Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

July 22, 2010

Dancing Jack

Filed under: Hemphill Care Center — Freddie Keel @ 9:18 pm
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AT A HEMPHILL CARE CENTER PARTY, C. J. MICHAELS WAS PUTTING OUT SOME GOOD MUSIC.    WHEN ‘EL VIRA’ STARTED FLOWING, JACK LEFT THE COMFORT OF HIS SEAT AND STARTED DANCING WITH A SOCIAL WORKER.  SOME WONDERED IF JACK HAD BEEN TAKING LESSONS FROM MICHAEL JACKSON.  JACK WAS A GOOD SPORT AND EVERYONE ENJOYED HIS DANCING.

July 21, 2010

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell (7/21/10 Article)

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 2:50 pm
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The Pratt House which was possibly Hemphill’s most historic residence,  went up in smoke on July 3, 2010.  The house had been a familiar landmark for me and my family for more than sixty years.

The Pratt house was built in 1904 by Mr. Drayton Pratt, Sr. who was the father of nine (9) children.  The building of the house was the result of a friendly competition with Mr. Toole.  The two men wanted to see who could build the biggest house for their families.

The Pratt house was built on the south side of the two-story colonial First Baptist Church and the Toole house was erected on the north side of the church.  The Toole mansion was torn down so that  Brookshire Brothers could be built on that site.

My parents, sister and I passed by the house every time we went to church, school or town.  Not only was the house rich in history, it also had a lot of mystery.  We often wondered what life would be like to live in a mansion like the Pratt house.  I was privileged to visit the Pratt family with my Dad on several occasions.  I was impressed with the beautiful antique furniture.  One bedroom had a beautiful canopy bed which was built in France and brought to America by ship.  The dining room had a dining room table which would seat twelve people.  Mr. Pratt wanted all of his children and their families who lived in Hemphill to eat at his table three times a day. It was a custom to eat breakfast at 7 a.m., lunch at twelve noon and supper at 5 p.m.

My parents and I became close friends with one of the Pratt girls.  Mrs. Louise Neal, who was better known at Bonsie made several trips with us to the Texas Panhandle.  We would give her a ride to Lubbock to visit her son.  She shared many stories about her childhood.  The Pratt property extended several acres behind the house.  The present D G Mann City Park was part of the original property owned by the family.  Dr. Mann was married to Gertrude Pratt and was a dentist and served as the mayor of Hemphill for fifty years.

Another daughter, Doris, who had a twin named Dorothy, taught the first grade at Hemphill school for several years’.  She was teaching when I started to school in the fall of 1955.  I remember that she had a dollhouse that was every little girl’s dream.  She would take the dollhouse back to her home when school was out for the summer.  I was privileged to play with her dollhouse when I visited the Pratt’s.

A black man named Sid did all of the cooking for the family.  He also went shopping at Cordray’s Grocery Store, Fred Thedford’s store and Covington’s Grocery Store for much-needed groceries every day.

Some family members lived secluded lives and were rarely seen outside the house.

The Pratt house was a beautiful landmark which was sold to the First Baptist Church in later years and was moved to the back side of the City Park for restoration.  Thousands of dollars have been donated for the preservation of the Pratt house.  Although the house has now vanished from our view, it will remain in the hearts and minds of Sabine countians, young and old.

Mary Howell

7-21-10

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Biography for Mary Howell

Mary Howell is a cerebral palsied quadriplegic who has resided at Hemphill Care Center in Hemphill, Texas since November, 2009.  She lived with her parents until their deaths and then lived in her home with 24/7 caregivers.  Mary has spent her life turning defeat into victory.  Her determination and strong faith in God have been an inspiration to all who know her.

Mary attended Hemphill High School, Wharton Junior College and served as the Editor of the Sabine County Reporter.  She has received numerous awards from the Texas Press Women and the Texas Press Association. for her writing.  Mary wrote and published her autobiography in 2007, Life On The Bright Side.

She has received various awards for her services in the community. She was named as an outstanding citizen, communicator of achievement, and Texas Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1986.  She was among the “Nine Who Make A Difference” selected by KTRE-TV in 1986..

Mary’s love for God makes the difference in her life, enabling her to turn sadness into happiness and apparent defeat into victory.

July 20, 2010

K J and Maggie

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 9:40 pm

Cousins just visiting

July 19, 2010

Great Blue Heron

Filed under: Birds — Freddie Keel @ 8:56 pm

A Great Blue Heron searching for a meal.

still searching

still no luck

July 18, 2010

LUAU at Hemphill Care Center

Filed under: Hemphill Care Center — Freddie Keel @ 5:06 pm

The Hemphill Care Center showed the residents and guest a really nice time at their LUAU.   The music by C J Michaels was outstanding.  Hope you enjoy some photos.

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C.  J.  MICHAELS put on a great show.

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The worker bees

July 17, 2010

Mom had some visitors today

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 6:51 pm

Grand-daughters Kathy and Kim surprises mom today.

Mom enjoyed the visit.

July 16, 2010

Brett with his scouting cap merit badges

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 9:41 pm

Brett with his scouting cap which displays his merit badges.

I tried convince him to earn a ‘snake merit badge’ by

sleeping with a live snake for one night.  A garden snake or

any kind of live snake.  He was too wise for me.

July 15, 2010

Shooting my first cross bow at Gander Mountain

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 8:12 pm

July 14, 2010

Mary Howell – On the Bright Side-(7/14/10 Article)

Filed under: Hemphill Care Center,Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:27 pm

On The Bright Side

I scream. You scream.  We all scream for ice cream.

In our crazy whirlwind world, there seems to be a special day for everything.  You name it and chances are that a day has been set aside for it’s commemoration.  So, why should I have been surprised when I learned that a National Ice Cream Day has been proclaimed.

Wednesday, July 20th is the official day to commemorate America’s favorite summertime treat, ice cream.  The refreshing cold dessert has been around for centuries and its popularity has never wavered.

I cannot recall my first taste of ice cream.  I think I grew up on its nutrition, along with black-eyed peas and mashed potatoes.  I have loved ice cream since I was knee high to a jackrabbit.

Ice cream seems to be the spice of life which resulted in many childhood memories.  I remember thinking that my Granny’s house was lined with ice cream and it wasn’t until I was in my teens that I realized that my dear grandmother made a special trip to the grocery store to purchase a plenteous supply of ice cream each time I planned to visit her.  Granny always had ice cream at her house.

Before I entered the first grade at Hemphill School, my morning routine included accompanying my sisters to school with Dad and then going to the post office and stopping by Parker’s Drug Store for a dish of ice cream.  The elderly gentleman of the town who spent their mornings sitting on the courthouse hookworm bench under the cedar tree seemed to delight in taking turns in giving me a nickel to buy my ice cream.  They got a thrill from watching me enjoy my mid morning treat.  Several years went by before I knew that Tom Parker sold any flavor of ice cream other than vanilla, since vanilla was my favorite in those days.

Saturday nights were a special treat when I was a youngster.  Hemphill was a live-wire on Saturday night and all the stores around the square stayed open until 10 p.m.  Hundreds of people would come to town to see the latest movie at the Sabine Theater, to shop for the best bargains of the week, or just to visit and be with their friends.  My family and I frequently attended Saturday night worship services at Yellowpine and Fairdale and our favorite after-church treat was to stop by Leon Adickes’ Hemphill Drug for an ice cream cone.  I looked forward to the delicious cold stuff after sitting quietly in church for what seemed like an eternity!

Hemphill did not have a Dairy Queen in those days. I remember the first soft ice cream cone I ever ate at Nancy’s Dairy Cup.  I thought it was really marvelous.  The Dairy Cup soon became Hemphill’s favorite ice cream place on the Beanville Strip.

I remember visits with my sister, Jane, in Fort Worth where a musical ice cream wagon made its afternoon rounds and youngsters of all ages emptied their piggy banks to purchase a cool refreshing treat from the Ice Cream Man.  I also remember frequent visits to Houston where my sister, Clara, and I enjoyed eating exotic ice cream treats at a quaint ice cream parlor in Westbury Square.

Ice cream making at the Howell house has always been a family affair. In the days before the convenience of an electric freezer, Mom stirred up the ice cream mixture, Dad turned the crank, Jane and Clara kept the bucket full of ice and salt and I had the privilege of sitting on top of it all to make the turning of the crank easier.  After all the work, a dish of Mom’s homemade ice cream certainly tasted good.  It just melted in our mouths.

Although a push button plug in electric freezer has long since replaced the old crank turned freezer, the making of ice cream is still a summer pleasure which begins in early Spring and continues until late Fall.  we have even been known to make a freezer of ice cream on Christmas Day.

Ice cream and Coke floats, chocolate malts, hot fudge sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches are just a few of my favorite treats.  I just can not pass by a Jack-In -The Box without stopping for a delicious mouth watering chocolate shake,

The nation’s ice cream makers have made a cool fortune.  I’m sure ice cream can now be purchased in numerous exotic flavors other than the long time chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cherry, pineapple and lime favorites.  with the purchasing of such flavors as cookies n’ cream and heavenly hash, the number of ice cream lovers continues to mount.

Ice cream has won a place in the lives of Americans, young and old. folks of all ages and walks of life are joined together by a common bond when it comes to enjoying America’s favorite summer time treat, ice cream.

July 14, 2010

Mary Howell

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Biography for Mary Howell

Mary Howell is a cerebral palsied quadriplegic who has resided at Hemphill Care Center in Hemphill, Texas since November, 2009.  She lived with her parents until their deaths and then lived in her home with 24/7 caregivers.  Mary has spent her life turning defeat into victory.  Her determination and strong faith in God have been an inspiration to all who know her.

Mary attended Hemphill High School, Wharton Junior College and served as the Editor of the Sabine County Reporter.  She has received numerous awards from the Texas Press Women and the Texas Press Association. for her writing.  Mary wrote and published her autobiography in 2007, Life On The Bright Side.

She has received various awards for her services in the community. She was named as an outstanding citizen, communicator of achievement, and Texas Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1986.  She was among the “Nine Who Make A Difference” selected by KTRE-TV in 1986..

Mary’s love for God makes the difference in her life, enabling her to turn sadness into happiness and apparent defeat into victory.

July 13, 2010

My new hunting buddy

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 9:04 pm

Maggie wants to be my hunting buddy.

So I ask G-man to give her some

safety instructions on handling a gun.

Maggie is absorbing the information

Now she is ready for her first shot.

First we shot a big box

Then a gallon paint bucket

Then a plastic drink container

And finally a small pear.

She hit all except the pear.

Good shooting Maggie…

Bambi, beware of Maggie and her B B Gun

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