from Jan Russell in Houston
Nothing on the news front here. We’ve had a month of nasty weather and some days I just stayed inside and watched old TV shows. I’m learning to love my new fur baby Diamond more and more. She is totally spoiled and RULES the back yard. She’s made friends with the neighborhood children and they enjoy running back and forth on the other side of the fence. Diamond runs and barks and has a wonderful time. (Since I don’t have children I have to talk about my dog!) I still miss my sweet Jeb and still can’t look at his pictures without tears. But I know the healing will come. Not my first time at this.
from Cynthia Marshall Devlin in Zavalla, TX
Just a note to touch base after a long while. I have really been busy with my classes at SFA and have been attending some history conferences as well.
I am excited to have been invited to speak at the Oxford Women's Leadership Symposium at Oxford University this summer in late July. It is promoted by the Cordell Hull Foundation of the United Nations. I am thrilled to have the chance to meet women from various universities around the world who are offering solutions for all varieties of women's issues. My paper will be peer reviewed and could be accepted for publication by one of Oxford's journals,. My sister Kay (TJ '73) is going with me and will be able to attend as a guest. We will tour the area while there and spend another couple of days in London on our return. I hope to teach three more semesters and finally retire. But, who knows?
About your Panama Canal trip, I have not been, but my husband and a friend hiked the whole length of the canal when he was younger. My cousin's grandfather was an engineer from Sweden who helped build the canal. His name is listed on a wall at the museum.
I have enjoyed keeping up with Nelwyn Comeaux and husband, Charles Blanchette in Kingston Springs, TN.
from Cherlyn Hebert in Houston
I took a cruise to Cuba in January. We had three stops in Cuba: Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuego. The tour guides in the three cities were pretty open. Food and water are still rationed. Yet the new government is gradually bringing entrepreneurship to the country, and citizens are opening small stores in their homes as a source of income. The definite highlight was the sight of US cars from the 1950s and 1960s all over the roads. Most of them are painted bright colors: yellow, hot pink, lavender, green, blue. A lot of them are used for cabs for the tourists. Think convertibles with big fins. In fact, my cruise line (Oceania) offered excursions in them, just to be driven around the city for an hour or so, looking like a “cool cat”. LOL For the rest of the year, I intend to stay in the US. I have my eye on a tour in the Pacific Northwest for the summer, and North Carolina is always on my radar. email@example.com
from Fred Schneider in Groves (brother of the late, Randy Schneider)
Trivia/History you might enjoy!
Who named the Yellow Jackets?
Before 1920, the Port Arthur football team was referred to as Port Arthur. In 1920, the school reporter for sports article for the newspaper and the Sea Gull yearbook made a comment that the Port Arthur team had "swarmed over their opponent like a nest of Yellow Jackets". Thereafter, everyone called the team the Yellow Jackets. That student reporter was Miss Louise Erwin, later to become a TJ faculty member and guidance counselor. Kind of funny that a female student reporter is responsible for naming out team.
(Thanks for sharing this fun tidbit.)
Cynthia Marshall Devlin was generous again in sending in a donation for our website. Thank you, Cynthia.
(These donations help us pay for softwear update and charges for Go Daddy, etc. Mike has been working tirelessly on many changes to the website. Let us know what you think.)
ST. JOSEPH'S ALTAR
On Mar. 19th, around the world, Italians put together a St. Joseph's altar. Paul Colletti and his extended family were responsible for putting one together at St. Elizabeth's church in Port Neches. Their family has had an altar for 100 years running dating back to the family gatherings in Sicily. It was beautiful and the food was delicious. Many friends helped with the cooking and serving. Hundreds were served at no cost.
The St. Joseph Altar or St. Joseph Table is an old tradition from Sicily. Here is the explanation of how the tradition started.
The people of Sicily prayed. For too long there had been no rain to nourish the crops that sustained life for most of the island.
The dried out wheat stalks cracked beneath the feet of the poor farmers as they walked through their barren fields. Only a sea of dust and withered vines remained from what had once been row upon row of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
And so the people prayed.
They pleaded to St. Joseph, their patron, for relief from the famine that gripped the island. At last the skies opened, sending down the life-giving water. The people rejoiced. Some time later, to show their gratitude, they prepared a table with a special assortment of foods they had harvested. After paying honor to St. Joseph, they distributed the food to the less fortunate.
The first St. Joseph Altar set up on the Island of Sicily was a small one, of course. But as time went on and the tradition took hold, the flamboyant nature and creative spirit of the Italians caused the altars to grow larger and more ornate.
Today, the artistic quality of the breads, cookies and pastries, which are baked in such shapes as chalices, staffs and pyramids, often rivals the exquisite flavor of the food offerings.
At the 50th reunion, Frank Timmerman was gracious enough to donate 40 books written by his brother, William McKissick Timmerman Jr. titled Early History of Port Arthur, Texas. It is terrific. Everyone who was lucky enough to snag one has raved about it. If you were one of those who has one, there are a couple of classmates that would like to BORROW it. Paul Colletti and Jude Arisco would like the opportunity to read it. (They may also be ordered on Amazon).
I have been following Damon West (Provost Umphrey Law Firm) on FB. He is the son of Bob West, the former sports writer for the PA NEWS. Damon is a motivational speaker in schools, clubs, college sports arenas, etc. He just authored a book that recently was released. His story is explosive and heartwrenching. You may actually get mad at him while reading his story but if you knew where he is in life at this time, it is worth the anger. What a read!!!! Who doesn't like a REDEMPTION story? I went to his book signing recently that was held at the Museum of the Gulf Coast where our 50th reunion social was held. They have his books there if you are interested. They are also available on Amazon.
The CHANGE Agent (How a Former College QB Sentenced to Life in Prison Transformed His World) by Damon West.
We went to our annual “classmates” weekend last week. This year it was held at Lynn Eldridge Gill's ranch in Tupelo, TX (10 miles from Corsicana). The usual suspects were there, Lynn, Paul Colletti, Jim Andrus, Jude Arisco and me. We all had our spouses who have to listen to the talk about our good ole days in PA EVERY year. Lynn and Jim Gill are the perfect hosts! ALWAYS! The food was delicious and plentiful. Lynn even made sure that we had CHEESE enchaladas on Friday night since all of us are catholics expect our two Baptist hosts! How thoughtful.
We don't always go to the Gills' home in Dallas or their ranch. Over the last 20 years we have met at resorts, B & B's, cabins, and hotels in Fredricksburg, Comfort, San Marcos, Wimberly, Rockport, Tupelo, Dallas, Fort Worth, Jourdanton, Austin, Dripping Springs and Bastrop. We are considering Horseshoe Bay next year.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS DEMOLISHED
William B. Travis was torn down recently. So many memories; walking and then later getting to ride my bike, having my mother come get me after school because I had to stay in for TALKING TOO MUCH (Imagine that), playing kickball and swinging high, high, higher on the playground, eating out of a special lunch kit, working in the kitchen to get some free lunches, mealtickets, squaredancing and tumbling, learning to play an instrument, Friday spelling tests, taking the train ride to Beaumont, learning about the circus, making valentine boxes and marching down the halls for the Easter parade. Oh, to be young again.
The good news is that Sam Houston and Travis have beautiful, state of the art schools rebuilt on the same property now. I'm happy and proud for these youngsters.
For homework I want you to send me YOUR memories of elementary school. It doesn't matter if it was a bad or good memory. We will probably all relate. I'll include them in a new section called ELEMENTARY MEMORIES
MINI REUNION LUNCHEON
Save the date:
7500 Twin City Hwy Port Arthur, TX 77642 (formerly Jim Carr Auto)
May 18, 2019
11:30 – til
Patio area will be reserved RSVP needed
Contact: Ernie Castaneda Bullion
Marilyn Jackson Williamson
It will be 10 months since our reunion by then and it will be nice to gather again. Looking forward to seeing lots of classmates and spouses and guests from other classes.
NEWS FROM THE HOMEFRONT
I sure am glad the weather is starting to act right!!! Of course, that means yardwork. But, it also means BASEBALL season! Woo hoo.
My 16 yr. old granddaughter started her first J-O-B. She is refereeing soccer in Beaumont. The 14 year old is still involved in drill team competition for her middle school.
Whew! So glad Bart Darby got our TJ checking account taxes done. I mailed it off just in time! We owed .77! Yep, seventy seven cents, folks!
from Linda DeCuir McFadden
Our granddaughter's test on her kidneys showed everything okay. Thanks for your concern and prayers.
Update on Jack Etheredge (glioblastoma)
from daughter, Brittany
Prayer Warriors..sorry I haven’t updated since my last post about my Dad’s MRI. His last MRI showed a new tumor in his frontal lobe which is inoperable and two new small spots where his original tumor was. He will be having a surgery tomorrow called Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) at MD Anderson at 7:00 on those 3 spots. My dad doesn’t want many to know outside of our family and close friends what has been going on, but I know the power in numbers for prayer works! I am asking you all to please pray for a successful surgery tomorrow and for this procedure to help stop the progression of this MONSTER!! (He can’t see this post..we just need lots of prayers)..
Update 2: When we went to see my Daddy in recovery, he didn’t know who me and my mom were, where he was, or what year it was. They were very concerned because he wasn’t having any cognitive issues to this extent before he went into surgery. Neurosurgeon came back in to see him and they will monitor him overnight and see how he is tomorrow. He was starting to show some improvement tonight, but please continue all of your prayers. As most of you can imagine, this was very scary and heartbreaking for us to witness. We need a lot of prayers right now that he will continue to improve and regain his cognitive function to where he was before surgery. We love you all.
Update 3: Dad is sitting up and has taken 2 walks today!!!!! His memory is coming back, but he’s still a little confused and stumbling over words. They are going to keep him another night for sure and giving him a lot of steroids for his swelling on the brain from surgery. He’s been watching his “westerns” all morning and is eating good!! Please continue to pray for our hero!!
Bridge City, TX 77611
Debi Tate Pigg was in ICU for several days due to blood clots in her lungs and one leg. She had to rehab for a week in the hospital and then continued rehabbing at home. She has a doctors appointment this week to check her progress and also one with her cardiologist. firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaumont, TX 77705
Florence “Sissie” Woods Kilcrease is recovering from a broken wrist.
525 Magasco Dr.
Pineland, TX 75968
Jimmy Alvin Hebert had open heart surgery.
436 Tall Timbers
Burkeville, TX 75932
from Bob Sewell
Please keep my son and his young family in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers from a horrific accident while on the job protecting and serving. May God protect all those who offer themselves as first responders.
For all those who have expressed concern for our son, Tyler, he is making great progress. He is home now, but still faces weeks of healing and recovery before he will be able to return to all his normal activity. His mom and I want to thank all of our friends and family for your kind thoughts and heartfelt prayers, they have clearly made a huge impact. We are convinced that God placed several of His angels around Tyler the night of the accident, and they have continued to linger in our midst, providing comfort and healing. We can only offer our sincere thanks and praise to the Great Physician who makes all things new, again.
529 N. Lakewood Circle
Bridgewood, TX 76426
Laura Meece Darby spent time in the hospital for abdominal bleeding and seizures. After a long week trying to diagnose the correct procedures she is now on the mend.
24606 Heirloom Ln
Katy, TX 77493
Bill Richey took a tumble on the ski slope in Red River, NM during a family spring break vacation. He is hobbling on crutches and going to rehab before having surgery on his right knee.
3695 Woodway Dr.
Orange, TX 77630
Loretta LaLonde Myers is rehabbing after having rotator cuff surgery.
522 Beacons Hollow Lane
League City, TX 77573
Dianna Caillier Lewis' husband, Robert has been recovering from a serious burn to his leg.
912 E. 6th St.
Port Arthur, TX 77640-5949
Allen Andrus is dealing with his cancer issues.
407 N. 31st St.
Nederland, TX 77627
(death of his brother, Shawn)
June 26, 1954 – April 3, 2019
3223 FM 2791
Atlanta, TX 75551
Don't forget the homework of sending me “elementary memories” and saving the date for the mini reunion luncheon. Also, contact me with news or support or condolences. Happy a very happy Easter week. Stay safe.
Keep in touch and contact a classmate,
Linda DeCuir McFadden