Vision Turns into Reality

Written by Teresa Dennard.

14 Foot Monument Near Completion

Sculptor Bob Harness is seeing his vision turn into reality. What once was an 18” model has now turned into a 14 foot monument of Christ walking in the sand holding an old man. Inspired by the poem, “Footprints in the Sand,” this project is expected to be completed in June of this year. Cast in bronze, the statue will weigh over a ton and will be located on the corner of the Southwest Loop and Dixie Lake Road. With land donated by the Pippen family, a memorial park will be constructed at this location.

This has become a community project with over 100 school children, church groups, welders, surveyors, and engineers lending a hand. People have come from all walks of life and from all around the world. Some have come from as far away as Taiwan, Columbia, Scotland and Mexico, as well as over 10 different states. A grandmother brought her 2 ½ year old grandson to add clay to the statue. She said he would be a part of history. A lady brought her 94 year old mother who was in a wheel chair to add clay. A nine year old girl brought her mother, dad and other family members. The statue is unique in that people will approach it from the rear and follow the footprints cast in sand for 100 feet to reach the circular plaza where Christ is standing. “It is amazing and inspiring to see a community come together—volunteering their time, talent and resources along with financial support,” says Harness. “This will be a private park for all people to come to pray, meditate and reflect.”

It's Been a Good Ride

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Freddy Mason has been preaching 45 years at  Cedar Grove

When Freddy Mason was hired to preach at Cedar Grove Baptist Church in 1967, little did the members know what an adventure it would be! Young, single, and inexperienced, many of the ladies in the church claim to have “raised” him, providing meals for him and doing his laundry. Cedar Grove and Freddy Mason sort of grew up together. When he began preaching there, the church had no running water, no bathrooms and no air conditioning. Freddy tells of the early, winter days when the attic was full of red wasps. The heaters would warm up the church and the wasps would come out of the attic to get warm. “One time during a service, a wasp went up my pants legs while I was preaching and stung me,” recalls Mason.

These girls know the City inside & out!

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Do's & Don'ts of City Hall

Have you had a reason to visit City Hall lately? It’s located at 812 W. Panola and the doors are open from 8:15 am to 4:45 pm, Monday thru Friday. It’s a very neat and clean office with lots of helpful employees who try their best to make sure the citizens of Carthage are happy. One of the reasons City Hall is so expertly run is because they’re ALL WOMEN! Starting at the top is the “boss” Brenda Samford who has been with the City 29 years, 8 of those as City Manager. Working with her are Dana, Debbie, Donna, Daphne plus Maranda and Shebra. The total experience of these working girls is almost 75 years! They know the City inside and out!

Fire Department Receives New Rescue Truck

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Equipped with the latest rescue tools

The Carthage Fire Department recently replaced a rescue truck that had been in service for 32 years. Because it had become unreliable, unsafe to drive and overloaded with outdated equipment, City Manager Brenda Samford, along with the City Commissioners Ida Beck, John Cooke, Olin Joffrion and Lynn Vincent, agreed to find the funds to purchase a new truck. A much larger vehicle, the commercial Peterbilt cab and chassis replaced the 1-ton Chevrolet that had been in service for so long. The Fire Department sent the truck to WestTex Welding Company in West, Texas, a company that specializes in custom built rescue trucks. “We had it customized to utilize all the space we could so as not to have any wasted space,” explains Randy Liedtke, Rescue Captain for the Carthage Fire Department.  “It took them almost a year to complete and is equipped with the latest rescue tools plus a new battery-operated Jaws of Life.”

Panola College

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Celebrating 65 Years

It was standing room only for the 65th Anniversary of Panola College’s first class held in January of 1948. College President, Dr. Gregory Powell told the audience how Q.M. Martin had the vision for establishing the college which began with an enrollment of 55 students, only nine of which were female. “What would Carthage be like if we didn’t have Panola College,” Powell questioned. “We’re one of the major employers in the county, and when I look around, many of the people I see have some type of affiliation with the college, either from working here or taking some type of classes.”

Pioneer Connection

Written by Teresa Dennard.

...made the love of history kick in!

The love of history was always deep-rooted in the heart of Bill O’Neal. He grew up hearing stories of the real pioneer connections he had on both sides of his family. His grandmother came to Texas in a wagon train in 1881. She was only seven, but old enough to remember the experience. She grew up to be a farm wife and O’Neal’s dad was the youngest of her eight children. “I would beg her to tell me the story about the wagon train,” says O’Neal. “Every time I’d go see a Western movie, there was a covered wagon in it, and I would think about my grandmother.” His great grandfather on his mother’s side was a trail driving cowboy. He drove cattle up the Chisholm Trail in the 1870’s and ‘80’s. He had an uncle whose grandfather was a sheep rancher that killed a cowboy on his ranch in 1889. “Hearing all these stories just made the love of history kick in. You get Texas History in the 4th and 7th grades, so I just ate it up. My folks took me to see the Alamo when I was 10 years old. Wow! I was interested in that sort of thing from day one.”

Scouts Build Future

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Winter Camp has freezing temperatures

Over 200 boys ranging in ages from 10 to 18 spent a chilling week at the George W. Pirtle Scout Reservation braving the freezing temperatures and learning what it takes to be a Boy Scout. While most of us were ‘nestled all snug in our beds,’ these boys and 75 adult leaders were camping in sleeping bags and tents, braving the sub-freezing weather that hit the area the week after Christmas. It was called “Winter Camp.” Boys from all over the East Texas region gathered to practice their scouting skills as well as to work towards earning several of the 45 merit badges offered for the week. The leaders were all volunteers. Most took vacation time to teach the boys the value of being a Scout--to honor God and country, to help others, to be trustworthy, loyal, friendly, kind, and brave.

Lum and Abner

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Still goin' strong

Donnie PItchford grew up like the rest of us from the 50’s and 60’s loving to watch cartoons and reading the Sunday comic strips. Popeye was one of his favorites. He discovered a love for drawing and illustrating these beloved cartoon characters at the age of five. His mom would always put his drawings on the refrigerator. Unlike a lot of kids who grow out of that stage, Donnie did not. He stayed with it and honed his talent. When he was in school, teachers were always asking him to draw posters or create projects to place around the classrooms. He had no formal training until college.

Expert Marksman Makes the President's 100

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Buddy Reich places #53 out of 100

Laid back in the Piney Woods of Panola County is a club that is probably more familiar to outsiders than local residents. People from all over the Eastern Texas Region as well as the Ark-La-Tex, come to participate in the competitions held the first Saturday of each month. Organized as the Panola County Gun Club in 1979 by Ben Sepaugh and Wilburn Spiller, the Club currently has over 200 members. Sepaugh, who shot high power competition in the military, met Spiller and discovered he also shot high power in competition, but as a civilian. They decided to organize the club. The range, located 3 miles east of the Sabine River on FM 2517, was built in 1986. “We did most of the work ourselves,” said Sepaugh, “and whoever we could scrounge up. We had our first match in 1987 and have had monthly NRA matches ever since.”

Good Things Happen to Good People

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Susan finds success in America

She grew up in a small town in Turkey called Turgut Village. Her parents were vegetable farmers. She was the middle child of five brothers and sisters and she calls herself “the social one.” When she was young she dreamed of being a lawyer and owning her own business. In Turkey in order to go to a university, a big test had to be taken. She missed passing the test by one question, so instead attended a college to be an accountant. While attending college, she opened her own printing business, but after a year had to close it and return to live with her parents. Her name is Birsen Eden. We know her as Susan.

Culinary Crossroads-February 2013

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Donna's Famous Chocolate Pie

Here’s another of Panola County’s best cooks…Donna Womack Cox. Her chocolate pie is in great demand whenever she attends a function. Of course, nobody can make it like Donna makes it, but give it a try and see what you think!