'Round Town March 13, 2019


We have a lot of good news to share since the last Round Town column a month ago. Quite a few of our neighbors have achieved great goals and kept Madison County in the spotlight.

Mr. Burke Landry made the trip to Tyler TX Sunday, Feb 10 to attend a celebration of couples who have been wed 50 years or more. Even though Mrs. Lena wasn’t able to make the trip, they certainly qualified, having been married 74 years and counting.

Not only did they qualify, the Landrys received recognition from Bishop Strickland as the longest married couple in the Diocese of Tyler. Pawpaw and Maw Maw Landry, as they are affectionately known, were presented a certificate, a beautiful picture and flowers to honor their 74 years of commitment. Both will be 92 years young this year!

Congratulations to Kathy Lewis who is enjoying retirement these days. Kathy cleaned out her desk at Region 6 Educational Service Center in Huntsville last month and retired March 1. The wonderful folks there gave her a great send-off with a retirement party Feb 28.

Rae Kubiak hasn’t retired but she has made a career change. Rae, who served the Madisonville Care Center for 5 1/2 years and then did the same at the Madisonville Assisted Living Home for 4 years, is now employed by CHI St. Joseph Bryan Hospital and working out of Bryan.

Rae is now the hospital’s Post-Acute Liaison. In layman terms that means she works with patients, their families and case management to help them transition smoothly to the next level of care following their hospitalization.

Stepping into Rae’s place at Madisonville Assisted Living is Hilary Munoz who has been with the company for five years. Hilary is the daughter of Matt Reed and the granddaughter of Jerry and the late Mary Reed.

Congratulations to MHS senior Ashlyn Johnson who performed at Carnegie Hall Feb 10 with a group of 650 students chosen from 18000 applications. How is that for an honor?

Ashley was nominated to audition for a position when she qualified for the Texas Music Scholar Award. To achieve that award she had to be an “A” student and also qualify for two area bands. With that award under her belt she could then send a video audition for the Carnegie Hall position and the judges liked what they heard.

Ashley was accompanied to New York by music director Stephanie Schmidt where Schmidt attended an Educators Workshop in conjunction with the program. Ashley’s dad Ronald Johnson also attended the concert in New York City.

“We had a great time exploring New York City and performing with some amazing conductors and student musicians from around the world,” said Schmidt. “There were students from Korea, Japan, China and Poland in Ashley’s band.”

Ashlyn, who plays the trombone, won the Texas Music Educators Association Award in her Junior year of High School and was only one of many awards she has garnered. This summer Ashley has the opportunity to perform at the Sydnie Opera in Australia.

While performing at the Opera is a distinct honor Ashley does have to pay her own way to Australia and that will be an expensive trip. A Gofund me account has been set up to help defray the cost. If you can help this young lady go to gofundme.com. On the left-hand side click on search and then type in the title Ashlyn’s Honor Program fund raiser. Then donate. By doing so one day you may read about Ashlyn’ and her musical career and be able to say, “I helped her climb that ladder!”

Speaking of talented young musicians, we have quite a few in our Madisonville High School Band. Last Thursday the band competed in UIL concert which was held at Groesbeck High School where they received two perfect scores for their concert. The winter guard sectional of the band then placed 3rd Saturday at their competition.”

On the sports side, hats off to all the teachers, coaches and students with big hearts who helped give Avery Rose O’Neal a special day Feb 4. Avery, the Downs Syndrome daughter of Lori and Jim Oneal is a student in the Iola School District. That day the Iola students and the North Zulch students had a basketball game and Avery, too, got to play.

“I will forever be grateful to Iola coach, Iola basketball players, the refs., North Zulch coach and players, all the fans, KBTX and last but not least my family who came out to support Avery,” said her mom. “It was a super special day for us all! GOD truly blessed our lives with Avery Rose!”

Congratulations to the Farris clan who brought home quite a few honors from the cuttings at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Jimmy Farris, Midway, TX and the family patriarch won 3rd place in the National Cutting Horse Association’s 50 Amateur class while his son Mitch Farris made the finals in the NCHA 25 Novice class. Mitch’s daughter also made the Finals in the 25,000 NonPro class and then this talented gal won the American Quarter Horse Association Youth division.

Jimmy’s son Mike Farris competed in the AQHA winning 2nd and 4th in his classes and his daughter Riley Hope won 3rd overall in the AQHA Jr Youth. Just think, every time one of them rode to the heard the announcer said “from Midway TX.” If those spectators hadn’t heard of Midway TX, before, they have now!

Here’s what’s going on ‘round our town.

Cornerstone Bible Church led by Jerry Huff will soon have a new home. The church purchased Primitive Baptist Church on FM 1452 last week. They already have a sign at the corner of Hwy 21 and FM 1452 and will be busy working on the building before long.

Then its Madison County Fair time! Opening Ceremonies are this Thursday March 14. That’s also the night for the FCS and Arts Auction which start at 6:30 pm. There’s quite a bit of. talent in the sale this year.

By the way Judge Matt Johnson, Waco, TX plans to come see all that talent. Johnson is considering running for the vacancy in the 10th Court of Appeals when Justice Rex Davis retires in 2020. Madison County is one of the 18 Central Texas counties under the 10th Court of Appeals, which is comprised of a three-judge panel that hears both civil and criminal appeals from courts.

Although Judge Johnson has not yet made a formal announcement, he has filed with the Texas Ethics Commission to begin campaigning, so this is a good opportunity to meet him and see what you think.

Back to our county fair. This Friday and Saturday evening, March 15 and 16, the arena will be home to the MCFA Rodeo. And what’s a good rodeo without a good dance afterwards? The Texas Unlimited Band will give you some boot shuffling music Friday night while Kody West will do the same Saturday night. Tickets are $10 if you buy them prior to the dance and can be bought at Walkers or The Mulebarn.

Of course, next week will be really busy with youth showing their animals and it’s fun to watch, so if you’ve got a little free time, ride out to the fairgrounds. Friday March 22 will be the Buyer’s Dinner and Premium Auction and Saturday morning will be the Freezer & Scholarship Sale. It’s just a fun time and a great way to help the kiddos.

Spring break for the Madisonville Consolidated School District coincides with the Madison County Fair this year. Spring Break begins Monday March 18 and runs through Friday March 22. It’s hard to believe but students are going to be out of school for the summer in 2 ½ months.

The Annual Meeting of the Madisonville Cemetery Association is tentatively scheduled for April 6, 2019, from noon until 2:00 PM, at the First United Methodist Church. A pot luck luncheon will be held along with the lunch meeting and a tour of the cemetery improvements. If you can’t stay two hours, go for part of the meeting. Our association needs members. For more information on our local cemetery check out madisonvillecemetery.com or call (936) 581-2256.

One more thing: now is the time to buy your tickets to the Madisonville Sidewalk Cattlemans Association for the annual steak dinner to be held Saturday May 4. In addition to a great auction and silent auction as well as the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of our neighbors, it’s also a great night to do some serious dancing to the tunes of the Restless Heart band.

If you’re interested in tickets, whether it is a corporate table or individual tickets contact Brent Viator president at 936-348-2808 or any of the other officers.

And finally, we are all a little cold-weather weary which can shorten tempers, bring on depression and just make for some rather gloomy days. According to the weather forecast, it’s raining today, Wednesday, maybe even while you are reading the paper. Saturday though is supposed to be sunny as is next Wednesday, but there’s also a lot of rainy days in the forecast for next week.

So how do you fight the weather blues? According to Real Simple magazine here are eight scientifically proven ways to lift your spirits.

1. Make your environment brighter by opening those blinds and curtains.

2. Eat smarter. Remember good old fashion comfort food? Might be a good time to try some.

3. Simulate dawn. There really is a device that simulates dawn, causing your bedroom to gradually brighten over a set period of time. That is supposed to act like an antidepressant and help you rise and shine.

4. Exercise. Walk fast. That’s according to a 2005 study from Harvard University. Quite honestly, usually getting out and walking makes you feel better.

5. Turn on the music, lively music that is. Studies say lively vibes also make you feel better. Now here on the home front I can vouch that lively music helps me feel better about cleaning the house,

6. Plan a vacation. Supposedly planning a vacation causes an increase in overall happiness. But, if you can’t afford to go, wouldn’t that cause increased depression? Just wondering.

7. Help others. That one really is proven so lend a helping hand.

8. Get outside. If there’s sunshine, get out in it if only for a few minutes. Supposedly spending time outside can improve focus, reduce symptoms of SAD, and lower stress levels. From the forecast though, looks like you’ve got two good chances to find that sunshine next week. That is this Saturday and next Wednesday.

So there is it folks, scientific ways to fight the doldrums since rain is in our forecast for quite a few days from now until that first day of spring.

But spring is coming! And so is this column the first week of April. See you then!