Earth County Living - Fall 2017

Page 1

FALL 2017

T A R L E T ON -A & M

Thanksgiving with Julianne’s: That Female Touch Julie Thomas of Julianne’s shows us how to create that perfect inviting Thanksgiving table.


The Birth and Death of a Texas Ghost Town The Best Ghost Town in Texas ~ Population 5.

Hometown Li v ing At Its Best

In Your Financi Making aMaking Differencea Difference In Your Financial Future

CPA••Investments Investments • Consultants CPA Consultants





Granbury • Stephenville • Dublin




W W W. B M Y - C PA . CO M


Granbury • Stephenville • Dublin

Hometown Living At Its Best


“Making Your House Your Home” Mon. – Sat.

9:00am - 6:30pm


12:30pm – 5:30pm


1491 W. South Loop • Stephenville, TX 76401


Water Well Service Stephenville, TX | Jarrell Dowell Owner

“Your water solution specialist” People’s Choice Awards



Water Well Business in the County!

1491 W. South Loop | Stephenville, TX 76401

“Your One Stop Everything Store” Mon. – Fri.

7:30am – 6:30pm


8:00am – 6:30pm


12:30pm – 5:30pm

254-965-5120 1491 W. South Loop • Stephenville, TX 76401 Hometown Living At Its Best




She Rides Horses and Wins Trophies Martha Tompkins Wright is a diminutive, pretty lady who gives you the impression right away that she absolutely knows her business.


A Wrong Made Right On June 25, 2017, exactly 140 years later, the memory of Sheriff James Mastin was honored with a proper monument and dedication ceremony.


Bursts of Joy

Hidden bursts of joy via creatively painted rocks are being discovered by delighted rock-finders in area parks, businesses, schools or other public areas.



Centennial Celebration

Innovations for the Future Built on Traditions of the Past


#BUJO: To Bullet Journal or Not to Bullet Journal A work from home mom’s overview of the newish trend that combines journaling, doodling, and scheduling.


A Plan Gone Awry

Kindness – which the Haleys define as a simple concept of taking care of others and uplifting them in their struggles – applies to family, friends, strangers and critters.


Project Lifesaver

What student leaders learned about community service is much bigger and more far-reaching than the scholarships they are competing for.

10 64

The Birth and Death of a Texas Ghost Town The Best Ghost Town in Texas ~ Population 5.


Community Spotlight

Get to know the staff of Stephenville Family Dentistry.


Tarleton Student Organization Highlights

Students at Tarleton find a sense of community, a place to learn career and life skills, and friends that will last a lifetime. While there are 120 student organizations to choose from, here is a sampling of the involvement opportunities Tarleton offers.

about t he cover

The cover photo is of recent Tarleton graduate, Jessica Saul. Turn to page 122 to join us in congratulating many more 2017 graduates!


254-965-2663 BOARD CERTIFIED

561 N Graham | Stephenville, TX 76401






Hometown Living At Its Best




Bringing Home a New Pet Becoming a new pet owner can be a very trying, as well as rewarding experience. We’ve detailed some thinking points to consider before coming home with your new family member.


With You Every Baby Step of the Way

Texas Health Hospital in Stephenville helps bring babies into the world and is there for all the support needed.


Thanksgiving with Julianne’s: That Female Touch Thanksgiving is meant to encourage a welcoming atmosphere, ushering in a spirit of gratefulness for blessings among beloved family and friends and Julie Thomas of Julianne’s shows us how to create that perfect inviting Thanksgiving table.


Planting Greatness – the Vigneron at Bluff Dale Vineyards

David and Theresa Hayes, owners of Bluff Dale Vineyards, are natural born creators of fine wine and a friendly atmosphere.


The Fast and The Furious: The health trend that's not slowing down.

Gluten-free, non-GMO, low-carb, no-carb, whole food, raw food, keto, paleo. If you got a problem, yo, there's a diet to solve it. But, what if it's not only about WHAT we are eating, but also WHEN we are eating it?


Erath County Living’s Contributors

Here at Erath County Living Magazine, we can’t do it without our amazing writers and photographers! We’d like to thank them for all their help and introduce them to you!


Hometown Happenings

A glimpse inside a few of the exciting events recently held in Erath County.


Hometown Happiness


Congratulations to Erath County’s newlyweds.

Jimmy Don Pack has lived every county boy’s dream of a life well spent raising cows, playing music, and traveling the world with his friends.

Welcoming Erath County’s Newest Residents

Holsteins, Hay and Good Ol’ Country Music


Bundles of Joy


Hometown Graduates

Please join us in congratulating Erath County’s 2017 graduates with prayers and well wishes for their future endeavors. 6

Erath County Living



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Hometown Living At Its Best


From the Publisher



Red Fin Publishing Justin & Hayley Six Kyle & Halsey Clark


Justin Six


GreenFox Marketing & Design

ere we are again, saying goodbye to the end of summer. And although goodbyes are never easy, new beginnings can be so sweet. Whether it’s the new school year, new season, or new month that you are celebrating-there is so much to look forward to! For us at Red Fin Publishing, we are beyond thrilled to bring you Erath County’s newest Fall Issue. With any new issue, we meet new faces and new businesses who are making Erath County a better place to live. In this edition you will read about David and Theresa Hayes, owners of Bluff Dale Winery who aim to share fine wine and a good time with their community of Erath County. If it’s spook you seek during this thrill season, don’t miss out on reading about one of the best ghost towns in Texas, Thurber. Finally, you will meet Jimmy Don Pack, if you haven’t already and hear about his country boy fairytale of raising cows, playing music, and traveling the world. We welcome you to visit your website to read a few featured articles and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for events and announcements! This publication would not be possible without the steadfast support of our local business men and women. Help us to thank our advertisers for their contribution to your local magazine by shopping local! Their involvement allows this publication to come free of charge to you. Go by any advertisers’ location to pick up your complimentary copy. We are so excited about all that is happening in your lives and we celebrate with you! We look forward to many more issues to come! Until the next edition, wishing you many blessings,


Jus t i n an d Hayley S ix K y l e an d Hal s ey Clark

Martha Helton Peggy Purser Freeman (817) 301-3828 (817) 304-1044


PHOTOGRAPHERS Brooke Mendenhall Photography

CG Photography Cross B Photography Jaimie Hill Photography Kaitlin Hooper with Mary Kaitlin Artistry Landi Whitefield Photography Taylor’d Photos Whitney Chilton Photography COVER PHOTO

Jessica Saul

By Brooke Mendenhall Photography


Brenda LaComb Justin Six Kyle Clark

CONTRIBUTING Betty Leatherwood WRITERS Brad Keith Connie Lewis Leonard Jessa McClure Joyce Whitis Karen Wright


Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council Stephenville Chamber of Commerce

Erath County Living© is published semi-annually by Red Fin Publishing. P.O. Box 1239 | Weatherford, TX 76086

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

(817) 301-3828 All rights reserved. Copies or reproduction of this publication in whole or in part

Erath County Living Magazine Red Fin Publishing 8

Erath County Living

is strictly prohibited without expressed written authorization from the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein. Advertising is subject to omission, errors, and other changes without notice.


Hometown Living At Its Best


SHE RIDES HORSES and Wins Trophies By Joyce Whitis Photos by Cross B Photography


artha Tompkins Wright is a diminutive, pretty lady who gives you the impression right away that she absolutely knows her

business and she is ready to help you understand and profit from her experience. This is an admirable trait in any teacher and at this stage in an eventful life, Martha has the trophies to prove her excellence as performer in the world we’ll loosely describe as “Horse Sense.”


Erath County Living

Hometown Living At Its Best


“Every time I go into the arena, I know I need to ride this horse the best that I can. I want him to know that he can excel and I just want to help him do that. Then I can put anybody on that horse and he will perform the best that he can,” Martha said. “I have always tried to do the best that I can with what I have.” She pointed out a massive exercise machine complete with a computer screen and multiple knobs and dials. “That’s my running machine,” Martha said. “I use that when it’s raining or sloppy weather. Otherwise I run outside every evening! I don’t care how tired or how busy I am, I take the time for exercise. It’s just a necessary thing for me.” Everett Colborn, Martha’s grandfather, purchased ranch land that encompassed areas in Erath, Comanche and Hamilton counties and named it the Lightning C. Colborn along with his wife, Ava and daughters, Rosemary and Carolyn lived on the ranch which was the headquarters for the herds of horses, steers, bucking bulls and roping calves known as rodeo stock. Come September it was time for the World Championship Rodeo produced in Madison Square Garden. The rodeo livestock were then trail-driven to Dublin

The Wrights built a business not only training barrel racers but being involved in every aspect of the equipment that went with it. Martha is well grounded in rodeo and quality performance under arena lights. After all, she is legendary along with the Dublin Rodeo founded by her grandfather, Everett Colborn, considered one-time Top Rodeo Producer of the World; her father, Harry Tompkins, champion bull rider, and her late husband, Ed Wright, accepted as a man that could read the mind of any horse. With these “macho” men surrounding her, Martha has been able to establish herself as a woman that can and has performed at the top in her chosen field. Her knowledge of performance horses is well known, highly respected and documented in publications. Her list of finishing at the top certainly relates to her philosophy about horses.


Erath County Living

and loaded on a train bound for New York City and Madison Square Garden.

Harry Tompkins made an appearance in the ten-day

tag, whatever the worksheet looked like for the herd, I liked

rodeo at the Garden as a “green” bull rider. Harry was born

jumping out of bed at 4:00 in the morning just to get dressed,

in Peekskill, New York and learned to ride on a dude ranch

grab a bite of breakfast and go out with the cowboys and the

where he was employed. The young wanna-be-cowboy became

rest of my family. This was fun for me, I think because Papa

a professional; joined the Colborn rodeo; fell in love with

made it fun. I grew up loving riding a horse and doing all the

and married Rosemary Colborn and they became the proud

jobs involved in running a working ranch. My whole family

parents of Martha. As a little girl, Martha wasn’t aware that

was there, working together.

the man she called Daddy was becoming a legend in rodeo

“When I was just a young girl, Lanham Riley, whose

circles. Harry Tompkins was World Champion Professional

daughter was a friend of mine, let me show a quarter horse

Bull Rider in 1948,’49, ’50, ’53, ’52 & ’60, Bareback in ’52 and

in a big event. I enjoyed winning in the ring and there were

All-Around in ’60.

thoughts about what I wanted to do. Then later I met Ed. We

One of the Rodeo Pioneer Calendars has a heart-tugging

were married in 1972--” There was just a slight pause before

picture of a very young, perhaps a year old Martha, seated on

she finished--“Ed passed away in 2016. He taught me so much

Granddad Everett’s lap and looking into a pocket on his five-

about a horse, his conformation, his attitude, how he reacted

button cuffed sleeve shirt. “Some of my earliest memories are

to his surroundings. This became valuable information later

of riding in front of Papa on his saddled horse.” Martha said.

when Ed and I started raising and training barrel horses.”

“We would ride all over the ranch, looking after the cattle and

For just a few seconds, Martha lifted her chin and

horses. Those rides are part of some of my earliest memories.

let herself stare out the window to the green grassy lawn

I also remember how much we all enjoyed working on the

stretching out to a wire fence. Then, with a smile, she was back

ranch. On the day we were going to brand, dip, castrate,

in the room and talking about her teen years.

Hometown Living At Its Best


“I started to school at Tarleton and was a part of the Girls

I competed in these and made enough money to qualify for

Rodeo Team that won the National College Finals in ’69,

the NFR, but my horse developed a foot problem that made

’70, and ’71. I was named the National Intercollegiate Rodeo

us believe that if he ran the 10 runs, 1 every day at the Finals,

Association National Barrel Racing Champion at the Finals

the risk of him being crippled was big, so although I qualified,

in Bozeman, Montana. I was only 18 but I got my WPRA card

I withdrew, entered the Futurity with my 4-year-old and won

and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo. At the Finals, my

considerable money there.”

horse, Breeze, and I won six of 10 go-rounds and placed in

Martha had thought that she would like to pursue a

9. I not only won Rookie of the Year but set a new record for

career in the medical field and she earned a degree in Medical

money won.”

Technology and worked for All Saints in Fort Worth for a

The following year, Martha enrolled in Eastern New

while, but the pull of the horse was too powerful and with

Mexico University and was a part of the women’s rodeo team

Ed as a partner, the Wrights founded Slash W Horses and

that won the championship the next year.

through the years have trained more champion barrel horses

“The next year, 1972, Ed and I were married and began

than any other barrel racing team in history. Their trained

our business of breeding, training, and competing with barrel

horses have won the AQHA World Show, All-American

horses. The so called, “building rodeos” are the really big

Quarter Horse Congress, TBRA Futurity, Old Fort Days

ones where the payout is good. Some of these are: Odessa,

Futurity and Derby, World Championship Barrel Futurity and

Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Denver and a few others.

numerous other prestigious awards.


Erath County Living

The Wrights built a business not only training barrel racers but being involved in every aspect of the equipment that went with it. “We have a tremendous customer involvement in our tack business: saddles, bits, hackamores, all kinds of leather

“I have a business but it really isn’ t a job! I ride horses. I love what I do.”

goods,” Martha said. “Ed designed a tree that we use and have saddles made for customers. We provide all types of bits,

In 1999 Ed and Martha Wright wrote and published a

which we recommend to suit the horse. Of course the greatest

hardcover edition titled, “Barrel Racing Training the Wright

factor here is the horse, and I have been privileged to know

Way.” This book deals heavily with the close relationship

and ride some great ones. We train and breed horses and also

and understanding between a horse and rider that results in

sell embryos.”

wins and championships. Martha Tompkins Wright probably

“Cowhand Breeze (1966-1972), or Breeze, was the greatest horse I’ve ever ridden. I also feel that he was one of the greatest horses of all time. He was a black gelding that

understands horses better than most riders because she doesn’t consider riding them a job. “I have a business but it really isn’t a job! I ride horses.

my dad bought for me as a coming two-year-old at a Quarter

I love what I do and always am ready to help our customers

Horse Sale. I rode him on the Tarleton College Ladies Rodeo

when they encounter something that they don’t understand.

Team when I was named the National Intercollegiate Rodeo

Just last week I flew up to Wyoming to help a friend with a

Association National Barrel Racing Champion. There have

problem her horse had encountered. That’s just what I do. I

been other great horses, but Breeze will always first in my

ride horses and I can get off whenever I want to!”


Hometown Living At Its Best


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Erath County Living

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A Wrong Made Right By Betty Leatherwood Photos provided by Betty Leatherwood


Erath County Living

Stephenville Masonic Lodge 267

On June 25, 2017, exactly 140 years later, the memory of Sheriff James Mastin was honored with a proper monument and dedication ceremony.


n June 25, 1877, Erath County Sheriff James Mastin was shot and killed when he and two deputies went to a farm near Stephenville to

arrest a horse thief named Bone Wilson. After searching the house the officers went back outside. The suspect suddenly stepped from behind a tree and opened fire on the officers, mortally wounding Sheriff Mastin. The deputies returned fire, wounding the suspect, who then escaped. The citizens of Erath County gathered a reward of $800. A posse of Texas Rangers located Wilson on September 15, 1877, near Snyder, Texas and killed him in a shootout.

Hometown Living At Its Best


Mastin, who was described as “a brave man and an

of the Masonic Lodge 267 and wanted to right this wrong,

efficient sheriff,” left behind a young wife and two small sons.

so he and his father, Charles Leatherwood, both members

On June 26, 1877 the Stephenville Masonic Lodge met “for the

of the Stephenville Masonic Lodge and 2nd Texas Frontier

purpose of accompanying the remains of Bro. James Mastin

District Camp 1904, Sons of Confederate Veterans, decided to

to the grave yard.” (History of the Masonic Lodge 267)

act. Believing that James Mastin was a Confederate soldier,

On April 2, 1892, the Empire Tribune editorialized, “His

the SCV camp and Major George B. Erath Chapter 2679,

grave today is unhonored. No marble shaft, not even a lime

United Daughters of the Confederacy began research to

headstone tells the passerby that the spot contains the dust of

prove his service. Without conclusive evidence they decided

one of the bravest officers that ever fell in defense of the laws

to contact the Stephenville Masonic Lodge 267 and proceed

of this county. The article mentioned that donations could be

with the plans for a monument. Soon enough money, that

left at the First National Bank. No marker was placed on his

included financial donations from members within the


group, was collected to purchase the stone. County Judge Tab

When Memorial Services were conducted for Odd

Thompson and Erath County Commissioners were contacted

Fellows in July, 1909, Judge Fred Chandler called attention

and approved the plan. Vance Wade, also a member of

to the neglected grave of Mastin and urged that a monument

the Stephenville Masonic Lodge, made arrangements for a

be erected. This effort, however, was not successful either.

memorial stone, designed by Kenneth Leatherwood, from

So much time has past that it is not known exactly where

Worthington Monuments.

he is buried, only that his grave is in Stephenville West End Cemetery. Kenneth Leatherwood read the story in the History


Erath County Living

On June 25, 2017, exactly 140 years later, the memory of Sheriff James Mastin was honored with a proper monument and dedication ceremony. The speakers included Judge Tab

The unveiling: Vance Wade, David Crawford, Kenneth Leatherwood and daughter, Sara

Thompson, Erath County Sheriff Matt Coats, and District Attorney Alan Nash, John Musgrove of the Masonic Lodge, with Brent Graves as master of ceremonies and Reverend Joe Rogers offering the opening and closing prayers. Charles Leatherwood, Commander of the 2nd Texas Frontier District Camp 1904, Sons of Confederate Veterans and Sheran Weible, president of Major George B. Erath Chapter 2679. United Daughters of the Confederacy acknowledged the organizations and individuals who made the project possible. This monument sends the message to all who pass by that we honor not only this sheriff, who gave his life protecting the people of Erath County, but also our current law enforcement officers. All parties agreed, better late than never. It was THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

Hometown Living At Its Best



Hidden bursts of joy via creatively painted rocks are being discovered by delighted rock-finders in area parks,


national craze has swept through Stephenville. Hidden bursts of joy via creatively painted rocks are being

discovered by delighted rock-finders in area parks, businesses, schools or other public areas. They can be tucked away somewhere in Stephenville or as far-flung as on the patio of your Destin, Florida summer vacation condominium. A simple idea— artists of all ages and abilities paint rocks with inspiring thoughts or cheerful images and leave them for someone to find, keep or re-hide. Pictures are posted on Facebook to share the joy. Smiles are guaranteed. What’s not to love? Read on and perhaps you might find yourself spreading happy thoughts as well.


Erath County Living

Hometown Living At Its Best


The movement began two years ago when Megan Murphy,

it in Stephenville. Last fall, we asked some of the Brazoria

a Massachusetts woman, accidentally started the Kindness

County rock artists to share their talents with Stephenville

Rocks movement when she scribbled a few inspiring words

and they donated rocks for us to get the movement going in

on a rock and left it on a Cape Cod beach. Her Kindness


Rocks Project has since gained worldwide attention, with

“My daughter, a cheerleading coach, asked the cheer

inspirational, hashtagged rocks popping up in at least seven

squad if they would like to spread hope and joy in Stephenville

countries, gathering millions of views on social media.

by painting and hiding rocks and they were all onboard with

“The project isn’t about rocks per se, it’s about connection,”

the idea.” Sally added that Bethany is a great leader and loves

Murphy said. “People find a rock, and they relate to the

her Stephenville community. “She is a Christian and believes

message on the rock. Then they connect with the fact that

that people should be encouraged and lifted up! Stephenville

there is a human being on the other end of that rock, and they

Rocks! is a great way to do that very thing!”

don’t feel so alone.” The Stephenville Rocks! Facebook page coordinator,

The Stephenville Rocks! Facebook page is where members proudly post pictures of their uniquely painted creations

Brazoria County resident Sally Frankum, explains how

before they are hidden as well as post pictures of newly found

the Stephenville group came about. “Someone started it in

treasures. People either keep their rocks or re-hide them

Brazoria County. It went crazy here for a while. I even found

to pass along the smiles. Nearly 500 people have joined the

a couple of rocks. It made my day to find one and then to pass

Stephenville Rocks! community since its inception.

it on for someone else to feel that same excitement,” Sally said.

The mission is to spread happiness, love, inspiration,

“My daughter, SHS teacher Bethany Johnson, was down for

team spirit and community through the simple gesture of

a visit and has always loved rocks. When she was a kid, she

painting rocks and ‘hiding’ them throughout the community

collected rocks everywhere we went. I still have some of her

for people to find. This is a community-building group meant

rocks in our barn and am forbidden to get rid of them. She

to inspire creativity in all ages and bring kids, families and

loved the Brazoria County Rocks idea and wanted to start

friends together.”


Erath County Living

To participate, first collect some rocks. You can find rocks along roadsides, creek beds or along rivers. The rock size should be smaller than the palm of your hand. You can also purchase rocks at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Walmart or any landscaping store. Be respectful of private property and businesses as taking rocks from these locations is considered trespassing or even theft. Next, you need some paint and decorating supplies— paint, brushes, sharpies, paint pens, nail polish or even googly eyes. After painting your happy thought or picture, finish each rock by writing on the back, “Post on FB ‘Stephenville Rocks!’” Then, seal it with a clear coat to protect your artwork from the elements. Don’t be intimidated when it comes to subject matter. It can be as simple as scrawling “Hope” on a stone and tossing it on the sidewalk on your way to work, or as complex as painting an entire replica of Van Gogh’s sunflowers in a vase and leaving your masterpiece on a McDonald’s playground slide.

The mission is to spread happiness, love, inspiration, team spirit and community through the simple gesture of painting rocks and ‘hiding’ them throughout the community for people to find.

Member Christi Foster got a group of eight, including kids ages 5-14, to paint sixteen rocks. Their inspiration for painting each rock: “Similar to cloud watching, the kids saw

Tarleton student from Turkey found the “pizza slice” rock on the Tarleton campus!) The rocks can bring comfort as well as joy. There can be

shapes in and attributes of some of the rocks and painted what

solemn moments, as some groups have painted rocks to ask

they saw (a shark, a pizza slice, Santa…).”

people to pray for a sick friend or family member or for cancer

For Christi, like other members, it all started by finding a rock. “I took my kids and three of their friends to Love Street Park in Weatherford, Texas, on July 26. As we were

awareness. There has been an engagement using a rock and a young man even used a rock as a date invitation. Or they simply lift your spirits. Kandy Van Slyke shared

leaving, my son Chris found a rock that was painted to look

how her yellow rock with the word “Blessed” and a cross

like a dog. On the back someone had written this message:

painted on it touched her: “I found this rock in the river rocks

‘Post on FB, Weatherford Rocks, Re-hide me.’ There were

around a tree in the parking lot of HEB in Schertz, Texas. I

eight of us in the SUV, and it piqued everyone's interest (ages

was having a bad day and when I picked it up and read it, it

5 - 14 and 40). I searched Facebook for ‘Weatherford Rocks’

totally changed my day! I plan to re-hide it so someone else's

and requested to join the group so I could find out if I was

bad day can be changed. Thank you!” (This particular rock

supposed to re-hide it in Weatherford or if I could re-hide it

was painted by Senior Care Stephenville.)

in Stephenville. A Facebook friend of mine said I could hide

Anyone and everyone is encouraged to participate:

it anywhere or keep it. We decided that we would keep it (for

families, schools, church Sunday School classes, Boys and

a while at least) and instead paint a bunch more to hide in

Girls Clubs, scout troops, college groups, clubs, retirement

Stephenville because we saw that our town had a Stephenville

homes, daycares and businesses, to name a few. “You really

Rocks! Facebook page. As soon as we got to town, we gathered

need to have a rock party at your home or group meeting and

up some rocks, bought some paint, and got started.”

see just how fun it is!” Sally shared. The stories go on and on,

The crew eagerly drove around at midnight, hiding their creative artwork all over town. (To Christi’s surprise, a

and so do the sweet smiles when people find and re-hide their uniquely inspired messages.

Hometown Living At Its Best


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Hometown Living At Its Best



Erath County Jr. Live Stock Show Youth of all ages exhibited at the Junior Livestock Show of Erath County this year. Congratulations to all the winners! Photos courtesy of

Cross B P hotography


Erath County Living

T A R L E T ON -A & M

Centennial Celebration By Connie Lewis Leonard Photos provided by Tareleton State University


elebrating its Centennial as a founding

plan for Tarleton to partner with Texas A&M wherein

member of The Texas A&M University

area supporters donated money to purchase 500 acres for

System, Tarleton State University reflects back

a college farm and bring the founder’s endowment back

on its rich tradition while looking forward to the future.

to its original amount. With approval from Texas A&M

With the rapid evolution of education brought on by

President Dr. W. B. Bizzell, on February 20, 1917, the

technology, globalization and environmental changes,

Legislature passed a bill making Tarleton College part of

Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio, president of Tarleton State

Texas A&M, paving the way for the A&M System.

University, holds fast to the core values of tradition,

Throughout the last 100 years, Tarleton’s rich

integrity, civility, leadership, excellence and service. John Tarleton laid the historical foundation when

traditions have provided a powerful connection for students, faculty, staff and the community. One of the

he bequeathed $85,000 dollars to begin a school.

most popular traditions, the Purple Poo, evolved from

Orphaned at a young age and having limited educational

the spirit organizations TTS (1921) and TTP (1923). The

opportunities, he wanted students to have “access to

secret group gathers to make Poo signs to boost spirit

an education that would improve their lives and their

and comment on campus political and student life. To

communities.” After his death, the John Tarleton College

conceal their identity, Purple Poo members appear in

opened in 1889.

public dressed in costume. Their identity is revealed

James F. Cox became president of Tarleton in 1913,

at commencement when they present the president a

discovering buildings in disrepair, an inadequate library

creative, uniquely designed purple pig in exchange for

and a greatly depleted endowment fund. Cox devised a

their diploma.

Hometown Living At Its Best


The 1917 link to Texas A&M to become John Tarleton Agricultural College marked a pivotal emphasis on updated curriculum and institutional strength in agriculture education. To entice the Aggies, Tarleton supporters purchased 500 acres of land for a school farm. However, the Poultry Plant, a key portion of Tarleton’s agricultural legacy, was housed on campus, and won Tarleton national notoriety as generations of hens participated in egg-laying contests spanning three decades.

Another important tradition, the Candle Lighting

Like Texas A&M, Tarleton maintains a prestigious

Ceremony, welcomes incoming students to the Tarleton

military involvement. In 1939, Dean J. Thomas Davis

family in the fall. The spring Silver Taps Ceremony honors

petitioned the Civilian Aviation Authority to offer pilot

faculty, staff, students and alumni who passed away the

training and airplane mechanics courses. Pilots Lt. Col.

previous year. The Beating of the Drum, for 24 hours a day

William Dyess and Bob Bullet Gray served with distinction.

during homecoming week, began in the 1920s. The World

Professor and football coach James Earl Rudder, an Army

War I cannon, representing the ROTC training tradition, now

Ranger, stormed Normandy Beach in the first wave on D-Day.

stands as a symbol of peace gained through sacrifice.

By the end of the war, Maj. Gen. Rudder became one of the

Tarleton takes pride in strong athletic traditions. During the Depression, financial shortfalls necessitated football

nation’s most decorated soldiers. Later he served as president of Texas A&M and chancellor of the A&M University System.

Coach W. J. Wisdom to assume the added responsibility of

Dr. Dottavio said, “In October, we will dedicate a

basketball coach, even though he had never played. Chuck

pedestrian mall and unveil a statue of Maj. Gen. Rudder—

Taylor, a shoe salesman and designer of the Chuck Taylor

sculpted by Granbury artist and Tarleton Distinguished

canvas high top basketball shoes, showed Wisdom the one-

Alumnus Mike Tabor. Vanderbilt Street on campus officially

handed shot. This innovative technique helped lead the team

will become Rudder Way to honor his many accomplishments

to an 86-game winning streak. Between 1930 and 1940,

and to highlight the core values of the university.

Tarleton had a 111-2 record. The tradition continues with one of the strongest men’s

“We also have a strong A&M connection with our Texan Corps of Cadets. The corps was revived in fall 2016. This

basketball programs in NCAA Division II athletics. Dr.

spring, we partnered with the U.S. Air Force and TCU to

Dottavio said, “Beginning his 29th season as head coach

offer aerospace studies and the opportunity for students to

of the men’s basketball program at Tarleton, Coach Lonn

commission as second lieutenants.”

Reisman boasts 635 career wins, making him the winningest

The agricultural tradition remains an integral part of the

basketball coach in the state. To honor him, we’re naming the

university, with many campus activities drawing prospective

west side of our Memorial Stadium renovation and expansion

students. Dr. Dottavio said, “We are a member of the national

the Lonn Reisman Athletic Center.”

Collegiate FFA. Our Collegiate FFA (CFFA) is one of the


Erath County Living

largest ‘university-based’ chapters in the nation. With more than 175 members, it is the service arm of the National FFA Organization.” A new Agricultural Mechanical and

Historical Timeline

Fabrication Laboratory opened recently, with plans for an

1889: John Tarleton College opened

Animal Science Center and an Agronomy and Horticulture

1902: Red Brick Science Building built


1906: Becomes Tarleton Junior College

In 1952, the Tarleton State College Booster Committee

1910: Wilkerson Hall, first women’s dorm opened

adopted the slogan “If Tarleton College Grows, Our Town

1917: John Tarleton Agricultural College becomes part of A&M

Grows.” Currently, Tarleton is the largest employer in the

1921: ROTC established

area, with about 1,400 employees and that many more student

1922: The Cannon brought from Ft. Sam Houston

workers. Dr. Dottavio stated, “Tarleton provides more than

1925-26: Tarleton Football Team is undefeated

$512 million economic impact to the region, equivalent to

1934-38: National record 86-game basketball winning streak

8,393 new jobs. For every dollar invested in Tarleton, society

1947: Rodeo Team established

gains $16.30 in future benefits.”

1949: Tarleton Agriculture College becomes Tarleton State College

Under the leadership of Dr. Dottavio, the university has doubled in size. He said, “Without any doubt, the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff are behind our growth and success. We have some of the finest faculty in the nation, considered experts by those in their fields, who take time to mentor students one-on-one to encourage academic development. “We often hear our students refer to Tarleton as a ‘home away from home.’ That’s because our faculty and staff are committed to providing a warm, nurturing environment. Tarleton offers all the resources of a major public university, while keeping our feeling of family, our traditions, and our extraordinary atmosphere as a great place to learn and grow. We draw students from more than 29 countries, 49 states and 220 Texas counties.”

1959: Tarleton State becomes a four-year school 1961: Plowboys are renamed Texans and TexAnns; Horse and Rider mascot adopted

1963: First bachelor’s degrees awarded; Tarleton is integrated 1970: Master’s Degree program approved 1973: Tarleton College becomes Tarleton University 1990: Tarleton football team undefeated 2001: Military Memorial built 2002: Partnership with McLennan Community College in Waco 2003: Doctoral program in educational leadership established 2008: F. Dominic Dottavio becomes president of the university 2009: Global Campus online established 2011: Partnership with Navarro College in Midlothian 2011: Expansion of O.A. Grant Building and opening of Legends Hall 2012: Construction of Legacy Hall 2013: Heritage Hall opens 2014: Integrity Hall completed 2015: Tarleton Basketball advances to NCAA Division Final Four 2015: Kenneth Wyatt, a Tarleton alumnus, creates a 10-foot bronze statue of John Tarleton and his pet duck, Oscar P.

2016: Opening of Honors, Traditions North and Traditions South Residence Halls

2016: $1M Chancellor’s Research Initiative grant to expand bioenergy research

2017: Engineering building and Fort Worth Campus begins; Memorial Stadium renovation

2017: $1.1M research initiative on cyberterrorism

A particular point of pride for Tarleton’s sports fans is the 86-game winning streak in basketball under Coach W.J. Wisdom during a four-season span. Today, the home of Tarleton Texan and TexAnn basketball bears the coach’s name, Wisdom Gym.

Hometown Living At Its Best


Dr. Dottavio is committed to the vision of making Tarleton the premier student focused university in Texas and beyond. He said, “We have been selected to participate in a three-year project to improve and sustain achievement for students who historically have been underserved by higher

From left, Larry Smith, Julie Crouch Smith and Col. Kenny Weldon admire one of many historic images of the Tarleton campus that were on display as part of the university’s Centennial Celebration Exhibit at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Gallery.

education—low income, first generation and those of color. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USA Funds, the ‘Re-Imagining the First Year of College’ (RFY) project is bringing universities together to develop strategies that create and sustain changes for student success. “In concert with RFY, we’ve put together a group of

“Waco’s McLennan Community College invited us to

key university leaders—known as CLASS (Campus Leaders

become one of their six partner institutions 15 years ago.

Advocating for Student Success)—to ensure retention of our

We now serve more than 1,000 students with more than 30

first-year students.

undergraduate and graduate degree options, including a

“We’re working with community colleges to create clear ‘transfer pathways.’ Our four-year graduation rate for transfer

doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies. “Our Midlothian center has been located on the Navarro

students—70 percent—tops the state average, placing us

College campus since 2011. We serve about 300 students

fourth among Texas public universities.

there, offering seven undergraduate degree programs.

“Our Intern 2 Learn program provides on-campus

“We will celebrate the opening of a new campus in Fort

employment opportunities for undergraduate students and is

Worth with groundbreaking ceremonies for its first building

designed to provide work experience relevant to their chosen

in January. The Fort Worth campus will continue to operate

field of study. We’ve found that students who work on campus

as a Tarleton academic center.

are more likely to graduate.” Tarleton reaches far beyond the Stephenville campus.

“Global Campus, established in 2009, offers a variety of learning options. Many of the programs are totally online.

Dr. Dottavio said, “We have had an academic center in Fort

Some require only a meeting or two. Some are hybrids,

Worth since the mid-1970s, when we were invited to establish

requiring both online and face-to-face instruction.”

a medical technology program to serve the community’s

The A&M University System Board of Regents has

hospitals and medical institutions. Today students have 48

given the go-ahead to seek approval from the Texas Higher

degree and certification programs available to them at three

Education Coordinating Board to add a doctor of philosophy

locations in Fort Worth.

in criminal justice. Once approved, the new Ph.D. will be the only one of its kind in the nation, combining criminology, criminal justice and strategic studies in a single degree program. To meet the needs of all students, more degrees are planned. Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp established the Chancellor’s Research Initiative in 2013, enabling universities to grow their research capacities. Tarleton received a $1 million grant to pursue improving dairy processes and a $1.1 million grant to establish a novel program in cyberterrorism and predictive policing research.

Members of Tarleton’s Corps of Cadets unfurl the Centennial Celebration flag.


Erath County Living

The cyberterrorism effort will focus on preventing online

radicalization and recruitment by international terrorist organizations. The A&M System Board of Regents and chancellor approved $20 million for a utilities infrastructure and pedestrian mall project, which will help with expansion and the ease of access across the campus. Dr. Dottavio said, “The System is a major contributor to Tarleton—it’s a wonderful relationship.” Tarleton continues to promote its core values—tradition, integrity, civility, leadership, excellence and service—through Texan Tour, Duck Camp, Transition Week and orientation

2017 Centennial Celebration Jan. 23-November

Opening of an exhibit of historical items dating back to 1917. See more at

Jan. 27

Ribbon cutting for new Agricultural Field Machinery and Fabrication Laboratory, part of Tarleton’s Agricultural Center

programs. The core values are embedded into the curriculum, displayed on banners throughout the campus, and proclaimed on T-shirts. Dr. Dottavio rewards students, faculty and staff who practice the virtues with a “Core Values Coin.” To promote civility, students took part in the first Texan Debate in April. Sharing thoughts on a variety of controversial topics, debate provided students an opportunity

Jan. 27

Concert featuring Tarleton’s wind and jazz ensembles and university choirs as well as original compositions by Tarleton music faculty

Feb. 13

Public lecture on Maj. Gen. John Earl Rudder by Dr. Thomas Hatfield, author of Rudder: From Leader to Legend (Texas A&M University Press, 2011)

to listen to and respect the opinions of others, agreeing to disagree. True to Tarleton’s commitment to service, students,

Feb. 20

Unveiling of pen-and-ink portraits of Tarleton presidents by local artist and sculptor Mary Waters

faculty and staff at all locations take part in “Service Week” activities each spring. The week begins with the school’s legendary Round Up, in conjunction with Keep Stephenville Beautiful. One day turns classroom learning into realworld opportunities like teaching senior citizens how to use a computer or preparing free tax returns for qualified individuals. Building on the past, expect Tarleton’s tradition and commitment to excellence to continue into the future.

March 21

Tarleton State University Day at the Capitol in Austin

March 31

Groundbreaking ceremonies for new $54 million engineering building

April 11

Tarleton celebrates Waco milestone of 1,000th student enrolled

Sept. 20

Tarleton held groundbreaking ceremonies for its new $54 million Engineering Building on March 31.

Birthday Bash at Heritage Park, marking the 100th anniversary of the start of fall classes since joining the A&M System

Sept. 23

Groundbreaking for Memorial Stadium renovation and expansion at the football game

Oct. 18-20

A&M System Board of Regents conduct fall meeting at Tarleton

Oct. 19

Dedication of Rudder Way and unveiling of Rudder statue

Hometown Living At Its Best


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Erath County Living

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By To r i M o rten s en Ph oto s by J a nzen J a c kso n Ph oto g r a phy ike most folks in this digital age, I have all of the things in the whole Mom Universe floating around in my one brain at all times. And now that I run my family, an online fitness and wellness business and am a contributor to Erath County all from my home office, I have been in desperate need of a solution to scheduling conflicts and brain clutter. So sometime after hearing social media a buzz over Bullet Journaling and sometime before I realized that it's actually a formal thing (all official-like trademarked thing and not just a fancy word for a to-do list), a light bulb went off. I like to fancy myself a tad bit creative but mildly organizationally challenged, so I was pretty darn sure this journal thingy was going to solve all of my problems ever and look good while doing it! 40

Erath County Living

A work from home mom’s overview of the newish trend that combines journaling, doodling, and scheduling.

You see, I am also a chronic list maker, an over planner and a doodler and a complete school supply junkie since way back when. From as early as I can remember, like from the time I could write, my mother will tell you, I have always had 2-3 notebooks and journals and calendars going at once all full of fancy Crayola rainbows and bubble hearts. If any of this sounds like you, follow me.

I didn't want to seem uncool, but hard as I tried, all the definitions/explanations/30 minute YouTube tutorials really were sending me mixed messages. Is it a calendar? Is it a diary? I just had to start one to finally figure it the heck out. Best explanation I can come up with is this: bullet journaling is like scrapbooking for your schedule and your thoughts. Now, even the most polka dot wearing bloggers in the blogosphere aren’t able to all get on the same page with teaching this rapid journaling technique. So my goal here is simply to introduce you to the concept and to let you be the boss of whether or not you want in on the trend! But I will say if you want to get things from your brain… to DONE, enter the Bullet Journal, a phrase that is just gonna keep showing up in your world and in your news feed. So here is my confession…I’m in love with a notebook.

The "what you need" lists however, I did fully understand because as I mentioned before ... school supplies!!!! • Notebook grid lined, ruled or unruled but probably not spiral or hole punched • Pens (Staedtler is one wildly used brand) • Washi Tape and stickers • Ruler • Google • Your sense of humor, because I guarantee you if you decide to do your own you are going to giggle just a bit about how seriously these Bullet Journalers take themselves, their pens, their tape, etc. Hometown Living At Its Best


If you like to-do lists and have a paper calendar and draw or color… ever… then you will like to bullet journal. No two journals are exactly alike. There are a 1.7 bazillion folks doing this already and they all want to shout it out loud and show you. So go online to get your inspiration! This technique has its own vocabulary. Don't go getting bogged down in all of that though, because you may overlook the theme here, which in my opinion is scheduling stuff and expressing your thoughts and ideas in a pretty way. Use good pens but get over ghosting. You know seeing the marks and letters from one page to the opposite page? Sometimes imperfect stuff looks cooler than perfect. But if at first you don't succeed, carefully tear out the page and use a cool strip of Washi tape to cover the evidence. Get the guts down and add the fluffy stuff later. The prettiest page in the world doesn't mean anything unless it MEANS something. Track, schedule, and document things that matter and are worthy of your time. My habits tracker page is my favorite page idea and is MOST useful for me. Our habits become our life. Keep it simple (or don't). Whatever you add (or don't add), just make sure you are doing it because you want to WRITE IT DOWN instead of KEEP IT IN and because it makes you happy to do so and not because a blog or Instagram celebrity told you to do it.


Erath County Living

Sample Bullet Journal pages could include... Index Key Year at a Glance Monthly Calendar Goals Dailies Thank Yous to Write Brain Dump Memories This Month Books to Read Music to Download Parties to Plan Shopping List Three of the top #bujo communities (yup that's a thing.): #bulletjournaljunkies on Instagram


Hometown Living At Its Best





he idea that an Indiana native working in Iceland would end up married to a gal from Clyde, Texas who was working in Cuba. …well, you can’t make

that stuff up. And the story continues with the couple wrapping up careers in education and settling down in Dublin, Texas, where the plan was to live a quiet life below the radar. That part of the plan has been a failure, due in large part to the fact that Mike and Mary Haley share a rare and perhaps underrated quality called kindness. And they just keep spreading it around.

Hometown Living At Its Best


Kindness – which the Haleys define as a simple concept of taking care of others and uplifting them in their struggles – applies to family, friends, strangers and critters. Mike isn’t sure what the root of that quality was for him.

Builder Award, as well as the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year honor. So much for his plan to stay below the radar. Mike grew up in Connersville, Indiana, and graduated

Maybe his DNA. Maybe his education. Maybe working in

from Ball State University before joining the teaching staff of

underprivileged parts of the world. Maybe his strict Catholic

the Department of Defense’s overseas school program in 1972.


That job sent him to Iceland briefly before being transferred

Even as much as Mike would like to be an unsung hero,

to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he met Mary Newton, a

the accolades won’t stop because of the sheer number of

young lady from Clyde, who was also working under the DoD

people whose lives he is touching through kindness.

program, which operates schools for military families on

He came to Dublin from Cuba and Turkey and Germany and Iceland and other international locations because his

bases around the world. After traveling back to the U.S. to be married, they

brother-in-law, Pat Leatherwood, convinced him Dublin was

returned to Cuba for two years before being transferred to

the center of the universe. Pat’s wife, Lisa, is Mary’s sister and

Ramstein, Germany to teach in a junior high.

Pat had already persuaded Mary’s family to move here, so it was part of a masterplan to enlarge the dining table. Before the Haleys had unpacked their toothbrushes, Pat

The Haleys’ years in Germany were relatively easy and comfortable: language wasn’t a problem, public transportation was efficient, the streets were safe, food was good and housing

had Mike involved in the Dublin Rotary Club’s American flag

had modern conveniences. But that level of comfort did little

program. He now heads up that program. And the Rotary

to prepare them for the next assignment in Adana, Turkey on

blood drives. And the Rotary Grill Team. And that resulted in

the Incirlik Air Base.

a Rotary Builder Award and a Paul Harris Fellow. Then he got involved in the Erath County Goodfellows organization and the food pantry at the Methodist Church and those earned him the Masonic Lodge’s Community


Erath County Living

Mary describes their years in Turkey -- with a good deal of affection surprisingly-- as the most “foreign and educational assignment” they ever had. She admits that the comforts of home were sorely

missing, at least at first. In place of a commode, there was a hole in the floor, which dropped straight into the sewer. There were no televisions and no phones. The infrastructure was bad to virtually non-existent. Roads were rough and narrow and drivers competed for space with pedestrians, donkeys, goats, and overloaded cabs. The Haleys “usually” had electricity and running water, except when the daily and inevitable outages occurred. They had a voltage regulator on the electricity because current was so irregular that lights would flicker and be gone. “We had kerosene heaters which we carried from room to room because there was no heating in our house,” Mary explained. “But it was safe to live in Turkey at that time, even though it was near the Syrian border. There was some small-time thievery because some people had so little and Americans looked wealthy to them. But the Turkish people were warm and friendly and we never felt threatened.” Daughter Leah was not quite four years old when the family arrived in Adana. “Every Saturday morning she went with her daddy to the alleyways and shops of Old Adana,” Mary said. “The Turks love children and they especially loved Leah, whose very blond hair made her a novelty, and because, like her father, she never met a stranger. Even now, 33 years later, Leah remembers those excursions with fondness.” Leah attended DoD schools all her life and graduated from Heidelberg High School.

Sadly, there are no more DoD schools in Turkey because it is no longer safe to live there. The simple, safe lifestyle that the Haleys enjoyed is in stark contrast to current ravages of war. In spite of a lack of creature comforts, both career educators agreed that the years in Turkey were wonderful. “The parents and the kids were very supportive of the teachers,” Mary said. “You are so isolated that the families have more time for their children and they are very committed to education.” And with obvious pride, she added, “There were 18 in the graduating class and 16 of them were members of the National Honor Society.” Michael earned extra money by coaching which he (a man of considerable understatement) described as very interesting. “For some of our competitions, we took a 12-14 hour bus ride or they would take us in a C-130 when they were available. When we lived in Germany, we played teams that were 12 hours away and we drove

Hometown Living At Its Best


across Germany and Holland and then took the ferry to England. We took the students on tours every time we had the chance because many of them had literally grown up on a military base and not been exposed to any other way of life.” “Coaching in Cuba was also interesting because the kids – from 7th to 12th grade – didn’t have anybody to compete against except the civilian help at the base, many of them 30year-old engineers or cooks. We didn’t win very much.” “Coaching gave us the extra money to be able to come home for holidays, but Guantanamo Bay is a very isolated base and you can’t just fly out whenever you want to,” Mary said. “We had one regular flight a week that had to fly around the island (they were not allowed to fly over Cuba), and there were smaller ‘puddle jumpers’ which would bring in civilians.” In 2011, Mary flew home to be with daughter Leah for the birth of her son, Kyler, the Haleys’ only grandchild. The

and other essentials. The organization is totally voluntary

morning after Kyler’s birth, September 11, she awoke to news

and is funded by the Erath County United Way and by local

flashes that America had been attacked. All airports in the

donations from businesses and citizens.

U.S. were shut down and the military bases were on high alert. With no air traffic, Mary remained isolated from Mike who had remained in Cuba. “It was a time of anger and sadness

Working with Goodfellows is a “mixed bag of emotions” to the Haleys. “I think it was my counseling background which got me

and anxiety, compounded by the fact that I didn’t know if or

through the hard times on a military base and it certainly

when I could return to Cuba.”

has helped get me through the issues of Goodfellows which

They had relocated to Germany when the first Gulf

requires ‘tough love’ sometimes. You can tell when there is a

War began, a time they described as horrible. “We were in

scam. I go to the homes of people who are asking for help and

Frankfurt and it was very tense. There were bomb threats

meet their family and then I keep accurate records, probably a

and it was hard on the families because the military members

reflection of my education background. You have to have rules

were gone. Many wives were on their own for the first time. If

in order to sustain the program, such as how often recipients

both parents were deployed, the advocates or neighbors would

can come for food. They can only come every four weeks. And

take care of the kids. Mike recalls that as a counselor, he had

we never hand out cash, because we need to be sure the funds

to deal with the students who were affected by battle injuries

are being used as they were intended.”

or death. “Crisis intervention is always tense and stressful,

The vast majority of people appreciate the help and they

but life has to go on,” Mike said. “You have to continue your

don’t abuse it, Mike pointed out. Food is one of their biggest

classes, no matter what is going on, but there were days when

needs, followed by financial assistance with rent or utilities.

it was very difficult.”

Sometimes it gets pretty tight for the Goodfellows in the

Mike and Mary admit, however, that those “life lessons” learned through counseling have come in handy, even with

summer months. “During the school term, the kids get free breakfast and

their numerous benevolent causes. One of those causes is the

lunch at school, but during the summer, they don’t, so our

Dublin Goodfellows, which holds a special place in Michael’s

food costs go up. Fortunately people are usually very generous

heart. The Goodfellows have been operating in Dublin since

around Christmas time and that helps us do the food boxes

the 1940s, helping residents with rent, utilities, medicine, food

for families.”


Erath County Living

Michael works hard to impress the need for kindness on his young grandson. “My mom believed it was nice to be important, but it’s

right place for a quality life. Recently the rollcall of animals under the Haleys’ care grew temporarily to include a herd of goats. The “opportunity” came about because of that kindness

more important to be nice. That’s what I am trying to teach

issue. When a local woman needed a little help, the Haleys

Kyler, too. He goes on our Goodfellow rounds with me and

were there. And that help included keeping a herd of goats fed

he always helps distribute Christmas boxes. He is smart and a

and watered and doctored and whatever else was required.

good athlete, and it pleases me that he has a diverse group of friends and he gets along with everyone.” The attention which Mike and Mary pay to local feline strays and adoptees is well known around the community.

It’s that kindness thing again—that thing that has kept the Haleys far removed from the “below the radar” life they had sought in retirement. Asked what nugget of wisdom he would choose to leave

Mary thinks word is out among the stray cats in the northern

his grandson, Michael ponders briefly and says, “Be nice. Help

part of town to go to the Haleys if they are hungry or injured.


When asked how many cats they currently care for, Mary

Mother Teresa summed it up when she defined the

groaned and rolled her eyes. And each of those freeloaders has

three things in human life that are important: “the first is to

been attended to by a veterinarian and has had the required

be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.”

treatments and shots. These are strays that have come to the

Hometown Living At Its Best




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10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10


The Stephenville Chamber of Commerce thanks its members for a successful banquet!

The Chamber’s “Tailgate: Game On” Party was an unforgettable evening as our talented members showcased their amazing products and services in a unique way and raised funds to help the Chamber continue investing in programs and resources that benefit businesses, residents and visitors alike!

Costume Contest Winners






Beulah Brown Ambassador of the Year: Presented by Past Winners Melissa Divin & Tommy Keith


Past Chamber Board Chair:

Past Chamber Ambassador President:

Presented by Board Chair Ilda Martinez

Presented by Ambassador President

& CEO July Danley

Sheila Williams & Ilda Martinez



Member Awards Presented by Chamber Board Chair Ilda Martinez

Rising Star Award:


Shining Spur Award:

AGAVE/CITY LIMITS (V.W. & Cynthia Stephens)

Blazing Boot Award:


Agriculture Awards Presented by Chamber Board Chair Ilda Martinez

Entrepreneur of Agriculture:

LONE STAR FAMILY FARM (Josh & Ashley Ritchey)

Agriculture Producer of the Year:

COLLIER DIAMOND C RANCH (John B. & Metta Collier)

10 20 30 40 40 0 30 20 10

Volunteer Awards

Friend of Agriculture:


Project Lifesaver 54

Erath County Living

What student leaders learned about community service is much bigger and more farreaching than the scholarships they are competing for.

By Karen Wright Photos by Photos by Kaitlin Hooper with Mary Kaitlin Artistry and provided by Karen Wright


ody Cook stood tall, leaning casually against a bookcase in the school library, by all appearances relaxed.

Except for the tightness around his mouth

and the intensity around his eyes, he appeared in control of the room. But that easy stance belied a deep sense of apprehension and the unspoken question, “What if no one comes!�

Hometown Living At Its Best


And then the door opened and in came a local banker,

Cody and his cohorts, Brianna Karasek, Adriana Ramirez

three city councilmen, a member of the school board, four

and Adriana Flores, set as their goal to put at least one smoke

firemen, a dozen student athletes, members of the Lions and

detector in every residence in Dublin, and to put house

Rotary clubs, several local business owners, school employees,

numbers on every Dublin home that didn’t have them, and

dozens of community volunteers – and Cody Cook broke into

to provide free CPR classes which target business owners and

a smile that swelled into a grin.

managers who might be called upon to act quickly to save a

They had come. Armed with ladders and cordless drills, they came to help him and three other Dublin High School

life in their place of business. The project kicked off on a hot July Saturday when

seniors undertake Project Lifesaver, an ambitious program

the four students, accompanied by their advisor, DHS

with a simple goal of saving lives.

vice principal Shawn Bradford, started mapping out the

On Thursday before the Saturday installation day, Cody

community and going door to door to explain their Project

told the local newspaper he didn’t know if anyone would show

Lifesaver to local residents. They were met with appreciation

up to help. Not one person had called to say they would be

and thanks, even from those households where functioning

there. With the meeting set to kick off at 8 a.m., the absence of

smoke alarms were already in place. They developed a

people in the high school library at 7:50 was concerning. But

spreadsheet of who needed the alarms and set up a calendar

Cody knew that if he had no help at all, he still would get it

for installing them.

done somehow. “This project has become very important to me,” Cody

The students had intended to hold fundraisers to purchase the smoke alarms, but when they contacted the American Red

said. “I was living it, thinking it, breathing it. I was spending

Cross, they learned that their plan mirrored one of the Red

all my spare time on this project. I really cared more about

Cross goals – and so the students were given 400 state-of-the-

these people that we might help than I did about competing

art, battery-powered alarms without charge.

for a scholarship, which had motivated me originally.”


Erath County Living

Installation day was set for August 12, 2017 – that was

the day when the students would find out if the community would respond to their plea for assistance. Each household that had requested the free alarms would be visited by three people – the installer, a monitor to keep accurate records, and someone who would help the family develop a household map to determine best exits in case of a fire. Because of the huge turnout of helpers, the teams had installed 150 smoke alarms by noon, visiting almost every home on their spreadsheet, and were making plans to return to do house numbers that would be visible from the street to emergency responders. And CPR classes started the following Saturday morning. The Student Leaders program was initiated by the Dublin Economic Development Corp., in conjunction with the Texas

“Very early into the project, my perspective changed from being about the scholarship and turned into a project to help people.” – Cody Cook

Midwest Community Network, but the students selected their own project. The purpose is to link students with the community to work together toward a common goal. Students from throughout TMCN’s 50-member communities will compete for scholarships when they present their programs to the judges this fall. The project also fit comfortably with Dublin ISD’s emphasis on student involvement in their community, a program championed by Supt. Rodney Schneider. Under the Community Graduate Program, which was unveiled in the 2014-15 school year, seniors who complete 40 community service hours during their high school career receive a sash commemorating their contributions during their commencement exercises. In the first year, the program attracted 46 students who accrued more than 700 hours. The Class of ’17 amassed more than 1,700 hours. The Class of 2018 will undoubtedly set a new record. The student sponsor, DHS Asst. Principal Shawn Bradford, said he was especially impressed that the students gave up some of their summer vacation to work on the project. “That shows great maturity,” he said. “Some of them have jobs so they are working on this project in the evenings or the weekends. I could not be more proud of our kids. There were many more projects that could have been easier but they chose to do this one because it is so vital to get smoke detectors in homes that don’t have them.”

Hometown Living At Its Best


How do students such as Cody and Briana find the time?

about her life and her time in military service. When I left, I

Both are honor students and serve as co-drum majors in the

felt very fortunate to have had the chance to meet her, even

Dublin band this year. Both compete in various UIL events,

though she already had smoke alarms. That is one of the

including FFA, and both went to state in band ensemble last

great things about a program like this. You get to meet people

year. All four students are actively involved in projects that

whose path you might not have crossed otherwise.

take place outside of school hours. They were all motivated by the idea of making a difference in their community. “Very early into the project, my perspective changed from being about the scholarship and turned into a project to help people,” Cody said. “As we went door to door, we

“Maybe someday what we did will literally save a life,” Cody said. “What if someone is able to escape a burning home because they had a few seconds warning from a smoke detector we installed for them?” Brianna also spoke in terms of “giving back” to her

realized there is a legitimate need. It isn’t that these folks

community by making its residents feel safer. “Dublin is

couldn’t afford smoke alarms. In some cases, they just didn’t

a lovely community that we all care very much about and

have anyone to help them and some of them don’t get out

we want to make sure everyone feels as safe as possible.

very much. I think they were surprised to find out how much

Personally this project enabled me to forge a closer bond

young people are willing to help them.

with my city and her citizens, improved my communication

“I walked up to one house where there was an American

skills and allowed me to use my talents for the benefit of

flag and a flag of the U.S. Navy,” Cody said. “The woman who

others. I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the

answered the door proudly told me she had served in the

community that has played such a large part of my growth as

Navy. We stood there on the porch for 20 minutes, talking

a student, citizen and human being.”


Erath County Living

Adriana Ramirez commented that one of the benefits of

“I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that has played such a large part of my growth as a student, citizen and human being.” – Brianna Karasek

the project is just knowing the students made a difference. “That may sound incredibly cliché, but truly, from the bottom of my heart, I am happy to know that families might know how to react, as a result of our project, if a tragic incident does happen.” Amy Mulloy, Cody’s mother, said the Student Leadership project has been important in many ways. “Cody is learning how to lead, serve, organize and prioritize. He has improved his problem-solving skills and how to work with a variety of different groups to accomplish a task. His confidence has increased and he has improved his public speaking skills and people management skills. But the two most important things he has learned are how to help people in need and that you can never dream to big.”

Hometown Living At Its Best


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Leader. President/CEO of Stephenville Chamber of Commerce As a Tarleton student, July Danley worked in the campus office of Rodeo Activities, even announcing at local rodeo events, while she earned a degree in speech communication, then an MBA in Management. As CEO of the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce for the last 10 years, July represents the business interests of more than 600 members, manages a half-million dollar budget, and works with local leaders to enhance business growth and development.

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– B.A. ‘96, M.B.A. ‘98

Tarleton Texans – Today’s Leaders

Hometown Living At Its Best


T he Bir t h & D e at h

of a

Texas Ghost Town by Peggy Pu rser Fr eem an Pho t os by CG Pho t ogr aph y



Erath County Living

rairie winds howl across the Texas range and buzzards circle in a cloudless sky. A door creaks and swings open, slack-jawed and broken, revealing a dustfilled saloon. The eerie sound of a rinky-dink piano and ghostly laughter floats through broken windows and deteriorated walls.

Hometown Living At Its Best


A typical Texas ghost town meets its demise due to

Ireland, Mexico, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Sweden,

rerouting railways, highways, and byways. Most of these

and Russia. Few spoke English. A city materialized almost

abandoned communities died a slow death and crumbled into


the dust decade-by-decade. Nothing but old settlers' memories

By 1918, and into the 1920s, Thurber registered a

remain to recall legends and ghost tales. And then there's

population of approximately 8,000 to 10,000. In the fall of

Thurber, Texas.

1888, the company suffered labor problems and strikes. The

Leaning lazy in the northeast corner of Erath County,

Johnsons sold to founders of the Texas and Pacific Coal

Thurber, Texas is marked by sturdy brick buildings and a

Company. Colonel Robert Dickey Hunter named the city after

smokestack. To this day, some say you can hear the haunting

his friend H. K. Thurber of New York. Hunter's new company

song of an opera singer who met her demise in the flames that

fenced a portion of its property and constructed a complete

destroyed the old opera house. Legend says she still roams the

town and mining complex, including schools, churches,

streets and her song floats on the midnight breeze. Unlike the

saloons, stores, houses, an opera house seating over 650, a

towns killed by fleeting commerce, Thurber hosts no ghostly

200-room hotel, an ice and electric plant, and the only library

cowboys. Thurber was birthed by coal, gas, oil, and bricks. It

in the county. Eventually, the miners and their families moved

sprang up out of nowhere and died just as quickly.

into the new town. Low pay, doled out once a month, and an

In 1886 when a bituminous-coal-mining operation sprang up between nothing and aught—in the middle of nowhere, Thurber was born. William Johnson and Harvey

isolated area forced workers to trade at the company store, using scripts in their pay package. In his book A Personal County, A.C. Greene called

Johnson lured mine workers to Texas—fifty percent from

Thurber “...a kind of dangerous pretension.” Green explained,

Italy and twelve percent from Poland. Many came from

“Thurber was a mining town, an industrial city, and a true

coal areas in the United States. The rest came from Britain,

city.” Greene was right about most of West Texas having to


Erath County Living

burn cow chips for fuel. Thurber was one of the first towns in the state to have full electric service and its own 17-ton capacity ice factory, the largest in the southwest. This Texas coal country also produced a large amount of shale clay. In 1897 Thurber was bricked—sidewalks, bandstand, railroad station, bridges, pump houses, streets, the company's buildings, and even the watering troughs. When the coal market declined, the brick company grew. Thurber bricks paved Texas streets like Congress Avenue in Austin, Camp Bowie in the Stockyards of Fort Worth, the Bankhead Highway, and the Galveston Sea Wall. The Dallas Opera House and the Pacific Railway station and the First National Bank in Fort Worth, Texas—all had been built using bricks from Thurber. When Colonel Hunter retired in 1899, William Knox Gordon came on board. Even when geologists disagreed with him, Gordon believed there were larger amounts of gas and coal. Then he hit oil a few miles from Thurber, near Strawn. The company discovered the Ranger Oil Field in October of 1917 and everything in Thurber changed. The Texas and Pacific Coal Company became the Texas Pacific Coal and Oil

Leaning l a z y in the northeast corner of Er ath Coun t y, Thurber, Tex as is m arked by st urdy brick buildings and a smokestack. Hometown Living At Its Best


Company (TPC). In April of 1918 the TPC shifted toward to oil production. In the 1920s trains burned oil instead of coal. The company maintained operation of the brick plant until 1930. Asphalt took the place of bricks for paving roads. In 1933, in the middle of the Great Depression, the company announced that the town was being abandoned. The utility poles came down. The wire was salvaged. Houses were boarded up or torn down. In a blink, it was gone. The company's commissary stores closed in 1935 and by the late 1930s, Thurber had become a virtual ghost town. “Thurber had been built all at once, its population had come all at once,” Greene wrote. “And as things turned out, it died all at once.” Even though Thurber had gasped its final breath by 1940, the heart of Thurber continued to beat. From time to time, the Texas Pacific Company used some of the Thurber buildings for training classes. Employees enjoyed hunting and fishing parties in the countryside.

In the early 1960s Mr. Carroll Bennett, a TPC employee, had the opportunity to purchase what was left of Thurber. The heart of Thurber beat a little stronger. The ghost town now had a family. Although the Bennett family continued to live in Dallas, they used Thurber as their second home. Slowly, the living Thurberites stayed longer and began investigating the deserted buildings. Mr. Bennett didn't find gold in the old mercantile vault, but he did discover a treasure trove of old ledgers, films, and photographs from the town. If you drop in at the Smokestack Restaurant in “downtown” Thurber, Bennett's granddaughter, Mollie Bennett Borders, might explain the resuscitation of Thurber. “My grandfather bought the town and while organizing and cleaning, the Bennett family found many historical artifacts. Most are in the Thurber section in the southwest collection at Texas Tech University.” Mollie and her husband, Brian Borders, own the Smokestack Restaurant. Visitors enjoy the historic building, photos, and huge antique icebox, and people ask the family about the hundreds of photographs that line the walls of the old mercantile (now the Smokestack Restaurant). Mollie's mom, Andrea Bennett (Randy Bennett's wife) answers, “There are so many historical facts here and at the museum across the highway.”


Erath County Living

Visitors see the old smokestack and stop to discover a ghost town that post s a “Popul ation 5” sign.

Mollie sits down by her mom with eight-month-old Henry in her lap and seven-year-old Averie beside her and continues, “I think one of the most interesting facts is that the whole town was fully electrified long before any other cities of that time. However, the smokestack is my favorite structure. It's like a beacon that you can see for miles. My dad lived here while he attended college at Tarleton State College (now University). He met my mom out here, created many businesses using the land and provided a wonderful place for me and my brothers, Robbie and Rusty, to grow up. My parents put all they had into this business. We've added a patio, have live music, and can host private parties. We feel very blessed to try our hand at it and continue telling the stories of this amazing location. Our dream is to preserve as much of the history as we can.” Visitors see the old smokestack and stop to discover a ghost town that posts a “Population 5” sign. Drop in to enjoy the wonderful home-cooked meals—fried catfish, chicken fried steak, meatloaf, and the buttermilk pie (created with great-grandmother’s recipe). “It's a favorite,” Mollie said. “We also make homemade chocolate and coconut meringue pies, and homemade fruit cobblers.” Drive through Texas' most populated ghost town, Thurber, and see the past come to life—the Miner's house, Saint Barbara's Catholic Church, Bandstand, Thurber Fire Station, and more.

Hometown Living At Its Best


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Hometown Living At Its Best


Community Spotlight Stephenville Family Dentistry


Erath County Living

Dr. David Stanphill

Dr. Stephanie Cervetto

Dr. Stanphill was born and raised in Arlington, Texas and

Dr. Stephanie Cervetto is lucky to call Stephenville her

met his wife of 33 eyars while working at Six Flags. They

hometown. After graduating Tarleton State University in

have three wonderful children. After graduating from

2009, she attended the University of Texas Health Science

Tarleton State University in 1983, he attended Baylor College

Center in San Antonio where she earned her Doctorate of

of Dentistry. Following graduation in 1988, he started

Dental Surgery. In 2013, Dr. Cervetto was fortunate to come

practicing dentistry in Beaumont, Texas. He started his

back to her hometown to practice dentistry and join the

practice in Stephenville, June 1993 and moved to the current

Stephenville Family Dentistry Team. She and her husband

location in November 2004. Dr. Stanphill is a proud member

have been married since 2009, and they have one daughter.

and supporter of several local organizations.

Dr. Cervetto accepts patients of all ages and strives to make

Q: What do you want your tombstone to say?

every visit to the dentist as comfortable as possible.

A: Persistence prevails when all else fails.

Q: What makes you happiest?

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go

A: Spending time with my family and traveling.

and why?

Q: What is your favorite Bible verse?

A: New Zealand. I hear it’s beautiful.

A: Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9

Lisa Jackson Lisa Jackson has had the pleasure of working at Stephenville Family Dentistry for 17 years. She is married to her high school sweetheart and best friend, Chad. They are blessed with one beautiful daughter, Caitlyn, who is now 22 years old. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling with family and friends. Q: What skill would you like to learn and why? A: To play the drums. Drummers seem to have the most fun! Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it? A: To wiggle my nose like in Bewitched, and poof! Have a clean house!

Hometown Living At Its Best


Jannette Rebeiro

Barbara Sherman

Jannette is our Office Manager, as well as, a Registered Dental

Barbara will be one of the first smiles you will see when you

Assistant. She has been with the practice for 23 years. You

walk in. She answers the phone, puts in our new patients, and

can expect to see Jannette in all aspects of the office. She and

handles insurance. She has one son, Bren, with her boyfriend

her husband of 21 years, have two sons. Marc is currently

Chris. She likes to be outside enjoying warm weather and

attending Texas Tech University and Stephen is a Junior in

spending time with her family.

High School. Jannette loves spending time with her family

Q: What is your favorite meal?

and friends. She also enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and going

A: Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and a roll.

to the beach.

Q: If you could live in any history period, which would

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

you choose?

A: On the beach in Florida with my husband.

A: 1970’s. They just had so much fun.

Q: What’s your favorite Bible verse? A: I am with you and will keep you wherever you go. -Genesis 28.15

Blanca Limon Blanca Rosa Limon is a new Dental Assistant here at Stephenville Family Dentistry. She has three beautiful sisters and a very loving father. She is friendly and loves to meet new people. Q: What is your favorite thing about your career? A: Being around friendly people. Q: What makes you happiest? A: Spending time with my three sisters.


Erath County Living

Mindy Gonzales

Jeleta Boyle

Mindy Gonzales has been Dr. Stanphill’s assistant since July

Jeleta Boyle is married with one son and one daughter.

of 2006. She is married with one daughter. In her free time

She has been Dr. Stanphill’s assistant since 2003 and

she enjoys spending time with her family and reading.

Dr. Cervetto’s assistant since 2014. In her spare time she

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

loves to go hiking and work on her garden.

A: Coffee!

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Q: What makes you happiest?

A: In the woods of Colorado.

A: Getting together with extended family.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? A: Ziplined in Costa Rica.

Racheal Laxson Racheal Laxson grew up in West Texas but both parents are from Dublin. She has been in the dental field since 1989. She started as a dental assistant, then went back to school and graduated from hygiene school in 2001. She has two wonderful, grown boys that both live in the area. Her passion is working out and going to the gym. Q: Aside from the necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? A: Going to the gym or some kind of workout. Q: What fad to you wish would come back? A: 80’s big hair. I am a product of the 80’s.

Hometown Living At Its Best


Karen Weaver

Terri Greenway

Karen is a registered Dental Hygenist who joined the

Terri has been a practicing dental hygienist since

Stephenville Family Dentistry team in February 2017. She

graduating from Tarrant County Junior College in 1984,

has been practicing dental hygiene since 2010. She enjoys

the last 19 of those years have been with Stephenville

getting to know her patients and helping them to improve

Family Dentistry. She lives on a farm with her husband

their oral health. In her free time Karen enjoys spending

of 33 years, Bret, where they raise cattle. Her two greatest

time with her husband, Jared, and daughter, Khloe.

accomplishments are her sons, Jarred, who resides in

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you

Stephenville and Mitchell, along with his beautiful wife

go and why?

Lauren, who live in Hamilton. She enjoys a myriad of

A: Europe, to learn about my heritage.

activities but her top four include cooking, water skiing,

Q: Describe your perfect day.

snow skiing and traveling.

A: I would sleep late, make a cup of coffee, sit on my porch

Q: What are you most afraid of?

watch the sun and have absolutely zero plans for the day.

A: I am deathly afraid of snakes. Large snakes, small snakes, pictures of snakes. I do NOT like snakes. Q: Name three things from your bucket list. A: I don’t really have a bucket list per se. My list is more…if I haven’t been there, I want to go. And I can be ready to go with about a 10 minute heads up!

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Find us online too www. ErathCountyLiving .com

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S t u d e n t s at Ta r l e t o n f in d a s e n s e o f c o m m u n i t y, a p l a c e t o l e a r n c a r e e r a n d l if e s k il l s , a n d f r ie n d s t h at w il l l a s t a l if e t im e . W h il e t h e r e a r e 1 2 0 s t u d e n t o r g a n i z at i o n s t o c h o o s e f r o m , h e r e i s a s a m p l in g o f t h e in v o lv e m e n t o p p o r t u n i t ie s Ta r l e t o n o f f e r s .

Tarle ton Student Organiz ations

Bringing Community Members & Students Together B y Je s s a McCl ur e P ho t os b y Tay l or’d P ho t os

Hometown Living At Its Best



ucked among groves of centuries-old trees is the

by helping them build time management skills, work on conflict

picturesque campus of Tarleton State University. Each

resolution, and even practice public speaking.

year thousands of students travel to Stephenville, TX to

begin their college careers. And what they find is more than

While there are 120 student organizations to choose from, here is a sampling of the involvement opportunities Tarleton offers.

classes and cafeteria food. They find a sense of community, a place to learn career and life skills, and friends that will last a lifetime. Many of these experiences begin when a new group of

Duck Camp

College can be overwhelming for students who are

Texans join a student organization on campus. Not only do

leaving home for the first time. That is why Tarleton brings

they provide great opportunities for fellowship, but they also

veteran students together with freshmen to participate in

help students find a place to belong.

Duck Camp.

“‘Get involved’ is probably the number one piece of advice

“It’s really where [new students] go to be immersed in

given to incoming students,” said Tarleton Student Affairs

spirit and are introduced to all of the school’s traditions like

Marketing Manager, Stephanie Chambers. “I think student

Homecoming and the Purple Poo,” Chambers said. “They also

organizations give students ties to the university, and gives

get to know the students in their class and are able to leave

them something to do outside of class.”

camp with a few familiar faces. Then they’re not showing up

Chambers said on-campus involvement also helps students

to their first day of class feeling alone.”

Greek Life

Fraternities and sororities are synonymous with college

life, and it’s no different at Tarleton. Around eight percent of the student population is involved in Greek life, and their culture and community service is as unique as the university. “We have three different councils—the fraternity council, which is our fraternity men, our sorority council, which is our


sorority women, and the Greek council - that is a little more special interest,” Chamber said.

Alpha Gamma Delta

The Greek community includes two historically black groups—one fraternity and one sorority, a sorority for those studying agriculture, and several more. “I think Greek life is a stepping stone to other [campus involvement],” she said. “Sometimes our students come in as first or second year students and their first step to getting involved is Greek life. Then, they meet friends who are involved in other organizations and they find other activities to become involved with. Typically, our Greek life community members are extremely active on campus.” Greek life members not only help foster relationships with their fellow students, but they also serve the surrounding community. “Some of our fraternities go out to the Stephenville Foster’s Home and volunteer and play with the kids,” Chambers said. “And each year both the fraternities and sororities help to coordinate Tarleton Round-Up, where thousands of students go out into the community and help trim weeds, wash windows and do other things that somebody might not be able to do themselves.”

AOII Delta Zeta

Phi Mu

Hometown Living At Its Best


Residence Hall Association

This organization helps to make Tarleton’s campus a

home away from home for the approximately 4,000 students who live on campus. “RHA works to make campus life better,” Chamber said. “About five years ago they passed legislation that made laundry free on campus.” They also put on different events throughout the year to help students get involved and plugged in on campus.

Student Government

This governing body is the voice of the Tarleton students,

Chambers said. Not only do they relay messages from the administration to their fellow Texans, but they also communicate back students’ desires to those in charge. “A year or two ago we had some emergency notification poles that were taken down because they weren’t being used very often. There were some students who were concerned about them being gone, so the student government passed some legislation to bring them back to campus,” she said. The group works to make sure students have the best experience possible. Part of this work involves planning and executing a weeklong Homecoming event. “They count down to [Homecoming] every year,” Chambers said. “It starts on a Sunday and there are events pretty much every night. Student government puts on 90 percent of these events.”

Student Social Work Association The purpose of this group is to work toward the greater

good on Tarleton’s campus and in the local community. The Student Social Work Association raises funds for local and global non-profit agencies and charities, and volunteers with local community groups. Annual activities include such things as participation in World AIDS Day, fundraisers for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, providing Christmas gifts for local nursing homes, and attending the Child Welfare and Annual Social Work Conferences.


Erath County Living

Tarleton Serves

With partnerships with non-profits like Habitat for

Humanity, Tarleton Serves takes the spirit of the university to the Stephenville area and beyond. “We try to teach the students about community engagement,” said Student Leadership Program Coordinator, Erin Warner. “We want them to know that they can be the change agent and be the difference they want to see in the world.” The organization focuses on getting involved in area organizations that give back to the community and fulfill needs. “They do a lot of trash pick-up, landscaping, painting and restoring of old homes with a non-profit called Community Outreach Housing who purchases homes, fixes them and

makes them financially accessible for low-income families,” Warner said. The organization also spends their spring break every year serving communities in need. “It’s called Alternative Spring Break and one year we went to the [east coast] to provide disaster relief after the hurricane, and last year we worked with Habitat for Humanity.” The group logged more than 1000 community service hours last semester, and Warner said they hope to encourage even more students to become service-minded this year. “My goal is to influence Erath County, and try to give back to a community gives to us,” she said. “Cultivating those relationships between our students and the citizens is important because it builds a deeper appreciation for one another.” .

Hometown Living At Its Best


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Erath County Living

Bringing Home a

New Pet By Dr. Kuczek with A z tec Pe t Hospital

Becoming a new pet owner can be a very trying, as well as rewarding experience. We’ve detailed some thinking points to consider before coming home with your new family member.


aving a pet can be a very rewarding yet trying experience. Not every pet experience can be like Lassie, some end up like a Marley. Either way, we find a joy

in pet ownership that cannot be replicated. The decision to join the ranks of pet ownership cannot be taken lightly, it is a long term commitment to a living creature who is totally dependent upon you.

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Once you decide to take the plunge, there are some things

need medical care especially as they age.

to consider. Dog, cat or non-traditional pet? Do you travel

Before you bring your new pet home, make sure

and move often? Do you rent? Do you have children in the

your home is ready. Pet proofing your home is much like

home? All of these things can factor into what pet is ideal

childproofing. Chemicals, electrical hazards, poisonous

for you. If you live in an apartment, a large dog may not be

plants can cause harm. Something as simple as a misplaced

right. Some leasing companies have weight limits and breed

trash can or laundry hamper can cause issues. Some dogs

restrictions. Small children need a dog that can tolerate the

love to eat dirty socks or scraps in the trash. These can cause

things kids do. If you work late hours and are rarely home,

medical emergencies. Large dogs can pull the cookies off the

maybe a cat might be your choice. Military families should

counter you just baked and if they have chocolate in them you

especially be aware of their pet choice. Large dogs are harder

will be off to the vet. Make sure your yard is safe and that the

to move overseas. Some countries and on post housing have

fencing is suitable for your pet. Pets love to have their own

breed bans.

place to relax, especially if you have a busy household. A well

Once you find your ideal pet, there are options on where to find your pet soulmate. Pounds, rescues and breeders all

placed bed, house or crate may help in this. Some pets come with a name already, you should make

offer many wonderful pets. Wherever you go, make sure to

all attempts to keep this name. If you get to choose your new

ask questions and do your research. Many older rescue pets

pet’s name, here are some things to consider. One or two

may need some sort of medical care for life. Some breeds have

syllable names work best. Make sure it is something that you

medical conditions that are genetic. Make sure you find a

will not be embarrassed to say in public. Another suggestion

reputable breeder. No matter where you get your pet, all pets

is to make sure the name does not rhyme with “no.� After

Find a veterinarian you love. There are many options from low cost parking lot clinics to full service hospitals. I recommend finding a clinic you like and staying with them. Continuity is key. Many of the parking lot vaccine clinics are not local and if you have an emergency, they are not there for you. I also see where military families have trouble moving with their pets because they cannot get the full vaccine history for health certificates. If you work with one clinic, they have a history to work with and they can make sure there are not gaps in your pet’s healthcare. It is ideal to see the vet as soon as you get your new pet so your vet can make sure you are covered for the many diseases that can affect your pet. Too often, people put off seeing the vet and their new puppy or kitten come down with severe debilitating diseases that could every movie with a pet in it, there is a huge population of new

have been prevented. Another suggestion would be to start a

pets with that name. I have seen many paint horses named

health fund. There are many insurance companies for pets.

“Hidalgo” or “Seabiscuit.” Dalmatians named “Pongo” or labs

If you would take the monthly premium that the insurance

named “Marley.” Try yelling “Marley” at the dog park and see

would charge and put it in an interest earning account, you

how many dogs start running your direction.

could have the money to save your pet’s life when it is needed.

Diet is very important. There are so many options. I

Pet ownership is a huge responsibility that will bring joy

recommend feeding a quality reputable brand. You do not

into your life. Everyone can remember their pet. Ultimately,

necessarily have to buy the most expensive food, but make

pets cannot take care of themselves and it is our responsibility

sure you do not feed the cheapest. Many food fads can be

to do the right thing by them. Tonight go home and throw

found on the internet. Many of these to include the raw meat

the ball for your dog or grab your cat’s favorite toy and enjoy

diet can cause some serious medical issues because they are

what they bring into your life.

not nutritionally balanced. Some pets may need a special diet due to medical conditions, your veterinarian will help you find the ideal diet for your pet. Table scraps should never be fed as they can cause gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis. Also remember treats need to be of good quality and that they should be calculated into the daily caloric intake. Training is crucial. More pets end up in the pound because of behavioral issues than anything else. There are many things you can do at home. Touch your pet’s paws daily, reward them for good behavior. Do not let them run all over you, there is a balance between love and respect that helps develop a healthy well behaved companion. The more time and energy you spend with your pet, the better they turn out. Do not be afraid to seek out a qualified trainer to help you with the basics. A well behaved pet that knows a few tricks is always cool.

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Erath County Living

Chelsae Hay had little reason to believe that the birth of her son would be anything but a positive experience. The first-time mom-to-be had had a healthy and uneventful pregnancy.

PREPARING FOR THE BIRTH Chelsae had done a good deal of reading and



preparation for a vaginal birth and had talked through her pain management

Chelsae and Wayd

options for delivery with her doctor. She and her husband Wayland had even taken the complimentary labor and delivery tour of the Birdsong Women’s Center at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville, where their son would be born. Texas Health Stephenville is designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Although pleased to have such a family-centered approach to labor and delivery available to them, Chelsae was planning to remain at home for as long as possible during her early labor. But as a Group-B strep (a normally occurring bacteria that some women carry that can potentially cause complications for newborns who are exposed during delivery) carrier, she also knew when her water broke that it was important to head to the hospital for close monitoring.

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CHANGE OF PLANS “I was physically exhausted from such a long When 35 hours of laboring, exercising, pacing

labor, from all of the different medicines and

her hospital room, varying levels of Pitocin and

fluids that were pumped into my body, and from

on-and-off contractions failed to end in a delivery

excessive swelling. I nursed Wayd every couple

in early March of last year, Chelsae’s hopes of

of hours. And while we continued to work on

having a vaginal birth faded.

good latching and positioning, all of the excess fluid I had, along with Wayd’s needs for ongoing

When the baby rolled onto his umbilical cord

phototherapy, made it difficult for him to latch on.”

and his heart rate plummeted, it became further apparent that a cesarean birth would be necessary. Four hours later, baby boy Wayland (Wayd) was born. Although Wayd was born healthy, Chelsae’s expectations of going home and quickly

Baby Wayd in phototherapy

getting into mommy mode would fade just as her vision of a vaginal birth had. Baby Wayd, 1 hour old

Less than 24 hours after being discharged from Texas Health Stephenville, mom and baby returned to the hospital. This time it was for the treatment of jaundice that Wayd had developed. At the same time, Chelsae began to experience difficulty in breastfeeding her young son. “I don’t think there was necessarily a medical condition that caused difficulty but, from conversations with the medical staff, I believe a lot of it was due to my birth experience, my own body and my baby developing jaundice” Chelsae said.


Erath County Living


RESOURCES FOR PREGNANT AND NEW MOMS The Birdsong Women's Center provides family-centered, personalized care. Texas Health Stephenville offers a broad range of services and tools designed to help area moms and their families have healthy and joyful experiences:

• Texas Health Baby mobile app

• Texas Health Moms Facebook group

• Prenatal classes such as Prepared Childbirth

• Free car seat installation appointments

and Breastfeeding

• Breastfeeding support appointments

• Happiest Baby on the Block class • Support for postpartum depression

FINDING THE RIGHT SUPPORT Registered nurses in the Women’s Center and certified lactation consultant Jennifer McMeens provided lactation support to Chelsae as she struggled with breastfeeding and subsequent milk production. McMeens provided the new mom with one-on-one evaluation, education and encouragement, along with a nipple shield to help promote latching and a hospital-grade breast pump to maximize milk collection. Wayd was weighed before and after each feeding by the nursing staff and his progress was closely charted. Chelsae and Wayland were also able to take advantage of the new Texas Health Baby mobile app to stay connected to hospital resources, information and a guide for charting Wayd’s milk intake.

Wayd's First Birthday

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“Jennifer was very supportive,” Chelsae recalled.

hospital, but we offer many ways for parents

“She walked me through latching, positioning,

to take advantage of the technology and

relaxing, everything that I needed to set a solid

resources for pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding

foundation for breastfeeding, despite the difficulties.

and more,” McMeens said. “Couples are often

She hugged me while I cried and was in despair.

surprised at the level of support and care we

She encouraged me to continue on and fight.

offer and compare it to what would normally

While I do believe that breast is best, I think I

only be associated with a larger metropolitan

may have quit without her help and the support

women’s center.”

of several wonderful nurses who helped lessen the impact of my difficult labor and birth, and

Chelsae ultimately breastfed Wayd for over a

who helped and encouraged my breastfeeding

year. She was so happy to accomplish her


breastfeeding goals. She said she can’t wait to tell her son about the women at Texas Health

“Texas Health Stephenville may be a ‘community’

Stephenville who had a hand in helping her family thrive.• Breastfeeding support appointme

Wayd, July 2017


Erath County Living

Father's Day

To learn more about having a baby at Texas Health Stephenville or about support for new moms, visit Stephenville-Baby.


Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital. Š 2017

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Keeping you connected... P.O. Box 1528, Stephenville, TX 76401

254-965-7337 OUR SERVICES: Phones Networking Headsets Voice Mail Systems Pre-Wire Commercial or Retrofit Full Service Residential Full Service Wiring Residential & Commercial Full Service Monitoring Security Surveillance Systems Off-site Security Surveillance


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254-968-1131 T R E N D S E T T I N G C LOT H I N G , S H O ES , J E W E L RY, A N D H A N D BAG S

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Stephenville Chamber Banquet Tailgate Guests Stephenville Chamber of Commerce once again delivered with their annual banquet celebrating the accomplishments and good deeds of local business owners, community organizations and leaders. Photos courtesy of

Stephenville Chamber of Commerce


Stephenville Chamber of Commerce – Backpack Buddies Leadership Stephenville helped to make Backpack Buddies happen this past school year by providing children from food-insecure homes with healthy weekend meals during the school year. Photos courtesy of

Stephenville Chamber of Commerce

Thanksgiving with Julianne’s:

That Female Touch

By M a rt h a H e lt o n P h o t o s by Tay l o r’ d P h o t o s


hanksgiving is meant to encourage a

theme—or whatever tickles your fancy. More often

welcoming atmosphere, ushering in a spirit

than not, it takes a woman’s heart to not only bring

of gratefulness for blessings among beloved

family together but to use her imaginative touch to

family and friends. The yummy aroma of homemade

generate those splashes of holiday ambience on the

rolls tinged with roasted turkey and pecan pie beckon

dinner table. To gather Thanksgiving decorating

loved ones to sit a spell, savoring the Thanksgiving

ideas and ways to set an inviting Thanksgiving table,


I approached Julie Thomas, owner of Julianne’s, a

In addition to the food, festive dinnerware and


premier destination for bridal registry, interior design,

décor can be artfully arranged on your Thanksgiving

dinnerware, fine linens and seasonal décor. Julianne’s

table with quiet elegance, dramatic flair, a nature

is located on Stephenville’s quaint, historic square.

Erath County Living

Hometown Living At Its Best


As a business owned and managed by women, owner,

“We met when Lacey came in the shop one day and she was

Julie Thomas, and store manager, Lacey Cook, capitalize on

telling me I needed to advertise more on social media. She had

their professional and personal partnership to warmly share

all these ideas and she has so much energy about her, so I said,

their creative suggestions and service with their customers.

‘You need to come work for me.’” They exchanged pleasantries

Julie enjoyed a successful nursing career and consulting

and contact information and about two weeks later, Julie hired

business in nursing but always had her creative juices flowing

Lacey to build her social media presence as well as oversee in-

in the back of her mind, dreaming of opening a home décor

store events. The relationship blossomed as Julie made Lacey

and gift shop.

manager of Julianne’s.

“I had a desire to return to Stephenville full time, to

“I relieve her from being on her own. We have a good

engage in the community and grow a business where shoppers

partnership. Even though I’m not a business partner, I feel

can enjoy a calm, relaxing atmosphere while shopping for

very much attached to it. It’s been a real blessing for me,”

beautiful décor and fine linens,” explained Julie. “I felt many

Lacey commented. In fact, Lacey sprinkled the word “blessed”

people, like me, would enjoy having more opportunities for

several times during our conversation, commenting how it’s

shopping local.” Julie believes her business savvy and creative

wonderful to come to work everyday. During the interview,

side complement each other perfectly through Julianne’s.

the two women bounced easily off each other in sharing

After she decided to open Julianne’s, she found the perfect

information about the store as well as putting together a

backdrop for her shop—the historical First National Bank

beautiful Thanksgiving table for a photo shoot for Erath

Building. Providentially, the building was available and her

County Living. For the photo shoot, Julie also included Scott’s

plans unfolded. It has been successfully growing for a year-

Flowers On the Square for the centerpiece and Greer’s Ranch


Cafe for the food served.

Lacey brings a strong marketing/retail background to Julianne’s. As for meeting Lacey, Julie explained the story:


Erath County Living

The two women agree on one Thanksgiving faux pas that certainly discourages the feeling of shared warmth around the

table. Citing a quote from the creators of one of Julie’s favorite dinnerware lines, Juliska, Julie said: “No one lingers wistfully over a paper plate.” True enough. But maybe it isn’t in the budget to splurge on a completely new set of Thanksgiving dinnerware. Perhaps combining the old with the new is the solution, Julie suggested. “Say you’re getting ready for Thanksgiving and you have your grandmother’s china and it’s not something you absolutely love but it’s your grandmother’s china so you’re going to serve it. I tell people, ‘Bring in your grandmother’s china and let’s see if we can match a salad plate from Casafina or Juliska with it.’” Or, some people add a new piece annually from a certain beloved line of dinnerware to build their holiday collection, added Julie.

The stoneware line that the two ladies selected to feature in Erath County Living is a nature theme called Forest Walk by Juliska. It is adorned with feathers, nuts, berries and leaves, intertwined with brown vines encircling the outside of the plate. It even has gift trays with “love” and “gratitude” spelled out in nature’s elements. “I love the story behind it and I love the way it feels,” commented Julie. “It’s meant to be used. It’s sturdy, heavy, not fragile. I also love the artisan look to it.” Lacey added that she thinks this line is “unforgettable.” The women like to share the stories behind the creators of each dinnerware line with their customers, making it more personal and meaningful. For instance, Juliska was created by newlyweds who are unabashed romantics--the wife from a huge, chaotic, emotional French family and the husband from a small, proper, orderly English family. Together they enjoy creating “perfectly imperfect” handmade Bohemian glasses, assorted dinnerware and home décor. Setting a beautiful table is definitely a part of Thanksgiving—or any other holiday celebration for that matter. But there’s more to it, added Julie. “It’s important to

Hometown Living At Its Best


me as a mother of young girls--and with Lacey, as she gets started more as being a homemaker--that they understand how to set up a pretty table. But more importantly – this might sound a little 1950-ish – I feel joy by being able to entertain and gather around the table. We’re in the south and I call that ‘covered dish country.’ We find joy in bringing people into our homes and I want them to feel proud of what they have.” And this desire flows over to her customers as well. The goal of Julianne’s is to create a kind of oasis, a relaxing feeling to all who enter; a feeling of warmth and home. Isn’t that what the spirit of Thanksgiving is all about?


Erath County Living

A Woman’s Influence on Thanksgiving


Thank you to the following local businesses for sharing their talent in helping to create the beautiful Thanksgiving table spread.

Julianne’s Provided design & presentation Greers Ranch Cafe Provided the Thanksgiving feast pictured Scotts Flowers on the Square Provided the holiday centerpieces

e need to thank a very tenacious woman for even establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday. A little background: in 1789 George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving proclamation; he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His two successors also called for a day of Thanksgiving. But it wasn’t until 1827 when noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale— author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”— launched a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. For 36 years, she zealously published editorials and sent numerous letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” It was and still is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Rightfully so, Sarah earned the nickname, “Mother of Thanksgiving.”

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Erath County Living

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Erath County Living

the Vigneron at Bluff Dale Vineyards

By Peggy Purser Freeman Photos by Landi Whitefield Photography


fternoon shadows filter through the ancient trees that surround Bluff Dale Vineyards. My friends and I relax in a

cool space overlooking the meandering porches framed by various shades of green. “Someday within my lifetime,” owner David Hayes explained. “I want to make a premier wine—a truly great wine.”

Hometown Living At Its Best


His statement surprised me. My thoughts jumped to

America has become well known in the world for fine wine

the history of Bluff Dale wines. They have received many

and Texas is finally achieving national notice. However, few

accolades and awards. I took a sip of the wine before me,

people know that Texas is the site of the first vineyard planted

breathing in the aroma I thought—“What can he mean,

in North America by Franciscan priests in the year 1662.

someday? This is truly wonderful wine.” Creating a fine wine is a business that David & Theresa

Bluff Dale Winery has been growing grapes and producing wine long before they opened the doors of the

Hayes do well. They have worked at the craft most of their

winery in 2005. Several years back, David and Theresa, joined

adult lives. But the look in David's eyes when he speaks of

by their son Chris, replaced their vineyard with all new grape

a “great wine” is more than that of a winemaker. This is

stock from California.

the look of passion for perfection. David is a vigneron. A

“Cabernet vines on one side of the vineyard and Petite

vigneron does more than make the wine--he cultivates a

Sirah vines on the other.” David gestured toward the acres

vineyard for winemaking. Pours his heart and soul into the

of vines as he talked. “If you blend the two, you get a really

critical role that vineyard placement and maintenance has in

nice wine. In 2017, the Cab (Cabernet) Vines have done well.

the production of high-quality wine. A vigneron dreams of

Thanks to the birds, we had a light harvest from Petite Sirah.

planting, pampering and harvesting the grapes to produce a

Hopefully, in 2018, we'll put our nets up sooner and our

“great wine.”

harvest will be much larger.”

Most people think of Texas wine as a new thing. North


Erath County Living

Chris Hayes, Director of Marketing at Bluff Dale Winery

invited our readers to check the website for events, dates, and times. “We invite the public to harvest each year. Bring your cameras, boots, clippers, stories to share and join us in celebrating over lunch and wine.” Sitting, soaking up the serenity, the picturesque views and beauty of the Texas sky allowed the magic of the vineyard to pour blessings over my friends and me as we enjoyed the afternoon. Theresa joined us. “We love for people to stop in any time,” Theresa said, “It's

“Someday within my lifetime, I want to make a premier wine - a truly great wine.” David Hayes, owner of Bluff Dale Vineyards make our own. This way we can enjoy the wine and make

good to relax and live in the moment. It's almost spiritual, it is

new friends. We often have community events, fund raisers.

so peaceful just to sit on one of our four decks and meditate.”

Someone comes and fires up a grill for steaks, and then

A native of mainland China, Theresa, came to the US as a

everyone makes a donation to our Bluff Dale charities. We

college student. She met David on the University of Tennessee

may serve 200 or so, which is about the most the winery can



“Theresa's dad sent her over because her brother-in law

Theresa explained other events. “People can drop in for

was a professor at the University,” David chimed in. “I saw her

tastings or a romantic supper. They can bring a picnic for

and thought she was the prettiest thing I had ever seen in my

eating inside or outside, or we have light snacks available. We

entire life and... I just knew. That was over 40 years ago.” In

have wine tastings and wine by the glass or bottle. The winery

the early years of their marriage, David's work took them all

is a perfect place to host parties and weddings.”

over the world. “We enjoyed wine, however, we soon discovered, we couldn't afford the really great wines. So we decided to

Bluff Dale Winery creates excellent wine, aged in oak barrels, a perfect pairing with steaks and venison. After all Bluff Dale is located in the heart of Texas. These award

Hometown Living At Its Best



Erath County Living

winning wines wait for your special celebration or an afternoon getaway. “We were awarded first place in the most prestigious “Taster's Choice” consumer’s wine competition in Texas,” Chris explained. “And we've won first place two years in a row and third place at Grapefest. Our Paragon and Nexus continue to be the all-time winners. The most coveted award was presented at the nationally recognized “Texas Steak Cook-Off “held in Hico, Texas. We are marketing more on social media and post events on Facebook. If you don't have time to drive out to the winery, Central Market in Dallas and HEB carry our wine.” While David talks about wines and vines, Theresa will be the one to tell you the perfect pairings and parties. “Our Cabernet Sauvignon is wonderful with charcoal-cooked steaks, wild game, or lamb.” Bluff Dale Vineyards' award winning Paragon, is a deliciously dry, table wine blended also as a great compliment to wild game, lamb, and steaks. Nexus has been their Lonestar International Wine Competition winner. Theresa defines the Nexus this way “It's truly a sweet red wine that compliments spicy food, Italian and Mexican dishes. But it's best when sharing with a friend at about any time.” Other great Bluff Dale offerings are: their Vintage Port for after dinner; White Cliff-a fine Texas table wine; Dulcet - a white wine with a touch of sweetness that is great with seafood or pork or a pairing with turkey and duck; Chardonnay- a must have with a shellfish dinner; and Sweet Caramella— made from Muscat Canelli. David added. “We have Merlot, Syrah, and Sangiovese.” Bluff Dale Vineyards host entertainment and special

“We invite the public to harvest each year. Bring your cameras, boots, clippers, stories to share and join us in celebrating over lunch and wine.”

events often. Day or night, the Vineyard is a place where friends gather under the beautiful Texas Sky. Visit the website for times and dates or call 254-728-3540

Call (254) 728-3540 for more information. Bluff Dale Winery is located at· 5222 County Road 148. Bluff Dale, Texas,

and ask David, Theresa, or Chris when their next event will

76433. From Stephenville, go north on 377 to Bluff Dale, when

be. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday,

you cross the railway tracks go five tenths of a mile, turn left

Friday and Saturday from 11 am – 6 pm. Open Sunday 12

on CR 148. Follow this road until you see the signs.

Noon – 6 pm, closed on Tuesdays. Enjoy the views and a quiet afternoon on the patio or one of the beautiful decks

At the top of the hill, look out at the view, take a deep breath of the beautiful, and enjoy the fruits of the vine.

overlooking Bluff Dale Vineyards.

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Graduates Trask Brown 2017

Photo by Cross B Photography

Paden Bray Class of 2017

Photo by Cross B Photography

Alexandra Anaya Tarleton 2017

Photo by Brooke Mendenhall Photography

Joley Chisholm Dublin 2017

Photo by Brooke Mendenhall Photography

Morgan Kinsey Stephenville 2017

Photo by Brooke Mendenhall Photography

Dulce Rubio Tarleton 2017

Photo by Brooke Mendenhall Photography

Katelynn Butler 2017

Sage Sparks Santo High School Class of ’17

Photo by Cross B Photography

Photo by Declaring His Glory Photography

Kaylee Roach Hico 2017

Photo by Brooke Mendenhall Photography

Bunker Funderburgh 2017 Photo by Cross B Photography

Riley Martin GHS 2016

Photo by CG Photography

Lauren Tate Tarleton 2016

Photo by CG Photography

Cody Garcia HHS Class of 2017

Photo by CG Photography

Grace Gillespie 2017

Photo by Cross B Photography

Jessica Saul Tarleton 2017

Photo by Brooke Mendenhall Photography

865 S. Graham Street Stephenville, TX 76401

254-968-6494 or 817-573-4247 License #TACLA57089E

Comfort for every season STEPHENVILLE

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Since 1973, in partnership with our auction donors and auction buyers, WE HAVE RAISED MORE THAN



Information for our next Auction will be announced soon, so stay tuned! A big

Thank you

to our community for continuing to support our

annual Stephenville Optimist Club Auction.

Serving Central Texas for over 35 years.

WE BUILD CUSTOM DESIGN IN GROUND POOLS WITH SERVICE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR. Visit our store, we offer free water testing and full line of pool chemicals and parts.We are now offering Saber grills and can build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. For more information on donations or questions, call 254.485.6740 124

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254-445-2484 | 3230 S.W. Hwy 377 | Dublin, Texas 76446

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Specializing in residential, farm, ranch, equine, water-front and luxery properties

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• College Savers • Individuals with Insurance Needs • Estate and Trust Services Helen Golden

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Hometown Living At Its Best



Good Ol’ Country Music By Joyce Whitis Photogr aphy by Brooke Mendenhall Photogr aphy

Jimmy Don Pack has lived every county boy’s dream of a life well spent raising cows, playing music, and traveling the world with his friends. “Come on in here,” a masculine voice coming from the depths of an overstuffed recliner is the way Jimmy Don Pack invited you into his comfortable, cool living room. Cool here means temperature–wise. Outside the red brick house where two, dry cliché roads meet in the countryside, it is Texas-July at its hottest. This is Erath County, only a couple of farms down highway 219 from Lingleville.


Erath County Living

Hometown Living At Its Best


Cows are shaded up today; horses are standing out

farm family where he learned early on that hard work pays

there sleeping and smart farmers and their wives are inside

off. Cows had to be milked twice a day and fed a good diet or

watching television or stretched out on the couch. In Jimmy

else dairying was not profitable and making a profit was what

Don’s case, for only a few minutes, he slouches in his favorite

it was all about. Besides helping his dad and brother, Larry,

chair. But the farmer won’t be in that chair very long. Soon

run the dairy, and keep up with school work, Jimmy Don

the temperature will drop a mark or two and then he’ll put on

developed another interest, music.

his straw hat and “saddle up” his four-wheeler for a trip to the hay field and his hay bailing machine. Coastal grass has been cut, windrowed; dried; turned;

“My interest in music began around the age of thirteen. I was at the Fort Worth Stock Show and wound up at the taping of the show for TV at Panther Hall. That night my musical

dried again and now it’s time for bailing. It’s been a great

interests changed from rock and roll to country as I watched a

year for hay with several good rains during spring and early

fourteen year old named Hank Williams Jr. perform,” Jimmy

summer and now it’s time for Jimmy Don and other hay-

Don sad. “I thought, ‘How cool is this’ and within just a

farmers to finish up their product for dairymen, ranchers

couple of days I bought my first guitar.”

and others needing feed for their livestock now and through

In 1967, Jimmy Don got some friends together and they

the winter. Jimmy Don is a self- labeled hay-farmer as far as

formed a four member band. The teen-aged boys named

his neighbors see. Close friends and family know better, they

their band, The Rounders, and started playing for friends,

know the other life this former dairyman, now hay-farmer has

practicing in Beyer’s garage. Band members in that early

led since his early teens.

musical adventure were school friends; Jim Beyer, Danny

Jimmy Don was born November 21, 1950 into a dairy


Erath County Living

Cantrell, Pete and Reno Sanchez. They were a hit locally

but only occasionally were rewarded for their efforts with any cash. By 1970 they had all married and most had other interests so they disbanded. “From 1970 until November of ’73 I was a freelance musician,” Jimmy Don said. “I worked with different bands and occasionally booked for myself. This was a very enjoyable time meeting so many musicians that I considered celebrities such as Durwood Strube, Mark Scott, Bill Dearmore and many others. I learned so much from other musicians and made many friends. In November of ’73 I took a job at the Trio Club in Mingus. I was hired as a sub for six weeks. Seven and one-half years later my six week substitute job ended. I met and played with so any good friends during this period that it would be hard to list them all.” During his time playing and singing at night, Jimmy

found himself in the dairy barn with the prospect of being really tired before he finished the job and got dressed for a

Don was operating a large dairy operation with the help of

late night ‘gig’. Then he’d get home in the early hours in time

his brother. Regular milking times had to be kept so he often

to get undressed from several hours behind a mic and put on

“My life has been spent milking Holstein cows, growing and bailing hay and playing country and western swing music in Texas honky-tonks. I am truly a grateful man.”

‘barn clothes’ for the morning milking. “When I left the Trio, I formed a band called the Texas Swing Express. We played in a one hundred mile radius of Stephenville and were able to work four and five nights a week. The band changed musicians several times and we played until 1985.” It was during this time with the Texas Swing Express that Jimmy Don met Bill Hearne and his son, David. Bill was a record producer and they recorded several songs with him. Through this contact, he was able to meet Randy Elmore, Rick and Steve Solomon, Gary Carpenter and Buck Reems. These guys were all part of Red Steagall’s Coleman County Cowboys. “I got the chance to be the bass player for Buck’s band, The Range Riders at that time.” Jimmy Don said. “ In October 1990, Buck called to say that Red Stegall had an opening for a bass player in his band and would Jimmy Don be interested. He naturally was thrilled to be included in Red’s band and on November he became a Coleman County Cowboy. He continues to play with the band celebrating 27 years as a part of that family. While with Red and his band, Jimmy Don had the excitement of traveling on a “Cultural Exchange Program” with them to several countries in South America.

Hometown Living At Its Best


“We played country and western music at gigs across

the culture and scenery. He floated down the Amazon River,

Bolivia, Venezuela, and Brazil,” Jimmy Don Said. “The natives

the widest river in the world but of course, like most travelers,

seemed to enjoy the country western music that we played

was happy to come back home to the farm near Lingleville

but time means absolutely nothing to those folks. We’d have

and most of all his wife, Marilyn and family.

planned to start at 8:00 and here they would come walking in at 8:15…8:30…even 9:00.” While in Venezuela, Jimmy Don was working at a venue

“I have been lucky all these years to get to play my music.” Jimmy Don said. “I’ve played at Billy Bobs, back in 1990 and was pretty scared when I took the stage but the audience was

and as the band stopped for a breather, a young man walked

receptive and it all went good. I’ve played with some great

up to him he said, “So you are from Lingleville, Texas.” Jimmy

musicians but you know when performing, traveling together,

Don was a little surprised to hear spoken English and the

eating together…if you make a pretty good match. I played

word Lingleville. The man continued.

with Tony Douglas at Strawn, Johnny Gimble at Phoenix.

“I know where Lingleville is because my dad was pastor of the Baptist Church in Huckabay! Jimmy Don had been in the dairy business all his life up

Randy Elmore, Rick and Steve Solomon, Gary Carpenter and Buck Reems: these guys were all part of Red Steagall’s Coleman County Cowboys and my friends. In November

to that point so he took the time while visiting in Brazil, to

2017 I will celebrate twenty-seven years as a part of this dear

visit a dairy farm.


“They had a really nice herd of Holsteins but they didn’t

“In the past twenty-seven years I have seen places and

have the right feed-stuff for them to produce a lot milk. Also

done things that without my music I would have never been

they were complete at that dairy. I mean they milked the cows

able to do. It has also given me the opportunity to work

then processed the milk including pasteurizing it and storing

with so many great friends and musicians. Currently I am

it in bottles. Those were really nice cows.” He added, “I’d like

fortunate to be a part of the Country Night Live band. I also

to have a look in that semen tank!”

sub for my friend, Kelly Spinks who I worked for a couple of

While on tour in South America, Jimmy Don experienced


Erath County Living

years. I’m also a part of Brady Bowen’s Swing Country Bank

and sub for the Sunday Band at the Stagecoach Inn in Fort Worth, Greg Gibbs fine band, Landon Dodd and anyone else that believes I have the ability to be an asset. I’ve also had the pleasure of being on the staff band at the Texas Opry in Weatherford. My first stint was from ’92 to’94 and second was from 2002 to2004. I met my buddy Albert Talley while playing at the Texas Opry. One of my highlights each year is to play with the Texas Steel Guitar Association, Albert is president, each year at the four day event in March. Jimmy Don is happily married to the love of his life,

I “ n the past twenty-seven years I have seen places and done things that without my music I would have never been able to do. It has also given me the opportunity to work with so many great friends and musicians.

Marilyn. They were married in 1969 and together have made sacrifices the have enabled him to be both a farmer and a musician. They have been blessed with son, Jody, his wife, Ginnie, and daughter Jenny Stone. They are also proud of grandkids, Justin Dillon Pack and wife Logan, Cooper Tate Stone, and Ashley Williams, and great granddaughter Brinley Kate Pack. “My life has been spent milking Holstein cows, growing and bailing hay and playing country and western swing music in Texas honky tonks. I am truly a grateful man.”

Hometown Living At Its Best


The Fast & The Furious: The health trend that's not slowing down By Tori Mortensen


pparently there's room for yet another driver

cholesterol. Additionally, IF may improve insulin

in the race for “Top Diet Trend of 2017,”

resistance, which, in turn, helps stabilize blood sugar

because the latest program making a name for


itself in nutrition, Intermittent Fasting, has pulled up to

In one recent study, periodic fasting was linked to

the starting line and the other guys in the mix are taking

lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and aging.


Some scientists seem to believe this is likely due to the

But health industry is in a pileup when it comes to

ways that it affects cell and hormone function. During

Intermittent Fasting. Less diet really and more eating

the fasting phase, many cells die and stem cells turn on,

schedule, proponents of this clock- or calendar-based

which starts a regeneration process and gives rise to new,

eating routine have created multiple styles which

younger cells, study author Valter Longo, PhD, recently

encourage and restrict eating based on alternating times

explained in an interview with Health Magazine. "It

of feeding and fasting. According to recent studies, the

sounds too good to be true, but it's not," he said.

Instagram influencers and lots and lots of fitness bloggers,

Other data states that the prime health benefit of

the results of Intermittent Fasting are pretty darn great,

fasting comes when the body puts itself in a natural state

including simple weight loss and vastly improved health.

of ketosis (ketosis is yet another health buzzword and

Though the concept is highly contested in an industry that spent years convincing us that we MUST basically eat

could be a whole article in and of itself). And yet another camp promotes an IF eating

around the clock in order to achieve our health goals.

schedule as a weapon in the body's struggle against a life

Cue the Internet momentum and contention.

filled with artificial light i.e having your days and nights

Touting benefits from Alzheimer's prevention to a

mixed up, insomnia, daytime drowsiness.

complete immune system reset, from achieving advanced

Now, again, ask anyone who has a car in this fitness

mental clarity to better mental health, multiple studies

race and you will most certainly hear mixed opinions

claim fasting may not only improve your overall health,

(and even mixed explanations) of IF. Some individuals

but may even help you live longer.

have even been driven to come out in full force against the

Some have shown that intermittent fasting may decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad"


Erath County Living

trend and while others call it “The single most powerful thing you can do for your body.”

I do not have a degree in nutrition, nor am I a doctor, and

to put themselves in a calorie deficit promoting weight loss.

you should totally ask one or both before you embark on any

While others IFers eat the same number of calories as they

type of dedicated health journey. I am simply sharing with you

would within a “normal” day, they simply eat them within

the experience I had during my trial run at the controversial

the restricted window. Almost all IFers choose mostly healthy

intermittent fasting deal, which was a positive one.

foods during feeding periods, regardless of caloric goals

WHO: Lots of folks have been fasting since, well, The Beginning. We hear it continually mentioned in the Bible as a spiritual tool used by those asking the Lord for direction, clarity, even blessings like protection and HEALTH. Most modern religions continue to honor the biblical practice of fasting in some way, with many recognizing it as possibly the most powerful form of spiritual discipline. From a purely medical standpoint, evidence shows that fasting has been used throughout history and was one of the first forms of treatment prescribed by many early medicine practitioners. We can even throw it back to the caveman days and

because they DO value the benefits a quality diet provides. I fell somewhere in between, eating in a deficit some days and within regular calorie levels on others and generally eating a clean diet.

WHEN: Most popular intermittent fasting plans can be grouped into 3 categories: Alternate day fasting, 24-hour fast followed by a 24-hour non-fasting period. One can also choose to fast for 23 hours with one meal per day. Whole-day fasting specifies various ratios of fasting to non-fasting days, such as the 5:2 diet, in which people consumed 400–500 calories (women) or 500–600 calories

recognize that a cave man would not have had access to a

(men) during the 5 days of regular eating and 2 days of

24/7 buffet of food and snacks. He would have likely filled up

fasting. During non-fasting days, the diet is regular.

only when he had a successful hunt, meaning there is some

Time-restricted feeding - daily fasting period with a

evidence that our bodies were not designed to eat around the

shortened eating window of 3–12 hours. For example, one

clock day in and day out, but rather that we have conditioned

form of TRF calls for fasting for 16 hours each day and eating

them to do so.

total daily calories during the remaining 8 hours, typically on

While fasting has been practiced for eons and almost

the same schedule each day. This is the program I used during

anyone can pull it off, fasting is certainly not right for

my trial. I basically had my last meal at 5pm or 6pm and my

everyone. If done incorrectly, it could even result in harm to

first meal of the day at around 10am or 11am.

the body so again, consult your doctor and do some research before committing. The plan worked well for me because I had experience with religious fasting, I am in good health and I'm already not a breakfast eater which makes it very manageable for me to string together a 16-hour fast (more on this later).

WHAT: Another thing that got me geared up for this program is its simplicity. Pick one of the IF styles that works for you. Eat when you are in feeding times. Don't eat when you are in fasting times. Some IFers choose to limit overall calorie intake in order


Erath County Living

WHERE: My favorite thing about intermittent fasting is that you can do it anywhere! It doesn't require a fancy pants organic grocery store be in your neighborhood. You won't need to bring your own containers or drink a shake or take a supplement or eat your food raw or measure and weigh it unless you want to. In fact, there is really no meal prep required at all. You aren't required to do anything other than eat on the schedule which works best for you. Again, most successful IFers also subscribe to some sort of plan for healthy eating during their “feeding hours” which can be done anywhere these days! There is also an amazing free app called Zero, which will allow you to track your fasting goals right on your phone. I found this to be super helpful!

WHY: Now to be clear, most IF subscribers are probably drawn to the plan for its weight loss claims, but studies showing the laundry list of potential health benefits just can't be ignored.

I can attest to the fact that during my trial I did have periods of hyper focus and clear headedness. I did lose around 7-10 pounds and some skin problems I had experienced for nine years were almost completely non-existent! IF gets bonus points for resetting my taste buds and allowing me to actually taste my food again. I could also recognize when I was truly hungry and could literally feel the energy I was receiving from the food I ate, in a different way than a sugar rush though, more like a food high. And I slept! If you quit eating at around 6pm or so, come 10pm… you may just happily put yourself right on to bed. So, if you struggle with nighttime eating or sticking to complicated diet plans, inflammation, insomnia or just those last 5-10lbs, you may want to consider intermittent fasting before you wave the checkered flag on your health. The way I see it, if this type of stuff is speeding to the front of the pack in the minds of healthy lifestyle thinkers and is also mentioned amongst the company of spiritual champs, maybe we should at least look at giving it a test drive.


Hometown Living At Its Best


2017 2016


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Erath County Living

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M e e t Ou r C on t r i bu tor s Here at Erath County Living Magazine, we can’t do it without our writers and photographers! We’d like to thank them for all their help and introduce them to you!

Landi Whitefield photogr a pher & wr iter Landi Whitefield of Landi Whitefield Photography has been in business for more than 10 years. She specializes in portrait photography including seniors, families, kids, professional headshots, events, & weddings. Landi loves to help small businesses in the cross timbers area promote themselves with great photos. Landi's favorite thing about photographing & occasionally writing for Erath County Living is the wonderful people she gets to meet and photograph!

Cori Garcia photogr a pher I'm a native of Erath County, I've lived in and traveled to many places, but there's no place like Erath County. My husband Rick & I live on our 3rd generation family ranch, Rafter M Ranch, where we raise registered Texas Longhorns. Our son is a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets at College Station.


Erath County Living

Brooke Mendenhall photogr a pher I challenge you to sit in front of me. I can see beauty & know how to capture it. You deserve the very best. All of my sessions are complimentary. Afterwards, we will have an in person reveal meeting where you will choose how to display your portraits. If you don't fall in love with your images I don't want you to buy them. Do you accept my challenge?

Taylor Quarles photogr a pher When I was young, I was always encouraged by my parents to be strong in my faith, creative with my time, and to do everything I do to the best of my ability. To work Hard. As an adult, the road gets rough. A lot. But I am thankful for the mindset of a warrior, and a God that is bigger than the bumps in the road. He will always provide- Never forget that.

Hometown Living At Its Best


Kaitlin Hooper photogr a pher Kaitlin Hooper, owner of Mary Kaitlin Artistry, is a local to Erath county. Growing up in Dublin, Texas and attending Tarleton State University, Kaitlin enjoys working with people from the local community and beyond through the medium of photography. She loves to photograph all areas and stages of life, aiming to capture the essence of the moment, from graduating seniors, families, weddings, and even to events.

Jaimie Hill photogr a pher Her name is Jaimie – that’s right, with two i's. She’s a wife to a hard working firefighter and a mother to two rowdy little boys! Photography has become her happy place and her creative outlet! She loves everything about it! It’s been her great pleasure to work with the awesome folks of Parker Co. for the last 3 years.

Tori Mortensen writer Tori is a Louisiana girl and a boy momma. She accidentally tripped and fell into writing as she was building a side business in health and wellness. When she's not writing she enjoys assisting small to midsize companies with marketing, branding and growth strategies. She is a lover of all things southern, long baths, healthy living and good manners. She, her husband, Ky, and sons, Beck and Jett live in Brock. #GeauxEagles


Erath County Living

Connie Lewis Leonard writer I live in North Texas with my husband Gary. We have two married children, three grandchildren, three rescue dogs, and one horse. After teaching English/Language Arts in public schools, I retired to follow my dream of writing. I love writing good news articles about people who make a positive difference in the world. I have published two novels, Big C, little c and A Psalm a Day, an interactive devotional Bible study that was published in 2015. My novel Somebody Somewhere in Texas was published in 2016. These books are available on Amazon. Facebook: Connie Lewis Leonard, author and Somebody Somewhere in Texas Launch Team

Karen Wright writer Karen Wright is the executive director of the Dublin Economic Development Corp. and curator of the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin, Texas. She is a graduate of Texas Tech with a degree in journalism which has led her to a career which included newspaper, television, public relations and advertising before she moved from Dallas to Dublin where she started The Dublin Citizen. She is the author of "The Road to Dr Pepper, Texas", which detailed the story of Dublin Bottling Works.

Hometown Living At Its Best


Peggy Purser Freeman writer The eighth child of a sharecropper, Peggy Purser Freeman, is the author of The Coldest Day in Texas, Swept Back to a Texas Future, Cruisin' Thru Life ~ Dip Street and Other Miracles, Spy Cam One, Teach Writing Without a Pencil, and numerous magazine articles. Her twelve years’ experience as a magazine editor, her student writing workshops, and many published works in magazines across Texas inspire readers of all ages. Peggy loves to teach children to write using games.

Martha Helton writer I'm married with three grown sons and enjoy small town life in Granbury, Texas. I've been a stay-at-home mom but always involved in my church community. A few years ago I began using my journalism degree by writing for small town magazines; I've also been published in a devotional. I absolutely love meeting and writing about people who positively impact their communities. I'm thankful to be in my sweet spot--writing!

Joyce Whitis writer Joyce Chandler Whitis grew up in Chillicothe, Texas; received a B.S. from Midwestern University and taught school for 15 years. Joyce has been writing since the age of nine when one of her poems was accepted for publication. She has written regularly for several magazines including Hoard’s Dairyman, Holstein World, Country Woman and Erath County Living. Her columns have been published by The Dallas Morning News and The Stephenville Empire Tribune for which she wrote a column for 40 years.Her articles on various subjects have been published in many books and magazines.

Jessa McClure Writer Jessa is a professional writer and editor with more than a decade of experience. She's also a pastor's wife to her wonderful husband and mom of two biological children and one foster daughter whom she hopes to adopt. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys being involved in her kids' extracurricular activities, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects and home decor.

Hometown Living At Its Best


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Lone Star Ag Credit.....................................................105 Mary Kaitlin Artistry.......................................................38 Mattressville........................................................................ 7 Members Trust Federal Credit Union......................95 Moore Home & Ranch Realty.................................... 115 Paradise Pools..................................................................39 Peacock’s Restaurant….................................................63 Punchy’s............................................................................ 137 Rafter M Ranch..............................................................104 Riggs Machine & Welding.......................................... 137 Rocky Creek Builders....................................................39 Security Storage............................................................. 50 Silver Wings Boutique.................................................105 Smith Garage Doors...................................................... 94 Star Arms...........................................................................29 State Farm....................................................................... 136 Stephen’s Health Care...................................................89 Stephenville Chamber of Commerce....................................52-53, Back Cover Stephenville Family Dentistry.....................................51 Stephenville Funeral Home........................................ 94 Stephenville Optimist Club........................................ 124 Stokes Realty.................................................................. 125 Sundown on the Square...............................................77 Taylor’d Photos............................................................... 60 Tarleton State University..............................................63 Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital.Inside Back Texstar Ford Lincoln...................................................... 86 The Dowell Company...................................................... 2 The Hay & Feed Ranch..................................................89 The Home Place................................................................. 2 The Salon............................................................................88 Upland Bird Extravaganza......................................... 136 Veldhuizen Cheese….......................................................16 Walking Horse Estates..................................................39 Whitney Chilton Photography................................. 124 Woods Furniture............................................................ 114

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