November 28, 2016


Thanksgiving week was very busy for the Carter house in Burke. Early in the week, David and Charlotte (Morris) Carter were blessed to have his daughter Meredith Romine, her husband Chad, and their 4 year old son from Bedford, Indiana. “Carter” is the first name of the 4-year-old. They all enjoyed visiting the Festival of Trees at the Museum of East Texas and Carter’s love of trains took them to the Texas Forestry Museum the next day.  During their last visit to Diboll they went to the History Center and Papa Carter scared little Carter with the train horn so they skipped that this time!  On Wednesday the rest of the family came for Thanksgiving dinner.  David’s son, Jamie, from south Louisiana and his wife, Cheryl, and three children (Virginia, Ana, and Ethan) came and spent the night. His daughter Amanda Robertson, son-in-law Jason, and grandchildren Dixie Leigh and Jack Davis from Appleby came for dinner.  It was a very nice visit and lots of food was consumed!

Good friends, Thomas and Jean DuBose, traveled on Wednesday with their sons, Tommy and Larry, from Apple Springs to Oxford, Mississippi. Their granddaughter and Tommy’s daughter, Ashlan, lives there with her husband, Dr. Chris Glaze. Thanksgiving dinner was in their home with 13 guests including Ashland’s mother, Mary Frances, her husband, Jeff and younger brother Dre Espenosa from Frisco; her brother Adam and Allison, Jack and Reagan Dubose from Leander, Texas; and of course, Jean and Thomas; her dad Tommy from Austin and Larry Dubose from Belton. On Friday family photos were taken on the Ole Miss campus. After that the group traveled by a double decker bus to the square where activities included a carriage ride, tree lighting, shopping and singing. On Saturday, Thomas and Jean participated in their first Rebel tailgating party on the Grove at Ole Miss. The Grove is a large green space on the Ole Miss campus that transforms overnight into a sea of red, white and blue tents.  Tailgating in the Grove is not just a simple tailgate, there are strict rules and some tents are equipped with all the comforts of home. Most have TVs hooked up to Direct TV with a dozen or so lawn chairs surrounding them.  There are no open flames, gasoline, or propane allowed in the Grove. This eliminates the option of cooking burgers, hot dogs or any other grilled item that you would normally find at a tailgate. Chris took care of providing, cooking and delivering lots of good food to their tent. The temperature was freezing and the wind blowing but everyone enjoyed the experience but only the brave attended the ballgame. Returning to east Texas on Sunday was difficult with lots of traffic and construction but happy to say they all made it home safely.

Jimmy Woodard has been traveling again and sent the following news. I left on Saturday, Nov 19th with friends Karen Barringer, Tara and Addison Thompson and Leanne Hendrick on flight 1638 from IAH to Los Angeles to visit for a week. My luggage, however, traveled to Los Angeles on a different flight and arrived late that night at our hotel. I had a marvelous time visiting Griffith Observatory, reading, learning and watching interactive videos about the solar system and observing the valley, mountains and Los Angeles below us!  We went to La Brea Tarpits for an interesting adventure learning about digs for fossils and the cleaning process of the fossils getting them ready for assembly!  We had a wild, fun time at Universal Studios riding rides, eating and drinking and spent one day at Palm Springs where we ate at Pinocchio’s, a very interesting dining choice.  While in Palm Springs we had an awesome 2 1/2 mile ride on the Aerial Tramway from Valley Station to Mountain Station. The tramway car had a 360 degree rotating floor that allowed us to view the natural surroundings, wildlife and overlook Palm Springs. It was 36 degrees at the top and snow was on the ground.   The lodge-like facility at the top had a gift shop with several outdoor viewing areas and also a large area available for parties, weddings, etc.  The view was breathtaking!  A beautiful waterfall provided a relaxing sound as it flowed down the mountain.   There were hiking trails and even a ski slope; some folks hiked down the mountain, don’t know what their problem was (perhaps afraid of the ride down???????).   Our group returned to Texas on late Thursday night from a fantastic journey…and our luggage arrived at the same time!!

The Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, the Sergio Zapata family was leaving Diboll for College Station to pick up their Aggie daughter, Karina. Sergio and his wife, Deyanet and Karina’s 9-year-old brother, Junior and 7-year-old sister, Katia were all anxious to see her but probably not as anxious as Karina was to see all of them. I’m sure they all had a grateful Thanksgiving.

Roy Smith was happy to share how excited his dad, Leroy, was about killing a deer this season. Leroy is only 87 years old. John Walter Cobb lives on acreage outside of Corrigan. He was outside working on trailer lights when he spotted a couple of deer walking in the edge of the woods. He didn’t get excited about that until he realized a really nice buck was following them. As most Texans, he reached in his pickup, got his rifle, and now has a nice 10 point trophy. John also shared how much he enjoyed seeing Tanya Tucker in Crockett recently. He was 14 the first time he saw her; a second time in 1976 in the Astrodome and this past August in Lake Charles, La. He said she packs the house and puts on an extremely good show.

Looking for Boston terrier puppies for Christmas? One of our customers, Emily Barton has AKC registered red and white six weeks old puppies; 2 girls and 2 boys. Her number is 903-478-2411. Billy and Judy Sessions drove all the way from Alto to get pecans last Friday not knowing the store was closed and drove all the way back on Saturday. It was good meeting and visiting with them as we had several mutual friends. Lynn Carranza has been driving from Houston several years to buy pecans…glad we were open.

Sherrel Fears has moved to Diboll on Burkhalter Hollow Road. I didn’t want to believe him when he said it not only rained but hailed one day about 11AM and several inches of the ice was still on the ground about 2PM. Sam Anderson came in after lunch and said he saw a bunch of “white stuff” beside the highway on FM 2497 and realized it was ice confirming Sherrel’s story.

The Ladies’ Christmas Luncheon, sponsored by the Diboll Civic Club, will probably be the last big Bingo of the year. It will be Thursday, December 15th.The lunch is $5 and each bingo card is $1. Because it is a luncheon, only 5 games with great prizes and 1 blackout game will be played plus you get to enjoy a delicious lunch and door prizes. The time is 11:30 until 1PM in the cafeteria at the Family Education Center. For more information call 829-2779 or 829-4817.

Earl Carr wants to invite everyone to his church, Fairview Baptist, this Sunday, December 4th to hear David Ring speak at both services, 11AM and 6PM. David Ring is a cerebral palsy victim who shares how he became a cerebral palsy VICTOR! The pastor, Gene Hazell and all the members extend a cordial invitation to this free event. For more information call 936-637-1466 or 676-5229. The church is located at 3742 FM 2108. (The intersection of the airport road and FM 58.)

Mark your calendars on Wednesday December 7th for Diboll’s Christmas in the Park at 6PM. There will be lots of music, readings, hot chocolate and the official lighting of the decorations in the park. Don’t forget, it’s getting bigger and better every year.

Come see us…’round the table.


November 21, 2016



George Washington had so miraculously survived war that he often was referred to as “Bullet Proof”. It was widely accepted that he was appointed by God to the role of our first President. His 1789 thanks-giving proclamation was a one-time event that was repeated as the need arose. “Both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

There is one young man I know that is surely “thankful” to be around to celebrate this Thanksgiving with family. Following is what happened the beautiful morning of November 12th as told by Allison (Lazarine) Amason about her adventurous husband, Matt. Two friends, Thomas Baker and Matt Amason were enjoying a fun bicycle ride in Livingston. “The Spirit Ride” is a 44 mile ride that benefits Polk County Crime Stoppers. On mile 35, Matt had a bad crash. While riding fast, his front tire went into a crack in the road bringing him to an abrupt STOP and throwing him over the handlebars. Matt never saw the crack, it happened so quickly and he hit the pavement so hard he thought he had been hit by a car! Matt said if he tried a million times he would not have been able to purposely hit that crack in the road. He was NINE miles from the finish line. In his upset, shook-up condition, he managed to change the tube in the tire and tried to continue the race but soon realized his tire was also cut! He was forced to get a ride from a SAG vehicle back to the start/finish. Matt was checked out by paramedics on the scene and two different free standing ER facilities. It was determined he has two breaks in his wrist; an AC joint separation in his shoulder (on the opposite side of the breaks); a dislocated finger; a slight concussion and terrible road rash but thankful for the helmet! Allison said even with all his aches and pains, he can hardly wait to get back on his bike. Good luck to Matt.

Good health is a blessing and something to be thankful for. One way to express that gratitude is to help someone else in need. Josh Shoffitt, an employee of B&J Excavating is fighting colon cancer (without insurance). A unique custom-built Texas Cowboy Cooker is being raffled to benefit Josh. The cooker has been displayed here at Pouland’s where tickets are available for $1 each. The drawing will be on December 10th. The group is also selling pork butts on that same day for $35. To order, call Jessica at 936-671-3644. On December 9th, an $8 chip beef sandwich lunch will be available at B&J Excavating on Hwy 69 N. Your prayers and support is greatly appreciated.

Enjoyed meeting and visiting with Hershel and Karen Lee who are both retired and have built a home in Coldspring. Karen worked with Richard Warner almost 25 years starting when he was a young, upcoming lawyer with Jimmy Cassels. She followed him to Temple Inland in Diboll and on to Austin when he was president of T/I.  She was also the manager of the T/I Foundation. While she and her husband were working in Austin, Hershel became the Travis County Fire Marshall even though they lived in Bastrop. They survived the terrible Bastrop fire that came within 600 feet of their home. The Lees have three children: Shelby, Ben and Beth. We met Shelby who is a DPS trooper in San Jacinto County and the only woman that works in “crash reconstruction”. Since retiring in 2012, Karen has taken up quilting and enjoys their five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Richard Warner came in later to buy deer corn and was disappointed to learn he missed seeing his former assistant, Karen Lee. Enjoyed a short visit with Melvin and Patsy Slusher when they came for pecans and learned the 19th was her birthday. I also learned that Pasty is an avid sports fan and loves college football more so than her husband. It was so good to visit with Bobbie Bartlett who came in with her son Bill to buy pecans. Bobbie and Geraldine Pouland were step sisters through Bob York and Effie Martin. Bill Bartlett continues to teach Government classes for Angelina College.

Jan and Jerry Morgan came in to buy pecans for their new neighbors, Morris and Betty (Hannah) Smith who moved from Beulah to Fairview Circle. The Morgans told us that Morris is always bringing them homemade rolls, biscuits, pralines, peanut patties or cinnamon rolls. They wanted to restock Morris’s supply of pecans and look forward to receiving more of his neighborly treats. Jerry and Jan were on their way to meet and eat with her sister Suzanne Bradford and Jesse. Jo Grimes also came in for pecans with specific orders from her grandson, Josh Mullins, to make him some peanut brittle. Her other grandchild specified fudge. Geneva Grimes came in to buy pecans as well as Gala Canada, Ken and Gwen Baker.

Sisters, Marie and Carmen (Miranda) Grumbles, had been “running the roads” when they came in for pecans. Carmen shared that her son, Jarrad, celebrated his 48th birthday on the 18th with a Caribbean cruise with his wife Gwen. Both are RNs. Jarrad at CHI and Gwen with Bethany Hospice. I know Jarrad has trouble keeping up with his mother as she loves to travel and “keep the roads hot”. Dave Martinez has been in a couple of times for pecans and was excited that Delores was baking for the holiday. Robert Gaitan admitted Baldimar was his brother and both of them now work at the particleboard plant. Their parents, Mr. & Mrs. Baldimar Gaitan, Sr. came in later for pecans.

What a delightful surprise to see Dick and Betty Albrecht walk in the store. They live in Riverview, Florida, near their daughter, Kelly and had plans to stay in this area a few days before driving on to their daughter’s, Melissa who lives and works in the Kyle ISD. Their son, Dick, Jr. lives in Pineland where he owns the pharmacy. Dick and Betty were happy to visit with Woody Ingram when he stopped by the round table. According to Dick, Melissa’s daughter, Katie is about to complete her first year in the US Army while Sarah is working and attending college.

What perfect timing for a friend to bring a loaf of fresh homemade bread right out of the oven just as we were about to eat lunch at the round table. It is almost daily that Donnie Jenkins bakes bread at home so we were so happy she chose to share a loaf with us. Thank you.

Be thankful for all our blessings and come see us…’round the table.


November 14, 2016


Our wonderful delicious Georgia pecans arrived a few days ago and it’s been busy but nice seeing our annual customers that come in one time a year to buy pecans. One of the first was Bonnie Donovan who bought pecans for her daughter Gina and also for Bonnie’s sister, Eva Gay, who lives in Zavalla. Bonnie has been “bird sitting” for Gina while she is working upstate. Bonnie at one time taught line dancing several times during the week but she has retired from that and is now practicing yoga two days a week. She and Carol Chalfant, who has also been in for pecans, both invited me to join them in taking yoga classes…maybe when I retire.

Terri Burgess came in wearing a big black gawky rehab boot just like the one I wore for five weeks. She doesn’t know when but the doctor said she has a sprained ankle and will be wearing the boot for several weeks. Terri stopped to buy pecans while on her way to watch a granddaughter play basketball at Diboll Junior High. She said they have four grandchildren playing basketball and will be watching one of them on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday nights if not more.

Master Gardener, Vickie Boren, came in with a message of “hello” from Tucker and Elizabeth Westerman. Vickie had baked brownies and delivered them to the Westermans on her way to Pouland’s for pecans. Vickie is a guru when it comes to growing tomatoes. She did her very best to teach me a couple of years ago and even shared her special tomato-growing recipe but it didn’t work for me.

We have also received two varieties of peanuts: Spanish and the large Tennessee Red. Wayne Forrest came in for pecans and peanuts and during his conversation shared he worked with several that sit at the round table from time to time: Thomas Anderson; J.T. Hambrick and Jimmy McCall, they all worked at the paper mill. Mr. Forrest even shared his perfect recipe for parching peanuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the peanuts in a pan and place in the oven for 12 minutes and turn the oven off. Let the peanuts cool down before removing from the oven.

Veda Jackson from Corrigan stopped in to buy pecans pieces for holiday cookies and pecan halves to put in her fruit cake. I also enjoyed visiting with another new resident from Corrigan, Jay Sargent. Jay worked for Shell Oil in Deer Park and spent years coming to Polk County to relax, hunt, fish and shoot. He retired after 33 years and decided to move and build a house on Striker Road in Corrigan. He was surprised I knew his pastor and neighbors, Buster and Judy Grigg. The Griggs purchased the First Baptist Church parsonage when he accepted the call to be their pastor.

Jerry Sue Williams, owner of Vintage & Vogue, came in with her daughter Dana and her song writer son, David who lives in Nashville. David did not attend the recent CMA (Country Music Association) Awards recently but has been on that stage when he received the songwriter award for “Movin’ On”.

Montez McNaughten is Jerry Sue’s sister who lives in Milam. She came in with her husband, Joe. Mrs. McNaughten taught school for a total of 34 years, 24 of them in the Hemphill ISD and some at Angelina College. The McNaughtens were proud to tell us they are Jace Murry’s grandparents. Joe McNaughten shared he worked 42 years for Temple in Pineland, some of that time was working for Sherrel Fears at the plywood mill.

Two elegant ladies who were dressed patriotically and looked as if they could have been sisters came from Pinecrest to buy pecans. They are some of our annual customers: Dorothy Owen and Eloise Richardson and her husband, Loyd. Mrs. Owen always asks Andrea about her husband, Kevin Swor, who she taught in the 5th grade. Eloise Richardson is considered the resident pianist and organist at Pinecrest where she plays for Sunday worship services. I believe the Richardsons lived in Wells at one time and spoke highly of their former minister, David Goodwin, who has since moved to Diboll First Methodist Church.

Some others in buying pecans included: Margie and Clarence Bass; Thomas Anderson; Tina (Wolf) Jowell; Mike Hales; Beryl Moses; Shana Breward; Carolyn Stover; Carolyn Tinkle; Carolyn Salas; Carolyn Schmidt; Sherri Yates; Ken Lambert; Debbie Woodward; Janie Lowery; Linda Miller; Robert Little; Sally Selman; Helen Lowery and Sarah Oliver just to name a few.

David Bowley, Jr. and his wife, Denise, stopped by Saturday morning shopping for a deep fry cooker. They made the decision to buy the popular Cajun Cooker we sell and said they were going home to try it out on fresh Red fish from Louisiana. They were also going by to wish his parents, Dave and Pam Bowley a happy 51st wedding anniversary.

Newt and Jeannene Courtney also came in on that beautiful Saturday morning to buy pecans as well as John and Sue Jasper. Pat Berry and Mary Jule Tatum who have been neighbors for 20 years came in together for pecans. Sisters-in-laws, Rita Cavazos and Blanca Cavazos came in together to buy pecans. Some of you will remember Rita from the Tamale Festival; she made 280 dozen hot tamales and sold out. Vicki and Bob Baccus made a quick stop for pecans but had to hurry on home to get work done in the yard.

Janie Flournoy came in with her adorable 2-1/2 year old blond hair blue eyes daughter, Amy. Janie was trying to get to her deer stand. Ernie Battle stopped by to return a book by Bob Bowman from J.R.’s library.

I have had two ladies that have commented how much they enjoyed shopping at Bella’s on the square in Crockett in case you are looking for a new boutique and gift shop.

Just want you to know that someone very special to us for many years celebrated her 95th birthday on November 10. Aline Stovall has always been an elegant, kind, thoughtful, good and sweet lady. She enjoyed having a quiet birthday at home.

The Diboll Civic Club cordially invites everyone to attend the annual Community Thanksgiving service this Sunday, November 20th at First Baptist Church at 6PM. It’s a great time to worship with believers from all churches and be thankful for our many blessings. A reception will follow in the fellowship building.

Come see us…’round the table.


November 7, 2016


Friday November 11th is Veteran’s Day. Take a moment to remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have valiantly fought to make America the greatest nation on Earth. John Ralph and I are blessed to know and have known many veterans who have served our country, some paid the ultimate sacrifice, while others live with war-torn memories.

John Powers is a good friend and veteran of WWII. He grew up in Diboll, married Mable Nivens. They are very active and now live in Pine Crest. Following is an excerpt from John Powers’ oral interview with Jonathan Gerland at the History Center. The setting is February 21, 1944, two days after the invasion of the island of Iwo Jima. John was a 17-year-old boy from Diboll who lied about his age to join the US Marines.

All night long and there was a number of boys got killed real close to me, but none ever hit me so I guess I was lucky. But the third day, that would be the 21st, I’ll never forget it. We were laying down on Airfield #1 near Suribachi, they were shooting above us. We should have already been on the other end of the island but we were still there on the airstrip. All of a sudden, I think every boat and there must have been a thousand or more boats there, but they all started blowing their darn horns, and you know, you think the war is over or something. But anyhow I looked back over my shoulder and saw US Marines raising the United States flag on Mount Suribachi.  I can say I was one of the people that saw the flag go up. We never went up Mount Suribachi, our object was going to the other end of the island. John Powers’ entire interview can be read on The History Center’s website but this five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest fighting of the war in the Pacific during WW II. The US flag was raised on the 5th day of the 36-day battle.  In 1954, the flag raising picture was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), located adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery.

Billy Graham once said, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” When I see someone kneel during the singing of our National Anthem, it makes me sick even though I understand our constitution gives them the freedom to do so, they surely must not know that people died for that freedom!! May God have mercy on America!

The public is invited to attend a Veterans Day program on November 11th at 9:30 in the H. G. Temple gym (on Lumberjack Drive). All veterans are invited to attend and stay for a luncheon with the students.  On Saturday, the 12th, the First Methodist Church of Diboll is having a special breakfast at 8 AM to honor veterans. Pastor David Goodwin encourages all veterans to attend and bring any memorabilia to display. For more information, call the church office and talk with Shirley Harris, 829-4470.

A grateful Betty Windsor was the recipient of the funds raised by the city of Diboll during a month long campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness. Betty survived breast cancer for two years before it reoccurred as bone cancer stage 4 in her liver and leg. With the support of her family and friends she has made many trips to M. D. Anderson in Houston. Presently, she is weak but gaining strength and takes chemo injections. To convince Betty to go to the city hall, her mother Thelma Houston, told a fib that they needed to sign a petition. When Betty arrived with her mother and twin sister, Denna, Gary Boren opened a folder and gave a check to Betty who was so appreciative. Betty is married to Curtis Windsor and they have two children; 19 year-old AC student, Malinda and 5th grader, Joshua. There are many in our community that are fighting cancer and our hearts and prayers go with them as well as Betty Windsor. Many thanks to Loretta Christmas and others who helped with the month long campaign.

Vic Bass was invited to First Baptist Church Atlanta, Georgia, whose pastor is Dr. Charles Stanley. Although Dr. Stanley was out of town, Vic was the guest of Anthony George, Senior Associate Pastor, who preached in his absence. Vic and Anthony have been close since Vic introduced him to Jesus while both were living in Dallas, Texas. While in Atlanta, Vic got a tour of the church where he had his picture made on stage with Anthony and also toured the In Touch facilities.

We were pleased to meet Matt Courtney who stopped by the round table. We know his grandparents, Newt and Jeanene Courtney. Matt is a flight instructor with Courtney Aviation and a third generation of pilots: Newt, his dad, Chad and Matt. According to his grandparents, Matt is very entrepreneurial, organized and creative and true to that has started a new venture, T&C Gutters with Austin Thigpen. They installed seamless gutters and were in Diboll working on the new pizza place. Give them a call at 936-219-9155 when you need gutters.

Lynnwood Matchett was the lucky winner of the Diboll 4-H’s raffle for a Savage 17 WSM and Garrett Peck sold the winning ticket. Bill Dean Yates was in buying Liberty overalls. Larry Lucas was in for peanuts and syrup. Richard Warner came in to buy deer corn. Betty Kee was doing a little shopping while waiting for her neighbor, Tina Hannah, to get home from work so they could go eat at Golden Corral.

Our Georgia pecans have arrived and seem even better than the year before. Peanuts are also available.

Don’t forget to tell a veteran “Thank You” and come see us…’round the table.