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Tuesday night’s storm is the news in Reilly Springs, this week. It was an intense storm while it lasted and certainly delivered some high winds and heavy rainfall,

for a few minutes between 11:00 and midnight.
Wednesday morning found residents out looking over their property to see if they had any damage. The heaviest damage was in the neighboring Martin Springs community, where heavy pine tree and barn damage was reported at the Kevin Gibson farm. Kevin had several pine trees blown down across the highway and sheet-iron from his barns blown all over the country. A travel trailer was also blown over at the farm. Fortunately no one had reported any injuries from the storm that moved through our area.
Spring thunderstorms are coming a little bit early, but then the weather this season has really been unusual. I guess that is the reason that all of us seem to constantly be getting sick. I’ve been sick this week and continue to try to “wear out” the flu-like symptoms, as I go about my work.
The entire David Stribling family has been sick, also. They reported that they didn’t have any news, because all they had done was stay home and try to recover, in the past week. Does that sound familiar?
I saw Brodie and Mary Koon at the Kiwanis Pancake Day, on Saturday, they met Kris and Mickie and their boys and we all visited for a few minutes, and “caught-up” on the latest news.
I had also got a chance to see Brodie and Mary at the Joyce Jenkins funeral on Friday. This is extending sympathy to Kenneth Ray and Sandy, and Joyce’s entire family at her loss. Joyce will surely be missed, as she was always a very positive force in our lives, attending all the functions in the Reilly Springs Community.
While at Joyce’s funeral, I had the opportunity to reflect on just how “connected” the families of Reilly Springs really are. Kimberly Buster, Sandy’s daughter, is engaged to marry Andy Smith. Both Kimberly and Andy’s families are from Reilly Springs and this is two families that are “joining” together that possibly have never joined. Andy’s grandmother, Dorothy Hinton, is a member of the Reed family and attended Reilly Springs schools with all of her siblings, as well as being reared on the northern edge of the community. And, of course, Kimberly’s great-grandmother was Bertha McDonald Jenkins and Andy’s house is located on the land that was owned by Kimberly’s great-great-great grandparents, Daniel N.C. and Alice McKay McDonald. I’ll have to check the land records, but possibly Bertha McDonald was born on the family homeplace, not too far from where Kimberly will be living. I guess the old adage that “we don’t get far from our roots,” surely applies here.
Marilee Fisher cooked supper Monday night for the Reilly Springs Super Club, but work at the office prevented me from attending. I had to take a “rain check” on that good ol’ chicken pot pie, that I’m sure she had made. Martin and Betty Allain also missed as they are “basking in the sun” in Mexico, this week. It’s such a rough life.
Marilee and Ethel Winton had been traveling, over the weekend. They “went back home” to the Wichita Falls and Holiday communities, to attend the funeral of a family friend. Following the funeral, they met with several other longtime friends, at the Dairy Queen and enjoyed “catching-up” on  the lives of everyone.
Blake and Kendra are headed to Memphis, Tennessee for a Dairy Grazing Conference and will be staying at the Peabody Hotel. So, there should be a few stories “filter” back about a country boy from Reilly Springs and the ducks. If you hear about a duck hunt or some “dead birds” at the Peabody, you’ll know that Ol’ Blake went huntin’.
J.R. Fisher has completed the work on his greenhouse and continues to make plans for spring planting season.
Vera Harrington was out “bright and early” on Wednesday morning, as she was looking for any storm damage. None had been reported as of press time.
I received a very interesting notice, the end of last week, about an upcoming production being presented by the Texas A&M University-Commerce Theater Arts Department. The production, that begins on Thursday night, is entitled “Lost Highway…..the Story of Hank Williams.” As most of you know, the productions at the university are always good and have some connection to the area. Well, this one even offers more, some very unique connections to Northeast Texas.
The “Lost Highway” song was not written by Hank Williams, but written by a native of Alba, Texas, in neighboring Wood County.  “Blind Leon Payne” a young man, born in Alba, in 1917, had been blind since birth and wrote the song on the back of some papers, as he hitchhiked from California, back to Alba, to visit his mother, who was sick.  Payne wrote a number of songs for other singers, including “I Love You Because,” that Elvis Presley made famous, and others for Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, and George Jones.
Payne’s step-brother, Jack Rhoades, also lived in Alba and Mineola and was a songwriter. Rhoades wrote “Satisfied Mind,” that was made popular by a number of artists and “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” that was Linda Ronstadt’s 1974 hit. Did you have any idea that we had such famous songwriters, next door?
Of course, Payne and Rhoades were associates of our own Bob and Joe Shelton, as they all performed on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana.
I was saddened, as I know many of you will be, at the word this past week of Rev. Alton O. Patton, passing away in nearby Winnsboro. Of course, “Brother Patton,” as he was affectionately known in the Reilly Springs Community, was a moving force in our community and a beloved pastor by all who knew him. He returned to Reilly Springs Memorial Day Services every year, to see all of us, and always had a wonderful story about his time as pastor of the Reilly Springs Baptist Church.
My entire life has been filled with stories about Brother Patton, from my dad, his siblings,  and my grandparents. When he came to the community as a young pastor, it seemed that he was “enveloped” into the large household at the “McDonald Homeplace.” He repeatedly told me of the many meals that he ate at my grandmother’s table that were “made from scratch” and continued to talk about Mama Mac’s chocolate pie, that she was “famous” for.
Brother Patton was 90 years old and had led a very colorful and productive life, as he pastored churches in Bright Star, Addman, Liberty, Shady Grove, Hainesville, Golden, Southwest Tell, and of course, Reilly Springs. In later life, he was a Baptist association minister in Oklahoma, and served congregations in Uvalde, Lampasses, and Winnsboro.
Brother Patton’s wife, Johnetta, had preceded him in death in 1995, but he continued to return annually to Reilly Springs. This is expressing sympathy to his family and celebrating the wonderful association that the people of this community had with this man, as he married the children of this community, preached their funerals, and offered a “ray of hope” during troubled time. Godspeed, Brother Patton.
Ready or not, it is time for the 83rd Annual Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Banquet. The banquet is scheduled for Thursday night, at 7:00. The meal will begin being served at 6:30. This will be a wonderful evening, full of entertainment and recognition of those people who add to the quality of life in Hopkins County. It will be interesting to see who was chosen this year and added to the “roll call” of past winners.
Continue to follow the neighboring Yantis Owls and Lady Owls, as they continue to “fight” for play-off positions in post season play. The basketball action is intense and certainly a night of entertainment, when you head to the games. Also, the neighboring Como-Pickton Lady Eagles will be playing for a play-off spot, in Miller Grove, Friday night, as they are matched-up with Quitman. Best of luck to all of the teams.
Until next week, continue to pray for some more much needed rainfall (without the storms) and remember our troops who defend our freedoms. Ask for them an extra measure of safety and a safe return home. Pray for love in our hearts, harmony in our community, and peace in our land.




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