December 14, 2015


A few days ago, Don Hendrick treated his wife Sandy to a “Fab 5” trip to Grapevine to spend a night at the Gaylord Texan hotel. The “Fab 5” is a group of DHS graduates that includes: Rita (Hutto) Howard; Janie (Black) McCann; Margie (Welch) Ballard and Bernice (Arnold) Trimmell and Sandy (Black) Hendrick. These girls get together as often as they can to have fun. Bernice and Margie had other places to go so Allison (Lazarine) Amason and Laurel (Hendrick) Youngblood made up the Fab 5 for this trip; these two are also DHS graduates from a younger generation. Rita lives in the Dallas area and met all the others at the Gaylord for lunch. They also saw Clara, Jennie and Lizzie Ferguson in the lobby of the hotel.

Later that Thursday, the group went downtown Grapevine to watch the Parade of Lights and met up with Diana (Cook) and her husband Kevin Albrecht who live there. Their daughter, Haley is a star soccer player and rode on the soccer float in the parade. After the three-hour parade, Diana and Haley joined the Fab 5 for dinner back at the hotel.

On Friday the Fab 5 strolled through The Gaylord Texan’s magical indoor winter wonderland annual ICE Exhibit, featuring more than 2 million pounds of colorful, hand-carved sculptures. The 14,000-square-foot exhibit is filled with themed ice sculptures and kept at a numbing 9 degrees. Inside is 2 million pounds of ice, carved by more than 40 ice sculptors, into symbols of Christmas and well-known, holiday animated characters. There are also huge ice slides to ride down; Allison and Sandy were the only two that had the nerve to slide down. The ICE Exhibit also boasts one-and-a-half million twinkling lights, 12,000 ornaments, a 52-foot-tall rotating Christmas tree, and a life-sized gingerbread house. After all this excitement, the girls did some shopping and had dinner at Maguire’s restaurant in Dallas. All five of the girls spent the night at Rita’s fabulous new home at Highland Springs with lots of fun and laughter and reluctantly returned home on Saturday.

Dianne and Mike Gibson recently returned from a trip to Norfolk, VA. After serving in the US Navy during 1964-67, Mike enjoyed touring the historical Naticus Naval Museum which had on display the battleship Wisconsin. Dianne’s favorite part of the trip, other than shopping for souvenirs, was touring Williamsburg during the Christmas season. Mike enjoyed another museum in Yorktown learning more about the American Revolution. They took pictures of Myrtle Beach on the way to Charleston, SC to Patriot Point where Mike was able to visit “his” ship, the USS Yorktown where he worked as a machinist’s mate in the engine room while serving in the South China Sea, 12 miles off the coast of Viet Nam. He remembered the ship being very hot and the only AC was in the officers’ quarters. George H. W. Bush’s plane, the Avenger, is presently displayed on the flight deck. Mike was disappointed that he couldn’t tour the places he actually worked and bunked but admitted the ladders seem steeper and narrower than 50 years ago. It was another good trip for them but Mike had to get back home to put up the Christmas lights.

Jim McClain visited at the RT for the first time since he and Judy moved to Bastrop where he stays busy as the Service Manager of Covert Auto Group. They purchased a new home in Bastrop and Judy stays busy teaching college Education classes to teachers. Their daughter Allison continues to work in media relations at the University of Houston. Their son, Wes, and Will Griffin of Lufkin are in the process of moving to Dallas with plans to play lots of golf at the Dallas Athletic Club.
Melissa McCall came in and we learned that her mom, Betty McCall, quietly celebrated her 80th birthday at home on December 1st. All Betty wanted for her birthday was one egg roll from Diboll’s Jack-in-the Box and it got cold while she enjoyed talking on the phone with several members of her family in West Virginia and Ohio.

Sue Johnson was not with J. D. Johnson when he shared with me how and where they spent Thanksgiving. I hated to tell Sue when she asked me later that J.D. failed to mention that Thanksgiving Day this year was their 55th wedding anniversary. A belated “Happy Anniversary”.

A long time reader of the Diboll Free Press, Dan Davidson and his wife, Ing, visited at the round table for the first time. Dan discussed their ancestors as John Ralph’s grandmother was May Davidson. Dan told us his dad was a sharecropper where the Little Flock church is located today in the Homer area and attended Huntington schools. He served in the US Army 1958-64 and while in Germany picked up a pretty girl (Ing) who had missed her bus and a year later they were married. They have two children; Danita Houston who works at the Kelsey Seabold clinic in Houston and their son Tony who lives near them on Highway 103 and owns Davidson Motor Sports.

Many thanks to Bessie Furgurson and Dalana Hendrick who coordinated and organized another successful Christmas Blessings which was sponsored by the Diboll Civic Club. The final count was near 250 children that will have a better Christmas this year because of the many caring volunteers and donations that were given from merchants, members and residents of Diboll.

And many many thanks to Margie Harrell and the many volunteers working through the Diboll Housing Authority and Diboll Christian Outreach for another successful Christmas dinner and program for us senior citizens of Diboll. So many volunteers work days before preparing for the meal and an amazing number of volunteers show up to serve the people. The civic center was filled to capacity and all enjoyed a delicious meal of chicken and dressing with all the trimmings and a variety of entertainment, door prizes and everyone took home a bag of gifts. John and Mable (Nivens) Powers, who grew up in Diboll, but have not lived here in years attended the dinner for the first time and were amazed to see the large crowd of volunteers honoring hundreds of seniors. The Powers recently moved into Pine Crest and invited their neighbor, Laverne Ward, to ride with them to the big event.

If you have noticed in a few places around Diboll, there are three quart fruit jars with a picture taped to each one. The pictures are DHS Coach Blake Morrison, DHS Principal, John Clements and DISD Superintendent, Gary Martel. The objective is to decide which of these you would like to see “Kiss a Pig” because whichever one receives the most money is the lucky winner. On January 19 at the DHS varsity basketball game against Hudson, Charlie, the potbelly pig will be ready to receive a big kiss from one of these three guys. So, get your money out and go vote. Jars are located here at Pouland’s; Temple Credit Union; Diboll High School, Ace Hardware and the DISD Administration building.

Enjoy the Reason for the Season and come see us…’round the table.