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POSTCARDS Guadalupe Mountains National Park / Red Steagall / Meet the Wells / Crawford Insurance & Tax Services


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2  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

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September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 3


September 2021  |  Volume 10, Issue 9





Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Meet the Wells



A Special Conversation

Business Focus

Red Steagall

Crawford Insurance & Tax Services

FAVORITES 6 7 8 9 14 15 22 28

From the Publisher Dear Gabby Health Matters From Our Readers 20 Questions Glorious Grandkids What’s Cookin’ Vet Connect

29 Milestones 30 From the Mouths of Babes 36 The Garden Post 37 What are you Reading? 38 “Seens” from our World 39 Sudoku Marketplace 40 Community Calendar 42 Mustard Seed Moments

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Publisher’s Post Karen Altom

Your Local Community Magazine!

Uno Mas! PostcardsLakeConroe

Hello September! It is hard to envision fall arriving since, as I write this, it is still over 100 degrees outside. However, in another three or four weeks, the pumpkins will begin to make their appearance around the Altom home as we prepare for the upcoming season. I am sure my family will once again ask this year, “How many pumpkins do you need?” And I will again answer, “One more!”

I think, if we are honest, that is something we all have in common. The “one mores.” When I think of my “one more” items, pumpkins and throw pillows come to mind immediately. I also never get tired of traveling; it’s our hobby, and I am always planning “one more” trip as soon as we are on the way home from the last one. Some of our “one more” things are not very good for us. I had to stop baking our favorite cookies because the recipe made a huge batch, and it was too easy to have just “one more!” (I know I could have halved the recipe, but as long as you’re baking, you bake enough to share, right?…shhh!)

This month, we have “one more” special interview to share with you. Thanks to our friend Brian Smith, Wes and I were honored to recently spend time with Mr. Red Steagall. Brian connected us, and Mr. Steagall invited us to his ranch outside of Fort Worth for an opportunity to interview him and share his story with our readers. It was a special day and another memorable event celebrating our 10th anniversary.

If you have been to our website lately, you may have seen the link to our Postcards Photo Contest. We have had a lot of fun looking at all the great photos you have submitted, and we can’t wait to announce the winners in the November issue. Winners will be featured on one of our covers, and the grand prize winner could win a stay at the Margaritaville Lake Conroe resort! We are accepting entries through the end of September, so get your submissions in!

In closing, I want to take “one more” opportunity to remind you to thank our advertisers. So many of you thank us for bringing this to you each month, but we want to give credit where credit is due. Our advertisers make what we do possible, and we think the world of them. Do us a favor--pick up the phone, call one of the friendly businesses within these pages, and tell them you appreciate it, too!

Until next time,



6  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

If you would like to receive our magazine and are not currently on our mailing list, subscriptions are available. MAILED to select postal routes in Conroe, Willis and Montgomery. FREE rack copies at advertisers and businesses in towns listed above. Published Monthly by Altom Consulting & Marketing, Inc.

Publisher Karen Altom Editor Wes Altom Advertising Team Janet T. Jones Nancy Jolly Marshall Altom Design Team Mary Partida April Key Social Media Management Abby Altom Boyd Printed in Texas by Shweiki Media ADVERTISE IN POSTCARDS Online: Address: PO Box 690 • Huntsville, TX 77342 Call our Office: 936.293.1188 We reserve the right to edit or reject any material submitted. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of any unsolicited material. No material from Postcards Magazine™ can be copied, faxed, electronically, or otherwise used without express written permission. Publication of articles, advertisements or product information does not constitute endorsement or approval by Postcards Magazine™ and/or its publisher. Business Focus stories printed in Postcards Magazine™ are drawn at random from contract advertisers. © 2021 by Altom Consulting & Marketing, Inc., All rights reserved.

Dear Gabby Welcome back to the Dear Gabby advice column. It’s September, and we used to sing “School days, school days, good old Golden Rule days”. Life was so simple back then, but I still managed to get into trouble. My class was tasked with writing a 1000-word essay. I didn’t get around to it until the night before, so I drew a picture. When the teacher asked why I did that, I told her my grandma told me a picture was worth a thousand words. The teacher was not amused and drew a very ornate letter F on my paper! Drop me a line to Dear Gabby at for life hints and hacks on any subject. Just do as I say and not as I do.


DEAR MIDA I saw a funny billboard last week. It said: “How do you milk sheep? Bring out a new iPhone and charge $1,000 for it.” Save your money and buy her something she actually wants. I can relate to your mother. I am still struggling with my smart telephone. The only app I’ve been able to find is one that makes me look ugly. It’s called a camera. Last week, I saw a spider and asked my son to go get me a phone book. He laughed, called me a dinosaur, and handed me his iPhone. The spider is dead, the iPhone screen is cracked, and my son is furious. GABBY

My Mom will not give up her ancient cell phone for a new smart model. She is happy with her old one and refuses to accept a new one. Is there any hope of changing her mind? MOM IN DARK AGES

CONFIDENTIAL TO “HOLLYWOOD DEBATE”: I can’t help with movie questions, since I haven’t seen one in years. I thought Guardians of the Galaxy were the security guards at the Samsung store.





281-363-2110 10 am - 6:30 pm Monday - Friday • 10 am - 5:30 pm Saturday September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 7

Health Matters By James W. Jones, MD, PhD, MHA

Let Us Put the Brakes on Our Mistakes and Get Rid of Covid First, exhaled human breath has droplets of water too small to be seen unless one breathes close to a cool mirror or glass windowpane (on cold enough days, these droplets allow our breath to be seen, ever so briefly). We are seeing countless numbers of them. Each of these tiny fragments can be a flying saucer for germs now, especially Covid. The number of exhaled droplets increases when speaking and increases astronomically with coughing or sneezing. When inhaled, they go into the recipient’s lungs and start to multiply. An alternative way to infect another person is the droplets can gather on surrounding surfaces which can then be transferred to a victim’s hands and into that person’s mouth or nose. UGLY STUFF! A justified common streak of thought continues with what was proclaimed earlier by medical authorities that vaccinated people are fully-protected. This was true, and in the past has not altered, but now truly, like the song, “Times They Are A-Changing”. Currently, the Covid monster has killed many times what flu has, and the new variants appear to be worse! OH NO!! I don’t want to appear crude, but it should be clear that, when breathing uncovered within 6 feet of another, you each are rebreathing each other’s

8  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

exhaled breaths. So, under present conditions, my bride and I cautiously protect when in public settings during dangerous times. While it is true that vaccinated people are partially immune to the emerged variants, still 3% of Covid hospitalizations have been vaccinated, and those vaccinated can unknowingly harbor and spread the variant Covid. GULP! When going out to dine, we carefully avoid places that do not take proper precautions and enforce logical precautions in our space. Beverages that are delivered with the server’s hand near the top demand a straw accompaniment, and do avoid places where the plate has been touched. One and all wish to continue life, bountifully protected from the ravages of monster Covid in the safe haven of their home. How to preserve that requires thought. Consider that if you have not had Covid, then the monster must be brought into your living area…which means you, things you bring into the habitation, and other people need to be carefully scrutinized. Before touching the doorknob to enter, apply sanitizer and set any parcels down and judiciously wash your hands. Then any parcels brought in are sanitized. Mail probably is safe, but probably is not good enough. Note the time when your mail is delivered and establish a routine that allows you to usually pick up yesterday’s mail. Paper is relatively inhospitable, so the virus lasts only 24 hours and dies serially. Repair technicians are required to mask, and surfaces they touched are sanitized after they leave. Probably best to avoid larger parties in the home for a while. Considering when to institute and when to discontinue protective measures should be made with consideration to the case prevalence in your area. JUST MAKES SENSE!

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From Our Readers I just wanted to let you know the Fresh Peach Cake recipe in your August edition is a blue ribbon keeper! My family loves it. I did notice the instructions say to add salt but there was no salt listed in the ingredients list. I added between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp and it was perfect! Thank you!

I love the passion and commitment you have given your readers and clients to always provide interesting, and often historical, stories that everyone can enjoy reading. Katina Roeder

Barbara Pearson

Editors note: We apologize salt was not listed, it was actually left off the one we received too. Thanks for helping our readers know how to finish it up!

I really can’t pick just one thing I like about your magazine because I like everything about it. My family all reads it cover to cover. Appreciate y’all!

I love that when I open the pages of Postcards I see MY community. I learn more about the people and businesses; discover new businesses; and see out what’s happening.. Tammy Bybee

I love it when you feature the seniors each year! What a special way to honor our own! Barbara Lesikar

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September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 9

Trippin’ Story by Ruth Fields Photos by Ruth Fields

Guadalupe Mount

It is one of the most isolated national parks in America. There is no easy way to get there. However, once visitors arrive at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, located approximately 110 miles east of El Paso, they are often astounded by the park’s majestic beauty. Mountains rise up from the Chihuahuan Desert to heights of over 8,000 feet, and one area of the park has a proliferation of sawtooth maple trees that provide stunning fall foliage each year.

In comparison to more widely-known parks, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is rarely crowded, with fewer than 190,000 annual visitors. (Great Smoky Mountains National Park had 12.5 million visitors in 2019; Grand Canyon National Park had more than 6 million.) Those who discover Guadalupe Mountains National Park, however, often return again and again. This little-known gem boasts the highest peak in Texas—8,749 feet—and is the home of El Capitan, an 8,000-foot, sheer-faced limestone reef that appears suddenly at the southern end of the Guadalupe Mountains like the prow of a giant ship. The park has 80 miles of ruggedly-beautiful hiking trails; more than half of its 135 square miles is federally-protected wilderness. When I first visited Guadalupe Mountains National Park in 2014, I was captivated by the area’s remoteness. When my husband Charlie and I turned off I-10 at Van Horn, we drove north for nearly an hour without ever encountering another vehicle. Being so far from major population centers brings advantages and disadvantages. On the downside, travelers must bring everything they need with them. Cell service is spotty, and there are no gas stations or convenience stores for miles. Another oddity is there is virtually no lodging other than camping within a 55-mile radius of the park. Visitors have two options: Carlsbad, New Mexico, 55 miles to the northeast, or Van Horn, Texas, 65 miles south. On the plus side, those who make the extra effort to visit the park keep the hiking trails remarkably litter-free.

Our first stop at Guadalupe Mountains National Park was at the visitor center, where displays proudly note that the park showcases the most extensive and exposed marine fossil reef on earth. We also learned that mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, gray foxes, rattlesnakes and mountain lions inhabit the park. We agreed to stay on well-traveled trails. A friendly park ranger told us that hikes as short as a quarter-mile Ruth and Charlie Fields summit are available, including Guadalupe Peak some that are wheelchairaccessible. Others hikes vary in difficulty and take up to a day to complete, and backpackers are limited only by the amount of water they can carry. Two of the most popular hikes are the McKittrick Canyon Trail, which is known for fall foliage, and the Guadalupe Peak Trail, which leads to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. When I expressed an interest in going to the top of Texas, the park ranger looked at me strangely. (Only later did I fully understand.)

10  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

ntains National Park

Guadalupe Peak Trail The next day, we decided to brave the Guadalupe Peak Trail. A helpful visitor at the trailhead told us frankly, “Four hours up; three hours down.” The hike features a 3,000-foot change in elevation and is a round trip of well over eight miles. It is officially

described as “strenuous.” And it was. After many switchbacks, we noted that the cars in the parking lot looked like toys, and we congratulated ourselves for surviving the uphill trail. The switchbacks ahead looked daunting, but we trudged on. Once we arrived at the end of the switchbacks, a short distance on fairly-level ground revealed another set of switchbacks. And another. And another.

At one point, we were treated to a view of El Capitan—from above. Along the way, we met people coming down who said, “You’re almost there!” This happened again and again. Finally, we saw a young man who said, “You’re almost there. For real!” At long last, we arrived at the summit, and the view was amazing. According to conventional


September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 11

wisdom, the view on a clear day is limited only by the curvature of the earth. After taking a few photos, we started down. (Later, we noticed a geocache in our photos, and regretted not signing the “I made it to the top” list, which is reportedly inside.) The uphill portion had indeed taken four hours, and the downhill portion, as expected, took about three. Exhausted and hungry, we stumbled to our car and drove to our hotel, and then to the Van Horn Cattle Company Restaurant. The bacon burgers, which are served with huge mounds of sweet potato fries, were among the most memorable—and the most quickly devoured—of our lives. View of El Capitan from above and below

McKittrick Canyon’s fall foliage A few years later, we remembered the promise of fall foliage at McKittrick Canyon. After checking the foliage report on Guadalupe Mountains National Park’s website, we planned our trip for late October. Fortunately, we were able to visit on a Monday. (We learned later than on busy Saturdays during autumn, cars line the road and are allowed in the parking lot only as other cars leave.) Guadalupe Mountains National Park is in Mountain Time Zone, so we left Van Horn and arrived at the park at roughly the same time, right as it opened. We were rewarded with an empty parking lot.

The next day, we hiked leisurely along the profoundly scenic but relatively flat McKittrick Canyon Trail. We followed a creek bed through the canyon and, completely surrounded by mountains towering above us, it was as if we were in a bowl. A variety of trees, including maple, oak, walnut and ash, hinted of fall foliage, but during the spring, we noticed the greens of junipers and pines. The hike’s difficulty is rated “moderate.” Along the way, we saw a natural rock formation called The Grotto and a rustic hunting cabin constructed in 1924. We also visited Pratt Cabin. It was built from locallyquarried stone in 1932 and was the vacation home of geologist Wallace Pratt, who deeded more than 5,000 acres of land, including the cabin, to the National Park Service in 1961.

We took off on the trail and were soon greeted by several curious mule deer. We didn’t see much autumn color, but we kept on, following the same trail we had taken several years before. The farther we went, the more vivid the colors became, and we stopped frequently in the dense foliage to

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precipitous drop past the guano mounds, but had difficulty convincing others that there was a wonderland beneath the earth’s surface. Finally, he persuaded a friend who owned a camera to descend into the cave with him. His photographs created a sensation, and locals began clamoring for tours via ladders, ropes, and guano-mining buckets. The cavern became a national park in 1930.

take photos. The explosion of color, with a backdrop of craggy mountains, made it hard to take a bad photograph. My expectations were surpassed. Along the way, we met an off-duty park ranger who told us that we had arrived near the peak of fall color. She explained why some sawtooth maples are yellow, while others are gold, orange, red and maroon, but I was too entranced with the scenery to pay much attention. We also met a couple from Norway. They told us their travel book mentioned that few Texans know about the existence of McKittrick Canyon and its jaw-dropping fall colors.

Just down the road While Guadalupe Mountains National Park is often overlooked, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is renowned, and is worthy of a short detour. The two parks are only about 40 miles apart; in fact, we could see El Capitan from the Carlsbad Caverns parking lot, reminding me that I’d read it was an important landmark for early settlers.

Although elevators are available, we opted for the natural entrance of the cavern—a giant, gaping hole in the side of a mountain. Inside, a 1.2-mile hike leads visitors 900 feet downward. We passed the Bat Cave, home by day to an estimated 400,000 Mexican free-tailed bats. Although we missed it, we were told that bats swirl out of the cave in a magnificent evening display, then return at dawn. As we descended deeper into the cave, we saw fascinating cave formations created by countless years of mineral deposits.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a vast otherworld. It takes about an hour to walk around the perimeter of The Big Room, which is one of the world’s largest natural limestone chambers. The Big Room alone has more than eight acres of floor space. It is filled with everything from tiny stalactites and stalagmites to enormous formations in the Hall of Giants. Although my husband joked that Carlsbad Caverns reminded him of his recent MRI, I enjoyed visiting this unique national park.

Getting there We have now taken three trips to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and we have driven every time. The speed limit on I-10 is 80 miles per hour in some parts of west Texas, and the trip takes us about ten hours—not much more than the time it takes to drive to the airport, park, clear security, fly to El Paso, rent a car and drive to the park. Besides, airlines don’t serve Dairy Queen ice cream, which is available at many of the small towns along I-10!

We learned that the cavern was mined in the early 1900s for its plentiful supply of nitrogen-rich bat guano, a prized citrus fertilizer. One miner, Jim White, braved the

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HOW DID YOU MAKE YOUR FIRST DOLLAR? I used to sell magazine subscriptions when I was nine years old. Olympia Card Company.


BOOK THAT LEFT A LASTING IMPRESSION ON YOU? How to Win Friends and Influence People


LAST THING YOU BINGE-WATCHED? Star Trek, The Next Generation


WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU RIDING DOWN THE ROAD LISTENING TO? Classic Rock and Christian music. I’ve been jamming to Starship lately, We Built This City, and then I listen to a lot of Christian music, Newsboys.


YOUR FAVORITE DISH? I love a good hamburger.


YOUR GO-TO BARISTA ORDER? I don’t really drink coffee.


FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY I got excited when my dad would ask us to go into town with him. I knew he was gonna buy us a soda.

10 SOMETHING THAT WOULD SURPRISE US ABOUT YOU? I type 135 words per minute. 11 WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING ON YOUR DAY OFF? I like to tinker around with computers and technology. I still do that a lot. 12 HOW WOULD YOUR PERFECT DAY BEGIN? For me, getting up early and feeling refreshed. That would be the perfect start for me! 13 HOW DO YOU CLEAR YOUR MIND AFTER A BAD DAY? I honestly pray. I ask for the good Lord to clear my mind and help me de-stress. 14 ONE THING YOU’RE EPICALLY BAD AT? Eating healthy.


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17 IF YOU COULD LIVE ABROAD, WHERE WOULD THAT BE? I really don’t want to live abroad. I would be away from everyone. I am happy right where I am. I am thankful I am where I am. 18 WHO DO YOU ADMIRE AND WHY? I admire Jesus Christ. I am just so thankful for salvation….that we have someone that cared so much that He died for us. 19 BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN? That would be from my dad. He always told me to remember “What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong and there are no in-betweens”. That will always stick with me. 20 ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF? I would say don’t pursue an unknown future. Pursue your passion.

14  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

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936.494.1292 September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 15

A Special Conversation Story by Karen Altom Photos by Wes Altom

Red Steagall Singer, songwriter, actor, producer, radio personality, TV host, and philanthropist There are people you meet in life who leave a lasting impression. Russell “Red” Steagall will always be one of those for me. Yes, he is a famous singer, songwriter, actor, producer, radio personality, TV host, and philanthropist. He is also a gentleman…a cowboy...a humble man who is as comfortable outdoors as he is in the fanciest gatherings Los Angeles and Nashville have to offer. He makes others comfortable in his presence...from U.S. Presidents to small-town publishers. We visited Mr. Steagall on his 75-acre ranch in north Texas, a place he describes as “not big enough to make a living on, and too big to keep.”

For readers who may not know you, how would you describe yourself? Well, that’s a tough question. Mother always taught me if you talk about yourself, you’re bragging, and bragging is not gentlemanly. I like to think I live the best kind of life the Lord wants me to live. I’ve grown up a very spiritual person and still am. I love the outdoors. I love people. I love the lifestyle I lead, and I am happy. I’m confident with who I am. Tell us a little about your childhood and growing up. My family is from Montague County, up towards Bowie, for four generations on both sides. When I was three, there weren’t any jobs left in Montague County, and Daddy moved to the oilfield. I grew up on that riverbed on the south side of the Canadian River in a little town called Sanford. I loved to hunt arrowheads and fossils, track coons, and run coyotes with a one-eyed greyhound.

I would run coons at night with coon dogs. I lived outdoors. If we didn’t have a football game on Friday afternoon at Phillips High School, I would disappear, and Mother would see me Sunday night. That old river is about a mile wide there, and the bluffs are about 300 feet high. I remember sitting on those big rocks on that bluff and letting my imagination run wild. One day I would be going up the trail with Charlie Goodnight, and the next day I would be fighting the white eyes with Quanah. I could see those teepees as if they were absolutely there. You write that way. Readers are able to envision themselves there with you when reading your writing. That is a gift. Well, thank you. I think that time period in my life greatly influenced what I write and the way I see life today. That was a time when your

16  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

parents would say, “Quit daydreaming and get your mind on what you need to do.” But daydreaming is what creates activity in artistic endeavors. I’m glad to say I was a daydreamer. So you are a cowboy, a poet, musician, producer, an actor, a TV and radio personality. You are truly a jack of all trades. Master of none, I reckon (chuckling). I’ve had a very interesting life. I can’t imagine changing one thing that would make it better. It might make it different, but it wouldn’t make it better. If you had to prioritize, are there any of those things you like most of all? That’s a pretty tough question, because I really enjoy what I do and what I have done. I love being a writer, both a poet and a songwriter. I love to perform. I really enjoy the medium of television. I’ve been in radio for 27 years with Cowboy Corner, so I like that a lot!

(Chuckling). Well, I’ve thought about that a lot! I spent four years of my life studying agriculture. I wanted to be a large animal vet, so pre-vet was the first direction I went, but when I was 15, I lost the use of my left shoulder to polio. I had use of my hand, but no use of the arm, so I couldn’t be a large animal vet--and I didn’t want to work on dogs and cats. I worked day and night to put myself through college. I didn’t think it was anybody else’s responsibility but mine. So, I worked at it, and I’m proud of that degree. I’m proud of the effort it took to accomplish one of my goals. After polio, I used the mandolin to regain the strength in the fingers of my left hand, because it was just like spaghetti. I would practice for days on end, strengthening each finger so it wouldn’t mute the strings when I played. I went from there to a guitar. When I went off to college, I had a little band and really liked it. I don’t know that I thought about a career in the music business, but I knew it was something I really liked.

How often do you do that? I do four shows a month at one time, but I go out in the field to get the interviews. I might be gone sometimes for a week or ten days doing interviews in a particular locality where I know there are people who either have an interest or are part of the western lifestyle. It might be an actor, a singer, a historian, a cowboy, might be a ranch owner. It’s somebody who has a vested interest in the preservation and perpetuation of the western lifestyle. Why is it so important to you to make sure people understand and hold on to that western history and cowboy culture? There are three things we primarily love and preserve: the history, the traditions, and the set of values. The values that evolved in an agrarian society are very important to us all getting along, and those came from two sources. First of all, from the Good Book. We learned ‘em sitting on the front row at a

regular church meeting, or we were taught at home by our parents that this is a set of values that we need to live by. This is what makes you a good person. Second, in an agrarian society, there was a time we had to depend on other people for survival, because we were way out in the wilderness by ourselves. It might be ten miles to the next neighbor. We depended on each other, and if you’re going to depend on somebody and need them to depend on you, then you’ve got to be the right person. In the western lifestyle, especially in the big ranches, we still experience that set of values, and it is purity. It is used every day. So, it’s not gone; it’s just that, when we moved to the cities, we became a “me” society instead of a “we” society. Tell us how you went from an agriculture degree at West Texas State University to producing music in Hollywood? That seems like a pretty good jump!

I got a degree in agriculture and spent five years in agricultural chemistry after college. I had some friends who were superstars in the 50s, Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids. They really invented Rockabilly Music. They had seven records in a row that reached #1 in the national charts and sold a million copies. Buddy got drafted into the Korean War, Jimmy Bowen went to Hollywood, and Don Lanier came back to Amarillo. Don and I had grown up together, so we were old friends. When Jimmy started having some success in Hollywood as a producer, Donnie went out to help him and be part of what he was doing. They called me and asked me if I would come to Hollywood. I was with the ag division of Shamrock Oil and Gas Corporation, had a good job, and could have stayed there the rest of my life and retired at 65; but I was single and had just bought me a new car, so I hooked a 5x7 U-Haul trailer behind it and went to California. It was a culture shock. I kept seeing opportunities I could be involved in. Donnie and I wrote a song I got Ray Charles to record in ’66 called Here We Go Again. To date, it has been recorded 63 times by different artists. So, it’s almost been a career all its own. By the time ’69 rolled around and I started recording, I’d


September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 17

had 60 of my songs recorded by other people. So, I was doing pretty good as a songwriter. I’d had three #1 country records by other artists. I started recording, but I stayed in the music publishing business, still am, because that was how I made my living…plugging songs. In January 1969, the record I had recorded for Capitol went into the top 10. It was called Party Dolls and Wine. I’ve had 26 records in a row in the national charts, and I’ve had them all over the world…met people in all walks of life. I like to say that I’ve lived six lifetimes, and I believe it--because I’ve done EVERYTHING that I wanted to do. The thing that has been important to me in later years is how did I use that agricultural degree in what I’m doing now? The answer is, I write about those people. I write about the farmers and ranchers; I write about people who love the image of the West, the values, tradition and heritage that evolves from that; and I find that even today, in my television show, my radio show, and my concerts, the people that really like what I do are still of an agricultural background. I didn’t forsake that degree. It all ties together.

Not counting all the songs you’ve written for others, what has been the biggest hit you recorded? Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music, and the one next to that was a western swing version of Somewhere My Love in 1973. Let’s shift just a little bit. In addition to your own celebrity, there are others you have had a hand in helping. One was a little redhead singing the national anthem at a rodeo? Reba (McEntire) is probably the only person I have really had any influence in their career. Reba just blew me away when I heard her sing that night at the National Finals in December 1974. Her mother brought her up to the Justin® room where we were picking and singing, and she sat down beside me and started singing harmony. She blew me away because she had perfect tone and total control. I said, “Why don’t you come to Nashville, and we’ll cut a demo and see what we can get done?” We pitched that demo all over Nashville for months, and nobody wanted another girl singer. At the time, girls didn’t sell records,

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and they didn’t sell tickets. If a girl was really going to sell and reach another level, they had to be coupled with a guy. That’s the reason you had so many acts like Johnny and June, George and Tammy, and Conway and Loretta. Reba changed all that. A guy who was working for me in the publishing company had taken the demo over to Mercury for Glenn Keener to listen to the songs. Glenn wasn’t interested in the songs, but he heard something in Reba’s voice he didn’t often hear that made him want to sign her. We finally got her a contract with Mercury in October. Reba did things for girl singers that nobody had ever done before. She made the difference for the next girl singer coming down the line, including Dolly. Her shows were different; they weren’t just standing there singing in front of a microphone. The other thing she did was television. In my day, the only way you knew what a singer looked like was to buy a ticket and go to a concert. You could see Reba on television, and there was a way for the public to fall in love with her. I am really proud of her for doing that. What’s a typical day like for you?


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ranches out there, where they could get a lot of cowboys and people who were artistically inclined together, and it was very successful. A group of us here decided we needed to have one in Fort Worth, because we had the perfect location for it at The Stockyards. It began as a function of the Texas A&M Extension Service. There were four of us that started it 31 years ago: Jalynn Burkett, John South, Don Edwards, and me. Three years later, Jalynn and John both retired, so we converted it to a private venture. It’s been very successful.

I’m living with the love of my life and the only person I have ever wanted to live with. My wife Gail and I have been married 44 years. Our assistant Debbie Bowman has been working for us for 44 years. I don’t get by with anything because I’ve had “two wives” for 44 years. Prior to the pandemic, I was on the road 200220 days a year doing different things. I do quite a few charity events. I can’t do as many as I used to, but I have two or three this year. I spend more time right now in this office than I ever have before, and when things are opening up, I won’t be here then! I love to travel, I love to play for people in different walks of life, to try to convince them the cowboy way of life is the best.

There are a huge variety of different activities from chuck wagon camps to dances to poetry and shopping…it looks like a lot of fun! We do have a good time. People come from all over the United States. We’ve also had groups from France and several from England come.

This fall will mark the 30th Annual Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival in Fort Worth. How did it start?

What is up next for you? I’m very proud to have been the honorary chairman for 23 years for the Round-up for Rehab for the West Texas Rehabilitation Center. I’ll spend a lot of time out there this fall, then do their telethon in January.

The ones that kicked all this off were a group of folklorists in Utah. It was Hal Cannon’s idea, and Hal is a great-great-grandson of Brigham Young. They decided the place to do it was in Elko, Nevada because of the big


Theatre & Musical Theatre



September 2 - 18 Reception | September 16 | 6 - 7:30 p.m. Satellite Gallery Free Admission Art September 7 - October 9 Reception | September 9 | 6 - 7 p.m. University Gallery Free Admission


By Charly Evon Simpson September 21 & 23 | 7:30 p.m. September 25 | Matinee | 2 p.m. Showcase Theatre, UTC

Buck Ramsey and I went to college together and were dear friends. In his poem Anthem, he wrote, “…we are what we do, and not the stuff we lay claim to.” That’s an important one. Another comes from poet Edgar A. Guest who wrote, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day…” I think about that all the time. After I had polio, I was devastated, because all I wanted to do was play football for the Phillips Blackhawks, then go to Texas A&M and play for Coach Bryant. Mother said, “Here’s a verse out of this poem I want you to read.” It was also from Edgar A. Guest.


By David Ives September 22, 24, & 25 | 7:30 p.m. Showcase Theatre, UTC



Book by Doug Wright Lyrics by Amanda Green Music by Tre Anastasio and Amanda Green October 7 - 9 | 7:30 p.m. October 9 | Matinee | 2 p.m. Erica Starr Theatre, UTC

Theatre & Musical Theatre



September 23 - October 2 Reception | September 23 | 6 - 7:30 p.m. Satellite Gallery Free Admission Music

Theatre & Musical Theatre

What’s the most important lesson you think you’ve learned?




In November, I’ll save about three weeks to work on filming television shows for next year. I like to have them done before the first of the year. That way, if I need a show, I don’t have to worry about the weather and getting locked in somewhere when I need to be somewhere else.


September 23 | 7:30 p.m. Payne Concert Hall, GPAC Dance


September 23 - 24 | 8 p.m. Dance Theater, GPAC


Dana G. Hoyt Fine Arts Building Monday - Friday | 10 a.m - 6 p.m. Saturday | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Thursday - Friday | 12 - 5 p.m. Saturday | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

FOR TICKETS & INFORMATION | | 936.294.2339 To view our full list of events, visit September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 19

Manage Your Future Well!

We Guide You Through The Entire Process!


Somebody said that it couldn’t be done But he with a chuckle replied That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried. So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin… Without any doubting or quiddit, He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Brian B. Smith, CFP®

Bryan M. Masten, CFP®

Paula Armstrong

Linda Smith

Riley W. Smith

Ally Grounds Partners

(936) 294-0201

1211 Financial Plaza • Huntsville

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member, FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Cambridge and Global Financial Partners are not affiliated. Cambridge does not provide tax advice.

When I get into a situation that’s uncomfortable, I try to think, “Are you doing the best you can do? Is that the best way to go for you? Are you willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to reach the goal you are trying to achieve by going in that direction, or do you need to abandon that trail and find the one that might be a little rockier or a little bit steeper, but is the right one?” I’m not preaching to anyone. That’s just the way I live and the things that have influenced me, and most of them are very simple. A simple philosophy…a powerful life…an influence and example to more than he will ever know. Thank you, Mr. Steagall. It was an honor. For more information on the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering, go to

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We didn’t invent happiness, we just created the best place for it. | 877.286.9590 September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 21

What’s Cookin’ Amish Tomato Pie Ingredients 1 pastry for a 9-inch pie crust 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes 1 lb Roma tomatoes 1 cup diced raw bacon ½ cup sliced leek 2 cups grated white Cheddar cheese ½ cup grated Fontina cheese ½ cup mayonnaise ½ cup fresh basil, torn into small pieces 1 egg 1 Tbs Dijon mustard 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste Directions Step 1: Chill pie dough for about 1 hour. Step 2: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a baking sheet on the lower oven rack. Step 3: Slice heirloom tomatoes into 1/2-inch rounds. Remove seeds with your fingers. Place 6 slices on paper towels or a clean cloth and cover with more paper towels or another clean cloth. Arrange the

remaining slices on a wire rack. Cut Roma tomatoes into 1/2-inch slices, remove seeds, and arrange them on the rack as well. Step 4: Line a deep-dish, 9-inch pie plate with dough. Place 2 layers of aluminum foil over the entire surface. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Step 5: Bake pie crust on the preheated baking sheet on the bottom rack. Place tomatoes on a higher rack. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees F. Bake until the bottom of the pie crust has lost its translucent raw look and the edges have just started to color, 12 to 15 minutes. Step 6: Carefully remove the foil and the weights. Cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent them from burning. Poke the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to keep it from puffing up. Return the pie crust to the bottom rack and bake until the bottom starts to color, about 8 more minutes. Step 7: Remove pie crust and allow to cool. Continue baking the tomatoes until they are wilted, about 40 minutes total. Remove and allow to cool. Keep the oven on.

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281-731-6974 • Over 12 Hot Tub Models • Cypress Wood Furniture • Over 25 Furniture Items 22  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

Step 8: Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until some of the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Add sliced leek. Cook until bacon is crisp and the leeks have softened and browned, about 5 more minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels and allow to cool. Step 9: Place bacon-leek mixture, Cheddar, Fontina, mayonnaise, basil, egg, and mustard in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Step 10: Spread 1/3 mixture on the bottom of the pie crust. Arrange 1/2 of the roasted tomatoes on top, overlapping heirlooms with Roma tomatoes. Spread another 1/3 of the mixture over the tomatoes and arrange the remaining roasted tomatoes on top. Add the last 1/3 of the mixture and gently press the fresh tomato slices on top in a decorative pattern. Arrange foil around the edges of the pie crust to protect them from burning, taking care that the foil doesn’t touch the tomatoes. Step 11: Bake until browned and bubbly on top, about 40 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

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Marinated Salad Ingredients

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1 (15 oz) can peas, drained 1 (15 oz) can shoe peg corn, drained 1 (15 oz) can green beans, drained 1 (2 oz) jar pimentos 1 cup chopped celery ½ cup chopped green bell pepper ½ cup chopped onion 1 cup white sugar ½ tsp ground black pepper 1 tsp salt ½ cup vegetable oil ¾ cup white wine vinegar



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Directions Step 1: Mix together the peas, corn, green beans, pimentos, celery, bell pepper and onion. Step 2: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, black pepper, salt, oil and vinegar. Bring to a boil and pour over salad

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Step 3: Mix well to coat. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

281-850-6426 Bakers Tip: Make dough in advance. Just store it in the right place. You can keep well-wrapped dough in the fridge for up to 2 days. September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 23

Inspirations By Claudia Kirkwood Submitted Photos

Harold & Pat Wells June 15, 1951, to June 15, 2021. Seventy years. Seventy years of love, commitment, hard work and adventure! And Butterfingers! And now the story… 24  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

We were dancing and partying one night in June, and I told Pat that we might as well go ahead and get married right now.

As Harold Wells remembers, and at age 92 he still remembers everything, he was part of a crew that was building a pipeline from Texarkana to Little Rock, Arkansas. The year was 1950, and the occasion was the company Christmas party being held at the Broadway Hotel in Prescott, Arkansas. As Harold and friends mingled with other guests, his gaze came to rest upon the girl who would become the love of his life. Pat Wren and her girlfriends were enjoying the festivities, and getting acquainted with her became his allconsuming focus for the rest of the evening. After meeting Pat and discovering she loved to skate, Harold took up skating in hopes of spending time with her. As Harold recounts, “It took a while, but she finally agreed to a date. And no floral bouquet for her! Butterfinger candy bars were her favorite, so I would take 4 or 5 Butterfingers when I picked her up. That must have sealed the deal!” Harold and Pat dated for six months, then time came for her high school graduation trip at the end of May. Chaperoned by several adults, including her mom and her friend’s mom, Pat and her friend Sydney rode the bus with the other graduates, followed closely by a car containing Harold and his friend Billy. The destination was the diamond mine area

in Murfreesboro, and the day proved to be quite a significant one in the lives of both girls. Before the trip ended, both girls had been proposed to and returned home with rings on their fingers! And as Pat says, “Those rings were our tickets to a car ride back home with our brand-new fiancés!” Plans were made for a July wedding, but plans are made to break! As Harold tells it, “We were dancing and partying one night in June, and I told Pat that we might as well go ahead and get married right now. I called my boss and told him I was going to Texas to get married and would be gone 3-4 days.” As they headed out, they stopped in Hope, Arkansas, to tell her mother and dad of their plans, explaining that his uncle was the pastor at the First Baptist


Church in Shepherd, Texas, and he wanted him to perform the ceremony. Promising to take good care of Pat and receiving the blessing of her parents, they proceeded on their journey to Texas. With a little laugh, Pat recalls she had to drive because Harold had had just a touch too much to drink. Kicking off her high heels for comfort, she drove all the way to Jefferson, Texas, and Harold finished the all-night drive to his parents’ house in Madisonville. Leaving in haste, they had not packed extra clothes and were still in their party attire. According to Harold, “My dad came out and saw the youthful Pat with no shoes on and was quite concerned I had driven her illegally across


September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 25

state lines AND that she was shoeless. My response, ‘Dad, people in Arkansas don’t wear shoes!’ Well, we got everything cleared up, and my parents were fine with it.” They obtained their marriage license in Huntsville and were married three days later, on June 15th, in Shepherd by his uncle’s assistant since his uncle was unable to attend. After a two-day honeymoon in Galveston, it was back to work in Arkansas. We’ve covered the “love” aspect and now have the commitment, hard work, and adventure ahead of us, and adventurous it has been for these two lovebirds! Adventurous, yet not always easy. Through the next few years, they lived at various times in hotels, a house, and a travel trailer with each work or family situation dictating the living abode--but the love and commitment always prevailed. Harold continued to work in jobs relating to the pipeline, while Pat poured her life and love into raising five children: Becky, Jeff, Melanie, Dawn, and Leslie. For the births of their first three children, no matter where they were, and within only days of the due date, Harold and Pat would pack

up the car and head to his parents’ home in Madisonville. When this occurred for the birth of their third child Melanie, it was a drive from Washington state with two small children, then a drive back to Washington two days after giving birth. As daughter Dawn states, “Mom, you are a trooper!” They eventually moved to Madisonville and were living there for the births of Dawn and Leslie. Harold and Pat were never ones to turn down a person in need. When a job move took the young family to Iowa a week after the birth of their second child Jeff, they found themselves needing to care for a sick friend. The friend slept in the bed while Harold and Pat slept on the sofa bed in the living room with their newborn and toddler. Pat cooked for the friend’s special diet as well as their own meals and cared for the needs of a toddler and newborn. On another occasion, a move to New York was necessitated for a six-month job. It was the Christmas season, so a U-Haul was packed up with all their personal belongings, including the Christmas tree and all the trimmings. The long, snowy drive was made with five kids,

a small dog, and a friend. A hotel served as their home during this stay, and when the family Christmas dinner was served, guests included 2-3 neighbors who were without their families. Strangers don’t stay strangers long in the presence of the Wells. While in New York, three of the children were school age and attended Niagara Falls 95th Street School. Being from the South, the kids were made fun of for the way they “talked funny,” and therefore were presumed to be less educated. They quickly dispelled this myth by excelling in their classes and winning a spelling bee. Now the northerners wanted to know what their secret was for being so smart! Pat’s time and meticulous attention to their education was the secret. She also made sure they had a hot meal each day, so when the lunch period began, the kids would come home to enjoy chicken fried steak or some other favorite and would bring some delighted friends along for the feast. In addition to being a wonderful cook, Pat enjoyed decorating the home and sewing the children’s clothes. When an outfit was needed the following day, it was ready and waiting for

Sept. 10 - 26


Friday & Saturday 8 pm Sunday Matinees 2 pm

Adults Seniors Youth

Funded in part by a grant from the City of Conroe 26  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

26 22 $ 17 $ $

For tickets: or call Box Office (936) 520-7525

the occasion. Whether dresses, cheerleader outfits or other attire, Pat made sure the kids were well-dressed. Through all the challenges growing families bring, she would selflessly provide the needs at each stage with the positive attitude she is still known for. Pat is not one to slow down so, in her forties, she took up running 6-8 miles per day, even winning a 10K in Huntsville. She enjoys nature, books and reading her Bible. Harold’s last welding job was the Alaska pipeline in 1975-76, after which he became construction manager for several Colonial Pipeline projects in Atlanta. In 1979, he ran the Gulf Interstate Pipeline Inspection Division in Houston before serving as Vice President of Universal’s Pipeline Inspection Division for twenty years. He later started Wellsco and Houston Field Inspection Company and in 2016 established the pipeline inspection division of Cleveland Integrity Services, where he is still working today at 92 years of age. “Harold loves being with people,” Melanie shares, “and the more people the better! He is known for his integrity and for being a true friend, and his friendships span the globe.”

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When asked the secret to a 70-year marriage, Harold and Pat both agree treating each other with the same love and respect as God treats them is the key. In fact, treating everyone in this manner brings success and a wealth of friendships and blessings. They thank God for their family (including 15

grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, and for each and every day they are blessed to enjoy. And it’s no surprise Butterfinger ice cream pie is a family favorite!


HUNTSVILLE HOLIDAY MARKET Walker County Fairgrounds 3295 SH 30 W - Huntsville Saturday 10 am - 5 pm • Sunday 10 am - 4 pm Admission - $7 • Good for Both Days! Kids 12 & Under


We will have antiques, boutiques, home decor, holiday decor/decorations, collectibles, vintage, gifts and more! Kay King 936.661.2545 Climate Controlled Indoor Venue - RAIN OR SHINE!

September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 27

Vet Connect: By Kim VanWagner, D.V.M.

Cool Cases Illustrating the Importance of Diagnostics (Part 1) Why do veterinarians recommend additional diagnostics after they complete your pet’s physical exam? Different diagnostics are needed to help obtain additional information that will give additional “pieces to the puzzle” to help solve the problem occurring with your pet. Sometimes treatment recommendations can be made with the physical exam alone, without additional diagnostics. But other times, it’s good to have a definitive diagnosis to treat the exact problem instead of just supportive/symptomatic treatments.

The cat was treated with an aggressive steroid regime to which the cat responded well and was able to have the surgery at a later date. There are many other situations where diagnostics can help pinpoint the exact cause of a condition that can be treated with specific targeted therapy versus just supportive treatments. If you are not sure why your veterinarian may recommend specifics tests or diagnostics, don’t hesitate to ask for an explanation of what is being looked for and why the test is important.

Additional diagnostics vary from sample evaluations, urine cultures, blood works, radiographs, and additional imaging such as ultrasounds or CT scans. Aspirates of masses can help reveal whether the mass is of concern and requiring surgery. Ear cytologies can help pinpoint which medication is best to treat an ear infection. Bloodwork can evaluate different organ systems that can’t be fully evaluated alone with just a physical exam. Imaging can reveal things going on inside that might not be palpated during an examination or just may need additional evaluation after being palpated in an exam. Most of this information holds true in human care as well. So many cases of routine pre-anesthetic bloodwork reveal abnormalities in what is deemed an otherwise healthy animal being presented for an elective procedure such as a spay or neuter. For example, a young adult cat was presented to be spayed and seemed perfectly normal during the routine pre-anesthetic complete physical exam. However, the bloodwork revealed the cat was anemic, low red blood cells, and even had low platelets. With further diagnostics, the cat was found to have an immune mediated condition which could have caused significant complications during the surgery had the surgery been performed without the required pre-anesthetic lab work.

Next month, we will continue a look at some specific cases where diagnostics led to proper treatment that might not otherwise have occurred.

Service Area Magnolia Conroe Montgomery North Houston New Waverly

Huntsville Willis Spring Tomball Pinehurst

Call or Text 713-570-6095 28  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

The Woodlands Shenandoah Cypress Klein

Milestones Congratulations to Gracie Barnett on her graduation from New Waverly High School!

Happy 10th anniversary to Kim & Ben Bius

Share your Milestone!

September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 29

From the Mouths of Babes... I’ve been working on my PhD in engineering for the past five years, but my kids don’t necessarily see that as work. As we were driving past Walmart one day, my son spotted a Now Hiring sign and suggested that I could get a job there. Hoping to make a point, I asked, “Do you think they’re looking for an engineer?” “Oh, sure,” he said. “They’ll hire anybody.” Christopher Fields

My five-year-old, Matt, worked with a speech therapist on the ch sound, which came out k. The therapist asked him to say chicken. He responded with kitchen. They tried again and again, but it always came out kitchen. Undeterred, she pushed him for one more try. Matt sighed and said, “Why don’t we just call it a duck?” Pamela Spinney

“Has your son decided what he wants to be when he grows up?” I asked my friend. “He wants to be a garbageman,” he replied. That’s an unusual ambition to have at such a young age.” “Not really. He thinks that garbage men work only on Tuesdays.”

My 11-year-old grandson spent a beautiful Saturday playing video games. His older sister tried coaxing him outside by warning, “Someday, you’re going to be 30 years old, single, and living in Mom’s basement playing video games all day!” His reply: “I can only dream.” Sylvia Cardenas

My young son ran to me, crying. “Daddy, I stubbed my toe,” he sobbed. “Let me kiss it and make it better,” I said. “Which toe was it?” “The one that has no roast beef.” Gary Neal

30  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

Pet Pals





Kassandra Owens



WILLOW loved by

Monday - Saturday 10 am - 7 pm Sunday 11 am - 6 pm

Pat & Charlie




BOSS MAN loved by

Frankie Kelly September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 31

Business Focus Story by Rosa Coss Photos by Libby Rogers

Chester Crawford, owner

100 Highway 190 E, Huntsville, TX 77340 Phone: (936) 291-1887

Chester Crawford, owner of Chester Crawford Insurance and Tax Services in Huntsville, is a fixture in the area. 32  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

He’s been doing business here for the past 40 years. He is no stranger to the community, having been born and raised in Huntsville, though he now lives in Conroe and attends church in The Woodlands. Crawford graduated from Huntsville High School in 1976. During his senior year, he was the sports editor for the school paper, The Hive; he was also class president and was voted most likely to succeed. He went on to attend college at Sam Houston State University, and he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1980. Soon after, he began working at Huntsville National Bank as a bank teller. “I was the first black male bank teller in Huntsville. I always thought I wanted to work in banking, but that never happened,” said Crawford. While working at the bank, a man started talking to him about working as an insurance agent. Soon after, he obtained his insurance license and opened his own business in December 1981. Since then, he has been providing insurance and tax services to the Huntsville community and surrounding areas. Originally, between 1987 until 1997, his office was located at the old Bennett Building (which was located next to the current Rather Park) before moving to his current location at 100 Hwy 190 East (11th Street). Crawford “wears many hats” while serving the community

in various capacities. He is an Independent Insurance Agent who works with various companies. This allows Crawford to search for the best policies for his clients. Through the years, he has been able to build trusted relationships with his clients and prospective clients through networking, word of mouth, and referrals. His agency offers life and auto insurance, homeowners, and renter’s insurance. Crawford also serves as a Texas Notary Public for anyone needing certification of legal documents, etc. Additionally, he is an enrolled IRS agent and prepares tax returns for individuals, small businesses, S Corporations and partnerships. S Corps are sometimes formed when small businesses start growing. They are business entities that offer tax advantages while maintaining the flexibility of ownership. Crawford also stated he advises clients regarding IRAs, 401k rollovers, and much more. According to Crawford, being an enrolled IRS agent means he can represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service, and being awarded the status of an enrolled agent is the highest credential presented by the IRS. This elite status comes with a great deal of responsibility to adhere to ethical standards. Enrolled agents are also required to complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years. Crawford is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the National Society of Tax Professionals. Both of these organizations provide year-round tax continuing education. According to Crawford, the COVID pandemic has not adversely affected his business. In fact, it has–in many ways–improved the efficiency of how he does business with his clients.


September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 33

Since people do not currently feel comfortable with face-to-face visits, they have found it more convenient to correspond via emails, text messages, and some even send screen shots of documents they need to submit. All in all, he says business is doing well. Over the years, Crawford has been engaged with his community. Early on in his career, he coached the first championship tee ball team in Huntsville in 1981. He was a member of the Huntsville Leadership Institute class #2 in 1983. He is an active member of the SHSU Booster Club. He was appointed by Dr. James Gaertner to the SHSU alumni board, where he served for 5 years, and is a Life Member of the SHSU Alumni Association. He has been a member of the first Greek fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, for 43 years. Crawford said he enjoys being a part of this fraternity because it promotes brotherhood, develops leaders, and believes in providing service to communities. It teaches men how to become better men, and it has also been a great way to make connections outside of the local community.

Chester Crawford, owner

“One of the advantages of working in the same town you grew up, is that you get to know a lot of people, and I know a lot of people,” he said, while nodding at the same time. A great number of them, he met during his childhood, and many others during his college years, as an adult, or through his business. As he reminisced, he pointed out that he grew up in a house across the street from his current business site. He said, “This building was once the East End Washateria, and it was owned and built by Mr. Scott Johnson.” He remembered being about 15 or 16 years old and walking across the street and telling Mr. Johnson he

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wanted to own that building, and Mr. Johnson would say, “You don’t want to own this,” and he’d respond, “Yes, I do!” He said he also remembers when the old courthouse burned down, when schools were integrated in 1968, and when Chester & Pam Crawford Martin Luther King was killed. “I was 10 when that happened.” He added that, at this stage of his life, he now knows more people who have died than people who are alive. He

stated he sees that as a blessing, because it means he has been around for a long time. Crawford and his wife Pam live in Conroe. She is also an SHSU alum. She worked in oil and gas for 36 years and recently retired. When he’s not at work, Crawford enjoys spending time with his wife and going to church. They attend IMPACT Church of The Woodlands, the same church he and his wife have been going to since they were married 22 years ago. He is also a part of the music and worship ministry at his church. He enjoys traveling, and they have been fortunate to have visited various countries. “Two of my most favorite places have been the Vatican, because it’s breathtaking, and Pearl Harbor…it moves me, every time I go.” He also enjoys exercising and runs two miles every day. On a final note, Crawford reminds everyone that if you filed an extension, your tax return is due October 15, and he is always available to help you prepare and file your tax returns. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, call 936-661-0692.


s 5 e

Conroe 1351 W Davis St, Suite B Conroe, TX 77304 (936) 283-5450

Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 7:00pm Sat: 10:00am - 6:00pm Sun: Closed


September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 35

The Garden Post By Kim Bius

Fall Planting Season is Here! God blessed Texas with two planting seasons for vegetable growers and a year-round planting season for all other gardening. In my 37 years in the garden industry, we have only had 3 years the ground has frozen for more than 48 hours…pretty good odds in my book. Are some months better than others for planting? Yes, and the following monthly synopsis will give you a quick reference guide on what to plant during fall months. September – Plant cool weather veggie starters, such as cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli in mid-late September (or whenever the high is 83 and below). Plant non-drought tolerant shrubs, such as azaleas, camellias, redbuds, dogwoods, fern and other acid lovers for beautiful spring blooms from late August through October. The water requirements on new plantings are 3-4 times a week when temps are still above 90. Remember, new plantings require more water than your existing established landscape, because they do not have an established root system. This means your regular water schedule on an automatic sprinkler system will not be sufficient, so adjust. Late September is the time to plant wildflower seeds for spring after next blooms. Remember to purchase scarified bluebonnet seed, or it may be years before they

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germinate. One pound of pure wildflower seeds covers 100 sq’ at $90.00/lb (be prepared for that sticker shock). August/September is a great time to redo those “tired potscapes.” Spent summer color can be refreshed by adding quart size zinnias, mega bloom vinca or pops of yellow, red, orange, blue and purple color to take you into the late fall. Plant fall perennials such as rudbeckia, salvia, and lantana early to enjoy the blooms till the first hard frost. Plant with a tablespoon of Osmocote under each for continued blooming for 90 days. Happy Frog has a great organic for bedding plants and, if you prefer a liquid, the new Bio Blast (organic 7-7-7) gives amazing results. August/September is also a great time to plant citrus. Some citrus are cold hardy to 23 degrees and some (lemons and limes) do not survive past 30 degrees. Citrus require full sun; plant in an area with good drainage and heavily protected from the north wind. A cold frame may be required. October through February is the best time for tree planting. Bare root trees can only be planted in January through early March for the best success. As a rule of thumb, transplanting is done after the second killing freeze and two weeks before breaking dormancy. October also signals pansy season, which means the holiday season is just around the corner. If you are planning a big holiday show in the landscape…installations need to go in by mid to late October. October/November is the time to purchase winter bulbs. Existing bulbs should be divided and replanted every 3 years in late September – October, but if you miss that date, November works, too. Replant your bulbs with 1-3 tablespoons of bone meal (organic) or bulb booster, depending on the bulb size. The phosphorous will give you stronger stems, larger blooms, and better bloom color. Happy Fall Gardening.

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36  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

Visit our lighting showroom at 1711 Sycamore • Huntsville or visit us online at

What Are You Reading?

Modern day repair with old fashioned care!

Janet Davidson reading

Hinds’ Feet on High Places By Hannah Hunard

Alice Fraley reading

Fault Lines By Voddie T. Baucham Jr.

Laurie Schmidt reading

The New Testament

Don't Drive a Toyota? No problem...We fix those too! Janet Culak reading

The Diary of Anne Frank Edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler

Tell us what you’re reading! September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 37

“Seens” from our World

Next verse is: Spare the rod and spoil the engine damage.

Careful! Either way, you’re getting taken for a ride.

Seen by: Mike English

Seen by: PC Staff

We want to see what you’ve seen! When you see the unusual, funny or absurd, break out your camera, take a picture, and submit to us with a description at: 10129 FM 1097 • Willis 936-890-0454 38  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

20850 Eva St. • Montgomery 936-597-7300

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September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 39

FALL 2021

September 3


“Matilda – The Musical”



September 2 - 18 Reception | September 16 | 6 - 7:30 p.m. Satellite Gallery Free Admission Art


September 7 - October 9 Reception | September 9 | 6 - 7 p.m. University Gallery Free Admission Theatre & Musical Theatre


By Charly Evon Simpson September 21 & 23 | 7:30 p.m. September 25 | Matinee | 2 p.m. Showcase Theatre, UTC Theatre & Musical Theatre


3-OCT 29 Palestine All Aboard the Texas State Railroad


Willis The Southern Plainsmen in Concert


10-26 Conroe “Steel Magnolias”



By David Ives September 22, 24, & 25 | 7:30 p.m. Showcase Theatre, UTC


Conroe Relay for Life & Bark for Life


September 23 - October 2 Reception | September 23 | 6 - 7:30 p.m. Satellite Gallery Free Admission Music


September 23 | 7:30 p.m. Payne Concert Hall, GPAC Dance


September 23 - 24 | 8 p.m. Dance Theater, GPAC FOR TICKETS & INFORMATION 936.294.2339 To view our full list of events, visit

Kolache Festival

Huntsville Marty Haggard

The Woodlands Jason Aldean

14-19 Houston “My Fair Lady”

18-19 Huntsville Antique Show



Due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, some events may have schedule changes. Please make sure to check the event website, social media, or call ahead to confirm an event is still taking place if you are interested in attending.

40  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021


Montgomery Wine & Music Festival



We’re not playing hide and go seek!

We just moved!

21-25 Huntsville “JUMP”

“All in the Timing, 6 One-Act Plays”

24-25 Galveston Galveston Island Wild Texas Shrimp Festival

13185 FM 1097 W Willis, TX 77318


The Woodlands Brooks & Dunn with Travis Tritt


Huntsville Touch-a-Truck


Dawn 936-672-5060

Dave Halston: The Sinatra Experience

Tony 765-385-8888

Magnolia Fall Fest Market



Conroe Deck the Halls Fall & Christmas Market



Huntsville Fair on the Square

Due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, some events may have schedule changes. Please make sure to check the event website, social media, or call ahead to confirm an event is still taking place if you are interested in attending.

The man Shop

September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 41

Mustard Seed Moments by Wes Altom

Meet Me at Baggage Claim Have you ever stopped to help someone push a broken-down vehicle out of traffic? What about simply picking up an item for someone who dropped it, or helping someone move or load a heavy bag or other item? Have you ever been on the receiving end of one of these quick, but thoughtful acts? When we do so, we scratch the surface of Galatians 6:2, which says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The scripture and the Spirit call us deeper, though… closer to God and closer in relationship to those around us who are made in his image. To grow our compassion, we should pay attention and take time to listen to learn more about each other. We must get past taking the easy route of merely helping someone physically with their luggage. What if we went deeper and were able to truly help them with their BAGGAGE? We struggle mightily with this concept, even with those closest to us at work, school, church, and in our circle of family and friends. Do we fear

that level of closeness might expose our own burdens? Are we unwilling to share our load with others? That scripture is definitely a two-way street. We must be as willing to accept the help God has provided as we are to be an instrument of it to others. Will we refuse his blessing and question the manner in which he supplies our needs? All around us, people are struggling under loads of heartache, grief, depression, discouragement, guilt, and need. There are days each of us as an individual strains to carry burdens. May we all take a deeper dive through the Spirit, become better baggage handlers, and help each other along the journey.

Tickets $15 or 2 for $25 includes 10 Tastings


Saturday, October 2 9:00-5:00 Free Admission

Chad Boyd

Concert 7:30- 10:00 pm. Free Tallent's Sausage

Arts & Crafts * Food Court * Wine Knot The Watering Hole * Battle of the Bands Kids Korner * Classic Cars FREE PARKING & SHUTTLE SATURDAY LOT Z2-14AT SHSU BOWERS STADIUM PROVIDED BY FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH & NORTHSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH



42  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  September 2021

Come back Saturday - 11-5

Battle of the Bands! Free Admission Friday & Saturday

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SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENTS ONLINE AT: WWW.CAMERONOPTICAL.COM September 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 43

737 I-45 South Huntsville, TX 77340

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Postcards Magazine Lake Conroe September 2021  

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