February 10, 2014


Jessie Conner celebrated her 87th birthday on February 8th at home with almost all of her family members present. The theme was “Marti Gras” and Jessie enjoyed wearing the typical mask. Daughter Carolyn Smith was sick and had to depend on her sister-in-law, Diane Conner, and sister Glenda Richardson, to tend to the details. Enjoying the birthday cake, pizza, fun and festivities were Robert and Diane Conner; Glenda and John Richardson; Arlie and Autumn Conner; Crystal and Josh Ellis and children; Ashley, Stephen and children; Darina, Brad, Laurie and Kevin Delaney and children. Special guests were Jessie’s brother and sister-in-law. Pete and Ernestine Conner.

Denise Wilson, owner of The Cowboy and the Princess stables, was thrilled that her sister, Val Sinke, from Canada arrived during a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 50’s. Denise has lived here 20 years and this was Val’s first visit to East Texas. These two along with four other sisters lived in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada. Four of the sisters grew up equestrians and continue to enjoy horses. In fact, that’s what brought Val and three of her young riders-in-training to Texas, to participate at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. Traveling with her were her niece 15-year-old Taye; 13-year-old Lilly and 11-year-old Kate, all are trained Hunter-Jumpers and will be competing for the pony finals.

Val Sinke and her husband and family live outside Woodstock, Canada on their Eden Ridge Farm above their Hunter-Jumper Show Barn which is quite common in that area. Canada is experiencing the coldest winter since the blizzard of 1976. The morning the girls left, it was -40 Celsius with snow drifts as high as their flag pole. All five horses they brought had 5 blankets each and were in a fully enclosed trailer. The trip with four girls and 5 horses from Woodstock to Burke took two 12 hour days. In Nashville, Tennessee the temperature allowed them to remove one blanket from each horse and a few hours later removed a second blanket and by the time they arrived here they didn’t need any blankets, it was 55 degrees! The girls said East Texas is not at all what they expected and are looking forward to spending two weeks seeing as much as they can.

Brooke Colwell had the day off from her nursing duties at Memorial Hospital when she came in with her son, Lewin who just celebrated his 1st birthday on the 5th day of February. Our 10-month-old great-granddaughter, Bristol with her beautiful red hair, was playing in the floor. Lewin was in the floor with Bristol when Brooke’s scream scared us; it was nothing bad, she was just excited to see Lewin stand up and take his first two steps!!

Marcellos Jones came in and bought SIX pounds of Spanish peanuts. He was sending them to his sister-in-law, Rhoda Faye, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I couldn’t resist asking more about her. She was a sister to Marcellos’ wife, Vera. There were three girls, Vera, Mary and Rhoda Faye; daughters of Winston and Maddie Brown and known as the “Brown girls”. They were very active at H.G. Temple School where they played basketball and Rhoda Faye was a cheerleader. I later spoke to Rhoda Faye and there is no doubt that she is proud to be from Diboll. Her mother worked for the Chandlers and named her after Rhoda Faye Chandler. They attended Shiloh Church where Rhoda Faye became an Usher and after moving away and having nine children was honored on her 80th birthday as ”Usher of the Year for the state of Minnesota”.

Marion Abner loves to fish and better than that, he loves to cook and eat fish and invite hungry eaters to join him. We volunteered a cooker, a helper and a place to cook…here! The day just happened to be between J.D. and Sue Johnson’s birthdays, February 10th and 12th, so we celebrated their birthdays. J.D. helped Wayne Ward and Andrew Bass with frying the fish, French fries and hushpuppies. Those eating were: J.D. and Sue Johnson; Marion Abner; Skeeter Scarborough; Delbert Reynolds, Fran McGilvra, Bill Dean Yates, Newt and Chad Courtney; Glen McDaniel, Gary Jones who took a plate to his mother, Vera Jones and Woody Ingram who carried a plate home for Mary.

I learned that Newt Courtney and J.D. Johnson went to first grade together in Beulah. After school they would go to Steve and Margie Johnsons’, J.D.’s parents, where they would rope and try to ride Mr. Johnson’s steer calves. In later years, J.D. was a “pick up” man for local rodeos and Newt rode with the Angelina County Mounted Patrol.

It was my first time to meet Chad Courtney, who certainly favors his mother, Jeannene. Chad is like his father, a pilot, who flew 30 years for Lufkin Industries. His wife is Vicky and he also helps her in their new successful venture, Silent Partners EMR (Electronic Medical Records) Management; a service to doctors that helps with new patients’ information. They have three children; Grant and Emily live in Nacogdoches County; Matthew and Lindsey live in Big Sandy and have a 2-month-old baby daughter, Ada Marae; their daughter Annelise recently moved back from Longview and is working at Studio 319 in Lufkin.

It’s always good to visit with Billie Lamb who knows so many people from working in the school and other places. She sat at the RT while getting new tires on her car. Jim McClain showed us a picture of Judy’s valentine gift that she bought for herself; a little ball of fuzz named “Buster” who is a Maltipoo puppy.

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Ken Holt. They have birthdays one week apart and both celebrated their 86th birthday last week. Happy belated birthday to two great people.

Paula’s Pearls & More will be having a Jewelry Party on Saturday, February 22nd 10AM-1PM at Vintage Blooms located in JR’s Barn. Vintage Blooms is now open just in time for Valentine’s Day. Stop by and look around at the gifts and flowers or call them 829-5556.

Stay warm and dry; come see us…’round the table.