High points from El Camino Real

by Chris Davis

It’s the middle of August and folks along El Camino Real are hot. It’s a busy time of year with kids starting back to school, kids going off to college, and kids playing sports. Somebody has to tend to all of this stuff, and somebody has to work. I’m just going to do my best to keep all of this stuff organized in your six bits worth of news.

Our friend Dwain Grogan didn’t make it through the heart attack he had late on Aug. 4. He had a big send off on Wednesday to a packed house at the A. Frank Smith Methodist Church. Lots of wonderful memories were shared about Dwain and his love of family and dominoes. We all loved Dwain and he will be greatly missed in our community. Please keep his family in your prayers as they continue to mourn his loss.

Robin Best passed away suddenly on Friday. He was 58 years old. He was the son of Brother Lee Ray and Ethel Best. We’ve read Robin Best’s account of the Alto Yellowjackets football games in the Cherokeean Herald for years when he was a sports writer. We will miss Robin and his father coming through the stands at the Alto Yellowjacket football games this season.

Please keep the Best family in your prayers during this difficult time.
It’s time to get all the Yellowjacket faithful fired up. Jason Duplichain and his crew were busy on Saturday putting up the flags on the electric poles and he sent out word of some of the goings on this week. MEET THE JACKETS will be Thursday, Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m., at the football stadium. This year will be bigger than ever with Meet the Jacket Teachers beginning at 4:30 p.m., and an ALTO FAMILY FUN NIGHT that will run concurrently from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Family Fun Night is sponsored by the Alto Booster Club, a few area churches (A. Frank Smith UMC, Alto Missionary Baptist, Cold Springs Methodist, First Baptist, Hilltop Baptist), and BSN Sports.
There will be inflatable bounce houses, an obstacle course, games, dunking booth, cotton candy, popcorn, balloons, and food trucks including Gourmet Grill Cheese of Tyler, Mollie’s, and Kona Ice. Spirit items for sale will be: caps, decals, seat cushions, flags, $5 spirit shirts, and hopefully yard signs! 

Bring the whole family to meet your new teacher and then stay for all the fun activities and then go to Cam’Ron Matthews Field at Jacket Stadium for Meet the Jackets. All band, cheerleaders, coaches, cross country, flags, football, and twirlers will be recognized. The first scrimmage of the season will be here on Friday, Aug. 16 against Overton. Join the fun and support our MEAN STING!

My Aunt Alma Wallace had a big turnout on Sunday at the Methodist Church to help celebrate her 95th birthday. All the Wallace clan showed up along with lots of friends and her church family to honor this special lady on her big day. Aunt Alma was a very important part of our lives when we were little kids and she still is. Happy birthday to a very special lady!
I visited with Jim Bice the other day in front of the post office and he said that the Mt. Zion Cemetery on FM 241 was in need of some help.
I know I’m always on all of you about going to cemetery homecomings and doing you part to help keep the cemeteries up where your loved ones are buried.
In some cases many of the families that helped build this county have died off and there is little to none left to help keep this beautiful old cemetery up. These old cemeteries just need some mowing, trimming, and care to keep them going.
If you have family at Mt. Zion or feel the need to help preserve this cemetery, please send your donation to: Mt. Zion Cemetery c/o Jim Bice 2121 CR 2436 Alto, TX 75925.

My friend, Brother Jim Goforth, the Pastor at Campground Baptist Church, sent me a message to spread around. I’m going to have to shorten it a little cause preachers can get long winded and I don’t want anyone going to sleep in the middle of their paper.

“This year is the 120th anniversary of Camp Ground Baptist Church. We will celebrate 120 years of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that is something worthy of a special time of celebration of our Lord and how good He has been to us. Aug. 24 and 25 are the dates that we have set aside for this celebration. The best we can tell, the church was actually established Aug. 27, 1899. I guess the 24 and 25 is close enough.”
Everyone is invited to come and enjoy some great fellowship and music starting at 4 p.m. on Aug. 24 with homemade ice cream.

On Sunday, Aug. 25, they are starting with breakfast at 9 a.m. followed by a Gospel Concert by the Southern Plainsmen Gospel Quartet, along with some more music, a few testimonies, and a message by the pastor.

At noon they will unveil the Cherokee County Historical Marker for the church with a barbecue lunch to follow.

It sounds like a great weekend to celebrate what the Lord has been doing at the Campground Baptist Church for the past 120 years.

Melissa Wood let me know about an event they are sponsoring at First Baptist Church in Alto on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. The FBC Alto #75925 Youth are welcoming five-time Olympic Champion Josh Davis to Alto for a back to school bash.

He isn’t any kin to me, he won his medals as an Olympic swimmer -- I won mine in the Tomato Eating Contest in Jacksonville.
Josh is an outstanding motivational speaker and just the thing our young people need as they start on another school year.
It is exciting to have a person of his caliber come to visit us on El Camino Real, so mark your calendars and plan to be there on Aug. 28.

I guess I’ve said about enough for now and I better let you absorb all of this before I add anymore to it.
I’ll see ya next week! And remember, Everyday is a new beginning. Take a deep breath, smile, and start again.