June 27, 2016


Joe and Kay Gage left Diboll on May 16th in their comfortable RV with a destination of Carlisle, PA. The route they chose took them by way of Tuscaloosa, AL to attend the high school graduation of their granddaughter, Casey Cheyenne Gage, who plans to attend a Junior College and then on to becoming an Occupational Therapist. Her proud parents are Joe Grant and Allison Gage. The trip continued on to Birmingham, AL, Chattanooga and Sweetwater, TN. They thoroughly enjoyed the sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Reaching their destination in Pennsylvania, they parked for two weeks at the Western Village RV Park. During that time they toured Hershey, PA “the sweetest place on earth”. While touring the chocolate factory, Joe said you could see, feel, hear and smell the transformation of cocoa beans into delicious chocolate treats. They bought chocolate bars but none of them made it back to Diboll.

In the Amish country of Lancaster, PA they ate at the Good and Plenty Restaurant where they dined on sauerkraut and wieners and later bought “friendship” bread from the Amish. While in the Lancaster area they toured the historical Gettysburg battle grounds and drove to other popular places in the area that included: Bird-In-Hand; Blueball and Intercourse, PA.  Their trip continued on to Sharpsburg, Maryland to the site of The Battle of Antietam also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. Fought in 1862 it was the first major battle in the Civil War to take place on Union soil and is the bloodiest single-day battle in American history.

Joe and Kay knew there were not in Texas when in just one day they drove through four states: Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. In trying to get to the easternmost town in West Virginia, these two endured a two hour detour to learn more and visit Harpers Ferry where in 1859, a U.S. military arsenal was located and the target of the historical assault by an armed band of abolitionists led by John Brown.

After visiting the historical sites, Joe and Kay drove back to Carlisle, PA to attend two more graduations. One was another high school graduation of Cain Meadows. The second was a graduate of the US Army War College. Joe and Kay’s son, Phillip, is now a Full Bird Colonel in the US Army and Joe had the honor of “frocking”, which means pinning him. Phillip has 22 years of service and will be stationed in Afghanistan for one year. The Gages’ return trip to Texas included a stop in Memphis to tour Graceland and visit his sister in Mt. Pleasant, driving more than 4,000 miles on this trip. Our congratulations to all who graduated and grateful for the safe trip there and back.

There are two more proud parents in Diboll, Luis and Rosie Maldonado. Their son, Marco has completed his first year at Tyler Junior College where he is a member of the golf team. Marco had a fantastic year of golfing. According to Luis, Marco was First Team Regional; Ping All-American First Team; NSCAA First Team All-American; Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year; Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Finalist and ranked 2nd in NJCAA Division II. WOW! Very impressive! Congratulations!

John and Leann Sikes are a couple who look forward to a weekly trip to the lake. John has always loved to bass fish and Leann enjoyed fishing for crappie. Not too long ago, John convinced Leann to just “try” bass fishing. She did, and now she is “hooked”. They belong to the No Name Bass Club and every Thursday afternoon they go fishing. The tournament is from 5-8PM. As of June 23rd, John and Leann were #22 out of 94 teams; seems Leann “caught” on fast! These two also fish with other Diboll folks; Bill and Artie Yates who were in 10th place; William Flournoy and his fishing partner were #2 and the team of Lanton Chumbley and Russell Sparks were #5. Have fun and good luck!

My DHS classmate, English teacher, author, philosopher and good friend sent me an email with the following instruction, Betty Hendrick said to me, “I know you sometimes don’t mention events at the Pouland ranch, but this is special, and I trust you will add it as written:

          Lifelong friends gathered on Friday for a delicious salad lunch hosted by Sandra Pouland.  Sandra and JoAnn Rainwater put together lunch of chicken salad, fresh fruit, peach tea, and brownies topped by Blue Bell chocolate mint ice cream.  Enjoying the meal and lots of laughter and shared memories (the latter of which we are so grateful we can still recall!) were Linda (Baker) Smeltzer, Billie Jean (Baker) Capps, JoAnn (Hendrick) Rainwater, Donnie (Weeks) Smith, Sandra (Powell) Pouland, Betty Hendrick, and one of Billie Jean’s grandchildren, Hallie Flynt.  Hallie was celebrating her 13th birthday and will likely remember a long time listening to stories from us “ancient ones.”  Linda was in town for the Baker reunion, scheduled for Saturday. Besides looking at the collection of animals on the ranch, those who chose to endure the heat shared more good times.  One of the “highlights” was a “Blue Moon” duet played by Sandra and JoAnn.  Once they got into the swing of the music, they played well; we are sure Mrs. Purdy, our music teacher, would have been proud….perhaps even surprised the ladies could recall all of that after so many years.  The event really was a good time had by all! 

Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and enjoy Music in the Park, this Saturday, July 2nd in Old Orchard Park. The festivities celebrating Independence Day begin at 6PM with fun, food, games, music and lots of fireworks. It will be a HOT time in the OLD town that night! Hope to see you there.

Pouland’s will be closed on Saturday, July 2 and also on Monday for the official holiday. Come see us later…’round the table.