February 24, 2014


John Powers and his wife Mable (Nivens) who both grew up in Diboll have recently returned from Wichita Falls where John attended a reunion for the Survivors of  Iwo Jima during World War II. It was 69 years ago that 17-year-old John Powers was part of the invasion of Iwo Jima. His 21st Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division was there on February 20th. The invasion lasted until Easter Sunday, April 4th 1945. During that time 6,830 people were killed and 18, 800 were wounded. John himself was hit in the knee but didn’t let that stop him. While in the field, on February 23, 1945, John looked back over his shoulder and witnessed the actual raising of the US flag that has been immortalized in pictures and sculptures. Even today, 99% of the time when you meet John Powers he is wearing a bolo tie with a miniature of the flag raising. While in Wichita Falls, John and Melba were impressed with the friendliness of the people and were proud to see someone who served with him; Bud Williams, who received the Medal of Honor from President Truman. Approximately 30 survivors attended the reunion. Some of them including John were given a special badge from the Commanding Officer at Fort Sill who gave them a personal tour and update of the equipment and technology being used today. A sincere “thank you” to those who served and are serving is just not enough to express our gratitude for your service. May God Bless America!!

Fran McClain sent me the following email. Over the past 22 years, the Diboll High School Alumni Association has given 165 Scholarships to DHS Graduating Seniors for a total of $97,650. Scholarship Forms for Seniors 2014 are available in the DHS Counselor’s Office. Deadline for turning in a completed application is May 9, 3:30p.m. The Association accepts donations at any time for the following Scholarships:  DHS Class of 1952, Classes of 1962 & 1963, Class of 1969,Class of 1982,Class of 1995-Mike Suarez & Michelle Lawrence Memorial, Dixie Cook Memorial, Joe & Beth Denman, Joseph Hambrick Memorial, Sean Hendrick Memorial, Robert & Rita Ramsey Memorial, Pop & Sis Rich Memorial and Melissa Baxter Simmons Memorial. For additional information or to make a donation, contact Fran Mcclain, Sec/Trea.  829-2779  or franmc@consolidated.net

Fran also sent another email which I greatly appreciate and ask any of you that will, send me your news. A big Thank You to Betty Capps, Glenn Price, Bessie Furgurson, Carol Gartman, Ginger Capps, Jimmie Woodard, Jana Coulter and Louis Landers for their work in putting together a list of past DISD Employees.  Now the Alumni Association needs help in finding contact information on each one. Check out this column in the next several weeks for lists and also on the DHS Alumni Association page on Facebook.  Several people have agreed to help.  If I haven’t contacted you, and you would like to help, please give me a call 829-2779 or email – franmc@consolidated.net  A Reception to honor all past and present DISD Employees will be held on Diboll Day, Oct. 4.

Congratulations to 11-year-old Macy Ward who placed 4th at a Benefit Roping last Saturday for Ryan Broussard, a good friend of the family from Garrison, Texas. Macy is the big sister of Paige; the daughter of Wayne and Amy Ward and the granddaughter of Ken and Pam St.Ama and great-granddaughter of Wayne Steele.

John and Gloria Ogden came in last Saturday morning to buy fertilizer for their yard. The Ogdens moved into Deer Trace last year and work in their yard all the time. Everywhere they have lived they have always had beautiful yards; some that have been featured in magazines. I’ve always heard February is the time to prune roses and I asked Gloria what she did for her roses. To my surprise she said she buries banana peels around her roses and uses Epsom salt on almost every plant. I guess that’s why she had eaten banana pudding for breakfast that morning; she needed the banana peels for her roses.

Earl and Joyce Carr traveled with other members of the Lufkin Sam’s Club to the Double Heart RV Park outside of Jasper to spend a couple of days relaxing. With no TV or phone reception there was lots of domino games, reading and eating. At night, with no TV, Earl enjoyed watching John Wayne movies. The group arrived on Thursday morning, got their trailers set up and drove to the Catfish Cabin in Jasper for lunch. On Friday at noon everybody brings a pot luck dish and the evening meal is “left overs”.  Joyce baked Sue Johnson’s recipe for a French Coconut pie which was a big hit. The Sam’s Club is 30 years old and the group celebrated with a birthday cake. Other couples traveling to Jasper were John and Carmelita Rhodes; Robert and Mary Shanks; Tommy and Nita Hurst; Leonard & Billie Robison; Pat and Harvey McHan and Raymond and Gerry Dunkin who came from McKinney. Raymond said, “We’ve made friends in McKinney but we still mill our friends in Lufkin and Diboll.” The group disbanded on Saturday morning. Earl and Joyce drove several miles out of their way through FM 1818 just to come by Pouland’s for a cup of coffee.

We want to thank everyone that voted for Pouland’s having the “Best Cup of Coffee”. The Diboll Business Association and The Diboll Free Press sponsored the neat idea of this survey, “The Best of…75941”. My sincere thanks to those that voted for me for “Best Newspaper column”. About 75 people gathered with anticipation at a reception that was held last Thursday in the library to announce all the winners. Thank you again!

The Diboll Business Association is having a Ribbon Cutting at 5PM this Thursday, February 27th at the new restaurant in the back of J.R.’s Barn. Roho Pouland is the owner with substantial and experienced help from many others. The menu will vary from shrimp (boiled and fried), catfish (filet & whole), fresh cut French fries, corn on the cob, cold slaw, hushpuppies and more all served in a very informal family atmosphere. Please tell your friends about the Ribbon Cutting and stay around and eat.

Come see us…’round the table.