I hope everyone had a fun and safe Labor Day. My brother’s family, my parents and I celebrated by having supper together Monday night. We had steaks on the grill, sides and desserts to snack on.
As summer begins to subside and we prepare to start another school year, it is time for me to dust of the old laptop computer and start writing Miller Grove News for yet another year. It seems like just yesterday I started writing this column, but looking back it has nearly been a decade ago. Things in “The Grove” have changed over time and the world has changed quite a bit too. As we look to the upcoming months, we wonder how the November elections will turn out or if there will be other riots break out across our nation, or if any of our other freedoms will be stripped from America’s people. One thing I have come to realize in my short 33 years of life is, that no matter the changes or what lies ahead, we can rest assured that there is no place like Miller Grove and it will always be home to me.
Thankfully, we have received good, slow rains this week and temperatures have been very nice for August. I know this will help resurrect some of the gardens in the area that have been fading in the summer heat. My peas and okra are still producing though. And there are a couple of pumpkins that are beginning to turn orange beneath the long, leafy green vines of the plant.
Congratulations to Colten and Ally Baylus, who recently purchased Mrs. Kim Irby’s house on FM 1567. They moved in a few weeks ago and are getting ready to welcome their son, Brysen, into the world in September. Mrs. Irby has moved to Fort Worth, near one of her brothers.
Speaking of people moving, Leon and Inge Heijligers have moved into their new house in time for Inge to start the new school year. She’s so close to the school now, living on FM 1567, she can probably walk to work in the mornings.
I have two other congratulatory wishes that are due, to a newly wed couple and an engaged couple in our community.
Patrick Covington and Kelsey Steele were wed at First Presbyterian Church in Sulphur Springs on July 23, at 6 p.m. They were both graduates of Miller Grove ISD and I’m very proud of both of them. They have worked hard up to this point and have decided to make Miller Grove their home.
Jeremy Blackstead and Brytany Briggs have gotten engaged and will be getting married in October. Jeremy is a MG graduate and is currently employed at Hooten’s in Emory. Jeremy has always been a top-notch welder, and it is no surprise that Hooten’s hired him since they have such a large business.
Last weekend, my cousin, Nathan Petty, and I went to Carthage to a Clint Black concert. He was being inducted into the Texas County Music Hall of Fame. There were several entertainers there. The master of ceremonies was Neal McCoy. Also performing were Barbara Fairchild, Dallas Wayne and Billy Dean. After the concert, we saw Gay Seiber and Diane (Russell) Hart as we were about to leave. Well, leave it to me to see someone I know two hours away from home!
Thursday night’s Meet the Teacher night seemed to be a big success this year. With enrollment soaring about 300 for the upcoming school year, it is no wonder there were so many parents and students there that night. I saw several folks I knew and was also proud to meet our new 3-5 grade science teacher, Mrs. Davis, who is new to the campus this year. The PTO served barbecue sandwiches, chips and tea throughout the night.
While I’m on the subject of PTO, let me tell you about the newest fundraiser they have planned. A lot of work and preparation have gone into organizing Miller Grove’s first Glow Run/5 K Run (or Walk, whichever you choose). The run will be held Saturday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. near Kids Kingdom in Sulphur Springs. Teams will have an entry fee of $30, with all proceeds going toward MG PTO for the benefit of the school and our students. For more information, contact Stacie Wilbur or go to the Miller Grove PTO Facebook page.
This summer, things began to change around the Miller Grove school campus. Back on July 21, the concrete was poured for the new elementary addition. Since then, the contractors have seen that the steel frame of the building and room have been installed. At the last school board meeting (Aug. 15), the school board picked out the brick to skin the outside of the building with. Slowly, the building is coming together, but I know we will all take great pride in having new and expanded facilities for our elementary students.
The concrete for the school wasn’t the only concrete poured in our community that day. Just down the road in County Line, they were having a parking lot poured for the church. If you haven’t gone by to check it out, please do. It is one amazing building. I know many hours of planning have gone into the building, and I know everyone involved is proud of the new church.
Friday, Aug. 12, Ryan Dougan and my cousin, Hunter Darrow, graduated from Northwest Lineman School in Denton. They are now fully fledged linemen! Congratulations to both of them!
Doug Lewis of Miller Grove Volunteer Fire Department contacted me recently. He said MGVFD is still in need of a few good men and women to volunteer their services to help the department. He said they are now down to about five available responders — and folks, that’s not many. Anyone willing to serve is welcome to check out the facility and visit the department on meeting nights (second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m.). Also, feel free to contact the station if you have any inquiries about what can be done to help. The phone number is 903-382-3505.
Doug also mentioned that they are thinking about starting a Junior Fire-Fighter program. The age frame would be about 16-18 years of age. This would be great for anyone who is in high school and thinking about pursuing a career as a firefighter.
Miller Grove school will officially start up on Monday, Aug. 22, and the FFA will host it’s annual FFA Hamburger Supper on Thursday, Aug. 25. Remember to come out and help them welcome in the new year that night.
Now that the rain has subsided we are back to those August temperatures! The rain was great while it lasted and really perked up the grass and gardens in the area. Two weeks ago, everything was starting to turn brown and burn up, but now the grass is as bright and green as if it were Spring.
The cemetery’s memorial service Saturday, May 7, went well. Lots of people there to visit with that I only get to see once a year. Bro. Ronald Davis did a great job on his sermon and Nick Lamb was an outstanding master of ceremonies. I also heard many compliments on Mrs. Irby’s singing and on Mrs. Davis’ piano playing skills. Lisa Oler was song leader, as she has been in the past, and she did as good of a job as she always does. The offering was up a little from last year and I’m sure donations will trickle in from individuals throughout the year. During the trustees meeting after the morning service and lunch, we laid plans for next year’s service and I believe we will have another good line-up of folks to add to the program.
That same night was the FFA’s stew and auction. I wanted to go but my nephew, Brody, was having his sixth birthday party so I couldn’t miss that. I heard that the auction went well. I was able to donate a dessert to be auctioned so I dropped that by on my way to Sulphur Springs to the birthday party.
Madison Penny recently graduated from nursing school. I was proud to hear that. She is a graduate of Miller Grove Independent School District and so was her mother, Sherry Ragan Dial.
Congratulations to everyone who has been having babies lately. Mark and Angela Pitts Gress had their little one on May 11. His name is Merrik Wells Gress. He was 8 pounds, 8 ounces, and was 21 1/2 inches long. Angela is MGISD’s art and photography teacher. Macen Howle and Ashley Bryant delivered a daughter this past week. Macen is the grandson of Dean and Mary Linda Howle and graduated from Miller Grove HS while I was working there.
Happy birthday to Jesse Weaver on May 15; my Aunt, Betty Phillips, on May 16; and George Callan, Paul Garrett, Connie Briggs and Dillon Tipps on May 19.
Cole and Kimberly Burnett will celebrate 6 years of marriage on May 15. Also, happy 10th anniversary to Kevin and Michelle Tipps on May 20, and happy 33rd anniversary to Barry and Julie Smith on May 21.
Upcoming events at the school will be the academic and athletic banquet (May 19), End of School Stew (May 20), FFA banquet (May 20), baccalaureate services (May 22), Elementary Awards Assembly (May 24), Kindergarten and Junior High Graduation (May 26), and High School Graduation (May 27). Wow, I can’t believe the school year is almost over!