The Memoirs of Wesley Barnett

Written by Teresa Dennard.

In his own words

Wesley Barnett was a fourth generation Texan who lived his entire life in Panola County. He was a lifelong member of the First Methodist Church and a very devoted family man.  He married Margaret Langford on September 11, 1958, and they celebrated 56 years of marriage before his death on March 16, 2015, at the age of 89. Together they had two children, Sharon and Greg. A veteran of Word War II, Barnett, like many others of the era, suffered from what was then called “shell shock,” and what is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Barnett’s son, Greg, recalls that his dad, “didn’t talk to me about his war experiences until I was grown. Mom told me he had some nightmares, but I never saw a manifestation of that outwardly. He was always very calm, patient and loving.” In 2003, Allan Cain, who was the Veteran’s officer for Panola County at the time, spoke with Barnett and suggested he write about his war experiences to help him cope with the lingering stress. “Dad sat down at an old Royal typewriter and typed it straight through. The 22 pages were his way of dealing with the things he’d had bottled up for over 50 years. He had told me some of these stories, but I don’t know that I ever fully grasped it until I read his manuscript. I remember a time he talked about being in a foxhole with a guy. He left to do something else and when he returned, the foxhole had been bombed and the guy was dead. I asked if he knew the guy’s name and he told me he never learned anyone’s name. They didn’t live long enough.” These are the words of Wesley Barnett--

Homeward Bound

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Kal finds his way home

This story may not be quite as heartwarming as the Super Bowl commercial of the lost puppy and the Clydesdale horses, but it has a great outcome just the same. It involves a scruffy-looking Shih Tzu named Kal and a family of six that would rival any one of the reality shows on TV. The story begins in “Maloneville” with Todd and Stacie Malone, the parents to four lively, mischievous children—Logan, Cheston, Peyton, and Whitton.

Boxing Club

Written by Teresa Dennard.

A positive and a negative for every decision

No matter what obstacles we run across in life, there is a positive and a negative for every decision we make. That’s a lesson Keith Hibbs, instructor and coach at the Carthage Boxing Club, tries to instill in his students when they come to train in his gym. It’s not just about boxing; it’s all the elements of life. The same challenges faced in boxing are the same challenges faced in real life. He stresses the importance of hard work and discipline and students walk away proud of their accomplishments.

The Longhorns of MW Ranch

Written by Teresa Dennard.

A very hardy breed

One of the most beautiful sights in Panola County is located on FM 1970, just south of Clayton. A herd of longhorn cattle on the MW Cattle Ranch can be seen grazing on either side of the road, with an occasional onlooker stopping by to get a closer look at the magnificent horned animals. Owned by Bo and Joe Ann Winkel, the ranch has been a part of the Mauritzen family for three generations. It was originally a commercial operation of Beefmaster and Brangus cattle, but grandchildren Erin and Hunter convinced the couple to invest in Longhorns.

Brandon Rhyder

Written by Phil Soape.

Enjoyed a simple family life

East Texas born and raised Brandon Rhyder has been writing and performing Texas Country/Red Dirt (TC/RD) music for more than 15 years. Rhyder has found lasting and rewarding success in country music, outside of Nashville. His music can be heard on TC/RD radio stations, his songs can usually be found on the “Texas Music Chart” and he is constantly referred to as “a staple in Texas Music”. Rhyder says, “I could escape in music. I love words. I love being my own guy. It’s not something that I sought to achieve, but I just see words and chords and songs differently than many.”

Tilden Hooper

Written by Teresa Dennard.

There's nothing that compares

Most young boys like to follow in their dad’s footsteps and Tilden Hooper is no different. He looked at photos of when his dad, Terry, competed in bareback riding and it spurred a desire in him to do the same. From the time he rode his first horse, he was hooked. That’s all he wanted to do. “I wasn’t very good at it,” recalls Tilden. “but I was determined. My first bucking horse was at Bill Peace’s arena. Bill put him in the bucking shoot, Dad flanked him and my friend, Spence Barney opened the gate. I lasted about two seconds.”

Born to Groom

Written by Teresa Dennard.

With a God-given talent

When Angela Stallone Hill received her degree from Tarleton University in Animal Reproduction, she knew she wanted to work with animals, but she had no idea what twists and turns her choices would take. After graduation she helped her mother at Marian Place, but six years later, she knew it was time to get back to her passion. She began working as the lead technician for Dr. Chmaitelli’s Veterinary Clinic, and while there, noticed that clients were asking daily for a groomer. Wanting to start a business of her own, Angela purchased a DVD series and began learning how to groom. “I sat in my living room with a sheet and a grooming table and learned to groom dogs by watching those DVD’s. I started asking friends to let me experiment on their dogs and soon discovered that I have a God-given talent. I just naturally took to it.”

Carthage Book Club

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Facelift for the Civic Center

The Carthage Civic Center has recently had a facelift thanks to the ladies of the Carthage Book Club. A two-year project completed during the tenure of past Book Club President Pam Goodson, the east foyer in the Civic Center is now adorned with photos that represent areas of tourism in Panola County. Book Club members who worked on this committee were Wanda Hanszen, Tresa Joffrion, Kay Thomas and Goodson. “We kept having out-of-town people coming to the gospel concerts,” says Hanszen, “and they were wanting to know where to go and what to do while visiting Carthage. We thought this display would depict some interesting landmarks in our area.”

Farmer's Market

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Fresh produce ready soon

There’s just nothing like a good crop of fresh vegetables to make a mouth-watering meal. With temperatures warming and gardens being planted, the fresh produce will soon be a mainstay on Panola County dinner tables. Lee Dudley, Panola County AgriLife Extension Agent, says the local gardeners are gearing up for another year of the Farmer’s Market, with the first sale beginning May 4. The market is held at the Extension Office at 522 W. College Street, Monday thru Saturday starting at 7:00am and closing when the produce is sold out.