July 31, 2017

Jimmie Woodard was on another one of her adventures Friday.  Her sister-in-law, Cindy Parish, invited her to go with her and husband Andrew Parish to the Longview Hot Air Balloon Race and Show.  Also along for the fun was Cindy and Andy’s daughter and son-in-law Traci and Andrew Hall and their daughters Remie and Sadie, daughter Hannah Parish and her son Aiden and daughter Emily Hale and her step daughter Kynsleigh and niece Josie Hambrick.  Andrew Parish drove the front caravan vehicle and Cindy navigated!   The only problem was, Cindy thought they were on their way to Longview where they saw Santa Land, which was totally incorrect!!!  Santa Land — was in Lindale!!!!!  SSOOO, 45 minutes into the trip it was noted that they were headed to the wrong city and going the wrong way!  No problem for Cindy, she immediately checks with SIRI, who lead them down some narrow, bumpy, curvy, dusty, yet scenic back roads. Vehicles following them were in tremendous wonderment as to where they were headed and would they arrive in time for the show. At one point Andrew decided to get a paper map out and check to see what was up??!!

The 1 hour 45 minute trip only took 2 ½ hours, but the journey was definitely well worth it.  There were 55 balloon teams and as they began to prepare their balloons, audience members were invited to come and help roll out the balloons.  It was a fun experience as adults took children to the field to participate in the balloon roll out and the children definitely enjoyed participating in the event!   The teams began to inflate their balloons. One team member informed them that the balloons held an average of 88,000 cubic feet of air.  Balloons were extremely colorful and beautifully designed.  Some of the balloons were designed in animal shapes such as a cat, Keystone cop, bulldog or a clown.   After all balloons were inflated the National Anthem was sang and there was a countdown for the balloon glow.    The teams ignited their fuel and the glow of the flames filled the balloons with light which reflected their colorful beauty.  It was exciting and totally awesome!!

Since the event is produced by the Detached Marine Corp League, there were helicopters and jets on display for viewing.   At this event, there were vendors and food booths to take your money but also live musical entertainment.  It was an awesome adventure and everyone should attend the event to experience the excitement of the Hot Air Balloons!!!

Following is news from Jan Wilkerson about their latest adventure: Each summer we (Jan and Burlon) take the grand kids on an adventure.  This year we went to Waco for a couple of days.  We left Diboll on Thursday morning with grandchildren; Annabeth, 11, and Ryan Wilkerson, 8.  We stopped in Marquez to pick up 4 year old Neely.  After lunch in Waco, our daughter Melanie and 11 month old Jake met us at the Mayborn Museum.  The Museum is a hands-on experience for children.  Adults have almost as much fun in the different rooms where everything from a small town, the electricity and music to telephones can be experienced. It is all indoors and offers hours of fun for everyone.  Following a full afternoon, the kids were ready to head to the hotel and swim.  We had picked a hotel with an indoor pool–pretty smart for hot July days! On Friday, the morning was spent at the beautiful Cameron Zoo.  The Zoo is laid out in a circle and is very shaded making for a comfortable walk through to see the animals.  That afternoon was spent at the Dr. Pepper Museum. A stop back in Marquez and the kids getting to swim again topped off the trip.  Everyone had a great time.

Recently Jan was a guest at the Texas PTA Summer Training held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.  As a past president of the association, Jan was invited back to help with the event and Burlon joined her for part of the weekend.

Ruth Mullins recently attended a Neil Diamond concert in Houston’s Toyota Center. Her daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Bob Pennington, treated her to this special event.  Although he is 76 years old he still has devoted fans as Ruth and thousands of others. Neil Diamond is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor. One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, he has sold over 135 million records worldwide since the start of his career in the 1960s. With 38 songs in the Top 10, he is the second most successful artist in the history of the Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 10 charts.

Earl and Carolyn Hutson heard it was time to fertilize azaleas and came in for special fertilizer. Trey and Rachel Brown came in to get a tire repaired on their cattle trailer. They were taking cows to the auction and had plans to pick up their daughter, Kynlee from her great-grandparents Alma and Billy Wayne Breazeale. Kynlee loves going to the auction and seeing the cattle. One of the newest people to move to Diboll from Texarkana is Erna Adams who is a sister to Leonard Robison. We are happy that she came in and purchased new tires and enjoyed visiting at the Round Table. It must have been the day for flats: Jerri Kay Minchew came in for tire repair as well as Don Bess who was trying hard to get hay cut, raked and baled before it rained. Not worried about the rain was Skeeter Scarborough, Joe Paul Stovall and Jimmy McCall who enjoyed visiting at the RT. Poor Rodney Cheshire had to get out in the heat to use his new Stihl weed eater

It was a sad day for Kathy Sample when her mare “Goldie”, died. Her full name was “Twice the Gold”. Once retired from the race track, she was a gift from Clifford Grum and became a broodmare for race horses at the Sample’s on FM1818. Kathy said Goldie was a good mother and took care of the calves, donkey and horses. Kathy said when the cows got out of the pasture, Goldie would come to the back fence and “whine” to let Kathy know something was wrong. Goldie was truly Twice the Gold and “queen of the pasture”.

Anyone that has heard of Fastrill, an early Southern Pine logging camp near Forrest, Texas might want to join others who have stories from that time in the history of Southern Pine Lumber Company. Several who remember living there plan to meet at Catfish King on Saturday, August 12th at 11:30. John Powers remembers growing up in Fastrill and is encouraging anyone that is interested to join them for lunch. The name Fastrill came from three men who had an important part of the logging camp: Farrington, Strauss and Hill: Fa-Str-ill.

Stay cool, send me your news and come see us…’round the table.


July 17, 2017


David and Charlotte Carter owners of His & Hers Trade Days in Burke shared the following about their recent trip. We left Diboll with the goal of going to the famous  Brimfield Antique Flea Market in Brimfield Massachusetts.   It is held 3 times a year –  May, July and September – for 6 days each time.  We arrived in Sturbridge Monday evening ready to hit the sales the next morning.   The flea market consists of several fields and each field had many vendors set up. The key to success we had learned in preparing for the trip is get to the market area before 6am to get the best parking because you will do a lot of walking.  We were about 25 minutes from Brimfield so we were up at 4:30am and shopping by 6am.  We spent the most part of 2 full days visiting the various fields and finding treasures.  There was a lot of back and forth to the van but thankfully the temperatures were wonderful! Among other things we brought back were vintage metal egg collectors used for mailing, several spindles, a table pin ball machine, lockers,  a checkerboard table, manual ice crusher, lots of galvanized watering cans and a couple of sleds. We are working on a special section at trade days at His & Hers for our finds. In our shopping we met a wonderful family in a small town about 45 minutes from the flea market who invited us to go to their home place and go through old buildings. We chose to do this Thursday while doing some sightseeing in the area. The home site was the lady’s parents’ home and her father had been dealing with antiques before he suddenly became ill and passed away.  The family has been overwhelmed with so much stuff in outbuildings which were in disrepair. David found a milk box which the gentleman had used to store several Winston book matches. Great condition!

We left that area Friday morning and started toward home.  Friday night we stayed in Staunton, Virginia where I visited with friends. Saturday we had one goal, to go by Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Virginia.  We enjoyed looking at the beautiful pieces they make by repurposing items. We noticed they now have a warehouse so we drove over and found one of the cast crew members for the TV show ‘Salvage Dawgs,’ Grayson Goldsmith. She was busy cleaning items from a salvage job and getting them ready to sell.  We love that show and what they do.  The warehouse was very nicely organized. We bought bowling pins and ask Grayson if she would autograph them for us; she graciously agreed.  She then told us that other guys were in the office at the main store so we drove over there.  Once there a nice gentleman we had met earlier took our pins and got them autographed from Robert Kulp and Mike Whiteside. We have great plans for these special items.  That made our day so we then set forth toward home.  We made a couple of stops at flea markets but when you have been to Brimfield there wasn’t much you have not already seen.  Great trip of almost 4,000 miles.

Another couple, Burlon and Jan Wilkerson, recently drove to Mountain Home, Arkansas to meet their son Trey and his family.  On Friday, Burlon, Trey and his two young children, Annabeth and Ryan, floated the Buffalo River and had a wonderful time while Jan and her daughter-in-law, Michele, enjoyed shopping and having lunch together. Saturday was spent driving toward home on scenic Highway 7 through the Ozark Mountains.  It was a fast trip but one that made memories for the kids.

A group from Fairview Church enjoyed an outing that included a Swamp Tour on Caddo Lake. After the impressive tour they enjoyed a delicious meal at the Pine Lodge. The group included Earl & Joyce Carr; Trent & Carlene Squyers; John Barnes; Kay & Ronnie Fitzgerald; Terry Jo Murray; Frank Miranda & Tracy; Alma Cagler; Kenneth & Rita Hays and friends. When everyone else headed back toward home, Earl and Joyce Carr got in their bright red Toyota Corolla and headed toward Raton Pass in Colorado. They encountered a detour due to a land slide before arriving at Royal Gorge where they did the traditional drive across the bridge and gondola ride but no zip lining. They spent the night in Manitou Springs in the same Eagle Inn where they stayed 25 years ago. They had been enjoying pleasant 80 degree weather until they rode the cog train up Pikes Peak where it was sleeting. These two were retracing a trip they took 25 years ago that included Cripple Creek and saw lots of changes since then. During the trip they had a blowout but Triple A came to put their spare on and the next day after getting a new tire at a Toyota dealership, they headed toward Texas stopping to eat in Amarillo at The Big Texan before arriving in San Antonio to visit with their daughter and son-in-law, Cathy and Ralph Isham. Joyce was praising the new toll road from Katy to New Caney that misses the Houston traffic.

Barbara Camp was treated to a special birthday meal at Manny’s in Livingston where they were met by her son Chris Wells and her two beautiful granddaughters, Pressley and Kennedy. “Pa”, Sherrel Fears, also enjoyed seeing and visiting with Chris, his grandson and great-granddaughters.

Caleb and Cristin Ellison became proud parents on June 15 when their son, Case Quinin, arrived. Case’s paternal grandparents are Larry and Aundra Ellison of Diboll; his maternal grandparents are Ricky and Paula Burton of Nogalus Prairie. Caleb is building a good reputation as a fine cabinet maker and also has a commercial and residential lawn care service. Should you need his services, call him at 936-635-2144.

Joyce and Edward Terrell came in for fishing licenses, hopefully to go fishing between the many showers we have had that is making everything green and grow, especially the weeds. Debbie and Mike Haas purchased some of the Rocky’s Seasoning that we sell and market for Rocky Thompson. We get great reviews from people who try his famous seasoning. Sam Coleman came in for new tires while Billie Jean Capps came in for bird and sunflower seeds.

Glenda Tobias and Joe Paul Stovall swapped post office stories when she stopped by to buy feed for baby quail she hatched. Joe Paul retired after 30 years with the postal service. Glenda has worked for 34 years and is looking forward to retirement. Jessie and Terry Saucedo from Hudson came in and enjoyed visiting with J.D. Johnson, all of whom have retired from Temple. Jessie worked at the Fiberboard plant for 28 years and Terry worked at the Particleboard plant for 35 years. They now have a landscaping business.

Enjoy the week and come see us…’round the table.


July 10, 2017



It enlightened me to learn I was actually classified in the generational group nicknamed “The Silent Generation”. Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and anyone beyond that have never heard any of the following quotes and simply will not understand a single one but here’s hoping some of you will remember and smile.

  • Be sure to refill the ice trays, we’re going to have company.
  • Watch for the postman, I want to get this letter to Willie in the mail today.
  • Quit slamming the screen door when you go out!
  • Be sure and pull the windows down when you leave, it looks like a shower is coming up.
  • Don’t forget to wind the clock before you go to bed.
  • Wash your feet before you go to bed, you’ve been playing outside all day barefooted.
  • Why can’t you remember to roll up your britches legs? Getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up.
  • You have torn the knees out of that pair of pants so many times there is nothing left to put a patch on.
  • Don’t you go outside with your school clothes on!
  • Go comb your hair; it looks like the rats have nested in it all night.
  • Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle.
  • Take that empty bottle to the store with you so you won’t have to pay a deposit on another one.
  • Put a dishtowel over the cake so the flies won’t get on it.
  • Quit jumping on the floor! I have a cake in the oven and you are going to make it fall if you don’t quit!
  • You boys stay close by, the car may not start and I will need you to help push it off.
  • There’s a dollar in my purse, get 5 gallons of gas when you go to town.
  • Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here, it is getting hot.
  • Don’t sit too close to the TV. It is hard on your eyes.
  • If you pull that stunt again, I am going to wear you out!
  • Don’t lose that button; I’ll sew it back on after awhile.
  • Wash under your neck before you come to the table, you have beads of dirt and sweat all under there.
  • Get out from under the sewing machine; pumping it messes up the thread!
  • Be sure and fill the lamps this morning so we don’t have to do that tonight in the dark.
  • Here, take this old magazine to the toilet with you when you go, we are almost out of paper out there…
  • Go out to the well and draw a bucket of water so I can wash dishes.
  • Don’t turn the radio on now, I want the battery to be up when the Grand Ole Opry comes on.
  • No! I don’t have 10 cents for you to go to the show. Do you think money grows on trees?
  • Eat those turnips, they’ll make you big and strong like your daddy.
  • That dog is NOT coming in this house! I don’t care how cold it is out there, dogs don’t stay in the house.
  • Sit still! I’m trying to get your hair cut straight and you keep moving and it is all messed up.
  • Hush your mouth! I don’t want to hear words like that! I’ll wash your mouth out with soap!
  • It is time for your system to be cleaned out. I am going to give you a dose of castor oil tonight.
  • If you get a spanking in school and I find out about it, you’ll get another one when you get home.
  • Quit crossing your eyes! They will get stuck that way!
  • Soak your foot in this pan of kerosene so that bad cut won’t get infected.

So that you won’t have to read more columns like this, please send me news or come see us …round the table.

July 3, 2017


Zack Thomason brought tasty gumbo to the round table for us to enjoy. It is one of the most popular menu items served by the Red Tulip Rolling Bistro, a food truck. Zack is a member of the Thomason family Red Tulip cooking team. He is the son of Darla and Jack Thomason and the grandson of Morris and Betty (Hannah) Smith. The Red Tulip Rolling Bistro and Toffee Company is the unimaginable dream come true of Darla (Smith) Thomason who seems to be good at anything she attempts from selling and shopping for junk-tique items to cooking. The food truck idea started in her back yard when she and Jack built a commissary, bought a used FedEx truck and converted it into a spotless stainless steel food truck and “went on the road” with original menu items. Husband Jack continues to work his job in the oil industry but Darla has recruited all their children into the food business except daughter Stacy who lives in Dripping Springs. Son Zack, a recent graduate of SFA, is the meat specialist and prepares the popular chicken & sausage gumbo like he brought to the RT. He also makes homemade wieners for their hot dogs from pork butt and brisket. Hot dogs are a very popular item on the menu served in different ways that includes Baja Dog, Cow Dog and the plain Naked Dog. Daughter Jill Wisner is responsible for the yummy desserts that include mini buttermilk and ice box lemon pies; double chocolate brownies; jumbo chocolate chip cookies; Hershey’s chocolate cupcakes and her own version of Little Debbie’s oatmeal cream pies. Darla’s popular toffee that she has made for years is also available. Son Ben and his new wife, Starr Larabell, are responsible for” prepping” because everything is fresh and hand cut. All their menu items are unique and different and every week there is something special.  It’s a family team effort and everyone is cross-trained. Check out the Red Tulip on Facebook to see their menu and places where they will be serving. The “home” location is on Chestnut street north side of Gipson Funeral Home or give them a call at 936-637-1476 for catering information.

Hopefullly this area will soon have another convenient new business, a Vehicle Detailing Service when Latavian Phipps and his family move back to Diboll soon. Latavian graduated from DHS in 1999. He has served 16 years in the US Army where he has been deployed five times; three times in Iraq and two times in Afghanistan. He has also served two tours in Germany and presently living in Alabama where he is starting his new business. Latavian’s parents are Daniel and Bobbie Phipps of Diboll and his precious grandmother was Mary Phipps whom we all adored and loved her homemade hot tamales. Latavian’s wife is Lauren and their children are: 12-year-old Shawn; 9-year-old Amauri; 11-year-old Amaya and 2-year-old Journey. Hurry home Latavian, I would like to be your first customer.

Ruth Mullins has returned home from Jeffersonton, VA visiting her son Ted and his family which includes his wife, Adrianne and four daughters: Chloe; Courtney; Carly and Caity Diane. Ruth reported that Caity Diane is 18-months old and tends to be a bit spoiled by everyone in the family including “grandma”. Ruth taught her to say “grandma” while she was there and said it was amusing to watch Caity Diane’s temper that matches her red hair. The older girls were involved in many activities that Ruth attended and said she needed to get home to rest.

The Everything Store has been in a “twirl” with the beautiful new “whirligigs” we have in stock. They come in two colors, red and blue and one design has a solar light that reflects the geometrically designed blades as they turn at night. Earl and Joyce Carr were one of the first to buy one of the yard art wind spinners before they left on a trip to Colorado. Peggy Burt is also a happy owner of one of the twirling yard spinners as well as Kathy Sample and Peggy Scarborough. Judy Hale saw the spinners on Facebook and decided to purchase one for her son’s birthday. She called back later to let us know how much Paul really likes his birthday present.

Haegen Spring stopped by to visit at the round table and to let everyone know that he is presently working at Morgan Insurance and to give him a call when you need insurance. Haegen’s grandparents are Betty and Vernon Burkhalter of Diboll and Mary Lee and Garner Spring of Apple Springs.

Thomas Anderson, and I’m sure JoAnn had a part, has delved into trying something new…dehydrating fruit. He brought us a sample of figs that had been dehydrated. Out thanks to them and also to Skeeter Scarborough for sweet corn; Mike Swank for fresh tomatoes; Keith Spencer for figs and cucumbers and to Roy Lee Lyles for fresh okra. Andrea made pickles out of the cucumbers and a big summer favorite around here, fried Okra Patties from Chester Treadway’s recipe. She served the okra patties with Hot Water cornbread and dessert was homemade bread pudding with a special warm sauce. Woody Ingram, Gary Jones, Bill and Janie Weir from Spring, TX joined us for lunch that day. Bill enjoyed reminiscing about the people from the good ole days working at The Big Tin Barn.

Enjoyed meeting Michael Lawson, the newest manager of O’Reilly’s when he stopped by to introduce himself. Michael lives in Hudson with his wife Sierra who he met while stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC.  They have a 3-year-old son, Xander. Jimmy Mettlen visited while getting a tire repaired. Ashley Coleman came in for her dad, Ronnie Coleman, to buy Sevin Dust for his peas. Enjoyed visiting with Juan Valdez when he came in and reminded me he worked 35 years at the sawmill.

Charlie Mann stopped by to get tires checked out before he and Nettie left to go camping in their RV at Galveston near Jamaica Island. They were looking forward to spending time with their daughter, Clemmie, who lives in Atascocita.

I encourage you to please share your holiday trips, vacations etc. with the readers of The Diboll Free Press. I would truly appreciate the news. You can call me at 829-4040 or email me at sandra@poulands.com or

Come see us…’round the table.