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Madisonville lost one of its well-known citizens last Sunday, Nov 27, when Sandra Standley lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. Visitation was held Tuesday evening at Day Funeral Home while services were held Wednesday afternoon at First United Methodist Church.

The Standley family has had deep roots in Madisonville for decades. Sandra’s three children Duane, Jim and daughter Ann Poe and their families all reside here in our hometown. The address for Duane and his wife Mittie is 856 Standley Lane, Madisonville, Texas 77864 while the address for Jim and wife Susan is 3908 FM 1452 E., Madisonville, Texas 77864. The address for Ann and her husband Trae Poe is 1460 Nettles Lane, Madisonville, Texas 77864.

And speaking of addresses, several of us sent cards to J.C. Jeffries, only to have them return. I cornered his lovely bride Renee at church Sunday and got the scoop. Seems since the Crossroads Cowboy Church directory came out, that post office box has been closed and they now get their mail at 3433 Hendricks Lane, Madisonville Texas 77864.

Cards would be a really nice gesture right now. J.C. is feeling better, but that’s almost a double-edged sword. He cannot put weight on that foot for another two to four weeks.  Can you say bored?

It’s here! This Saturday evening Dec. 3, our annual Christmas parade will circle the square of Madisonville bringing lots of smiles to youngsters and adults alike. This year’s theme is a Winter Wonderland and although it won’t be a white night, it may be a wet one. Either way it will definitely be a cooler one.

According to KBTX, next Saturday’s weather has a high of 52 and low of 42 and 50 percent chance of rain. Weather.com gives similar temps; a high of 53 and a low of 45 and they forecast an 80 percent chance of rain.  Remember though, weather forecasters aren’t genies and weather forecasts can change daily. Lets pray for early morning rain and crisp Christmas weather for the parade. Don’t forget your lawn chair!

It’s almost time for the annual Pathway of Light. This year it will be held Thursday, Dec. 8 thru Sunday, Dec. 11. Pathway of Light is the story of Christ from his birth to his death and then his resurrection based on the Gospel of Luke and told through a quarter mile pilgrimage. It is the gift of several of our county’s churches and takes place adjacent to First Baptist Church Madisonville.

This is a major production sets, casts, memorized dialogue and narratives, one that hopefully one you will want to experience each year. A cast of 250 members plus support crew and staff make up the POL family.

Pathway of Light is free but reservations are encouraged since the tour is made in groups of up to 25 people and leaves every 10 minutes starting at 6  p.m. Reservations began Nov 1. While there is no charge, donations are accepted. You can see some pictures of the 10th annual Pathway Of Light on its Facebook page Pathway of Light, Madisonville, Texas.

How about some birthdays? On our birthday list happy birthday to Randi Lynn Standley Pipes whose birthday is Thursday Dec 1. Randi, by the way, is the granddaughter of the late Sandra Standley.

Charlotte Wilson celebrates her birthday Sat Dec 3 and Judy Abilez blows out her candles Sunday, Dec. 4. Karen Fraley, Paul Bailey and Garret Burnett do the same Dec. 6. By the way Garret recently became engaged! Marvin Dittfurth winds out our birthday list for this week with his birthday Dec. 7.

Recently while doing research I ran across an ending that I used several years. It grabbed me once again and therefore I’d like to share it again. What struck me after reading it is how much our values have continued to erode since I shared this several years ago. Read on.

“And finally, the majority of us today did not experience WWII and we think only of the wars of recent years, all of which happened in other countries and placed our general population in very little inconvenience.”

It wasn’t so however, during WWII. And that’s not the only thing different. The love and devotion for America was different then as well.

Carol Bush a talented, funny, hardworking dear lady shared the following comment about Veteran’s Day. I know Carol well and asked if I might share her first-hand memories.

“I remember WW II 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 tinfoil 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.”

Few of us have experienced that. With the staggering debt America faces today and with the troubled times we live in, confrontation in America is possible, one that might even cause some hardships once again in our country.

The problem, however, is rather than a self-less society like the greatest generation on earth, so much of ours is a self-centered one more concerned with the latest movie/party, keeping up with the Joneses, and buying materialistic things. That love and devotion for America shown during WWII is missing.

 History is a good teacher but we must first listen.  

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