February 1, 2014


Richard and Jo Ann Rainwater decided to try out the newest ship in the Princess line over New Years. The Royal Princess was christened in June 2013 by the Duchess of Cambridge and is newly designed from the previous Princess ships. It features an expansive piazza area and a skywalk where you can literally walk over the water – from 16 floors above.

Setting sail on December 29 from Fort Lauderdale, the first stop was the private island of Princess Cays. New Year’s Eve was spent on the sea with the first formal night being a huge celebration topped by hundreds of multi-colored balloons being dropped three stories onto the piazza area at the stroke of midnight. When they awoke the next morning on January 1, the ship was docked at St. Thomas. Jo Ann was “convinced” by Richard that she didn’t need to be looking in any of the multitude of jewelry stores, so instead they found a great spot for lunch that was owned by a couple from Missouri. That night they watched Jo Ann’s alma mater, Baylor University, play in the Fiesta Bowl via a giant movie screen on the 16th deck. The night was as chilly on the deck as the Baylor football team was on the field, with an unexpected loss to the University of Central Florida.

January 2 the ship docked at St. Maarten. Again, it was a time to ignore all those pleas to come into their jewelry shops and just stroll around. Having visited these islands in the past, the Rainwaters were just happy to relax and enjoy the beautiful ship. Jo Ann had to have her nightly “fix” of listening to a fabulous pianist, Ray Coussins, who dazzled the audience with amazing speed and precision on the keys, always ending with an over-the-top rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue” that brought a standing ovation each time.

Two full days at sea on the return to Fort Lauderdale on January 5 ended a nice, relaxing Caribbean cruise for the Rainwaters and began 2014 with a splash, so to speak. They highly recommend the Royal Princess and the soon-to-be christened sister ship, the Regal.

Some folks enjoy relaxing on a cruise ship while others enjoy duck hunting. Danny Havard had the cutest picture of 7-year-old Cooper Horton taken after his first successful hunt using decoys. Cooper got both a mallard hen and drake. Also hunting with them was his dad, Rayburn. The group went back before the season was to close for one more hunt but the ducks must have gotten wise and didn’t show up. Cooper also had successful year deer hunting but got his first deer when he was six!

Dwayne Harris, Kenneth and Ginger Capps’ son-in-law, came in from Dallas to enjoy the last two days of duck season. Dwayne was happy to see his Labrador retriever named Emmitt who had to leave Dwayne in the city and move to the Capps’ home in the country. Emmitt seems to enjoy living in the country and also seemed to enjoy the duck hunt as well as Dwayne and Kenneth.

Bobby Chandler, Jr. and Stephanie came in with their neighbor, Nick Willmann who lives across the street from them. Nick had the day off from Quad Graphics and had his precious 18-month-old daughter Emily with him. His wife Deanna teaches 7th and 8th math at Diboll ISD. Bobby Chandler, Jr. has gotten out of the classroom into the great outdoors. He owns American Lawn Services and is presently working mainly in Nacogdoches but would love to add new clients here in the Diboll area. Stephanie helps out by doing the bookkeeping. Give him a call at 936-526-0021.

Former DISD Ag teacher, Larry Poe, was in town with his wife Judy and country neighbor, Doug and Pam Spivey. All of them live in the Martinsville area out of Nacogdoches. Doug lived in Diboll until the 6th grade; moved away and grew up to be a Game Warden although he is now retired. The foursome was in town to visit Jack and Donnie Jenkins. Donnie’s son is married to Larry’s sister.

Last weekend Angelina Animal Hospital had a vaccination clinic in our parking lot. As some of you may not know, Dr. Daniel Salas retired and sold his clinic to Dr. Lindsay Syler, a DHS, Texas A&M graduate and doctorate of veterinarian medicine. Lindsay was present of course along with others on her staff including her mom, Linda Syler and Lee Gilstrap. Lee works at Texas Timberjack and her son Clay Gilstrap is engaged to Lindsay Syler. Lee tried to explain to me about Ultra 4 Racing which Clay and his little sister Shelby have been involved in since she was 16 (she’s now 22). This type of racing is unlimited 4-wheel drive endurance and a brutal challenge racing up to 120 MPH and down to 1 MPH using gear ratios for technical rock crawling. Shelby and Clay both qualified for the Ultra 4 King of the Hammers race in in Johnson Valley, California (google it) which is February 7-8th. The race is only 190 miles and the starting line is also the finish line. It’s expected to take 7-8 hours to finish. Lindsay is not only Clay’s fiancée but she is also his co-pilot in this race. She has been training and working out in fireproof suits which are required. As co-pilot she is the one that has to jump out and manage the winch cables when the 4-wheeler gets stuck. We wish them luck!!

Congratulations to Thomas Jones of Huntington who came in with his wife, Bobbie, to get a Case knife for his 80th birthday.

Come see us…’round the table.