Occasionally I get a little behind on handling my Facebook entries and this being my second column in 2018 might just be a good time to do a little catch up.
Let’s start with my friend Jim Sears who sends interesting tidbits about Denison that appear occasionally on Facebook. The most recent appeared on Jan. 1, 1968 in the Mansfield, Ohio, News Journal. It is datelined DENISON, Tex. (AP) .
“Rickey Shearer, 4, of Denison wasn’t carrying on a silent protest against the electronic age — he just didn’t understand the intercom at Madonna Hospital.
“A nurse attempted to check the line to Rickey’s room, which ended in a wall speaker at the head of his bed, failing to get any answer.
“She implored, ‘Say something Rickey, I know you’re there.’
“Finally with some hesitation and a great deal of awe, a small voice answered ‘What do you want, wall?’”
Jim Lough of Sherman posted a couple of interesting photos on Facebook. One was a certificate of citation from the State of Texas House of Representatives extending congratulations to Jim for being a member of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Posse that participated in the Rose Bowl Parade on Jan. 1, 1979 in Pasadena, California. The certificate is signed by Robert “Bob” Bush, state representative and Bill Clayton, Speaker of the House.
The Posse placed first in the U.S. Riding Olympics at Fair Park in Dallas and first place was given a spot in the Rose Parade.
All they got was the “spot.” They had to get their horses and gear to Pasadena along with the riders and wives, and their hotel rooms. To make it happen, the Posse held chili suppers and bake sales and with the support of Grayson County citizens they raised enough money to pull it off.
Several friends and relatives of posse members discussed what members still are living. The list includes Bill Dugger, John Kelly, Jim Lough, James Crow, Irby Joe Smith, Corky Grundei, Larry Smith and Pat Latona.
Some time ago, I wrote a couple of columns about Kentucky Town and ran across a story in Joe W. Chumbley’s book, “Kentucky Town and Its Baptist Church” that I thought were interesting. The chapter title is “The Year of 1862” and the sub-title is “The Storm and Death.”
A tornadic storm had spawned from a cloud that first came over the town from the southeast, followed by a brief time of stillness. The cloud struck the two-story church building that was being used for school purposes and the second floor housed the former Templar’s Hall. The cloud hit the second floor with “devastating force.”
Mrs. Thomas A. Dean was doing the family washing at her new two-story house less than 300 yards west of the building. An unusual puff of wind against her home caused her to stop and run to an east window to look toward the building where two of her children and those of her neighbors were known to be at that time of day. What she saw caused her to forget everything except the impulse to get to the stricken building as quickly as she could.
Chumbley said what she saw was the wreckage, death and suffering. Two girls were dead or dying and several children were critically injured. Killed were Florence Penn and Nellie Ross or Ada Price. One of Mrs. Dean’s sons, who was 1 year old at the time of the storm, later wrote an account in 1934. He said that the second girl killed was Ada Price. Eleven year old Mary Dyer received a broken hip. Chumbley remembered seeing Mary in her older life still having trouble walking from that injury.
Thomas J. Dean, 10 years old, was among the injured and was walking around with a nail stuck in his head. His frantic mother took him into the house and used wire pliers to pull the nail out. Chumbley said her action was successful because he lived to be Grayson County Tax Collector for more than 40 years.
Chumbley said it was believed that both the deceased girls were buried in unmarked graves. Florence’s father, Sanford Penn, died on the battlefield while serving in the Confederate Army before the end of 1864.
Donna Hunt is former editor of The Denison Herald. She lives in Denison and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has been a longtime contributor to the Herald Democrat with her bi-weekly column, which appears in the Wednesday and Sunday editions. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.