December 7, 2015


The David McCall family spent an unforgettable Thanksgiving in New York City. David and Brenda and daughters, Datha and Bridgette, traveled along with their son, Brandon who is a member of the SFA band, to the Big Apple to watch the band march in Macy’s parade. Two chartered planes were met by seven buses to transport the 300+ group which arrived on Tuesday. Some of their time was spent seeing the sights of NYC that included the solemn Ground Zero, Times Square, Top of the Rock, Empire State building and a dinner cruise on the Spirit of New York with a beautiful view of Manhattan’s skyline. On Thanksgiving Day, band members had to be dressed in their uniforms at 1:30 in the morning for a 3AM rehearsal for the parade. After the rehearsal, the entire group ate Thanksgiving breakfast at Planet Hollywood and then back to the parade route that began at 10AM. The McCalls watched the parade standing at 6th Avenue and 55th streets. All the McCall family, along with the entire group, enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner at The Chart House. On Friday the group split for their own shopping and touring and had a choice of four Broadway shows that evening; the McCall family saw the fantastic production of Phantom of the Opera. The dream ended on Saturday with the flight home but it was the beginning of many memories that will last a lifetime.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, Louis and Fran Rodriguez came by to pick up some potting soil and pecans and reported that their children Angela and Jason had visited them for Thanksgiving. Son Jason brought his special friend Michelle and their furry grand dog named Deuce. They all enjoyed a pleasant sit-down Thanksgiving meal with other guests which included Fran’s brother and his wife, Alfred and Bertha Miranda. After their meal everyone went to Tom and Marty Harris’ home where a large family clan had gathered for a huge Thanksgiving meal and family get-to-gather. Fran laughingly disclosed that they were on their way to see one of the newer movies “The Good Dinosaur.” It’s strange as we become “older” some of us want to share some of the younger generation’s entertainment choices.

Cooper Allen Johnston was born in the last five minutes of December 5th in Dallas, Texas. His parents are Lauren and Judd Johnston. Lauren is the daughter of Ann and Mark Hafernick of Diboll. Judd’s parents are Jerry & Tracy Johnson of Corpus Christi. All of them were present for the big event along with Lauren’s brother and sister-in-law, Brian and Angela Hafernick of Lufkin and her Aunt Becky Strahan. There were many pictures on Mark’s phone of him holding Cooper in his monogramed toboggan and a special “reindeer” cap. Lauren is an Event Planner for Sky Ranch Ministries and her husband Judd is a veterinarian. I thought it was interesting that his twin brother is also a veterinarian and the Hafernick’s son, Brian is a veterinarian and his wife Angela is a Family Medical doctor. Brian and Angela have a 3-year-old son, Gibson, who stayed with Angela’s sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and Ron Haney in Lufkin.

Mark and Ann Hafernick already had tickets to carry their grandson Gibson on the Polar Express train ride in Palestine Sunday evening. Baby Cooper’s arrival changed their plans some in that Ann stayed in Dallas while Mark, Brian and Angela drove to Palestine where they met Michelle and Ron Haney who brought Gipson in his pj’s and their two daughters, Alex and Millie, to ride the train. I can’t tell who had the most fun, Grandpa Hafernick or Gibson who enjoyed everything about the ride, especially when they picked up Santa at the North Pole.

A few weeks ago, John Ralph and I ate lunch in Livingston at My Place restaurant which recently moved into the building that was formally The Texas Pepper. It’s on the east side of highway 59 before Highway 190 (in fact, you have to turn onto 190 and make a U-turn to get to the restaurant. It is a country café atmosphere with antiques conveniently displayed and the day we were there, it was a full house. Our table was next to a couple that enjoyed meeting people as we do and we enjoyed visiting with them. This past week, that couple stopped by The Everything Store and we learned more about them. They are Harry and Julia Armitage, both are natives of Livingston, Texas and are now retired. Harry was in the business of constructing sawmills and Julia started the Whistle Stop Café and at one time, owned Julia’s Boutique. They have a daughter, DeeAnn whose husband, Tim Thompson, is the pastor of the Leggett Baptist Church where they attend. Their son, David Ray, is also retired and lives in Cleveland. After a short visit, Julia and Harry left with fresh pecans and some of Andrea’s pecan and peanut brittle.

Speaking of homemade baking, we must give a hearty “thank you” to Sue Crain who works with Eck Franks at First Bank and Trust on Frank Street. Sue sent us a delicious Rum Cake and a few days later, in a beautifully decorated Christmas box, some of her homemade iced tea cakes. She loves to bake and we can attest that she is very good at it.

Another “thank you” to First Bank and Trust in Diboll for the new colorful Christmas decorations they added this year. A bright red “Merry Christmas” and a colorful train moving down the track. The Diboll Civic Club encourages people to drive through Old Orchard Park in the evening to see the lighted decorations that will be there until after Christmas. Anyone is invited to add a scene to the several that are already there…it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The Diboll Civic Club also invites you to attend the annual Christmas in the Park on Wednesday, December 16th at 6PM. On Tuesday, December 15th, there will be a Ladies Luncheon Bingo at 11:30 AM in the Family Education Center’s cafeteria on the old elementary campus. The food, prizes, fun and fellowship are always good.

Met Bridgette Krause when she came in the store. Bridgette moved to Huntington from Colorado about a year ago. She and her three children, ages six, three and one now live near her mother and 90-year-old grandmother. It’s interesting that Bridgette raises miniature jersey cows; they can’t be more than 42” high. At the present time, she has 11 cows in her herd and is very knowledgeable about the milk they give. A big percentage of jerseys produce A2A2 milk which researchers believe is beneficial to people who are lactose intolerant and have internal and external allergies and acne. If you interested, look on the Internet for “The Devil in the Milk”
Andrea wants to remind anyone that is looking for a good cookbook to give as a Christmas present, she has several copies of the Livingston FFA Cookbook for $10. Pouland’s also has fresh pecans and gourmet food items in addition to all the other “stuff” we sell.
Come see us…’round the table.