July 3, 2017


Zack Thomason brought tasty gumbo to the round table for us to enjoy. It is one of the most popular menu items served by the Red Tulip Rolling Bistro, a food truck. Zack is a member of the Thomason family Red Tulip cooking team. He is the son of Darla and Jack Thomason and the grandson of Morris and Betty (Hannah) Smith. The Red Tulip Rolling Bistro and Toffee Company is the unimaginable dream come true of Darla (Smith) Thomason who seems to be good at anything she attempts from selling and shopping for junk-tique items to cooking. The food truck idea started in her back yard when she and Jack built a commissary, bought a used FedEx truck and converted it into a spotless stainless steel food truck and “went on the road” with original menu items. Husband Jack continues to work his job in the oil industry but Darla has recruited all their children into the food business except daughter Stacy who lives in Dripping Springs. Son Zack, a recent graduate of SFA, is the meat specialist and prepares the popular chicken & sausage gumbo like he brought to the RT. He also makes homemade wieners for their hot dogs from pork butt and brisket. Hot dogs are a very popular item on the menu served in different ways that includes Baja Dog, Cow Dog and the plain Naked Dog. Daughter Jill Wisner is responsible for the yummy desserts that include mini buttermilk and ice box lemon pies; double chocolate brownies; jumbo chocolate chip cookies; Hershey’s chocolate cupcakes and her own version of Little Debbie’s oatmeal cream pies. Darla’s popular toffee that she has made for years is also available. Son Ben and his new wife, Starr Larabell, are responsible for” prepping” because everything is fresh and hand cut. All their menu items are unique and different and every week there is something special.  It’s a family team effort and everyone is cross-trained. Check out the Red Tulip on Facebook to see their menu and places where they will be serving. The “home” location is on Chestnut street north side of Gipson Funeral Home or give them a call at 936-637-1476 for catering information.

Hopefullly this area will soon have another convenient new business, a Vehicle Detailing Service when Latavian Phipps and his family move back to Diboll soon. Latavian graduated from DHS in 1999. He has served 16 years in the US Army where he has been deployed five times; three times in Iraq and two times in Afghanistan. He has also served two tours in Germany and presently living in Alabama where he is starting his new business. Latavian’s parents are Daniel and Bobbie Phipps of Diboll and his precious grandmother was Mary Phipps whom we all adored and loved her homemade hot tamales. Latavian’s wife is Lauren and their children are: 12-year-old Shawn; 9-year-old Amauri; 11-year-old Amaya and 2-year-old Journey. Hurry home Latavian, I would like to be your first customer.

Ruth Mullins has returned home from Jeffersonton, VA visiting her son Ted and his family which includes his wife, Adrianne and four daughters: Chloe; Courtney; Carly and Caity Diane. Ruth reported that Caity Diane is 18-months old and tends to be a bit spoiled by everyone in the family including “grandma”. Ruth taught her to say “grandma” while she was there and said it was amusing to watch Caity Diane’s temper that matches her red hair. The older girls were involved in many activities that Ruth attended and said she needed to get home to rest.

The Everything Store has been in a “twirl” with the beautiful new “whirligigs” we have in stock. They come in two colors, red and blue and one design has a solar light that reflects the geometrically designed blades as they turn at night. Earl and Joyce Carr were one of the first to buy one of the yard art wind spinners before they left on a trip to Colorado. Peggy Burt is also a happy owner of one of the twirling yard spinners as well as Kathy Sample and Peggy Scarborough. Judy Hale saw the spinners on Facebook and decided to purchase one for her son’s birthday. She called back later to let us know how much Paul really likes his birthday present.

Haegen Spring stopped by to visit at the round table and to let everyone know that he is presently working at Morgan Insurance and to give him a call when you need insurance. Haegen’s grandparents are Betty and Vernon Burkhalter of Diboll and Mary Lee and Garner Spring of Apple Springs.

Thomas Anderson, and I’m sure JoAnn had a part, has delved into trying something new…dehydrating fruit. He brought us a sample of figs that had been dehydrated. Out thanks to them and also to Skeeter Scarborough for sweet corn; Mike Swank for fresh tomatoes; Keith Spencer for figs and cucumbers and to Roy Lee Lyles for fresh okra. Andrea made pickles out of the cucumbers and a big summer favorite around here, fried Okra Patties from Chester Treadway’s recipe. She served the okra patties with Hot Water cornbread and dessert was homemade bread pudding with a special warm sauce. Woody Ingram, Gary Jones, Bill and Janie Weir from Spring, TX joined us for lunch that day. Bill enjoyed reminiscing about the people from the good ole days working at The Big Tin Barn.

Enjoyed meeting Michael Lawson, the newest manager of O’Reilly’s when he stopped by to introduce himself. Michael lives in Hudson with his wife Sierra who he met while stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC.  They have a 3-year-old son, Xander. Jimmy Mettlen visited while getting a tire repaired. Ashley Coleman came in for her dad, Ronnie Coleman, to buy Sevin Dust for his peas. Enjoyed visiting with Juan Valdez when he came in and reminded me he worked 35 years at the sawmill.

Charlie Mann stopped by to get tires checked out before he and Nettie left to go camping in their RV at Galveston near Jamaica Island. They were looking forward to spending time with their daughter, Clemmie, who lives in Atascocita.

I encourage you to please share your holiday trips, vacations etc. with the readers of The Diboll Free Press. I would truly appreciate the news. You can call me at 829-4040 or email me at sandra@poulands.com or

Come see us…’round the table.