Visiting the Beenes and checking out tractors

On July 4th, John Ralph and I took one of our scenic drives and drove to Mexia to visit former Dibollians, Jack and Gayle Beene. We found them in downtown Mexia at an antique tractor show. Out of a dozen tractors on display three of them were Jack’s that he had rebuilt. Jack is president of the local Antique Tractor Association and Gayle is president of the local garden club.
Mexia is where Jack grew up on a dairy farm and he and his two brothers still live on their parents’ home place; in fact the old dairy barn is still there. Jack and Gayle drove us around town and through the countryside. We saw their beautiful home and the shop where Jack works on his hobby of restoring old tractors. Being the 4th of July they were set for a hot dog cookout with family members later in the day. It was a good visit.
They were planning and packing their new RV for a trip to cooler temperatures in Ruidoso, N.M. In fact, I spoke with them last Saturday afternoon in Ruidoso.  They were sitting outside relaxing and enjoying the 75 degree weather while we were at home trying to stay cool inside with 101 degree temperature outside. My brother, Jerry and Annabelle Powell, were also in Ruidoso and plan to stay several weeks while Jack and Gayle will already be back home by the time you read this.
Knowing how we like history and “old stuff,” Jack and Gayle recommended we drive to the nearby historical site of Old Fort Parker, a reconstructed fort that pays tribute to the Parker family and other pioneers who paid a high price to settle in Texas. This is the fort where Cynthia Ann Parker was taken captive by the Comanches when she was 9 years old. She later accepted their customs, language, manners and became the wife of Chief Peta Nocona. They had three children. Her son, Quannah Parker, became well known and eventually helped the Comanche adapt to the Anglo-American culture. It was an interesting site and they have restored several buildings within the fort including a two-story blockhouse that visitors can go into and recapture the atmosphere of Texas in 1836.
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Back to the present, we enjoyed visiting with Carlee Morris when she came in to get a flat repaired. Carlee and other close friends of Nigel Boyles have been working diligently to make Nigel’s dream of opening a restaurant come true. Nigel recently retired from coaching in Hudson to open Pour House Grill & Garden in a historical home at 207 Raguet in Lufkin. With all their varied talents she and friends have converted this two-story house and shady yard into an extraordinary dining adventure. You can eat inside but outside are many more tables on a stone patio with an outdoor rock fireplace that Nigel built herself. Nigel’s mother, Charlotte Boyles, is the chief chef and has years of restaurant experience from when she and her husband Ken owned KB & Company BBQ in Zavalla. All of the menu items will be prepared fresh, nothing pre-cooked, and will include sandwiches, salads, desserts and also chicken-fried steak. The Pour House Grill and Garden will be open 10:30 a.m. until midnight Thursday through with live music on Thursdays and Saturdays. On Sundays, they will be open 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Other weekdays are available to reserve for meetings, parties, receptions, etc. Some of Nigel’s devoted friends that have helped in the venture are: Carlee Morris, Casey Eby, Lucy Chalker, Jimmy Hughes, Danny Chalker, her parents and “Chef Dave.”
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Charlotte Morris’ pace has been slower due to a broken right wrist. Seems she was simply walking around in a garden nursery when she fell. Charlotte is also involved in a new venture, His & Hers Trade Days in Burke. It is open the fourth weekend of every month, which will be July 26-27-28 on the east side of Highway 59 in downtown Burke.
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Diboll has a new business! Jerry Meece and his wife have opened Meece Saddlery in the building on the hill next to the Brisket House. Jerry is a retired U.S. Marine and has years of experience with roping calves and packing mules. I’ll share more about Jerry and his experiences later but for now, stop by and see his inventory of tack, horse supplies and ladies, pretty belts with lots of bling.
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Billy Junge came in the store and said it has been six or seven years since he has been back to Diboll since retiring from here. He was working that week for his daughter who owns Clark’s Germania Insurance while she was vacationing. Billy and his wife Pam have collected so many old items and antiques that he built a three-room house with a front and back porch and “dog run” through the middle for them to store and display their collection.
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Cathy Lott was in buying rabbit feed and had just learned that day her 10-year-old daughter, Rozalinn Runnels, had won first place in district with her 4-H record book for Junior Rabbits. This was Rozalinn’s third year to win first place in county and district. Cathy has been heavily involved in 4-H since she was a member and was extremely proud that seven senior 4-H records books are advancing to state. She also shared that Diboll’s 4-H member Courtney Franks won first place in Citizenship. Congratulations to all!
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One of our youngest customers, Cooper Bendy, will be an eighth-grader at Chester. He came in with his dad, Rodney. Cooper proudly told me he showed the Reserve Grand Champion Red Braham bull at the recent state and national Braham show in Lufkin and refused to sell it. His mother, Melissa, is the Ag teacher at Chester. She and Cooper’s older brother, Kaleb, were in Dallas attending the State FFA Convention where Kaleb won a $10,000 Richard Wallrath scholarship. He was also recognized for winning an $18,000 Go Texan scholarship. As a recent graduate of Chester ISD, Kaleb plans to put his money to work at Lamar University in the fall. Congratulations!
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I received an email from Sara Wallace of the Lufkin Art Guild announcing the upcoming Watercolor East Texas’ 29th annual show July 2013. All artists are welcome to enter the show and awards will range from $50 to $250. Paintings must be hand delivered to the Cole Art Center, 329 Main St. in Nacogdoches on July 21 or July 23 for judging on Saturday, July 27. The public is welcome. For more information: email Sarah Wallace swallace1@suddenlink.net.
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Be thankful for the rain 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.

John Ralph Pouland and Jack and Gayle Beene in Mexia with one of Jack’s restored tractors.

John Ralph Pouland and Jack and Gayle Beene in Mexia with one of Jack’s restored tractors.