.
One of our favorite people, Leroy Lazarine, was honored for his 16 years of faithful volunteering at the Joe W. Elliott house. Hospice-in-the-Pines had a reception to celebrate Leroy’s retirement at the end of 2015. Years ago, after Leroy retired from the Big Tin Barn, he wanted to be of help and assistance to those who were dealing with cancer or other terminal illnesses in return for those who helped him and his family during the time his beautiful wife, Georgia, lost her courageous battle with cancer in 1984. Every Wednesday since February 2000, Leroy has donated 4 hours of his time at the Joe W. Elliott house. He received a plaque honoring him for his faithful years of Exceptional Service. Attending, in addition to staff members from Hospice and the Elliott House, were members of Leroy’s family that included daughters; Allison Amason; Diana Roche and Lorraine Dorman and grandson, Clarke Dorman.
Mike Mathis took time to sit down at the RT and visit with us about the NRF, National Rodeo Finals, which were held in Las Vegas during December. Mike is an announcer and was nominated again this year as one of the Top 5 for the title of “Rodeo Announcer of the Year”. Mike says the rodeo in Las Vegas is an exciting production with all the lights and sound but it moves really fast. There are ten days of rodeo finals. The performances are televised and everything has to work precisely to get the show done in two hours. Only the top 15 contestants in each event make it to the finals. Having watched Mike at the Lufkin Rodeo for years, I asked him about his horse. Mike has been announcing for 30 years and has had several horses but his present one is named “Frog” and he is 10-12 years old. I also asked him about one of my favorite clowns, Liesel Harris who is from Collierville, TN. Liesel has received the honor of being “Clown of the Year” four times at the NRF. Before clowning professionally, Liesel was a regular performer on the “Hee Haw” TV show and has a picture to prove that at one time he played the drums with Elvis.
Mike told us at the National Rodeo Finals this year that John Payne received for his 13th time, the Entertainer of the Year for a Dress Act and John Harris was Clown of the Year. He also said that Charlie Daniels preformed one night during the pre-rodeo show, singing the National Anthem and also an original song he had written for the occasion. Mike and his brother Peyton grew up in their dad’s feed store, Lufkin Farm Supply where “Red” Mathis taught them by example, to say, “Yes” mam. Their dad would say, “I don’t care what time you go to bed, be at work at 6:30 in the morning”. Mike announces about 42 rodeos a year and travels all over Texas and from Florida to Utah and feels lucky to do what he loves.
Boy, did the calories roll in this year. In addition to Andrea making pounds of peanut and pecan brittle, pralines, buckeyes, pies and cakes, Tina Jowell brought us large warm cinnamon rolls early one morning to go with our hot coffee. Kathy Parish sent Joe to the RT with a platter of homemade Reece’s peanut butter cookies and homemade fudge. Jimmy McCall brought us two cans of mixed nuts; Joyce and Earl Carr brought us a cheese ball; Peggy Burt brought a huge burlap bag full of a variety of popcorn. There were also all kinds of homemade cookies and Christmas desserts. Our creative friend, Margie Bass, brought us crochet scarfs and a handy pot scrubber which gets used almost daily. Our thanks to each and every one for every delicious calorie.
I was so disappointed to miss seeing Dick and Betty Albrecht when they stopped by to visit. They had driven from Florida where they live and had been to visit their son who lives in the Hemphill area and were on their way to visit their daughter Melissa in the Austin area. They did enjoy visiting with Andrea and J.D. and Sue Johnson at the RT.
Have a safe and Happy New Year and come see us…’round the table.