’Round Town


The American icon Dairy Queen has filed bankruptcy. Many generations of dyed-in-the-wool Americans have grown up on DQ chocolate-dipped cones, the ones where lip-smackin’ ice cream oozed from under that hard-rock chocolate and down the side of the cone.

Then came the new kid on the block, the Blizzard. If you haven’t purchased a Blizzard just to turn it upside down and see if the ice cream really does remain in the cup, well, you need to work on your courage. Besides that, you’re missing a good afternoon treat.

Don’t believe it? Just try to wiggle your way inside the Dairy Queen or earn a spot in the drive-through window shortly after the last school bell rings for the day. Yep, I’m pretty sure Dairy Queen belongs right up there with other American icons like Mom, the flag and apple pie. Let’s pray we get to keep ours. No youngster should grow up without Dairy Queen ice cream cones.

J.C. Jeffries is finally doing better after a week in the Bryan hospital with some serious health issues. Hopefully he will be home and recovering by the time you read this. That address is 3633 Hendrix Lane, Madisonville, TX 77864.

Sam Cole, who had serious complications following a knee surgery two weeks ago, is another who should be home by the time you read this. That address is P.O. Box 275, North Zulch, TX 77872.

•Condolences to the family of Virginia Tinsley, who passed away Oct. 30. A life-long resident of Madisonville, Virginia is survived by her husband, Winston, sons Joe and Lamar Tinsley (Sheri), and daughter Madison, as well as two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Send your condolences to the family at 512 W. School St., Madisonville, TX 77864.

•Congratulations to Gabrielle and Robby Sadler, owner of Razor Wireless on the addition of baby Tate to the Sadler clan. Tate was born to Katie and Chad Rathjein Thursday, Nov. 3.

•On our birthday list, belated birthday wishes to Andrew Cole, who celebrates his birthday Nov. 7, along with his grandmother Helen Cole. I think Andrew, whose parents are Katherine and Steven Cole, is in the sixth grade this year.

This week, happy birthday to daughter-in-law Robin Richardson, who celebrates her birthday Nov. 9. Craig Edmunds’ birthday is Saturday, Nov. 11, as is Rhodena Brooks. Edith Cuevas-Guerrero’s birthday is Sunday, Nov. 12, while Mike Ghormley celebrates his birthday Nov. 13. Winding out this week’s list is Robbie Brown and Darren Lindsey, whose birthday is Wed. Nov. 15.

Got birthdays or anniversaries in your family? Send them to us at gala@nettlescountry.com or call (936) 348-6541. Make sure you spell those names for us. You’d be surprised how many ways Ann can be spelled.

•Here’s what’s coming your way ’round our town. One of the most important days in our history is this Saturday, Nov. 11, a day to honor our veterans. Without them our lives would be much different. Saturday is a good time to fly a flag. It speaks volumes to our veterans. And Veterans: Walkers Café is honoring you. This Saturday you get your hamburger and fries for free in appreciation of your service.

Don’t forget Tuesday, Nov. 14, less than a week from when you’re reading this, some country pickin’ gospel music will be playing at the Midway Church of Christ Gospel Gathering. Take along your playing instrument and join Lanier Stevens and Dennis Ivey as they co-host the event.

Folks just love Tuesday evenings with those two. This will be the last gathering for the year, so no doubt it will be a good one. Finger food will be served at 6 p.m. and the singing will start at 6:30.

Tell the kiddos Santa’s coming to town. He will be a part of our Dec. 2 annual Christmas Parade. The theme this year is Candy Land Christmas. Why not cajole an organization you’re in or a group of friends and come up with an entry for the parade? If you do it, it’s a guaranteed memory maker. Stay tuned for more on the parade in upcoming issues.

This year’s Pathway of Light will begin Thursday, Dec. 7, and its final performance is Sunday, Dec. 10. The recreation of the life of Christ from birth to resurrection is presented by several churches in our area. It takes more than 250 people to make up the cast and all the necessary support groups.

The First Baptist Family Life Center is the first stop to attend the outdoor presentation. While admission is free, you do need to reserve your spot. Call (936) 348-2686 or go online to www.thepathwayoflight.com. By the way, it takes a lot of money to host this event and donations are appreciated.

•Cold weather’s coming. Ready for some chili? On Dec. 12, Madisonville will be home to our Madison County Chamber of Commerce Annual Chili Contest at the Kimbro Center. Got a good chili recipe? Then sign up for the competition and share it with the rest of us. Heck, you may even win the first, second, and third place cash prize. And who couldn’t use a little cash right before Christmas?                                       

•And finally, memories can be a great teacher. Without them events and dates have much less meaning but with them those same events and dates come alive.

So it is with Veterans Day. Our general population of today has only known little inconvenience from the wars of recent years. Not so during World War II. It took sacrifice right here at home to fight that war.    

That’s only one difference between the wars. The generation of WWII understood freedom was worth fighting for. They understood it’s burial would change our country forever, so their fervent love and devotion for country and flag covered America.

Several years ago I shared the memory of WWII as seen through the eyes of Carol Bush a talented, funny, hardworking dear lady. Since each year fewer and fewer Americans remain to share those memories I share hers once again. Because they should never be forgotten.

“I remember WWII so well — I was just a very young girl — I was 7 when we got the word about Pearl Harbor. But soon our way of life changed drastically. Rationing, doing without, walking instead of driving. A lot of people rode bikes — including my Mom, who was not a small woman.

 “She rode to her beauty shop on a bike with my little brother in a basket and dropped him off at my Grandma’s house, Then she rode home in the dark (all street lights were out because of the blackouts on the Pacific Coast) with her bag of money slung over the handlebars and retrieved my brother who was put in the basket.

 “We had one pair of shoes. They were rationed too. When we did ride in the car I remember a makeshift training camp called Camp Koehler which was not too far from our home. You could see recruits drilling out in the field in large groups stirring up dust and marching, marching. It was a hurry-up training program. I wonder how many of those boys never came home.

 “As kids we had regular drives for scrap metal and we would fill our wagons and turn it all in at a special collection place. We even saved the tin-foil from gum if we were lucky enough to find some. Hershey bars were a real luxury. My Dad sent us gum and candy from the Aleutian Islands where he was working with a large company. that had an Army Engineer contract. Our country came together and worked hard for victory, which came about through the efforts of our armed forces and the civilian population. I will never forget the unity and patriotism even as a young girl.”

Sadly, many Americans have replaced that kind of love for country with love for entertainment, for gadgets, for keeping up with the Joneses, self-importance. As we lose more and more of the greatest generation on earth that love and devotion for America shown during WWII grows weaker each year.

 History is a good teacher but we first must listen.