June 19, 2017

Claire Roche, daughter of Merrick and Diana Roche, graduated from Lesley University’s School of Art and Design (Cambridge, MA) on Saturday, May 20, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with an emphasis on photography. The commencement ceremony was held at the beautiful Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, overlooking Boston Harbor. Claire assumed that her parents and brother Zach would be the only family members attending her commencement; however, she was surprised the day before with the arrival of two of her aunts, Julie Mettlen and Allison Amason, as well as cousins Mallory Dorman and Parker Amason. Zach had arrived Thursday night and was in on the surprise. He told Claire that they were meeting their parents at the airport Saturday at noon, where the four of them would then leave from there for a day trip to York Beach, Maine. Of course, upon arriving at the airport, Claire had a wonderful surprise awaiting her! Her Aunt Allison was ready with her cell phone to video Claire’s arrival and reaction to seeing her family members there. The look on Claire’s face was priceless! Blessed with absolutely perfect weather, Merrick and Diana rented a Ford Expedition that would accommodate all eight of their party and headed north to York Beach, Maine, a little over an hour’s drive from Boston. Merrick’s mother, Evelyn, is from York Beach, so Merrick and his family have spent many vacations in Maine, and wanted to share a few of their favorite sites with their guests. Their first stop was at Cape Neddick, (in York), where the Nubble Lighthouse, one of the most famous and most photographed lighthouses in the country is located. Within walking distance from the lighthouse is Fox’s Lobster House, a popular mainstay for lobster, chowder and ice cream. It was here that Claire and her family enjoyed Fox’s clam chowder, lobster bisque and ice cream, while soaking in the warm sunshine and the beauty of the Nubble Lighthouse. From there, they took a short drive north to Ogunquit to see the picturesque Perkin’s Cove. On the way back to Boston, they stopped in Kittery at the famous Bob’s Clam Hut, which has been in operation since 1956, known for their fried clam strips, lobster rolls and other traditional coastal Maine comfort foods. Claire and her family pretty much sampled everything on the menu! The lobster rolls were definitely a favorite!

On Saturday morning before her commencement ceremony, Claire gave her family a quick tour of her school and the art center, where some of her work was on display. From there, they took the subway to Harvard Square and walked around the Harvard campus. After the commencement ceremony, a celebration for Claire was held at Ristorante Limoncello, in Boston’s famous North End Italian District. It is one of many incredible Italian restaurants located along the historic cobblestone streets in the North End and is actually located right next door to Paul Revere’s home. After dinner, Claire took her family to her favorite bakery, Modern Pastry Shop on Hanover Street, where they purchased cannolis and other sweet treats. From there, it was on to Quincy Market and finally, the beautiful Boston Gardens and Boston Common. Despite sore feet and exhaustion, a wonderful weekend was had by all. Claire is currently employed at The Knot, in Boston, and is also teaching a weekly hip-hop class at the Dance Complex in Cambridge.

Over the years we have heard lots of fishing stories but the following from Robert Ramsey who works in sales for GP, tops every other story. Robert tells it as follows.  I was fishing with two hook droplines in a local creek catching a few fish for supper with my two buddies in Albany, TX when this monster showed up.  Two fat grown men in a canoe, no net, and trying to wrestle a 60lb op into an already unstable canoe was quite a rodeo.  We landed it, took pictures, and let it go about 1/4 to 1/2 mile from where we caught it.  We doubled up on bait the next night expecting to catch another one. As we were running the lines on the second morning we found we had “another” big’un.  I and our other friend finally landed another one under same conditions only to find out the fish looked very similar; had the same cut and abrasions.  We were able to identify from the pictures that were taken the day before; it was the same fish!  A couple of observations…..either the fish was stupid, hungry, or we were just that good of fishermen.  We went with the latter!!

Kathy Sample is thrilled that Cindy Barmore has moved to Diboll. Kathy and Cindy were friends in high school. Bonnie Donovan said it made her day when she stopped by and enjoyed visiting and reminiscing at the round table with Harold Maxwell, Sherrell Fears, J.R. and Mark Hafernick. Mark came another day with his daughter, Lauren Johnston, who decided to spend more time in Diboll with her family. Her plans were to travel on to Lafayette but decided to stay in Diboll due to possible stormy weather. She was looking forward to her dad preparing shrimp that evening, Cajun style. Our thanks to Mark for the wonderful sweet corn and tomatoes he brought us from his garden. Our thanks to Skeeter Scarborough who also brought us sweet corn. Keith Spencer brought cucumbers and figs that Andrea preserved.

Enjoyed a nice visit with Joe Anthony, retired post master from Lufkin. Joe grew up in Diboll. He and John Ralph shared lots of stories, most of them had been told and retold but we still enjoy hearing them over and over. Joe brought us beautiful “Champion” tomatoes from his garden. He told us that Myrtle Parker, who is a faithful reader of the Diboll Free Press, is recovering from hip surgery in Larkspur and looking forward to going home after completing physical therapy. A special note to Myrtle; do all that the therapists tell you to do, they know what’s best and thank you for your faithfulness to read The Diboll Free Press.

It’s been a happy “homecoming” for the postal employees in Diboll. As of June 10th, all the mail carriers are elated to be back working in the Diboll post office. We are happy too, our mail is arriving much earlier. Glenda Tobias shared this with me. She is one of the five carriers; the others are: Carolyn Stover, Christina Zamora, Arnold Buenustro and Blake Nerren.

It was a bittersweet celebration for the family of Dalton Powell who recently graduated from DHS, turned 18 on June 14th and will be leaving for the U.S. Army on July 3rd. His grandmother, Betty Powell, said friends, family and neighbors enjoyed a hamburger cookout at their home.

Dwayne Stanford fried fish at his and Stephanie’s home for another bittersweet celebration for his nephew, Jacob, who is also going into the Army; his older brother, Daniel, will be following him in a couple of months. Jacob’s twin brother, Michael, plans to attend SFA. These three boys are the sons of Lynn and Diana Stanford. Others of Dwayne’s family enjoying the delicious fried fish cooked on the Cajun Cooker from Pouland’s were Caleb and Hannah Stanford from Corrigan; Morgan and Julian Rios and four grandchildren.

Our granddaughter, Cheyenne Swor, is still having fun showing animals even though she is a senior at SFA. She and the show team from SFA recently attended the World Pork Expo in DesMoines, Iowa where she exhibited a Chester gilt and placed 4th in her class!

We have some interesting new yard art that’s just arrived. It will be very obvious when you come see us…’round the table.