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By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Dec. 17, 1996 - Love, respect and mutual companionship shine
through from the couple seated on the couch.
Their love for each other has survived through illnesses and other
setbacks recently, but they've weathered it all.
W.S. "Creamy" and Elizabeth McCree celebrated their 65th wedding
anniversary on June 24.
"We were high school sweethearts," said Elizabeth McCree.
"She's still my bride after all these years," said Creamy McCree.
Creamy also celebrated his 86th birthday in August with a special bash
given him by his "Coffee Club" buddies.
"I've belonged to that coffee club since it was established back in
1926," said Creamy.
Elizabeth turned 82 in in October of this year.
Creamy was born in New Mexico, but moved to Pecos at an early age.
He has served the Pecos community as a merchant, funeral home director
His accomplishments range from being on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
School Board and Reeves County Hospital Board, to being a member of the
Downtown Lions Club.
Of course, he's a long-time member of the prestigious "Coffee Club"
which was first established 70 years ago. He also received a certificate
of appreciation from the Texas Highway Patrol when he retired from
ambulance duty, and a certificate of appreciation from the Shriner's
Hospital for Crippled Children.
Mayor Dot Stafford was on hand to help Creamy celebrate his birthday.
"She was here with us and brought some fun things for him, which we have
really enjoyed," said Elizabeth.
A proclamation honoring McCree and his many achievements was one of the
"fun" items Stafford brought to him.
"He was always interested in teaching young employees," read the
"Frances Powell baked him a cake as a special surprise for his party
given by the coffee club," said Elizabeth.
The couple have two children, Nancy Sue Lovett of Elephant Butte, N.M.
and W.H. "Buddy" McCree of Dallas. Their family includes four
grandchidren, four great-grandchildren and three step grandsons.
"I'm really excited because some of the grandchildren will be here in
January and one them has a new baby I can't wait to see," said Elizabeth.
"I was always a homemaker, I enjoyed staying home and taking care of
things here, while Creamy was out doing all these good, fun things,"
While her children were growing up, Elizabeth was also very involved in
the First United Methodist Church.
"We were both very active in the church, until we became ill," said
Creamy. "I sure do miss it, though," he said.
"At one time I was very active in our church as a Sunday school teacher
and active in the women's work of the church," said Elizabeth.
Recent illnesses have prevented the couple from being as active in the
church as they used to be or as active in the community as they would
"But we have each other and we have very attentive children and we feel
very blessed for that," said Elizabeth.
"I'd still be working if it were up to me," said Creamy
Creamy retired from the furniture store in 1982 and went to work for the
funeral home owned by the same family.
"I just went down to the funeral home to visit and old Calloway asked me
what I was doing there," said Creamy.
Creamy's reply to that was that he had retired and was only visiting.
"Well the next thing I know, he said, retired my foot, go put a suit on
and get back here," said Creamy.
Thus, started his funeral home career in which he worked at until 1988.
"It's a wonderful association, I worked for four generations of the
Anderson's who are wonderful people," said Creamy.
He stated that everyone at both businesses had a wonderful relationship
in which everyone got along extremely well and worked well together.
"We had the best relationship that you ever knew of," said Creamy.
"I still enjoy playing bridge, something we used to get together for and
still do sometimes on Thursdays," said Elizabeth.
The couple rely on each other for everything, but their main strength
comes from their children who are both very loving and attentive.
"I guess we did something right, because they are both very good to us,"
While Elizabeth had to spend some time in hospital, while Creamy stayed
at home, both children took turns staying with them.
"My daughter would stay with me while my son stayed with Creamy, then
they would switch, spending equal amount of time with both us, we are so
happy to have them and proud," said Elizabeth.
The couple also had never been separated before during times of trouble
which is something that was very difficult for both of them.
"We had never been separated like that before which hit me really hard,"
said Creamy. "I wanted to be with Elizabeth, but I couldn't," he said.
The love the children have for both their parents, and their belief in
the Lord is reflected in the way the children their parents, in their
correspondence with them and the love they show them.
"We just received a beautiful letter from our son, thanking us and
telling us how wonderful it us that Creamy and I love each other so
much," said Elizabeth.
"They asked Creamy one time shortly after we celebrated our 50th
anniversary who our marriage counselor had been throughout our
marriage," said Elizabeth.
Creamy's reply to that was, "We've only had one counselor all our lives,
and that is the Lord Jesus Christ."
So that's the secret to a happy, long and successful marriage, according
to two individuals who have lived it.
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By Bonnie Cearly
It is that Holiday time again and I still do not know how the year has
gone by so fast. It has been a glad time, a sad time, a time of
surprises, fears, wonders and often amazement. Yet with all of this, for
most of us, there is an underlying hope that the world will keep on
turning and everything will be better. Someone said long ago "Hope
springs eternal in the human breast."
There is an aura about this time of year as people prepare to observe
and celebrate Christmas. The word Peace is heard more and more often.
World leaders are talking about global peace but it really comes down to
the people, individuals who can accept beliefs and actions that are
different so as to create harmony. It seems at times we detect more care
and concern for others.
We have just come home from attending a marvelous and inspiring musical
drama presented by members of Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood
entitled, "The Gift," it was the story of Jesus the Christ.
A choir of 82 persons was accompanied by a 16-piece orchestra. Fourteen
choir members assisted with hand bells for parts of the program. The
cast numbered 207. There were many children in the prelude to the
religious story. All in costume, they presented "The Twelve Days of
Christmas" with religious words to this familiar tune.
Beginning with the first day was the Plan of Salvation, the second day
had two dressed as the Old and New Testaments. Three Wise Men, four
Apostles, on through all the numbers. This was one of the cleverest
ideas ever and the youngsters did their animations enthusiastically.
The last of the performance was the parade and placing of the most
beautiful banners I have ever seen. Immense, like 6X12 or 14 feet in
size, they are resplendent in metallic silks and brocades. There was
about a ten-minute standing ovation.
Twenty five choirmen were listed for pageant comments. I would think
most all the church families were involved one way or another. The true
meaning of Christmas really was portrayed, a vivid reminder for all who
get caught in the hurry and rush of buying and planning for what will
last only temporarily.
An experience of another sort was enjoyed recently. With a group of
"Seniors" I traveled by van to Marshall, Tx. to see the Wonderland of
Lights. There were 27 of us in two vans for the two day trip. The
evening tour was guided by volunteers, on our van the lady was one of
the Chamber of Commerce vide-presidents and a business owner.
Over 900 miles of Christmas lights trail through town from the
courthouse square, business district to entire neighborhoods. Displays
include many versions of the Nativity scene, including one made entirely
of pots from the local pottery plant there.
Angels in every conceivable form were there, a lighted carousel and the
Church of the Bells was featured. One unusual elaborate display was
reflected in a pond. Someone decided it looked like a giant spider in a
web. In the darkness of course we could not see where the water was a
planned part of the home grounds or just a low place still with water
from the storm before Thanksgiving.
Some homes were completely ruined, others had trees and shrubbery
ruined. Most of the storm was in the residential areas, causing "Tornado
Alley." There were many people scratched and bruised, no deaths or bad
Our guide told us of a doctor and wife who woke up to find a tree
crashed into their children's bedroom but no injuries. After a
disappointment the people rallied and those with no damage helped those
with problems. The month's displays are all done volunteer by homeowners
and business places at their own expense.
Most all the lights are small white ones with color used only for
accent. The months long extravaganza beginnings with the lighting
ceremony the night before Thanksgiving. The lighted Christmas parade is
the first Saturday evening in December.
There are some one hundred floats, bands, and walking units are lighted.
An outdoor ice rink is located on the downtown square. It lasts the
special holiday time.
Our guide said it had really been well received, for children old enough
to be left alone, the rink server as a nice "baby sitting" place -
parents can go shopping or enjoy an adult dinner. Candlelight home tours
are scheduled on Friday and Saturday evenings. We were able to see one
which a lady from Dallas had bought and with the help of her son is
restoring. It will be even prettier than the original which was built
from 1901 to 1906.
The almost black woodworks has been redone to a beautiful hand rubbed
oak. She (the new owner) had moved in the day before the tornado that
night. With no electricity she couldn't realize what was happening. When
light came the lovely old trees were almost ruined, from her house they
could not see the street about half a block away.
But they have done wonders with the house. The entertaining rooms are
completed - her private room have much to be done. The dining room was
ready for company, the table was set for a formal dinner for eight with
magnificent china, crystal, silver candelabra, Christmas linens.
The lady was a gracious hostess, generous with explaining future plans.
I think I might have been just as delighted did I have a historical
treasure of a house.
We started back home by way of Gladewater - that was the only
disappointment we had. To begin with we got there too early, shops had
not opened. The town is not much anymore. Blocks of antique shops, trash
or treasure places and some looked more trash to me. Of course, I lived
when some of the now odd articles were being used and frankly I do not
want them back.
Wonder if McDonald's and Luby's would be glad to see us back again.
Certainly we stopped at the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana. A few of
the group refrained from buying to many good sweets. However, two cherry
angel food cakes got bought quickly.
Probably some of you have been to Marshall for the lights or have read
of them. I knew about them soon after the project was started but it so
far from Pecos. Since seeing them I believe it would just about worth it
to drive all the way across Texas.
Weekend before last Coy had to go to Austin for a business meeting so
Marthana and I went to Liberty Hill to see Janie and Butch (John Allan).
They told us that the historic old town of Salado was having a special
event for this season. Called "A Christmas Stroll" with shops in nine
areas keeping late hours on three days for viewing and shopping. Live
Christmas trees and the natural shurbery had white lights and red bows.
There was even a "talking tree" which was certainly different. The many
shops were resplendent with decorations and most offered food and drink
for a party atmosphere. Salado is one of the older area towns and like
many others was being by-passed, depending for years on Stagecoach Inn
to attract visitors. Now there fifteen other eating places listed on the
special map, from fast food places to places such as Inn on Creek, The
Rose Mansion, specialty places and bed and breakfast houses for visitors
who might wish to stay a while. The night we went there was such a
crowd. People walking and visiting, others driving to see more areas.
There were strolling carolers, including the Lee High School Madrigal
Singers from San Antonion. Seven singing groups entertained the crowd
during the evening. The largest nativity scene. I think I ever saw was
presented by First Baptist Church people. Painted back drops formed the
outlines for live animals to share the scene with the people. There was
a special scene walkway for nearly a block so the crowd could better
appreciate the beautiful tableau. There was so much to see it would have
been good to attend another night. We did not get in to the Central
Texas Area Museum where the La Caldera Quilt Exhibit was. This colorful
exhibit features quilts made entirely by hand by the women of La Caldera
in the Mexican state of Coahuila. How this venture began, with the aid
of Christina Texans makes a story in itself which there is not time to
relate here. This trip to Salado will be remembered along with some
other special visits there in years past. Oh, my son says there is an
excellent golf course there which he was played.
Just have to mention - Texas beat Nebraska for the football Big 12
championship! Those of you interested certainly know that but in Austin
there was excitement and celebration everywhere. The Austin American
Newspaper had probably the largest lettered headlines it ever printed.
That one game almost dominated the entire sports section the next
morning. After this game a lot more people will know where Texas is.
Several times I have written about the Smithsonian 150th Anniversary
Celebration. If you have never been to Washington DC to see the museums
you have a chance to see some of the more memorable items in Houston
until January 12, 1997. This is one of twelve cities in the United
States which has hosted the traveling exhibition. Admission is free at
the George R. Brown Convention Center but passes are required.
So, many will be traveling during the holidays - hope the weather
doesn't play tricks again. It has been fine in this area so far but
winter may be around the corner again. Should any of you just happen to
belong this way, the Welcome sign is on our porch. We would love a visit.
We are receiving many cards and notes which are so special - to know you
think of us and let us know some of what you are doing helps that
home-sickness which we still have. Thanks!
By going to the Austin area we missed the parade here and also the Open
House by merchants which was held at the depot building, now not used.
Plans are being initiated to restore it and make it a special scenic
place. Have not heard exactly what can be done but it is a great idea.
Something truly missed was the Christmas party at West of the Pecos
Museum, a part of the happiness of the season.
Purposely I did not choose to write about the customs and traditions of
Christmas, you all know those. It is fine to remember "Christmas Past",
now we should concentrate on "Present Time". There is so much we can do
to faster the true meaning of the season. Not only should the Babe in
the Manger be remembered and worshiped, but remember the man he became
and what he taught.
As this holiday is celebrated, our wish for you is joy and peace and a
wonderful beginning for a happy New Year of 1997.
Amid all that happens with you, do please - Love One Another!
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By JOHN FLORES
Corsicana Daily Sun
CORSICANA, Texas - Franklin D. Roosevelt was campaigning for his first
term as president when 17-year-old H. Maurice Pollack hired on at the
Collin Street Bakery 64 years ago.
He started as a ``roustabout'' with duties such as hand-wrapping the
bakery's chief annual product - bread. Today, he's the company's
vice-president and treasurer, overseeing a $33 million annual account.
Pollack, reclining at his desk in a modest office on the bakery's second
floor, exudes the easy smile of a life well spent.
``I don't know when I'm gonna retire,'' he says. ``They're kinda slow
about pushing people out the door.''
Pollack, 81, said he applied for a job at the bakery for financial
reasons. It's a legacy started by his father, Harry Pollack, who worked
for 50 years at the bakery.
``I needed some money, and kinda liked the work, and hung on,'' he says.
The Collin Street Bakery started 100 years ago. It was also the year the
Original DeLuxe Fruitcake was created by the bakery's founders: a German
baker, Gus Weidmann, and master salesman Tom McElwee.
The bakery was bought by Lee McNutt, Bob Rutherford and Harry
Montgomery, in 1946. That's when the fruitcake's afterburners were
kicked in, and along, steady ascent into the sales stratosphere.
Pollock's wall has been a picture of a fruitcake suspended amid the
stars, a succinct statement of his 64-year philosophy. An oscillating
fan is positioned near the door, giving the office a tone of
informality. Pollock's first office typewriter, an old Royal, sits on
top file cabinets that house the company's financial records.
William McNutt, 71, started in the family business in 1959 after
graduating from college and working for Dr Pepper for a short time.
``I've known Maurice since 1946 ... I've never known a more honest,
reliable, friendly, capable, happy person than Maurice,'' he says. ``His
father, Harry, died while on active duty here (after 50 years at the
bakery) in 1952. Collin Street Bakery has gotten a lot of mileage out of
Pollack says he can't seem to retire. He's still proud to be part of a
``dream team'' that is Dallas Cowboys of the fruitcake industry. With
worldwide sales to 195 countries, and an annual growth of between five
and 10 percent, Collin Street Bakery is arguably the world champion
In 1979 the bakery's cake accounted for 3.8 percent of all surface
packages sent overseas, and it's grown in sales every year except one -
during the recession of the 1980s.
``Thank you'' letters and autographed photos of celebrities such as
Frank Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine, and Vanna White are framed in a glass
case on a wall at the stairway leading to the executive suites. Fairly
recent stories by the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times
profiling the Deluxe Fruitcake are framed on a wall in the hallway.
``The best thing about our fruitcake is, you can go most anyplace and
someone knows about the Deluxe Fruitcake,'' he says, as the fan turns to
his wife, Aleene, whose desk is on the other side of the room. She
started with the company as a pineapple cutter in 1966. The two were
married five years ago.
Pollock remains philosophical about his odyssey with Collin Street
``I still want to put my two cents into making it a good fruitcake,'' he
says. ``We still use the same recipe. Nowadays we use computers, and
everything is darn near perfect. Each cake is hand-decorated, like it
always was. And the taste has not changed, except it might have gotten a
little better with all the new equipment.''
McNutt's only critique of Pollock is also a self-indictment.
``The only thing I've noticed about Maurice is that he doesn't come up
the stairs quite as fast as he used to,'' he says, between casual drags
on his cigarette. ``But then, neither do I.''
Distributed by The Associated Press.
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By TARA MAGUIRE
SLATON, Texas - Linda Crawford leans over the battered baby lying on her
kitchen table and examines the multiple injuries.
She determines that the gash in the head will require her immediate
attention - the unruly wig and peeling paint can wait.
``It's so much fun to take a doll that looks like this and turn it into
a pretty doll,'' she said.
Ms. Crawford, who is known by most as ``Doctor Granny,'' is the owner of
Doctor Granny's Doll Hospital in Slaton. She has been in the doll repair
business for almost 25 years and owns about 600 dolls.
``As a kid I didn't play with dolls because I was a tomboy,'' she said.
``But when I was around 23 years old, my mom gave me her doll; it had a
china head with a cloth body. I really liked that doll.''
One day Ms. Crawford spotted an advertisement in a magazine announcing a
correspondence course on doll repair. She sent away for information but
discovered the cost of the course was too high.
``Well, they kept writing me and writing me. Finally they asked me if I
could afford $6 a month. I said yes and they signed me up,'' she said.
The course included about 35 lessons on various subjects, including
stringing dolls, hair weaving, mold making and dressing dolls.
``The problem was the lessons taught you specific things to do on a
specific doll, and I didn't have any dolls to work on,'' she said.
A friend provided Ms. Crawford with her first patient - a doll that
desperately needed restringing. ``I took the doll apart and thought,
well, here goes nothing,'' she said.
With her first repair job a success, Ms. Crawford decided to open a doll
repair shop in her Slaton home. Since she started, Ms. Crawford has
repaired hundreds of dolls in all sizes - from 2 inches tall to 3 feet
tall. At any given time, two to a dozen dolls are waiting to see Doctor
Ms. Crawford sees all kinds of injuries and makes all types of repairs,
including restringing dolls, redressing them, re-attaching limbs and
replacing wigs. ``Every doll I get is different. Everybody has a
different problem,'' she said.
``The main thing in repairing dolls is if you don't have the nerve to
take it apart, you'll never be able to put it back together,'' she said.
Unlike real doctors today, Ms. Crawford does make house calls.
``I'll go over there and look at the doll and see what they need. I then
give them an estimate and if the estimate is OK, I'll take the doll home
with me to repair it,'' she said.
Most of her tools and supplies are kept in a red suitcase. ``That's my
black doctor's bag - only it's red,'' she said.
Ms. Crawford mainly works with rubber bands, elastic and tiny hooks.
When restringing a doll, she grips the elastic with a hemostat, a
clamp-like instrument used in surgery. ``The elastic has to be really
tight,'' she said. ``I usually put the doll between my knees and tug.''
A majority of the dolls Ms. Crawford repairs are antiques. Most antique
dolls were made out of composition, a mixture of resin and sawdust, Ms.
Crawford said. With time, composition dolls start to peel and crack.
To repair a composition doll, Ms. Crawford can do one of two things. She
can either peel away the chipped paint and then repaint the doll, or she
can just glue the paint pieces to the doll. The latter helps maintain
the doll's value.
``As soon as you do the first repair, it loses value,'' she said, adding
that restringing is the only repair that doesn't depreciate the value of
a doll. ``With an antique doll, you don't want to do anything to it that
can't be undone. A lot of people fix things that shouldn't be fixed.''
Customers who bring in antique dolls are either having the dolls
repaired for sentimental reasons or because the dolls are valuable, Ms.
``Most of my customers are older women who bring in a doll that belonged
to their mother or grandmother,'' she said.
When a doll is missing a limb, Ms. Crawford must search through her
``bone pile'' in hopes of finding a match. She cannot order the limbs
from a company unless the doll is still in production.
Besides repairing the doll's body, Ms. Crawford also can fix its hair
Wigs on antique dolls usually are made of mohair or human hair, Ms.
Crawford said. If the wig is unrepairable, Ms. Crawford replaces it with
a new synthetic wig.
Ms. Crawford either cleans the existing clothes or makes new ones. ``You
always want to put the original clothes back on the doll if you have
them. They're better than the new,'' she said.
Ms. Crawford mainly works on dolls, although she has patched up a few
wounded teddy bears. ``Repairing teddy bears is a whole different
world,'' she said.
Ms. Crawford charges a minimum of $10 for doll repairs and $25 for
making clothes. The cost is adjusted depending on the size and type of
doll. ``It's just a hobby. If I had to make a job out of this, I'd
starve,'' she said, laughing.
She enjoys her customers' reactions when they see their restored dolls.
``When one lady saw her doll, tears came to her eyes and she said, `I
thought I would never see her look like that again.' ''
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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