March 30, 2015


Enjoyed visiting with former Dibollians, Rodney and Charlotte (Martin) Shelton who were here from Fayetteville, GA to attend the annual Shelton family reunion. The reunion was held at his uncle’s new venue, “Shelton’s”, whose owners are David and Lois Shelton on FM2108 near the intersection of FM58. When they lived in Diboll Rodney worked at the Fiberboard plant. They eventually moved to Tennessee for 20 years and in 2010 moved to Georgia. Charlotte’s parents were Joyce and John Martin who were our country neighbors years ago. Joyce lives in Carrolton, GA near her son Eric and is doing fine just a little bit slower as a lot of us are.

I know Rodney and Charlotte were both surprised at the blank look on my face when they told me their neighbor in Georgia was Zac Brown who was a college roommate of their son, Scott. Rodney and Charlotte are close friends of the Browns and their five children. Scott works with Zac and so does Charlotte who is convenient to baby sit. When Zac was getting his band started Charlotte’s dad, John Martin, made him a loan to buy musical equipment. That was a few years ago. Zac Brown is better known for the country song Chicken Fried which he wrote. His background in classical guitar and his interest in bluegrass, folk singing and song writing combined with the instrumental and vocals of the other band members have earned Zac Brown Band three Grammy awards and many other awards in the music industry. Scott Shelton is Zac’s “right hand” man and Charlotte spent three years in the marketing of band’s tee shirts, caps, etc. Rodney is also involved and appears as a preacher (which he is) in the Zac Brown Band video, “Sweet Annie”. The video is an outdoor wedding and it is easy to recognize Rodney as the preacher wearing overalls in the wedding scenes. Although Zac played at John Martin’s funeral, it was sad to learn that John passed away before he learned of Zac’s fame. Besides Scott who has two children, Rodney and Charlotte have two other children who live near them. Melissa has one daughter and teaches school and their son Jordan has two children. Jordan also works for Zac Brown and is a construction foreman for ZBB Furniture.

Some of you may remember how creative and successful Rodney is at making custom knives. Charlotte is talented at making custom sheaths to fit his knives. Rodney made a knife that was presented to the King of Jordan and if you watch the popular TV Show The Walking Dead (which got another blank look from me) he designed and made the Blood Diamond knife that the character “Darrel” uses. Where ever Rodney is and whatever he does, he tries not to miss an opportunity to let people know about Jesus Christ. Rodney’s latest venture is shopping for vintage industrial parts that can be converted into lamps. I saw pictures of unique lamps he has completed and he is indeed creative at that also.

Last weekend John Ralph and I attended four musical programs: Friday evening, His Life, an awesome Easter production at Harmony Hill Baptist Church; Saturday evening, several gospel groups who sang at a Relay for Life benefit at Calvary Baptist and two choirs at our church on Sunday. After leaving the church Saturday evening, we stopped at the Cracker Barrel to eat. While pausing to look in the gift shop I noticed a guy and recognized him as the bass singer in the quartet, Ransom, we had just heard. He was by himself and we insisted that he eat with us. Although Elton Fenley has been in this area for years graduating from Lufkin ISD and working 30 years for Lufkin Industries, we had never met him. Of course, it only took a few minutes for him and John Ralph to discover they had many mutual acquaintances. His wife, Theta, was out of town with a group of girls having fun antique shopping in the Round Top area. We were surprised to learn that she is the mother of Diboll police chief, Steve Baker. It’s a small world.

Elton Fenley said his dad influenced him with the love of gospel singing growing up attending tri-state singing conventions and listening to quartets such as The Statesmen. Years later Elton sang bass in the church choir while his son David sang in children’s choirs. At home Elton taught David harmonies to all the “good” country songs on the radio and learned he had an aptitude for learning melodies and lyrics. David began writing songs at the age of 15 and at 18 taught himself how to play the guitar. It paid off. Two years ago Dave Fenley finished in the Top 20 as a singer and guitarist act from Season 8 of America’s Got Talent. He moved to Nashville and one night he and a fellow musician were asked to come up on stage and perform. It just so happen that Miranda Lambert was present and very impressed with Dave’s “beat box” and hired him. At the present time, if you attend one of her concerts, you will see Jukebox Mafia Dave Fenley and Josh Hoge performing and pumping up the crowd before she comes on stage. Elton shared that Dave just completed his second appearance at Radio City Music Hall in New York and has shared the stage with musical royalty like Dwight Yoakam, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley. Dave Fenley lives in Nashville with his wife and is still writing songs and performing. His dad Elton is retired but continues to sing in the gospel quartet, Ransom, along with Andy Johnson, Ricky Buchannon and Smoky Davidson.

On March 7, 2014, Fran Rodriguez and family hosted a birthday party for hubby Louis Rodriguez, who turned 76 years old, on March 2, which is Texas Independence Day. He is always proud to announce that his birthday is on that historical day of Texas history. There were about 25 friends and family that helped Louis celebrate. Among the guests were their children, Angela Rodriguez of Houston and Jason Rodriguez of Bedford, Texas. There were other local and out-of-town guests from Houston, Tyler and even Michigan. The birthday cake was decorated with the State of Texas emblem, which was put on Facebook. Guests enjoyed a bountiful buffet of BBQ, potato salad and cole slaw with those special fried rolls from Lufkin Barbeque.

Keep Diboll Beautiful is celebrating The Great American Cleanup by hosting a “SHRED DAY!” Bring your unwanted documents to the parking lot at Dollar General (223 N Temple Drive Diboll) on Tuesday April 7, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to noon and Security Shredding will shred and recycle your documents. This event is free of charge to the community. Businesses are limited to 5 boxes. Help us celebrate The Great American Cleanup by cleaning out unwanted waste while knowing your confidential documents are being completely destroyed on site. Please contact Elvia Esteves-Garza with any questions 936 829-4757 or email
April 4th is the date for Angelina County 4H’s Super Bingo Bash at 6PM at the Extension office on the grounds of the Angelina County Farmers’ Market. This is a gift card Bingo with lots of food, door prizes and silent auction. The proceeds will benefit their scholarship fund and summer camp.

April 11th at 6PM is the date for Angelina County Go Texan’s $5,000 Steak Dinner. It will be at “Shelton’s” at 3603 FM 2108 (Airport Road). Tickets are $100 per couple and entitles you to a steak dinner with all the trimmings and a chance to win $5,000. The proceeds go to fund scholarships for students in Angelina County. For tickets or more information, you may call Andrea Swor at 829-4040.

April 18th is the date for Angelina County Benefit Rodeo Trail Ride. Riders and wagons will leave from Old Orchard Park in Diboll at 9AM. For more information, contact Jim Hightower at 632-5313. Pouland’s also has raffle tickets for the Dodge pickup that will be given away at the rodeo April 25th.

Earl Carr, a member of Fairview Baptist Church, is selling “Women of Faith” caps to raise money for another mission trip to Peru. We have some caps available here at Pouland’s for $15. Project Graduation for Diboll seniors is selling raffle tickets on a unique idea; a Crawfish Boil for 25 people. Tickets are $1 or 6 for $5 and available here or contact any graduating senior.

It is with sadness that another chair has been vacated at the round table by one of our longtime regular coffee drinkers, Frank Devereaux. Frank didn’t contribute much to the conversations at the table; he listened! When he spoke, it was with a soft voice and to the point, nothing rambling. He would let you know when his coffee cup was empty by scooting the empty styrofoam cup across the glass table top; something comparable to fingernails against a blackboard!! We miss him and send our sincere condolences to his wife, Johnnye.

Please remember this Sunday is Easter, the most important day for Christians who believe Jesus Christ died, rose on the third day and HE LIVES in our hearts today!

Come see us…’round the table.