Fran McGilvra of Diboll and Kay Smith of Dekalb recently returned from a trip to visit with longtime friends, Wilma and Hoople Jordan in Ruidoso, N.M. While at the race track, Ruidosa Downs, Fran ran into my brother, Jerry Powell, and visited with him. (Jerry and Annabelle have been in Ruidoso for more than two months and are not yet ready to come back to Texas.) Fran, Kay, Wilma and Hoople all traveled to Las Vegas to spend a weekend. Fran was glad that her son, Chris McGilvra, who lives in Arizona, was able to meet them and spend the weekend there. Everyone had a great time.
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I appreciate the following email I received from JoAnn Rainwater. Richard and Jo Ann Rainwater motored to Houston on Friday with Don and Robbie Wier for a shopping, eating and theatre excursion. At day’s end, while the guys were waiting outside for the gals to do some final shopping in Chico’s, the weather suddenly started looking ominous and Don came inside to rush the ladies up. They had a 6 p.m. dinner reservation for America’s and didn’t want to get caught in the rain.
Just as they drove up to the restaurant, small droplets of rain started falling and the wind began blowing fiercely. The restaurant is on the second floor, requiring an elevator ride up, and the four quickly boarded. Just as the doors closed, the electricity went out and they were stranded! The emergency generator kicked in after about a 5-minute wait, which seemed like 50, and they thankfully were in the restaurant and were shown to a table. With the electricity out, of course there could be no food service, but plantains and sauces were put on the table for snacking while awaiting (hopefully) the power to return. They found that the whole area was without electricity and after a 45-minute wait and still no power. They had to leave without a meal in order to make an 8 p.m. performance of “Marvelous Wonderettes – Caps and Gowns (1958)” at Stages Repertory Theatre.
Very near the theatre was the Daily Review restaurant, and the group was able to have a quick but delicious appetizer meal and get to the performance on time. They reported that the musical play was great fun with wonderful music of the late ’50s, early ’60s. It has been held over through September and worth a trip to see.
To end this narrative, this was Don’s and Robbie’s second try at eating at America’s. The first time was for Robbie’s birthday, when their reservation had to be cancelled due to Robbie’s sudden attack of a stomach virus. Maybe the third time will be the charm!
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A lot of you know Dale and Jill Rye from Renner, S.D. They own Rye Honey Bee Farms and have been coming to the Diboll area for more than 20 years. They ship their bees south because of the harsh winters in South Dakota. For several years, Dale has encouraged us to come to Madison, S.D., to attend the annual Prairie Village Jamboree. Well, this year we finally made it! Leaving a few days early, we flew into Rapid City, S.D., to see the National Monuments of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse; both are very impressive. We enjoyed riding the “Needles” highway that meanders up, around and sometimes squeezes through tall slender boulders. We shared the road with hundreds of motorcyclists, drove the scenic Spearfish Canyon road to Lead and Deadwood. It was the weekend for “Cool Nights in Deadwood” and there were hundreds of classic cars everywhere.
The next morning after a delicious meal at The Lodge, I took a short climb through a small part Mt. Moriah Cemetery on Boot Hill, before hitting the road again going through the edge of Sturgis, stopping for lunch at Wall’s Drug, driving through The Badlands, spending the night in Mitchell and seeing The Corn Palace there.
Saturday Morning we met Dale and Jill in the historic Prairie Village near Madison, S.D., where Prairie Village was holding its 51st annual Steam Threshing Jamboree. A major part of the Jamboree is the display and parading of antique tractors, including several hundred “old iron” classics. Situated on 120 acres of prairie land, it is a nostalgic step back in time with more than 40 antiqued-filled buildings reliving the days of an active turn-of-the-century main street.
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There were parades of giant machinery, old tractors, all kinds of interesting agricultural equipment, a wagon train and even cars. Dale and Jill’s A-model pickup led the car parade. There were demonstrations of steam tractor and horse grain threshing, plowing contests, sawmilling and corn shelling. The Prairie Village railroad was in operation as well as one of the few remaining German built steam powered carousels (merry-go-round) and live entertainment in the Lawrence Welk Opera House. It is just one of the many buildings in the village that includes several churches, a sod house, a country school, two depots, bank, telephone office, dentist office, hotel, barbershop, law office, library, jail, blacksmith shop, gas station and a combination undertaker-ambulance-beauty shop. It was unbelievable.
Jill Rye is a specialty nurse working on her doctorate but she is very familiar with riding a tractor and the work involved of threshing, plowing and being in corn cribs; she was an excellent guide and believe it or not, loves the tractor pulls. Almost forgot, we ate homemade ice cream made with a “poppin’ engine compliments of Harold and Helen Boer, CEO of the SD division of Rosebauer, and close friends and neighbors of Dale and Jill’s. It was an entertaining and enlightening fun-filled day with friends. I thought people in East Texas were friendly, but the people of South Dakota have us beat.
Dale and Jill are members of the West Nidaros Lutheran Church where Dale remembers attending as young as 3 years old. Jill is one of the organists there. Our trip was planned to include attending church with them on Sunday, but the church had a picnic in the park that day so we didn’t get to attend services. Jill and Dale took us on a personal tour of the church Sunday afternoon and Jill played the pipe organ for us and then she let me play it. It was awesome!!!!
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A piece of Diboll’s history, the flag pole in front of the old Diboll Free Press office, will be relocated to the front yard of David and Lisa Crager. Months ago Lisa mentioned to several people she would love to have the flag pole if the building was going to be torn down. She said, “It’s sentimental and been there a long time; practically every kid in Diboll has had their picture taken in front of it with a bike they won by selling Free Press subscriptions.”
If you’ll notice, the flag pole is gone. Lisa and David plan to clean and repaint the pole and the 5-point star at the top. A former long-time employee of the Free Press, Ruth Mullins, said she is the one that ordered the flag pole from Temple Associates who made it and concreted it into the ground. Ruth faithfully raised and lowered the flag every day. Lisa plans to have David put a light on the flag in their front yard so it can fly day and night. Thank you for preserving a bit of Diboll’s history.
Sandra Pouland, owner of Pouland’s Real Estate, contributes this column. Stop by the Round Table or email her at email@example.com or 936-829-4040.