Wesley McClain receives conference ring

SANDRA POULAND

Wesley McClain (Diboll class of 2009) and the University of Houston golf team received their Conference USA golf championship rings at a ceremony during the UH vs. Brigham Young football game at Reliant Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 19. The 2012-13 golf team placed first in the CUSA golf tournament in Texarkana last April. The University of Houston golf team is currently ranked 22nd in the Golf Week college team rankings. Wesley is a senior Economics major. His parents, Jim and Judy McClain, were on hand to watch the ceremony. His sister, Allison (Diboll class of 2005) was in the press box watching. She is the Assistant Director of Communications (soccer, baseball) for the University of Houston. UH alumni and fans, Jay and Kaye Wyatt and their family was also in attendance. Wesley will finish out his senior year with tournaments in Houston, Los Cabos, Mexico, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina. We are so happy for Wes and his family.

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Some of the hunting clubs opened last Saturday for the beginning of this year’s hunting season. Bryan Hatthorn brought a nice fat buck by the store and assured us it was the feeding of our deer corn and alfalfa hay that made him gain weight. Bryan had been feeding and watching this buck in the Renfro Club and finally got to bring the nice nine pointer home with him.

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Enjoyed visiting with Laura (Kirk) and Jason Capps when they came in after a morning of hunting. They both enjoy the sport. For almost a year Laura has been working at Alene’s Florist with its new owner, Susie Carroway. With her extensive experience in floral design and decorating, Laura is looking forward to decorating homes for Christmas. She reminded me Alene’s Christmas Open House will be Saturday, Oct. 26, beginning at 10 a.m. On Friday night Laura and Jason attended his daughter Christina’s wedding to Tyler Lewis in Old Orchard Park. Jason’s good friend, Richard Owens, retired chaplain/SWAT team/deputy married the couple on the pier which was decorated with huge ferns.

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Did you hear about the pile up of cars south of Diboll a couple of weeks ago? Seems a tree fell across both northbound lanes of Highway 59. Traffic was stopped for about 1 1/2 hours waiting for the highway to be cleared. Ronnie Kilgore’s trailer was one of the five vehicles that was rear-ended. Further back in the line of vehicles that went for miles and having to wait were Joe Henry and Diane Smith and Kevin, Andrea and Cheyenne Swor.

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Dennis and Karon Lenderman traveled to The Woodlands to celebrate their daughter’s birthday. Cassie and Stacey Davis now live in Magnolia and are expecting their first child in January. They have a sealed envelope that will let them know if it is a boy or girl but as I said, it is sealed. The baby will be the third grandchild for Dennis and Karon. Cassie and family enjoyed celebrating her birthday at The Cheesecake Factory in The Woodlands Mall.

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Terry and Mike Gipson came by the RT for a short visit on their way to Pinecrest Retirement Center to celebrate her mother’s birthday. Martha “Momma Jo” Currie‘s 98th birthday was Oct. 21. Terry Jo’s birthday was the next day on the 22.

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Jean (Greer) and Mike McCollum live in Georgia but rented a vacation home on Marco Island on the west coast of southern Florida. Jean invited her mother, Bettye Greer, and Garvis Baldree, to come enjoy the gentle pace and tropical ambiance of swaying coconut palms and sweeping white-sand beaches. The invitation was accepted and the three ladies did enjoy relaxing and feasting on fish that Mike had caught.

Jean had planned activities just for the girls that included an airboat tour of The Everglades which is not the proverbial swamp some people consider it to be. It is technically a river, flowing at the rate of about a quarter mile per day. I couldn’t believe it but they have pictures to prove that these three boarded an airboat for a thrilling tour of the Everglades; one of those like you see on TV, speeding and turning the boat up on its side leaving a high wake of water. The tour journeys into a natural wonder of nature’s secretly preserved wilderness made up of 1.4 million acres. The airboat slows down to maneuver through intricate Rivers of grass and lush vegetation and tranquility. Too close for comfort, the girls not only encountered alligators watching them in the still water but also an abundance of birds and other wildlife. I thought it was a perfectly good question, but the guide laughed when someone asked him if he had ever gotten lost in this wilderness. He reassured them he had been doing this since he was a kid and knew the area very well.

On another day Jean drove them across the tip of Florida to the southernmost leg of U.S. Highway 1 to the Overseas Highway sometimes called the highway “that goes to sea.” The road follows a trail originally blazed in 1912 by an ill-fated railroad — 113 miles of roadway and across 42 bridges, one of which is 7 miles long.

That night they spent in Key West, Fla., the southernmost point in the U.S. known for its famous watersports, beautiful beaches and lively nightlife. They enjoyed the street entertainment and a delicious meal topped off with Key Lime pie. The next day they toured Key West with a very informative guide that told them they were closer to Cuba than to a Wal-Mart store. In 1890 the U.S. Navy built an 8,700-square-foot home on the waterfront to house the base commander. From 1946 until 1952, Harry S Truman used the house as both a retreat and functioning White House. Furnished largely with furnishings from the Trumans, it has served six other U.S. presidents. The girls enjoyed walking through the home where the world’s most powerful leaders relaxed and enacted business.

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum is also in Key West. Amazing history exists in this house along with 40 to 50 polydactyl cats. These cats have six to seven toes and are descendants of cats once owned by the famous author. The cats roam freely and enjoy a cushiony life style of eating and sleeping. It’s hard to believe, but in Key West chickens and roosters have free range in the city.

Bettye, Garvis and Jean also enjoyed visiting a Maritime Museum that had an extensive collection of artifacts from 17th century shipwrecks. Mel Fisher and his team searched for decades for known sunken ships off the coast of Florida. In 1980 they stumbled upon the ship, Atocha, which became known as “The Atocha Motherload” estimated to be worth around $450 million. After a few arguments with the state of Florida, the Supreme Court announced that Mel Fisher was indeed the owner. Many of those treasures are displayed in the museum.

On their return to Marco Island, Jean toured the girls around East Naples, Fla., which draws celebrities to its quiet beaches and tropical paradise with supposedly less celebrity stalkers than New York. That day, the stalkers were from Diboll admiring the homes of many sports celebrities and also other notables that included Sean Hannity and “Judge Judy.” This was the end of another good trip for Bettye and Garvis who arrived home safely in spite of pending storms.

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We welcome to Diboll a new family that moved into the Pine Valley area. Craig and Stephani Folts have moved here from Nacogdoches. They have a daughter, Katrina, attending UT. Attending Diboll ISD are: Kaile, an 11th-grader; Madison, a seventh-grader and Max, a third-grader. May you learn to love Diboll as much as I do.

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Take the time to 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.