October 31, 2016


Over 50 years ago, a young 17-year-old Mike Gibson from Angelina County enlisted in the US Navy and soon found himself aboard the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier below the water line deep inside the rear Engine Room learning about gauges, instruments, temperatures, etc. Mike was on his way to Viet Nam aboard the WW II’s famous “Fighting Lady” that eventually earned 5 battle stars. This past October, Mike and his wife Dianne drove to Charleston, SC to attend the 68th annual USS Yorktown Association Reunion. Hurricane Matthew arrived about the same time and discouraged a number of veterans from attending the annual event at Patriots Point, SC. Mike, the youngest to attend, met former crew members some who served in WW II. He was truly impressed with the spry 96-year-old Art Leach from Illinois who was one of the first pilots to land and take off from the flight deck in 1943, the year the Yorktown was commissioned. Mike was excited to visit his old work place even though it was not on the tour. When planners of the reunion learned that Mike worked in the Engine Room on the Yorktown, they took him there and videoed an interview with him about the propulsion system and how they managed to work in 100+ degree temperatures. They plan to use his video for educational tours. Mike Gibson was one of the veterans of the USS Yorktown anti-submarine aircraft carrier that was treated to several dinners aboard the ship. On one occasion, the veterans were invited to autograph pictures for tourists who came aboard.

When Mike and Dianne Gibson realized that the hurricane Matthew was headed toward the USS Yorktown, Dianne was a bit anxious about finding a safe place. Mike assured her there was no safer place to be in a storm than in that ship that weighed 30,000 tons. It’s hard to imagine that it’s surface was almost the length of NINE football fields! It is also famous for recovering the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule in 1968. Those of you interested in Maritime museums might want to visit Patriots Point in Charleston, SC to not only see the USS Yorktown but also the USS Laffey Destroyer and the USS Clamagore Submarine.

On their way back to Texas, Mike and Dianne toured an antique Fire Museum, stopped in Savannah, GA, Pensacola FL and in Mobile, Alabama for Mike to tour the Battleship Alabama from WWII.

A large group of friends from this area traveled with their RVs to Waldron, Arkansas to attend the Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival. According to my reporter, Nettie Mann, they all enjoyed the music, playing dominoes, eating and most of all, the fellowship with old friends and making new friends. The highlight of their trip was seeing and hearing Rhonda Vincent and The Rage Band al Doyle Lawson and his Quick Silver Band. The group making this trip included: Bobby and Verna Mott; Marshall and Evelyn Crawford; Buddy and Becky Tims; Rolston and Dixie McDuffie; Gordon and Rita Craft; Freeman and Judy Thompson and Charlie and Nettie Mann. They are already looking forward to going back next year. From a “fact-check” Rhonda Vincent is “A firecracker of talent that powers one of the hottest shows in music.” Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver have multiple awards and nominations and are the reigning inspirational Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year.

Received an email from Rosemary Berry that she and her husband John are traveling in their motorhome to Lake Livingston and enjoying a lot of rest and relaxation on their pontoon boat. About once a month after attending morning services at Burke Methodist Church (where she has played the organ/piano for 60 years) they load up in the motorhome and travel. Recently they made a trip to Memphis to enjoy Graceland and a paddle boat ride on the Mississippi River, spending the week playing like kids. During the summer they took a trip through the southern states, wading in the Atlantic Ocean and feeding 42 pair of beautiful white swans. Rosie said, “There’s a first time for everything.”

We did not recognize the tall handsome young man who came rolling in after closing one evening. He introduced himself as Hagen Spring and of course we immediately knew his grandparents, Vernon and Betty Burkhalter and Garner and Mary Lee Spring. Hagen was driving in from Houston on a Friday afternoon when Vernon called him and said, “Don’t speed but try to make it to Pouland’s in time to buy deer corn” Bless his heart, everyone had already left for the day and he had to load his own feed.

Earlier in the day I was introduced to Kenny Franklin who is married to Betty Burkhalter’s niece, Geralyn. They now live in Etoile but recently moved there after his wife, Dr. Geralyn McClure Franklin served as the Dean of Business at the United Arab Emirates University, College of Business and Economics. They were provided a 6,000 sq.ft. Villa with a gardener and Kenny enjoyed playing golf every day. They have one son, Tanner, a graduate of Texas A&M, Baylor school of law and is presently clerking for a federal judge in Beaumont.

For many years I did not know who owned the washteria in Diboll until he came into Pouland’s. Wayne Campbell is not only the owner of the one in Diboll but he also owns six others plus a car wash. One might say he is in the cleaning business! He was quick to tell us about his son and daughter-in-law, Justin and Kelli Campbell, who have purchased Ruben’s Chicken and Fish on Raguet Street. They use their own recipe for the batter. There is a small counter to eat inside but the facility is set up for drive-thru service.

Diboll Methodist minister, David Goodwin, announced at the round table that there will be a special breakfast at 8 AM on November 12th to honor veterans. He is encouraging all veterans to attend and bring any memorabilia to display. For more information, call the church office and talk with Shirley Harris, 829-4470.

Please send news to sandra@poulands.com or come see us…round the table.

October 24, 2016


There was a special group that got together during Diboll Day that call themselves “The Park Street” kids. The majority of them came with their parents from Louisiana in the 50’s to work here in Diboll and they all became very close through the years. In the photo lower left to right: Elaine (Bunch) Pinkerton; Joe Johnson; Sill Bunch; Johnnie “Susie” (Fox) Stewart; JoNell (Vaught) Placker; Michele (Nelson) Fuller; Carol (Nelson) Shaw; Linda (Johnson) Cook; Mary Alice (Bunch) Shivers and “Babe” Johnson. Not present in the picture but still part of the group are: Glenn Price, John Estes and Kim (Placker) Chapman.

Fran McClain sent the following news. We (Fran and John McClain) had friends visiting last week for their annual Fall Trip to Diboll — Gerald & Katharine Nichols from Hoover, Alabama and Joe & Ann Pridgen from Monroeville, Alabama. The girls did a lot of relaxing and visiting and a little shopping while the guys played golf each day at Neches Pines.  While they were here they got to experience the good cooking of our locals: Linda Cordell’s Gumbo, Dwayne Stanford’s Smoked Brisket, Margie Harrell’s Chicken Spaghetti, Tina Jowell’s Cinnamon Rolls and Jalapeno Cheese Rolls, Red Tulip Catering’s Beef Stew & Arlis Havard’s Ribeye Sandwiches. They enjoyed a couple of Date Nights: Music by The Hit Men at the Pines Theater and Tomes Catering’s Couples Cooking Class.

My thanks to Jan Wilkerson for the news about their recent trip. We (Jan & Burlon Wilkerson) left Diboll on a Wednesday morning and had lunch at the Country Cupboard in Johnson City.  The first time we ate there was about 30 years ago.  It is a small hometown cafe with great food. We made Kerrville the “Home Base” for the trip.

Thursday we made a loop through the Hill Country and visited and shopped in Camp Verde, Bandera, Boerne, and Comfort. The drive was beautiful and we enjoyed lunch at Po Po’s in Welfare. Friday we visited the James Avery Store and Visitor Center.  After shopping there we enjoyed watching the deer play all across their property.  A trip up to the Ridge Nursery was a wonderful stop; the grounds were all decorated for fall and Halloween.  A walk through the nursery and all the native plants was a treat. From there we visited the “Empty Cross Prayer Gardens” set on a hill overlooking Kerrville.  We enjoyed our walk through there seeing all the beautiful statues displayed on the grounds.

Leaving Kerrville we drove to Medina to the Apple Store where we had lunch and bought jelly to bring home.  Our waitress told us we needed to make the “most beautiful drive in the Hill Country,” so we did.  The drive is from Medina to Leakey. The hills were beautiful with all the leaves changing colors.  This truly was the most beautiful drive we made. It was then time to head to Hondo for the largest Corn Maze is South Texas.  It really is a Maize maze.  The field is planted in maize each year.  Once the shoots are up, they pull them into the design for the year.  This year HEB was a sponsor and those letters were made into the design.  Several other activities are available on the grounds:  Burlon had to slide down the MatterCorn, a giant slide through a huge pipe and we both went on the hayride through the fields around the Maze.  While there three school buses of teenagers arrived for an evening of fun touring the maze in the dark. Deer were everywhere we went except we did not see any on the drive back from Hondo to Kerrville until we got into town and saw deer eating grass on the grounds of the bank. Saturday was spent in Fredricksburg where an October Fest was taking place and the town was filled with visitors.  We enjoyed a day of shopping! That afternoon we went to the “Chalk Fest” on the grounds of Petersen Plaza in Kerrville.  Sponsors purchase spaces and local artists come in and do chalk paintings on the sidewalks.  There were a variety of paintings ranging from simple designs to very intricate ones.  The designs were to stay in place for several days for people to enjoy. Sunday we had lunch in downtown Bastrop at Paw Paw’s Seafood. We highly recommend the catfish platter if you are ever in this area; it was wonderful. After lunch we left for home and ended our adventure eating frozen yogurt with our daughter, Krista, in College Station where she is a student in their veterinarian program.

Rosemary Berry of the Lufkin Chapter #382 of the Order of the Eastern Star brought information about a pie fundraiser they are having to take the stress out of baking for the holidays. The pies will be frozen so you will be able to use them for whatever occasion you want. They are $12 each and the variety includes: cherry, apple, pumpkin, pecan, peach and sweet potato. They must be picked up on November 18th between 10AM and 2PM. For more information, contact Rosemary at 635-9951.

Gloria Russell Ministries has not changed her mission in 38 years of reaching out to children through after-school Bible Clubs to learn scriptures and Bible stories. “Circle Clubs” are now in 14 schools in this area and meet one hour each week. Victory Camp is a Saturday camping experience for church groups, families and children where boys and girls enjoy swimming, fishing, horse-back rides, archery and other activities, along with a great time of learning under the big tent. These programs are funded by churches, businesses, and families who share the vision of Matthew 18:14, “It is not the will of your Father in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

On November 12, 6:00-7:30, a fund-raising Banquet called “Peculiar in Polka Dots”, will be held at the Lufkin Civic Center. It will provide an opportunity to learn more first-hand information about this missionary organization and to share in this outreach to children.  All funds raised at this banquet will provide monies needed for the 2016-2017 ministry needs. Call Gloria Russell at 936-634-2582, or email grcm@windstream.net to reserve your tickets.  You can find more information at www.changinggenerations.com

This Saturday, October 29th beginning at 10AM in the parking lot at the Diboll Administration should be a memorable occasion to see guys “Be A Hero…Walk in Her Shoes”. Registration is $25 and can be paid at the event or contact Loretta Christmas at 829-4888 for more information. Prizes will be awarded for “Best Shoes” and “Best Legs”. The funds raised will go to a woman in Diboll who is currently going through cancer treatments.

Send news to sandra@poulands.com or come see us…’round the table.



October 17, 2016


A vacation with cousins Charlotte Morris Carter and Selena Mitchell is never dull!  This is Charlotte’s perspective … We left early on a Sunday morning bound for the beautiful colorful Colorado with the sole purpose of enjoying the fall foliage. We spent the first night in Albuquerque, New Mexico, drove to Colorado the next morning and had lunch in Durango at the Diamond Belle Saloon.  The staff were adorned in old time saloon apparel and you literally felt like you had stepped back in time. Great food!   After lunch we enjoyed the scenic San Juan Skyway from Durango to Telluride, Ouray, and finally Silverton.  Miles and miles of fall colors, rippling creeks, and majestic mountains. We had reservations at the Wyman Hotel & Inn in Silverton.  This hotel is over 75 years old and was established by Louis Wyman who came to Silverton, like everyone else, for the silver.  The next morning we had a jeep rented so we skipped our gourmet breakfast and hit the mountains early. Our plan was to drive the Alpine Loop; I drove and Selena was the photographer and navigator, well was supposed to be the navigator! We were armed with a map and oral directions on where to go and not to go.  The drive was breathtaking!  However, at one point we missed a sign therefore missed a turn.  We had been told not to go the back road due to ice on the road.  Well, this jeep road (Engineer’s Pass) was pretty much one way and there was no turning around once you committed.  There was an occasional motorbike or side by side that would come our way but otherwise it was us. The road got higher, narrower, and there were a few puddles from melted snow.  At this point we said that we must be on the wrong road.  We rounded the side of the mountain and there it was, the bad area! The driver side was straight down the mountain and the passenger side was rock wall.  I had already told Selena if there was ice on the road she was going to get out and jump up and down on it until it defrosted because I was not driving on any ice, after all it was 32 degrees!   Fortunately the sun and the other traffic on the road had turned the ice into slush.  We slowly and carefully drove over this area and were able to stop and enjoy a beautiful view of the snowy mountain range.  Most of the drive was rocky but we made it to our halfway point and had lunch in Lake City at a restaurant called Southern Vittles.  We knew it was good because they had a Texas flag flying out front! We didn’t have time to tarry there to get the jeep back by five so we started back.  We had been forewarned by a nice couple on the other side of the mountain that they felt this side was the hardest drive so we were mentally prepared.  They were right.  The scenery was nice but the switchback curves (on Cinnamon Pass) were much worse. Several times we had to drive over boulders.  We had a great time but were glad to get back to Silverton.  We returned the jeep and had been told of a road outside of town that we could drive in our truck and possibly see wildlife toward the evening.  We weren’t disappointed and saw a beautiful moose and his cow that just stood there and posed for us. That night we ate at Silverton’s Handlebars Food and Saloon.  We loved Silverton but had to continue our trip toward South Fork the next morning.  We stopped between Silverton and Durango taking pictures of every colorful leaf imaginable. We met a photographer at one of the turn offs who told us about another scenic route and we followed him behind Purgatory to a gorgeous valley of color.  We left Durango after lunch and halfway between nowhere and nowhere we had a flat!  A very nice truck driver saw us as we were trying to get to a place to pull over that was level enough to change a tire and he changed our flat.  We then continued toward South Fork stopping at Treasure Falls and Wolf Creek Pass.  Our reservation was at the Spruce Lodge in South Fork.  With daylight still left we drove up to Creede for dinner at a little downtown diner.  On the way back we saw a huge mule deer and his doe. We left South Fork Thursday morning driving close to the Dallas area for the night so we could go by Canton on Friday.  It was a long day but we made it and enjoyed our last vacation day in Canton.  We traveled over 2800 miles and had a fantastic time!  #cnsadventures

Kevin and Andrea Swor from Diboll, Brent and Jennie Hawkins with their daughters, Gracie and Hannah from Livingston, all traveled to the Leona General Store & Steakhouse last Saturday to eat at one of the Top Ten Places to eat in Texas. There’s not much ambiance to the plain restaurant/former grocery store but there is a long line waiting to eat. This eatery is only open 3 days a week from 5:30 until 9PM. Fried Fish is served on Thursday evenings and on Friday and Saturday they serve steaks or grilled chicken. The menu is simple, you can select a 10, 12, 14 ounce or larger steak (or chicken) served with salad bar, mashed potatoes and homemade yeast rolls and award-winning pies and cobblers.  They average 300 steaks nightly so go early and hope to get a table. Leona, Texas is south of “big” Centerville on Highway 75.

Bettye Greer is a proud Great-Grandmother to baby girl, Scarlett Morgan Matlaga, who was born October 3rd in Camp Lejeune, NC. She was born at 6 AM and weighed 7 lbs. and 4 ozs and was 19-1/2” long. Scarlett’s grandmother is Jean (Greer) McCollum and that makes Michael her grandfather. Scarlett’s mother is their petit daughter, Kelly and her husband, John Matlaga. Jean and Michael have moved to Naples, Florida where they built a new home.

If you should see Jim Denman in and around First Bank & Trust, he will be very happy to tell you what time it is on his new I-watch. In addition to the time it just happens to have about 40 pictures of his and Lisa’s new granddaughter, Camille Elisabeth Ricks. The watch is synced to his phone so presently he has about 85 beautiful photos of Camille who was born September 7th. She already has Jim wrapped around her little finger because Jim chose to miss his annual fall trip to Colorado. Jim said he had always heard “grandchildren are the grandest thing” but he says, “It’s better than that”. By the way, her parents are Rachel and Jeremy Ricks of Nacogdoches and her paternal grandparents are Ray and Misty Ricks.

Raymond Baldwin and his wife Ruth will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary November 20th. Raymond came in to pick up the Cajun Fish Fryer Ruth bought him for this special occasion. Geneva Ard came in for a new battery for her suburban and told us about celebrating her birthday on September 22. Larry Jansen was in getting a tractor tire repaired. Folks are still buying hunting and fishing licenses. Some of those included Eck Franks, Jose Mott, Gordon Craft, Joe Goins, Chad Harris, Brenda and Benny Dickens. Michael Posey came in with his 3-year-old daughter, Gracie, for licenses and vermiculate for his raised beds. I learned an interesting fact from Winston Hook that legally he has to have a hunting license to rid the pesky squirrels in his yard. Two years ago, he disposed of 27 squirrels who also wanted the pecans from his one tree in his yard. We love it when Andrea tries out new recipes and shares it with whomever is sitting at the round table. She recently made a fresh apple cake with glaze from Terri Burgess’ recipe. It’s called Apple Dapple cake and it was absolutely delicious!

Kitty Bounds sent the following invitation. Gipson Funeral Home LIFT ® (Living Information for Today®) is 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. October 25th, at noon at Gipson Funeral Home is the next day the LIFT meeting will be held. The program will provide a free lunch and guests will be making Christmas ornaments to take home.  If you are interested in attending, call 634-4411 to add your name to the list to be called.

This Saturday, October 22, everyone is welcome to attend the Angelina Cowboy Fellowship Fall Festival at JR’s Barn in Diboll on Hwy 59. The fun begins at 2PM until everybody leaves. There will be lots of games and activities for the kids including pony rides, hay rides, stick horse rodeo, prizes and treats. Dominoes will be available for adults plus an exhibition of cowboy cooking by Delbert Compte. Chili, frito pies, hot dogs, homemade soup and desserts of all kinds plus live gospel music. Bring your family and tell your friends. Michael Britton is the pastor of Angelina Cowboy Fellowship which meets every other Sunday at 10:30 at JR’s Barn.

Come see us…’round the table.

October 10, 2016


The perils of getting older. John Ralph and I finally decided together on the purchase of a new car, a Toyota from our friend Joe Loving and young but experienced salesman, Scott Ratliff. Color was our biggest difference but when we saw this car on the show room floor we were both attracted to it and the “Crème Brulee/Champaign” color instantly sold us. The next day Scott spent about two hours with me explaining all the “whistles and bells” and I still haven’t mastered locking, unlocking and starting the car without a key! If that wasn’t enough to comprehend and studying the 2” owners’ manual, I decided it was finally time to give up my old “slide” cell phone for a new slim line phone that is as slippery as a fish. I have trouble holding on to it and after three days I still can’t find the dial pad much less all the other new features and applications. It’s a new learning process for me and as John Ralph says, “getting older ain’t for sissies”.

My friend Betty Hendrick sent the following news. One of the best kept secrets in the area is the Larry Bruce Gardens/restaurant near Kennard. The Sunday brunch is especially delicious and well attended. For those wanting to have a touch of an old fashioned church service, Larry Bruce and family or staff members offer that beginning at 10:45.  Songs from the Stamps Quartet era are used, with the gathered congregation being encouraged to join in, followed by a brief sermon. On Sunday, October 9th, JoAnn and Richard Rainwater and Betty Hendrick celebrated the Rainwaters’ anniversary and JoAnn’s birthday. It was a beautiful fall day to travel to the country; with a bit of patience and following road signs down winding roads, the trio joined others for the activities. The brunch was especially tasty with choices of two meats, as well as vegetables and other products from the family owned gardens. Larry, his wife and staff members made everyone comfortable by visiting diners and keeping them well supplied with drinks and homemade rolls/desserts. Along with canned produce from their garden, the Bruce family also has a couple of guest houses and plant nursery available for use. Reservations are requested, especially for the Sunday brunch. The lovely setting and beautiful dining room make the trip to the country well worthwhile.

          My busy, traveling friend, Jimmie Woodard, sent the following news. My friend Vivien Standridge and I (Jimmie Woodard) went to Las Colinas for 4 days, where she attended a business conference.  I, however, enjoyed riding the Dallas transit system, DART, and roaming around Dallas, Las Colinas, Frisco and Plano.   I went to the Mustangs of Las Colinas museum, Dallas zoo, Aquarium, antique shops in Frisco, and site seeing at West End.  I saw the biggest Bed, Bath and Beyond I have ever seen and ate at several unique and wonderful restaurants.  If you are ever in the area and like Italian be sure and eat at Victor & Harry’s, it was more than excellent and very well priced.  Mexican food at JusMex was wonderful and well-priced and the ambiance would make you smile!  Now, for the Gas Monkey, which I found out can be seen on the TV show, served my food in an oil pan, very interesting and unique! I had an outstanding time; now back to my very own reality show.  Life goes on!!!!!

Joe Henry and Diane Smith traveled with Ronnie and Sharon Flournoy for a vacation that started in Albuquerque, NM at the amazing Balloon Races. From an insider tip, the group was told where to park to watch the balloons from an uncrowded site. About 325 colorful balloons slowly and continually rise for hours into the clear blue skies over Albuquerque. The Flournoys had never been to this part of the country so they enjoyed visiting Four Corners and standing on the spot where the boundaries of four states touch. Then it was on to Durango, Colorado to ride the vintage steam train 45 miles to Silverton soaking in the beautiful views and cooler temperatures of Colorado. A couple of hours was spent touring the historic mining town of Silverton before re-boarding for the 2-1/2 hour trip back to Durango. They chose not to ride the train in Chama but went on to Pagosa Springs and enjoyed taking hot tub baths in temperatures that reached 108 degrees. They all agreed there wasn’t much to see in Taos, NM except antelope and they were all ready to eat good tasting BBQ upon arriving back in Texas.

Melvin and Kay Linton celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on October 5th Melvin said after that many years Kay deserved a new Ford Escape SUV. Soon-to-be fours year old, Kyndall Martinez, was very happy to receive an early birthday present of a precious 3-week-old pot-bellied pig. As long as Kyndall was holding “Susie” everything was quiet but when someone else tried to hold her, Susie let out some loud squeals. Kyndall reluctedly lets her siblings hold Susie: Khloe, age 5; Alicia, age 9 and Xavier, age 12. Most of you know her mom Cecilia who is a manager at Los Jarritos and her dad is Jay who is starting a new job at Palm Harbor Homes.

A new business, Second Image Resale Boutique & Salon, has moved into the former building occupied by Vanity Salon. DeAnne and Wes Tobias own the building and the new business at 305 N. Hines Street. Their daughter, Samatha, works in the shop and her grandmother, Glenda Tobias, frequently stops by to visit. Their number is 936-526-2504 and email is secondimagediboll@yahoo.com. Stop in and browse.

The Diboll Lions Club met Tuesday at noon at the First Methodist church in Diboll. A Charter Banquet will be October 22 at 6PM in the Temple Civic Center for all new members to actually sign the charter and enjoy an evening of good food, fun and auctions. It’s not too late to become a charter member of this international service club. For information to join, contact Gary Gores at 465-8215, Marcie Bowen at 972-345-5960 or Loretta Christmas at 829-5888.

The guest speaker at the Diboll Lions Club was Jill Navarro with her husband, Armando. October is Breast Awareness Month and Jill gave her personal testimony of being diagnosed with cancer. She had no history of breast cancer in her family, never smoked or used alcohol. She praised her physician, Dr. Caskey; the cancer surgeon, Dr. Arlene Ricardo and Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Jay Shenaq. She thanked God and her husband for the incredible support and they both highly recommended the Westside Surgical Hospital & Breast Center in Houston and insisted that everyone take time to have annual mammograms.

As a service organization, the Diboll Lions Club is active in eye screening for young children and is in the process of providing fire protection for approximately 100 homes in Diboll. Lions will be volunteering to help with the Zombie Walk during Halloween and some will be participating in the “Be A Hero–Walk In Her Shoes” event to raise money for Breast Cancer. This event, sponsored by the City of Diboll will be October 29th. Registration fee is $25. The walk starts at 10:30 AM in front of the Diboll Administration Building and will end at the Diboll Free Press. Funds raised will go towards a woman in Diboll who is currently going through cancer treatments.

Hopefully, you have noticed that the City of Diboll is “Painting the Town Pink” in support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink ribbons are showing up all around town and a “Pink Boot” will be passed around to collect donations. For $2 a pink magnetic ribbon can be purchased to write someone’s name on it and placed on a white van at city hall in honor of someone who has had or is fighting or is a cancer survivor.

Just a reminder that this Saturday and Sunday, October 15 (10-5PM) and Sunday (1-5PM) is the Deep East Texas Association of Builders Parade of Homes. Magazines are available in businesses around town.

Come see us…’round the table.





October 3, 2016

A few thoughts from my classmate, Betty Hendrick, and her perspective of the Country Dinner last Thursday before Diboll Day: As Fran McClain remarked, “People will certainly come out to eat Margie’s food!”  Margie, of course, is the amazing Margie Harrell, who took time away from the Housing Authority office to enlist a terrific group of volunteers to prepare and serve two long lines for a fundraiser lunch on Thursday before Diboll Day.  Proceeds from the event were to be shared among the three lovely queen candidates.  Someone could probably give a fairly accurate count; suffice it to say, the Civic Center was filled with friends and family sharing laughter as well as the delicious food.  From Margie’s signature chicken and dressing, that went along with ham, chicken strips, several fresh vegetable dishes, and dessert—move over, Golden Corral….you have been outdone!

Some folks seen in the crowd: Brenda Russell, Geneva Ard, Bess Andrews, Mary and Woody Ingram, Donna and Pete Smart, Dave Martinez, Trey Wilkerson, LeeAnn Roark, Charlotte Parrish, Peggy Burt, Dianne and Mike Gibson, Billie Willmon, Jay Wyatt, Lisa (Denman) Warner, Bessie Ferguson, John and Fran (Rich) McClain, Brother Kenny Gibbs (who offered the fastest blessing before food was served!),Trey and Sally Denman, Harold Maxwell, Nancy and Henry Holubec, Jack and An Sweeny as well as many others.

Diboll Day is a special gift to a community, which was clearly noted by Trey Denman, president of the Booster Club.  Each of the queen candidates offered well- spoken thanks for all who have supported the contest.  Were it not for citizens and visitors, Diboll might well have become just a whistle stop along Highway 59.  Economic downswings and political differences in recent years might have made this celebration a fading memory; however, headlines do not determine the strength of this city; the hearts of people who look beyond their personal choices make the tradition continue!

          David Kellum was another retiree from Temple Inland that attended the Country Dinner and stopped by the round table on his way home. During his visit he updated us on his son Todd who is a plant manager of a particleboard plant in Roseburg, Oregon. Todd’s wife, Melanie, who grew up in Hemphill and worked as a school counselor in the Hudson ISD, has earned her doctorate and is employed as a school psychologist. Todd’s son, Christopher, is a senior engineering major at Texas A&M and completed a Construction Science Internship this summer just in time to join his dad and David in Southwest Oregon for a 3-generation 4-day white water rafting trip on the Rogue River which is surrounded by forested mountains, rugged boulders and rock-lined banks as seen in Meryl Streep’s movie, The River Wild. They camped out two nights and spent one night in the River Lodge which is only accessible by the Rogue River.

          Friday before Diboll Day at lunch we celebrated three birthdays, coincidentally, all three graduated from Diboll High School. Marcia (Warner) Jones and her son Bob were here for her birthday which was September 30th. Marcia was Miss DHS in 1946. Mary Lou Havard and her daughter, Mary Beth from Louisiana also joined us for her birthday which was October 2nd. Mary Lou was a cheerleader at Diboll in the 40’s. Our third birthday was for Thomas “Spider” Linton who has worked here for years and graduated in 1988; his birthday was September 28th. JoNell Placker and Kathreen Chuke also enjoyed Andrea’s delicious chicken spaghetti birthday lunch.

We truly enjoyed having former DHS students stop by later that afternoon to visit at the RT. Former DHS Lumberjack quarterback from the 50’s, Royce Grimes and his wife Cathy from Myrtle Beach, SC stopped to visit. After serving in the US Navy, Royce earned his degree and became a football coach. He continues to keep up with the Diboll Lumberjacks. They barely missed seeing his classmate, Jimmy McCall, when he came in. Jimmy graduated in1955. While he was here, Sterling Burnett and his wife, Bobbie Joyce (Wilkerson) came in. These two were Mr. & Miss DHS in the 50’s and not long after that, Mr. & Mrs.Burnett!

The round table was the first stop in Diboll for Sterling and Bobbie Joyce since leaving Houston on September 16th to celebrate his 80th birthday. They had been to Branson where they enjoyed Moses and several other shows and on to Pidgeon Forge to attend the National Quartet Singing, Top of the Rock, Dollywood Canyon and all the Dillard’s’ in between. These two were staying with her mother, Oda Wilkerson, who is 100 and planning to attend Diboll Day the next day.

Jimmy McCall was still sitting at the round table when the 1954 Diboll Day Queen, Elaine (Bunch) Pinkerton came in with her sister, 1954 Dogwood Duchess, Mary Alice Shivers and longtime friend and Editor of the 1960 Lumberjack Annual and Class Favorite, Johnnie Sue “Susie” (Fox) Stewart. Elaine and Mary Alice laughed about sharing the same green strapless dress they each wore for their special honor. Elaine said her Diboll Day crown, designed by Rosellen Saxton, was made of painted cardboard with glitter. Their brother, Sill Bunch, from Sulphur Springs came in just minutes after the girls left.

We also enjoyed visiting with John and Mable (Nivens) Powers from Pine Crest and her sister Nancy who lives in Brenham. The Nivens’ grew up in Diboll and John and his family moved here from Fastrill. Nancy shared a “small world” story recently when she was in College Station having lunch at Fish Daddy’s Restaurant. A sweet young lady waited on her (remember that Nancy grew up in Diboll) and seeing a pine cone charm, Nancy asked her where she grew up. The young lady said it’s a small town in East Texas you’ve never heard of…Diboll! The young lady was Corrin Presnall, a 2015 DHS graduate attending Texas A&M. On Saturday in the park we shared a picnic table with John & Mable Powers, her sister Nancy and two of the Powers’ daughters, Belinda and Johnnica and visited with folks on their way to the program.

Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day and after the long parade, folks gathered in the park for lots of food, fun, entertainment and awards. The prestigious Lottie Temple Award is given to someone who has been a part of Diboll and contributed their time and talents toward making Diboll better. This year’s worthy recipient was Dr. Woody and Mary Ingram who have been in Diboll 50 years this past August and made the statement that God had a part in bringing them here. All but two of their immediate family were present to see them receive this honor. Daughter Elizabeth Carlyle and her son Cooper were here from Houston. Son Trey, his wife Calista and children, Wood, Nate and Ellen were here from Edmond, Oklahoma. Mary Ingram first taught in the Diboll ISD and later served as high school counselor. Woody served 22 years on the City Council, is an active deacon in his church and was a member in many service organizations and has received Texas Monthly’s Top Super Dentist Award since its inception. Congratulations!

After the parade and a beautiful day in the park, several classes got together for reunions. Donya Stifle sent the following information about the DHS class of 1986. Irma Guerrero did a fantastic job coordinating this night. Decorations, slide show and 80’s music. We had so much fun reconnecting. Paula Sparks entertained us with music with her very talented voice. Dernold Sigars kept us laughing all night with comedy and even had a few of the ex-football players and cheerleaders reliving old plays and routines. Attending: Jill Deen Morrow, Donya Taylor Stifle, Nelda Scott, Paula Sparks, Paula Sheffield, Charles “pig ears” Mark, Stacey Fasske & wife Dana, Eddie Esteves & wife Christi, Dernold Sigars, Frankie Hall, Isabel Martinez Ojeda & husband, Jorge, Deadra Stringer, Jonathan Levias, Susan Hannah Hagen & husband John, Charmion Moses-Cole, Fidela Valdez & husband Jesse Vola, Rodney Grant, Mary Blount, Irma DeJesus Guerrero & husband Chino and Stephanie Joshua.

The DHS class of 1979 and friends met at Ralph and Kacoo’s for dinner: David and Deborah (Donahoe) Gentz; Deborah’s sister, Daphine and husband; Jack and Darla (Smith) Thomason; John Cheavens; Jim Grossman; Rayburn and Tina (Grantham) Hance; Carolyn Cheavens, Kay Capps, Algie Kilgore, Randy and Lisa Cook. The group was entertained by Rayburn and Tina’s son, Marshall, who was performing that evening on the patio. Some of Marshall’s fans that were also there included his Aunt Lisa and David Crager and Shirley and Lewis Ivy.

Bobby Glover and his wife Ruth reported they enjoyed having dinner with Amos and Janette Lewis and Donald and Billy Jean (Baker) Capps Friday night at The Olive Garden then dessert and coffee at the Lewis’s. Went to the parade Saturday then on to the park to visit with whoever he knew which was very few.

The DHS Class of 1983 had their 33 year class reunion Saturday at JR’s Barn.  The fajita dinner was catered by Del Rio Café.  Those attending were Billy Alexander, Matt & Allison (Lazarine) Amason, Vicky (Scarborough) Benoit, Sandy (McCollum) Bradley, Gina Donovan, Melinda (Vineyard) Cole, Ronnie Coleman, Charles Coleman, Deidra (Johnson) Craft, Aida (Moreno) DelToro, Shannon Farrow,  Bay Bay Gibson, Susan (Beene) Hadley, Randy & Debbie (Oaks) Hambrick, Jerry Handy, Demetrius Harrell, Kevin Hurley, Tina (Wolf) Jowell, Walter Levine, Luis Medina, Vicky Mullins, Thomas McGee, Andy Parish, Marty Scarborough, Brenda (Ruby) Siegman, Leticia (Silguero) Soto, Lynn Stanford, Leslie (Chandler) Stubblefield, Andrea (Pouland) Swor, Jerry Teal, Rhonda Teal, Andre Vinson, Kim (Neyland) Williams, Laurel (Hendrick) Youngblood, Sonya Walker, Floyd Reese, James Bray, Shelia (White) Ricks and Mrs. Ann English Richardson.  We had a memorial for our classmates that have passed.  Ronnie Coleman said a prayer as all of the classmates interlocked arms and released balloons for those that have passed.  Randy Barkley, Mary Joyce Clarke, Dennis Kilgore, Mark Rush, Bobby Williams and Danny Ferguson.  We enjoyed visiting, eating, taking pictures and giving out class awards.  Least changed: Leslie Stubblefield; Traveled the Farthest: Aida DelToro; Married Classmates: Randy & Debbie Hambrick and Matt & Allison Amason; Has the youngest child: Bay Bay Gibson; Most Grandkids: Jerry Handy; Married Longest: Melinda Cole; Served in the Military: Andy Parish & Thomas McGee; Most Changed: Charles Coleman; Newest Newlyweds: Bob & Laurel Youngblood; Most Children: Aida DelToro, Jerry Handy & Sandy Bradley.  Everyone had so much fun that they want to have our 35th on Diboll Day October 6, 2018.  Classmates mark your calendars and plan on attending. Four members of the Class of 1986 stopped by to visit after their reunion at the library, Donya (Taylor) Stifle, Jill (Dean) Morrow, Deidra Stringer and Chuck Smith.

It was a great Diboll Day 2016. Please send me news of other class reunions or family and friends that were in town for next week’s RT News.

In the meantime…come see us ‘round the table.