’Round Town June 6, 2018

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Hats off to our Madisonville High School Band, which performed in a Disney World Parade last week. A few brave parents even hopped a bus with them to help Band Director Stephanie Schmidt as chaperones.

It was no doubt an unforgettable trip for these students, some who had just graduated from MHS. You can watch a video of the band who look great on Angela Culbreth’s Facebook page.

•Tuesday, June 5, the First Baptist Church of Madisonville began its Summer Reading Corner for children age Pre-K - completed 3rd grade. The program will continue through July 24, every Tuesday morning from 10-11 a.m. It’s a great hour of reading/story time, activities and, of course, snacks. After all, listening and reading makes you hungry.

Now parents, this isn’t a babysitting hour. You or a child’s guardian is required to attend as well. If, though, you have a child between those ages the Summer Reading Corner will make this a memorable summer, a time when the two of you (or more.) spent a magical hour together. Call the church office at (936) 348-2686 for more info.

•Speaking of memorable occasions, last Saturday evening, Sharon and David Brown, the daughter and son-in-law of Bill Sheehy, turned Bill’s back yard into a wedding oasis for their son and Bill’s grandson, Bo Brown. Brown, and his bride-to-be Katie Marks wanted a beautiful wedding at Sheehy’s country home and with a lot of work and love, that happened last Saturday night.

From the double-doors that swung open with the playing of “Here Comes the Bride” to the backyard dance floor and D.J and all the amenities of a wedding in between, it was indeed a special evening.

Bo, who played linebacker for the McNeese State University Cowboys in Lake Charles, La., and Katie who was an outstanding pitcher for the Aggie’s ladies softball team will make their home in Katy.

•Madisonville lost a legend last Friday when Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Cecil Neely passed away at his home. Services will be held Wednesday, June 6, at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Madisonville, with burial with military honors afterwards at Madisonville City Cemetery.

After graduating from Madisonville High School Neely enlisted in the United States Army and served his country for 29 years, climbing from the ranks of private to Brigadier General. He then returned home and served as Madison County Judge for 12 years.

In addition to his wife Margie he is survived by his children, Michael Lane Neely and wife Karla, Russell Nowlin Neely and wife Nancy, Susan Lynn (Neely) Standley and husband Jim; seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Send your condolences to the Neely’s home address, 4000 Kimbro Lane, Madisonville, TX 77864.

•A new biography written by Gary B. Borders and titled “Yours Faithfully, J.A.: The Life and Writings of H.B. Fox, the Circleville Philosopher,” is on sale at our County Museum. If you purchase one, not only will you be reading some Madison County history you will also be contributing to the Museum.

If the name H.B. Fox tickles the memory, it’s because in an era years ago Fox was publisher of the Meteor and the reason why we have Madisonville Sidewalk Cattlemen’s Association today.

Gary Borders, also an editor and newspaper publisher for more than 40 years described Fox as a fascinating character, heavily researched the man and his times and shares it in the book. Borders will be here June 9, that’s Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon to autograph the book. Mark your calendar and go get one.

•Don’t forget, the downtown Shop & Stroll takes off this Friday from 6-8 p.m. on the Square. Come down and stroll the shops and watch the fun.

•On the birthday list, happy birthday to Robert Tieperman, whose birthday is Friday, June 8. Kathy Gustavus and Mary Martha Parrack celebrate their birthday Saturday, June 9, while Glenda Collard does the same Sunday, June 10.

Monday, June 1,1 is birthday time for Jordan Dartez and Bradley Collard, while Cheryl Adams winds out this week’s list with her birthday celebration June 13.

•This is the weekend for the reunion of the MHS class of 1959. This Saturday, June 9, the group plans to congregate at the Family Life Center of the First Baptist Church. Time is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Make sure to attend.

Then there’s the reunion of the classes of 1954 and 1955 but no, folks, Tom Jones is not coming to town. Doc Jones is.

Remember the song “It’s Not Unusual?” Or remember “She’s a Lady?” Tom Jones made those songs famous. Hiram “Doc” Jones helped make Madison County famous and he’s the one coming to town.

Writing about upcoming class reunions reminded me of old songs. In fact, I was humming some of them while I wrote. No, Jones’ songs aren’t songs of the ’50s, but you see, Jones went to Tom Jones and that went to his songs and well, sometimes things like that come out my fingertips and onto paper. If you have a little ADD in you, you followed that easily.

Jerry Reed, my information source for the reunion, informed me that while Madison County is the fifth smallest county in the state of Texas, it is home to two Armed Forces generals, the late Cecil Neely and Hiram Jones. That’s book-writing material.

I also learned Reed and Jones were managers, which is his high-class name for waterboys for the Madisonville football team. That’s the job that earned Jones the nickname Doc. No doubt there’s a pretty good story there as well.

During his career Jones first served six years as pastor of churches in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, then joined the Air Force where he became Chaplain serving at air force bases in the states as well as overseas. His list of honors and achievements, awards and decorations are long and impressive.

In addition to the MHS 1954 and 55 class reunion, which will be held June 23 from 10-2 in the First United Methodist Church Wesley Hall, Gen. Hiram Jones will then preach both the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services Sunday morning at First United Methodist Church

•And finally, for all of you re-unionizing folks, here’s your walk down memory lane. The top hit for the year 1954, was “Little Things Mean a Lot” by Kitty Kallen, followed by Perry Como’s “Wanted.” Third on the list was “Hey There” sung by Rosemary Clooney and fourth was “Sh-Boom” by the Crew Cuts.

The following year, 1955, Perez Prado took top awards for “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” followed by “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets. Coming in third was “The Yellow Rose of Texas” by Mitch Miller.

In 1959, the seniors were listening to "The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton, with the No. 2 song being "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin. "Personality" by Lloyd Price came in third followed by "Venus" by Frankie Avalon. So who’s in charge of taking the oldies but goodies music to the reunions?

And for the grads of 2018? When they hold their reunion some 60 plus years from now, they will reminisce with “God’s Plan” by Drake, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, “These Days” by Rudimental/Glynne/Macklemore and “Barking” by Ramz.

Memories, after all, are made of stuff like this.

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