May 30, 2016


The first city-organized Memorial Day service was held at 10AM on Monday at the Wall of Honor located on the grounds of the TLL Temple Library. The few that attended were impressed with the service which was officiated by Pastor Ronnie Coleman.  Mayor John McClain welcomed everyone and the Star Spangle Banner was beautifully sung by Emily Bulling, a music major from SFA. Sam Coleman, a veteran and also Vice Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars provided some American flags. Our city manager, Gerry Boren, spoke and expressed his wishes for this service to become an annual event. He and his wife, Marcie, also donated flags to the attendees that planted the flags on the lawn in memory of soldiers who they knew that made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we have living in the United States of America.

Diboll’s Veterans Memorial Wall was a project of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Diboll VFW Post and was approved by the city council to begin construction in December, 1998. It wasn’t until February of 2000 that it was officially dedicated. In May of 2004 another ceremony dedicated a second wall with special recognition to David McCall of Orangeburg, SC for the 15’ sign he made and donated; to Allen Tucker who donated the masonry work; to Hellen Schmidt for the first flag; to Demco Manufacturing for the flag pole and to the City of Diboll for donating the space for the wall. I know there were lots of ladies and veterans involved in making this memorial wall a reality but one I remember was a 5’2” blond powerhouse, mover & shaker, Lois Hurd.

A little bit more information about Emily Bulling who sang the National Anthem. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music and Education from SFA on May 14 and said it was an honor to sing at the memorial service. As a music student at SFA, Emily met Gerry & Marcie Boren’s son, Robert, and they began dating because of their mutual interests in music. Robert Boren earned his BS in music from SFA and is near to completing his master’s degree while studying and also working as a Professor’s Assistant in the Music department. Robert and Emily have both sung in several of the operas at SFA and performed as guest soloists at First Methodist Church of Nacogdoches and elsewhere. Robert Boren was recently hired as the choir director at First Methodist Church of Bullard. His mother, Marcie, shared with me that she realized Robert had perfect pitch at the age of 3-1/2 while singing along in the car with songs on the radio.

John and Gloria Ogden recently fulfilled a wish of Gloria’s to visit Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. On the way they traveled through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington. They went through Yellowstone National Park and saw lots of snow, bison and Old Faithful. While they were in Colorado, they had an unexpected excitement when they heard a terrible noise in the car. John told Gloria to stop the car and he began looking for the problem. In the meantime, Gloria looked in the backseat and saw chips spilled everywhere and a bag that looked like it had exploded. They assumed the higher altitude caused the bag of chips to explode. They made it to Bainbridge Island and spent two nights in Sequim where the air is filled with the fragrance of lavender from all the lavender farms everywhere. As they neared Canada, the Black Ball ferry carried them to Victoria, BC. Gloria said the gardens are beautiful as she expected but not as large so they completed their tour in two hours and got back on the ferry.

The next item on their itinerary took them to Neah Bay, Washington to walk the Cape Flattery Trail to the furthest point one can go in the northwest lower 48 states. Walking sticks are provided and came in handy for the uphill climb. The trail went through beautiful forest with ferns and other unusual plants on the forest floor and when you come out of the forest there is a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. It’s awesome when you realize you cannot go any further north or west. The trail is located on the Makah Indian tribe’s reservation. They have an informative museum about their people and how they managed to survive in this area.

While riding one day, John could not believe that Gloria wanted to stop and ask an owner working in his yard if she could have one of his “red hot poker” plants. He said “yes” because he was getting ready to dig up his plants and move them anyway so he graciously gave her one to bring to Texas. (It never hurts to ask.) From there they traveled down the Pacific coastline. At one point there were miles and miles of dairies that provide milk for Tillamook Cheese, John and Gloria enjoyed visiting a Tillamook Cheese store. In San Francisco they stopped for sourdough bread and chowder at Boudin’s and a milk shake and sundae at Ghirardelli Square. In Thousand Palms they bought dates at Medjool Date store and visited a friend in Las Cruces. Getting anxious to get home, they arrived in Houston the same time that thunder storms and torrential rains caused flooding. They had to spend the night in Houston and make several detours the next day. Gloria said, “Diboll sure looked good when we finally got to the city limits.” Thank you John and Gloria for sharing your travels.

My thanks to Jimmie Woodard for sharing the following news about her holiday weekend: I went to Shreveport for Memorial Day weekend and had a blast at the Mudbug Festival. The Crawfish Calling contest was a hoot! The Crawfish Eating contest was a little long (took contestants too long to shuck crawfish). The Crawfish Races were a little on the slow side, but a blast to watch and I had a tremendous time listening to the various bands that provided entertainment.  My gambling experience at the Horseshoe Casino yielded a mighty $6.95, so if anyone needs a loan, my interest rates are very low!!!  I also enjoyed seeing my Shreveport friends, the Allens and had a great weekend.

Jimmy and Noel Sims spent the holiday at the Omni in Houston. Meeting them there for a day was their daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Matthew Elam and their son Jonathan (Taylor) and his girlfriend, Hallie Million. They all enjoyed a good meal at the Italian Restaurant, La Piatto. After the kids left, Jimmy and Noel were pampered with massages, sitting by the pool eating and relaxing. Jimmy is 100# lighter and enjoying his new Martial Arts business venture, Lionhart, which is located in Diboll.

Congratulations to all graduates, from kindergarten to college. It’s an exciting time for them and their families. Thomas and Rena Lowther have a house full of graduates. All three of their sons are graduating. Adam will graduate from Texas A&M in August. This summer he will be interning at Bird & Crawford Land Management. Colin graduated in May from SFA with a degree in Business Management and is working for Fastenal in Nacogdoches and Benjamin will graduate from Diboll High School this week and plans to attend SFA this summer. Congratulations to all!

Come see us…’round the table.