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.