The Mantooth House Sober Living for Women will host their open house from 1-4 p.m. today at 501 Mantooth.

Kelley Moore called me late, telling me that she and Judge Bob Inselmann were working on the house that will have room for eight women who have come from rehab. The women will live in the house and be self-sufficient, with jobs, and be on the road to total recovery. The project needs sponsors and people to help with projects like painting, remodeling and money.

Frankie Clark’s offices were in the house, and way back in my high school days, the house was owned by Gladney Berry; she had Berry’s Florist next door. This building will be the future site of an Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council Outpatient Facility.

If you have questions you can call Moore at 366-2963. See you today afternoon at the open house.

Jim Riggs’ daughter Colleen Thompson and husband Mike recently visited their daughter Mary Lou Sorensen and her husband Stuart in Kathmandu, Nepal. The object of the visit was to meet 3-month-old Penelope Louise Sorensen, the Thompsons’ first granddaughter and Jim’s first great-granddaughter.

The Sorensens have been in Nepal about a year now learning the language and culture and looking at opportunities to start a business to employ Nepalis. The ultimate aim is to be missionaries there. Jim says he was told the adults (all Aggies) temporarily took their gaze off the new baby to watch A&M upset Kentucky via the internet Saturday night. True Aggies, even overseas.

Joyce Wallace had to flaunt to me that she had more hummingbirds. She had a four-cup feeder that she was filling every day so she has added a second feeder. We have about six, but not swarms like we have had in the past.

Butch Taylor turned 80 this month and his sons, Randall and Lindsay, threw a birthday bash for him at Taylor Bros. Paint and Floor Covering. There were about 120 guests that attended and were served steaks, chicken and all the fixings plus a giant birthday cake and iced cookies. All the Taylor family chipped in on planning, serving and cooking for the event with help from many dear friends.

Daughters-in-law Cinda Taylor and Garion Taylor were at the food lines, as were grandson Wes and Jay Taylor. Ernest and I sat by Michael Bennett, Mayor Bob Brown and wife Tony, and Ernie and George Little. Mary Jo Taylor was at the door greeting everyone. It was a true Taylor celebration for Butch.

Cheryl Arnold, after retiring from Central ISD five years ago, is teaching at St. Cyprian’s School. She team-teaches fourth-grade language arts and social studies with Tammy Simms, who teaches math and science.

Beverly and Gerald Kendrick were in Walgreens when we got our flu shots.

I saw Vickie Gann who had broken her left arm above her wrist. We had to whine to each other. She is right-handed.

The 1959 Lufkin High School Ladies met for lunch at Olive Garden on Oct. 4. Lynda Melton coordinated the event. Those attending were Jo Ann Anderson, Mary Ann Doyle, Lynda Russell Melton, Valerie Mahan Epps, Linda May Jones, Carolyn Bates Carlisle, Bea Wall Stovall, Carolyn Staus, Linda Huggins Martin, Nell P. Hill, Kay Gilmore Gibbs, Susan Ames Dickens, Ellen Lacey Hollis, Gloria Brantley Sturrock from Frisco and Mollie Clayton Jones from Flint.

Out-of-town guest was Joetta Root Roach from Flint. Afterward, they met at Lynda Melton’s for pie and coffee to discuss the 2019 class reunion.

Jim and Mary Jane West spent 10 days in Wisconsin last month. They stopped in Springfield, Illinois, on their way and toured the Abraham Lincoln home and the 40,000-square-foot Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

Their next stop was a nostalgic trip to Beloit, Wisconsin, where Mary Jane lived for two years when she was in the second and third grades. The next day they drove to Door County, Wisconsin, a peninsula that is surrounded by Green Bay and Lake Michigan. They said that Door County is beautiful and looks very similar to New England.

The peninsula has 11 lighthouses and 300 miles of shoreline. It was already getting cooler and the leaves were starting to turn red and yellow. There were roadside farmers markets everywhere selling all sizes of pumpkins and gourds. The apple trees were full of apples to be picked and fresh apples were being sold, in addition to apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, applesauce, apple pies and apple butter. Pumpkin butter also was a big seller. The cherry industry is also a big part of this area, so you could buy cherry everything. Since Wisconsin is the “dairy state,” cheese is sold everywhere. A popular item there are cheese curds.

They saw former Lufkinite Boyd Stewart, who lives there six months out of the year. In his retirement, he gives tours on the Door County Trolley. Mary Jane and Jim said he is extremely knowledgeable about the history of the area and does a wonderful tour. He also took them to a great supper club for dinner one night. It was fun seeing him and reconnecting after all these years.

They visited a maritime museum in Sturgeon Bay, saw lots of art galleries, beautiful red barns and farms, very pretty New England-style churches, lighthouses and gorgeous scenery. A Swedish restaurant, Al Johnson’s, has grass on the slanted roof with goats grazing on the roof.

Becky Simcoe just returned from North Carolina, where she was helping her daughter, Electra Rodriguez, reorganize after Hurricane Florence. Electra’s husband, Sergio, is stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. They have a baby girl, Haloryn, who turned 5 months old while they were in Texas, where they fled from the hurricane.

Upon returning to the area, they found they had no major damage. Unfortunately, the area around them was not so lucky. They live five minutes from North Topsail Beach, where the hurricane destroyed the sand dunes that act as a barrier for the surf. They saw crews using heavy equipment to replace sand that disappeared during the hurricane storm surge.

When they traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina, for Becky to catch a flight back home, they saw many areas where downed trees were still impacting people. One area still had no electricity. The sides of the road were filled with freezers, refrigerators and other appliances that had been lost due to the outages. Windows had been blown out in houses along the way. The town of Wilmington, where Florence came ashore, lost hundreds of oaks.

Becky said she talked to a resident of Wilmington who told her, “Our little town will never recover from this. It’s heartbreaking.” We can identify with their misery after we were impacted by Hurricane Rita and then Ike. Hopefully, the relief efforts will continue and these people will get the help they need.

Glenda Smiley showed us a picture of her stained glass piece that she had made.

Lee Slaughter told me that John Lee Slaughter had bought back the yellow house across from Slaughter & Son on Pershing and is cleaning up the neighborhood.

I cannot remember when I have missed two Panther football games in my life. But this week was my second one to miss. Thanks to Garion Taylor I was able to see the Panther Pride Drill Team on Facebook and thanks to Leslie Rayburn I was able to see the Panther Band at halftime. Gary Ivins Jr. and J.T. McManus kept me informed on the football game.

I was sorry that I missed the homecoming court and the pregame festivities. Ernest went without me and told me what happened. It was not like being there.

Janice Ann Rowe’s email address is roweja@suddenlink.net.

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