High points from El Camino Real

by Chris Davis

Folks along El Camino Real are beginning to get into their summer routines and most of the kids who have only been out of school a couple of weeks are already bored. A short vacation is not going to be enough to keep them occupied until the end of August, so you better start looking into the summer reading programs at the library and make a list of all the vacation Bible School schedules in the area. It doesn’t matter what denomination they are, it’s your sanity that is at stake. I’ll do my best to let you know where to go in my six bits worth of news.
The Tomato Festival in Jacksonville was the biggest thing going in Cherokee County this week. The events went on all week long, but I only made a few of them, and they were the ones that involved food. On Thursday evening they had a farm to table dinner at the Castle on the Lake with the meal being prepared by Rob Gowin of Sadler’s Restaurant. All the ingredients were home grown in our county. We even had plum cobbler for dessert with plums grown by Jim Duty of Alto. It was a great evening with lots of good food and nice people. On Saturday the streets of Jacksonville were packed from the Tomato Bowl all the way through the middle of downtown with vendors and visitors who came out to enjoy hot weather and tomatoes. Every year more and more people come out to enjoy this event. The Nacogdoches Blueberry Festival is the same weekend and they have a huge crowd each year too. I personally wouldn’t trade one good homegrown tomato for two bushels of blueberries, but I guess those folks over in Nacogdoches have to have something to celebrate. A big thanks to all the folks who work so hard to make the Tomato Festival a big success each year.
Biddie Wallace celebrated her 84th birthday on June 9th with her kids, grandkids, and more. This is a sweet lady with a great family that I have always enjoyed. I remember when her kids were really kids. The years do seem to fly by. Happy Birthday, Biddie!
They had another big night vision hog hunting contest on Friday night with about five teams participating. Three teams were hunting in Cherokee County. Over a hundred hogs were killed in this hunt. The team of Charlie Reid, Aaron Low, and two hired guns(or hog stackers) from Huntsville won again, but this time they only killed 49 hogs weighing a total of 4650 pounds. That is a lot of bacon. The team that came in second was out of Cameron on the other side of College Station. Keith Jackson’s team killed the biggest sow. I caught a big boar hog in my trap last week and I almost felt guilty about killing it, knowing they were planning this big hunt and all, but I got over it. The buzzards thought it was very tasty. I wish they would have one of these hunts every weekend. Congratulations to Charlie, Aaron and those other two fellows on another big win killing hogs.
Summer school started this week in Alto and Rusk so that should give some of our area children something to do for the next few weeks. Teachers that go back and teach in the summer must be gluttons for punishment. You don’t really think about it in the summer, but watch out for kids going and coming from school this week.
I know its dry around here, but hurricane season is upon us, which means you better be prepared if one starts heading our way. Make sure your generator will run if you have one and make sure you have batteries and supplies on hand for an emergency. I think I’m going to start telling my wife that a hurricane is coming every week, so we’ll have things like milk, bread, and cookies in the house when I get ready for them. Nowadays we have plenty of warning about these storms so there is no use in somebody getting caught with their pants down. Be prepared.
The farming has been tough this year unless you have a way to water. Tim Germany has got a fine looking watermelon patch, but he put it right behind his house. There is no way you could steal one without getting caught. If they turn out sweet, he’ll have a gold mine on his hands in a few weeks, if he don’t let Marion Lindsey beat him out of them. The last time I tried to deal with him on watermelons he was selling my watermelons off of my truck to people before I sold them to him. I’m afraid that if anybody does good farming this year its going to take a miracle.
In the summer people get out of their regular school year routines and it is hard to get folks to remember to send me any news. If you have a special family reunion or homecoming that you want people too know about, please give me a call. I’ll see y’all next week.
And remember, No one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who help you.



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