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Here we are again, still in a wonderment over how fast the days are
passing as we are in the latter part of the summer. Has it been a short
summer, or what? With most schools back in session one wonders how long
it will be until students are attending classes all year round.
News from many places is that student enrollment is up this year. Here
in Early and Brownwood classes are being held in temporary quarters with
building going on now and bond elections coming up soon. New people are
moving into this area and more so into the Austin locale.
I am told that Williamson County is, at this time, the fastest growing
county in Texas. I have not been to visit in Georgetown since we have
lived here but one afternoon I rode with my son over north of the town
where the newest Sun City retirement resort is located.
It looks like a very nice place, depending on the needs of a person.
Georgetown is where Joe Gunn's son, Jim, is superintendent of schools.
Several other former Pecos residents now live there and in the
This past weekend we went for the last day of the DeLeon Peach and Melon
Festival. We actually started out to visit friends from Pecos who have
moved to a pretty home by Lake Proctor between Comanche and DeLeon. Ray
and Barbara Helberg were not at home so we drove on to DeLeon.
The Festival had been going on all week so I expected activities would
be practically over. To our surprise, the highway through town had been
detoured, cars and people were everywhere. It was difficult to find a
parking place. The people there have been designated the last
celebration day as Golden Saturday with 9:30 a.m.
There was a Melon Patch Bicycle Tour with many entrants. On roped off
three downtown blocks there was a vintage tractor show, square dancers
and cloggers. There were people singing and playing country music and
gospel singers too.
At the other end of the street there was the fun sound of a calliope,
courtesy of McMurry University of Abilene. Store windows had great
displays of historical items and lots of photographs, some from 1940
when the Festival was first held. Inside many of the buildings were
working artisans, spinners, weavers (thread and basket), quilters and
many finished products.
I visited with a lady who was spinning brown cotton into yarn for
knitting and other needlework. She said green cotton is now available
and that research work will soon bring blue cotton. All this is
controlled by the California woman who owned the production of the brown
cotton grown in the Coyanosa area.
Another woman was spinning wool yarn - she said most of needle yarn
comes from the wool of Merino sheep. Several people were working at
weaving looms. At another place a woman was spinning yarn from rabbit
fur. Youngsters were having a great time where that man dressed in
pioneer hunter clothes permitted them to shoot muzzle loaded weapons.
There were many stands and booths with foods. De Leon did not have a
peach crop this year but there is plenty of enthusiasm and hospitality -
The last part of July was a wonderful time. My son and daughter-in-law
invited me to join them for a vacation. We flew to Baltimore and by
"Rent-a-Car" we saw beautiful country where I had not been before, from
Annapolis to Pennsylvania Dutch country, Pictures of the Naval Academy
do not do it justice - it was quite awesome. The entire area that we saw
is such a contrast to the landscape of Texas. We saw trees, trees and
more trees - I wished for a book to name them for me. Flowered shrubs
grow taller than the houses and, of course, all sorts of flowers
Some of you have seen this country and can know of what I talk about
when I eulogize over the beauty of the places we went. The small towns
in Pennsylvania were neatly the yards carefully tended. Most every home
had a U.S. flag flying and many had banners - some were state flags,
others we wondered about.
Something else we saw were electric candles in house windows which were
noted in tourist information leaflets as welcome greetings. Quite
interesting was seeing and hearing about the Mennonites with their
various groups. Some of them are not as strict as their ancestors. It
used to be that young couples as they began their married life were
expected to farm. It is becoming more difficult to find land so now more
persons are becoming artisans and tradespeople. Through the years the
men worked as blacksmiths, coopers and other jobs but because that labor
was necessary to farming.
We were so impressed by the beautiful (we used this word a lot) farmland
or green fields, the cattle, the houses and huge barns. The cattle were
mostly Holstein and are kept in the barns in the wintertime. We drove
miles on roads lined with nine foot tall rows of corn all around
Lancaster, York and the smaller towns. Most all farm buildings are
painted white. We got many landscape camera shots. The people are
friendly and helpful which really is a way of life since they are
capitalizing now on their uniqueness to attract visitors. With the
shops, specialty eating places,bed and breakfast inns, historic sites,
the entire area is like working your way through a giant country mall.
Seeing Gettysburg Battle Grounds was a priority for my son. We spent one
day there driving the scene with an audio tape - words cannot describe
the feelings this evokes. Back to Virginia we went to historic
Williamsburg which was a real surprise as it is much larger than I had
imagined. In the courthouse and Raleigh Tavern we saw short historical
skits. The Tavern was one of the best known taverns in the 18th century.
In 1776 the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity was founded in the Apollo Room.
both the original Governor's Palace and The Capitol can be toured and
are perfectly tended.
On historic Route 5 between Williamsburg and Richmond we saw and stopped
at the famous James River Plantations such as Sherwood Forest, home of
Pres. John Tyler; Berkeley, home of 9th President, William Henry
Harrison; Evelynton, home of the Ruffin family; and Shirley Plantation,
which we toured. This is the oldest plantation, established in 1613.
After its grant to Edward Hill in 1660 it has remained in the
Hill-Carter families as tenth and eleventh generation families operate
the 880-acre plantation. The present mansion was begun in 1723 by the
third Edward Hill, a member of the House of Burgesses in Virginia
Colony. His daughter, Elizabeth, married John Carter, son of Robert
"King" Virginia. The house of three stories is considered an
architectural treasure. On the roof is a four foot hand-carved wooden
pineapple as a symbol of hospitality. This theme continues in the inside
wooden decor. The three story wooden staircase rises without visible
means of support and is the only one of its kind in America. Ann Hill
Carter was born at Shirley, was married in the great parlor to Henry
"Light-Horse Harry" Lee of Stratford. They were the parents of Robert E.
Lee, later the famous Confederate general. He received part of his
schooling in the converted laundry house. Two nice young men took us,
with some dozen other persons, through the first floor rooms filled with
magnificent furniture, family pictures, crested silver and memorabilia.
This was truly a step into American history. Made us Texans somewhat
subdued in thinking about "our history from the 1800s."
On returning home, the catching up on correspondence and newspapers
began. Reading about plans for restoration and use of the Pecos Railway
Station proved to be interesting - the subject has come up on a number
of occasions. The idea went so far one time that architectural students
at Texas Tech University come to pecos and drew plans for a remodeling
of the building. Actual work can be done on the building easier than the
job of attaining necessary money for such a project. Anyway, it is
sincerely hoped that the effort can come to pass. It would really be a
boon to Pecos, a great addition to the West of the Pecos Museum.
On our trip we did a hop, skip and jump visit to Washington, D.C. I
wanted to see the remodeled Union Railway Station, which was just
starting when I was in Washington before. The outside of the building
remains the same except for some minor repairs. Inside there is the huge
area with original depot ticket areas and many exhibits. There is the
certainty of beautiful shops where you can buy whatever you have not
already purchased plus things you never thought you wanted. We had a
really good meal on the mezzanine floor. It was of course on such a
grand scale but now thinking about it I can visualize what might be done
in a smaller way. Pecos really needs a meeting place for smaller civic
groups and clubs. It would be a drawing card for district meetings.
Thinking about meetings, I missed seeing friends at Prude Ranch when
TFWC Western District held their summer workshop. It was just too far
for Marthana to take me. She took me to San Angelo for the TFWC Heart of
Texas District Workshop where hopefully I made some new friends. (The
old adage still holds true "New friends are silver but old friends are
gold") I had a nice visit with TFWC officers who conducted the sessions.
the meeting was held in the hospitality rooms of Rio Concho Manor, a
very nice retirement center. We ate lunch there, same as the residents,
and the food was excellent. I miss regular club meetings as I have not
joined an out of town federated club but continue to serve as an
"at-large" member of TFWC.
Visitors have brightened our days this summer. Unexpected yesterday were
Elizabeth and Dr. Jack Longbotham stopping by on the way to their place
at Zephyr. They brought copy a copy of their second book "The Adventure
of Buffalo Bill and Cody " for me. They had come from Pecos where they
were at the Museum and brought news of friends there. They were planning
on going to Dallas to see a 97-year-old aunt and then back home to
Clyde. Coming by in the late afternoon were my number three grandson and
his wife, John and Shelly Cearly, on their way to Liberty Hill. They are
on summer break from studies at Texas Tech. Recently Alice Wein came for
an overnight stay, maybe her last free time before her teaching job at
Bessie Haynes School. We enjoyed very much hearing about her trip to
Europe this past summer. She went over last summer and that was such a
pleasure she went to other countries this time. We always are so pleased
when people come down the short but winding red brick walk to our house
and the Welcome sign is always in view.
Oh, for those of you interested - the Hudson twins are fine at this
time. They are playing with toys, demanding more food, have discovered
they can roll over - just very smart - as are all grand and great grand
Hope the words have not been boring and you have stayed with me to the
finish so I can again send my love and urge you to - Love One Another!
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PECOS, Aug. 20, 1996 - Individuals had a "stampin" good time at the
Pecos Senior Center recently.
Joyce Edwards was on hand demonstrating the newest craft to hit the
market, STAMPIN' UP.
The make-it and take-it workshop proved to be a success with many
individuals enthused about the new craft idea.
"This is something new to this area, a new craft idea that hasn't really
been introduced yet," said Edwards.
Edwards has taken art classes and is involved in several other projects,
but right now her main priority is stamping.
"This friend of ours got me interested in this new craft idea," said
Her friend, Kate Lewis, from Oklahoma was in Pecos for a visit and
brought along her craft kit.
"I just got so excited about it, I decided I wanted to really get into,"
Edwards purchased her own STAMPIN' UP, kit and has been giving home
demonstrations and enlightening others about this basically new idea.
"You can decorate just about anything with this kit, a child's room, a
kitchen, do birthday cards or gift bags," said Edwards.
The stamping crafts can also be done on fabric.
"You can make beautiful things on fabric and it won't wash off," said
The crafts are very easy to make and anyone who has never done crafts
before will be able to do this, according to Edwards.
"I have done a lot of other crafts, but I have really enjoyed doing
this," said Edwards.
Edwars said that an instructional video is also available for beginners
who are interested in learning more about stamping.
"It's really inexpensive, after you purchase you're initial kit," said
Edwards. "With this craft, you can use recycled paper," she said.
"The techniques used are brand new, but the craft idea is really fun to
do," she said.
Edwards enjoys quilting and any kind of crafts. "I like to do all types
of crafts and am always interested in doing different, new things," she
She and her husband, C.L., have two children, Debbie Miller of Comanche,
Starla Edwards of Abilene and two grandchildren.
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FREEPORT, Texas - Blue-green nets cover the concrete floor where Hollis
Forrester, 70, plies his trade. Behind him, the cinderblock walls of his
net shop on Broad Street are drab and gray, but the
shrimper-turned-netmaker brings color of his own to the room.
``Net-making is a dying trade,'' he says. ``I don't know what's gonna
happen in the next few years ... . Younger people won't take it up; it's
too hard. It gets your mind, because you can't make mistakes - if you
do, you've lost a day's work.''
As he sews the edges of a net together, Forrester makes sure the knots
all run in the same direction. The sewing itself is done with special
``needles'' as large as a man's hand.
``It looks easy to do, but you find me one person who can come into this
shop and even learn to tie the knots in one day and I'll give you a
thousand dollars,'' he says, grinning.
Forrester, son of a shrimper, was born in northern Florida and came to
Freeport 47 years ago. At one time, he owned six shrimp boats and ran
one of them himself, but a heart attack nine years ago forced him to
stick to working on shore.
``But I haven't had any more trouble,'' he says. ``I'm beginning to
think they didn't know what they were talking about. My daddy fished up
until he was 90-something years old. He was a net man, too.''
Being able to repair nets was once a necessity for a shrimper, Forrester
``Back in the days when I was growing up, you couldn't get a job on a
boat unless you could do nets. That was the first thing they asked, and
they didn't take your word for it, either. They usually had a torn-up
net somewhere on deck for you to work on.''
Today, he says, the situation is different. ``Crews today don't learn
it, and not many people can do it,'' he says.
The piles of net lying around his workshop keep him busy, although he
isn't as busy now as he was about two weeks ago, just before the
mid-July to May shrimping season opened. In the rush for that opening,
he and a helper worked 16-17 hours a day getting nets ready to haul in a
``The big shrimp boats drag four nets at a time so they usually keep at
least eight spares in case they tear one up,'' Forrester says.
Plenty of things can tear a net, he adds. ``The oil companies are
continuously dropping junk offshore - pipe, steel plates, you name it,''
The good news is that a navigational device is now available to help
shrimpers pinpoint areas where debris is a problem. ``When you tear up
on a place, you can write the numbers (coordinates) down in a book so
you don't go back there if you can help it,'' Forrester says.
A torn-up net - without a spare - is very bad news.
``No net, no shrimp,'' he quips.
Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
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transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages
arising from any of the foregoing.
Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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