High Points| from El Camino Real

by By Chris Davis

Folks along El Camino Real are trying to figure out what to do with themselves as they enter that weird part of the year that comes about now when there really isn’t anything going on.
Hunting season is over, its too cold to fish, its too early to farm, football season is over, and baseball doesn’t really get started for a few more weeks. If you are behind on anything you’ve been putting off doing, it’s a good time to catch up. Its not the greatest time of year to be writing a column of weekly news, but I did manage to scrape up six bits worth from the boredom of January.
We were saddened to hear about the death of LaJuan Martin Rice on Friday. LaJuan was 65 years old. She was the daughter of Paul and Joe Ann Martin. She was a teacher and a very caring person. She lived at Lake Striker with her husband Nip Rice.
Please keep Nip and the rest of the family in your prayers as they mourn the sudden passing of this sweet soul.
The cooler weather on Saturday was just what the Alto Buyers Group needed for their Annual Chili Cook off and Dessert Auction. The Alto Fire station started filling up with chili cooks and chili hungry people around five-thirty on Saturday.
The cold weather made the chili taste that much better. Josie Pearman won Third place, Nicky Wallace won second, and the first place winners were Isaac and Emily Weatherford. Josie has been trying to win a trophy for several years. I think this was Nicky Wallace’s first time to enter, so I’m going to attribute his to beginners luck.
The Weatherfords have done good before, so I guess they have cooking chili perfected. Congratulations to these three winners and a big thanks to all the other people who entered their chili. Maybe you’ll have better luck next year. All of the money raised is for our FFA and 4H kids to help with their projects at the Cherokee County Youth Livestock Show.

A big thanks to all the people who came out to support our kids. For all of you folks that normally come out to support the Alto Buyers Group but were unable to be there on Saturday night, your donations will still be gladly accepted. You just won’t get any chili. A special thanks to Spencer Smith who does an outstanding job putting this all together each year and making sure everything is done.
I wound up attending two chili cook offs in one night, so I was really begging for some heartburn. I said I’d be a chili judge at the Cherokee Warehouse big buck contest Chili Cook Off and I had a chance to see all the big bucks that had been killed and entered in the contest. It was a humbling experience since I haven’t killed a buck in two years.
You can certainly tell that game management is working in East Texas when you see all of those horns laying on a table. I always thought I had some pretty decent deer hanging on my wall, but after I saw those horns, I was a little ashamed. Next year I think I’ll enter a pot of chili and try to put the biggest horns on the table and take both prizes home. Congratulations to Rodney Newman for killing the biggest buck.
The Randy and Carol Dowling family added another member to their clan this past week with the birth of another granddaughter. Blake and Brittany Dowling are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. Darcy Caroline Dowling was born on January 11.
She has a head full of hair and she is adorable. I figure a visit to the auto parts store will now involve some time spent looking at baby pictures as soon as Blake gets back to work. Congratulations to Blake and Brittany on their new addition to their family.
Patsy Dean called me the other night to remind me that Eugenia Carrera celebrated his 68 birthday on January 11. Her daughter Ann Ferrell is celebrating her birthday on January 17. Patsy has a mind like a steel trap when it comes to remembering birthdays. I don’t think she has forgotten one as long as I’ve been writing this column.
Happy Birthday to Eugenia and Ann!
I was talking to Rick Brooks the other day in Walmart and he told me about a nightmare he and his wife Janice had on a trip to the Carolinas pulling their travel trailer. They were nearly to Augusta, Georgia when they felt a hard lick from behind and a truck with the front end tore up on it went around them and later crashed in the ditch. The truck had rear ended their camper and tore it all to pieces.
They had to go get checked out at the hospital, but they were alright except for being really sore. They said the people in Augusta were very nice and helped them every way they could. They had to rent a Uhaul truck to put their stuff in so they could make it on up to see their family in North Carolina.
I’m glad they were not injured any worse than they were, and I can’t imagine anything much worse than having to finish your vacation driving a Uhaul.
If you have some news to help us get through the slow days of January then give me a call or send me a text or email. I’m always easy to find if you know where I’m at.
I’ll see ya next week!
And remember, One of the fastest ways to improve your life is to simply do what you said you were going to do.