'Round Town (Sept. 11, 2019)

Posted 9/10/19

TxDOT’s newly designed intersection of state highways 75 and 21 is a hot topic of conversation these days. TxDOT decided State Highway 75 would be better with a new turn lane and, while that should be the case in the future, right now it has caused some major traffic jams.

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'Round Town (Sept. 11, 2019)


TxDOT’s newly designed intersection of state highways 75 and 21 is a hot topic of conversation these days. TxDOT decided State Highway 75 would be better with a new turn lane and, while that should be the case in the future, right now it has caused some major traffic jams.

I visited with Andrew Holick, Director of Transportation operations, and he assured me they are aware of the problem and working on improving it. Hopefully that will be done soon.

I learned more from Mr. Hollick and, while I hesitate to share this information since it depends on driver awareness, the tidbit might help with afternoon gridlock. On the other hand, if you aren’t paying attention, you could cause more gridlock!

“Based on what I have read in the transportation code,” explained Mr. Hollick, “a driver can pull over onto the shoulder lane to turn but not drive down it.

“The shoulder is not the width of a full lane. It is a paved shoulder, not a driving lane. While you cannot use the lane to drive in, you can pull over onto the shoulder lane to turn right.”

Using the shoulder to turn can only help if you pay attention. Major attention! In Texas it is lawful to turn right on a red light if you have stopped completely and no traffic is coming, so for turning purposes, if you pay attention to blinkers and other cars in the actual lane, you can slowly move over onto the shoulder lane and turn right.

Gotta pay attention though or you will cause an accident! A passenger car in front of you may be sitting in the through lane with his blinker on to turn right, so don’t pull up there! A tractor trailer rig could need the lane AND the shoulder to have enough room to make the turn, so if one is in the lane, don’t pull up on the shoulder!

And while we’re on the subject of driving, I think we need signs at crosswalks that say, “Do not block crosswalk.” I’ve yet to decide if it is the crossing of on the west side of the square or the crossing of Commerce Street at Highway 21 that gets blocked the most. When red lights stop the traffic flow, astute and respectful drivers keep those road crossings open. Respect. It’s a simple thing.

Now on to what else is going on round town.

Let’s see if we can get these dates straight! The upcoming Reagan Dinner hosted by the Madison County Republican Party will be held Sept. 28 at the Sidewalk Cattleman Association’s Pavilion. Saturday, though, is the last opportunity to purchase tickets. Past Republican Congressional member and well-known speaker Lt. Col. Allen West will be the honorary guest speaker.

Due to a scheduling conflict, however, the VIP event, previously scheduled at 5 p.m., will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner catered by the Leona General Store to follow, as well as a silent and live auction you won’t want to miss.

In addition to two Henry lever action riles, prison handmade throws and custom wooden toys, items for auction have been donated by President Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Then there’s the cake auction. If you have been a resident for any length of time you know about the cooks of Madison County and their mouthwatering cakes. Cooks of Madison County. Sounds like the title for a good book doesn’t it?

Attendance is expected to be heavy, so the event is by reservations only and they must be received by Sept. 14. Individual tickets are $60 each or $75 for a VIP ticket. The VIP ticket includes attending a Meet & Greet with the Lt Colonel prior to dinner. Sponsorship tables are also available.

Mail your check, and by the way it needs to be a personal check, to Madison County Republican Party c/o Mr. Kevin Counsil, 21314 OSR, Madisonville, TX 77864. Have a question? Call Kevin at 281-808-5511. Dress is business casual.

Hats off the Mustang Baseball Factory 12 & Under Select Baseball Team, who came home Sunday evening from Waller victorious again, following the second round of their league tournament. Our team beat the Texas Rakers 8-3 and the College Station Hustle3 Bucks 1-0. That was a tight game wasn’t it?

Select baseball teams are just that: Players who audition for a place on the team and make the cut. These kiddos also get to play because of sponsors footing the bill, and our town is good about that.

The tournament continues every other Sunday with the final game scheduled for Oct. 28. The Madisonville team is coached by Randy Campbell, Madisonville High School coach Anthony Campbell and Shawn Harding of Huntsville.

Here’s another group who are helping our youth: The First United Methodist Church After School Kids (ASK) tutoring program is tentatively scheduled to kick off this year on Oct 1. For the past seven years the program has successfully helped students in kindergarten through second grade, not only with lessons in math and reading but also lessons in life such as understanding the Golden Rule and building good character.

Just as our community is good in sponsoring sports teams, it is also good in volunteering to help educationally. In past years, almost 40 volunteers from all walks of life and from all denominations have volunteered.

Are you interested? If so, a meeting is planned for 3 p.m. Sept. 24 in Wesley Hall, where you can learn more about the ASK tutoring program. Questions? Contact David Stiver at 348-1171.

“Thinking of You Week” kicks off in about ten days. The designated week, Sept. 23-29, is set aside to build awareness in the importance of staying in touch with friends, family, even acquaintances.

Just last week, my sister and brother-in-law Phyllis and Ralph Strother discovered a wealth of handwritten letters in Ralph’s father’s World War II box. Letters to his parents, letters to Ralph’s mother, all rich in details of the life of a soldier in Mr. Strother’s handwriting and dated by the 1944 stamp on the envelopes.

Also last week I visited with several readers (thank you readers!) who had already jotted down names of those they want to remember. It reminded me of Karey Fraley, a lady I know well but seldom see, who had a ministry of remembering others with cards. Karey periodically drops us a card, not necessarily a dutiful holiday card, although those do come but more often a card, just “because.”

While Facebook and emails and texts are quickly typed and easily sent, they hold no comparison to the emotional ties and priceless history of signed cards and letters. By the way, Karey’s address is 312 Madison Street, Madisonville, Texas 77864.

Happy birthday to Justin Henson who celebrates his birthday Friday. That is birthday time also for Mr. Richard L. Pearson, who will turn a lively 93 years young and still takes his dogs for a run every evening, while riding in his golf cart.

Mr. Pearson, who joined the Navy when he was 16 and fought in the Korean War, lived in Houston where he reared a family of four before retiring to Midway approximately 20 years ago and to the land on Pearson Road which his grandfather settled. Lots of memories for him there!

Send your cards to him at 6262 Pearson Rd., Midway, Texas 75852.

Katy Petrie, Darby Enloe and Martha Fautheree celebrate birthdays Saturday while Bill Cavill blows out his candles Sunday.

Winding out this week’s birthday list is Joel Black and Linette Bounds, who will do their celebrating Wednesday.

And finally, recently many enjoyed the three-day Labor Day weekend but at the same time others labored so the rest of us could enjoy the fruits of their labor. Here’s a good tongue-in-cheek description of how that goes, author unknown.

Why We’re So Tired

For a couple years I’ve been blaming it on iron poor blood, lack of vitamins, dieting and a dozen other maladies. But now I found out the real reason. I’m tired because I’m overworked.

The population of this country is 237 million. 104 million are retired. That leaves 133 million to do the work.

There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.

Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government. This leaves 19 million to do the work.

Four million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 15 million to do the work.

Take from the total the 14.8 million people who work for State and City Government and that leaves 200,000 to do the work.

There are 188,000 in hospitals, so that leaves 12,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 11,998 people in Prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work.

You and me.

And you’re sitting there reading this!