Page 1

The Dam Good Times


Coldspring, Texas 77331 Established 2010

December 2012

Volume 100

32 pages



We don’t repeat gossip so read carefully! Or go to

Merry Christmas

Artwork by Madison


Sheriff’s Round Up...2 Alabama-Coushatta Reservation News...4 Insperity’s Community Events...6 Pentagon Peacocks...8 Military Minutes...10 Blake on the Lake...12 Good News Gazette...14 Home Country...14 Penny Uselton...15 Bob Bowman’s East Texas...16 Texas Takes...17 Area Chambers Calendar of Events...20 Timbercreek Choir...21 Crossword Puzzle...22 Rumor Has It...23 World & Local...26-31 Happy Birthdays...4

December 2012

(SAMPLE OF CALLS DISPATCHED) November 24th thru November 30th • Deputy Warren was dispatched to Cape Royale for two suspicious males running on the boats at the marina. • Deputy Gonzales was dispatched to Colquitt Rd for a verbal disturbance between a male and female. • Deputy Cumbie responded to a burglary of a building call behind Norman’s grocery in Point Blank. Someone had broke into the building by taking door off the hinges. • Deputy Gonzales responded to AUM grocery in Coldspring for a report that an employee’s passport had been stolen from their vehicle. • Deputy Gonzales responded to a residence in Point Blank for a verbal disturbance regarding a child custody issue. • Deputy Cruz was

dispatched to Burrell Ave in Shepherd for a physical disturbance with weapons. The reportee stated that (2) brothers were fighting and there were guns. • Deputy Cosme was dispatched to Cook Jones Rd in Point Blank for a burglary of a habitation. The reportee stated that someone had broken in and several items were missing. • Deputy Gonzales was dispatched to FM 3128 for a report of aggravated assault. The reportee stated that he picked up a male walking down the road, and that male pulled a gun on him. • Deputies responded to Page Ave in Shepherd for an assault family violence call. The reportee The Dam Good Times

stated that she had been assaulted more than once. • Deputy Cumbie responded to Point Blank for a deadly conduct report. The reportee stated that a white male with two guns threatened to shoot the owner of the business. • Deputies responded to Prescott Lane in New Waverly for a burglary that had just occurred. The reportee

stated that a young male had entered the residence through the back door and confronted the homeowner asking for drugs and money. The reportee fired a shot at the suspect.

Page 2

Eric Smith Tazed by Brookshire Brothers-Coldspring, TX

November 29th at approximately 11:00 am, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a December 2012

suspicious person selling guns call near the Brookshire Brothers store in Coldspring. Upon arrival Cpl. Saintes approached a white male suspect, later identified as Eric Smith, age 26 of Point Blank, who began to walk away and fled on foot as he was commanded to stop. Smith ran into a heavily wooded area, but was seen attempting to exit and when he failed to obey commands to stop a tazer was

deployed. Smith was taken into custody without further incident and transported to the San Jacinto County Detention Center. Weapons were also found in Smith possession. Smith was charged with evading arrest/detention and deadly conduct stemming from an incident earlier this week where Smith allegedly entered a business in Point Blank, pointed a gun at a female and threatened to kill the owner of the business.

The Dam Good Times

SCAM  ALERT! November 30th, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s officials received a report of a scam involving Lima, Peru. The reportee was an older citizen of the county and stated he received a broken call from a young man claiming to be his oldest grandson. The caller stated that he had

taken a trip to Peru, but ran into trouble and was in a jail. The caller needed him to send $900. by western union to get out. A second call stated an additional $950. was needed for an attorney. The victim later found out that his grandson was never in Peru. Page 3

Alabama-Coushatta Art Festival

Polk County, in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas is home of the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation. The reservation is located off of 190 East. The above artwork belongs to Juan Martinez. Juan is part American-Indian and Mexican. Juans email address is and his cell number is 832.596.5204. Juan resides in Baytown, TX. Gladys Celestine Shutt weaves baskets that are made of long leaf pine needles, raffia and small pine cones. This ancient art of basket weaving is from the Coushatta tribal people. As It has nearly become a lost art form, December 2012

the baskets are highly treasured. It is well worth coming to one of the Alabama-Coushatta Pow Wows; their Fall Art Show, as we see here; or contact the reservation when you are planning a visit. If you are looking for unique, memorable gifts for Christmas, a birthday or are looking to hold a piece of history, look no further than the AlabamaCoushatta Indian Reservation. From hand-made quilts, exquisite beadwork to traditional and modern arts and crafts, there is something for everyone! For more information contact the Public Relations Department 936.563.1131 The Dam Good Times

Page 4

San Jacinto County Women’s League, December 13 SJC Women’s League 2012 Christmas Tour The 2012 SJC Women’s League Christmas Tour, the first ever held in Shepherd, was an outstanding success. Tour participants visited seven sites – five homes, one church, and the Shepherd Community Center. Each site was decorated in a way that reflected the unique lifestyle and interests of the owners and each was very warm and welcoming to the visitors. December 2012

Arnette Daugherty, President of the League, said, “ I thought the hostesses had decorated their homes beautifully. They were gracious and did a great job of welcoming the participants. And, the variety of refreshments they offered was delicious and greatly appreciated by everyone.” Early ticket sale totals indicated that the event earned approximately $2000 for the League and its efforts to support community organizations and civic endeavors. In the next couple of weeks, the

overall figure should rise as members turn in additional ticket sales revenue. The raffle of the Fitz and Floyd porcelain Santa raised approximately $300. Mary Gilbert of Livingston took Santa home with her. Money earned by the SJC Women’s League supports scholarships for high school graduates, the Coldspring Library, and other civic organizations in the community. For more information, call Arnette Daugherty at 936-3773906. The Dam Good Times

The Women’s League of San Jacinto County will meet on December 13, 2012, at the Coldspring Community Center. Members and their guests should arrive at the Center between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Lunch ($15.00 per person) will be served at noon. This year the Leaguers will be treated to a very special holiday

music program by Mary Kay Perez and her Irish harp. Members of the community are invited to attend this meeting and/or join the Women’s League of San Jacinto County. Membership dues are $15.00 per year. For questions about this month’s meeting or other information call Arnette Daugherty at 936377-3906.

Page 5

Community Events Community Events Sponsored by:

Methodist Church of Goodrich Sunday School 9:00 am, Worship 10:25am Goodrich, TX 936.365.2435

Area Churches Coldspring United Methodist Church Sunday Service is 8:30 am & 11 am Sunday School is at 9:45 am Youth Group Wednesday at 5:30 pm Family Faith Church Pastors Jeff & Eileen Hackleman Sundays in Coldspring @ 11:00 am Christian Faith Church Sunday Worship 10:30 am & Bible Study 7 pm Wednesday 1040 Hwy 190 Oakhurst 77359 936.377.4795 First Apostolic Church Sunday Worship 10:00 am and 6:30 pm Bible Study 7:30 Tuesday Goodrich, TX 936.365.3838 First United Pentecostal Sunday Worship 10:00 am & 6:00 pm Bible Study Wednesday 7 pm Youth Gathering Fridays @ 7 pm OnAlaska, TX 936.646.4514

Lake Livingston Lutheran Church Sunday School & Bible Study 9:30 am, Worship 11:00 Hwy 190 & FM 3152, On Alaska, TX 936.646.5681

Jessica Beth Laramore David Laramore Mark Laramore Richard Gonzales Heath Salazar Lake Station Baptist Helen Brown Church Sunday School 9:45 Carol Price am, Worship 11:00 am, Paul Lopez Wednesday Bible Study 6:00 Jessica Gray pm Goodrich, TX 936.365.2755 Zach Jones Clark Ogletree New Hope Missionary BapLauren Ogletreetist Church Sunday School Harrison 9:45 am, Worship 11:00 am Tara Holt The Universal Ethician Christopher Laramore Church Beyond the end of FM Buck McClain 135 in San Jacinto County ServMillie Evans ices are held on the Sabbath Lisa Anderson (Saturday) 1 hour before Sunset Davin James James Redou St. Stephens Catholic Steve Adams Church Point Blank, TX Jimmy Ray Mass-4:30 pm every SaturCynthia Thibodeaux day! Clint Davis Nena Gillaspe-Fowler Laurel Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Paul Sue Lynn Brooks Dawkins, Evergreen, TX Clint Davis 105 FM 945 N; 936.767.8497 Brandy Vickery Sunday School @ 9:45, Rodney Watts Church Service 10:50 am, Vernon Whithead Wednesday Night Bible Study 6:00 pm

December 2012


Judy Gaston JoAnn Guillory Ashley Wells Vickery Cody Chong Caleb Chong Marie Damour Holly Hendrix King Lori Hart Dr. LaTonya Goffney Jane Holcomb Mary Geracy Simpson Brent Henry Bill Burns Jessica Marie Gray Martin Stavish Denise Lanier Sheila Hamilton Ashley Currie Wirzberg Karen Jackson Cindy Smelly Pam Brumley Ray Shannon Jeff Norrad Jennifer Grube Beck Leon Waldrop Scott Eddleman Phillip Kay Taylor Surratt Leia Fishel Thad Whisenant Lauren Brame Morgan Mizeur Jeremy Bishop

The Dam Good Times

Polk County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet The event will be held January 31st, 2013 at the Livingston Jr. High School (cafeteria). Banquet tickets are $20 and available at the Polk Co. Chamber office at Pedigo Park. The Polk Countian (word not found in Webster’s Dictionary:) of the year will be recognized. This person is someone who has made a countywide community impact. There will also be 5 Community Awards. The nominations begin in May and end in July. A select committee of top-secret individuals compile, tally and select the person/persons receiving each award. The decisions are based upon a multitude of factors including nominations, letters of accommodation, etc. NO tickets available at the door. Call Polk Co. Chamber for more info: 936.327.4929. Page 6

Caption for photo: Shown above from left to right are COCISD School Board members and COEF Board members Dr. Judi Benestante, Pat Clark, Peggy Sewell, Minnie Walker, Judy Joseph, Barbara Moore, Dale Richards, Tony Sewell, Pam Chandler, and Superintendent Dr. LaTonya Goffney.

The ColdspringOakhurst CISD Education Foundation (COEF) presented the COCISD School Board with a check for $10,000 during a board meeting on November 26, 2012. This money was raised by the COEF during the past year and will support the soon-to-be-announced teacher grants. The ColdspringOakhurst CISD Education Foundation was established in September 2011, to enhance and enrich educational opportunities for students. The COEF also supports the staff in its innovative efforts and recognizes them for exemplary teaching. The Foundation, a non-profit entity, provides funding for campus-based projects and learning experiences that are not a part of the normal budget process. In the fall of December 2012

2012 teachers were given the opportunity to write a grant for financial support of their “special project�. The grant applications were reviewed, scored, and commented on by a review committee. Using a blind ranking system, the winners were chosen. The $10,000 presented to the school board will fund the chosen grants. The COCISD Educational Foundation is proud of the quality of grants to be funded as well as its ability to raise this money in its first year of existence. Of course, this is only the beginning. In the future, the Coldspring community will be hearing more from the foundation and the teachers and students involved. For more information about the Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Education Foundation, call 936653-1138 or send an email inquiry

On December 4, with balloons, horns, sirens and a drumline, the COCISD Education Foundation was pleased to award grant money to some well-deserving teachers who had gone well beyond their daily duties to apply to the foundation. The Grant Review Committee was fortunate to have 10 teachers apply, and the funds to assist all in their creative endeavors beyond the curriculum. The Education Foundation Prize Patrol stopped at both the High School and Lincoln Jr. High to The Dam Good Times

present the winners with a total of $10,000.00 in grant funding. Pictured is Mr. Bill Stratton who was awarded for two grant proposals for his program at Lincoln Jr. High. The entire student body and staff attended the pep rally for the honorees. The COCISD Education Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the enhancement of our local school programs -- the focus culminates in the Prize Patrol awarding these grants to outstanding teachers.

The 2012 San Jacinto County Toyz for Kidz Toy drive and fund raising season is in full swing. We are asking for everyone to help us make sure that all if the children of this county get to have a great Christmas morning. Starting November 13th, new unwrapped toy donations will be taken at all Precinct Offices, Courthouse, and Sheriff's Office. Financial donations can also be dropped off or mail to: San Jacinto County Toyz for Kidz,P.O. Box 703 Point Blank, Texas 77364 For more information, please call 936-653-4367 ext 126 Toy recipient forms will be available after December 1st for the families needing assistance this year. Thank you, Haley Boaen Vice President

Page 7

Pentagon Peacocks By G. Murphy Donovan The David Petraeus saga is another urban legend -- a myth about a great man felled by a single flaw or indiscretion. The truth is that Petraeus is a bit player in a larger, uglier drama: the political corruption of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and of that exclusive four-star glut that sits atop the military. And the rot didn't start with Petraeus. Recall Army Chief-of-Staff George Casey taking to the airways to rationalize the Fort Hood Islamist massacre in 2009. Somehow "diversity" and Muslim sensitivities were more important than the danger of domestic sedition and the threat to troop safety on American bases. Casey was launched at the Sunday chat shows, like the more recent Susan Rice mendacity tour, to spin a politically correct message. And then there was Admiral Mike Mullen leading the charge for sex with any sex a year later on the E-Ring at the Pentagon. Say what you will about booty call as a "civil right," but gender choice is not a significant national security issue in the middle of a shooting war. The legality of relationships is a social issue that should be addressed by an elected yet too often cowardly Congress, not by the appointed military brass. And while the JCS was riding point for preferences, nobody December 2012

seemed to notice, or care about, failure in all those Muslim Wars. Indeed, a four-star public relations campaign reinvented the English language to avoid words like "victory." The new word for retreat is "drawdown." And real goals like winning or victory have been corrupted with terms like "nation-building" or, worse still, military gibberish like "transition." Euphemism is the first refuge of analytical cowards. The CIA, if not the entire Intelligence community, takes a bow here too. Only a loser needs to create another word for failure. In the interests of such political correctness, relevant terms like "Islam," "Islamist," "Muslim," and even "terrorist" have been stricken from the public vocabulary with JCS help. Witness the recent Benghazi fiasco! The debate is not over mayhem or atrocity. National politicians and the military brass are arguing whether or not to use the word "terrorist" in their reports dealing with Muslim barbarities. And consider the "inside baseball" spat over doctrine to be used against the nameless enemy -- the counter-terror versus counter-insurgency (COIN) debate within the military. Petraeus apologists would have us believe that the former ISAF commander reinvented the U.S. Arm with new doctrine...and

then rode the COIN horse to promotions and prominence. In truth, COIN played little or no role in Iraq or Afghanistan for two reasons. The force ratios required by Army doctrine, impractical theory, were never achieved. And both conflicts, like most Muslim wars, are civil, not insurgent. These internecine Islamic fights are between Sunni and Shia or between autocrats and theocrats. Neither NATO nor the U.S. Army has the charter or doctrine to resolve these or any other religious or tribal civil wars. Social evolution might be the only solution to Muslim pathologies. COIN had nothing to do with tactical "success" in Iraq or Afghanistan either, but such distractions may contribute to strategic defeat. Theoretical illusions, even those nursed in the halls of ivy, are blinders. Theory and politicized Army manuals do not win wars. Combat Petraeusstyle doesn't presume to alter military doctrine; it presumes to alter the nature of war. Unfortunately, war is not about The Dam Good Times

hearts and minds or social services; it's about winning and losing. Kick enough azimuth, and hearts always follow. Even terrorists understand this. And that understanding explains why Islamists are winning now -- on a global scale. War is a time-tested primal exercise, not a venue for intellectuals, polite politics, or poseurs. Combat is the definitive zero-sum enterprise; the competent live, and the inept die. With skill and luck, the righteous might prevail. But there are no guarantees. There are no draws, and you can't spin a loss. The enemy needs to be beaten first, and then the diplomatic social workers and nation-builders can be deployed. As with COIN, Petraeus has been taking bows for the "surge" in two countries, but he's especially enjoyed accolades for the so-called "turnaround" in Iraq. Alas, tactical success there has only two par-

ents: bribery and the U.S. Marine Corps. Sunni allies were bribed for the short haul as they are bought in so many Muslim tribal cultures. This perennial CIA tactic is myopic, too. When the money runs out, all you have left is another well-equipped foe. Consider the blowback in Afghanistan. All those mujahedeen who used to be romanticized, when they were fighting the Soviets, are now killing Americans with better gear. And the U.S. Marine victory in Fallujah had nothing to do with COIN doctrine, either. The Marines took that city with the same tactics that Marshal Georgy Zhukov used to take Berlin: house-to-house fighting. What the Marines didn't destroy in Fallujah, they killed. All of this seems to be lost on self-absorbed politicians and a shallow national press pool -- two groups that usually trip Continued on Pg. 11 Page 8

Polk Co. Commerce/College Center Have you been wondering, as we have, how construction is going on the Commerce/College Center along Highway 59 N and bordering Pedigo Park? According to Sydney Murphy, Polk Co. Chamber President, " The Polk Co. Commerce/College Center is coming along beautifully. Now that they have the roof on the majority of the building you get a better feel for the size of the entire structure. The building will be finished in the Fall of 2013 and classes through Angelina College are scheduled to begin in January 2014. Very exciting for Polk County and the City of Livingston. The Chamber will be working very closely with the Commerce Center Facility Director to assist in marketing/advertising and the start-up of the facility itself. The Commerce Center side of the building will have the capability of hosting large conferences, weddings, graduations, etc. This will be a cooperative effort between Angelina College and Polk County." Recently, I was invited on a special tour with Jack and Penny Uselton, who really got things rolling for the establishment of the school by donating money for the land. After that more and more monies came in from individuals, clubs and companies such as Temple-Inland and, alas, even the government. "This project has been a wonderful community ef-

fort" according to Mr. & Mrs. Uselton. The general contractor, Mr. Bob Kingham, and his superintendent for this project, Mr. Erick Koenig, gave us the royal tour. They explained the layout, construction and overall feel of the school. Bob and Erik helped us visualize the finished product. The school has large windows; unlike schools built over the past 30 to 40 years built with a lot of fluorescent lighting, but very few windows. The building includes classrooms, labs, and meeting rooms for all occasions. Fit for a king, the auditorium is the school’s “crowning glory”! Each area of the auditorium is breathtaking in size. There is even to be state of the art equipment for the sound system! It will be the perfect place for special events on campus! You can easily see from the photographs how Livingston will have plenty of room for years to come . You can also see there is an endless list of options for the auditorium’s use from entertainment to banquets and, even as an emergency shelter. Polk County and Livingston, in particular, should be very proud of the community’s effort and vision in making this facility a reality. There is even "talk" about the ability to expand in the future. Very exciting indeed!

Photos from Top: Commerce/College Center is still a construction site of Kingham Construction; Scott & Strong Architects drew the plans; wide hallways but more importantly you can see the structure is sturdy and we were told could withstand 130 mph winds; Rooms with views-every room has a window!; Sturdy, solid construction; L to R: Jack Uselton, Bob Kingham, Penny Uselton, Erik Koenig; Alexander Electric is responsible for the electricity; the plumbing is state of the art as well using the rubber tubing throughout the building.

Military Minutes

American Legion Post 629, Camilla, TX

We at American Legion Post 629 have been very busy the last few months as I am sure everyone else has been. We always support our community of San Jacinto County and our Troops and Patriot’s on Veterans Day which was Sunday, November 11th. Due to the threat of rain instead of holding the ceremony at the traditional site of the courthouse, we had a ceremony at our post. We wanted to make sure we kept our Veteran’s,Patriot’s and friend’s of our community in good health! We furnished free meals for all who attended. I Thanked the Auxiliary of our post for doing a wonderful job, as always. We had a full house {as they say} in our hall area and several, heartfelt

Need a New Truck?


The Dam Good Times

speeches, of what Veteran’s Day meant to us as Veteran’s, were made. Christmas Day we will be open from 3:00 pm till Midnight and I am sure appetizers will be served that evening. On New Years Eve we will close at our normal hours and have Karaoke presented by one of our Legionnaires that night. On December the 1st the rider’s of our post did a Toy Run for the kids of San Jacinto County and we had a Great turnout and the proceeds from all enmities will go to the San Jacinto Sheriffs Department and Fire Department and they will be distributing gifts for Christmas to the children who need it the most. CALLING ALL CONTRACTORS: We are now looking into contractors from our community to put smoke eaters in our post after the first of the year. After this is finished we are installing new ceiling tiles in our adult beverage area! We also would like to let everyone

know all are welcome at our post as long as you sign the guest book and we will have a member of our post there to sign you in. Lydia and I wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and a Happy, healthy and prosperous New Year !! Thank You Crystal and The Dam Good Times for all you have done and continue to do for the Veteran’s. Sincerely, Dan Shelton, Post Commander 629 Since we cover 17 states, and counting, no matter where your post is located, you too can have your American Legion Post’s news printed in The Dam Good Times. Just send any information to m follow us on facebook & twitter

Page 10

Pentagon Peacocks  Continued from Pg 8 over their lips because they refuse to do their homework. Central Command (CENTCOM) history and culture make for an example. Until recently, CENTCOM, formerly sited in Panama, was a military backwater. This was a command where stars went to die; an assignment there was a retirement billet. When CENTCOM immigrated to Tampa, the mañana or fiesta culture followed. David Petraeus and John Allen seem to have been a perfect fit: sun, fun, and bimbos -military camp followers. How do senior flag officers use cyber drop boxes and send thousands of e-mails to married groupies and not think such behavior is compromising? Do they not know that NSA can read their mail? And those who defend all of this as "private" are correct -as long as character doesn't matter. Character is how you behave when no one is watching. Yet someone is always watching. The night before the Petraeus "sierra" hit the public fan, he and Broadwell were a couple at the annual Office of Strategic Services (OSS) awards dinner. "Wild" Bill Donovan and "Vinegar" Joe Stillwell must be spinning in their graves. Jim Clapper didn't fire the CIA chief for private behavior; Petraeus was fired for public, professional stupidity. Nonetheless, both political parties are tripping over each other with accolades for Petraeus. They argue that dropbox sex is a private, not a professional failing -- which is simply another way of saying that personal integrity doesn't matter. If character doesn't matter, then America has the top brass that it deserves. Or maybe we expect the Joint Chiefs to entertain, not lead; but then again, even the Village People might be embarrassed by today's four-star pea-

December 2012

cocks. The Joint Chiefs live in a bubble. They learned nothing from the Boorda incident. Recall that Admiral Jeremy Boorda, then chief of Naval Operations, ate his gun over a bit of ribbon. Boorda awarded himself a few valor devices that he had not earned. He had never seen combat...but the admiral embellished his chest hair at the expense of JCS reputation anyway. The fruit salad debate may seem trivial to those who have never seen combat, but for real warriors, such pretense is an insult. The logic of awards and decorations is simple. It's easier to pass out buttons and bows than it is to give a promotion or a pay raise. Therefore, most awards are for attendance, not achievement. Senior officers like Petraeus get awards or decorations for changing their skivvies -- or their addresses. Indeed, if you audit the sentiments of troops or their dependents, the cynicism about flags like Petraeus is universal. One veteran seemed to think that American senior officers resembled Moammar Gaddafi. Another underlined the Petraeus political career track with questions: How does an officer with no personal experience of direct fire combat in Panama or Desert Storm become a division CDR (101st Airborne) in 2003 ... [and how does] a man who served repeatedly as a sycophantic aide-de-camp, military assistant and executive officer to four stars get so far? Nonetheless, the men who presume to lead continue to parade on the E-Ring in drag. Petraeus alone had nearly 50 badges, awards, and decorations on his Class A blouse -- yet no Combat Infantry Badge (CIB). After West Point, between cadet and general, Petraeus attended seven (sic) schools before getting his first star. This is a chap who probably never saw a firefight, and then at a distance, until very late in his career. Yet he and the Joint Chiefs still need forklifts to get

Photo: Susan Vaughan, owner of Terry Vaughan & Associates, Inc., celebrating 30 years of  Christmas on the Square in downtown Coldspring, TX.  Photo by Lonestar Photography

Thirty years ago three families, The Trapps, The Shannons and the Bruscatos wanted to create something fun for their community. The ladies came up with three strands of lights and Ted strung them along the sidewalk in front of their stores. Billie Trapp, with the Sweet Adelines singing group, went from store to store caroling. Allie Shannon arranged for Santa to meet children in the Gazebo in front of the courthouse. It was a late afternoon affair. About midway a heavy rain began to fall so Santa was moved to a chair in front of the feed store. Billie Trapp remembers looking out and seeing a line of children and parents all the way down the block and thinking to herself, “I believe we have a winner!” Anyone who has lived in or near Coldspring will have a memory to share about Christmas On the Square. In 1982 the Shannons owned Shannon’s Feed Store, Billie Trapp owned Coldspring Arts & Crafts and the Bruscatos owned a building, which they leased out. Today, Allie and Ted Shannon are retired. Billie continues to own Coldspring Arts & Crafts on the Courthouse Square and teaches a weekly art class. The Bruscatos are semi-retired, still dabbling in business ventures and all still live in Coldspring, TX. dressed in the morning. Such are the hazards of softening "soldiers" at Princeton instead of hardening them in combat. With no signs of prudence or modesty at the Pentagon, maybe Congress should mandate a limit on gold braid and other uniform claptrap: no more than two rows of fruit salad, and then only ribbons for heroism or combat tours. Appearances -- and restraint -- matter. America has the best grunts, sergeants, and junior officers in

The Dam Good Times

the world. They deserve good models; they deserve better generals. They deserve modest flags promoted for valor and achievement -- warriors with personal and professional integrity. No officer who fails to serve in combat as a junior or field grade officer should command any storied fighting division, no less an entire theater.

about military affairs, national security, and Intelligence.

G. Murphy Donovan is a veteran and former Intelligence officer who writes frequently

Page 11

Sports & Outdoors Blake on the Lake

By Blake Kellum, SJRA With Southeast Texas being declared to be back into either moderate or severe drought, Weather Forecasters across Texas are sending out confusing

messages these days… I’ve heard everything from “expect drought conditions to continue through spring”, to “a return to normal winter rainfall amounts are expected”. It seems to be a “coin toss” and nevertheless not much has changed for conditions on area reservoirs of late. Lake Conroe’s level continues a slight downward trend and is cur-

rently reporting by the San Jacinto River Authority at 197.93 above mean sea level (msl), or just a bit over 3 feet below normal pool elevation of 201.00 msl. SJRA has received almost ½ of an inch of rainfall at the dam since the start of the month, but it has had little effect on the lake level because of extremely dry soil conditions that act like a sponge to soak up

any potential runoff. With both air and water temperatures cooling and many more cloudy days lately, at least the evaporation levels are not affecting lake level as severely as during the warm months. Lake Livingston, with its massive 17,000 square mile drainage, continues to hold fairly steady at near normal level, down

only ¾ of a foot. Reported stage, or elevation, at the dam is 130.26msl (normal is 131.00msl). Rainfall in the immediate water shed since the first of the month has averaged less than ½ of inch, but as always, any heavy rainfall events in the upper watershed around the Dallas /Fort Worth Metroplex can impact flows and lake levels. The Trinity River Authority is reporting a discharge rate of 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the dam. These low flows are continued to satisfy the needs of TRA’s downstream customers and stakeholders. For more information on reservoir conditions and much more, go to: for Lake Conroe and San Jacinto River Authority information, or for Lake Livingston and Trinity River Authority information. For information on Lake Levels in all 50 States go to and select the State of your choice from the menu. Data on this site is collected from United States Geological Society (USGS) monitoring stations and may vary somewhat from those reported by the local managing agency. Safe Travels and Merry Christmas to all!

December 2012

The Dam Good Times

Page 12

Huntsville’s Christmas in the Pines 5K

By Vicki Warner It was amazing! Exhilarating! And a familyfriendly event. This was my first marathon so, I was very, very nervous. We started at the bottom of that HUGE hill right beside Bower stadium at Sam Houston State University and ran all the way up it! I’m sure I was not the only person who thought “I don’t know if I can make it”, but we did AND we kept going. For me, the absolute best part about the whole run was when we started getting close to the finish line, total strangers were clapping & yelling, cheering us all on to Cross. The. Finish. Line. Oh the joy! They were our best friends and we made them proud! The feeling I got was beyond amazing. I understand now why so many people run marathons. I never unDecember 2012

derstood it before but I am definitely and completely hooked on it now! I will be running my second marathon on the 23rd of December in Galveston, TX; the “Santa Hustle 5k Run” and I cannot wait…seriously,the way I felt after crossing that finish line was a feeling I have never had before! Contact the HuntsvilleWalker County Chamber of Commerce for more events 936.295.8113

Photos Top Clockwise: The marathon runners in front of Sam Houston State University; Cathy DeYoung; Jessica DeYoung; Vicki Warner & Tom DeYoung; Joshua DeYoung (clearly it was a “Family Affair”)

The Dam Good Times

Page 13

Commentary Good News Gazette

were much more than they seemed to me as a child. Doubtless they had faults and shortcomings. My heroes became human as I grew up. I looked up to people like Jackie Kennedy who seemed soft and kind and a bit mysterious. She was so beautiful and graceful. I watched her with her children and at her husband’s funeral on television. What amazing grace under pressure. When I learned about Helen Keller I was fascinated and moved to know

that someone Gone? who could not see nor hear became an educated woman. I thought if she could do that, think what I could do with two hearing ears and seeing eyes! What perseverance! A woman named Corrie ten Boom caught my attention as well. She lived in Amsterdam and during WWII she and her family sheltered many Jewish people from the Nazi’s. She later wrote a book called The Hiding Place which told their story. I marveled at her courage in the face of

certain death and wondered if I would ever need that kind of courage and could I summon it when needed? I followed Corrie’s story until her death in the 1980’s. Courage was a trait I discovered through Corrie ten Boom. I discovered the beauty and escape of music through a piano teacher whose name I don’t even remember. I was 7 when I started lessons and music has captivated me ever since. Playing and singing is such beautiful, sweet release and praise for all that is good. I do not Continued on Page 18

smiling quietly, and waited for the magic to work. He came over and she smiled and nodded. “Mrs. Richardson? So you’re divorced? No? Oh, you must be widowed like me then. Oh I see. I’m sorry. Isn’t it terrible to lose them? I used to tell Doris, I said Doris, I don’t know what I’d do without you so I have to die first. Yes, I can see you know what I mean. But I lost her first. “Know what, Mrs. Richardson? That pin you’re wearing looks a lot like a type of bass bug I use around here. It is? Well what …! So you’re a fisherman too, I take it?

No? Well, you’re never too old to learn, are you? Of course not. Say, you’re not very talkative are you? No. You don’t have to say a thing. I rather like quiet women, actually. Especially when they sip coffee so quietly and ladylike. “You know how to fish that particular fly, Mrs. Richardson? You cast it to a quiet part of the lake and let it sit there until all the rings in the water around it disappear. Then you just twitch the end of the fly rod just a little … here, let me show you. I hope you don’t mind my holding your casting hand like this. So when those rings disappear, we’re going to give that rod just a slight twitch.

“Drives the bass crazy. Uh, Mrs. Richardson, would you be interested in learning more about fly fishing? Yes? Oh, that’s great. Could I … I mean, maybe we could have dinner and talk about it one of these days? Really? Oh that would be good. “Listen Mrs. R., you do talk, don’t you?” “Yes I do.” “This is the best meeting I’ve ever attended!” On the way home, Mrs. Richardson smiled quietly and drove. She might never speak again … except to tell Marvin Pincus he’s a genius. --------

Where Have all the Heroes

By Deborah Martin With the re-election of Barack Obama I’ve been pretty depressed and I keep wondering – where have all the heroes gone? Never mind that we hold up people like the Kardashian family as some kind of twisted role models. That’s so absurd that I can’t help but believe that, except for the lowest of intellects, we all

know they should be held up as models of what NOT to do. When I was a kid we had lots of great folks in the public eye who, for the most part, were good moral people. We spent time learning about historical figures who modeled courage and morality and civility and humor. We looked up to people in our own lives who taught us by example to be loving and patient. As an adult I now understand that all these people I looked up to

Home Country

By Slim Randles Mrs. Richardson doesn’t often go to the city, but Ardis saw the ad in the big daily paper for the singles group and which church they used for meetings. Mrs. Richardson got all dolled up, and she didn’t forget to take the “magic” fishing fly Marvin Pincus tied for her. It was a bass plug on a clothespin, and he’d December 2012

suggested, only slightly in jest, that when she met a nice man she was to clip it to her ear as a reminder to stop talking and just smile. She had it clipped to her collar. It made for a good conversation starter at the coffee pot. So far, Mrs. Richardson hadn’t said a word except to thank the woman at the door for the blank name tag. She wrote “Mrs. Richardson” on it and pinned it beneath the bass plug/clothespin/love fly from the Fly Fishing Love Center right here in our town. hen she poured herself a cup of coffee, while

The Dam Good Times

Brought to you by “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Read a sample at

Page 14

You can’t fix stupid” BUT you sure can fix ignorance! That is what we have to do repeatedly, and often. Carry this to the next step and include “others” who may never have heard anything but the progressive lingo trap and extreme character assassination of Republicans and conservatives. Unfortunately, a lot of stupid, and ignorant people, voted for the democrats because they have always done so; mom

You Can’t Fix Stupid

By Penny Uselton The Republicans, Conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Americans have had a setback … .not in state and local elections, but we’ve had a “national” setback! Obama, along with his like –minded buddies, coupled with the continuous help, and support, of most of our left leaning news media, managed to convince 51% of the population , that bothered to vote, to vote for him. The loss to us right now is inestimable! I kid you not, it doesn’t look December 2012

great; but it is NOT the end of the United States. Don’t hesitate to work at turning the thinking around. ALL of us, and our representatives, need to get a very strong grip on things and a strong backbone with no hedging around or putting off the work to be done. Don’t be intimidated the consequences are too great! Insist on teaching our children and grandchildren, how they can make better choices. This art of discerning choices has become almost lost art. Bring back the family dinner table conversations and discussions at least a few times a week. Make a point of it. When talking, emphasize not just the “don’t do” edicts, but the “why not” and back it up with information that results in understanding “the good, the bad and ugly” choices that we face. As the saying goes,

The Dam Good Times

and dad did so, uncle Harry did and so on. They have no idea what they are losing. They will find out that they paid a cheap price for the continuing loss of their freedoms. • Single women (70%) wanted, at taxpayer’s expense, healthcare to cover birth control pills and the day after pill. • Many would rather sit around, than work. They wanted continued extension of unemployment checks followed by disability money for being stressed out as they were unemployed. They knew who would keep this up and feel no shame for “others” to have to pay for them to not work. • About 50% of the older folks were persuaded that healthcare would be improved even though we will be short thousands of doctors and Medicare has been robbed to pay for obamacare. Presumably, they think that Medicare is still in tack; haven’t heard of the “Value Years of Life” dreamed up by Dr. Ezekial Emmanuel

and scoff at death panels or know nothing about the materials being passed to veterans in care of the V.A. system that encourages suicide. With federal mandates for healthcare; mounting rules hamstringing businesses of ALL types; Obama’s executive orders with no check by Congress; numerous new and/or increased taxes and a mounting debt, we are losing our freedom! We should not have to give up our hard earned money to pay for MORE GOVERNMENT EXCESS! Government gorging must be stopped and stopped now! Work to get them off our backs! Get motivated! Speak out! Never give in!

Page 15

A Civil War Journal

By Bob Bowman In early 1861, W.W. Heartsill of Marshall, Texas, marched off to war with W.P. Lane’s Rangers of the Confederate Army. During the four years, one month and one day that he spent at war, Heartsill managed to keep a diary of each day. Throughout his service, he carried with him a small memorandum book with this notation on the flyleaf: “If I am killed, or if by any mishap this book is lost, please send it to my father, A. Heartsill, Louisville, East Tennessee.”

When Heartsill filled up one of the books, he sent it home to Marshall for safekeeping. “Scores of times, I was as wet as water could make me, as these books bear evidence. Sometimes my book would come all to pieces after a soaking, and as it was being written with a pencil, I had to retrace with a pen when the opportunity was offered.” Heartsill’s journals are mirrors of camp life and the trials and pleasures he endured as a private in the Confederate ranks. When he came home, he began printing the pages of his diaries, completing the work in 1876. Heartsill’s recollections show war in its horror and occasional moments when the soldiers in Lane’s Rangers laughed at the antics of their fel-

low soldiers. In November of 1861, Heartsill wrote: “Today, we attended the funeral of a soldier, a solemn, sad duty.” On Sunday, July 11, Heartsill wrote that Confederate and Union troops clashed near the Arkansas River with only 4,000 Confederate soldiers facing “70,000 of the Yanks.” During the battle, the Confederates’ hospital was set afire, “killing two of our surgeons and a wounded man who was being operated upon by the surgeons.” “Such agony, such, such horror and so many deaths; how many of our

brave comrades perished in this frightful tragedy, heaven alone will reveal.” During the battle, Heartsill wrote than Lane’s Rangers “are not recognized as Confederate soldiers, but will be teated as guerrillas from the fact that we are an independent company.” On July 12th, Heartsill wrote that,”oh, how hungry we are.” He said “we all are supplied with a liberal breakfast composed entirely of river water.” At noon, he said, “we receive the same for dinner that we got for breakfast” and in the evening, the Rangers finally got “a good supply of fat bacon and hard tack, which is

the only food that we have had for 84 hours.” The Rangers were captured by the Union troops and loaded aboard a ship with Arkansas soldiers. “Every man is looking for news about an exchange (for Yankee soldiers held by the South).” Heartsill made it through the war and he and his fellow soldiers were mustered out of service on May 20, 1865, in Harrison County, Texas. (Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of more than 50 books about East Texas. He can be reached at

Fender Bender?


Coming in January! Check our website for more details! December 2012

The Dam Good Times

Page 16

Texas Takes Times Two

By Matt Bruner (Matt is running crazy in the desert, but he did take a moment to submit a couple of old, short columns for your enjoyment.)

MISS S Our high school had two social classes, freaks and jocks. A small group of us were lost in the middle – not substance abusers, but not athletic either. I don’t remember what we were called, if we were referred to at all. In the eighth grade of high school, there was a girl that showed an interest in me. We will call her Miss S. and she was definitely from the freak-

side of the social scale. Though I had an interest in girls, I was not quite ready to actually date or share anything more than light conversation. She sat in front of me, in the front seat of the row, in English class, and would give me a big smile when she turned to accept the homework passed forward, or graded papers passed back. One day, we were instructed by the teacher to repeat a phrase to the person behind us, in order to reinforce our learning. The phrase was something like, “A verb given an –ing ending is no longer a verb, it is then considered a gerund which is a noun.” Miss S. gave me her charming smile, began the recitation, turned bright red, but could not finish the phrase, apparently due to her shyness. The next day in class, the shyness was apparently dissipated. Miss S. walks in, pulls a box cut-

ter from between her flat, tan belly and her low-cut jeans and says, “Have I showed you my knife? It’s nice and warm.” She then holds the handle of the knife against my cheek so I might observe the temperature. The scent of musk, tobacco and young woman was quite intoxicating. It let me forget for just a moment that a girl was holding a knife to my face in English class. I felt threatened, but it had little to do with the knife. We talked, we probably had lunch together once or twice, but never dated. We quickly went on to social interests more appropriate. But Miss S. left a memory.

American. She was not a slim Asian that was indulged from age five. She was not an eastern European that had been threatened with the gulag if she didn’t perform. She was just a troubled American girl. Tonya was a high school dropout with a GED. She has claimed at times to have been abused as a child, and lost a half-brother. She never had the skating support system of other skaters, and frequently performed with sub-standard equipment. Imagine almost missing a competition because you cannot find a replacement for a broken shoelace. She once had to hitch a ride to make a competition. I’ll bet Yamaguchi, Harding, or Bonali never had to hitch-hike to the arena.

IN DEFENSE OF THE AMERICAN It is easy to forget, but Tonya Harding was, for a brief time, one of the best figure skaters in the world. I find her story interesting and uniquely

Nor did they have felonybent spouses, and a truckload of personal baggage.

second in the world, and was the first American woman to do a triple axel in competition. It is more amazing when you compare Tonya to the 99pound skaters who had professional guidance almost since infancy. Tonya was a chunky, asthmatic smoker with a string of personal problems. It is easy to picture Harding running into the arena at the last minute, hopping on one foot while she tries to put on her skates, and throwing a cigarette butt against the wall when she enters the rink. There is something very American about that. I cannot excuse her legal problems or her other antics. But I submit to you that sometimes the measure of greatness is not being the best – It is accomplishing the most. For a brief moment, in that respect, Tonya Harding was the best in the world.

In 1991, Harding was

The Tooth Fairy Lives By Crystal Laramore Lutz If your children are anything like my daughter, the older they get the more clever the tooth fairy has be. Last year the tooth fair left a dainty little, ceramic, pink pill box, wrapped in tooling ON the Christmas tree for my December 2012

daughter! How sweet. It even had a hand-painted butterfly glued to the top. It was just big enough for a tooth. Go figure. What a clever gift from the tooth fairy. She even wrote a little note. Well, imagine my surprise when I saw the tooth fairy riding away that morning...with her butterfly wings no less!

I’m very grateful to have captured her on film. Not many people are lucky enough to have ever actually SEEN the tooth fairy, much less capture her on film! She’s as slippery as Santa Claus himself! So, we at The Dam Good Times just wanted to remind everyone during this season of make The Dam Good Times

believe, fairy tales and wishes that really do come true, not only is Santa Claus alive and well, but so is the Tooth Fairy! Toodles! Her picture is on page 19 if your children would like to use it as a poster in their room, you know, as a reminder...hint, hint. And, since we will all be writing Santa Claus

letters soon, if we haven’t already, please send us a copy of your little one’s letter to Santa. We’d love to post them on our website...Merry Christmas!

Page 17

Good News Gazette Continued from Page 14 know how I would cope if I could not hear the longing strings of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” or Patsy Cline sing “Crazy”. The biggest compliment I ever received concerning music was at a competition as an 11 year old. The judge wrote on my critique sheet, “I can tell by the way you play that you love music very much.” Indeed. You, dear readers, know my love of writing which was born as soon as I could read “Tip and Mitten”. I have a distinct memory from when I was about 4 years old. I went to the movie theater with my family. As we walked past the movie posters December 2012

we stopped to look at one. I remember distinctly how it felt not to be able to read the words on the poster and how exciting and magical I knew it would be to one day be able to read for myself. Today I am a voracious reader; crazy in love with the written word. All the world is in books and I love the weight of them in my hand and turning the pages one by one to find what exciting thing comes next. What a joy! Reading brought the world of the past to life for me. I read about historical figures like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. I don’t care if George never chopped down that cherry tree. The story teaches a principle – honesty – and personally, I

believe the father of our country was far and away an honest man. And a courageous one as well. Abraham Lincoln DID split rails and he DID lose a lot of elections before he won the presidency. That’s a lesson in humility. The point of all this is that when I was a child I had lots of people to look up to who displayed traits I wanted to emulate. I wanted to be beautiful, have courage, practice humility and honesty. I wanted beauty and harmony in my life and saw ways to get it. The main lesson was always that if I wanted something I could go out and work for it. I had the power. Who are the heroes of today? Our kids look up to Kardashians The Dam Good Times

and Lindsay Lohan and Chris Brown. Sex, drugs and violence. Now that’s something to aspire to, isn’t it?! Who can we show them? I dare you. Name 6 people in the public eye who you would hold up as role models for your children? Where are they going to learn courage? From Kim Kardashian? Where are they to see humility modeled before them? Lindsay Lohan? How about kindness and concern for others? Chris Brown? We live in a pop culture where any objective morality has been pretty much thrown out the window. “If it feels good do it”, may have started with my generation but this one’s got it perfected, I think. I sound like a real

pessimist, don’t I? Honestly, I think there’s still hope for our country in spite of re-electing a man who is now bent on taking us down the road of socialism where dependence is the rule, not the exception. When I see kids raising money so that people far away can have water; when I hear of a formerly homeless child getting an education by sheer will and determination; when a young man opens a door for me to pass through because he’s been taught common courtesy – it gives me a little hope. Obviously there are still parents out there who are raising up their children right and maybe those are the most important role models; the ones we see every day. Maybe it’s important for me to model whatever it is I want to pass along. Wasn’t it Mahatma Gandhi who said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”? So maybe it’s not up to the Kardashians or the Obamas. Maybe it’s up to you and me to be the heroes. You never know who’s watching.

Page 18

The Tooth Fairy LIVES!

Mark your calendars: Polk Co. Chamber: Dec 1 - Dec 21 Drop off your letter to Santa & receive a response from him in the mail!! Dec 11 Board MeetingChamber of Commerce Dec 12 Mercyfull Home Health's Ribbon Cutting Dec 13 Integrity Performance's Ribbon Cutting

Livingston, TX 77351 (936) 327-4929 or (800) 918-1305 Fax: (936) 3272660 Galveston Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 2013 Celebrating Women: Mind, Body, Spirit Women's Conference with Keynote Speaker Candace Bushnell, author of "Sex and the City" April 5, 2013.

Dec 14 - Dec 16 Livingston Trade Days Dec 14 The Bradford's Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Contact the Galveston Chamber of Commerce at 409.763.5326

Dec 16 Season of Advent, Lessons and Carols

The Honorable Rick Perry, Governor Office of the Governor, State Capitol, Austin TX 78711-2428 (800) 2529600 Fax: (512) 463-1849

Dec 17 Ambassador Meeting-Chamber of Commerce Dec 18 CCC Blacktopping, LLC's Ribbon Cutting Dec 18 Dead or Alive Professional Tree Service, Inc. Ribbon Cutting Dec 19 Children's Christmas Party with a visit from Santa Dec 23 Christmas in the Courtyard and Live Nativity Dec 24 - Jan 2 Christmas Holidays Dec 24 - Dec 25 Christmas Eve Worship Services Contact us: LivingstonPolk County Chamber of Commerce PO Box 600 1001 US Hwy. 59 Loop N.

Clear Lake Chamber

(936) 295-8113

Friday December 14th 8:00 am Toastmasters at My Flooring America Boardroom Chamber, 1201 NASA Parkway

Coldspring Chamber

Monday December 17th Ribbon Cutting - Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Families 11:00 am 12:00 pm 2145 W. NASA Blvd, Webster, TX Friday December 21st 8:00 am Toastmasters at My Flooring of America Boardroom Chamber, 1201 NASA Parkway

Local Offices:

The Honorable John Cornyn, Senator 517 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, Senator 1919 Smith Street, Suite 800, Houston TX 77002 (713) 653-3456 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Representative Ron Paul 203 Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC 20515 and 122 West Way STE 301, Lake Jackson, TX 77556 1501 Mockingbird Lane STE 229, Victoria, TX 77904 (202) 225-2831 (979) 285-0231 (361) 576-1231

Thursday, February 07, 2013 Epicurean Evening from 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm at Space Center Houston Huntsville Chamber:

December 11 - 6:30 p.m. - San Jacinto County Republican Party Meeting at Coldspring Community Center 20 - 6:00 p.m. - Democratic Party, San Jacinto County Meeting at Coldspring Community Center 2013 January 3 - 2:00 p.m. Coldspring Garden Club meets at Coldspring Community Center

Jan 12 - Chili Cook-off American Legion Post 212 - Click here for more information Jan 17 - 6:00 p.m. Democratic Party, San Jacinto County Meeting at Coldspring Community Center Jan 26 - Bike Through The Forest and the Hills Coldspring / San Jacinto County Chamber of Commerce P O Box 980, Coldspring, Texas 77331 936-653-2184

Santa Claus was spotted in Clear Lake, TX on his way to Colorado Springs, CO! He said he had a lot of stops to make on the way. When asked why he was on his Harley he replied “It’s far too hot in Texas for the Reindeer just

Dec 13 Small Business Breakfast - sponsored by Easco A/C & Heating

yet.” Santa told The Dam Good Times Reporter

Dec 13 Thursday Leads Exchange Dec 13 Business After Hours-December 2012; sponsored by McCaffety Electric

Santa” and also the “Naughty or Nice” lists...He

Dec 15 Holiday Revue Dec 18 Preferred Partners Dec 20 Thursday Leads Exchange Dec 27 Thursday Leads Exchange Jan 1 Preferred Partners Chamber Office: 11th Street Huntsville, TX 77340

that he’s picking up all of the “Letter’s to assured us the elves were VERY busy at the North Pole making all the toys for all the boys and girls. Santa also said that despite what some might think, he likes “...WHOLE milk and EVERY kind of cookie! Ho! Ho! Ho!”

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas”

Livingston Rotary Club and Livingston School’s Honor Choir Present Crowd with An Early Christmas Gift By Penny Uselton Little did we know what a treat we were in for at the Livingston Rotary Club meeting on November 29! The 90 member Livingston School’s Honor Choir of 3rd,4th and 5th graders entertained the membership with a number of Christmas songs running the gamut from: “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” to the “Hallelujah Chorus,” and including the recent “Polar Express” song. The arrangements were jazzy and many times, very intricate; but the choir didn’t miss a beat! Their teachers at the various Livingston elementary schools recom-

mended them based on deportment and grades. None of the children have to audition. Their director, Kathy Stark, from Timbercreek Elementary says, “I teach them how to sing!” Their ability to sing is not in the calculations, but boy, can they sing! Solos by Skylar Plunk, Dooley Calcote and Tanner Cates added to the choir’s performance. Mrs. Stark gave credit to her Assistant Director, and former band instructor, Candice Cozart, for the great help she has been with the choir and all of the volunteer parents who make everything possible. If you have the opportunity, don’t miss hearing

this choir perform! They are really talented; well trained; and entertaining! In other words, find out where they will be performing and go to see and hear them.

Choir Director Kathy Stark from Timbercreek

Crossword Puzzle Across 1. Cattle farm 6. Wooden pin 9. Cutlass 14. Ablaze 15. Mature 16. Spooky 17. Overwhelming fear and anxiety 18. An opposing argument 19. Rapidly 20. Kind of table 22. Pit viper 24. Pastry item 25. Chicken 26. Beer 29. Ness 31. Olympic field event 36. Pile 38. Breakers 40. Flat-bottomed boat 41. In a relaxed manner 42. Mythical cavedwelling creature 44. Song 45. Affirm 46. Stead 47. Violence by an unruly mob 48. Erase 50. Rational 52. Single 53. Edible tuber 55. In the past 57. Plug 62. Bother 66. Pontifical 67. Frozen 69. A relative by marriage 70. Sports venue 71. Deplete 72. Baked in an oven or on a griddle 73. Cash 74. Female sheep 75. Measuring instrument

Last Week’s Answers

December 2012

The Dam Good Times

Down 1. Ecstatic 2. A great distance 3. Three squared 4. Thin potato chip 5. Feverish 6. Step 7. Self 8. Writing style 9. Furniture item 10. Sobbed 11. Using speech rather than writing 12. Food grain 13. Cervid 21. To the lowest degree 23. Conjunction 25. Valiance 26. In front 27. Depart 28. Tripod 30. Knitting stitch 32. Box lightly 33. Oddity 34. Employee organization 35. Condition 37. Heaped wood used as a funeral rite 39. Jumping insect 43. Relating to the moon 49. Oculus 51. Self-interest 54. Come into existence 56. Unit of weight 57. Junk e-mail 58. Starchy tuberous root 59. Overt 60. Part of a window 61. Frolic 62. Sort 63. Smudge 64. Bowling alley 65. Pitcher 68. Sound made by corvine birds

Page 22

The Dam Gossip SNICKER A Tourist walked into a Chinese curio shop in San Francisco. While looking around at the exotic merchandise, he noticed a very lifelike, life-sized, bronze statue of a rat. It had no price tag, but was so incredibly striking the tourist decided he must have it. He took it to the old shop owner and asked, "How much for the bronze rat?" "Ahhh, you have chosen wisely! It is $12 for the rat and $100 for the story," said the wise old Chinese man. The tourist quickly pulled out twelve dollars. "I'll just take the rat, you can keep the story". As he walked down the street carrying his bronze rat, the tourist noticed that a few real rats had crawled out of the alleys and sewers and had begun following him down the street. This was a bit disconcerting so he began walking faster. A couple blocks later he looked behind him and saw to his horror the herd of rats behind him had grown to hundreds, and they began squealing. Sweating now, the tourist began to trot toward San Francisco Bay. Again, after a couple blocks, he looked around only to discover that the December 2012

Rumor Has It ...COVER:  Madison won the children’s art contest at the 2012 Gensler’s Children’s Holiday Party.   Her artwork will be featured on the t-shirts for the 2013 Holiday Party!  Her grandparents, Jim & Laurie McMurrey reside in Coldpring, TX.  ...Shabby Sheek moved. They are now “almost on the square” caddy corner from Coldspring Cafe... ...Crystal’s Bistro is closed and is for sale... ...Taylor Swift is never, ever, never, never, ever getting back together with her ex...ever. Never.

rats now numbered in the MILLIONS, and were squealing and coming toward him faster and faster. Terrified, he ran to the edge of the Bay and threw the bronze rat as far as he could into the Bay. Amazingly, the millions of rats all jumped

...The Tooth Fairy was spotted in Livingston, TX! See page 17 for story and page 19 for the once in a lifetime photograph of the Tooth Fairy!

into the Bay after the bronze rat and were all ...Santa Claus will be visiting your area soon! Tell drowned. The man your parents to check with your local chamber of walked back to the curio commerce for details and dates! shop in Chinatown . "Ahhh," said the owner, "You come back for story?" On the left is a picture of how (non) busy the Mi"No sir," said the man, "I came back to see if you crosoft Box store was on a particular day. On the right have a bronze Democrat. is an Apple box store...I’m just sayin... Photos by TDGT

A Tale of Two Legends...

The Dam Good Times

Page 23

The Dam Good Times 936.653.8788 Publisher: Crystal Laramore Lutz Editors: Deborah K. Martin, Cheryl Laramore Web Editor: Jennifer Adair Sr. Account Executives: Jacqueline Morrison, Vicki Warner, Liz Wilson, Sandra Thomas, Photography: Crystal Laramore Lutz, Mandy Nettles, Jeff Jordan Contributors: Deborah Martin, Blake Kellum, Bob Bowman, Slim Randles, Matt Bruner, Penny Uselton, Paula Garcia, Ernest Murray, Students and Staff of COCISD, LISD, and HISD and friends of The Dam Good Times ©Copyrights, The Dam Good Times, Coldspring, Texas 2010 ____________________________________________________ The Dam Good Times is a monthly newspaper and is published by The Dam Good Times @ 50 State Hwy 150, POB 911, Coldspring, TX 77331. Telephone number 936.653.8788. (OLD TRUTH) TDGT welcomes any comments or suggestions submitted in writing to the paper. Any editorials or opinions used in this publication are those of the writers and in no way reflect the views and opinions of The Dam Good Times. TDGT is currently circulating 6000 copies throughout the Lake Livingston, Clear Lake, Huntsville, Conroe & Greater Houston area and we have subscribers in 17 states. We are distributed by retail, subscriptions and occasional random distribution. Subscription rates are $35/year in county and $40 outside San Jacinto County. The Dam Good Times is an official publication of the County of San Jacinto, Texas. TDGT expects honest advertising standards from its patrons and does not in amy way take responsibility for false or misleading advertisements. All contents of The Dam Good Times are reserved and we prohibit reproduction of the items without permission. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Dam Good Times, POB 911, Coldspring, TX 77331

Want to subscribe or advertise? Contact us at 936.653.8788

Just in case you’ve had your head in the sand-the time for CHANGE is here! We own several blogs and we are almost so semi-famous that we decided it’s high time for a new newspaper in our area. Soooo, mail us a check for 35 bucks if you live in San Jacinto County and 40 if you’re an outsider, aka weekender, (HEY! It takes one to know one...) and we’ll send you our amazingly clever newspaper. We’ll even lick the stamp. You just can’t find deals like this anymore. Wanna advertise? Don’t be wishy washy. Our paper is a sharp contrast to those yellow-belllied newspapers you’re used to reading & pretty soon people will be begging for ad space and we’ll be too busy to answer the phones! And just like that-YOU’RE out of the loop! (If UR not laughing-UR not living) Send checks to: The Dam Good Times, POB 911, Coldspring, TX 77331


Give a Gift that will last all year Long! HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas from TDGT! Just fill out the form, mail it to us along with a check and we will take care of the rest! December 2012

Merry Christmas from:________________________________________ The Dam Good Times

Page 24

TDGT Travels... Naomi Holley

Lackland Airforce Base San Antonio, TX

Naomi Holley, daughter of Dan & Glynis Holley, graduated from Air Force boot camp on October 12, 2012. Naomi graduated from Coldspring High School in May as one of the first recipients of the Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Education Foundation (COEF) awards (going to the top ten academic students) and went straight into the Air Force! Naomi also graduated from Tech School on December 6th. Thank you Naomi for serving our country and for being a big fan of The Dam Good Times! Let’s wish her well as she flies off to Guam!

December 2012

The Dam Good Times

Page 25

To the moon? Firm hopes to sell $1.5 billion trips Associated Press A team of former NASA executives is launching a private venture to send people to the moon for a price that is definitely out of this world. For $1.5 billion, the newly formed business is offering countries a twoperson trip to the moon, either for research or national prestige. The venture was announced Wednesday. NASA's last trip to the moon was 40 years ago. The United States was the only country that landed people there,

beating the Soviet Union in a space race to the moon that transfixed the world. But once the race ended, there has been only sporadic interest in the moon. President Barack Obama cancelled NASA's planned return to the moon, saying America had already been there. But the firm has talked to other countries, which are showing interest in going, said former NASA associate administrator Alan Stern, who is president of the new Golden Spike Company. Stern said he's looking at countries like South Africa, South Korea, and Japan.

"It's not about being first. It's about joining the club," Stern said. "We're kind of cleaning up what NASA did in the 1960s. We're going to make a commodity of it in the 2020s." Stern said he's aiming for a first launch before the end of the decade and then up 15 or 20 launches total. Dozens of private space companies have started up recently, but few if any will make it -just like in other fields -said Harvard astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who tracks launches worldwide. Many of those compa-

nies hope to follow the success of Space X, which has ferried cargo to the International Space Station for NASA. But more than 90 percent of new ventures will fail before anything is built, he said. "This is unlikely to be the one that will pan out," McDowell said. Even though many countries ponied up millions of dollars to fly their astronauts about the Russian space station Mir and the American space shuttles in the 1990s, a billion dollar price tag seems a bit steep, he said. The latest company is

full of space veterans; American University space policy professor Howard McCurdy called them "heavy hitters" in the field. The board chairman is Apollo era flight director Gerry Griffin, who once headed the Johnson Space Center. Advisors include space shuttle veterans, Hollywood directors, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson and engineer-author Homer Hickam. Stern says the company will buy existing rockets and capsules, only needing to develop new spacesuits and a lunar lander.

How Much is that Puppy in the Window? The Houston SPCA needs your help! What a better gift for your children, an elderly parent or grandparent than an abandoned puppy, dog, kitten or cat? If you don’t adopt a pet and you have children, we may tell Santa Claus on you! If you are in the Lake Livingston area you can always adopt a dog or puppy from S.T.A.R.S. Contact Jacqueline Cloud at 936.203.7004

December 2012

The Dam Good Times

Page 26

Winter Rates Now Apply Call for Details and Availability

Dr. Deanna Foster at 818.522.2520

World & Local House Votes to Keep America Competitive in Research, High-Tech STEM Jobs Act allows top science, math graduates to stay in America to help win global technology race Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to help American innovators hire top graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who were born abroad. “America trained these scientists, engineers and mathematicians. Why shouldn’t Americans get the benefit of their knowledge?” asked Texas Congressman Kevin Brady, who co-sponsored HR 6429, the STEM Jobs Act. “The global technology race will determine if

our nation remains the largest economy in world, but it all depends on attracting the best and brightest minds in the world to help America win that race.” The measure is net immigration neutral, providing up to 55,000 visas annually to high-tech workers while ending a controversial ‘visa lottery’ program that awards green cards based on an annual drawing. “This is important for the Texas economy. Our companies turn down too much work because we don’t have the qualified workers to get the job

done, which means we lose critical economic growth,” said Brady, who regularly holds roundtable discussions with technology companies in the Houston region and across the state. “Texas innovators have the jobs. Until we can generate more home-grown graduates in these high-tech degrees, let’s take advantage of the qualified candidates already studying here.”

Congressman Kevin Brady Statement on UN Palestinian Vote Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady has the following statement on today’s controversial United Nation’s vote to recognize Palestine. “I wish I could say another irresponsible, short-sighted and politically motivated vote by the United Nations is a surprise, but when it come to Israel and the Middle East this body continues to hit new lows. Recognizing Palestine as a nonmember state is another step backward in peace, another roadblock, another counter-productive act that makes it more

difficult to reach a longlasting resolution. It’s telling also, that President Obama’s last-moment promise of personal engagement was rejected flatly by the Palestinians. I wish we had real leadership on this issue from the White House rather than lectures to our long-time ally Israel.”

NEW ANALYSIS: CRS Report on Tax Rates Flawed CRS Report based on incomplete and misleading measure of tax burden Washington, D.C.— U.S. Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, released the attached Republican Staff Analysis examining a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) that claimed there was no statistical relationship between the top statutory tax rate and economic growth. “The Congressional Research Service report that December 2012

top tax rates don’t matter to the economy has two glaring flaws that lead to the wrong conclusion,” says Brady. “ The report ignores the total tax burden imposed by federal, state, and local governments on job creators and high income earners, and fails to recognize that top rates today capture a dramatically larger share of income than in the past, including roughly half of all net business income taxed at the individ-

ual level.” “The top rate is only one feature of our tax system and by itself tells us nothing about the overall tax burden. And since more and more businesses now file as individual tax payers, the impact on the economy is significantly larger.” Brady says Congress and the White House should focus instead on the effective marginal tax rates on labor and capital because “they have the The Dam Good Times

greatest effect on aftertax income which, in turn, affects the incentive to work, save, and invest.” According to this JEC Republican Staff Analysis, from 1945 to 1963 when the top statutory tax rate was 90 percent, only 1 percent of total Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) was affected. Over time the top statutory tax rate has decreased, but the share of total AGI reported by taxpayers subject to the top rate has increased. In

2007, taxpayers subject to the top rate reported 18 percent of total AGI. “The economic effects of the exorbitant top rates in the past are not comparable with the effects of an increase in today’s top rate.” Brady concluded, “Before Congress decides it can raise the top statutory tax rate without adverse effects, Congress needs to get the relevant facts about how taxes really affect the economy.” Page 28

Congressman Kevin Brady held his final Polk County Town Hall meeting on Monday, November 19 where he gave the crowd at the Watson Building an update on the fiscal cliff before taking questions. While redistricting is moving the boundaries of District 8, Brady told Polk County that it has been his honor to represent them in Washington and "while district lines change, friendships do not."

Thank You! Fiscal Cliff: How to Protect the Middle Class, Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth, and Reduce the Federal Deficit A Hearing Before the Joint Economic Committee

Forget the stock market's dismal decade of much-ado-about-nothing and ignore the USD Dollar's declination; when it comes to reflection on what this once great nation has 'created' since 2001, the following chart from Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare sums it up better than most. December 2012

The Dam Good Times

Washington DC— The Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing on, “Fiscal Cliff: How to Protect the Middle Class, Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth, and Reduce the Federal Deficit,” on Thursday, December 6, 2012, at 9:30 a.m., in room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Econ-

omist of Moody’s Analytics in Philadelphia, PA, and Dr. Kevin Hassett, Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies for the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C., are scheduled to testify. Chairman Bob Casey will be presiding.

Page 29

Washington, DC – Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement regarding the escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas: “The nation of Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East, and I have long supported the right of the Israeli government to defend its borders. It is unthinkable that Hamas is now targeting Jerusalem with their missile attacks, and there is no question as to whether or not Israel should respond with the resources they deem necessary in order to protect their citizens and their homeland. I am confident that the United States government will continue to stand behind our friends in Israel as they defend their sovereignty.”

World’s Oldest Person Dies MONROE, Ga. (AP) — The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person died Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home at age 116. Besse Cooper died peacefully Tuesday afternoon in Monroe, according to her son Sidney Cooper. Monroe is about 45 miles east of Atlanta. Cooper said his mother had been ill recently with a stomach virus, then felt better on Monday. On Tuesday he said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing. She was

put on oxygen in her room and died there about 2 p.m., Cooper said. "With her hair fixed it looked like she was ready to go," he said. Besse Cooper was declared the world's oldest person in January 2011. In May 2011, Guinness World Records learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died the next month. "It's a sad day for me," said Robert Young, Guinness senior consultant for gerontology. He recalls meeting Cooper when

she was 111 and took note of her mental agility. "At that age she was doing really well, she was able to read books," he said. Last year on Cooper's 115th birthday, she celebrated with friends and relatives, enjoyed two small slivers of birthday cake and was serenaded by a musician from Nashville who sang "Tennessee Waltz." Sidney Cooper said his family will likely hold a funeral for his mother later this week. Besse Cooper was the first Georgian to hold the

Got Facebook?


Man runs seven Marathons on Seven Continents in Under Seven Days From Antarctica to Sydney, Dr Andrew Murray overcomes exhaustion and aching feet to run seven ultra-marathons on seven continents in less than a week. For most people, running one marathon is enough. Not for Scottish fitness enthusiast Dr. Andrew Murray though. He decided to take on a truly epic challenge as he set himself the task of completing seven ultra marathons on seven continents in just seven days. The challenge began in the Antarctic, where Dr Murray ran 50 kilometres, before thawing out and boarding a plane bound for Chile – where he comDecember 2012

pleted the South American leg of his challenge by running 50km on the streets of Santiago. Then it was off to Atlanta, Georgia, for the third leg, before a stop in London, where Dr Murray and his running mates braved the rain as they ran along the banks of the River Thames. He then travelled to Cairo, Dubai and finally to Sydney, where he completed the challenge five days, 13 hours and 28 minutes

after he started. Although elated, he admitted to feeling more than a little sore: "My body feels absolutely wrecked. We know that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, but perhaps running 50km each day for a week will leave you a bit tender." Source: Reuters Vicki Warner ran a 5k in Huntsville and it only took her 45 minutes! She will be training and The Dam Good Times

preparing for the “Santa Hustle” marathon in Galveston next month. But, I doubt she will ever want to run seven marathons on seven continents...EVER! NEVER! EVER! EVER! NEVER! as Taylor Swift would say.

world record. She was born in Tennessee and moved to Georgia during World War I to look for work as a teacher. The title of world's oldest person now belongs to 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, of Johnston, Iowa, Young said. The oldest known person of all time was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived to be 122 years old and died in 1997.

Fiscal Cliff: How to Protect the Middle Class, Sustain LongTerm Economic Growth, and Reduce the Federal Deficit A Hearing Before the Joint Economic Committee Washington DC—The Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing on, “Fiscal Cliff: How to Protect the Middle Class, Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth, and Reduce the Federal Deficit,” tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., in room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics in Philadelphia, PA, and Dr. Kevin Hassett, Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies for the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C., are scheduled to testify. Chairman Bob Casey will be presiding. Page 30

Job Creation Still Too Slow “Uncertainty takes toll on job growth,” JEC incoming Chairman maintains Washington, D.C.— Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Vice Chairman and incoming Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, called today’s news that the U.S. economy added 146,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, including 147,000 private payroll jobs, during November “unimpressive.” He noted that after all the administration’s proclamations that the economy was steadily improving, “the unemployment rate remains too high. And today’s small decline in the unemployment rate was driven by people dropping out of the workforce.” “While Hurricane Sandy certainly had some effect on today’s report, the fact remains that

Tina Turner Used to Shoo Birds A CENTRAL England airport has started playing Tina Turner songs at high volume after discovering the distinctive sound of the powerful diva effectively deters birds from the runway. The songs, including Simply The Best and What's Love Got To Do With It, blare from a loudspeaker mounted on a van which is driven up and down the airstrip at Gloucestershire Airport. "Normally we use the December 2012

job creation during the current recovery has been anemic,” the Congressman stated. “At the present rate of private payroll job growth, it will take another 23 months to return to the number of private payroll jobs that we had in January 2008, the pre-recession peak.” Brady concluded, “The President’s insistence on hiking taxes on job creators even more and the growing uncertainty over ObamaCare and the resolution of the fiscal cliff will likely result in continuing lackluster job growth and eventual job losses in the private sector. The President needs to drop his ideological crusade against success and help get the economy moving more quickly.” speakers to play birddistress calls. But when they stopped working properly we found we could use Tina Turner just as effectively," head of airport operations Darren Lewington told British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. Without deterrents, it is feared aircraft could be hit by crows or gulls. • Maybe Lisa Anderson of Coldspring, TX should have tried this at Bayer when she had a dove would have probably been cheaper and less labor intensive than the fix a group of highly educated engineers came up with. I’m just sayin’.

Rand Fans Rejoice: 'Shrugged' Sequel on Blu-ray in Spring, 'Part III' in Theaters July 4, 2014

Randians who still can't wait for the three-part "Atlas Shrugged" film franchise to wrap now have some very good news. "Atlas Shrugged: Part II," now playing in select theaters, will be re-

leased via 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in Spring 2013 on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download and Video on Demand. We also now know the third film in the franchise is a go - and the planned release date couldn't be more appropriate.

Croc Found in Brazos River

The Dam Good Times

Page 31



Restaurant in the hear t of Coldspring on the beautiful and historic townsquare . All restaur ant equipm e n t i s i n c l u d e d , e x c e p t o w n e r ’s p e r s o n a l i t e m s . Tw o l a r g e e a t i n g areas. Plus fantastic outdoor patio space . Living quar ter s behind for b u y e r o r e m p l o y e e o c c u p a n c y.

Beautiful home on Clear Lake with spectacular views from near ly ever y room. Features i n c l u d e g r a n d 2 - s t o r y e n t r y, c r o w n m o l d i n g , floor to ceiling windows, lar ge island kitchen w i t h g r a n i t e , h a n d s o m e s t u d y, 2 w e t b a r s , 2nd floor gameroom and 3-car gar age . Luxur ious master suite with fireplace and 2 lar ge walk-in closets. Backyard has infinity p o o l w i t h w a t e r f e a t u r e s , p a t i o a r e a , w a t e rfall and lots of green space . SELLING QUICKLY


New subdivision on a lake. Heavily wooded Beautiful views from Spacious and secluded. market.

quiet spring fed waterfront lots. ever y direction. First time on the


713.320.5881 3201 Kirby Drive Houston, Texas 77098


The Dam Good Times December 2012 Vol 100  

San Jacinto County's only locally owned newspaper. Established 2010