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Posts published in February 2003

Highlands students top winners in Barbara Jordan citywide contest

HIGHLANDS– Highlands Junior School students were a dominating force in this year’s Barbara Jordan speech and essay competitions sponsored by the Alley Theatre, winning first place in both categories as well as several other top honors.

The students, all seventh graders in Kerry Reinhackel’s gifted and talented education (GATE) class, were on hand for the finals of the speech competition and subsequent awards ceremony held on the Alley Theatre’s Large Stage on Feb. 3.

Jana Creel, daughter of Marylu and Dwayne Hill, emerged as the first-place winner of the speech contest with her four-minute speech inspired by a family visit to the Holocaust Museum. Competing against seven other finalists in the final round of the third annual contest, Jana compared the Holocaust with the September 11 tragedy, making suggestions for “what we can do to prevent something that horrible from happening again.”

In her speech, Jana described the museum’s rows of shoes representing the lives lost in the Holocaust and relating those to the baby booties left in memory of the mothers and fathers who died during the 2001 terrorist attack.

“Barbara Jordan told us that to create a harmonious society out of so many kinds of people, the key we need is tolerance. She called it the one value that is indispensable in creating community,” Jana said. “We can begin that community tonight, right here, right now. We can agree to walk out of here committed to not repeating the acts that leave us with museums full of lifeless shoes, and memorials where booties are left to those who will never see those little feet walk or run.”

Jana, the reigning Junior Miss Highlands and a sports enthusiast, aspires to be a pediatrician or forensic scientist when she grows up. She realone. Three other Highlands Junior students—Michelle Lamb, Felicia Young and Courtney Zink—earned recognition in the essay competition, receiving a letter of acknowledgement and a Barbara Jordan pin for their efforts.

Judges for the speech contest included Houston Comet Kelly Gibson; Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton; Texas Southern University president Dr. Priscilla Slade; and respresentatives from the Barbara Jordan Project community partners. Maria Todd of the 104 KRBE morning radio show served as mistress of ceremonies. Speeches were judged on presentation, articulation, organization, elaboration and passion.

Essays were judged by a panel of educators and volunteers from JPMorgan Chase on the originality of ideas, appropriateness of subject, insight, development of point of view and clarity of expression.

There’s no doubt that Reinhackel felt an enormous swell of pride at the awards ceremony as her four students walked across the stage to accept their awards.

“When Jana won the speech contest, and we’d already won the essay contest, I was just beside myself, knowing we’d swept the whole thing,” Reinhackel said, grinning at her students during a recent photo session.

“They’re awesome,” she continued. “You give them an assignment, and they just go after it!

Black History Month observed in Barrett Station


BARRETT STATION– Barrett Station’s rich cultural heritage and the important of church in developing that community are among the features of a Black History Exhibit currently on display at the Riley Chamber Community Center.

The display is open Monday through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of the month.

The Rev. Malcolm Barrett, director of the center, said that he was excited about this year’s exhibit. “It is fantastic,” he said. Among the items featured in the exhibit are elaborate survival tools such as a lantern, waffle iron and animals traps dating back to the 1920s.

The exhibit also features household items from the late 19th century as well as ornamental figurines which were often given as gifts.

The community’s strong ties with its churches are featured in a display of photographs of the community’s early pastors who led their parishioners in their spiritual development.

On Feb. 18, the center will host a Black History Program, beginning at 6 p.m. The program will feature the center’s Senior Citizen Choir wearing traditional Black History attire.

Bobbie Fae Yarbrough-Session will return to Barrett Station as the guest speaker for the event.

Session is a actress who made her professional debut in the 1986 ensemble production of “Long Time Since Yesterday.”

Other productions she has appeared in are “Shadow Box” “Gifted and Black,” “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

Sessions, a theatre arts teacher ay Forest Brook High School, is the founder and director of the group All God’s Children. She was also the assistant director of the film “Red Ink.”

Crosby’s Destin signs with TSU


CROSBY– One of the top wide receivers in the Houston area will soon be calling Texas Southern University Home.

This past week, on National Signing Day, Chris Destin committed in writing to play football at TSU. Destin, who also plays basketball for Crosby, is also expected to be a two-sport athlete at TSU as well.

A former free safety, Destin was moved to wide receiver by first-year Cougars Coach Larry Haynes. “Chris goes for the football, has great hands and great routes,” said Haynes, “The most important skill for a successful receiver is being a great route runner. He catches the ball at the high point and jukes a lot of guys out of position.”

This past season Destin, who was First Team All District for wide receivers, led the district in catches with 71, receiving yards with 1,188 and touchdown catches with 15.

Destin said that he chose TSU because it was close to home. “My family has always supported me since I was little. I’m sure they will now too. Most of my success is keeping God first. I just go out there and play my hardest.”

Haynes said that the athletic department was proud to see Destin earn the scholarship that comes with playing at TSU. “We feel good when a fine young man like Chris get a scholarship to help him continue his education.”

Challenging ‘So Dam Insane’


Hoooowwwdy! You must be late, cause I was suspecting you all an hour ago! Well, if you missed A Cowboy True, you really missed out! We had probably the best show ever done at San Jacinto College’s Monument Theater, and I’ve done two there before. That don’t even count the other stuff that was done there before.
There were a number of my pards in attendance, includin’: Dr. and Mrs. Cobb, Dr. and Mrs. Tasman, Joe Hausberger, Jr. and Sr., along with their lovely wives, Jim and Jeanine Hodges of the George Ranch, Dr. Bailey and his family, including his 91 years young dad, Dr. Peter Burland and Alice, Bobby, Bruce and their wives and friends, Johnny, Dr. Charles Grant and his better half, Dr. Pierce, Don Goldman and the Mrs., and my friend Debbie and her husband, Donna and Robert Orman with their two kiddos, Lindy and Amanda Murf (The Grass Man), and a whole lot of others too numerous to name. Great to see you all. Thanks to Mike for coming two nights and bringing his friend Bo the second time.
I want to thank my pards at Friendly Ford in Crosby for their sponsorship and support of the San Jacinto College’s Scholarship fund. They are great folks. I’m ‘a hopin’ my T’Bird will be ready soon so’s I can show you all my one-of-a-kind “gooseneck equipped T’Bird”.
Well, we will be in a war with So Dam Insane real soon. I hope it’s over quick. It could be a quick war if we simply built a big wall all the way around Iraq and filled it with water. We do that for rats sometimes and it seems to work. Good idea?
Everyone’s afraid of what will happen if we attack Iraq. Will they then come after us? Will they use Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’S) on us here in the USA? Will all Muslims declare war on the allies?
The answers to the above questions are: Already are; probably will try to and fail; and, No. I like to keep it simple.
However, for those still faint of heart and wanting to wait and “give peace a chance”, I say, “get the h— out of the way”. We are facing a mad dog that has already bitten someone and he must be “put down”, like the dog he is.
Our position will be amply validated when the war starts and Iraq uses the WMD’s they claim they don’t have. The u.n. (intentionally in small caps) will then put their own spin doctors to work to try and seem relevant, which we already know, they aren’t.
If we have learned anything in the last encounter with Iraq, it was that they are all talk. If they use WMD’s anywhere, then a small number of tactical nuclear weapons should do the trick.
Come to think of it, if we use those things, then they would have no place to go and they would probably want to carve a country out of Israel. So, let’s just go in and wipe the ground with ‘em!
I’m not a “war mongerer”, but I do believe enough is enough. Do it, and do it quick, and do it decisively.
Boss says I gotta go feed, so you all shut the gate and keep the peace! Howdy to Gene O’Quinn. Hang in there, pard, and “’till we meet again, Happy Trails, Lloyd

Rotary Chili Feast success story 28th year


HIGHLANDS– Twenty-eight years ago the Rotary Club held their first Chili Feast, to raise funds for community projects. It was not very successful, until they came up with the idea to include a limited ticket raffle of a new vehicle. Now, a tradition that the town looks forward to has seen another successful event.

Last Saturday, hundreds turned out for Chili, auctions, music, greeting old friends and new, and waiting for their ticket on the truck to be drawn and eliminated. If your ticket is drawn, that means you are out, and didn’t win unless you were the last one.

This year, Jim and Linda Hildebrand waited breathlessly, as the Rotarians came down to the last 10 tickets. Could they survive? Everyone gathered around, and one by one the ticket holders were eliminated. Except for two.

Irene Lindsey and Jim & Linda Hildebrand were still in the running. The next ticket was pulled by Miss Highlands. It was Lindsey’s, and the Hildebrands were the winner. Now the tension turned into joy, at least for that family, and for their many friends around them.

President elect Jesse Guillen, in charge of the Chili Feast, reported that this was a good year, with ticket sales and auction prices promising a top amount for the Rotary Club.

A complete list of prize winners follows:

1st ticket drawn, 35mm camera: Mike Fulghum; 50th, DVD Player, Ann Manning; 100th, Ladies Necklace, Charles Hagan/Russell Chandler; 150th, 19″ TV, Skully Moline; 200th, BBQ Pit, Kathryn Dunlop; 250th, Hand-held GPS locator, Elisabeth Manis; 300th, 5-pc wood patio set, Carla Stanley; 350th, $300 gift certificate, Donna White; 400th, Browning 7mm rifle/scope, Charlie Ramsey; 450th, $500 gift certificate, SJMall, Floyd Woods; 500th, 5 x 10 tilt trailer, Jeni Cobb; 550th, 32″ TV, Jim Jones; 599th, Computer w/printer, Irene Lindsey; 600th, grand prize 2003 Ford XL Pick-up, Jim & Linda Hildebrand.