FARMERSVILLE — Carla Proctor didn’t really expect a reply from President Reagan when she wrote him a letter but now she stands in her living room holding the framed letter she and her husband, Stanley, display on their wall. Recently Mrs. Proctor had begun a business from the home so she could watch her children grow up. While her husband worked, she found she needed more help with the chores. During one night of equal chore sharing, her husband made a bet that Reagan had probably never washed dishes. So she wrote him a letter.

SIXTY YEARS AGO


Feb. 20, 1954


Denison is still blinking the grit from its eyes after a dust storm blanketed the town. The dust storm was one of the biggest and outdid anything this area experienced even during the dust-bowl era.


The powdery haze settled over Denison like a dusty fog around mid-afternoon. The storm reached its height around 5 o’clock, when the eye could only see as far as a block ahead. Auto traffic slowed to a crawl; headlights turned on for some safety. A howling wind whipped the dust into Denison through the night, breaking the Newberry store’s display window and bending a few telephone poles.


The massive, gale-driven blizzard of dust and sand blotted the sun out across Texas.


FIFTY YEARS AGO


Feb. 20, 1964


Top Air Force brass headed by Air Defense Command chief Lt. Gen. Herbert B. Thatcher arrived at Perrin today for an inspection and to participate in formal ceremonies this evening at Perrin’s new Officers Club.


A formal dinner will be attended by some 300 Perrin officers and a distinguished civilian group headed by the Mayors of Denison Sherman.


Following a briefing on Perrin’s mission, the leaders toured key sites on the base before lunch and then played a round of golf with Grayson County civilians at Perrin’s nine-hole course.


FORTY YEARS AGO


Feb. 20, 1974


Sherman High notes black history week by inviting black religious, business and sports figures to speak at an assembly.


Rev. Vernon Hickerson, pastor of Harmony Baptist Church in Sherman, spoke on the religious history of blacks. George Winchester, department manager at IBM in Sherman, spoke on blacks in business. Blacks in professional sports was the subject of remarks by Vernon Holland, offensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals.


Chairman of the week’s activities was Neomosha Nelson, student body president. Assisting her were Eartha Taylor, Ramona Polk, Harold Holland, James Wright and Allen Taylor.


THIRTY YEARS AGO


Feb. 20, 1984


FARMERSVILLE — Carla Proctor didn’t really expect a reply from President Reagan when she wrote him a letter but now she stands in her living room holding the framed letter she and her husband, Stanley, display on their wall.


Recently Mrs. Proctor had begun a business from the home so she could watch her children grow up. While her husband worked, she found she needed more help with the chores. During one night of equal chore sharing, her husband made a bet that Reagan had probably never washed dishes. So she wrote him a letter.


President Reagan’s response: "Over the years I have done a few dishes here and there and, when the babies came along, it was in the days of cloth diapers and I did those, too. Now (Nancy and I) don’t have time to do the things…to take care of ourselves. Frankly, I really miss that kind of lifestyle."


Reagan thanked Mrs. Proctor and said he was proud of the future she and her husband were building for their three children.


Mrs. Proctor said she would always remember the day she received the letter from the president. "I voted for him last time and I’m going to vote for him again," said Mrs. Proctor. "I really like him as a president."


TWENTY YEARS AGO


Feb. 20, 1994


Denison resident and family practice specialist Dr. Erica Swegler is featured in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas’ 1993 annual review issue of Southwestern Medicine. The feature profiles her decision to practice in a smaller community.


"Denison is…big enough to have a 200-bed hospital with an emergency room staffed 24 hours a day, yet small enough to feel like a safe and friendly place to raise a family," the article quoted Swegler saying.


Swegler is the last year’s recipient of the C. Frank Webber Family Practice Award for Excellence in Oncology from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.