It's beginning to look like Christmas in Reilly Springs. Folks have their Christmas lights out and most have their Christmas trees decorated and showing through the windows as you drive through the community at night.
I had a nice visit with Vera Harrington this past week. She indicated that she continues to be "busier than ever" since selling her milk cows. "I spent several days last week in Waxahachie with the girls and helped Mitzi clean out her garage," Vera said. "I brought a couple of loads back for storage here at my place."
While in Waxahachie, Vera got to see Caroline ride her horse, Patriot, in the Christmas parade, and, of course, to Vera she was the best entry in the entire parade.
Vera reported that Gregg Price is doing well since his recent surgery.
Vera had also attended the Lion's Club Lighted Christmas Parade, the Choral Society Christmas Concert, and the Community Theater's production of "Cheaper by the Dozen."
"I'm catching up on all of those things I didn't have time for, when I was going to the milk barn every day," she said.
Marilee Fisher reported that Bryant was in Dallas this week for a Dairy Farmers of America meeting. Marilee and her mom, Ethel Winton, are planning a trip to Corsicana this weekend to attend a wedding.
Kendra Fisher is counting the hours until the Christmas break. She's got plans to help with the family Christmas tree farm, Three Oaks Farms, during the holidays, and invites everyone to bring their family to the farm in the Greenview community for a unique experience. Kendra also said she had loads of things at home to catch up on during the holidays.
Meanwhile, Blake is still busy processing deer and hogs. It's been a banner season, according to Blake, with record numbers of wildlife being harvested in Hopkins County. It's great to see this many deer thinned out, Blake says, because with the limited amount of forage due to the drought, the population needs thinning. Of course, the hog population continues to increase, so every one of them killed helps in that situation.
Jan Lawrence, Jacy Lawrence, Abby, Kobi and Reagan Kirby and Jandi, Landri and Sam Lawrence are all headed to Hopkins County for the weekend. They will be here spending time with family and friends at the lake house, on Lake Quitman. They are here for a Christmas shower for Jacy Lawrence hosted by friends. Jacy will be marrying Colton Heinrich in July of 2012.
Colton's mother and sister from Muleshoe will also be accompanying them to East Texas.
This past week, someone brought me a December 1950 newspaper from Hopkins County by the office. It was amazing to read the paper and to find that many of the very same things that we are doing some 61 years later are very similar. The county was busy with a large basketball tournament hosted by the Wildcats in Sulphur Springs. Teams playing in the tournament included Yantis, Cumby, Sulphur Bluff, Pickton, Clarksville, Atlanta, Commerce, Golden, and a number of other area schools. It was interesting to note that Bob Gideon was the high scoring player for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats in one of the games and Forrest Gregg was also playing on the team.
Additionally, just like now, a radio auction had been conducted, on the local radio station. However, it was the Kiwanis Club that was conducting the 1950 auction to raise money for charitable causes.
The downtown area of Sulphur Springs had been decorated for the 1950 season, and a traveler from Missouri had come through the town and written the mayor about how beautiful the area was and how that it showed such community pride.
We had several movie theaters in town in 1950 — The Mission, The Broadway and The Carnation, and we had the Hi-Vue Drive-In that was available for movie viewing. Interestingly, something that I'd never heard about, the drive-in would give you "gas money" if the temperature fell below 45 degrees so you could run your car heater to stay warm. Does anyone remember this? If you remember it, do you remember what the price of gas was in 1950? Also, did they actually give you some gas or did they take it off the price of your ticket?
I heard from Tonya Ross this week. She advised that they'd hosted their First Baptist Church Sunday school Christmas party at the Miller cabin in Reilly Springs. They'd also attended the second birthday party for Slaton McClendon and reported a great family time and loads of birthday gifts for Slaton. Brent cooked steaks, and a host of friends and family attended the party.
A large group of the Wallace family was in attendance on Saturday for the funeral of Justin Pawlik. Services were at West Oaks with burial following in the neighboring Seymore Cemetery. Justin will be sorely missed by family and friends.
I heard from Enola Gay this week, and she's planning her Christmas Reilly Springs Jamboree on Saturday night. She promises a large show with a number of special entertainers sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Make plans to join the Reilly Springs dommunity on Saturday night for the show, as you celebrate the holiday season.
Can you remember Christmas seasons past in Reilly Springs? I've heard from several about the big school Christmas programs that were held at the Reilly Springs School, prior to the holidays, each year. A huge Christmas tree was cut and brought to the school by the high school boys and then decorated by all the children.
I attended a Christmas reception at Carriage House Manor this week. A group of Sulphur Springs High School Health Science and Technology Students had raised money to purchase a motorized wheelchair for one of the residents. Among the "ring leaders" in the group of students raising the money was our own Reilly Springs resident, Gracie Cable. Gracie is a senior this year (I know its hard to believe she's that old), and she and her fellow students had seen the need for the chair as they worked at the nursing home on Mondays. So they joined together and hosted bake sales and other fundraising activities to provide Oscar Smith with the wheelchair so that he could be more mobile. The students certainly spread some Christmas cheer for Mr. Smith.
Several from this community had plans to attend the Ray Perryman luncheon on Wednesday, as they hoped to hear some good news about the economy. Perryman, a noted national economist and a native East Texan, has been making the annual trip to Sulphur Springs for a number of years, and it is always a delight to hear and learn about his economic predictions for the coming year.
Until next week, continue to enjoy the holiday season and find time to express the spirit of giving to others. Remember our troops who defend our freedoms and ask for them an extra measure of safety and return trip home. Pray for love in our hearts, harmony in our community and peace in our land. God bless Reilly Springs, Hopkins County and America. Happy holidays.
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