Simms retires, but takes gift to the Round Table

After 42 years, James Simms has retired from First Bank & Trust East Texas. It was coincidental with the bank’s 60th anniversary. James and his wife Katty (or Kathy to some of us) planned their retirements within days of each other. Kathy retired from working at DEMCO for 36 years. The day of James’ retirement party at the bank was dampened by the fact that Kathy was being transferred to a Houston hospital during the time of his retirement party. She was emphatic about James being at the party. He was there being cordial to friends, but his heart was with Kathy in the ambulance. The good news is she is now back home and doing much better and the two are planning how to adjust to not having to get up and go to work.
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Knowing how John Ralph loves “old stuff” James brought him some interesting papers he found while cleaning out his office. One correspondence contained facts about Diboll in the early 1950s when approximately 900 people were employed by the principal industries of Southern Pine Lumber, Temple White Handle Factory, Temple Associates and TSE. At that time Diboll had 11 grocery stores; five filling stations; five barber shops; eight restaurants; a theater, a hotel and eight churches. There were 700 occupied residences and a school enrollment of 758 pupils. These facts were presented in hope of getting a bank charter for Diboll State Bank with a proposed capital of $65,000. Diboll State Bank opened its doors in June 1953. Sixty years later it is still in existence and one of few locally owned banks. Today it has assets in excess of $800 million; one more reason for Diboll to be proud!
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Dick and Linda Miller had a house full of guests during the Father’s Day weekend including his son-in-law, Gary Monteau and his wife Terri from Hallsville. Gary is an early riser. Saturday morning he left the Millers to get donuts and stopped by the Round Table for coffee. He declined an invitation to eat scrambled eggs, biscuits and bacon saying he needed to take the donuts back to the Miller household. In a few minutes he came back saying no one was up so he left the donuts there and came back and ate breakfast with us. He kept us entertained with “Dick Miller” stories and his own adventures of living and working in the rice fields around Winnie. We knew a lot of the same people including the Martels from Nome and Sharon (Tilly) Vanover. The Monteaus’ grandchildren, Mason and Reese, and son Mike from Lumberton were also staying at the Millers.
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My sincere thanks to two ladies who faithfully read this column and shared that when they came into the store: Evelyn Stephens from Diboll bought fly strips and Christie Kendrick from Wakefield bought some of our wonderful lye soap.
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It doesn’t seem possible but my niece, Marty Scarborough, has been teaching at Corrigan Camden ISD for almost 30 years. For an end-of-the year school party she came in and bought several of our gourmet food items that were served to guests. As a result several teachers have come in to buy some of the items including Kathy McDuffie, wife of our City Manager Dennis McDuffie, who also teaches in Corrigan.
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Longtime friends Katherine Flanagan and Bobbie Patrick from Corrigan enjoyed visiting at the Round Table. They were leaving the next day to attend the high school graduation of Bobbie’s granddaughter in the state of Washington. Before the graduation, they had plans to spend some time in Canada and visit Lake Louise and later travel around Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
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Ben Smith, the middle son of Aaron and Jennifer Smith, received 14 Achievement Awards after completing second grade in Diboll. His favorite award was a medal for Robotics. His team built a circus ride called “The Shaker.” He said, “It goes around and shakes at the bottom.” Sounds impressive! Ben and his brother Ethan were excited about attending an Astros baseball game.
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Leslie (Chandler) and Ricky Stubblefield are proud grandparents of Carson Lee Stubblefield, who was born May 25, weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces and 18 1/2 inches long. His parents are Josh and Maigan and they live in Longview. Leslie was also celebrating her 30th year with Temple-Inland. May 24, 30 years ago was graduation day from DHS for Leslie and Andrea; my how time flies!!
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Teresa and Frank Farrow are great-grandparents again. Abbie Marie Powell was born June 6 and weighed 8 pounds and 9 ounces. Her big brother is Trevor Lane and her parents are Clay and Amber Powell.
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Ray Fenley Sr. is offering free fun classes in Spanish for children ages 9 – 11.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning June 4, 45-minute lessons will begin at 10 a.m. at the Temple Memorial Library. Class size is limited so call 936-526-0062 for more information.
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Gloria Parker of H&R Block brought by a “tie”quilt by for us to see that she made from dozens of ties that members of the American Legion Auxiliary donated. The quilt will be given away to some lucky person on July 25. The proceeds from the “Helping Our Veterans Tie Quilt Raffle” will go to worthy causes involving the American Legion’s programs such as Bluebonnet Girls, Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation and Disaster Relief. Gloria is an expert seamstress and has made other tie quilts and more than 300 hospital gowns for veterans made from old shirts. You can find more information about this organization at facebook.com/ALA113LufkinTX.
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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.