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.