This is the first news column that I have for 2017 and, since the holidays, there hasn’t been too much news to report in old Miller Grove. I’m hopeful that this will be a good year — so far, mine hasn’t been bad.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas — I know my family and I did. My niece and nephews seemed to have a lot of fun and enjoyed the gifts and the good food we had. The Sunday before Christmas we had supper at my Aunt Betty Phillips’ house for the Darrow side of the family. It was nice to see the folks in my family that I don’t get to see every day. There were several that didn’t get to make it this year but hopefully I’ll get to see them next year.
My condolences to the family of Dannie Garrett that passed on Dec. 23. He was born Sept. 20, 1944, in Sulphur Springs and was buried Dec. 28, in Greenview Cemetery. He was as deacon at South Liberty Baptist Church and was retired from L-3 in Greenville. Even though Dannie lived down the road in Greenview, he did have Miller Grove connections. His grandmother, Annie (Ferguson) Garrett, grew up in Miller Grove. His parents, Cleo Reese Garrett and Christine Virginia Freeman (of the Freemans from the Greenview community), married in 1941 and moved to Greenview. Dannie and wife Judy were married over 50 years. Survivors include his wife, Judy; son Dewayne Garrett; daughter Tammie Winstead; and five grandchildren. Death of a loved one is hard at any time but especially just before Christmas so please keep their family in your prayers.
The new Miller Grove Elementary School addition is looking great. The workers have been there most days and are really coming along with finishing up the inside of the building. The restrooms are nearly complete, tile is on the floors and along part of the walls, concrete sidewalk has been poured, and exterior doors have been hung. Hopefully, we are now on the countdown to moving into the new wing of the school. I hope our students, parents and community members are as proud of the building as I am.
Happy birthday this coming week to Mark Phillips & Heath Darrow on Jan. 1, Blake McGowan and Cathy Weatherly on Jan. 5, and my sister-in-law, Madison Darrow on Jan. 6.
I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year’s this weekend and don’t forget to eat your black eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s day.
Saturday before last, I took a day trip to Austin, to see my cousin, Clinton Millsap, at his art show. He is a great artist and had over 90 drawings displayed and for sale that he had created in a 90-day time frame. He had drawings of all shapes, sizes and colors hanging on the walls. He can draw pretty much anything — from
There are several news items to report this week. The school’s annual Fall Carnival was held Thursday night, Oct. 27. Typically the last Friday in October is set for the carnival but this year the last Friday was scheduled as a staff development day for the teachers. Despite the change in the day of the week from previous years, there was a great gathering of community members and students at the carnival. I made the chili and Bret and Mark Garrett tackled the chicken stew. The brothers’ tag-team stew turned out very good. I’m sure they took some pointers from their dad, Mac Garrett. He has made stews for the school for many years. From what I have heard the classroom booths and the PTO were all able to generate a good amount of funds from the event.
I was happy to learn that our Girls Cross Country team has landed a spot as Region II first place team and will be headed to state! Good job girls! Team members include: Aleigh Bessonett, Candace Earp, Alexis Green, Alex Zeigler, Kayleigh Lester, Ashley Purser, Rosa Schones and Cassidy Seaney, just to name a few.
We also had another group of MG students did quite well last week. The newly formed Robotics team placed 25th out of 41 teams that that competed Saturday, Oct. 22, at Prosper High School. The group had a list of materials that had to be incorporated into a robot which competed in eight different fields that all had to do with the theme “Bet the Farm.” The team even coordinated the color of the robot to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness month, being pink. The competition didn’t just require the class to construct a working robot, it also set forth rules that each team had to maintain an engineering notebook and put together a marketing plan for their invention.
Since volleyball season is coming to a close, this year’s senior players were recently honored at Senior Night. Traditionally, any senior who participate in a sport will be honored at the last home game of that particular sport. Four of our Lady Hornets who were recognized for participating in volleyball include: Kayla Ford, Isabella DeLong, Kayleigh Lester and Ashley Purser.
Congratulations go out to one of our MG teachers — Lindsey (Smith) Beaver. She and husband, Cody, recently found out that they are expecting their first child in 2017.
Miller Grove school will be honoring the local veteran on Friday, Nov. 11, with a breakfast starting at 8 a.m. A ceremony will follow at approximately 8:40 a.m. If you or a family member plan on attending please RSVP by calling the school at 903-459-3288 so that they can have enough food prepared. The breakfast and ceremony will be held in the new gym.
Thursday, Nov. 3, I went to the Dinner Theatre at the school. This year the senior class teamed with the drama department for the production and serving of food. Admission was $10, which included a meal of tacos (soft and hard shell), beans, rice, chips, salsa, tea and dessert. Dinner was served at 6 p.m. with the show, titled “Modern Day,” starting at 6:30 p.m. The show revolved around Rosemary Saint John who, mildly speaking, was a self-absorbed hypochondriac who thought she was allergic to water. The setting was at Murder Café where she was celebrating her birthday with her three sister. Suddenly, Rosemary disappears and was thought to be murdered until her reappearance at the end of the drama. Cast members included Christeen Abbott, Kayleigh Lester, Aleigh Bessonett, Koby Sharp, Cassidy Seaney, Jessica Mullins, Treyton Andre and others.
Remember to cast your vote Tuesday, Nov. 8. Other than the presidential election, we have a school board election on the ballot. There is also a choice on the ballot on whether for Hopkins County to be annexed into the Paris Junior College tax district.
Voters in Rains County, please remember if you are in Miller Grove Independent School District that you can vote for the trustee election on paper ballots this year.
Congratulations to Brad and Fallon McCool. Their son, Parker Holt McCool, was born at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Sulphur Springs on Nov. 3. He weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces and was 22 inches long. From the pictures on Facebook I believe that Parker’s big brother, Bryce, was glad to meet him along with everyone else in the family. Grandparents are Doug and Larie McCool and Ray Glenn and Robin (Wilcox) Jordan. Great-grandparents are Dewayne and Betty Wilcox and Lavanna Wilcox.
Happy belated birthday to Ashley (Edwards) Sallee and Robin (Garrett) Middleton on Oct. 30, Scott Wren and Ana Billingsley on Oct. 31, Jeramie Burns and River Oler on Nov. 1, Teddy Jennings and Andrew Steele on Nov. 2, and Abby Tipps on Nov. 3.
Happy birthday next week to Susan (Renshaw) White on Nov. 7, Lynn Johnson on Nov. 9,
Happy belated 45th anniversary to Paul and Sherry (Renshaw) Gilbert on Oct. 30. Happy 62nd anniversary to James and Bettie Garrett on Nov. 10.
As the presidential election draws near, Americans are bombarded with political ads, slanderous statements from both parties and many misrepresentations of the facts. My advice — just vote. There are many out there who won’t vote and, then, criticize the winner of the election. I’m not trying to tell anyone who to vote for, just asking you to take a few minutes to cast your vote for whoever you believe will be the best candidate for the job of president.
On the local front, there are several folks running for school board this year. Incumbents, Eric Mabe, Doug Hall and Kristi Burnett will all be seeking re-election to their seats as Miller Grove School trustees. I know of at least three people who have filed their name on the ballot for this year: John Derek Wilbur, Jason Back and Clark May.
After holding a total of 26 years in office, Lewis Russell has decided not to seek re-election as a school board trustee. Lewis has been on the board during four decades (1980s, 1990s, 200s, 2010s) and has seen three superintendents come through the doors of MGISD. And, for two of the decades he has served he didn’t even have a child in school. To me, that definitely shows the character of a person who cares about their school and their community. From not having enough money to make payroll in the early 80s to having been a part of six buildings being built on campus, Lewis has pretty much seen it all. He was a Miller Grove High School graduate in 1971, and was elected to the school board for the first time in May of 1985. After a brief four years off of the school board, he returned in 2004 and currently holds the office of vice president. Lewis was even honored Monday, Oct. 17, with a plaque presented to him by board President Eric Mabe, at his last official school board meeting.
My sincere condolences go out to the family of C.L. “Butch” Hall this week. Clarence Loyd Hall was born Aug. 4, 1940, in Miller Grove, the youngest of three children born to Clarence Clyde Hall and Nell Roberta (Garrett) Hall. He married Doris Ann Middleton on Sept. 4, 1959, in County Line. Butch worked hard to grow is trucking and agriculture business. He helped the local economy and employed many people in Miller Grove and many of the Miller Grove youth over the years. Butch had a special relationship with all of his grandchildren — most of whom had been employed at Miller Grove Farm Supply during their lives. He was also a member of County Line Baptist Church. Butch passed on Oct. 14, at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital of Tyler. Graveside services were held in Clifton Cemetery on Oct. 18, with Bro. Wayne Darty officiating. Burial followed in the cemetery and Wilson-Orwosky Funeral Home of Emory was in charge of arrangements. He was preceded in death by his parents; one infant son, Jason Hall; and sisters Jerry Jane (Hall) Watts and Anna Jean (Hall) Morris. He is survived by his wife of 57 years; one son, Doug Hall; one daughter, Lori Hall; grandchildren Ryan Claxton, Kelli (Claxton) Urda, Ashley Claxton, Katie (Hall) Hooks, Nicole Hall, Connor Hall and Kamryn Hall; and great-grandchildren Rhett Claxton, Kinzley Urda and Lexton Urda.
Even in hard times, God gives us blessings. The day after Butch Hall’s funeral, his and Doris’ fourth great-grandchild was born. Kelli (Claxton) Urda and husband Eric Urda welcomed little Preslie Harris Urda into this world on Oct. 19 at 1:18 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 18 1/2 inches long. He was also welcomed by big sister and brother, Kinsley and Lexton. Congratulations to their growing family.
Don’t forget the Fall Carnival scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 27. This is a big fundraiser for the entire school — all grade levels are involved, as well as the PTO. And be sure to come with an appetite. Stew and chili will be served in the new gym, with carnival games out front in the parking lot.
County Line Baptist Church recently finished pouring the concrete around the new church building. Gail Garmon told me that they are working out the details for a dedication service on Dec. 11, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. I’m sure there will be more details to come.
Happy birthday this coming week to Jeff Wren on Oct. 23; Dichele Smith on Oct. 25; Cayle Watson on Oct. 26; Kevin Tipps on Oct. 28; and Billy Dunn, Terry Jill (McGowan) Asbill and Will Sallee Jr. on Oct. 29.
Happy sixth anniversary to Cory and Callie (Smith) Glove on Oct. 23, and happy fifth wedding anniversary to James and Ashley (Blackstead) Oler on Oct. 29.