January 25, 2016


Plans for an annual family tradition was started when Phil and Loretta Garrett recently spent a winter vacation with family in Colorado. Family members included Phil and Loretta, their daughter, Alecia; son and daughter-in-law, Shane and Crissy and grandkids, Aubrey Pearl, age 3 and Thomas Whipple, age 7. The group left home on New Year’s Eve and spent the night in Claude, Texas which was about half way to their destination of Angel Fire, New Mexico. They saw snow for the first time in Childress which really excited the grandchildren so you can imagine their eyes arriving in Angel Fire which had received two feet of snow the previous week. Snow was everywhere and the roads were icy. Shane became the designated driver as he had learned skills from driving on icy roads from when he worked in Colorado for two winter seasons at Key Stone Ski Resort where he also learned to love skiing.

The two story house Loretta had found and rented for the family was 3-1/2 miles up a mountain. Phil said the house could have accommodated at least 12 people and had all the conveniences of home except for groceries. Pictures showed the house was spacious, had a cathedral wooded ceiling with a fire place between large windows. Not that they got to enjoy it that much but a large porch surrounded the multi-level house. Were they all surprised the first morning to wake up and find five mule deer at the door waiting to be fed; one had a nice rack of horns according to Phil. Conveniently, there was corn and birdseed available and the deer would eat from the ground or from hands that were brave enough to hold the feed.

As with all ski vacations, Shane, Crissy and Alecia could hardly wait to head for the slopes. Crissy stayed on the “Bunny” slopes and it didn’t take her long to decide that skiing wasn’t for her. She traded in her skis and gladly accepted the job as the official trip photographer and from the photos I saw, did a great job. (Crissy works at Ellen Trout Zoo and has some awesome pictures from her job there.) Shane took to the slopes like a professional and was soon on the black trails for the more experienced skier. Alecia tried to keep up with her little brother but soon realized his experience of living on the ski slopes definitely gave him an advantage. Phil and Loretta did exactly what they had planned… to do whatever Aubrey and Thomas wanted. They stayed at the house and played in the snow sledding down the long driveway and making snow angels were two of their favorite fun things. The kids were disappointed when the snow was too fine to make a large snowman and had to settle for a “wee” one. One day everyone went to the ski resort and rode the ski lift to the top of the mountain and were able to watch Shane ski all the way down the mountain as they rode the lift back down. The little ones enjoyed riding snow tubes for hours and at night enjoyed playing games with the adults who were relaxing, or crashing, in front the warm fireplace. The Garretts missed not having their oldest daughter Amanda and her husband Mason along on this trip but they are making plans to be a part of this annual tradition next year to go back to the “snow house” as Aubrey called it.

Billy Jean Capps sent me the following note to publish concerning Diboll Christian Outreach. “To the wonderful folks in Diboll who support Diboll Christian Outreach: Thank you from our hearts for all you do. Our weekly volunteers, those who donate all kinds of helpful items, those who order our food for our shelves, those who deliver our food stock, those who coordinate food drives during the year, our businesses who help us, our schools, our churches, our civic organizations, are all such an important part of who we are and what we do. It is our goal to make sure no one goes hungry in our beautiful little town. We who give Thursday mornings to keep DCO reaching out to those in need would not have a place to serve without the continued support of our people in Diboll. We are sincerely grateful for ALL you do.” The Diboll Christian Outreach Volunteers.

Billie Jean Capps was proud to share that her granddaughter, Hannah Flynt, will be competing in swimming at the UIL regional level after recently winning two gold medals. Hannah has been swimming most of her life. She is a junior at Huntington and being the only member of their swim team, is trained by coaches at other schools. Her parents are Sherri and Tim Flynt of Huntington. Billie Jean is hoping to attend Hannah’s next competition in Lewisville in February along with all four of her daughters: Susie Jones, Shannon Capps, Sharla Pelham and of course, Hannah’s mom, Sherri. They plan to spend the night in Fate, Texas with Sharla and Brett then drive on to Lewisville. Good Luck!

Ronnie and Kaye (McElroy) Fitzgerald have moved to Diboll on Smith Wheeler Road in a “Barndominium” designed by her daughter and son-in-law, Renae & Jeremy Havard. Kaye said she insisted that Ronnie come to the Everything Store for anything he might need to get ready to plant a garden at their new home. Kaye was happy to visit with Donald Capps when he came in and introduced him to Ronnie. Donald was buying Dorman Oil because he says, “It’s time to treat fruit trees”. He also said Valentine’s Day is when you cut roses back. He remembers to do that because his birthday is the day before. By the way, the 14th is always been the date farmers like to plant their potatoes.

The children of Barrett and Amber Duren came in with their mom. Karter, age 9; Owen, age 7; and Sawyer, age 3 are making plans for the Angelina County Youth Fair this year. Karter has a Mini Lop rabbit named Duke that he plans to exhibit. Owen and Karter both plan to enter the cooking contest with a Chocolate Cobbler recipe. Young Sawyer will be there supporting his brothers. All three of these guys are excited about the arrival of a baby sister.

It’s a shame there isn’t a contest for growing lemons. Robert Stephenson from Hudson brought us a lemon the size of a very large grapefruit! Buddy Mills came in for Colorado pinto beans and local honey, two of the most popular items we sell.

FAMILY SUMMIT 2016 will be this Friday, January 29th 8:30 – 2:30 at the Diboll ISD Family Education Center, 299 S. Neil Pickett Dr. This event is free and includes soup for lunch. They will have special speakers including Beth Wilbanks talking about nutrition and other leaders will discuss safe and healthy ideals for families. Vendors will be present to give out information and door prizes will be given away throughout the day and it is all FREE!
Don’t forget to make your reservations for “Dining Delight by Candlelight”, February 13th. This is a Project Celebration fund raiser and for more information contact Chantea Allen 936-229-9777 or Liz Monroy 936-645-3162.

Don’t forget this will be the last week to have a ballot in the Free Press to enter BEST OF 7941. Vote for your favorite teacher, official, tea, taco, hamburger, fried chicken, store clerk, city employee, etc.etc. Ballots have to be in by February 1st. The winners will be announced February 11th with a reception at TLL Temple Library. GO VOTE!!

Come see us…’round the table.