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For Electric Cooperative Members
December 2013 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Rick Patrick

Ghost Towns

Thank you for Suzanne Haberman’s story “Old Haunts” [October 2013]. Best writing I have ever enjoyed in your publication. And I have appreciated your (feels like) free magazine very much for well over a decade.

Also delighted y’all featured the Madisonville ’shroom festival. Hope it inspires new foragers to go to the [Big] Thicket for so much more than fungi.

Tina Strong | Pedernales EC

I loved the ghost towns article. My grandmother was born in Manning, and her father was Brother Dan Cameron, the Pentecostal preacher mentioned in the book “Were You At Manning?”

Suzanne Roth Fulton | Bluebonnet EC, via Facebook

Sher-Han, the one with Hansford County Judge Benny Wilson, is where I spent my youth before moving to Pasadena. If my memory is right, my family was one of the first four families there.

We lived in the Phillips Camp; that is the only name I knew. When I saw the pictures, it kind of made me sad because I remember the camp as it was—like family, kids playing everywhere. My brother was born in our house there, and our parents helped plant some of the trees.

The article brought back many memories.

Eddie Dillow | Deep East Texas EC

The article revived pleasant memories of the nine years (1950-59) my family and I lived at Hansford Plant, where my father worked for Phillips Petroleum Co. Life in the camp, as most people called it, was family- and company-oriented. Life in the camp was a beehive of activities.

However, we did have paved roads leading into the camp, and our streets were paved as well. In fact, I remember having paved roads before we had party-line telephones in our homes. We moved from the camp in 1959 when my father was transferred to Corpus Christi, but the Panhandle has always been home.

What I didn’t realize until I read the article is the role rural electric cooperatives played in my early years as a child in the Texas Panhandle.

I can remember sitting on steps just like those on the cover as we ate homemade ice cream, watched the Fourth of July fireworks our dad would light for us, or cradled the English setter pups our dad raised. It was a wonderful life!

Deanne Vance | Pedernales EC

Just finished reading the October issue and want to tell you how much I enjoy each issue.

The “Rust in Peace” article [October 2013] is super. I followed up on the “additional info” leads at the end of each article. Wow! The slide shows are great additional information.

Needless to say, I have registered for the E-Newsletter and am eagerly waiting for the next issue. The articles are also good leads for new places to visit.

David Theis | Pedernales EC

Hero from Central Texas EC

On September 23, my husband and I were en route to Seminole Canyon State Park when we had a blowout on a tire on our travel trailer. We were stranded between Llano and Mason, a short way from Art.

My husband is 78 and I am 77, and there was no way either of us could change a tire. An employee of Central Texas Electric Co-op stopped to help us. Bo Brown removed some damaged metal from the underside of the trailer and made note of the size tire needed.

He went into Mason and sent a man to our rescue. An employee of Dipstick’s Tire & Lube brought a new tire and repaired the situation for us.

We are most thankful to Bo Brown for his help. [Randall “Bo” Brown, a first-class lineman, has been with CTEC for 28 years.]

Billie and Charles Fuchs | Bartlett EC

Fracking Facts

You had an item that said George Mitchell “developed hydraulic fracturing” [“ ‘Father of Fracking’ Changed World’s Energy Balance,” October 2013]. This is incorrect.

The Stanolind Oil and Gas Corp. (now BP) held the patent on fracking in the early 1950s. Mitchell used fracking a lot, but is not the father of the process.

Jim Waggoner | Trinity Valley EC

Mineral Wells Memories

I was raised in Mineral Wells [Hit the Road, October 2013]. My dad was stationed at Camp Wolters. My honey and I went to grade school and high school there. We married and had two sons there. We moved to East Texas in 1954.

That cold crystal water was so good when we walked home from school and we would stop and get a glass of it.

It’s good to go back.

Margaret King | Wood County EC

I enjoyed Kevin Hargis’ article on Mineral Wells. Tom Russell, on his “The Long Way Around” album, sings a song called “Mineral Wells.” The imagery it conjures up is great. In the song the hotel is called the Crazy Water Hotel.

Jan Davis | Jackson EC

Travis’ Ring

Rebecca Cumings [“William Travis’ Ring,” October 2013] is my relative. I am very curious how Martha Deeringer learned of the information for her article.

The article mentioned a brooch that Travis gave to her. I hadn’t heard that before. I have been searching and searching for a photo of Rebecca.

I enjoyed your article, and it is exactly the story that I also know, which was told to me by my father, Kenneth Cumings.

Lydia Cumings | College Station

Editor’s note: We spelled Rebecca Cummings’ name with two m’s, as is found in numerous historical documents. Lydia Cumings explains the way she spells her name: “The spelling of Cumings is correct with one m. In the book ‘William Barret Travis: His Sword and His Pen’ written by Martha Anne Turner, on Page 141 is a picture of a document that Rebecca signed using just the one m in Cumings. We think that the spelling has just become confused over the years.”

Internet Access

I agree with the reader’s comment about the lack of reliable, affordable Internet access to rural citizens [“Empowering Members,” October 2013 Letters].

At least here in Comanche County, we’re still in the stone ages. The only Internet access available in rural areas is either with the phone company, which requires a landline and all the assorted monthly charges associated with it, or the very unreliable satellite access .

Barbara Miller | via Facebook

I second the notion. Present options available to us are expensive, unreliable or both.

Mike Novak | Navarro County EC

Old University Building

Thank you for showing the beautiful picture of the Old University Building in Nacogdoches [Focus on Texas, October 2013].

It is the only building standing in Texas today that was built for a university that was chartered during the Republic of Texas. Its history includes years as a place for higher education, a Confederate hospital during the Civil War and as the location of Nacogdoches’ first high school. Today it is beautifully maintained as a community gathering place and a museum.

Patsy Hallman, Chairwoman, Museum at the Old University Building | Nacogdoches

Tracy Pinkston’s picture of the Old University Building is so beautiful it looks like a painting. I moved to Nacogdoches just before I turned 11 in the late 1940s and couldn’t write home from church camp that summer because I didn’t know how to spell my new hometown.

Nacogdoches was a wonderful, safe place for a child then. I roller skated in the street under the streetlight and from my house near town to the college campus. A friend and I climbed up into the bell tower of the Old University Building, which was condemned at that time and surrounded by school buildings that we attended. Thank you for bringing back sweet memories.

Carol Fairchild Boone | Grayson-Collin EC

Native Plants

I was pleasantly surprised to see “Right at Home” [September 2013]. Native plants deserve a place in every landscape so that Texas continues to look like Texas, not just Anywhere, USA. We need to do more to preserve our native plants and habitats for their beauty and the wildlife they support.

Jane Tillman | Central Texas EC

Not Forgotten

It was so wonderful to see an article about the Texas Tech Red Raiders [“More Than a Game,” September 2013]. I was thinking you had forgotten about the other universities in Texas.

In Livingston, we don’t hear about them—just A&M and Texas. No T-shirts in any of the stores here are from Baylor, Rice, SMU, TCU, to name a few good universities in our state with good athletic programs.

Sheena Hurta | Sam Houston EC

Love for Labs

My wife and I had three Labs—mixed—all very big, very smart and protective. We miss them very much and we knew we would replace them with smaller dogs (“Beloved Labs,” September 2013).

My wife got a Chihuahua, and I got a border collie mix. Please replace the big dogs with a smaller one. You will get a lot of love and pleasure from the replacement.

Bill Phelps | Pedernales EC

Don’t ever think age (human or animal) is a barrier for adopting a loving companion. Shelters have senior pets for adoption that are long past the puppy stage and would love a home with an older adult or family to share their retirement years with. Many organizations offer free or low-cost adoption for their senior animals.

Please don’t think you are too old to share your love with another dog again.

Lisa Hebert | Pedernales EC

Youth Tour

I was excited to read about Youth Tour [“It’s the Trip of a Lifetime,” August 2013].

I was fortunate to win the first trip in 1965 sponsored by Coleman County Electric Co-op. Back then we gave speeches that were judged, and as a country girl it was such a fun, exciting trip.

The co-ops have been an important part of the lives of people who grew up in the country for so many years, and I’m glad they have continued this event.

Kay Reis Joffrion | Mayor, City of Coleman


We want to thank the Houston County Electric Cooperative workers for the way they removed our big, old, dead oak tree that took out our neighbor’s power line and our barbed wire fence beneath it. Not only was the power line repaired, thus restoring our neighbor’s power in a timely fashion, but also our barbed wire fence was temporarily repaired, so our pony and donkey did not escape.

The old, troublesome oak tree was cut into thirds and neatly pushed to the side, making the fence-line road passable once more. A week or so later, the HCEC workers returned to clear brush under the power lines and to trim tree limbs. They did a real nice job.

In both cases, the workers seemed to go beyond the call of duty, and we greatly appreciate their efforts. HCEC has been the best co-op we’ve ever worked with in over 44 years of living in Texas. Thank you for a job well done.

Sandra and Dennis Baney | Houston County EC