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February 2012 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Woody Welch

Reporter Dives All the Way Into Research

Kudos to Melissa Gaskill for her feature story “Underwater Theater” [December 2011]. I had the pleasure of sharing this time diving the coral reefs of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary with Ms. Gaskill. She is an accomplished scuba diver and tireless story investigator. For readers of Texas Co-op Power, Ms. Gaskill has presented an accurate vision of this remarkable marine habitat. As a longtime member of Nueces Electric Cooperative, I appreciate Texas Co-op Power highlighting the adventures of Ms. Gaskill, who traveled 100-plus miles off terra firma to explore the ocean realm that is an important part of Texas. Thank you.

Quenton R. Dokken, President/CEO, Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Corpus Christi

Where’s Christmas?

I love to read articles, see recipes and all Texas historical towns highlighted. But here goes: In the December 2011 issue, yes, the beautiful church and story [“Sunday Best”] are great, but where’s Christmas? No decorated cover—I’m disappointed, after all the lights that go up. The picture on the cover could have gone on at any time of the year! Please observe CHRISTMAS. Thanks for all else!

Gloria Ramirez, Nueces Electric Cooperative

Similar Church Interiors

The church [St. Mary Catholic Church in High Hill] on the cover of your December 2011 issue has the same interior as the church in Olfen. This church was built by German immigrants. One of the families that helped build the Olfen church and community were the Matthiesens, who number many in the Concho County area.

Louis Gonzales (Matthiesen family member), Concho Valley Electric Cooperative

Technical Challenges

Suzanne Haberman [“Energy Thieves,” December 2011 Power Connections] has much more confidence in directing technical questions to our server (DIRECTV) than we do! I can only imagine the long pause that would follow my asking, “Please send me a schedule of system maintenance …” That is, if I were able to get a real live person in the first place. As you can imagine, we are technically challenged when it comes to programming and are reluctant to risk losing anything programmed into our TV by powering it down.

Frieda Barefield, Bandera Electric Cooperative

West of the Pecos

The “Judge Roy Bean” story by Martha Deeringer [December 2011] brought back some memories for me. Back in the early 1990s, my husband and I decided to take a road trip and see some of West Texas. We left San Antonio traveling to Del Rio after work and spent the night there. We left the next day on U.S. Highway 90 West and stopped at the Pecos River overlook. In stories and movies, you always hear things like “west of the Pecos.” Well, you really do know when you get there.

We also stopped at Langtry. You would have thought Judge Roy Bean’s Jersey Lilly was a huge place. I was surprised how small it was. We enjoyed our West Texas trip from there to Marathon, to Big Bend National Park and the Chisos Mountains Lodge, then to Alpine, Fort Davis and the Indian Lodge, and McDonald Observatory and several other stops before returning home.

I really do suggest people see Texas. There are so many interesting places to visit. Neither my husband nor I are native Texans, but we got here as soon as we could.

Barbara Singley, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative

Barbecue

I have frequented Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor since 1986 [“Barbecue,” November 2011]. I used to eat there every payday Friday for lunch before joining the Air Force. While stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, I would crave Louie Mueller’s brisket. My stops upon getting back stateside were Denny’s for dinner in San Antonio, followed by Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. The most important stop of the day was Louie Mueller’s. I can still taste the brisket. I work for the post office doing building maintenance. I travel to 173 towns throughout Texas. Every town has a lil’ hole-in-the-wall place that is a “slice” of heaven.

Ron Mastan, Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative

The article about barbecue was interesting but almost seemed to be a puff piece on Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. Louie Mueller does arguably produce the best brisket in Texas, but to write about barbecue and not include owner Vincel Mares’ Taylor Cafe is a glaring omission. The Taylor Cafe and Mares are so interesting they deserve an article in their own right.

Jerry Goodrich, Pedernales Electric Cooperative

In my humble opinion, you overlooked one of the finest barbecue establishments in Texas—McMillan’s Bar-B-Q in Fannin, on U.S. Highway 59 between Victoria and Goliad. For many years, owner Louis McMillan has been serving up some of the most mouth-watering brisket, ribs, sausage and chicken you have ever put in your mouth.

Joyce D. Schaefer, Karnes, Pedernales and Victoria electric cooperatives

Poignant German Painting

I thoroughly enjoyed Connie Strong’s story “Former German POW At Home in Texas” [November 2011]. During World War II, my grandfather, Herbert G. Locklier of Calvert, was a fireman at the POW encampment in Hearne. One of the prisoners gave him a beautiful oil painting. I enjoyed this painting for many years hanging in my grandparents’ house, and it came into my possession five to six years ago, given to me by a kindly aunt. The artist signature is ‘Fenderl’ ’44 and depicts a beautiful scene somewhere in Germany. I always wondered about this POW’s life after World War II. Thanks for the heartwarming story.

Robert Locklier, Wood County Electric Cooperative

Carried Away at Brackenridge Park

Concerning the October 2011 letters about San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park [Hit the Road, July 2011]: My sister and her husband were dating at the time in the 1940s. He was stationed in San Antonio. She went to visit him from Abilene, where she was in college, and they went to Brackenridge Park.

She really didn’t want to marry him; she was looking for a wealthier, more educated man. They went to the water garden at Brackenridge Park, where you have to walk across on stones. She was afraid she would slip and get wet, so he picked her up and carried her. In the middle of the crossing, he said “Marry me, or I’ll drop you in the water.” She said yes. He went on to become a distinguished officer, well-educated and financially well off, so she got what she wanted anyway. They were married 65 years, had three children, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Grace Bruce, San Bernard Electric Cooperative

2011: Year of Blessings

The year 2011 has brought many blessings. Lamar Electric Cooperative is one of the blessings in our lives. On October 29, 2010, our precious grandson, then-3-year-old Carter Allen Townes, was diagnosed with ALL—acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Carter never was sick and was very active. He has done well in his treatment, although there have been times that we were sure he wouldn’t make it.

Our daughter Timberley is married to Charlie Townes, and in this marriage was born our precious Carter. They are also members of Lamar EC. Charlie’s parents are also members. Marci Thompson works in the co-op’s office, and she started blood drives at their office through Carter Blood Care. Everyone has reached out and given blood to this precious baby boy. I wish I knew everyone personally. All we can say is thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. May you have a merry Christmas, and may your lives be as rich with gratitude as ours.

Tim and Darlena Shimpock (known as Granddad and Dar Dar to Carter), Lamar Electric Cooperative