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Around Town

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June 23, 2017 - Upon entering the new meeting room of the Timpson Public Library last Wednesday afternoon, Timpson Area Genealogical and Heritage Society members and their guests found five long tables covered with old photographs from the Timpson area. The age of the photos ranged roughly from the late 19th century to the 1960s. It is hard to be more specific because the actual date of the photographs and the people in them is unknown, with identifying them being the purpose of the meeting. (Click images for larger file sizes)

Beside each photo was a scanned copy of the image, enlarged when possible, with a number beside each person in the photo. There was also a sheet a paper with numbered blank lines. Each member was to examine each photo and if they recognized anyone appearing in it or could share any information about it, they were to write it on the paper.

Putting a name followed by a question mark was acceptable. Several magnifying glasses were provided since some of the photos contained a large group of people. No one said this job would be easy, and it wasn't!

Although good progress was made in identifying the people and places in the photos, many remained a mystery at the end of the meeting. Attached are five of the unidentified photographs and readers are asked to try their hand at identifying them. If you think you know who anyone is, just send an e-mail to timpsgen@sbcglobal.net, referencing the photo by number and identifying the person or persons in it. Educated guesses are welcome and all help is appreciated. It is known that photo #3 is of telephone employees with manager James Cozort at the left. Photo #4 was taken at the handle factory.

TAGHS meets the third Wednesday of each month at 2:00 PM in the meeting room of the Timpson Public Library on the corner of Austin and Bremond Streets. The public is invited.

2016 top three melons all weighed in more than 100 lbs!June 23, 2017 (Entry Form) - Shelby County watermelon growers are invited to bring their largest watermelon to the 28th Annual East Texas What-A-Melon Festival on the downtown Center square. The festival is July 6th, 7th, and 8th!

The 2016 largest melon weighed a whopping 112 lbs and was raised by Doug Cogswell who also clinched the 2015 contest as well. Over $5,000 was given in prize money last year with $2,500 going to the first place winner.

Whose melon will weigh in as the largest of the festival for 2017 and leave with the big bucks? The weigh in is Thursday, July 6th at 6pm. The winning melon will be on display for the duration of the festival for visitors to see and for photo opportunities.

Entry deadline is Friday, June 23, 2017. Melons must be grown in Shelby County and all entries will be marked while attached to the vine by festival judges. Entry forms can be dropped off at Brookshire Brothers on Hurst Street in Center or can be mailed to Chandra Atholi, 301 Wulf Creek Drive, Center, Texas 75935 or faxed to 936-591-8884.

The What-A-Melon Festival is hosted by the Center Rotary Club.

Portacool and City of Center representatives gathered before the Portacool Park entrance.

June 20, 2017 - (Album) - A grand opening event for the new Portacool Park in Center was held Saturday, June 17, 2017 with representatives of City of Center, Portacool and a large turnout of citizens to enjoy the newly completed grounds.

Anyone attending was treated to refreshments including hot dogs prepared by Shelby Savings Bank, chips, drinks, popcorn and cookies handed out by Portacool employees. While everyone enjoyed their lunch, many children and young adults were putting the new basketball court to use with basketballs and soccer balls. City of Center employees were also giving out goody bags.

Portacool employees and representatives gathered before the Portacool Park entrance.

After the crowd had enjoyed much of their time at the park, city and Portacool representatives gathered at the entrance of the park to share.

David Chadwick, Center Mayor, welcomed everyone to the park and declared Portacool Park officially open. He explained Portacool Park's predecessor, Center Mini Park began with a donation from a local civic group and has continued to grow with the help of the city and others.

"Until this last year when Portacool stepped up and said, 'We want to make our mark on Center, Texas not just with our business but looking at our community and letting people know that it is our community,'" said Mayor Chadwick.

Pictured are (from left): Thomas Morrison, Sales/Marketing Operations Manager at Port-A-Cool LLC; Ben Wulf, President/CEO Portacool LLC; David Chadwick, Center Mayor; and Chad Nehring, Center City Manager.

Chadwick expressed how he feels the park holds something for everyone in the community and in addition to all of the activities that can be enjoyed at the park, there are Portacool fans at a picnic area alongside the pavilion.

"Mr. Wulf, I'd like to thank you on behalf of the City of Center for the job that you and your team have done. Excellent job, could not be more proud of your involvement in the community and your whole team there," said Mayor Chadwick.

He was proud to be able to be the first to say only in Center, Texas, "Welcome to Portacool Park."

Pictured are (from left): Hunter Rush, MHS Planning & Design, LLC; Chad Nehring, Center City Manager; and Keith Oliver, City of Center.Ben Wulf, President/CEO of Portacool LLC, expressed his appreciation to the city including Chad Nehring, City Manager, and his team for helping with the architecture and design of the facility as well as inspiration offered by Mayor Chadwick.

"Thomas [Morrison, Sales/Marketing Operations Manager at Port-A-Cool LLC] came up and partnered with the city, so we want to say thank you to him for helping see this through from start to finish," said Wulf. "The people that I really want to say thank you to and that's the Portacool family. If it's not for what you do every day, this doesn't happen, and we want to say thank you to our past employees and obviously to our current employees and all the Portacool family members to come. This is what you've built, we're very proud of it and want to continue to be a very strong fixture in the community for many years to come."

Photo (from left): Wayne Holt, David Mathis, and Alayna Scull.

June 20, 2017 - President Helen Collard called the Golden Harvest Ministries Club to order on Monday, June 19, 2017 at the First Baptist Church in Center, Texas at 11:30 AM with 61 members and guests attending. 

Carl Smith led members in an opening prayer, and Harold Hanson led in singing several hymns, while Alice West accompanied on the piano. The Bluegrass Trio presented the program of patriotic, country, bluegrass, religious, and other favorites. June Birthdays celebrated were Darlene Brown, Harold Hanson, Nori Latimer, and Alice West. Anniversary greetings went to Maudi and Harold Warr. 

Tables were decorated with summer wildflowers from Linda Bordelon's Wildscape on Toledo Bend Lake. Ann Forbes discussed those on the "Prayer Report" and encouraged everyone to visit the ones in the nursing homes.

Submitted by Linda Bordelon, Reporter

June 12, 2017 - Jennifer Wulf is now back in the service department at Center Motor Co.

Wulf has been a part of the Center Motor Company team for 31 years and is looking forward to seeing and helping her friends, and customers with their service needs.

Please call 936-598-3361 or come by to welcome Jennifer back.

Center Motor Company is located at 816 Hurst Street, Center, Texas.

Pictured are (from left): Becky Maidic, Jesse Griffith (Joaquin VFD), Gerald Huddleston (Huxley VFD), Waylon Griffith (Center FD), Gary Frame (Center FD), and Chris Koltonski (Shelbyville VFD).

June 20, 2017 - Every year, on behalf of its members, Hochheim Priairie Farm Mutual Branch 110 donates to our community.This is just a small way of thanking organizations in Shelby County for all the work they do for it's citizens on a daily basis. We truly appreciate everything you do for this community.

This year Branch 110 elected to give donations to Joaquin, Center, Shelbyville, and Huxley Volunteer Fire Departments.

HPFM Branch 110 also voted to donate to the Fannie Brown Booth Library this year.

Pictured are Sandra Davis (left) and Becky Maidic (right).

June 20, 2017 - The 2017 What-A-Melon Festival t-shirts have arrived and are available for purchase at Shelby Savings Bank main branch, Farmers State Bank main branch and Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. All shirts are $15 each.

The What-A-Melon Festival starts Thursday, July 6th and runs through Saturday, July 8th.

Jason Balkcom, President of the Rotary Club of Center, revealed the winner of the 2017 What-A-Melon Festival logo contest to be Kayarra Emerson, an 11th grader at Center High School, at the club's May 16th meeting. It's her design which incorporated the festival theme with the Rotary wheel in the middle that is on all the festival t-shirts!

Related article: Rotary Club Reveals Winner of 2017 What-A-Melon Logo Contest

Click image to enlarge

June 19, 2017 - Family and friends gathered at the Wimberly Cemetery Homecoming Sunday, June 18, 2017 to check up on the status of the cemetery and its upkeep during a board meeting.

Everyone enjoyed a potluck luncheon while visiting and catching up on family news. The following families attending the homecoming and representing loved ones buried in the cemetery were LaFitte, Cox, O'Rear, McCann, Snider, Strickland, Samples, Wagstaff, Fittz, Wilson, Permenter, and Moody. To see a list of persons buried in the cemetery, click here. (www.shelbycountytexashistory.net)

Donations for cemetery upkeep can be sent to Wimberly Cemetery Fund, c/o Mack O'Rear, 11466 FM 2694, Shelbyville, TX 75973.

June 13, 2017 - After months of work and dedication, the vision for Portacool Park is a reality. The park will officially open Saturday, June 17, 2017, during a celebration planned from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring fun for the entire family. 

“At Portacool, we are proud to call Center our home,” said Ben Wulf, CEO of Portacool, LLC, the naming sponsor of the park and funding partner. “This project has been possible in part because of all of our hardworking employees, both past and present. We are excited and honored to be able to give back to the city and community that has provided us a platform to become a globally recognized company.”

Portacool Park is the culmination of more than a year of project planning and coordination of funding from Portacool, LLC, a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Center and the Street Improvements for Economic Development. The renovated park facilities include a quarter-mile walking trail, restroom facilities, azalea garden, covered pavilion/basketball court, a multi-purpose soccer/football field that will accommodate CISD athletics and, of course, specially designed cool zones featuring Portacool evaporative coolers.  

“With common vision, cooperation and community partners such as Portacool, it is amazing what can be accomplished,” Chad Nehring, City Manager, said. “We are so pleased with the results of these efforts and cannot wait for everyone to come out and enjoy this asset to our community.” 

Please plan to join Portacool employees and City representatives during the opening event on June 17 as they welcome you to the newly renovated and expanded park. Hot dogs, popcorn and more will be available to the public. 

Related article:
Portacool Representatives, City of Center Celebrate Portacool Park Groundbreaking

June 15, 2017 - Week two of the Center Library Summer Reading program got off to a 'rockin' start with Sara Ward, "The Story Lady" on Thursday, June 15th. The Story Lady had the little readers jamming with their air guitars while taking them on an adventure with music inspired story time. The Tweens will meet at 2pm to enjoy another week of Lego creation. The theme for week two of the Tween program is transportation.

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