February 24, 2014


John Powers and his wife Mable (Nivens) who both grew up in Diboll have recently returned from Wichita Falls where John attended a reunion for the Survivors of  Iwo Jima during World War II. It was 69 years ago that 17-year-old John Powers was part of the invasion of Iwo Jima. His 21st Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division was there on February 20th. The invasion lasted until Easter Sunday, April 4th 1945. During that time 6,830 people were killed and 18, 800 were wounded. John himself was hit in the knee but didn’t let that stop him. While in the field, on February 23, 1945, John looked back over his shoulder and witnessed the actual raising of the US flag that has been immortalized in pictures and sculptures. Even today, 99% of the time when you meet John Powers he is wearing a bolo tie with a miniature of the flag raising. While in Wichita Falls, John and Melba were impressed with the friendliness of the people and were proud to see someone who served with him; Bud Williams, who received the Medal of Honor from President Truman. Approximately 30 survivors attended the reunion. Some of them including John were given a special badge from the Commanding Officer at Fort Sill who gave them a personal tour and update of the equipment and technology being used today. A sincere “thank you” to those who served and are serving is just not enough to express our gratitude for your service. May God Bless America!!

Fran McClain sent me the following email. Over the past 22 years, the Diboll High School Alumni Association has given 165 Scholarships to DHS Graduating Seniors for a total of $97,650. Scholarship Forms for Seniors 2014 are available in the DHS Counselor’s Office. Deadline for turning in a completed application is May 9, 3:30p.m. The Association accepts donations at any time for the following Scholarships:  DHS Class of 1952, Classes of 1962 & 1963, Class of 1969,Class of 1982,Class of 1995-Mike Suarez & Michelle Lawrence Memorial, Dixie Cook Memorial, Joe & Beth Denman, Joseph Hambrick Memorial, Sean Hendrick Memorial, Robert & Rita Ramsey Memorial, Pop & Sis Rich Memorial and Melissa Baxter Simmons Memorial. For additional information or to make a donation, contact Fran Mcclain, Sec/Trea.  829-2779  or franmc@consolidated.net

Fran also sent another email which I greatly appreciate and ask any of you that will, send me your news. A big Thank You to Betty Capps, Glenn Price, Bessie Furgurson, Carol Gartman, Ginger Capps, Jimmie Woodard, Jana Coulter and Louis Landers for their work in putting together a list of past DISD Employees.  Now the Alumni Association needs help in finding contact information on each one. Check out this column in the next several weeks for lists and also on the DHS Alumni Association page on Facebook.  Several people have agreed to help.  If I haven’t contacted you, and you would like to help, please give me a call 829-2779 or email – franmc@consolidated.net  A Reception to honor all past and present DISD Employees will be held on Diboll Day, Oct. 4.

Congratulations to 11-year-old Macy Ward who placed 4th at a Benefit Roping last Saturday for Ryan Broussard, a good friend of the family from Garrison, Texas. Macy is the big sister of Paige; the daughter of Wayne and Amy Ward and the granddaughter of Ken and Pam St.Ama and great-granddaughter of Wayne Steele.

John and Gloria Ogden came in last Saturday morning to buy fertilizer for their yard. The Ogdens moved into Deer Trace last year and work in their yard all the time. Everywhere they have lived they have always had beautiful yards; some that have been featured in magazines. I’ve always heard February is the time to prune roses and I asked Gloria what she did for her roses. To my surprise she said she buries banana peels around her roses and uses Epsom salt on almost every plant. I guess that’s why she had eaten banana pudding for breakfast that morning; she needed the banana peels for her roses.

Earl and Joyce Carr traveled with other members of the Lufkin Sam’s Club to the Double Heart RV Park outside of Jasper to spend a couple of days relaxing. With no TV or phone reception there was lots of domino games, reading and eating. At night, with no TV, Earl enjoyed watching John Wayne movies. The group arrived on Thursday morning, got their trailers set up and drove to the Catfish Cabin in Jasper for lunch. On Friday at noon everybody brings a pot luck dish and the evening meal is “left overs”.  Joyce baked Sue Johnson’s recipe for a French Coconut pie which was a big hit. The Sam’s Club is 30 years old and the group celebrated with a birthday cake. Other couples traveling to Jasper were John and Carmelita Rhodes; Robert and Mary Shanks; Tommy and Nita Hurst; Leonard & Billie Robison; Pat and Harvey McHan and Raymond and Gerry Dunkin who came from McKinney. Raymond said, “We’ve made friends in McKinney but we still mill our friends in Lufkin and Diboll.” The group disbanded on Saturday morning. Earl and Joyce drove several miles out of their way through FM 1818 just to come by Pouland’s for a cup of coffee.

We want to thank everyone that voted for Pouland’s having the “Best Cup of Coffee”. The Diboll Business Association and The Diboll Free Press sponsored the neat idea of this survey, “The Best of…75941”. My sincere thanks to those that voted for me for “Best Newspaper column”. About 75 people gathered with anticipation at a reception that was held last Thursday in the library to announce all the winners. Thank you again!

The Diboll Business Association is having a Ribbon Cutting at 5PM this Thursday, February 27th at the new restaurant in the back of J.R.’s Barn. Roho Pouland is the owner with substantial and experienced help from many others. The menu will vary from shrimp (boiled and fried), catfish (filet & whole), fresh cut French fries, corn on the cob, cold slaw, hushpuppies and more all served in a very informal family atmosphere. Please tell your friends about the Ribbon Cutting and stay around and eat.

Come see us…’round the table.


February 17, 2014


What writer wouldn’t be pleased to know they have 22 million readers? Tracy (Maxey) Cox can say that after her thoughts were read on February 19th in the  Methodist daily devotional, The Upper Room. According to the Internet this little book has been translated around the world and has more than 22 million readers a day. Her devotional was taken from Matthew 17 about faith that can move mountains. Tracy’s application is different than most. “In my vision, I am pushing a wheelbarrow and carrying a shovel. I’m moving my mountain one rock at a time. If it is God’s will we can call on our faith in God’s power to move mountains, rock by rock.” That’s good!! Tracey’s proud parents are Clyde and Linda Maxey who raised her in the Diboll United Methodist Church. She is married to Jim Cox and they have two children; Kelsey, age 11 and Gavin, age 8. They live in North Ft. Worth and attend Alliance Methodist Church in Keller, Texas.

The most unusual Valentine’s gift would have to be Christi Quarles’. It seems Christi loves donkeys and hopes one day to own a real miniature donkey. So, on Valentine’s Day she was thrilled, even though it was “yard art”, to find a little white donkey in her flower bed.

The most thoughtful Valentine’s gift was for Darlene Kee when her husband Donnie prepared a candlelight dinner for two of filet mignon, baked potato and coconut pie for dessert. Donnie had been at the round table earlier in the day visiting with Woody Ingram and John Ralph about his gliding experiences. Valentine’s Day was absolutely beautiful and when asked, “Why aren’t you gliding today”, Donnie said, “I know better than to choose gliding over Darlene’s day.” Donnie Kee sold his insurance agency and is now fully and joyfully retired. For years he loved scuba diving and trained many people how to dive including Darlene who eventually loved it and actually chased a shark. Darlene does not share Donnie’s love for gliding. He keeps his glider near Katy and goes every opportunity he can. On his Facebook page, he has a short video from a camera inside the cockpit; it’s very impressive! Although he’s never had to use it, I heard him say, “Parachutes are required to be “repacked” every 180 days and replaced every 20 years”.

Enjoyed visiting with James and Amber Paulette from Angleton when they stopped by for him to buy a new Spin cast feeder. They are retired and came to “help out” at a ball tournament for their granddaughter who plays on Hudson’s Junior Varsity. Her parents, Bo and Paige Paulette were both having to work so her grandparents volunteered to work in their place. Before they left the store, James was surprised to see and visit with an old friend, Sandy Bate.

Andrea cooked a hefty amount of “Firehouse Spaghetti” one day; enough for the “Teacher Appreciation” meal at the high school and also for our lunch. Joining us for lunch that day was DOT Trooper Joe Cole who was off duty. Joe grew up in Beulah and enjoyed visiting at the round table with brothers, Barley and Dennis Lenderman, who also grew up in Beulah. They all reminisced about eating “moon pies” at C.B’s Grocery store. Tom Squyres was also sitting at the table and remembered the boys sitting in his lap when he played “Santa” at the Beulah Community Center.

Sue Baker also helped with the Teacher Appreciation dinner at the high school and after eating the Firehouse Spaghetti, came by later for the recipe.

Donnis Bergman, a 1942 graduate of Corrigan high school stopped by one cold day looking for an insulated vest. While visiting with him he said he remembered in his younger days coming to the Antler Hotel to dance with the pretty girls.

The DHS Alumni Association needs help in locating past DISD Employees. A reception to honor both past and present DISD Employees will be held on Diboll Day, October 4, 2014.  The event will precede the “All Years’ Reunion Dance. Please let the association know if you can provide addresses or contact information on any of the following employees. From the 60’s: John Beasley, Cecil Couch, Mary Christopher, Nancy Cummings, Saddie Davis, Vivian Hickerson, Lucy Hill, William Johnson, Mrs. Billy Latham, Raymond Manchester, Jerry Modisette, Claude Redman, Lynette Walker, Stephen Wheeler. Employees from the 70’s: Joe Barron, Pam Clayton, Barbara Hall, Mary Ann Hall, Kathryn Holberg, Lavine Howard, Maderia Latham, Taddy Maddox, Richard Sheridan, Gloria Singletary, Ginger Smith, Mylinda Smith, Chery Sutherland, Frances Terry, Gloria Webb and Alice Wyatt.

If you have information on any of these, please call Fran McClain 936-829-2779 or email her at franmc@consolidated.net or send her a message on Facebook.

Thursday evening, February 20th at 5:30 in the Temple Library, The Diboll Business Association invites everyone to attend the results of The Diboll Free Press’ “The Favorites of 75941 Survey”. The recipients of the awards will be announced with a reception to follow. Come find out “Who is the Favorite….”

Just have to brag a bit about my granddaughter, Hiliary Cheyenne Swor. I can’t believe she’s already 16 and a veteran at exhibiting her animals but her heifer named “Katniss” (from the Hunger Games) “brought home the bacon” for Cheyenne. At the San Antonio Stock Show “Katniss”, an American Registered Breed, was 1st in her Class; 1st in her Division and was Reserve Grand Champion winning a $10,000 scholarship for Cheyenne. We are very proud for her and her parents, Kevin and Andrea Swor.

Aran Greene and Dalene Merrel have been out in the county advertising the upcoming PINEYWOODS CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT SALE. It is a children’s clothing sale of gently used spring and summer clothes, shoes, toys baby furniture, nursery décor, outdoor play equipment, books, movies, maternity items and much more. So, shop and save on great deals at great prices. The event will be February 20-22 at Abrams in downtown Lufkin. Thursday and Friday 10AM-6PM and Saturday, 8AM-3PM

This Saturday, February 22nd is the date of Moye’s Catering Going- Out-of-Business Auction at their kitchen facilities on Highway 59. The auction will be from 10AM until 2PM and it will be the last time to enjoy some of Moye’s good BBQ as they plan to serve lunch.

You might want to mark your calendars on April 5th for the Angelina County Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale which will begin at 8AM until 2PM at the Farmers Market on the loop in Lufkin. According to the member that sent me this notice, Carol Chalfant, it will be a good time to replace those plants that did not make it through our many freezes this year. I will remind you readers again as the time approaches.

A more recent date to remember is next Wednesday, February 26th if you need fingerlings to stock your pond. The Fish Truck will be in our parking lot from noon to 1PM.

Come see us…’round the table.

February 10, 2014


Jessie Conner celebrated her 87th birthday on February 8th at home with almost all of her family members present. The theme was “Marti Gras” and Jessie enjoyed wearing the typical mask. Daughter Carolyn Smith was sick and had to depend on her sister-in-law, Diane Conner, and sister Glenda Richardson, to tend to the details. Enjoying the birthday cake, pizza, fun and festivities were Robert and Diane Conner; Glenda and John Richardson; Arlie and Autumn Conner; Crystal and Josh Ellis and children; Ashley, Stephen and children; Darina, Brad, Laurie and Kevin Delaney and children. Special guests were Jessie’s brother and sister-in-law. Pete and Ernestine Conner.

Denise Wilson, owner of The Cowboy and the Princess stables, was thrilled that her sister, Val Sinke, from Canada arrived during a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 50’s. Denise has lived here 20 years and this was Val’s first visit to East Texas. These two along with four other sisters lived in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada. Four of the sisters grew up equestrians and continue to enjoy horses. In fact, that’s what brought Val and three of her young riders-in-training to Texas, to participate at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. Traveling with her were her niece 15-year-old Taye; 13-year-old Lilly and 11-year-old Kate, all are trained Hunter-Jumpers and will be competing for the pony finals.

Val Sinke and her husband and family live outside Woodstock, Canada on their Eden Ridge Farm above their Hunter-Jumper Show Barn which is quite common in that area. Canada is experiencing the coldest winter since the blizzard of 1976. The morning the girls left, it was -40 Celsius with snow drifts as high as their flag pole. All five horses they brought had 5 blankets each and were in a fully enclosed trailer. The trip with four girls and 5 horses from Woodstock to Burke took two 12 hour days. In Nashville, Tennessee the temperature allowed them to remove one blanket from each horse and a few hours later removed a second blanket and by the time they arrived here they didn’t need any blankets, it was 55 degrees! The girls said East Texas is not at all what they expected and are looking forward to spending two weeks seeing as much as they can.

Brooke Colwell had the day off from her nursing duties at Memorial Hospital when she came in with her son, Lewin who just celebrated his 1st birthday on the 5th day of February. Our 10-month-old great-granddaughter, Bristol with her beautiful red hair, was playing in the floor. Lewin was in the floor with Bristol when Brooke’s scream scared us; it was nothing bad, she was just excited to see Lewin stand up and take his first two steps!!

Marcellos Jones came in and bought SIX pounds of Spanish peanuts. He was sending them to his sister-in-law, Rhoda Faye, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I couldn’t resist asking more about her. She was a sister to Marcellos’ wife, Vera. There were three girls, Vera, Mary and Rhoda Faye; daughters of Winston and Maddie Brown and known as the “Brown girls”. They were very active at H.G. Temple School where they played basketball and Rhoda Faye was a cheerleader. I later spoke to Rhoda Faye and there is no doubt that she is proud to be from Diboll. Her mother worked for the Chandlers and named her after Rhoda Faye Chandler. They attended Shiloh Church where Rhoda Faye became an Usher and after moving away and having nine children was honored on her 80th birthday as ”Usher of the Year for the state of Minnesota”.

Marion Abner loves to fish and better than that, he loves to cook and eat fish and invite hungry eaters to join him. We volunteered a cooker, a helper and a place to cook…here! The day just happened to be between J.D. and Sue Johnson’s birthdays, February 10th and 12th, so we celebrated their birthdays. J.D. helped Wayne Ward and Andrew Bass with frying the fish, French fries and hushpuppies. Those eating were: J.D. and Sue Johnson; Marion Abner; Skeeter Scarborough; Delbert Reynolds, Fran McGilvra, Bill Dean Yates, Newt and Chad Courtney; Glen McDaniel, Gary Jones who took a plate to his mother, Vera Jones and Woody Ingram who carried a plate home for Mary.

I learned that Newt Courtney and J.D. Johnson went to first grade together in Beulah. After school they would go to Steve and Margie Johnsons’, J.D.’s parents, where they would rope and try to ride Mr. Johnson’s steer calves. In later years, J.D. was a “pick up” man for local rodeos and Newt rode with the Angelina County Mounted Patrol.

It was my first time to meet Chad Courtney, who certainly favors his mother, Jeannene. Chad is like his father, a pilot, who flew 30 years for Lufkin Industries. His wife is Vicky and he also helps her in their new successful venture, Silent Partners EMR (Electronic Medical Records) Management; a service to doctors that helps with new patients’ information. They have three children; Grant and Emily live in Nacogdoches County; Matthew and Lindsey live in Big Sandy and have a 2-month-old baby daughter, Ada Marae; their daughter Annelise recently moved back from Longview and is working at Studio 319 in Lufkin.

It’s always good to visit with Billie Lamb who knows so many people from working in the school and other places. She sat at the RT while getting new tires on her car. Jim McClain showed us a picture of Judy’s valentine gift that she bought for herself; a little ball of fuzz named “Buster” who is a Maltipoo puppy.

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Ken Holt. They have birthdays one week apart and both celebrated their 86th birthday last week. Happy belated birthday to two great people.

Paula’s Pearls & More will be having a Jewelry Party on Saturday, February 22nd 10AM-1PM at Vintage Blooms located in JR’s Barn. Vintage Blooms is now open just in time for Valentine’s Day. Stop by and look around at the gifts and flowers or call them 829-5556.

Stay warm and dry; come see us…’round the table.


February 1, 2014


Richard and Jo Ann Rainwater decided to try out the newest ship in the Princess line over New Years. The Royal Princess was christened in June 2013 by the Duchess of Cambridge and is newly designed from the previous Princess ships. It features an expansive piazza area and a skywalk where you can literally walk over the water – from 16 floors above.

Setting sail on December 29 from Fort Lauderdale, the first stop was the private island of Princess Cays. New Year’s Eve was spent on the sea with the first formal night being a huge celebration topped by hundreds of multi-colored balloons being dropped three stories onto the piazza area at the stroke of midnight. When they awoke the next morning on January 1, the ship was docked at St. Thomas. Jo Ann was “convinced” by Richard that she didn’t need to be looking in any of the multitude of jewelry stores, so instead they found a great spot for lunch that was owned by a couple from Missouri. That night they watched Jo Ann’s alma mater, Baylor University, play in the Fiesta Bowl via a giant movie screen on the 16th deck. The night was as chilly on the deck as the Baylor football team was on the field, with an unexpected loss to the University of Central Florida.

January 2 the ship docked at St. Maarten. Again, it was a time to ignore all those pleas to come into their jewelry shops and just stroll around. Having visited these islands in the past, the Rainwaters were just happy to relax and enjoy the beautiful ship. Jo Ann had to have her nightly “fix” of listening to a fabulous pianist, Ray Coussins, who dazzled the audience with amazing speed and precision on the keys, always ending with an over-the-top rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue” that brought a standing ovation each time.

Two full days at sea on the return to Fort Lauderdale on January 5 ended a nice, relaxing Caribbean cruise for the Rainwaters and began 2014 with a splash, so to speak. They highly recommend the Royal Princess and the soon-to-be christened sister ship, the Regal.

Some folks enjoy relaxing on a cruise ship while others enjoy duck hunting. Danny Havard had the cutest picture of 7-year-old Cooper Horton taken after his first successful hunt using decoys. Cooper got both a mallard hen and drake. Also hunting with them was his dad, Rayburn. The group went back before the season was to close for one more hunt but the ducks must have gotten wise and didn’t show up. Cooper also had successful year deer hunting but got his first deer when he was six!

Dwayne Harris, Kenneth and Ginger Capps’ son-in-law, came in from Dallas to enjoy the last two days of duck season. Dwayne was happy to see his Labrador retriever named Emmitt who had to leave Dwayne in the city and move to the Capps’ home in the country. Emmitt seems to enjoy living in the country and also seemed to enjoy the duck hunt as well as Dwayne and Kenneth.

Bobby Chandler, Jr. and Stephanie came in with their neighbor, Nick Willmann who lives across the street from them. Nick had the day off from Quad Graphics and had his precious 18-month-old daughter Emily with him. His wife Deanna teaches 7th and 8th math at Diboll ISD. Bobby Chandler, Jr. has gotten out of the classroom into the great outdoors. He owns American Lawn Services and is presently working mainly in Nacogdoches but would love to add new clients here in the Diboll area. Stephanie helps out by doing the bookkeeping. Give him a call at 936-526-0021.

Former DISD Ag teacher, Larry Poe, was in town with his wife Judy and country neighbor, Doug and Pam Spivey. All of them live in the Martinsville area out of Nacogdoches. Doug lived in Diboll until the 6th grade; moved away and grew up to be a Game Warden although he is now retired. The foursome was in town to visit Jack and Donnie Jenkins. Donnie’s son is married to Larry’s sister.

Last weekend Angelina Animal Hospital had a vaccination clinic in our parking lot. As some of you may not know, Dr. Daniel Salas retired and sold his clinic to Dr. Lindsay Syler, a DHS, Texas A&M graduate and doctorate of veterinarian medicine. Lindsay was present of course along with others on her staff including her mom, Linda Syler and Lee Gilstrap. Lee works at Texas Timberjack and her son Clay Gilstrap is engaged to Lindsay Syler. Lee tried to explain to me about Ultra 4 Racing which Clay and his little sister Shelby have been involved in since she was 16 (she’s now 22). This type of racing is unlimited 4-wheel drive endurance and a brutal challenge racing up to 120 MPH and down to 1 MPH using gear ratios for technical rock crawling. Shelby and Clay both qualified for the Ultra 4 King of the Hammers race in in Johnson Valley, California (google it) which is February 7-8th. The race is only 190 miles and the starting line is also the finish line. It’s expected to take 7-8 hours to finish. Lindsay is not only Clay’s fiancée but she is also his co-pilot in this race. She has been training and working out in fireproof suits which are required. As co-pilot she is the one that has to jump out and manage the winch cables when the 4-wheeler gets stuck. We wish them luck!!

Congratulations to Thomas Jones of Huntington who came in with his wife, Bobbie, to get a Case knife for his 80th birthday.

Come see us…’round the table.