June 29, 2015


Teresa and Ray Anthony came in the store dressed casually and we learned they both were on vacation last week. At that moment they were headed toward Crystal Beach to spend the day with good friends, Linda and Arthur Murl Jones who were also vacationing. The Jones family had rented a gorgeous beach house for the week for daughter and son-in-law, Tara and Joe Cole and more importantly, 3-year-old beautiful red head grandson, Cole. Also enjoying the week was Angel and Kory Gillespie and their 4-year-old son, “Liam”. When Teresa and Ray arrived after lunch they found Linda and Arthur Murl relaxing as all the others had gone to Moody Gardens for the day. The four decided it was a good time to tour the beach in a golf cart. Teresa said there was a nice breeze, the beach was clean and the water was beautiful. They were having fun and drove on the beach all the way to Bolivar ferry and back…FOUR hours of fun! Ray and Teresa said their “goodbyes” and drove into Galveston for a meal and arrived home about midnight. I heard later Arthur Murl suffered severe sunburn on his legs.

Teresa Anthony also shared that her granddaughter, Lola, is now SIX years old. Her parents are Abby and Brad Lawrence and her little brother Tucker is already TWO. Lola has a busy summer. She was invited to participate in the first Miss Texas America pageant which was held in Houston. The pageant was for girls four to six years of age. Lola modeled an evening gown, had an interview and received an invitation to return next year. She plans to attend Dinosaur and Zoo camps in the next couple of weeks and is taking swim lessons from Mary Grimes who also taught Lola’s mom to swim. Tucker has already completed a week of swim lessons from Mary’s daughter, Emily. In the evenings, Lola is attending VBS at Diboll First Baptist and having a great time.

The Round Table was full one day listening to Milford Ruby and his never-ending stories. But that day, J. D. Johnson told us he remembered Milford in the early 50’s coming through town in an Oldsmobile convertible with his “ducktails” flying. When Milford got out to walk anywhere you could hear him coming in his steel heel taps and he knew how to drag his heels to make the sparks fly!

I received the following email from Sterling Burnett who is married to Bobbie Joyce Wilkerson and both are DHS graduates. Thursday Bobbie & I met Janis & Clinton Clark for lunch at the Black Eye Pea in the area of Deerbrook Mall. Sterling says, “We enjoyed OUR SENIOR LUNCH & discussed our memories of Diboll High School. I remember when Clinton & Bobby Hudson came back from the Military and began school with us. They signed up for trigonometry class and the two of them were the only ones requesting the course. Our Dear Mr. Pate (superintendent at the time) taught the two of them so they could take the class that they thought would help them in the future.” We also discussed if there were any other class mates living in the Houston area but no one came to mind. They chatted for a couple hours and Bobbie wasn’t going to get that close to Dillard’s without shopping. Sterling obediently drove her to the mall where they “killed” the afternoon before returning home.
Sterling also commented that it was good to hear that our City of Diboll was recognized as one nice place to live. Actually, it was rated the #2 Best Place to Live in Texas and rated #1 as the Safest Place to Live.

The Super Seniors of Diboll First Baptist enjoyed an outing to Jasper to eat lunch at the Catfish Cabin. Driving the bus was Charlie Mann and those in the back were: Mary Ingram, Peggy Burt, Ginger Capps, Chris and Meredith Walker, Joe Miranda, Betty Page, Leonard and Billie Robison, “Little” Leonard and Camille Robison, Fran McGilvra, Ruth Mullins, Betty Kee, Joe Nell Placker, Joyce Carr, Mary Lou Havard and Kathreen Chuke. Everyone reported the food was good and the fellowship was even better!

These Super Seniors and a lot of other folks remember a sweet couple, Bro. Raymond and Gerry Dunkin who now live in McKinney, Texas but previously served as interim pastor at Diboll First Baptist. A note from Raymond said he went to visit a doctor for a hurting in the area of the appendix. A scan indicated a ruptured appendix. After being in the hospital 5 days flooded with antibiotics, doctors informed him that another scan indicated a malignant pancreas. He was quickly sent to surgery where they removed about half of the pancreas and spleen. He is home recouping and praising God for a ruptured appendix and no evidence of cancer. They may live in McKinney but there is a place in their hearts for people here in East Texas. I’m sure they would love to hear from some of you. Their address is 5701 Virginia Parkway, apt. 2212, McKinney, TX 75071.

The Fourth of July isn’t all about BBQ and fireworks. It is the day our nation severed its ties with tyranny and it is a day we celebrate our freedom, liberty and the birthday of our country. May God Bless America. Don’t forget to fly “OLD GLORY”.

Come see us…’round the table.

June 22, 2015


While Rodney, Carol and Cameron Cheshire were in Ft. Worth for Rodney to attend a Diboll ISD board training, they learned in the wee hours of Saturday morning their house was on fire. When they arrived in Diboll, it was sad to see that they had lost everything including his new pickup. There are always sentimental treasures that can’t be replaced and for Rodney that included guns from his grandfather, Garrison Wilkins and father-in-law, Cleon Murry. This devastation did not keep them from attending church the next morning and being thankful for their safety, a loving family and caring friends. Rodney is a policeman for the city of Diboll and Carol was glad his uniforms were in the cleaners.

Plans are already made to have a Benefit Dinner for the Rodney Cheshire family. A Chicken Spaghetti Dinner that includes green beans, salad, roll, dessert and drink will be served on Friday, June 26th from 5 -7PM in the fellowship hall of Diboll First Baptist Church. The chicken spaghetti will be cooked by Margie Harrell and her crew so you can bet it will be delicious.

Adults can eat for $8 and children under 12 will be $5. You are welcome to eat there or take it home with you. The organizers would appreciate it if you could let them know if you plan to eat so they can make their plans. Please call 829-4807 or 829-2779 or email janwpta@consolidated.net (Jan Wilkerson) or franmc@consolidated.net (Fran McClain) to place your orders by June 26. A community coming together to help is just another reason I love the dear hearts and gentle people who live in my hometown.

The Diboll police department has set up a special account at the Temple Inland Credit Union if you would like to help Rodney and his family recover from this loss.
Twelve-year-old Garrison Cheshire, son of Bobby (Rodney’s brother) and Chandra Cheshire, received a 30.06 Browning rifle from his great-grandfather, Garrison Wilkins. It was Mr. Wilkin’s 35-year service award from Temple Inland. It was with this 30.06 that young Garrison had an unforgettable experience on a recent Idaho bear hunt. Garrison’s Uncle Cary Cheshire planned the bear hunt with Big Timber Outfitters of Elk Bend, Wyoming not too far from his home in Rawlings. Traveling with Garrison was his dad Bobby, his sister 9-year-old Kaydee and his grandmother, Helen “Ruthie” (Wilkins) Cheshire. They drove and on the way enjoyed seeing Pikes Peak, Cave of the Winds, Royal Gorge, Garden of the Gods and learned the history of Independence Rock before stopping in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In Rawlings, Wyoming, they spent the night with Cary and Carla Cheshire. The next day Cary, his son and daughter, Corbin and Chantry Cheshire and friend, Chase Childress joined the expedition and in two vehicles drove to Cody and into Yellowstone National Park where they observed Old Faithful, an abundance of buffalo and elk but no moose. They arrived at the bear camp near Salmon, Idaho at 9PM where the facilities included a cook cabin, tents, a camper for the ladies and soon to find out…good cooking.

It was the third day of hunting when Garrison said he was sitting with his Uncle Cary “a long time” in a ground blind. After rejecting two smaller bears Garrison finally saw his opportunity and with one shot from his grandfather’s 30.06, he got his trophy. It was an ordeal to get the bear back to camp by evening. The guys were exhausted and were relaxing around the camp fire when they learned Helen had spotted a bear cub that afternoon coming out of Corbin and Chase’s tent. There had been lots of excitement in the camp and everyone was grateful to the camp dogs who chased him away. But later that evening the bear cub returned and the dogs chased him again, this time up a tree and kept him bayed, or so they thought; the next morning the bear was observed in a different tree.

Helen Cheshire was a very prim and proper teacher and principal at Diboll ISD. She retired after 36 years of service and she and I are near the same age. Somehow, I find it hard to believe, yet I admire her, for going on this camping trip, roughing it in the wild and taking long horseback rides through the beautiful countryside. She also spent one day hunting bears. Her grandson Corbin was the only other successful hunter to kill a bear during this trip.

It was the last day when they were packing to leave, the cub was still observing them from a tree that Corbin, in his early 20’s, decided to take 12-year-old Aspen Beck, on a last minute 4-wheeler ride. After a short ride, she asked to get off when she realized Corbin wanted to “jump off” a pond dam. She realized it was a good decision when she saw the 4-wheeler roll down the steep embankment and land on top of him. Aspen managed to roll the 4-wheeler off of Corbin and run for help. Within minutes, a search and rescue team was on the scene and called Life Flight to air lift Corbin to Idaho for emergency surgery on his broken femur.

After all this excitement. Helen, Bobby, Garrison and Kaydee drove to Missoula, Montana, spent the night, got up at 4AM and drove to Spokane, Washington for Bobby and Garrison to fly home. It took them all day but they arrived in Houston by way of Portland, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia. They were met by Garrison’s mom, Chandra and his two sisters, Laycee and Emalee.

Helen and granddaughter Kaydee drove on to Richland, Washington to visit with Helen’s aunt for a couple of days and back to Rawlings to check on Corbin. They spent three days sightseeing and talking to the lady at On Star before arriving back in good ole East Texas. That should be an unforgettable trip for everyone.
Vacationing closer to home was Jeff and Susan Eberlan who rented a house on Crystal Beach for their family to enjoy a few days of sun, sand and relaxation. Family members included daughter Stephanie and her 4-year-old daughter, Olivia; Jake Hale and friend; Kristen and Chris Straps and sons, Christian, 8-year-old twins Alex and Drew and 6-year-old Ryan; Cameron and Victor Castillo and children, Alyssa, Victor, Jr., Lori, Adan and Kaylee. Their stay was shorten by one day due to the tropical storm “Bill”. Susan has been retired since April after nine years at Atlas. She now enjoys being at home and doing the book work for Jeff’s new electrical business, Eastex Electric. He’s certified to work on Generac generators and of course, all other types of electrical work.

Come see us…’round the table.

June 15, 2015


Nita Hurley and Betty Hendrick traveled to East Texas Baptist University in Marshall last week for a two day Senior Adult Conference. Betty’s 2015 Camry needed road testing; the ladies gave it a “thumbs up” for performance and gas mileage (averaged 44 miles per gallon).
The conference, attended by about 300 guests, provided opportunity for alumni and friends to see improvements on the lovely campus, located on the highest hill in Marshall. Betty said it was better than Homecoming because she talked with friends from the 1960’s and Nita enjoyed walking the grounds where her dad, Robert Ramsey and uncles Bennis and Herschel Franks were students when the university was College of Marshall.

In addition to outstanding preaching from Dr. Robert Jeffries (1st Baptist Church, Dallas) and Dr. David Dykes (Green Acres Baptist in Tyler), those present enjoyed concerts by the southern gospel family, the Hoppers, whose rendition of “Jerusalem” was well received; by the time the group ended with “Shouting Time in Heaven!”, many folks who did not think they could stand, did so! Also, The Singing Men of East Texas provided great music as did some soloists and quartets.
A side trip during free time took Nita and Betty to Caddo Lake; even with all the rain and some flooding, the lake is still mysterious and inviting. Their intention was to have lunch at Big Pines Lodge, but it did not open until later, so the ladies enjoyed a tasty lunch at The Hamburger Hut in Jefferson. Overall, these longtime friends shared many laughs during their travel time.

Kitty Bounds sent the following information. This month on June 30th, at noon at Gipson Funeral Home, the LIFT Program is having a “Celebrate America” luncheon with Jackie Havard entertaining us by playing the piano. Gipson’s also provides a free lunch for the participants. LIFT stands for “Living Information for Today ®”…a social support program that helps widows and widowers adjust to the loss of a spouse by engaging them in educational, social and recreational activities.
This month’s LIFT Newsletter highlights Bill Swearingen, Gipson Employee of 59 years. Bill’s comment when people ask him if he is going to retire, is ““I’m not going to ease up, let up, shut up or give up until I’m taken up. As a matter of fact I am just getting warmed up.” He said he loves working at Gipson Funeral Home because he believes he helps people at a difficult time in their lives.

If you have a program to offer, contact the Program Coordinator, Kitty Bounds, by leaving a message for her at the front desk at Gipson’s. If you are interested in attending this month, please call 634-4411 to leave your name at the front desk.

Vernon and Betty Burkhalter enjoyed a few days at Crystal Beach entertaining family members. Vernon’s brother and sister-in-law, Sam and Patty Gill came all the way from New York to be a part of the fun. Landing in Houston, Sam stopped to purchase a BBQ pit on the way to the beach and it was used to cook several meals. Some of the guests included: sisters, Bessie Furgurson, Jerri Ledford, Susie Lankford and Lisa Burkhalter; Valarie Porter and Betty and Vernon’s grandson, Heagan and Rich. Sam and Lisa’s friend, Ed, alternated the cooking responsibilities except the day Patty cooked Italian food for the group. The ladies enjoyed spending lots of time at the beach. It was told at the RT the only time Vernon didn’t have to wash dishes was after the one meal eaten at Stingray’s.

Speaking of food, Allison Amason came in for more of the Chow Chow we sell. She said, “It’s so good you can eat it all be itself.” Shane Dykes told me the pickeled quail eggs we sell are the best he has ever eaten and he has been through two jars. Clay Colwell and two-year-old son, Lewin, came in to buy a new Stihl trimmer. Professional horse trainer, Denise Wilson, came in with three young helpers; Alex, Clara and Keath Hill. Alex and Clara have already been competing and winning in riding competitions in Texas but are preparing to compete in the Canadian show season later this month. Denise is Canadian and she and her family have experienced the fierce Canadian competition.

The Diboll Business Association has a current membership of 46 businesses in Diboll whose goal is to encourage folks to shop locally. The association has completed a new map of Diboll promoting local businesses. The colorful maps are free and should be available at most businesses who are members. Maps are also available at our library and city hall. This association meets the second Monday of every month in the community room at the library at 5:30. Any and everyone is invited to attend.
The Diboll Civic Club was organized to promote Diboll. This club meets the first Tuesday of every month at Diboll Christian Outreach (Temple house on Hines Street) at 6PM. This active group of volunteers was responsible for the recent “Music in the Park”. If you didn’t attend, you missed a treat. This group also sponsors “Christmas in the Park” and “Operation Clean Sweep”. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend the next meeting. This club has accomplished much with a few but could do greater events with more people. Hope to see you July 7th. Diboll is a great place to live and raise a family. I am very proud to say I’m from Diboll.

Come see us…’round the table.

June 8, 2015


Terry and Dale Grantham had all their family members present at Cheddars to celebrate the 16th birthday of their granddaughter, Anna Seale, who is a sophomore at Jasper High School. Her mother, Marty the youngest daughter of the Granthams’ was present along with Anna’s older sister, Maggie. Marty is a 5th grade math teacher in Jasper and Maggie has completed her first year at UT in Austin. Maggie will work as a counselor this summer at Camp Longhorn. Daughter Lisa and husband David Crager were in the group; Lisa continues to work at GP in Diboll and David stays busy with his quality construction business. Daughter, Tina and her husband Rayburn Hance, came with their two sons; 23-year-old Marshall and 20-year-old Morgan. Marshall will graduate from SFA this summer and stays busy singing and writing songs; you might be lucky to catch him performing at The Liberty Bell in Nacogdoches. Morgan is a student at Blinn College. Their mom, Tina, is a Bristol Myers pharmaceutical representative and their dad, Rayburn, works as a sales representative for Texas Document Solutions. Sometimes, on special occasions, Rayburn performs as the flashy Elvis while Marshall portrays the younger Elvis. Terry Grantham is completely retired and enjoys being at home while Dale continues to work. The only job Dale has ever had is working at Diboll Junior High where she has been for 44 years and said they coerced her into staying ONE more year!

Ruth Mullins’ 80th birthday was last December. Eighty is a special number of years. Her daughter Diane knew Ruth would not want a big party so she and her husband Bob Pennington, told Ruth they would treat her to see Neil Diamond in May when he came to Houston. The date finally arrived and it was during all the rain and flooding in Houston. The threesome couldn’t believe it when they drove ALL the way to the Toyota Center with no rain or flooding. Neil Diamond was great and it was a great way to celebrate a special birthday. Diane and Bob also treated her to see Riverdance in January as part of her special celebration.

Leonard and Billie celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 10th. They began celebrating early when Leonard really surprised Billie with a Baby Grand piano Thursday, June 4th. Then Saturday, June 6th, at First Baptist Church, they had a reception to celebrate with their family and friends. It was really a great event. Family who came in from out of town were daughter Debra Mader and her husband, Tony; grandsons, Michael McGowan from Dallas and Jacob McGowan and his wife Meredith from Pearland with their sons and Leonard and Billie’s great grandsons, Logan and Luke. A cousin Walter Silveria came from Georgetown and niece Lynn Warren and her husband, Johnny from Killeen. Also missionary friends, Johnnie and Lahoma Loar came from Fort Worth. Plus local family, son, Leonard, Jr. and his wife, Camellia and their daughter, Rochelle Pena were there. Camellia’s dad, Joe Miranda completed the family circle

Billie and Leonard would like to say “thank you” to all the friends who came to celebrate with them. Everyone made the day extra special for them. The food was catered by J. R.’s Barn and decorated by Vintage Blooms with Teresa Pouland and Bailey Litton. Andrea Swor made the punch and Lena Coody helped with decorations and set up. Everything was pretty and the food was delicious. The Robisons said these ladies will always hold a special place in their hearts and memories. Grandough’s Bakery made the cake and it was almost too beautiful to cut. But cut it they did and it was good. Leonard and Billie give thanks and glory to God for the family, friends and life He has provided for them and look forward with anticipation to many more years of living for Him and serving Him in some capacity.
Darla and Jack Thomason live on Fairview Circle and to celebrate several graduations, temporarily transformed their backyard barn into a tremendous party area with lots of atmosphere and string lighting. Zane Smith and Liesa Starr Larabell graduated from Pineywoods Academy. Zane is their nephew, the son of David and Tiffany Smith who co-hosted the special event. Starr is Ben Thomason’s girlfriend. Luke Weisner, Darla and Jack’s grandson was also honored for his kindergarten graduation. Zane’s dad, David, arrived early morning to prepare cooking for the main courses of BBQ and fried fish. Luke’s parents, Jill and John Weisner, also helped with the event. Zane’s grandmother, Betty (Hannah) Smith and his aunt, Sherri Weeks, prepared the delicious desserts and someone made homemade ice cream. Approximately 60 guests enjoyed the special party.

Darryl and Annette Richardson have always been faithful to follow their granddaughter, Alyssa Dotson, in her softball career. Alyssa is presently attending Navarro Jr. College in Corsicana on a softball scholarship where she is a left-handed first baseman for the “Bulldogs”. The team qualified for the National playoffs in beautiful St. George, Utah. Nancy Mize at Holiday Travel found Darryl and Annette a non-stop economical “red eye” flight into Las Vegas where they rented a car and drove 100 miles to St. George. Alyssa’s parents, Greg and Lisa, were also there. On Saturday the group drove back toward Las Vegas for an impressive tour of Hoover Dam and then on to Vegas for a dinner show at Margaritaville and back to St. George. Everyone was tired but made it safely, back to Texas. Darryl and Annette’s grandson and Alyssa’s brother, Blake, graduated from Baylor and is an assistant manager for Enterprise in Waco.

Charlotte and James McClintock spent the weekend in Victoria watching their 16-year-old granddaughter, Kaylee McClintock, compete in a 4-H Marksmanship state shooting match representing Trinity County. This is Kaylee’s second year to compete using a .22 rifle. Her team placed 11th out of 33 teams that competed. Her parents are Steven and Michele McClintock.

E. W. Scarborough is one of many discouraged farmers whose crops are a failure due to the excessive rains. He said “never” has his potatoes rotted in the ground and everything that should have green leaves now has yellow leaves. We’ve heard that so many times as folks are coming in to buy seeds to replant. George White was in buying okra, squash, watermelon, peas, corn, etc. to start over. Our farmers markets will be short on local produce this year. If you thought gas was high, wait until we see the price of produce this year.

Come see us…’round the table.

June 1, 2015


Janet Kilgore, Assistant Manager at The Joe Elliott House, stopped by to have a flat repaired. She had her sister-in-law Jeannie Johnston from Salt Lake City with her and introduced her at the RT. Jeannie’s brother and sister-in-law is Algie Lee and Wanda Kilgore who live in Diboll. Janet had previously told us Jeannie was 86-years-old going on 50 and she was absolutely right! Jeannie was a spry petite 98 pounds; had a porcelain doll complexion; fashionably dressed with black stockings and loves to ballroom dance. She lives downtown Salt Lake City on 2nd street across from the world renowned Mormon building of genealogy. Janet was taking her to visit someone that was going to carry her to the airport for her return trip home. Several years ago while Janet was visiting Jeannie in Salt Lake City, Janet carried her family records to the Mormon facility in hopes of finding more information but was disappointed. The staff working there was happy that Janet shared her information with them. Janet said she did find a mention of her step father, William Welch and Marvin Baker and The 8 Baker Café that was once located in the front building next to where Pouland Real Estate is today which was Powell’s Grocery in years past.

Knowing how John Ralph loves “old stuff”, Jim Odom came in one day with several items from the old O. L. Hubbard Grocery and Feed that was in Lufkin in the 30’s. Jim’s wife, Sally, was the daughter of Jimmie Jean (Massingill) and O. L. Hubbbard. The building was located in the vicinity of Chestnut and Lufkin Avenue. Jim gave JR a meat cleaver, knives and a sharpener.

Tom Squyres stopped by one morning on his way to “little” Centerville school. He showed me the portable self-contained bee hive he had with him that he and beekeeper, Cecil Hunt, were going to demonstrate the importance of honey bees to Pre-K through 4th graders. Tom was kind enough to uncover the hive and show it to me and even pointed out the queen bee. Tom dedicates many hours of his time to help people, especially when children are involved.

Darrel Stanley visits the RT often. He shared that his sister-in-law and a couple of friends from Dallas stayed with he and Linda on their way to visit Hodges Gardens in Louisiana. It was during the time we were having all the rain and upon arriving at the gardens were disappointed that the blooms were all washed away or beaten down. When the group came back by the Stanley’s, Darrel suggested they go on back to Dallas as soon as possible based on the weather predictions. The girls waited a couple of days and decided to take the backroads instead of the interstate. Darrell really had a hard time not saying “I told you so” when he learned they had to wait three hours for the flooded roads to clear.

John Ogden told his wife Gloria to pack her bag for the Memorial Day weekend because he was taking her on a trip and it was to be a surprise. They drove to Llano for a car show and festival which was a big disappointment due to the weather. They drove to Fredericksburg and decided to travel on to her brother’s ranch and visit a couple of hours with he and his wife. It began to sprinkle but that didn’t discourage them even knowing they had to cross the Blanco River and a bridge to get to the ranch. The rain got heavier and they even had to wait for volunteers to cut a fallen tree across the road. The rain got heavier but nothing bad. John drove cautiously across the river and the bridge and all of a sudden, the rain got really bad. They made it to the ranch and had to spend the night. The news that night reported the Blanco River was expected to get out of its banks. The next morning they couldn’t leave because the water had washed away about 30 feet of her brother’s road. Her brother discarded the idea of using an aluminum boat because broken trees and the current made it impossible to paddle across. They spent a second night. Fearful of having to spend days and desperate to get home, her brother devised a plan of putting a 40’ ladder across the rising water. With one end in the river bed and the other end on concrete, John and Gloria crossed on their hands and knees to the other side. Someone carried them into Blanco where they met their son who had driven four hours from Houston and drove another five hours to Diboll. I bet it will be awhile before Gloria lets John “surprise” her again.
We have on display here at Pouland’s the cutest horse barn birdhouse built and designed by Jimmie Woodard. Chances to win are $1 each or 6 for $5. All proceedswill go into the Diboll Alumni Association’s Scholarship Fund.

Diboll Boy Scout Troup 128 is selling Smoked Pork Butts just in time for Father’s Day weekend. The tender meat will already be cooked and ready for a nice meal. You must place your orders by June 15th. The meat must be picked up on June 20th between 8 and Noon at the Diboll Scout House. To place an order, call Jeannette at 676-8506.

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