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Around Town

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April 24, 2019 - A community Easter Egg Hunt was held at Perry Sampson Park on Saturday with a rainbow of colors covering the field. Kids were excited to not only hunt eggs but also enjoyed a visit with two Easter Bunnies. Kids also enjoyed carnival type games, a cake walk, face painting, and a bouncy house.

To see photos from the event - Album1, Album2

April 24, 2019 - First Baptist Church of Center spread joy through hundreds of eggs poured across the field at Portacool Park during their Easter weekend Block Party on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Hundreds attended the event where children collected eggs and enjoyed games, bounce houses, hot dogs, and other goodies.

To see photos from the event - Album1, Album2

April 22, 2019 - Library book sale begins April 23!

Save, Save, Save!! Great sale on paperback books (50 cents each), hard back books ($1 each), and children’s books (3 for $1).   

The book sale will be held at the Fannie Brown Booth Library on Tenaha Street, Center next week! April 23 April 27, 2019.

Proceeds are used to purchase more books.

April 24, 2019 - All birthdays are good, but this one is great, so come and join us as we celebrate!

The family of Mrs. Pinkie Atkinson cordially invites everyone to join us in a grand celebration in honor of her 100th birthday. The celebration will take place Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 1-4 p.m. at the Strong Triumph Church Fellowship Hall.

Mrs. Pinkie is a former Shelby County educator who retired after over 40 years in education as well as a pillar in the community. Her most famous and well remembered accomplishment came in 1968 when she coached the East Liberty Tigers all the way to the PVIL (now a part of UIL) state championship, but there are so many other accomplishments that she's known for.

For more information, please contact Faye Dell Allen at 936-368-2611/936-572-5810. Please come out and help us celebrate this huge milestone in her life. 

April 24, 2019 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society held their regular monthly meeting this past Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Center, TX. There was a workshop on "Better Flower Photography" presented by Billie Jones, in preparation for the May Challenge "Flowers". There was also a short tutorial, presented by Lawrence C Davis, on post processing your flowers using the Light Room Editing Program. The Patterns and Texture Challenge was obviously well liked by members due to the large number of photographs submitted for critique and voting. To see all the entries for Patterns and Textures, view our Flickr page https://www.flickr.com/groups/pineywoodsphotographic/. For more information on memberships or meetings like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/PineyWoodsPhoto/ or contact Billie F. Jones, 936-591-2426.

Piney Woods Photographic Society is for camera enthusiasts of all skills and interests. Our goal is to help people become a better photographer and give them a place to meet others who share their passion for photography. Featuring programs and activities with information and instruction for all skill levels in an environment of support and cooperation. Visitors are welcome to attend meetings with or without a member.

April Challenge was Patterns and Textures.

First Place - Tie

"King of the Board" by Lawrence C. Davis, Center, TX

"Web With Fog & Sunlight" by Melvin Henson, Milam, TX

Second Place

"The Chicken" by Bobbie Jean Wood, Center, TX

Third Place - Tie

"Cool Colors" by Summer Koltonski, Shelbyville, TX

"Silent City Wall" by Angie Junell Davis, Center, TX

Click image to see a flyer about Damon West

April 23, 2019 - The Shelby County Juvenile Probation Department will be hosting Motivational Speaker Damon West at the John Dean Windham Civic Center on Monday, April 29th beginning at 1pm. The event is being provided to all high school junior and seniors in Shelby County.

Mr. Damon West uses his life experiences to educate young people about the negative effects of drugs. He comes from being a quarterback at UNT to being sentenced to 65 years in prison to currently working for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, TX, and traveling all over the country sharing his story to literally thousands of students about the dangers of drugs and the consequences of bad decisions.

Veronica Berry, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, said, "I am confident that every student will leave with a positive and renewed mindset; whether it be concerning drug use or concerning their own role in being a positive contribution to society."

Damon West Biography

Sentenced to 65 years in a Texas prison, Damon West once had it all. He came from a great family, in a home full of God, love, support, and opportunities. A natural born leader, handsome and charming, and a three-year starting quarterback, he appeared to be the all-American.

Underneath this façade, however, was an addict in the early stages of his disease. After suffering childhood sexual abuse by a babysitter at the age of nine, he began putting chemicals into his body to alter the way he felt, starting with drinking and smoking. By the age of 12, he would escalate to marijuana use.

After receiving a scholarship to play football for the University of North Texas, Damon left for college. When his football career came to a premature end, due to an injury, in 1996, against Texas A&M, Damon lost all direction. 

Football had become so much of his identity that he no longer knew who he was. Damon chose a dark path on the road of addiction, abusing harder drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and prescription pills to go along with the alcohol and marijuana.

After graduating in 1999, Damon’s life would take him to the United States Congress, political fundraising for a presidential candidate and then into the world of Wall Street, with a position to train as a stockbroker for one of the biggest banks in the world, U.B.S. It was here that Damon was introduced to meth for the first time; he was instantly hooked. 

After 3 years of committing property crimes and other drug-related crimes in order to fuel his meth habit, a Dallas SWAT team finally caught up with Damon and arrested him on July 30, 2008. The consequences of his behavior earned him a life-sentence of 65 years for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. 

Damon began prison life armed with the knowledge that “you don’t have to win all your fights, but you do have to fight all your fights,” as he battled for his right to exist independent of a gang. Clinging closely to God, his family’s unwavering support, the story of the coffee bean an elderly convict shared with him in county jail, a 12-step recovery program and all the tools available to him, Damon emerged from prison a better man spiritually, emotionally and physically. On November 16, 2015, he walked out of prison with 58 years of parole. 

Today, Damon is enrolled in graduate school at Lamar University, where he is studying criminal justice, and works for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, TX.

Sketches done by Gloria Fiedler

April 22, 2019 - Delta Gamma members were treated to a wonderful program about the local chapter founders and the founders of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society in 1929.

Twelve key women educators from Texas banned together to form a group to fellowship and further educational opportunities for women. It is now an international organization celebrating 70 years in existence.

Presenting the program were Carol McMillan, Becky Wiggins, Fannie Watson, and Judy Adkison, who wrote the program. The local chapter is fortunate enough to have sketches that were done some years ago by Gloria Fiedler, who is now deceased.

In recent years, member Debbie Leggett freshened and colored the sketches which have been used at the Texas state convention and often in our local meetings.

Submitted by Nora Robinson

April 22, 2019 - Despite a little hailing falling Friday, April 19th, Focused Care of Center rolled on with their Easter Egg Hunt activities by opening their doors to everyone with baskets in hand.

Children visited residents down their hallways and were delighted to receive eggs filled with treats while the Easter Bunny hopped his way around the facility visiting with everyone. Affinity Hospice provided free face painting and Mama Rose Italian Ice was on location for those wanting to cool off from their hunt.

To see more photos from Easter Egg Hunt at Focused Care of Center - http://sct.fototime.com/Easter Egg Hunt, Bunny at Focused Care

April 22, 2019 - The Easter Bunny was at Town and Country Real Estate on Good Friday, April 19, 2019 to greet all the children young and old who stopped by to visit. Town and Country RE had special Easter themed cookies for everyone to enjoy along with popcorn.

Congratulations to the winners of Easter Baskets! The winners were Michelle Wilburn, Mallory Hudspeth, Kristi Stringer, and Austin Campos.

To see all the photos - http://sct.fototime.com/Easter Bunny at Town and Country RE

April 19, 2019 - Looking every bit the part of a Civil War embalming surgeon in period dress, licensed Texas funeral director Roger Doyle of Center shared the origins of modern embalming with the Timpson Area Genealogical and Heritage Society at their April 17 monthly meeting. Mr. Doyle replicated a Civil War era embalming field clinic, featuring period handbills and literature, surgical and embalming tools and chemicals, and even a deceased dummy, ready for embalming.

Mr. Doyle said that he had always been interested in history but became involved in Civil War reenactment when he answered a casting call for the somewhat historically inaccurate film “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. He is now a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and usually portrays an infantryman, although he has begun portraying an embalming surgeon.

Modern embalming had its origins about 1850 but the chemicals used were so toxic that many of the morticians who used them became ill and died themselves, Doyle revealed. With the outbreak of the Civil War and the transportation of tens of thousands of unpreserved bodies of dead soldiers home for burial, the critical need for some method to prevent their decomposition became obvious, he said. Dr. Thomas Holmes of New York solved the problem.

In 1861 Union Col. Elmer Ellsworth, a friend of President Lincoln, was slain while removing a Confederate flag from the roof of a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. Lincoln asked Dr. Holmes to create a solution to embalm Col. Ellsworth's body and Ellsworth became a national hero. Dr. Holmes was given a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army to continue the embalming of dead Union soldiers. Soon others began the practice commercially, with the cost being about $100 for an officer and $50 for an enlisted man, Doyle shared. Abuses were common, leading General Grant to order that all embalming surgeons would have to be licensed by the Army. The practice of embalming continued after the end of the war, the beginning of the modern funeral service industry, Doyle revealed.

The Timpson Area Genealogical and Heritage Society meets at 2pm on the third Wednesday of each month in the Meeting Room of the Timpson Public Library, located on the corner of Austin and Bremond Streets in Timpson. The public is invited. The TAGHS Genealogy Library is located inside the Timpson Public Library and is staffed by TAGHS volunteers who are available to assist those doing research. The phone number is 936-254-2966.