Joe Jr. celebrates 80th at the Round Table

Joe Wilkerson Jr. was proud to celebrate his 80th birthday on Aug. 19. On that day Andrea made him chicken and dumplings for lunch and banana pudding for dessert. Sharing the good food and fellowship with him was his wife, Ella Wayne, longtime friends Joe and Sissy Anthony, James Simms and Geraldine Pouland. Besides all of us, Mary Lou Havard and Kathryn Chuke also enjoyed the good meal.  On Sunday Joe Jr. was treated to Ralph & Kacoo’s. While there, he visited with Joe Bruce Lowery, who was named after Joe Jr. His mother, Othal (Russell) Lowery and her brother PeeWee Russell, were all good friends growing up in Diboll. Othal was so appreciative of how Joe Jr. helped care for her dad, Paul Hogue, when he was sick, that she told him if she ever had a son she would name him after Joe Jr.  Sunday was only the third time the two Joes have met.
Joe Jr. and longtime friend, Joe Anthony, are always bringing donuts and Ella Wayne’s homemade cookies to the round table where they tell lots of stories. Earlier in the week, Joe Anthony made a statement that the building he attended second and third grades in at Diboll was later his and Sissy’s first home. Those of you who are old enough should remember the large square building built up high off the ground near a low, round concrete water fountain with several spigots. Several teachers taught in that building. Some that we could remember were Claire Clifton, Lela Wyatt, Mary Jane Christian, Marie Caskey, Earlene Donahoe and others. Anyway, some of the old buildings were eventually moved to build a new school (that school is presently in the process of being torn down). Lawrence Snelson bought two of the old school buildings about 1957-58 and moved them up the old Diboll highway (Hendrick Street) and converted them into duplexes. Joe said after he and Sissy married in 1956 they moved into one of the duplexes. Others we could remember that lived there at one time or another were: Billy Fred and Judy Carrier; Terry and Dale Grantham; Billy Frank and Glenda Jones; Donald and Billie Jean Capps and Bert and Sara Lindsey.
Joe and Sissy soon had three young children and Joe worked long and hard to provide for them. As a young boy he lost the vision in his left eye and couldn’t be hired at the foundry so he found jobs at Natural Gas Pipeline, the Fiberboard plant, the furniture plant and his friend, Joe Jr. Wilkerson, got him a job at T.L. Smith Concrete Mixers. On Aug. 28, 1960, Diboll Postmaster B.F. Hines hired Joe to work part-time at the Diboll post office. Later Joe was hired part time at the Lufkin post office where he would go into work at 1 a.m. and work until someone said, “Go home.” He may or may not have slept some before going to a second, and sometimes third, job. In 1966 he was finally made a full time employee of the US Post Office and eleven years later in July of 1977, was appointed postmaster. On Aug. 28, 1992, exactly 32 years from the date Mr. Hines hired him part-time in Diboll, Joe Anthony retired and now all he does, is tell stories, hunt, fish and grow some of the best tomatoes in the county!
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Congratulations to one of our younger customers, Timber Wright, from Chester. She is a senior at Chester High School and has been very involved raising and showing animals most of her life. When she can, she loves to work with her Uncle Jake David, who is a veterinarian. And he loves being involved and supporting her as she travels year-round exhibiting animals. Recently she attended the Beef Master National show in College Station and exhibited the champion calf and also placed third in Showmanship. Earlier at another show in Bellville, she was an American Champion Division winner. Timber has a room full of banners and belt buckles and we hope she adds many more honors during her senior year.
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Aug. 15 was the first day that the new 2013-14 hunting and fishing licenses were available to purchase. Some of the first to buy their licenses were: Warner, Amanda and Walker Camp; Dr. Woody Ingram; Mark Hafernick; Clyde Maxey; Glen McDaniel; Barley Lenderman; and John Zeagler.
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Enjoyed visiting with Mike and Jean (Greer) McCollum while they were in Diboll staying with her mom, Bettye Greer, and visiting with her brother, James Greer and his family, in Center. Mike has been retired for several years and the only major decision he has to make is when and where he wants to hunt or fish. They have a home in Georgia and a retreat in Florida near the beautiful beaches of Marco.
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Sue Johnson, Associate Matron of the Burke Eastern Star, traveled with Ruby Havard, Worthy Matron from the Zavalla Chapter, and Carolyn Black, organist, from the Huntington Chapter to Arlington to attend the 131st session of the Grand Chapter of Texas Order of the Eastern Star. Arriving the next day from the Burke Chapter were Suzanne Fitts, Mary Wells and Venita Smith. All of these ladies were delegates representing their chapters and voting on important matters. From what Sue said, it was all work and no play.
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Sue also shared with us about her little brother’s accident. Her little brother is Bo Smith from Corrigan. Bo has been a cowboy all his life, riding bulls and roping calves and has had numerous injuries including a broken collarbone, a severed thumb and lots of bruises.  Bo suffered his worst injury last week when an 11-year-old horse for unknown reasons started bucking with Bo in the saddle. As a result Bo was seriously injured and has several long screws pinning his hips and bones back into place and was severely warned by his doctor not to put ANY weight on his feet. For at least eight weeks Bo will be in a wheel chair or recliner. He’s tough but it’s hard for a cowboy to sit and do nothing so remember him in your prayers.
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Jay Wyatt stopped by. We learned that J.J. Wyatt has stepped out of his father’s footsteps of marketing and into his grandfather’s (Coach Joe Wyatt) and is now coaching varsity football and teaching chemistry for the Texas City Stingarees. Jay and Kaye plan to attend the first scrimmage on Friday night. The Texas City Stingarees are picked to win their district and predicted to be No. 8 in 4A state finals.  Go J.J.!
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Jesse Windsor and his wife Debbie (Young) stopped by on their way to the airport to pick up his youngest son, Robert. Jesse and Debbie live in Central and will spend some time in their other home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Jesse said Diboll has really changed since he left as a young man in the US Army. He has since retired from the Army and also from the State of Missouri and moved back to his roots. His parents were longtime Dibollians, Leonard and Miram Windsor. Jesse was proud his daughter, Tina Cox (Mrs. Mike) will be teaching second grade in Diboll ISD.
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Leonard and Billie Robison brought Leonard’s sister, Erna Adams from Texarkana, to visit at the round table. They had been to The History Center where Erna blew the whistle on the old steam engine. Being from Texarkana Erna remembered Mrs. Katherine Sage Temple, mother of Arthur Temple, Jr.
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Ken Jones stopped by for Colorado pinto beans for his longtime friends, Terry White and Randy Pike, who live in North Carolina. Gerald Griffith came in with his grandson, 6-year-old Hunter Griffith who will be in the first grade at Hudson this year.
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Congratulations to our former Mayor and First Lady, James and Katty Simms, on their 46th wedding anniversary, Aug. 19.
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Get ready for school to begin soon and come see us …’round the table.

Sandra Pouland, owner of Pouland’s Real Estate, contributes this column. Stop by the Round Table or email her at sandra@poulands.com or 936-829-4040.