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Around Town

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April 1, 2022 - Center Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale on Friday, April 1st on the southwest side, inner section of the downtown square beginning from 8am through noon.

A wide variety of plants will be available, such as succulents, bromeliads, Kalanchoes, begonias, verbenas, stagleaf ferns, etc., as well many indigenous plants. All offered at VERY reasonable pricing.

Do come early while the plant selection is at its best; you are sure to find many of Nature’s delights that can be yours!

March 29, 2022 - VFW Post 8904 and Auxiliary recognized National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at the Shelby County Veterans Memorial.

Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, stated the Vietnam War Recognition Act was signed into law by 45th President Donald Trump, designating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Memorial Day.

"49 years ago March 29, 1973 the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam and Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war," said Hume. "Two years later April 30, 1975 the last few Americans in South Vietnam were airlifted out of Saigon and it fell into communist forces."

Hume continued, "The Vietnam War has a long history, starting in 1955, the war went on until the official ending date of 1975," said Hume.

2.7 million Americans served in the Vietnam War and five of those who were killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old, while the oldest killed was 62 years old. Eight women, who were nurses, died in Vietnam. One of them died by enemy fire and the other seven were either killed by plane or helicopter crash. 61% of those killed in Vietnam were younger than 21 years old and the average age of those killed was 23.1 years.

"In 2021, last year there were less than 850,000 Vietnam veterans alive of the 2.7 million who served, and the median age is 68." said Hume.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. has over 58,000 names of Americans who died in the Vietnam War. The state of Texas lost over 3,400 and only California and New York had more.

"Shelby County, Texas, as in wars previously and since answered the call to duty and paid the price losing 10 soldiers, one sailor, and another Marine who died in a training accident while preparing to deploy with his unit in Vietnam," said Hume.

In an effort to keep their memory alive, the names of Shelby County Vietnam Veterans who died in service to the United States of America, their names were read aloud by Auxiliary members Jan Ramsey, Theresa Hume, and Mary Fausett, Auxiliary President.

The names that were read are as follows:

  • Adams, Ted W. - Private First Class - Born in Beaumont, Texas, July 31, 1944. Inducted into the US Army November 14, 1965. Killed in action November 15, 1966, age 22. Buried in the Tennessee Cemetery, Timpson, Texas. Awarded the Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 12 E, Line 76.
  • Andrews, William L. "Shorty" - Specialist Fourth Class - Born in Shelby County, Texas, October 25, 1945. Inducted into the US Army in 1965. Killed in action February 16, 1967, age 21. Buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Shelby County, Texas. Awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 15 E, Line 38.
  • Barnett, Jimmy D. - Private First Class - Born in Joaquin, Texas, February 28, 1943. Inducted into the US Army May 1967. Killed in action March 26, 1968, age 25. Buried in the Jackson Cemetery, Joaquin, Texas. Awarded the Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 46 E, Line 28.
  • Buckley, Mac C. - Private First Class - Born in Center, Texas, July 11, 1945. Inducted into the US Army 1967. Killed in action July 5, 1968. Buried in the Westview Cemetery, Center, Texas. Awarded the Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 53 W, Line 16.
  • Byford, Larry S. "Possum" - Private First Class - Born in Center, Texas, May 1, 1945. Inducted into the US Army October 1965. Killed in action June 23, 1967. Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Shelby County, Texas. Awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 22 E, Line 52.
  • Chatelain, Ray A. - Seaman First Class - Born in Louisiana May 6, 1946. Joined the US Navy October 1965. Killed in an explosion aboard the USS Forrestal. Buried in the Longstreet Cemetery, Longstreet, Louisiana. Awarded the Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 24 E, Line 50.
  • Eaden, William H. - Sergeant - Born in Timpson, Texas, August 12, 1939. Joined the US Army December 13, 1961. Career soldier killed in action November 12, 1965. Buried in the Mount Gillion Cemetery, Shelby County, Texas. Awarded the Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 3 E, Line 42.
  • Hughes, Jerry L. - Sergeant - Born in Center, Texas, July 17, 1946. Inducted into the US Army May 1966. Killed in action July 12, 1967. Buried in Oaklawn Memorial Park, Center, Texas. Awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 23 E, Line 59.
  • Johnson, Taylor D. "Sonny" - Major - Born in Joaquin, Texas, December 15, 1929. Joined the US Army 1953. Career soldier. Killed in action January 28, 1966. Buried in the Joaquin Cemetery, Joaquin, Texas. Awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 4 E, Line 103.
  • Lightfoot, John B. - Corporal - Born in Shelby County, Texas, July 27, 1952. Joined the US Marine Corps June 14, 1971. Killed in a training accident in Louisiana while preparing to deploy to Vietnam. Buried in the McClelland Cemetery, Shelby County, Texas.
  • Lynch, Samuel R. - Specialist Fourth Class - Born in Nacogdoches, Texas, May 26, 1949. Inducted into the US Army 1969. Killed in action December 12, 1970. Buried in the White Rock Cemetery, Shelby County, Texas. Awarded the Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 6 W, Line 130.
  • Patrick, Calvin R. - Private First Class - Born in Houston, Texas, November 23, 1950. Inducted into the US Army November 30, 1968. Killed in action May 25, 1969. Buried in the Wimberly Cemetery, Shelby County, Texas. Awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Vietnam Memorial Panel 24 W, Line 106.

Isaac Reeves, US Navy Vietnam Veteran, then placed the memorial wreath.

Hume offered for all present to remember any of the veterans mentioned and any other veterans they may know, and several spoke up.

In honor of two individuals missing in action, Hume was wearing a bracelet with the name of Capt. Carl Jackson who has been missing since June 27, 1965; and Theresa Hume was wearing a bracelet with the name of Col. Charles Levis who has been missing in action since April 2, 1972.

Mary Fausett was wearing a shirt, given to her by her cousin Jon Wallenius, who was in the First Cavalry Division and was in the Ia Drang Valley.

Taps was then played as presented by Gene Hutto, Post Commander.

Hume reminded everyone the next observance scheduled will be held on Thursday, March 31, at 9am, in recognition of those who served in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.

March 29, 2022 - The Fannie Brown Booth Library is planning our annual spring book sale for April 28-30, 2022 (Thursday-Saturday). We are taking donations of books in good shape except encyclopedias and textbooks.

March 29, 2022 - VFW Post 8904 and Auxiliary held a memorial ceremony on Thursday, March 24 for Operation Allied Force - Kosovo on the grounds of the 1885 Historic Courthouse in downtown Center.

Post Chaplain Kenneth Ramsey gave the opening prayer.

The program was led by Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, and he gave a brief history of Operation Allied Force.

"Twenty-three years ago, on March 24, 1999, NATO launched an air campaign called Operation Allied Force to halt the humanitarian devastation that was unfolding in Kosovo. The decision to intervene followed more than a year of fighting within the province and the failure of international efforts to resolve the conflict by diplomatic means," said Hume.

NATO announced the suspension of the air campaign on June 10, 1999 once it had concluded a military technical agreement with the federal republic of Yugoslavia.

NATO casualties were light, and the alliance suffered no fatalities as a result of combat operations.

"Two American Army helicopter pilots, Chief Warrant Officer David Gibbs and Kevin L. Reichert died when their helicopter crashed in the early morning of May 5, 1999," said Hume. "The crash was not due to enemy fire, but two of America's finest died on that day serving their country."

In honor of those who served in the Kosovo War, a memorial wreath was placed by post member Richard Lundy.

Taps was played at the end of the ceremony as presented by Gene Hutto, Post Commander.

March 28, 2022 - Today, March 27, is one of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas' Honor Days - Goliad Heroes Day.

Following the fall of the Alamo, the Mexican Army, under the command of General Santa Anna, attacked Colonel James W. Fannin's men at Goliad. Fannin was forced to surrender and on March 27, 1836, 320 prisoners were executed, the largest loss of life in the cause of Texas independence. "Remember Goliad" joined with "Remember the Alamo" as the battle cries heard at the battle of San Jacinto.

The DRT William Carroll Crawford Chapter encourage everyone to fly your Texas flag to honor the heroes of Goliad.

March 25, 2022 - Tri-County Community Action's (TCCA) Harvest for Home Food Pantry will be temporarily closed for cleaning, disinfecting, and re-stocking during the entire month of April 2022. We will re-open the 1st Thursday in May (5th). Please make preparations now for a delay in your food resource.

You will also be required to re-certify for food assistance. Please be prepared to provide a photo ID, proof of residency, and current Program Year 2022 income for everyone in the household who is 18 years of age or older.

We will be maintaining our Produce Drop each 2nd Wednesday of the month.

March 23, 2022 - The Texas Historical Commission is in the process of working on the Statewide Historic Preservation Plan for 2022-2032.

For the first phase of planning, help is needed to explore answers to the following questions:

  • What are the most pressing issues facing our efforts to save Texas history and historic places?
  • How does historic preservation help nurture vibrant and diverse communities?
  • In what ways can we illustrate how historic preservation contributes to the livelihood of Texans?
  • How can preservationists resiliently face constant economic, social, and environmental change?
  • In what ways are these issues made more challenging by the impacts of our recent health crisis?

You can also use their website, https://www.texaspreservationplan.com/, to share stories related to Texas history, offer ideas to improve preservation efforts, and map the historic places that are important to you.

Click here to learn why this planning process is taking place, how public comment is being collected, and what to expect when the plan is completed.

March 22, 2022 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society held the regular monthly meeting this past Saturday, March 19th. It was good to see attendance is picking up. There was a workshop presented by Billie F. Jones on tips and techniques used in editing your photographs.

The March Challenge was "Black & White." Members submit up to 3 photographs, done in black and white only, for favorite voting and discussion. The Favorites are listed below. To view all the challenge entries, view our Flickr page, https://www.flickr.com/groups/pineywoodsphotographic/. The PWPS meets every third Saturday of the month, at the First United Methodist Church, Center, Texas. For more information, follow our face book page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/PineyWoodsPhoto or contact Billie F. Jones, billiejones602@gmail.com

March Challenge: Black and White

1st Place Favorite: Jan Huffman Carter, "Dancing in the Moonlight"

2nd Place Favorite: Bobbie Jean Wood "Vintage"

3rd Place Favorite: Lawrence Davis, "Lima, Peru 2022"

March 21, 2022 - Thank you to the Class of 2000 for the beautiful spray of flowers and for the Facebook post honoring Dusty and kind words of sympathy.

Thank you to the staff and employees of Pine Grove Nursing Home for your compassion, kindness, and care given to Dusty.

Thank you to all the ladies at Hughes Florist for their creativity making the perfect casket spray

The Dusty Barbee Family 

March 17, 2022 - The Shelby County Historic 1885 Courthouse had a unique visitor to its grounds Wednesday, March 16, 2022, with blood ties to its construction.

Derek Lemons, a great-great-grandson to John Joseph Emmett (J.J.E.) Gibson the architect of the courthouse, finally took the opportunity to visit the site with his family Erin Mason and Thora Mason-Lemons.

Lemons shared his grandfather was able to recount some memory of J.J.E. Gibson from having known him during the time he was six years old. He said his grandfather had some stories still to tell; however, they weren't very elaborate since they were from his childhood

"My grandfather's father kind of ran off during the Depression and left the family behind," said Lemons. "So, he remembered J.J.E. Gibson taking care of them and kind of ways that they helped out, because J.J.E. Gibson's daughter was my grandfather's mother."

Lemons related his grandfather had a very fond memory of J.J.E. Gibson giving him cornbread, which he said wouldn't have been something his grandfather had on a regular basis and was a treat for him.

Sherry Riley, Courthouse Docent, led the tour for the Lemons party through the courthouse. Lemons shared they have been through the area many times on road trips; however, this was the first real opportunity to take the tour of the structure.

"I almost came up here in 1999 with my grandfather, I think they had just done some sort of restoration of some kind and had a big ceremony," said Lemons.

The grave of J.J.E. Gibson in Tenaha was once surrounded by many bricks which had the Gibson stamp on them, and when Lemons visited the site previously with his grandfather there were possibly only remaining at that time. Lemons shared his grandfather remarked there had once been so many bricks at Gibson's grave; however, people took them becasue of their uniqueness. Sadly, when Lemons and his family visited the grave just recently, all of the bricks were gone.

Although the bricks at his grave no longer remain there, those which everyone sees when traveling the Center square around "the Irish castle on the square," remain a testament to J.J.E. Gibson.

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