December 26, 2016


Pouland’s The Everything Store was closed on Christmas Eve and all of us thoroughly enjoyed spending time away from this place although it is good to visit with customers when they come in shopping for something special. Anyway, JR and I drove to Dean’s Meat to pick up the main dish for our Christmas evening gathering at the Swor’s. The owner, Dean McMullen, got up and met us as we were going through the buffet for lunch. He wanted to let us know that his family wouldn’t have Christmas dinner because he was selling us the steaks he was saving for his family dinner. He later sat down with us as we ate to re-assure us he was teasing. He introduced us to his wife who works with him and said they would soon be married 55 years and neither is ready to retire. We told Dean we had learned he had ordered a new catering trailer through our computer guru, Bill Havard, who traveled with his state trooper son-in-law, Chad Wilson to Georgia to bring the trailer back to Dean’s in Huntington. Dean also shared that the meat market, the day before, had sliced over 9,000 slices of ham for the Dream Center which coordinated a plan to cook and deliver 7,500 meals on Christmas Eve. Lots of volunteers helped make the meal a reality. Sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone that had a part in making Christmas Merry for lots of folks.

Pastor of the Diboll Methodist Church David Goodwin, who bears a good resemblance to Santa somehow convinced Gary Gores to dress as an Elf and the two delivered Christmas greetings to folks in Trinity Mission and other shut-ins. The “elf” has the proof in dozens of photos taken including one of Becky, a manager at the Family Dollar store who was checking out someone buying candy in a red suit. We’ve also heard that one of our local policemen stopped Santa Claus for speeding and was totally surprised when he realized who was driving the car. In his defense, who would ever think Santa would be driving anything but a sleigh?

Don & Sandy Hendrick celebrated Christmas eve at candle light service at First United Methodist church and in their home with all their family Laurel & Bob Youngblood, Jennifer Hendrick, Jordan & Tyler Eldridge, Lindsey ( Harper) & Earl Morris, Jayla Finley, Aiden Morris, J.R. & Alaryca, Aniston Ray Youngblood, Brynn Maxwell.  Tissue paper, wrapping paper & bows were flying for several hours with all these people opening gifts. On Christmas day this family went to church to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.  At 5 PM the family had dinner with special guests James, James Jr and Jarred Galuszka, Alicia Cruz, James Snarr, Jose Calderon, Stephen Baird, David, Melanie, Natalie and Katie Goodwin

Robert Ramsey stopped by the store to visit. We were talking about Christmas when he said his wife Nancy gave him a package which surprised him because they don’t exchange gifts. He anxiously opened it and was happy to see it was two cans of mixed nuts which Nancy immediately took from him and said she needed those to make Texas Trash.

If you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping or thinking about gifts for special occasions during 2017, you might want to contact Frank Farrow who is a very talented craftsman with wood. From wolmanized wood he has, for years, made gliders and hanging swings but has added coffee tables, hall tables, clocks and jewelry boxes made from cedar that was grown in Beulah. He also continues to take special orders to build bird houses and squirrel feeders. He also proudly shared that he and Teresa have been married 53 years as of December 21st. Congratulations! By the way, his number is 936-829-5040.

Enjoyed visiting with Harold and Donna Plath who recently returned from their second home in Walden, Colorado. They have been there since June where Donna has worked in the local bank for 12 years and Harold does maintenance in the oil field and for local ranchers. They told us Walden is 62 miles from Laramie, WY; 62 miles from Kremmling, CO; 62 miles from Gramby, CO and 62 miles from Steamboat Springs, CO and they experience living with snow every month of the year except June and July. Donna said she wore insulated clothes to the annual 4th of July celebration. Walden is the only town in the county of about 800 people of which 550-600 live in town. Donna got her banking experience while working at Lufkin Federal Savings and Loan almost 25 years. When they are in Texas, they live in Central and Harold works at his shop in Apple Springs. They also enjoy their hunting lease, Las Escobas, in El Sauz near Rio Grande City where Harold has hunted since he was 8 years old.

Dianne Gibson and Betty Capps enjoyed traveling with the Senior Circle from Woodland Heights to Natchitoches, Louisiana where they spent two nights enjoying the Christmas lights along the Cane River. The days were filled with touring homes decorated for Christmas, shopping and eating. Two special restaurants where they enjoyed eating were The Landing and The Mariner. These two highly recommend joining the Senior Circle for $15 per year that includes monthly informative meetings and several trips during the year.

You can support Project Celebration by buying fireworks at their stand in the parking lot of J.R.’s Barn this week until midnight on New Year’s Eve. They also still have $100 tickets for sale with the opportunity to win $10,000. Tickets are available at Pouland’s.

Our thanks to Bill Smith for the delicious meal of hot tamales with all the trimmings and also to Darlene Stephens for a whole tray packed with lots of goodies including cranberry bread, crockpot candy and fudge. So many people have brought so many goodies to the round table and for that we are thankful. I noticed several enjoyed tasting the good food at the round table. At one time I saw Skeeter Scarborough, Buddy Shipp, Mack Coward, Bill Dean Yates, Gary Jones, Mark Hafernik, J.D and Sue Johnson and Fran McGilvra.

The coffee is always on, please me of you join us…’round the table.

December 12, 2016


Congratulations to a longtime customer of ours, Sue Baker. Sue was all smiles telling about winning a book and gift card for completing a “reading challenge” at Temple Memorial Library. The challenge began in January and ended December 1. Forty books were selected by the library staff which also read the books. The purpose was to get people to read books they might not ever pick up to read on their own. Sue was one of five adults that completed the challenge and according to Justin Barkley, “A lot of adults were really close to completing the challenge.” Justin also said the library is working on another list of books to begin a new challenge in January.

Jack and Gayle Beene stopped by early Wednesday afternoon to visit and were disappointed they missed the annual Christmas dinner at the civic center. They live in Jack’s hometown of Mexia where they built a home on land that has been in his family for years. Jack enjoys rebuilding old tractors and Gayle volunteers helping others and enjoys her garden club and they are both active in their church. From here they drove to their old neighborhood in South Meadows and visited with former neighbors, Don and Dolly Whitaker.

Mark and Ann Hafernick hosted their grandson Gibson Hafernick’s 4th birthday party at their home. Gibson’s parents are Angela and Brian Hafernick. It was a farm party complete with plans for a hayride to the barn and an opportunity to feed chickens, goats, cows, horses and tractor rides were also on the agenda. Unfortunately, it rained 4”on that cold Saturday morning so the party was moved inside and original plans were substituted with lots of farm related games and activities. The children still had a wonderful time and left with homemade stick horses as their party favor!  The stick horses were made by Angela and members of the Caskey family at their Thanksgiving celebration. Attending were several of Gipson’s classmates from St. Cyprians, friends from church and cousins, Alex and Millie and their parents, Ron and Michelle Haney from Lufkin. Gibson’s maternal grandparents, Jim and Ann Caskey, also enjoyed the party which was lots of fun and turned out to be the best “indoor” farm birthday party ever!

Jimmie Woodard went with friends Dell and Jerry Sawyer to Durango’s Canyon outside of Mt. Enterprise and had a delicious meal at the Crater Restaurant and Club.  She reported that the food was good, but prices were a little high. The music was excellent and not so loud you couldn’t visit and enjoy your evening.  The ambiance of the outside surroundings was awesome.  The restaurant sits high and overlooks the crater and the Christmas decorations at the foot of the crater were pretty awesome. So, you might ask, “What’s the story on The Crater? “No one is certain. There is the legend that thousands of years ago a huge meteorite fell to earth and left this natural crater. One can find some interesting boulders which could possibly be meteorite debris. Then there are the stories that The Crater was formed by the Caddo Indians for their use. Arrowheads and Indian artifacts have pushed their way above the ground. Located on 120 acres, the restaurant sits on the rim of the Crater Amphitheater overlooking the stage at Durango’s Canyon and is open Wednesday through Saturday evenings.

          Two guys came in the store at the same time and I learned they both graduated from Diboll in 1992. Jose Hernandez, Jr. and Bobby Lee who both live in Diboll. Jose and his two brothers, Cesar and Juan had returned from Green Bay, WI where they watched the Packers win over the Houston Texans. Before that trip, Jose, his two sons, 9-year-old Trey and 11-year-old Santana and Chaundra Hawthorn attended the game between the Cowboys and Packers. In fact, they attend all the home games in Green Bay and have tickets on the 20-yard line.

          Bobby Lee, as a hobby, raises AKC Labrador Retrievers to run and compete in AKC field trials. After last week’s competition in Hillsboro, Bobby’s prize dog, “Jammer” who is only 16 months old is ranked #21 in the nation. He trained the dog for about a year but since then Jammer is being professionally handled and trained by Mike Johnson of Piney Creek Retrievers in Corrigan. Bobby also raises birds used in training dogs and presently has about 900 pheasants and ducks at his house.

          Two good friends who worked together for years and have hunted together for “too many years to remember”, Eugene May and John Wallace, truly enjoy hunting. They recently returned from a two-week trip to Montana and South Dakota.  They hunted for five days in Montana staying in the outfitters’ lodging. The temperatures broke records for being the hottest in years but these guys both got a mule deer before driving 300 miles to the area of the Badlands’ in South Dakota. Eugene had a picture of the 300 pound deer he bagged with four HUGE antlers that were extremely wide and tall. I was astounded but Eugene in his mild, quiet manner said it wasn’t much by SD standards. John Wallace amazed them all with his 4×4 mule deer he shot at 505 yards by carefully getting down on his bad knees, bracing and calculating the long distance shot. Before leaving home Eugene had already killed two nice 11 pointers; one in the Tower Club and one in the Dean Creek Club.

          Ramiro Perez came in just as Eugene was leaving and was very proud of the 14-point buck that he had gotten in the Tower Club. Ramiro said the thick rack scored 138 points and was 14-1/2” wide.

          The Diboll Lions Club met for their regular monthly meeting at the First Methodist church. The speaker was Drew (Andrew) Estrada, a senior at DHS and expected to be the Valedictorian of his 2017 graduating class. He told us about his freshman year when he planned to take a culinary class that filled up and he had to take an agriculture class. Getting injured and unable to play sports, he got involved in FFA and presently holds an area office that includes 89 school districts and 11,000 members. He has been accepted to Texas A&M and plans to major in Nutritional Science. He challenged the Lions Club to speak up and speak out for everyone in the community. This young man was a very impressive speaker.

          You missed a treat if you did not attend “Christmas in the Park”. It was a wonderful evening with singing and scriptures. After the program The Diboll Civic Club had the Christmas lights turned on in the park just in time for Santa to arrive on a firetruck. Please take time to drive through the park and see the many exhibits, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

          Please send me news and come see us…’round the table.





December 5, 2016


A very special Thanksgiving holiday was a joyous time in the home of Janet Kilgore. It was a great feeling, after five surgeries, three of them from cancer since 2009, for Janet to hear laughter, jokes and old stories shared about the good ole days when family and friends get together. All five of Janet’s sons were home which brought indescribable joy to her heart. Visiting the Kilgore household: Alberta Potts from Lake Fork; Brandon Hopp from Groveton; Jonnie, Teresa, Gracie and Wesley Kilgore from McMinnville, Oregon; Donnie Kilgore from Pearland; Ronnie, Stacy, Kraig and Kolton Kilgore; Lonnie and Tommie Kilgore, Gary, Landon and Lela Rector, all from Diboll.  Ruben Kilgore from Pineland; Rex and Tina Bankston from Conroe. Jonnie and family enjoyed the History Center where Louis Landers helped them trace old family names in Teresa’s history. Wesley enjoyed the train, especially ringing the bell and blowing the horn. After visiting old friends in this area, two weeks came to an end too quickly for them to fly back to Oregon.

Carmen (Grumbles) Miranda went on another RSVP bus trip to Branson MO returning on Saturday December 3 which was her 71st birthday! Some of the great shows she saw there were Puttin’ On The Ritz, Brett Family Show, Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies, The Million Dollar Quarter Show, 70’s Musical Celebration starring Barry Williams (Greg from the Brady Bunch) and The Hughes Brothers Christmas Show. Also had a three-course meal onboard the famous Showboat Branson Belle while enjoying Broadway-style entertainment. Shopping in historic downtown Branson especially Dick’s Old-time 5 & 10 was fun but unfortunately things were not five and ten cents! On return trip stopped at William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock AR.  Former Dibollians Earl and Joyce Carr were also on the bus.

Hunting buddies, Dennis Lenderman and Jerry Hemphill, took another opportunity to go hunting in West Texas. Arriving at the site they thought it a good idea to check their guns with a quick target practice. Almost instantly, two vehicles arrived on the spot and two game wardens got out of their pickup and others got out of a black suburban with cameras and begin filming the conversation. The game wardens asked Dennis and Jerry if they knew it was illegal to target practice. Of course they said “No” to which one of the game wardens pointed back toward a sign at the entrance that stated the rule. The game wardens noticed the two hunters had a side-by-side ATV and asked if they had a permit for it to which they both answered “No”. Dennis never said if any tickets were issued but afterwards the people with cameras approached them about signing a “release” which would allow Dennis and Jerry’s faces to be shown on the TV series, Texas Game Wardens, Lone Star Law. This TV series follows the men and women game wardens with Texas Parks and Wildlife as they patrol and protect our Lone Star state’s natural resources and police its 27 million citizens. I hate that I didn’t get Dennis’ autograph since he and Jerry may become TV celebrities.

It’s not often we see George Vinson from Chester since his retirement but he recently stopped by the round table and was tired from traveling and ready to get home. George is president of the Central Texas Beefmaster Breeder Association and had been to Nevada and California encouraging ranchers to buy Beefmaster bulls. While he was here Harold Maxwell came in and the two of them truly enjoyed talking about cattle and ranches. When Harold was about 15 his dad moved the family to Colorado where he managed a ranch in the areas of Simla and Lyman, Colorado near Matheson where Tom Lasater developed the Beefmaster breed. Harold and George mentioned too many names and places they both knew that I couldn’t keep up with them. I do remember Harold saying there were only 35 kids in the Agate high school where he played 6-man football and rode the school bus 25 miles.

George Vinson brought me up to date on his family. His nurse wife Gayle continues to do ultrasounds at the hospital in Woodville. Their son Shannon and his wife Lisa live in Huntington with Pierce, age 16; Parker, age 15 and Lana, age 10. Son Ryan and his wife Carrie live in The Woodlands with Abby, age 8; Chase, age 6 and Mollie, age 2. Daughter Robin and her husband, Tracson Stockton live in Warren where she teaches. Their children are Madison, age 8 and Garrison, age 5.

Ladies, don’t forget to attend the Christmas Luncheon and BINGO, Thursday, December 15th in the Family Education Center. Lunch is $5 and each card is $1. There will be five games of bingo with great prizes and one blackout game.

On Friday, take time to visit our awesome TLL Temple Library during the day and say “good bye” to Brenda Russell who is retiring. She has served the library for many years and has seen many changes and improvements. Do plan to go by for refreshments, visit with Brenda and see the 12 beautifully decorated Christmas trees inside. The outside is also very pretty at night.

Sunday, December 11th there will be an Open House at the brand new Ryan Chapel church, 2 – 4PM. The church, which originally was founded in 1865, burned about 18 months ago and everyone is happy that the construction is completed. Pastor Charles Weeks and members invite the public to come see the new building and celebrate this special event. Kathi (Weeks) Jordan is the organist and Mary Florence (Weeks) Hendry is the pianist. This congregation may be small but they are to be commended for completing the new building which is debt free. They invite anyone looking for a new church home to come worship with them. A formal dedication will be held later.  For folks that don’t know, the church is located at the intersection of FM304 and FM2497 about 2 miles east of Hwy. 59 on FM 2497.

Enjoy the season and remember the real reason. Come see us…’round the table.