June 27, 2016


Joe and Kay Gage left Diboll on May 16th in their comfortable RV with a destination of Carlisle, PA. The route they chose took them by way of Tuscaloosa, AL to attend the high school graduation of their granddaughter, Casey Cheyenne Gage, who plans to attend a Junior College and then on to becoming an Occupational Therapist. Her proud parents are Joe Grant and Allison Gage. The trip continued on to Birmingham, AL, Chattanooga and Sweetwater, TN. They thoroughly enjoyed the sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Reaching their destination in Pennsylvania, they parked for two weeks at the Western Village RV Park. During that time they toured Hershey, PA “the sweetest place on earth”. While touring the chocolate factory, Joe said you could see, feel, hear and smell the transformation of cocoa beans into delicious chocolate treats. They bought chocolate bars but none of them made it back to Diboll.

In the Amish country of Lancaster, PA they ate at the Good and Plenty Restaurant where they dined on sauerkraut and wieners and later bought “friendship” bread from the Amish. While in the Lancaster area they toured the historical Gettysburg battle grounds and drove to other popular places in the area that included: Bird-In-Hand; Blueball and Intercourse, PA.  Their trip continued on to Sharpsburg, Maryland to the site of The Battle of Antietam also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. Fought in 1862 it was the first major battle in the Civil War to take place on Union soil and is the bloodiest single-day battle in American history.

Joe and Kay knew there were not in Texas when in just one day they drove through four states: Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. In trying to get to the easternmost town in West Virginia, these two endured a two hour detour to learn more and visit Harpers Ferry where in 1859, a U.S. military arsenal was located and the target of the historical assault by an armed band of abolitionists led by John Brown.

After visiting the historical sites, Joe and Kay drove back to Carlisle, PA to attend two more graduations. One was another high school graduation of Cain Meadows. The second was a graduate of the US Army War College. Joe and Kay’s son, Phillip, is now a Full Bird Colonel in the US Army and Joe had the honor of “frocking”, which means pinning him. Phillip has 22 years of service and will be stationed in Afghanistan for one year. The Gages’ return trip to Texas included a stop in Memphis to tour Graceland and visit his sister in Mt. Pleasant, driving more than 4,000 miles on this trip. Our congratulations to all who graduated and grateful for the safe trip there and back.

There are two more proud parents in Diboll, Luis and Rosie Maldonado. Their son, Marco has completed his first year at Tyler Junior College where he is a member of the golf team. Marco had a fantastic year of golfing. According to Luis, Marco was First Team Regional; Ping All-American First Team; NSCAA First Team All-American; Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year; Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Finalist and ranked 2nd in NJCAA Division II. WOW! Very impressive! Congratulations!

John and Leann Sikes are a couple who look forward to a weekly trip to the lake. John has always loved to bass fish and Leann enjoyed fishing for crappie. Not too long ago, John convinced Leann to just “try” bass fishing. She did, and now she is “hooked”. They belong to the No Name Bass Club and every Thursday afternoon they go fishing. The tournament is from 5-8PM. As of June 23rd, John and Leann were #22 out of 94 teams; seems Leann “caught” on fast! These two also fish with other Diboll folks; Bill and Artie Yates who were in 10th place; William Flournoy and his fishing partner were #2 and the team of Lanton Chumbley and Russell Sparks were #5. Have fun and good luck!

My DHS classmate, English teacher, author, philosopher and good friend sent me an email with the following instruction, Betty Hendrick said to me, “I know you sometimes don’t mention events at the Pouland ranch, but this is special, and I trust you will add it as written:

          Lifelong friends gathered on Friday for a delicious salad lunch hosted by Sandra Pouland.  Sandra and JoAnn Rainwater put together lunch of chicken salad, fresh fruit, peach tea, and brownies topped by Blue Bell chocolate mint ice cream.  Enjoying the meal and lots of laughter and shared memories (the latter of which we are so grateful we can still recall!) were Linda (Baker) Smeltzer, Billie Jean (Baker) Capps, JoAnn (Hendrick) Rainwater, Donnie (Weeks) Smith, Sandra (Powell) Pouland, Betty Hendrick, and one of Billie Jean’s grandchildren, Hallie Flynt.  Hallie was celebrating her 13th birthday and will likely remember a long time listening to stories from us “ancient ones.”  Linda was in town for the Baker reunion, scheduled for Saturday. Besides looking at the collection of animals on the ranch, those who chose to endure the heat shared more good times.  One of the “highlights” was a “Blue Moon” duet played by Sandra and JoAnn.  Once they got into the swing of the music, they played well; we are sure Mrs. Purdy, our music teacher, would have been proud….perhaps even surprised the ladies could recall all of that after so many years.  The event really was a good time had by all! 

Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and enjoy Music in the Park, this Saturday, July 2nd in Old Orchard Park. The festivities celebrating Independence Day begin at 6PM with fun, food, games, music and lots of fireworks. It will be a HOT time in the OLD town that night! Hope to see you there.

Pouland’s will be closed on Saturday, July 2 and also on Monday for the official holiday. Come see us later…’round the table.


June 20, 2016


Diboll School Board members Trey Wilkerson, Ronnie Coleman, Laura Cooper, Roy Salazar, Greg Stephens, and Rodney Cheshire each attended training in San Antonio last week at the TASB Summer Leadership Institute.   They each participated in multiple sessions related to Texas schools, hearing speakers and visiting with Board members from other districts in an effort to learn things that can be used in Diboll.  Every one of the Diboll attendees sat in on a least one session related to the superintendent search process to help better equip them to handle that responsibility.

Once the conference ended on Saturday, Trey and Michele Wilkerson, along with Annabeth and Ryan, headed for the Hill Country.  They first went to Bandera, and the kids enjoyed a performance of the gunfighters in the “Cowboy Capital of the World”.  At the end of the show the kids were sworn in as deputies and given badges, which Ryan is probably still wearing.  From Bandera, they headed on to Fredericksburg, and Saturday evening they took in an incredible performance of Beauty and the Beast by the Fredericksburg Theater Company.  It was a top-notch performance with over 40 actors on stage at one time.  Even 7 year old Ryan was mesmerized for over two hours by the show!

On Sunday, they splashed in the Guadalupe River in Kerrville for a few minutes, then headed over to Enchanted Rock.  It was a beautiful day, and Trey and the kids climbed almost to the top of the 425 foot high granite hill and enjoyed the views of the surrounding countryside.  Then it was time to go back through Fredericksburg and grab some peaches before heading towards Diboll.

The following is news from our local “pickers”, David and Charlotte Carter who own His & Hers Trade Days in Burke. Charlotte writes. We made a very ‘quick pick’ trip to the 200 mile Highway ​70 Yard Sale which runs from Memphis to Nashville, Tennessee. We left Burke at 4:30AM on a Thursday and we had lunch in Forrest City, Arkansas. By 1:30 we were on the sale trail.  We found a few good stops that afternoon and then spent most of the day that Friday looking for treasures. We learned when to stop and when not to even though it is very hard for David to pass up a yard sale.  Our best items we found were at out of the way old homesteads.  We stopped at one gentleman’s home who must have cleaned out his barn of old rakes and such.  We got a primitive post hole digger among other things from him. We met another couple off on a side road who had several things set up but as we talked she told us she had her ‘good stuff’ in her home so we were able to get a few nice items there. One was a bakelite base, gold horse clock.  Bakelite is made with a combination of sawdust and formaldehyde. It is a beautiful piece. The best part of that visit was that we were invited to come back and they will have some more treasures for us including old toys. A nice find at another home was an old cast iron money bank that is worth over $200. We ventured on up to Marion Illinois that Friday evening and met a couple we have befriended for dinner. The next morning we went to her little shop and then to their place to pick up items we had left the last visit we made.  David loaded up an old wringer washer that works and several pieces of furniture including a few cabinets from an old barber shop. We started back home that Saturday evening staying in Searcy, Arkansas and then on home Saturday.  We are already planning another trip in July. We are always looking for treasures for our trade days where ‘old is new’! I recommend you stop by His & Hers Trade Days on highway 59 in Burke where there is always something new and interesting.

Jesse and Suzanne Bradford had the joy of carrying their eight-year-old granddaughter, Addyson Arnold, on a cruise. They left Galveston on the Carnival cruise ship Liberty and sailed to Cozumel and Progresso. Addyson never meets a stranger and had a blast aboard the ship. She stayed busy with the Kids Carnival Club day and night. At dinner each evening she not only tried new foods but actually liked most of it and made friends quickly with another 8-year-old at the table. The waiters always wanted Addyson to dance with them during their evening entertainment. All three, Jesse, Suzanne and Addyson, enjoyed the professional Broadway-type shows in the evening. Suzanne said Jesse was the perfect grandpa and took charge of Addyson while Suzanne got to relax, enjoy a hot stone massage and plenty of time to read. At all times there was something going on. When the ship docked, Suzanne and Addyson did some serious shopping in Progresso and in Cozumel all three swam, shook hands and even kissed the dolphins. It was another great trip for the Bradfords with fun and smooth sailing. Addyson is the youngest daughter of Glenn and JonAnna Arnold.

Jennifer Horton showed us pictures of produce from their daughter’s garden in Conroe. Her dad, Gary Horton, has always had a garden in his front yard on FM 1818 and we were disappointed not to see one this year but it looks like his daughter April is coming along in his footsteps raising tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and several varieties of squash. April is also mechanically talented and along with her husband, Joe Fowler, put a radiator in Gary’s pickup while visiting him during the Father’s Day weekend. Jennifer and Gary enjoyed the grandchildren during the visit. Their grandson, Miles, is almost two and loves his grandma. Granddaughter, Brooklynn, is almost five. She seems partial to her grandpa and made him a special card for Father’s Day. Jennifer has been a faithful employee of the Diboll ISD. She is beginning her18th year in the cafeteria.

Almost every Friday a group of ladies get together for lunch; this past Friday they went to the Olive Garden. The group includes JoNell Placker, Joyce Carlton, Mary Lou Havard and Kathryn Chuke. Afterwards, they came to Poulands’ for a cup of coffee and were delighted to visit with Joe Donald Smith and his son, Bill. Earlier that week, JoNell and Mary Lou visited with Milford Ruby in his home where he and Mary Lou discussed the good ole days of living in Fastrill. Milford is not driving at the present time so remember him and give him a call or go visit.

The Diboll Area Lions Club has boxes around town in various businesses to collect eye glasses. The organization cleans and repairs them to be given to children and adults that need them. We are proud to have one of the boxes available at Poulands so you can drop your glasses off here and come see us…’round the table.


June 6, 2016


Don & Sandy Hendrick attended Doug Waters’ UT graduation party in Austin on May 20th. His parents are Mike and Renae Waters of Diboll and his only sister, Chelsea Christmas, is a graduate of Texas A&M. Chelsea managed to wear orange nail polish but her hair was “Aggie” Maroon.  In addition to Don & Sandy, Doug’s parents and grandparents, some of the other guests included longtime coaching friends, T.J. & Manonne Johnson, Jeff & Donya Stiffle.

After the party, Don & Sandy drove to Fredericksburg and enjoyed some shopping and sightseeing before traveling on to Kerrville to visit with longtime friends from Diboll, Bill & Linda Fulmer. Sandy said their Hill Country home is beautiful! That’s what everyone says that has been there to visit the Fulmers. They are still missed in Diboll.

On May 27, Don & Sandy Hendrick & Bob & Laurel Youngblood went to Magnolia to attend the wedding of Nick Papaioannau & Kaitlin Anderson.  Nick is the son of Rich & Sage and grandson of Janie & Pat McCann.  They left Diboll at 12:30 PM, it was raining very hard and it took five & a half hours to get to the wedding venue. Only about half of the wedding guests were able to attend because of the stormy weather. They were grateful to have motel reservations and not have to drive home that night. The weather wasn’t much better the next day and it took five hours to get from Magnolia to Diboll. It was an experience they hope never to repeat!

Dianne Gipson was happy to attend a luncheon last weekend for the annual reunion of alumni who attended St. Agnes Academy in Houston. It was held at the Jr. League of Houston and Dianne said it was a beautiful venue. She graduated in 1959, at that time the school was located on Fannin Street. Some of the alumni present went all the way back to 1945. It was a great luncheon and she always looks forward to going and thankful to her husband, Mike, who was willing to drive through the bad weather to get to Houston and back safely.

While Bill Dean Yates was in the store I got him to tell me about his beautiful granddaughter’s graduation from James Bowie High School in Richmond. Haven Burrous’ graduation was held in the Toyota Center in Houston at 11AM on Friday. Bill said finding a place to park was most difficult as there were SIX graduations that day all from Brazos County high schools. Some were coming and others going all day long; there was approximately 600 in Haven’s class. Bill and Carolyn Yates attended along with their two daughters, Casey Jackson from New Braunfuls and Cassidy (Butch) Turner and her two young daughters: one-year-old, Piper and three-year-old, Perrie from Apple Springs. Also driving from Louisiana were Patsy (Grimes) Brown and her daughter Cricket. Haven’s little brother, Heston and her mom Heidi, of course were there along with her step dad, Billy Schmidt whose parents provided a delicious BBQ dinner after the graduation. Haven’s older brother, Hunter Burrous, is presently serving in the US Air Force stationed in Japan after serving a tour in Afghanistan.

Owning a Raymond Ryan original oil painting has been a dream of mine for decades. About a year ago I approached Raymond about painting some of our longhorn steers. He called last week to say he had completed the project and I have to say, it was worth the wait! It is a beautiful painting of four longhorns in our back pasture. My intentions were to surprise JR for his birthday last year but he got an early birthday present this year. I would like to think this painting got Raymond “back in the saddle” and motivated to use his God given talent of painting. Growing up in Burke with his siblings, Kenneth, Bobby and Sara Rios, the children of Mr. & Mrs. Cecil Ryan, I asked Raymond when he realized he had a talent. Grinning, in his bashful, quiet, soft spoken manner, he said one of his teachers at the Burke school, whether it was Tennie Havard, Abby Travis or Nell Walker, he couldn’t remember which one, but one of them complimented and bragged about a drawing of a lizard and he thought, “I’m an artist!” At age 19, Raymond took classes from Mary Reid at AC who he said, “Was a big encourager”. He also took lessons at SFA.

Back in the ‘80’s, Raymond approached the ranch manager of the largest land and Cattle Company in West Texas, the Pitchfork Ranch, and asked permission to take pictures of the cattle operation. The reply was “yes” and Raymond moved into the bunk house and watched the ranch hands during the spring roundup through the lens of his camera. That week of photographs inspired lots of paintings. Raymond Ryan has been featured in the Western Horseman and has sold paintings from Massachusetts, Florida, Seattle and is hoping for a buyer in California to cover all four corners of the lower US.

My niece, Marty Scarborough, graduated from DHS in 1983 and four years later from SFA with a BS in education. She began her teaching career 28 years ago in the Corrigan-Camden ISD and has had perfect attendance for 27 years! She also earned a Master’s Degree while teaching and has taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. She is a dedicated teacher and in May, the CISD awarded her the coveted Teacher of the Year Award. She received a trophy, a double ice cream freeze, a basket of goodies and a gift card. Through the years, I’ve seen Marty grade papers while faithfully taking care of her grandparents, “Bug” and Dorothy Scarborough and Geraldine Pouland. I know they would all be so very proud of Marty, just as we are. Congratulations Marty, we love you!

Enjoy the sunshine, remember those who have lost their homes during the flooding and come see us…’round the table.