February 16, 2015


Diboll Civic Club’s Operation Clean-Sweep 2015 is coming on Saturday, April 18. The past events have seen improvements made on 88 homes with over 1400 volunteers participating. Once again, the Diboll Civic Club need volunteers to work at the job sites, along with providing tools, preparing food and making building material and monetary donations. Nomination forms for homes needing attention are available from Trey Wilkerson 637-3418, Diboll City Hall, Diboll Christian Outreach, Diboll Housing Authority and TLL Temple Memorial Library. Deadline: March 20.

Stay informed on Operation Clean-Sweep through the Free Press and the Facebook page “Diboll Civic Club” and the Facebook Event “Operation Clean-Sweep 2015. If you have any questions or want to volunteer, contact committee members: Burlon Wilkerson, Daniel Lopez, Dennis McDuffie, Elvia Esteves-Garza, Gary Jones, Gary Martel, Ginger Capps, Jan Wilkerson, Johnny McClain, Margie Harrell, Richard Nelson, Trey Wilkerson or Fran McClain, Chairman 829-2779 or franmc@consolidated.net Also, Diboll Beautiful Clean will sponsor the Texas Trash Off the same day, Saturday, April 18. Volunteers will be picking up litter around town. To volunteer, Contact Elvia Esteves-Garza at Diboll City Hall 829-4757.

While we are talking about projects in the city, I received an email from City Secretary, Sarah Thompson concerning the city’s website; she says: I am currently working on getting the city website updated and user friendly. I am also updating the calendar of events. This will give our citizens another reliable resource of what events is taking place in our community. Please let me know if you have an event you would like to add to our calendar. I also post events on our Facebook page.  Feel free to share with others you think would benefit from this email.  Please keep in mind the site is still under construction but I will be updating daily. I can’t totally change things over night but I will strive to improve the site daily. Please make suggestions of what you would like to see on our site. I am open to and encourage your input and ideas. Sarah Thompson 936-829-4757.

JoNell Placker was happy to visit with old friends that have fond memories of Diboll. Morris Drew McCall and his wife Dorothy stopped by and picked up JoNell to attend the funeral of a longtime friend of theirs, Raymond Weeks, who grew up and graduated from DHS. Morris McCall has been the County Judge in Port Neches for 40 years. His parents were Philippi and Austin McCall and his grandparents were known by lots of kids that attended Diboll schools, Sally and Oscar Davis. They were a cute couple; Oscar took care of the grounds and buildings and Sally worked in the cafeteria. Other classmates they saw at the funeral included Johnnie Simpson (all maiden names), Francis Kelly, Ima Riley, Bess Hooper, Sherrel Fears and Vernon Burkhalter. I thought it was ironic as JoNell was telling me this sitting at the round table that I reached and got a copy of an old photograph from the center of the table that had a picture of Raymond Weeks and many other familiar names, in Diboll’s Award Winning Rhythm Band. He was on the front row wearing his hat to the side with the familiar grin he was always known for. He is very much a part of Diboll’s history and we send our condolsences to Raymond’s family.

I was also sitting at the RT with Mark Hafernick when he shared that he and his wife Ann enjoyed the past weekend keeping their 2-year-old grandson, Gibson Mark Hafernick. Like most grandpas, Mark knows he has a very smart grandson but he is impressed that Gibson has already developed a sense of humor. These two guys were putting wooden puzzles together from Ann’s collection from years of teaching. It seems Gibson knew where each part needed to go but would start to place one in the wrong space, look up at Mark to see his reaction, giggle about it, then put it in the right spot. After all that work the guys went outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather and spent lots of time with the chickens and ducks. Gibson’s parents are Drs. Brian and Angela Haffernek who spend the weekend attending the Mardi Gra festivities in Galveston.

Some more folks are happy to be grandparents again. Roy Lee and Theresa Lyles and Mark and Lana Hines welcome Anslee Faith Lyles who arrived February 2nd and weighed 6lbs. and 5 ozs. Her parents are Ashley and R. L. Lyles, Jr. Her maternal grandparents are Lanny and Paula Parrish. Congratulations!

Kayla Martel was in town with her fiancée, Adam Mary, and his parents, Richard & Dianna Wallace as well as Kayla’s grandparents, aunts and cousins, etc. to attend a bridal shower at Diboll First Baptist Church. The guys made an appearance at the shower and then most of them came to the round table to visit and drink coffee. Adam’s parents live near Waco on six acres and have use of the neighbor’s adjoining four acres. Richard is an investment broker and Dianna is a retired/rehired teacher; she and I have lots in common; love of animals. While the guys were sitting at the RT, Thomas Lowther delivered to me a pygmy goat and she is so cute! Cheyenne named her “Isabella”. Adam shared that when he was a young boy, he’s now a fireman for the City of Waco, they had a pet goat named “Sugar” that his mother would let come into the house (I told you we had something in common). Today, on their acreage they have a prize, female longhorn with a 72” spread; chickens, miniature Sicilian donkey and two paint Tennessee Walkers. Inside, Dianna keeps a prized Red Diamond dove in a large cage but the most interesting animal they raise is North American Timber wolves. They presently have three wolves and have an 8-month-old female for sale.

My always smiling friend, Carol Chalfant, sent me an email to remind everyone that The Angelina County Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale is going to be Saturday, March 28th at Angelina County Farmers’ Market. Mark it on your calendar for now and I will remind you again.

The Fish Truck will be here at Pouland’s February 25th between Noon and 1PM.He will have channel cat, crappie, bluegill, minnows and more but he won’t stay but ONE hour. Don’t miss him if you are ready to begin stocking your pond.


Come see us…’round the table.


February 9, 2015


“SAIL AWAY WITH ME” That’s what members of the Diboll High School Dazzlers got to do recently. Because of the impressions they made at summer camp of not only talent and skill but their personal character, attitude, mannerisms and courtesy toward others caused a representative of the Houston Texans Cheerleaders to fall in love with this little team from East Texas. He was so impressed he invited them to perform on a Carnival cruise ship as part of HTE Dance on Tour! Their director, Gina Souto, brought the cruise idea to the Dazzler Booster Club, submitted it to the DISD Board of Trustees and with their approval, the fundraising began. The Dazzlers’ Booster Club was able to offset parent costs by paying $300 for each girl.  That’s an amazing $4,200 in just four months!

As the Carnival Triumph sailed out of Galveston, the girls were entertaining the guests on the Lido deck. They performed again on stage in the ship’s awesome theater. If you remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote that the president of the DISD school board, Trey Wilkerson and his wife Michelle, just happened to be aboard the same cruise and changed their dining schedule just to attend the Dazzlers’ performance. Trey and Michelle were very impressed as well as many of the Carnival professional dancers who also attended. There were many guests from all across the US who were very complimentary of the girls and have now heard of Diboll, Texas thanks to be Diboll Dazzlers.

Some of the girls made personal comments of how this adventure impressed them:       From the Dazzlers’ Captain, Ashley Coleman. “The cruise was an absolutely incredible experience. For many of us, it was the first time leaving the state of Texas, let alone the country! I loved the opportunity we had to be able to dance in the main ballroom of the ship for hundreds of people. Every time someone that attended the show saw me around the ship, they would stop me and tell me how wonderful we did and how sweet, respectful, and ladylike our team is. I couldn’t dream of any better experience or opportunity, and I am so grateful to the school board and Mr. Clements for allowing us to take this trip, and to Mrs. Souto and Mr. Jeffrey for making it possible.”

Jazlynn Mark, “I am so grateful to have gone on a cruise with my team mates! I had so much fun experiencing a different country with them. We may have our ups and downs but I am so blessed to have shared this memorable moment with my sisters.”

Tristan Rice, “It was such an amazing experience getting to travel with our team mates and being able to perform on the cruise! I had so much fun spending time with my team! A big thank you to the school board, HTE, Dazzler Booster Club, and our sponsor, Gina Souto, for the wonderful opportunity!”

Peyton Morgan, “The fact that the farthest we have traveled in the Dazzlers since I’ve been on the team has been Lufkin, the cruise was a truly amazing experience for all the girls. I mean how often can you say that you’ve danced for an audience on a cruise ship? I was definitely impressed with the whole trip.”

Rebecca Banuelos, “The cruise was probably the most fun I have ever had. I loved the experience we went through, like dancing for the other guests, that was a thrill! Going to see the prettiest places in México was amazing. I really just thought the whole thing was fun!”

Following is everyone that cruised with the Dazzlers and the names of the Diboll Dazzlers are in bold print: Gina & Sergio Souto; Sarah Kuehn; Kristina and Robert Inman; Ashley and Lamona Coleman; E’vion Davis; Yesenia Gonzalez; Brittney and Karen Barkley; Comeshia Robertson; Casandra Meza; Tonya Driver; JoLynn Baker; Tristan and Judy Rice; Peyton and Jennifer Morgan; Celeste & Liz Monrroy; Dina Hernandez; Isreal Moreno; Rebecca Banuelos; Cynthia Ramos; Romie and Julie Castilleja; Carlos Plascencia; Davina Rogers; Jazlynn Mark; Jaydon Mitchell; Jezrell Mark; Larry Gene and Larry Joe Rice; Andrew Rice; Justin and Clint Barkley and Bruce Thompson. The Dazzlers, their booster club and sponsor are very grateful to the people who contributed toward this memorable experience.

I received the following email from Pam Burnett from the Burke Methodist Church. We will be doing our teacake ministry this year to help David Ray Crunk. He is 34 years old and is in need of a heart transplant. The medical costs are tremendous and we will be taking orders for teacakes to help this young man. David is the grandson of Dean and James Hines of Diboll and the nephew of Phyllis Baxter Barfield. The teacakes are $5.00 per dozen and will be baked the week of March 9 – 13th at the First Methodist Church in Diboll, beginning at 9:00 am each day. If you would like to help make tea cakes or place an order please contact Pam Burnette at 829-4631. I have set a goal of 600 dozen tea cakes, so we will need everyone’s support. If you would like to make donations of ingredients that would be wonderful. We need 175 pounds of flour, 100 pounds of sugar, 20 dozen eggs, 20- 3 pound cans of butter flavor Crisco, 2 large boxes of baking soda, 7 half gallons of buttermilk and 3 boxes each of gallon and quart freezer Ziploc bags. Prayers are also needed for this family and this project. Thank you for your support.

Eddie and Carolyn Smith of Diboll have a new grandbaby. Callie Mae Smith is their 6th grandchild and she was born December 29th. Her parents are David and Shana and her big brother, Carter, is only 20 months older. They live in Kingwood. Callie was born exactly 5 years apart from a cousin, Sophia Rose Arendt. Dwayne Stanford came in with his 2-year-old grandson, Ryder Rio. They were headed to the deer stand in the hunting club for what Ryder calls PawPaw’s Hunting House.

The time is almost here for Project Celebration’s Valentine “Dining Delight by Candlelight” Saturday, February 14th at 6:30 – 8:30. Call Andrea Swor 829-4040 or Lacy Chandler at 676-3236 for reservations.

It’s a miracle that Joe Parish was sitting at the RT last Saturday morning wearing a neck collar. Only seven days before he had fallen 15 feet from a trailer loaded with large bales of hay and learned in the ER his neck was broken in several places. Doctors advised that he be flown to a trauma center but dense fog prevented the helicopter from flying. Hospital staff located a medical plane in the area returning from Houston and it was dispatched to pick up Joe at the Burke airport. Joe’s wife Kathy and nephew, Bobby Lee, left by car to meet Joe at Hermann Hospital in Houston. Joe’s flight went well and when he arrived at the trauma center in Houston he argued with the nurses that told him his wife was in the waiting room; and she was! Joe had surgery the following Monday to the amazement of the doctors who couldn’t believe the extent of his injuries without any paralysis. I believe it is God’s Amazing Grace. Amen.

Come see us…’round the table.