Come see us...

Goree is a quaint, quiet town with easy access to the lake, guided hunting/fishing, hunting lodges, RVing, camping and extremely affordable real estate for your very own hunting headquarters. Finally, Goree has the last stop for bait, beverages and snacks before heading to the lake, Millers Creek Reservoir.

Monday, December 31, 2007

History of Goree, Part 4

by John H Bates
In 1933, my father, Ross Bates, wrote the story of W.M. Gulick, Steve Franklin, and Will Cartwright who took a bunch of horses to Houston County, near Crockett, Texas and traded them for cattle. In the fall of 1879, Mr. Gulick and Mr. Calthrop brought the cattle through Seymour and up the Brazos to the mouth of Lake Creek and turned them loose. They established a camp and stayed together that winter. Calthrop’s father and family moved to the camp and built a house where Lake Creek empties into the Brazos. Mr. Gulick worked for the Millets and Bill Irvin, a partner of the Millets during 1880-1881, and then for the Hash Knife until 1883, when he married Miss Mary Jane Calthrop, a sister of Ham Calthrop.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

In memory of...

W. Heard Reeves
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

W. Heard Reeves passed away peacefully on December 17, 2007, at the age of 91. He was born to Victor M. and Alma G. Reeves on November 16, 1916, in Goree, Texas. He grew up on their farm in Knox County, and graduated from Goree High School in 1934 as Valedictorian. He moved to Wichita Falls in 1938 to attend Draughon’s Business College. He married Jeanette Moore on December 22, 1942, and they were married 39 years. He became a member of First United Methodist Church in June of 1946. He was a longtime member of the Keystone Class of that Church.

Mr. Reeves was drafted into the military in January 1941 and attended Infantry OCS. He served in campaigns in North Africa, Sicily (Anzio), Italy, southern France, Central Europe, and the Rhineland, at the end of the Sicilian campaign he was one of the two 2nd Lieutenants chosen to go to Division Headquarters in Trappani, Sicily, for a conference with Gen. George S. Patton regarding infantry tactics in frontline combat. As a member of the Third Infantry Division, he knew and fought with Audie Murphy. He pinned 2nd Lt. bars on Murphy at Remiramont, France, to give him a battlefield commission. During his military service, Reeves was awarded the Silver Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, the French Croix de Guerre with palm, and several Distinguished Unit Citations.

Mr. Reeves was employed for 31 years by Perkins-Prothro Company as office manager and head accountant, He was active in North Texas Oil and Gas Association, a charter member of North Texas Oil and Gas Association Accountants, and served several years as Chairman of the North Texas Ad Valorem Tax Committee. He also served on the Official Board of FUMC in various capacities and on the Salvation Army Advisory Board. His quick wit and sense of humor will be greatly missed.

Mr. Reeves was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and two brothers, Jim and Frank. Survivors include his sister and brother-in-law, Vivian and Mark Allen, daughter, Elizabeth Reeves, son David H. Reeves, sister-in-law Velta Reeves, grandchildren Emily and husband Jay Rennie, Chris Coward, and Clay Reeves, two great-grandchildren, Shane and Jake Rennie, and several nieces and nephews whom he loved very much.

Visitation will be Wednesday, December 19, 2007, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Hampton Vaughan Funeral Home. Services will be December 20, 2007 at Hampton Vaughan Chapel with Rev. John Dillard officiating. Interment will follow in Crestview Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the First United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Manor, of Hospice of Wichita Falls.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

History of Goree, Part 3

Let us try to draw in our own minds a picture of these hardy souls. For most, they were originally from Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Georgia. A good portion of them had stopped over for a few years after leaving the states of their birth, in what we now call East Texas, comprising the counties of Denton, Collin, Dallas, and others. They had grazed their ponies and cattle on knee high grass from lush green valleys of their native states. This tall grass was strong enough to enable them to break their horses at three years of age, but the grass in this new land was an “Indian pony” of a different color. Here it was a short desert grass and their first thoughts weren’t good; however, they soon had a pleasant surprise. The short grass has a high protein content, and a colt at two years old was strong enough without corn or other grain supplement to begin doing a full day’s work. So, we really begin our story in the year 1879.

Monday, December 17, 2007

History of Goree, Part 2

by John H. Bates
But, before we dwell any longer on the history of the present Goree and its surrounding communities, I think it is imperative that we go back at least two decades and possibly a quarter of a century to the era when the first settlers made their first campfires on a strange prairie; inhabited by tens of millions of prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, and coyotes. To the new arrivals it was a veritable sea of land, stirred only by a gentle wind, an occasional “dust devil”, the hallow sound of a buzzing rattler, and the plaintive cry of a lonely coyote. These new settlers were men and women born of hardship, blessed in a belief of an Almighty God, and graced with a determination to carve for themselves, from this boundless prairie, a place in history. To achieve this they had only their work-worn hands, their horses, sulky plows, and for the most of them a few head of longhorn cattle. Their work began with first filing their land claims and the diggings and constructing of what was known as half-dugouts. These first Knox County homes were located as near as possible to water, for we must remember these people were settling on the edge of the desert, and acknowledgeable water was as scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth. They were truly in the short grass country.

Friday, December 14, 2007

History of Goree, Part I

History of Goree
By John H. Bates

Part I

The little town of Goree is situated in the southeast corner of Knox County about three miles west of the Baylor County line and approximately the same distance north of the Haskell County line, on a three hundred and twenty acre land grant given by the late E.M. Coffman (Uncle Ebb) and W.W. Coffman. From the data I can get, the first plans for the township began in 1905, or as soon as it was ascertained that the railroad would be built through the present site of the township. The railroad came through in 1906; therefore, we might say that 1906 was the birth of the present Goree. Anyway, 1906 was the beginning of the incorporated town of Goree.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Uh Oh...

Well, three steps forward and a few more back! On Saturday a wind crashed through town and so did the brick from this building. The building had been partially demolished for the brick which may have weakened the structure. About 8 feet of bricks seemed to have landed on the awning causing it to fall and brick peppered the street. We hate to see this pretty building go--but we won't give up!

Friday, November 30, 2007

New business in town~

Well, I'm not into self-promotion but it is new news for Goree, Texas and Jimmy Harlan doesn't hesitate to bring it to my attention that it's been awhile since I've posted. When Kent closed Trainham Grocery he kept most of the meat processing equipment out of the meat market. Little did he know that that equipment would birth a new business years later. Selling ice is somewhat of a volatile business and retaining employees on a full-time basis throughout the winter is nearly impossible. Wild game processing is a logical off-season business that (so far) has enabled us to keep three employees from seeking supplemental income. And the fact that Kent is a lover of the outdoors just adds to the perfect fit of this new adventure.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Goree made the news...

I'm waiting on pix from the Halloween party for the Goree children and an update from the benefit bingo for the Memorial Building! I want to keep up with the Goree happenings, ya know. But, in the meantime Goree, Texas was in the news...

Dallas Morning News

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In memory of...

...copied and pasted from Times Record News
Dale Redding, 91, passed away on Oct. 27, 2007, in Wichita Falls.

Dale was born Nov. 22, 1915 in Virgil and Elsie (Juergens) Redding in Minatare, Neb. Dale was a farmer, rancher, cattle feeder and Master Cattleman in Nebraska until 1966. He established a renowned herd of purebred Angus cattle and was one of the top Angus breeders in the world during the 1950's and 1960's. Dale was a farmer and later an oil producer in North Texas from 1968 until 1995.

Dale is survived by his wife, Nina; step-sons, Rod and Gary Lamm; daughter, Patricia Denton; son, Paul Redding; sister, Lois Stewart and by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents, first wife, Louise; brother, Robert in World War II; and a sister at birth.

Dale's family will gather at a later time for a memorial service.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Wichita Falls.
Tributes may be sent to the family at

Monday, October 22, 2007

The not so 'haunted house'...

Well, the upstairs structure above the City Hall and the garage sale are now emptied of their contents. And they aren't so scary anymore! We have dreams of using these structures now that they have a new roof. New windows, electrical and bathrooms are next steps. The dream is for this to be turned into lodging. Try these on for size..."The City Lodge" or how about "Lake Creek Lodge"? All proceeds will be for the upkeep of the Memorial Building, etc. The vision is for the rooms (7 or so) to be filled with antiques that one could purchase if the hankerin' should hanker.

Thanks to those who got their hands dirty~you know who you are!!! And yes I know, we got a lot more than our hands dirty~but it will be well worth it!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Ann Lain Family

Copied and pasted from the Wichita Falls Times Record News:

SEYMOUR — Ann Lain, 81, died Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2007, in Wichita Falls. Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Red Springs Baptist Church, with the Rev. Gary Godkin, pastor, and Rev. Genoa Goad officiating. Burial will be in Masonic Cemetery under the direction of Seymour Memorial Funeral Home.

Mrs. Lain worked at the M System Grocery Store for 20 years. Survivors include her husband, C.W. “Cy” Lain of Seymour; one daughter, Cynthia Ann Wittman of Granbury, Texas; a son, Chad Waylon Lain of Holliday, Texas; a sister, Jean Walling of Wichita Falls; two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 6:30 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Wichita Falls or to the Seymour Cemetery Association.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sale, Sale, Sale...

The Memorial Building garage sale building now has a new roof. But, what good is a new roof with mildewed merchandise. Soooo, last week we had a big, black bag sale. People were invited to fill a black bag for only $5.00, cheap~cheap~cheap. (It beat throwing it in the dumpster.) We even had one patron fill a suburban!!!

We have future plans for this structure! If the building is not leased by a company who builds cabinets, then we will begin plans for a new and improved thrift/antique store to benefit the Goree Memorial Building. Leasing or thriftstore, either way, proceeds will go towards the upkeep of the Memorial Building.

A big huge thanks to those who worked!!! Some baked for the bake sale, some sweat and swore while cleaning up, then again, some did all of the above. It was a huge job, but the benefits were worth it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Alvino DeLuna

Al DeLuna passed away this morning. He was a bright spot in everyone's day here in Goree. He had been fighting cancer and awhile back moved to the nursing home. He took a turn for the worse yesterday and went to be with Jesus this morning. We'll miss him dearly.

Monday, October 1, 2007

John Thomas Peek

Peek, John Thomas

View/Sign Guest Book
94 Years Young Captain John Thomas Peek, of Solana Beach, Calif., passed away on September 21, 2007. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, October 1, 2007, at Maple Hill Cemetery. Family gatherings will be from 4-6 p.m. Sunday and 10-11 a.m. Monday at the Maple Hill Funeral Home. Captain John Thomas Peek (J.T. to his family) was born on June 11, 1913, in the home of his family farm in Goree, Knox County, Texas. John enlisted in the Aviation Section of the USMC in 1933 and began flight school in 1936 in Pensacola. He was transferred to San Diego Naval Air Station in 1937 for three years of active duty, where he immediately qualified on the carrier and was eventually promoted to Captain. He flew many different aircraft, including Army Air Corps P-51 Mustangs, and once flew 11 different planes in one day. John qualified Charles Lindbergh in the Corsair. In 1940, John left the Marines to become a TWA pilot, flying the DC-2. During his career with TWA, he served an additional three years in the USMC during WWII participating in soldier and supply transport flights, mostly in the southwest Pacific Theater. He was awarded Good Conduct; American Defense Service, Presidential Unit Citation. He returned to TWA after WWII while still serving in the USMC Reserve until 1952, reaching the rank of Major. During the Vietnam War, he again served his country by transporting soldiers in and out of the country as a TWA pilot. He retired as a TWA International Captain after 33 years of service, completing his TWA career flying the "latest and largest" plane of the time - the 747 Jumbo Jet. He accumulated 25,000 hours and approximately 8 million miles of flying time. Survivors include a sister, Dimple Jetton, Spearman, Texas; a daughter, Vickie Peek, Solana Beach, Calif.; three sons, John T. "Jet" Peek, Jr., Houston, Texas, Randy Peek, K.C., Kan., Gary Peek, Solana Beach, Calif.; two grandsons, Ryan Peek, Logan Peek, and a great grandson, Troy Peek, all of K.C, Kan. (Arr.: Maple Hill Funeral Home, 913- 831-3345).
Published in the Kansas City Star on 9/29/2007.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hometown Helper Grant

The following essay was submitted to the hometown helper grant program. At some point our project will be published on their website.

Our small town is almost dead. But, we are hopeful because we have a new theme and dream. Goree, Texas: Gateway to Miller Creek Reservoir. We are the nearest town with easiest access to the 3rd ranked fishing lake in Texas. In our area, farmers and ranchers have been innovative in discerning the trend of the times. They are catering to people who want guided hunting and fishing opportunities. All they have is the land and the heart to put it to good use.

With our new found purpose, the GGG Group wants to create an environment where dreams become reality. Based on casting the vision alone, businesses and ideas have already sprung to life. Deer processing, lodging, storage buildings, and for more info...

Dreams are coming true, but we need a helping hand. What dream do we need your help with? A Hometown Makeover! We have talented volunteers with the heart, but we don’t have materials. We need to build two welcome signs, tin awnings and wooden sidewalks. The labor will be provided by volunteers which is priceless and we already have $891 from donations and fund-raisers. How can your $6800 help? $2,000 for signs, $3400 awnings, and $1400 sidewalks. The trex material is more expensive than wood, but durability is imperative.

This project will first of all let the world know that we exist with signs by the new highway and second of all help us create an aesthetically pleasing downtown area when they do exit. By revitalizing our downtown area, our existing and prospective businesses will flourish.

(Picture that inspired our downtown vision)

Golden Spice

Well, renovation began on the Memorial Building. First, a new roof and completed just yesterday was painting on the kitchen area. The color, golden spice, was chosen because it matches the cabinetry. (Look at me defending my color choice) ~It was ruff in the beginning of the painting process...some called it mustard and others called it baby poop. I can laugh about it now that it's done, but I think it turned out beautifully. Tiling on the floor will be the finishing touch for these two rooms at some point in the near future.
A BIG, HUGE THANK YOU to those who volunteered for the paint party. Six volunteers and fifty hours in two days! You guys are awesome: Vickie Huffman, Caroline Garcia, Kent and Tammie Trainham, Nancy Birkenfeld and Glenn Huffman.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Clean up~

Saturday, several Goree citizens helped in cleaning up around town. After salvaging some treasures from trust property that will soon be demolished, they proceeded to work on the building next to the post office. The plan for this structure is to clean it out and have a courtyard. We didn't finish but we are off to a good start.

Nancy Birkenfeld treated everyone to a wonderful lunch in her home at the end of a hard workin' morning. Thanks to our volunteers...Caroline Garcia, Vickie Huffman, Michael and Jeannie Wilson, David Birkenfeld, Kent and Tammie Trainham, and Jonathan Birkenfeld. Great Job!

Movin' Out...

With mixed emotions, we said goodbye to Mrs. Peggy Hosea as she moved last Tuesday morning. We are happy for her, but we will certainly miss her. The truck in the picture is backed up to her front porch. She is now residing in Seymour in a cozy, crunchy apartment. The best part for yard work! Miss Ethel Birkenfeld will be soon moving into Mrs. Hosea's house. And someone new is buying Miss Birkenfeld's home.

We also said our goodbyes to Taylor and Margie Allen. They moved on Tuesday afternoon to a home in Munday directly across from the nursing home. Grady and Cathy Weaver with their boys will make the Allen place their new home. The Ezzell's, a retired couple, moved in a mobile home on Poplar Street. What brought them to town? The lake! We are the "gate to the lake". The Castro's moved to Goree last week and live in Debra's house. And Mr. Gillentine, Dorothy H's cousin, now resides in the late Dolan Moore home.
We have lost some, but we have gained more.

Good Times~

The Memorial Building has a new roof! And paint has been picked out and will soon be up on the walls of the kitchen area. "Golden Spice" is the flavor. It will be beautiful!

The City's buildings across the street received a 'new' roof, as well. I might add, the 'haunted house' building that exists above City Hall is cleaned out and ready for windows, electricity and sheet rock. The vision for this structure is a City Lodge which will have about seven rooms for rent for homecoming, reunions and hunters. Our dream is that this lodge will be filled with antiques and furniture that folks will have the opportunity to buy. Therefore, bringing in income to benefit the upkeep of the Memorial Building. A name for this new 'venture is being sought..."Lake Creek Lodge" is a possibility. Any others?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Class Reunion~

The Class of 67 is having a reunion on Saturday - October the 6th from 2-10pm in our home. We are celebrating our 40th year from Goree High – If there is anyone that has any information on our classmate Elva Ponciano – we would love to get in touch with her. Elva is the only one from our graduation class that we have lost contact with.

Thanks –
Jeanie Turek

Friday, September 14, 2007

In Loving Memory~

Jimmie Don Jordan passed away yesterday Sep 13th. He has been in the hospital since May 31st with a multiple medical problems. His lungs were filled with fluid and they weren't able to get him over it. Jim has 2 surviving children - Alan and Cheryl. We lost Debbie a year ago. We have 4 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. Lee Jordan - Jim's brother and his sister Cleta. Jim loved his hometown and really loved going to the class reunions.

Nell Jordan

Saturday, September 8, 2007

City Cafe

It was a sad day in Goree. We lost one of our fathers, grandfathers and friend. Billy Don Hutchens was laid to rest this afternoon. A huge crowd gathered to honor his life and say goodbye.

The Latham Family was present for this special occasion. Jackie, Linda, Charley and Dusty were in town for the funeral and afterwards desired to take a walk through their past. Their parents had a café, The City Café, where the current City Hall is located. They lived in an upstairs apartment that is accessed through a door between the City Hall and the garage sale building. The last known use of this structure was for haunted houses, which was apparent when touring the rooms. The remnants of body parts, spiders and fake blood littered the trail. Surprisingly enough, the second story was in fair condition.

What an honor it was for me to join the four of the five Latham kids as they pulled out memories from their childhood. And, I might add, some of that sibling spunk bubbled to the surface. Charley found where he had carved his initials on the door. Dusty remembered baths where water was dumped over his head. Linda was amazed to see the black trim from when her and her sister painted their room pink and black. Jackie claims that when some of her siblings climbed the water tower, she stayed behind. From time to time she would holler for them to come down or she was gonna tell Momma. The park was their personal playground.

After all these years, these folks still care. I think they care about preserving their memories, but they also want those who call Goree home to enjoy making new memories. As a matter of fact, they care so much that they made donations towards the “Going for Greatness in Goree” Campaign. They thanked me for the tour through the building, but I want to thank them! So here goes, thank you for the generous donations and thank you for the tour through your memories and your hearts. God Bless!

Myrna (not present on this trip), Charley, Dusty, Linda and Jackie

In Loving Memory~

GOREE - Billy Don Hutchens, 65, of Goree, died Thursday, Sep. 6, 2007, at Hospice of Wichita Falls. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007, at the Goree First Baptist Church with Rev. Royce Denton & Rev. Jimmy Rogers officiating. Burial will be in the Goree Cemetery under the direction of McCauley-Smith Funeral Home in Munday, Texas.

Mr. Hutchens was a veteran of the U.S. Army. Survivors include his wife, Mary Hutchens of Goree; two daughters, Pamela Lawson of Levelland, Texas, and Stacy Westbrook of Shallowater, Texas; one son, Billy Jay Hutchens of Graham; one stepdaughter, Cathy Cooper of Euless, Texas; two sisters, Glenda Arant of Lubbock, Texas, and Mary O'Dell of Woodson, Texas; five brothers, Lewis Wayne Hutchens of Gorman; Jerry Lynn Hutchens of Mission, David Lee Hutchens of Petrolia, Gary Kirk Hutchens of Cisco, and Richard Dean Hutchens of Seymour; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Vision for the breezy arbor~

View of windows from inside.

There is no roof on this structure, the only remnants are cross beams. The idea is to have vines growing up the wall and across the beams like a grape arbor. I see a huge four tiered fountain in the center of the room, park benches throughout and lamps with fans. The other day I saw these standing lantern style light posts with a 'ceiling style' fan on top while shopping at Sam's Club. They are difficult to describe, but a few of these lamps would be perfect.

Before-side view

After-side view

This is my first attempt with new software that allows me to alter images of our downtown area. I'm not very adept, yet. But, hopefully, you can get the 'picture'. As you can see, the windows in this old building are gorgeous and hopefully can be restored. Although, we would leave out the glass panes for the sake of the breeze. The railing in the lower front windows is not exactly what I imagined, but the idea of a rod-iron grate or fencing is the idea I had in mind. To restore the brick where it has been painted will probably take a sand blaster. And lastly the wooden sidewalks and tin awnings are the finishing touch.
Before-front view

After-front view

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Bricks

Jimmy Peek sent us an interesting story about the bricks used in the construction of the Memorial Building. I thought I'd share:

"Someone was hoping that rock from the house by the Hutchins' was from Miller Creek. This got me thinking about something and I got one for you.
The bricks for the Memorial Building! They were hauled in and dumped in the Park in the mid-40’s. They still had concrete stuck on them. The City paid 1 cent a brick to get them cleaned. I made a few dollars cleaning them with a hatchet. Then the Memorial bldg. was built out of them. I’m pretty sure I know where the bricks came from. See if you can find out. The only people I can think of that might know is my cousin Margie Allen or Sandy Lambeth might know. There is some history for you to dig into."

Thanks for the tidbit of history Mr. Peek. Wow, a few dollars worth for three hundred bricks~

Friday, August 17, 2007

Knox County STRONG

A group of five Knox County citizens represented the Knox County Visioning Group in Abilene at a Texas Workforce Workshop this week. There were eight groups chosen to attend this workshop. These eight teams developed projects that economically benefited their communities, presented their ideas and were judged and awarded funding.

Our vision will be unveiled and marketed at a county-wide luncheon to be held in Benjamin on August 26th at 1:00 p.m. We aquired a wealth of information and implementation is inevitable now. Watch out world, here we come! May our enthusiasm be contagious.

Oh, I almost forgot~we were awarded $3000.00!!! Thanks to those who presented this opportunity, those who participated from KCVG and a big hand to our facilitator and scribe! ~And most of all, thank you Lord~

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Artwork Is Here~

The artwork isn't complete, but on the Goree website there is a taste of what we are going for. Tommy Guy Waldrip is the artist and he is to be commended for his artwork. I am sure that we can cut corners on the cost by doing much of the work ourselves. It is amazing how many talented people are in and from Goree. Someone has offered to gather the rock from house by the Hutchen's. We'd like to know if that is actual rock brought in from Miller Creek, if not we may need rock from the lake for nostalgic purposes.

We have made progress in the direction of funding our beautification project which is called the GGG Campaign, Going for Greatness in Goree. Nancy B. has finished the incorporation paperwork that is a precursor to applying for money. In the meantime, we will do what we can with what we have. Next Saturday morning a workday is scheduled to clean out the vacant building on the corner. Our vision for this building is a breezy courtyard with hanging garden. Come if you can at 7:30 a.m.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What's goin on in town?

The Meals On Wheels meets for lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Goree Memorial Building. And do they have fun or do they have fun??? These are some pictures from one of their themed luncheons called Crazy Hat Day!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Just a suggestion...

The state doesn't own the bit of land across from Lake Creek Beverage, James Construction does. Who knows what will happen with it??? Wouldn't it be nice if they'd put a rest area right there? They may could use some nudgin'. Anyone have any strings to pull?

Our Overpass

Well, they are gonna paint part of our new overpass! I called yesterday to politely see if they would let us select the colors that need to match our theme (to be revealed soon) for our downtown. No can do. The paint is already selected and bought. Soooo, cross your fingers that it's okay. If you want a preview of what it will look like then mosey on over to Munday and see theirs. Or maybe if I go that way I can get a pic posted. That's all for now~

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

GrantWork update from Nancy B.

GOD IS AWESOME!!!! I just got off the phone with Darren Clark at RC&D. He told me to call WCTCOG to ask about where to start to get a grant for cleanup. This is where Aspermont got lots of help and grant money to start cleaning up their town. He asked me what else we needed help with and I told him about needing to set up a 501(c)3 non-profit and we were hoping to maybe use the Goree Memorial Building Committee's if they had one already set up....This is where GOD SHOWS OFF!!!!!! He said "Oh, well, if they don't I have helped set up a lot of these. Nothing to it.

Just let me know and I will help you get the paperwork started!" IS GOD NOT JUST GLORIOUS??????????? 4 hours after our prayer.....that's all it took for HIM to work!!!!! He said filing fees with the State and IRS would be about $325.00. I asked if the City could provide seed money to get this started and he thought we could. Economic Development! He said that whatever we needed, he was there to help and advise!

Nancy Birkenfeld

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Skating Rink by Joyce Greenwood

Anybody who grew up in Goree in the 40's, 50's and 60's has memories of the skating rink. Uncle John and Aunt Annie Coffman were the proprietors. I don't know if they were actually the relatives of any of the hundreds of kids who skated there two or three nights each week, but they were "Uncle John" and "Aunt Annie" to all of us. Many of the kids had 'shoe skates' that were white and cute and laced up the leg. I didn't have any and the skates that were for rent adjusted around a loafer or a saddle oxford with a key. Uncle John fitted a pair of skates to my saddle oxfords perfectly and he put them way back under the counter so nobody else would use them. The rink was a large, oval shaped structure with poles through the middle. In the spring and summer, there was a huge old water cooler right at the back of the rink that blew out little streams of water where a red-faced kid stopped to cool off for a minute.

Uncle John had a whistle that he blew when anybody was skating recklessly past beginners, when there was a lot of shoving or other horse play going on---even if a couple tried to stop in the dark recesses at the back of the rink for one small kiss. When the shrill sound of Uncle John's whistle sounded, everybody quickly looked for the unlucky culprits. Sometimes, some slightly inebriated out of Towner would get past Aunt Annie, but Uncle John would soon spot him and here he'd come out onto the rink floor, little khaki colored hat pulled down on his head, whistle in hand and the offender was given the price of his admission back and sent out the door. One night, a guy managed to slip by with several drinks under his belt--actually, drunk as a skunk comes to mind. He fell several times, but we thought he just didn't know how to skate. Soon, however, he had the audacity to begin making passes at some of the girls right under Uncle John's nose. We were all waiting for the whistle and we weren't disappointed. Uncle John was not a very big man, but that rink was his domain and nobody disrespected "his kids" when we were in his care. The big, drunk guy was unceremoniously shoved out the door after he had his skates jerked off his feet. Uncle John never needed help throwing somebody out, but he always had several big shouldered football players who would have been glad to assist him.

The old skating rink held especially fond memories for me because it was there where Jackie (Latham) Styles and I sat playing a game of "coke hop" on one especially warm evening in 1953. (For all you youngsters who never heard of coke hop: Cokes used to come in glass bottles with the location where they were bottled stamped on the bottom. If your bottle was from farther away than your friend's bottle, you were the winner. The winner didn't really "win" anything. You just had the distinction of being "the winner".) As Jackie and I sat playing, four boys walked into the rink wearing boots and western hats. They stood out from everybody else, because at that time, rolled up jeans and loafers were what boys usually wore.

"Wonder who left the door to the old bunkhouse open?" Jackie remarked.

"I don't know, but the short one on the end is kind of cute," I answered.

When we returned to the floor and started to skate, I looked up at the "cute one on the end" who had pushed his hat back, exposing black curly hair. He smiled at me and when I went around the second time, he winked at me with the most beautiful pair of gray-green eyes I had ever seen. Three weeks later, I was introduced to him and fifty three years ago, I married him.

I think often of the Goree of the 1950's and of Uncle John and Aunt Annie's skating rink. They were living examples of the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. We respected their rules because we knew they cared about us. If we were reprimanded for something, our parents didn't have a fit and go down threatening to sue them. They all knew if we were chastised, we deserved it.

It was a simpler time--a time when a kid could be a kid without a lot of competition and adult rules and interference. Somehow, seems like we've lost something along the way. But, oh! What wonderful memories were made!

Just another old woman's ramblings, but remember--you asked for it!


Monday, August 6, 2007

Goree Real Estate

I was informed by our secretary, Caroline, that we had an interesting phone call this morning. An older Abilene couple is looking at the Lois Moore home for purchase. They were inquiring about the township of Goree. Their comment was that it seems like a ghost town. Caroline proceeded to share the positives now and in the near future. She did a great job, I might add. They desire to move to a small, quiet place.

Sign Update...

Mr. Gary Mizer, TxDot, returned my phone call this morning and informed me that the Miller Creek exit sign would happen. He apologized that it may take a month before it materializes, though. I was ecstatic that it was actually going to happen and a month is 'no problem' with me. How about you?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Distinguished Service Award

Nancy Birkenfeld, Goree resident, received the TASCO Distinguished Service Award for community service in Knox and Baylor counties. Not only is Nancy very active in her church, but she plays a vital role in our city government. And her husband, Johnny, is a key person in our county government. We are blessed to have them call Goree and Knox county home.

Nancy has been instrumental in wading through the mountains of grantwork red-tape. From her presentation to the grant-giving-people to the day she road up to my house on a four-wheeler with a trailer, she is going for greatness in Goree, Texas. As a matter of fact, her nudging that day on the four-wheeler was the pre-birth to the clean-up process that we are now attempting. It may have began with two crazy ladies on four-wheelers, but it is growing into something bigger than we could have ever imagined.

Way to go, Nancy! Congratulations!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Goree's Stop Signs

New Stop Sign #1 (left)

New Stop Sign #2 (right)
Our small town has experienced construction lately. Two of the newest necessities in town resulting from the new highway and byway are stop signs. I’ve lived in this town ten years and never questioned the fact that it had no street markers or stop signs. As a matter of fact, for the majority of my marriage I didn’t even know my street’s name when asked to provide a physical address for catalog orders. I trusted my new never-go-wrong hubby that Hickory Street was my new home. I didn't know at the time that that was his best guess. At least I trusted him enough to put it on my driver’s license.

Midway through my marriage, I spent time volunteering for the City of Goree. One day at the office, I lay eyes on a city map for the very first time. Low-n-behold, I live on Oak Street! Oh no, I’m illegal or rather my DL is wrong and that means that I’m breaking the law. I, for the most part (never-say-never), obey the laws of the land. I righted the wrong ASAP.

Now, back to why a town like mine doesn’t need stop signs…we have built in speed unbumps. I think in laymen’s terms they are referred to as potholes. We’ve never had a nice enough road for anyone to speed down, unless they wanted to spend some dough on a front-end alignment. All-end alignment, really. So, now with our pretty new road comes confusion and danger. The TX DOT said it was prudent for us to accept their offer of a no-thru-truck sign and two stop signs. We graciously accepted their offer and now we are up-town.

Well, this up-town girl was thinkin’ ‘bout them there stop signs. Just kidding. Not kidding about pondering the stop signs, though. Kidding about the hick-talk, yes. I thought it strange that a town could function without stop signs. We have intersections just like the rest of the world, so why has it worked this long without stop signs? I don’t really know. Then, I thought about struggles in my life.

I get myself into trouble when I ignore stop signs. In some areas of my life, I grew up without stop signs. Some stop signs are clear, but they are so new that I bolt right through the intersection before realizing it, like sign #1. Others may be like sign #2, they are hidden from my sight and I clearly don’t even know it’s there until it’s too late. Then, there is the rest of our town that doesn’t have stop signs and everyone makes up the rules as they go. I'll yield this time, but not on my birthday--so there I go changing the rules as I go. Oh, and do not kid yourself for a moment, I see some of the stop signs just fine and dandy and choose to ignore ‘em pretty as ya please.

All that to say this, I need wisdom and strength to obey. I may even need a refresher course in driver’s ed. Or, I may need to learn to survive in a world or even a town without stop signs.

Randy H. submitted this pic...

Destination Signage

I talked to TxDOT yesterday about a Miller Creek exit sign for the new highway. As of yesterday, I was a little bit discouraged because the guy thought it was "unneccessary signage", his words. He went on, "I thought we bypassed that town." Well, huh, yeah ya did! But...there hasn't been much here in a LONG time, but we are still the most accessible route to the lake.'

In a stooper to regain my footing, I reminded this man that if vacationers or retirees were to move, even if temporarily, into this area that they would need food, gas, lodging and possibly pay taxes. He stated, "You've obviously done your homework and I'll see what can be done."

I called back this morning and he said that upon discussion with 'so-in-so' they were checking the 'book' on it. He also stated that they were looking at it from the standpoint that it was a destination sign with a public purpose. Sooooo, we may get our sign after all. Keep your fingers crossed. Well actually, I checked The Book on it too and It says "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:14 So? Ask.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

1st Abandoned Structure Demolition

Before demo...


During demo, Johnny B. hit a bee's nest and he abandoned the backhoe until he could spray the nest. So, an after shot will be coming soon...

Marketing Our Town

At the town hall meeting, I signed up for the committee on economic development. This blog is an early phase of marketing for our town. It is preliminary and my goal is a full blown website. This blog is the ‘free’ (I might add) stomping grounds for ideas that are on the drawing board. For obvious reasons, our town must become marketable before we dare push in the direction of inviting economy to choose us for a homestead, business or even the gateway to the lake.

Our goals are simple…clean up our town, clean up our town, clean up our town. Vickie Huffman would like these goals met by October ’07 for homecoming. And I’m sure there are some goals that will be accomplished. Although realistically, this is a long term project and this weekend’s clean-up event was a great start.

Where do we go from here? Without funds we are limited, but we are deeply concerned about the appearance of our town from the newly constructed highway and elbow grease will have to go a long way. Next, we plan to tidy up the main streets with, once again, good ole’ hard work, a dozer and a maybe a match. We are aware that the deck is stacked against us, but nothing is impossible with our God. Wish us luck!