September 26, 2016


Diboll Day 2016 will soon be another memory. Please express your appreciation to any and all you know that have worked so hard to make this another successful event. It was good to see Milford Ruby taking care of his Diboll Day responsibilities which includes special parking passes. Milford said he has not missed a single Diboll Day since its inception in 1953. Milford was in the US Army in 1953 and was successful at getting a leave to come home for Diboll Day. He traveled by train and was met by his parents. Milford recalls seeing his dad from his seat on the train and did not recognize him because of his ugly bushy mustache which he was wearing for the Diboll Day Beard Growing contest. The rules said, “wear a beard or mustache or for the ladies, makeup, or pay a fine”. Luckily, Milford was able to wear his Army uniform and not be penalized for not having a beard. If I’m not mistaken, Milford has won the ugly beard contest in past years. Anyway, the hard work will be over with this Saturday. If you haven’t heard, the parade with begin at 9AM and not 10 as usual.

Billie and Leonard Robison took a trip to Branson a few days ago in their beautiful motorhome. The highlight of their trip was seeing the extravagant production of Moses. They were happy to finally have good weather to see the Shepherd of the Hills and also enjoyed The Irish Tenors & Celtic Ladies, Country Jamboree Comedy Variety Show and Max Bacon Gospel show. During the visit they also visited the Titanic Museum, the Veteran’s Museum and the popular Dick’s Five and Dime. They ate at the well-known Falls River Steak House known for their T-Bone and Ribeye steaks.

This past Saturday was an interesting day for the Robison’s.  They both grew up on Galveston Island and went there to visit their old historical home that was sold to a lady who completely renovated and opened it as a bed and breakfast.  The owner had invited Leonard and Billie to spend the first night in the bed and breakfast several years ago.  Now she is selling it and invited them to come see what else she had done to the house.  So early Saturday morning they were off to Galveston.   They went to see Coastal Dreams Bed and Breakfast and visited with some of the guests there.  In fact, one couple was from Alaska and were waiting for a cab to take them to the Shrimp Festival on the Strand.  The cab was slow coming so Leonard and Billie took them to the Strand.  One of the stops they always make while in Galveston is at Ohana Surf Shop.  The young man who is now the owner, William Cram, worked for Leonard and Billie when they owned the Sunrise Surf Shop there.  Billie said, “Well, there was a surf contest going on so these two elderly people walked across the Galveston seawall to the beach where we met up with many of our old workers and customers.  What a reunion.  These ‘young people’ really think a lot of Robby, as he was called at the shop.  They were having dinner at the Four Seasons conference room later in the day and invited us.  We went to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, The Original Mexico Café, then rode around to all our old haunts.  We went back to the Four Seasons for the meet and greet with our surf crowd friends and look at old pictures but because the weather turned rainy and windy we decided not to stay for dinner and left Galveston about 4PM for home. What a day.”

Don and Tyane Deitz traveled with Dr. David Balliett, a veterinarian in Longview, and his wife Claire to Portland Maine. They stayed at The Yachtman in Kennebunkport Bay several days while sightseeing the area. Almost every day they hiked 1-1/2 miles to the guard shack at Walker’s Point which is the summer home of 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush. One afternoon while hiking, a sudden thunderstorm caught the group and they tried to take shelter in the beautiful 1890 St. Ann’s Episcopal stone church but the gardener would not allow them to sit under its portico. Needless to say walking in wet clothes and shoes did not make them happy. Another day they were wearing Texas A&M shirts and were surprised when secret service guys told them they had been watching them every day come to the guard shack and turn around. Another day the group enjoyed shopping in Freeport, a town full of outlets, including LL Bean and Orvis. The week was filled with beautiful seascapes and eating lobster and clam chowder. It was a good trip except for delayed flights and getting to Houston with no luggage.

Traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to attend the Kentucky Grand Chapter of the Eastern Star was Sue Johnson, Carolyn Black, Marceline Crenshaw and her cousin, Maddelin. Marceline was the Grand Representative of Kentucky in Texas Order of the Eastern Star. They attended a banquet and luncheon and bragged on the food. While in Louisville they toured the Evans Williams Bourbon Distillery and drove into Indiana just to say they had been in another state. In LaGrange, Kentucky they toured the original home of Dr. Rob Morris who formed the Order of the Eastern Star in 1893. In his home, they were impressed with the wood burning stove in the kitchen and chamber pots under the beds. The ladies spent a night in Jackson, Tennessee with cousins of Marceline and Maddelin.

I think Dr. Walt Grote was surprised that Andrea recognized him after being gone 27 years from this area. He lives in Ozone, Arkansas and was in East Texas visiting family. He lives in a remote area where his nearest neighbor is a black bear and refuses to leave home during October because the leaves are so beautiful. He showed pictures from last year of the breath-taking foliage on his property. Dr. Grote continues to work as an anesthesiologist, has chickens and enjoys raising horses.

The tour of the new science wing at Diboll High school was very interesting and should make us all very proud to have such a nice facility. I was also impressed with the refreshments that were available. Tina Jowell made homemade cookies cut and decorated into the shape of flasks and small square cookies with the chemistry symbols of the periodic table. She is married to the only Chemist in Diboll, Phil Jowell, who also teaches in the new lab and proofed the symbols. Other teachers in the new science lab are: Mike Waters, Christina Dunkin and Clinton Walker. Tina bakes cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, pies and more for the public if you ever need something tasty and decorative, give her a call at 512-963-2600.

Don’t forget the parade will begin at 9AM. I would be so pleased if readers would share Diboll Day stories and names of people they saw during the day. My number is 635-1300 or better yet, email me at

Come see us…’round the table



September 12, 2016


Don and Sandy Hendrick took their great-granddaughter, Aniston Ray Youngblood, daughter of JR and Alaryca Youngblood, to her first pep rally Friday, Sept. 9th, she is 8 months old.  They met their granddaughter Jordan Eldridge at the gym.  Jordan came home from San Marcos, where she is attending college, to see her sister Jentrie Eldridge cheer at the pep rally.  Jentrie is a member of the JV Cheerleader team.  Cousin Tyler Eldridge was in the crowd as he is a senior at DHS.The pep rally was great and the whole student body and guests observed a moment of silence in honor of our First Responders.  Each high school class either made a poster, a song or a rap to present to the First Responders that attended.  They also did a skit honoring the American flag in observance of 9/11 that was most impressive.  It was an honor to observe the youth of our great little city honoring the very people that put their lives on the line every day to protect us.  Thank you DHS students and staff for a great pep rally.

John Powers was one of seven WW II Veterans that attended the 62nd annual reunion of the 3rd Marine Division Association that was recently held in San Antonio. There were 215 members that attended including Marine of the Year, Sergeant John Brandon Black from Okinawa. During the banquet on Saturday evening, Vietnam War Veterans were presented long overdue Vietnam lapel pins presented by Retired General Michael Hagee who was also the guest speaker. Later, the guests were entertained by The English Brothers Band played old western songs that enticed a few oldies to shake a leg on the dance floor. The event concluded with the singing of “America the Beautiful”.

During the several days together, the group participated in a barge dinner cruise, a tour of San Antonio, toured missions and the National Museum of Pacific War and Ester’s Follies while the ladies enjoyed seeing the historic Menger Hotel. Traveling with John to this reunion was his wife, Mable (Nivens) and three of their four daughters: Rose Ann Elisson from Plano; Johnnica Edgenly from Farmers Branch and Belinda Stanly from Ft. Worth. These girls have always been very supportive and proud of John. Johnnica is usually asked to sing the national anthem at these special events.  A solemn memorial service was held Sunday morning when seventy-three names of the 3rd Marines were called out and the response to a bell ringing was  “not here sir”. There were also four names called of active duty 3rd Marines with the same response.

To say “thank you” to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice is simply not enough for the freedoms we have of living in the United States of America. It breaks my heart when I see NFL football players and little boys on an entire football team(in Beaumont, TX) refuse to honor allegiance to our flag and country even though their freedom to do so was bought and paid for with the lives of men and women who defend this great country. Is history not being taught anymore?

The DHS Alumni Association is furnishing drivers for the Diboll Day Golf Cart Shuttles from parking areas to Old Orchard Park for the festivities. The shuttles will run from 10:00 until 4:00 but volunteers are needed to drive for any hour or more. Please contact Fran McClain if you would like to be a driver.  829.2779 or respond to her email at or on Facebook. Fran is also reminding anyone that is interested, it’s time to order Diboll Day 2016 Cookbooks. Let her know if you want one. The price is $12.

For a milestone 50th birthday, Melvin Linton, Jr.‘s wife, Sandy, tried her best to surprise him with a party at the Bears’ Country Diner in Broaddus. He may not have been totally surprised but that didn’t stop them from enjoying seafood, frog legs, shrimp and fish. Happy Birthday ‘lil Melvin, you can tell everyone you are a half century old!

Crimson Christian Academy is rallying around another special fundraising event, Crimson and Camo. The large event will be held September 27th at 6:30 in the Lufkin Convention Center and is sponsored by East Texas Veterinary Clinic and B&S Guns and Ammo. The big item is a 10-Gun Raffle for $25 or 5 for $100. Another popular raffle item is a Texas Lifetime Hunting Fishing License, an $1800 value. Tickets for that are $5 each or 5 for $20. The Academy had a table set up in Pouland’s to sell tickets and had students, parents and staff selling the tickets. We enjoyed visiting with Administrator Jan Albritton and teacher, Martha Huffman.

We enjoyed visiting with Kim Holcombe, wife of Luke Holcombe, whose family has lived in Burke for many years. Luke and Kim live on the Holcombe family home place after moving back from Dallas. They are truly changing their life style as Luke has retired from the Dallas Police Department where he worked as a homicide detective in Duncanville.

Neighbors in Deer Trace also have two new residents, both on Redbud. Janice Denby moved from Lufkin where she is a nurse at CHI St. Lukes. She is a neighbor to Ronnie and Lamona Coleman. Chris and Melody Barnes moved from Nacogdoches into the home at 1012. They both are enjoying the Neches Pines golf course.

While getting new tires put on, Lora Mason shared that Diboll 4-H will be selling ribeye sandwiches in the park on Diboll Day. Randy Prescott was also in getting new tires. Fran McGilvra was one happy mom for a week while son, Neil McGilvra, was here visiting from his home in California. They traveled around visiting friends and cemeteries and ate most of their meals on the road. Coming into the store all on the same day at different times were three members of the Flournoy family. Jamie came in for dog food; her husband William and his dad Fred had flats repaired. Jonathan Smith also had to come in for tire repair.

Jimmy Taylor enjoyed visiting at the round table and ate lunch with us. Billy Davenport came in to buy herbicide to kill the bad stuff in his pond and also bought a Diboll Free Press. He and his wife Delores made the 30-year column with a picture of them at the grand opening of their new video store in Diboll…30 years ago.

Be sure to check the Free Press and various Facebook pages and websites for the many Diboll Day activities that are going on.

Come see us…’round the table.

September 19, 2016


Another BIG accomplishment for Diboll!  A state-of-the-art science building at Diboll High School has been completed. The staff and administration cordially invites the public to tour the new facility at an Open House on Monday, September 26 at 5:30 PM.

We are past the half way mark of fun(d) raising activities for Diboll Day which everyone around here knows is October 1st.  The three teams this year are working very hard and have come up with different and new ideas for raising money. The bingo games have always been a successful crowd pleaser and there are only two left:  Saturday, September 24th and Tuesday, September 27th. These are both at the Lottie and Arthur Temple Civic Center. There will be a Sportsman Extravaganza this Thursday also at the Civic Center. Don’t forget to go by First Bank & Trust and check out the many items at the Silent Auction. The Finale will be at the bank 5-6PM on Tuesday, the 26th. And you certainly don’t want to miss Margie’s Country Dinner (only $8 a plate) at the last luncheon on Thursday the 27th at the Civic Center.

One of the new activities this year that JR and I attended was a Murder Mystery Dinner at the Temple Library. We were seated at a table of eight and each of us was a different member of the Clarington family attending a reunion in which the patriarch, Malachai Stout, was smothered to death. Clues were given for everyone to determine who did it. John Ralph was Uncle Edwin Stout who couldn’t remember anything. I was Sabrina Stout, Malachai’s granddaughter; Marilyn Hankla was my father, Mortimer and my mother, Monica, was Mary Hendry. Scarlet Sabo was an in-law. Mary Rinker was Penelope Clarington, Malachai’s daughter and her mother, Glennda Rinker, did a marvelous job portraying was Grandma Winifred Stout who turned out to be the culprit.  10-year-old Caleb Rice, a cousin of queen candidate Tristan had fun being the butler, Sebastian Seward. Glennda Rinker and her daughter Mary attend church with Mary Hendry at Ryan’s Chapel. Mary Rinker works at CHI St. Luke’s Memorial and Mary Hendry works for DISD as well as Scarlet Sabo whose mother is Marilyn Hankla who  works at Pineywoods Academy. Margie Harrell prepared the delicious chicken and spaghetti dinner and the awesome delicate desserts were catered by Kay Tilly. It was a great evening. Melinda Dover told us Project Celebration is planning another “Mystery Dinner” early in 2017.

Andrea and I enjoyed visiting with Patsy Hopper when she came in for Moonshine syrup that makes wonderful pecan pies. We remember working with Patsy when she was the manager of the Lufkin Credit Bureau. She is married to Dennis and both of them are now retired. They just recently returned from a trip with friends, Phil and Diane Perkins, to Williamstown, Kentucky where they were most impressed with the life-size recreation of Noah’s Ark.  Even though Noah’s ark didn’t have elevators, Patsy recommended using the elevators to go up and walk down. The ark is built based on dimensions in the Bible and inside are museum-style exhibits: displays of Noah’s family along with rows of cages containing animal replicas, including dinosaurs. This foursome also enjoyed and recommends touring the Creation Museum only 30 miles away in Petersburg, Kentucky.

Mickey and Barbara Hollingsworth visited at the RT. Mickey brought us Burtis Boles’ recipe for chili baked in the oven. He said it supposedly won the Texas State Chili Cook off. Mickey and Barbara joined John Ralph and I for their first time to eat at the popular Los Jarritos Mexican Restaurant. Barbara and I listened to Mickey and JR rehash their many Colorado hunting trips. The Hollingsworths praised the good food and hopefully will return.

The annual PTSA Mum Sale has started. The mums will come in 12-inch pots and in bronze, yellow, red, or pink/lavender.  The cost is $13 per plant and you will have to read your paper today because the deadline to order is September 22.  Plants will be delivered to the elementary School on October 5.  Contact Jan Wilkerson at 635-4044 and let her know how many you need!

Kitty Bounds sent the following news from Gipson’s: September 27th is our next monthly LIFT (Living Information for Today) Group Meeting at Gipson Funeral Home at noon. The group is for widows and widowers who are interested in social, educational and entertainment with a free lunch included. If you are interested in coming for the first time, please call 634-4411 to put your name on the list.  One of our own group is going to entertain us with his guitar this month.

This Saturday, September 24, is the Angelina County Master Gardeners’ Fall Plant Sale at the Farmers’ Market. Go early, they usually sell out!

Financial Advisor, Trey Wilkerson, of East Texas Investment Services in Diboll sends out a monthly newsletter. In September he begins his letter, “Anyone who calls me or stops by the office for the rest of this month might find me a bit more frazzled than usual…for a good reason, its Diboll Day time!” He continues with, “You probably already know that I love my hometown and Diboll Day is one of those things that makes this place special. I know I’m biased but I think Diboll Day is special. It’s focused on community and on unifying to provide for our neighbors and our future.”

Thank you Trey and I just want to add that I wholeheartedly agree with you. If you need information about what’s going on until the big day, go to By the way Trey has a number of souvenirs and mementos from past Diboll Days on display in his office, go by and check them out. His office is located at 105 Weber next to Commercial Bank in Diboll.

Come see us…’round the table.

September 5, 2016


Marty Grumbles Harris recently celebrated a “Golden Birthday”.  Her mother (Rose Miranda Grumbles) always told her that if you were lucky, you celebrated two golden birthdays in your lifetime; One when you turn the age of the date you were born and one when you turn the age of the year you born. Marty turned 58 and was born in 1958! Her niece Amber Grumbles also celebrated by turning 30 on the 30th and grandson Braden Minton turned 22 on the 22nd. Marty enjoyed dinner with Tom, Jarrad & Gwen Grumbles and Pam Martinez at Manhattans.  Everyone had an enjoyable time, even when Tom attempted to pay for the meal on the Home Depot card! The waiter took it all in stride.

Tom & Marty recently returned from a vacation to Gold Beach, Oregon. Marty spent some school years there and remains in contact with many of her classmates. The Oregon classmates celebrated their 40th reunion and Marty crashed it, as she has since their 20th reunion. They enjoyed the annual “Fireman’s Breakfast” on Saturday morning. An “all you can eat pancake/egg meal” fundraiser held in the local park by the volunteer fireman. Marty has memories of her dad (Leon Grumbles) standing on HWY 101 directing any and all toward the park for the event.  Tom got attacked by a blackberry bush when he attempted to pick that ultimate blackberry that he just knew was the best on the vine. The weather was fabulous and the view from the rental home was awesome.  A big Thank You goes to Billy Wayne and Liela Ray Smith for house sitting while they were gone. It provided peace of mind for a very relaxing trip.

Lewis and Shirley Ivey recently made a memorable vacation traveling with good friends, Wayne and Cindi Clark. Wayne wrote and graciously shared the following notes about their trip to Wyoming and Montana. I understand that Wayne planned the details of the trip except maybe the idea of spending three nights in a teepee. Here’s his story.

We left Houston, headed to Denver for a connecting flight to Billings, Montana. As we were about to touch down in Denver the plane pulled up, and began climbing again. There was a plane on the run way and we had to avoid being on the same runway. This delayed our landing and reduced the time for the connecting flight. Thanks to Lewis and Cindi they were able to get to the connecting flight to make sure that we all got on that plane. Shirley commented that obviously she and I would be bait for the bears if we encountered one in Yellowstone! We arrived safely in Billings and after calling Uber, and helping the driver find the car rental location, we were off to grab a bite to eat, then on to The Little Big Horn. The Battlefield is a historic location where General Custer and his men of the 7th Calvary died. Several members of various tribes of Indians died trying to protect their style of living. Throughout the hillsides and valleys you will see hundreds of markers depicting the spots where men fell in battle from both sides. It was surreal to be on this sacred ground that helped shaped the future of our country.

The next day we were off to Cody, Wyoming where each couple had reservations to stay at Trout Ranch in Teepees along the Shoshone River. They were nicely furnished, but did not have electricity and at night a flashlight was needed to use the outside facilities. Our first night there we attended a western style chuck wagon dinner, then saw the Cody Rodeo which is a nightly event from June 1st through August 31st. Sleeping by the river that night in the teepee was nice and the next morning we headed out to Yellowstone to see Old Faithful, about 115 miles from Cody. Entering Yellowstone the speed limit is a maximum of 45mph but I would say the average is about 25mph due to tourist and animals in the roadway. It is difficult to describe the beautiful drive from Cody to Old Faithful. We stopped at many sites along the way to take pictures and to simply witness in a personal manner the beauty that God was allowing us to behold. Several geysers are active around Old Faithful and at any time steam billowing from beneath the ground can erupt above the tree tops. Old faithful is the most predictable of the geysers and we were not disappointed. Working with boilers, it was an awesome experience to witness these underground boilers at work! That night in the teepee was an unforgettable experience when a thunderstorm made the walls feel like they were going to blow away. These teepees were well built and withstood the wind although no one explained the Indian technology of how to close the flap at the top. As the rain begin to come inside, Cindy and I could hear Lewis’ frustration in the next teepee. Shirley convinced him to endure the night and by morning most of our stuff was wet. We were glad that Lewis decided to cancel our third night in the teepee. It was an adventure that was over; certainly never forgotten and eventually, funny!

We moved to a hotel in Cody where we visited The Buffalo Bill Center of The West Museum. If you plan to go, allow a couple of days to tour this museum and you may be able to see all of the artifacts, artwork, and history lessons of how people lived and expanded in the Great West. Later, we explored the many stores and shops of downtown Cody and learned more about how Buffalo Bill Cody helped found this town that bears his name. It was said that Buffalo Bill was the most popular and most recognized man in the world during his time. He was a scout, business man, actor, entrepreneur, and great hunter and entertained world leaders with his Broadway style shows.

The next morning we left Cody driving through Yellowstone, on our way to The Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole Wyoming. This drive was spectacular! We encountered wildlife, boiling springs, lakes, waterfalls, crystal clear rivers and streams. One is in constant awe of the surroundings you see in every turn. We stopped at numerous locations, taking pictures as the Parks Service provides many turn arounds to view locations of interest. We begin to see lakes and valleys leading to the Tetons and many photo spots are ones seen on post cards but no way can pictures describe these majestic mountains and valleys. Clear weather allowed us great views of the snow covered peaks. Several fires were raging in the park, yet the wind was pushing most of the smoke away from the mountains.

Arriving in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, we toured downtown, took in a street show depicting a Wild West street fight and had photos taken in the middle of the town park with its four archways that are lined with Elk Horns sheds that are collected from the Elk refuge just outside of town. We found out that two of Cindi’s brothers had been to these very spots years ago so this was a special place for her to see. Jackson is a popular ski resort town and one thing that we found was ski lifts running that take you to the tops of the ski slope in town. From here one can see for miles on end and there are tables you can sit at and enjoy the view. Various posters describe the mountains that are visible, and you are looking down on the town itself. That evening we took a float trip down the Snake River which took us to within two miles of the Grand Tetons. It was a very smooth ride which lasted about two hours, and took us past many exotic plants, wildlife such as beavers, eagles, foxes, and hawks. We saw a cow moose and her two babies as well. Two bears had been reported in the area, but sadly we did not see them. That was a good thing for Shirley and myself.

The last day in Jackson we had a tip of a good place to eat breakfast that John Ralph had recommend called Bubba’s. We were not disappointed as the breakfast was very good and the biscuits were huge. After filling ourselves and the car we began about an eight hour journey back to Billings where once again we travelled through Yellowstone, and had the blessings of seeing many sites that we had not seen. We only toured the Eastern Entrance and the Southern Entrance to this magnificent park and many other geysers, canyons, waterfalls, are in the Northern and Western sections. Hopefully one day we will get to complete the other half of Yellowstone.

While some are traveling around the United States, others are here at home getting ready for the upcoming hunting season to open. Some of those who bought licenses include: Bryan Wilson; Eugene May; Jimmy Trout; Billy Averitt; Robert Ramsey and his son, Cash; Ray Anthony; John and Carolyn Richards; Bob Davis; Mike Davis; Terry Carr; P. E. Shipp; Junior and Letha Grandgeorge; Jay Shands; Bubba Nevills; Kenneth Capps; Joe Loftin; Jason Cook; Raymond Bounds; Melvin Linton and Hunter Linton.

Be sure to check the Diboll Day calendar in the Diboll Free Press for the many “fun” fundraising events that will be going on until the big day, October 1, 2016.

Come see us…’round the table.