High points from El Camino Real

by Chris Davis

Folks along El Camino Real struggled through last week after I left them high and dry without their six bits’ worth.
When I called the paper and told them I was going to be gone they said it was fine and they would take care of my spot. They replaced my column with one about “old dogs” with grey muzzles.

If I put very much thought into their selection I might be insulted, so I won’t. I will do my best to catch you up with this six bits’ worth of news.

We said good bye on Saturday to Mary Ethel Holcomb Roark.

She was 97 years old. She died on the same land where she had lived since her birth on the north side of El Camino Real just west of town.

She was a Sunday School teacher at the Methodist Church in Alto where her father was a founder and a leader. Later on, Mary Ethel and her husband Charles helped establish the Calvary Tabernacle Pentecostal Church in Alto.
Ms. Roark was a fine Christian woman and her presence will be missed in our town. Please keep her family in your prayers during this time of loss.
The boys have been on me for a couple of years about going to see the Texas A&M Aggies play the Clemson Tigers. I figured it would be a good chance for me to show them where I lived and went to elementary school, so we loaded up on a Thursday morning and drove to Greenville, South Carolina.

It has been lots of years since I made that trip, and memories came flying back as we headed down the highway.
It took us 14 hours to get there, but the trip was worth it even if the Aggies did get beat. You couldn’t find anybody more gracious to us than the Clemson fans were on Saturday.

It’s like they went out of their way to make sure they greeted us. They all said how good they were treated in Texas last year, so I guess they were returning the good will everywhere but on the scoreboard.

On Sunday we got back in the car about daylight and drove all the way back home. I was tired, but I had a chance to make lots of good memories with the family, and those are what life is made of.

The stands were packed for the Alto Homecoming game on Friday night and the Homecoming Court couldn’t have been any more beautiful.

Seeing little girls that I have known since they were babies walking onto the field as young ladies in their gorgeous gowns had me wishing they could all be crowned the queen.

The queen candidates were Abby Bernard, Annie Cox, Adilyn Henley and Liliana Gonzalez. The king candidates were Garrett Duplichain, Foster Hall, Cesar Lopez and Harmon West. Liliana Gonzalez was crowned the Queen and Cesar Lopez the King.
Congratulations to all these young people making homecoming memories. I just wish homecoming was at the end of October when it’s cooler.
When I got back to work on Monday, folks were calling about how dry it was in the north end of the county, so I called the Texas Forest Service to check out their fire danger numbers.
The chances of a bad fire were high, so I put on a burn ban. I didn’t know it was homecoming week for Jacksonville, Rusk, and Alto.
I’m sure I wasn’t very popular with any cheerleaders or pep squad members when bonfires cancelled on homecoming week. We wound up getting a little rain off and on all week in the south end of the county, but not enough to make it safe to burn.
I don’t know about you, but fire scares me and I’m not going to light one unless things are plenty wet and the wind isn’t blowing. It’s just common sense.

It was plenty hot at all the games on Friday night without a fire.
Terra Blakemore was at the Stella Hill Library on Saturday, signing her new book, The Pride Promise.
I bought a copy, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. A good crowd showed up to see visit with Terra and find out what she has been doing since leaving Alto.
She is teaching English at Tyler Junior College and is just as bubbly and smiling as she always was, so I guess the big author title hasn’t gone to her head yet.
It’s always fun when everyone comes together in town to support one of our own. Good luck with your new book, Terra!

Our marriage was tested this weekend -- which is nothing unusual because it seems I am always doing something wrong.
Jay Anna doesn’t want a mouse in the house, so I do my due diligence in trying to keep traps and bait out, in case one happens out of the pasture into the house.
About Thursday she thought she smelled something when she came in the back door. I work outside a lot in the heat, and it’s usually me she smells, so I didn’t say a word.
She kept on about it and then I realized it was a dead mouse. I spent all weekend crawling around in the attic, going under the house, looking under the refrigerator, and the washing machine, without any luck.
Every time she smelled it she jumped on me. I thought I had done the right thing, by getting rid of the mouse before it gnawed something up or urinated on the Christmas tree in the attic, but I was wrong again.
I had all sorts of good suggestions for her to get rid of the smell. I suggested that she fry a chicken, or maybe bake a pie, but she wasn’t going to listen to me. The smell finally went away by Sunday night and my life has returned to normal for now.
As normal as it gets around here.

I guess I’ll stop this while I’m ahead and go read last week’s replacement column about old dogs again.
I think I need to see a vet, cause I’m experiencing some of those same symptoms.
I’ll see ya next week!
And remember, Be happy, not because everything is good, but because you can see the good in everything.