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January 2013 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Neil Hinkle

Tremendous Pride

A feeling of tremendous pride swept over me after I read “Tales in Twilight” [November 2012]. My dad, Fred W. Sevey, served in the Navy for 33 years and never talked about his experiences. Most of those serving in the 1940s just didn’t talk about it.

After Dad died in 1993, I started going to the ship reunions with Mom. What a wonderful experience. Hearing the stories, I wished I had been more involved in my dad’s experiences by asking questions.

Dad is mentioned in the book “Where Away” by George Sessions Perry and Isabel Leighton, a story about the ventures of the USS Marblehead in the early 1940s. Even though the book shows Dad to be a hero, he never would have described himself as such. It was just his duty.

Thanks for the memories. I am proud to say my son serves in the U.S. Air Force and has served in Afghanistan.

Cheryl Sevey Hahn, Central Texas EC

I enjoyed Charles Boisseau’s article about the experiences of World War II veterans.

The story of L.D. Cox’s survival of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis was especially meaningful. My late brother-in-law, Herbert H. Hickman, was one of the five crew members aboard a PV-1 Ventura bomber on routine patrol out of Peleliu Island on August 2, 1945, when they accidentally spotted the survivors of the Indianapolis in the water. That led to their rescue.

Wendell Wampler, Bandera EC

The fine article about the Greatest Generation brought back memories of my father, Bill Sims, serving on the battleship Texas in the 1930s.

Before he passed away, I was fortunate to tour the ship with him at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. He often said he was honored to have had the opportunity to serve his country on such a magnificent ship. He would have been 100 years old this year.

Jay Sims, Fannin County EC

As a Vietnam veteran, son of a World War II veteran and father of an Iraq veteran, I wanted to thank you for the two great informative and enlightening articles. “Tales in Twilight” is especially meaningful because my dad, Lawrence C. Purnell, flew 74 missions as a B-17 pilot, flying out of Bury St. Edmunds in England. That group of true American heroes is almost gone now, so thank you for reminding us of all of their sacrifices.

My son is experiencing the same issues that “Deployed Back Home” notes. Thank you for what Texas Co-op Power is doing and for letting others know we still need to support those who are serving or have served.

Riley Purnell, CoServ Electric

Thanks so much for highlighting the lives of a few men from the Greatest Generation. I fear their sacrifices will be forgotten within another generation, and that would be too sad.

The men and women who returned from World War II suffered silently and seldom spoke of their experiences. I have served these veterans as a Department of Veterans Affairs employee for 40 years, and what a privilege it has been to meet so many of them and work alongside many of them on a daily basis.

Celeste Helcel, Heart of Texas EC

My mother worked in an artillery factory while my dad served overseas in the Army 1941-45. I sometimes think those who were fighting for freedom at home don’t get enough recognition.

Dad had joined up with five lifelong buddies. They all went up through the ranks together—that is, until they reached Normandy. As they struggled to bring a huge gun ashore, German machine guns fired upon them, killing all five of my dad’s friends. My dad herniated five discs but managed to put the gun in place.

Mom said he was given papers and was supposed to receive a commendation for what he’d done. When he returned and she asked him about the papers, he said, “I threw them all in the ocean. They were the heroes, not me.”

He was speaking, of course, of his dead buddies.

Sandra England, Pedernales EC

My 10 cents’ worth

I received the November issue yesterday, and after dinner I settled down in my recliner to read.

I thought “13 Dimes: The Treasure of a Lifetime” was a very touching story and told my husband about it last night. I was unaware of this tradition.

This morning I stopped at an estate sale near our home. As I got out of the car, I looked down, and there in the driveway was a bright, shiny dime. I picked it up and smiled, remembering the story. Perhaps this is the first of my 13.

Debbie Bond, Victoria EC

Historic Church

I really enjoyed Clay Coppedge’s article “Separate Beginnings” [October 2012]. I was raised in the small town of Barrett Station. I attend Shiloh Baptist Church along with Harrison Barrett’s descendants. The church is celebrating 136 years of service, and the article will be presented to the Barrett family.

Audrey Demaris, Bandera EC

Links to the Past

After reading “The Daily Grind” [October 2012], I want to share our family sausage-making history and how we do it.

My wife, Clarice, and our five children were born and raised in the small German farming community of Nazareth in the Panhandle. That community is served by Deaf Smith and Swisher electric cooperatives. Our folks made all types of sausage—head sausage, blood sausage and a breakfast loaf called ponhaus, or oatmeal sausage.

My family moved to San Antonio, and this tradition stopped until about seven years ago, when our sons requested that we make sausage so they could carry on the tradition. So we put up about 250 pounds of pure pork sausage each January. We use an old family recipe for the seasoning, which gets tweaked a little each year.

Our ponhaus recipe has been shared in family cookbooks that we have published in honor of our families and the great Catholic community that we grew up in.

Tom Acker, Guadalupe Valley EC and Pedernales EC

Now We Know

Here is an interesting side note to “Who Knew” [November 2012] regarding distances from Austin to other state capitals. Perryton and several other Panhandle towns are closer to six other state capitals than they are to Austin. [Perryton is 528 miles from Austin.] They are: Santa Fe, New Mexico, 371; Denver, 410; Cheyenne, Wyoming, 506; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 237; Topeka, Kansas, 393; and Lincoln, Nebraska, 484.

Van Cypert, South Plains EC

Wind Energy

I was saddened to see the letter “Wind Energy,” which disparaged wind energy. I have wind energy through my co-op, and I’m very happy I do.

When critics say generating electricity with wind turbines is dependent on subsidies, I would like to remind everyone that there are subsidies given to the coal, oil and nuclear power industries.

We have to find a better way, and that better way is renewables. Wind and solar are our best hope for surviving the future. I will be really glad when my co-op can install solar panels on my roof, and I’ll proudly and willingly pay for wind power.

Dorothy Brundrett, Medina EC


I am directly affected by the transmission of wind-generated power into Central Texas. I question the statement of one letter writer: “They (landowners) are not compensated or even asked.” [“More on Wind,” November 2012]

Since the announcement that Oncor Electric Delivery Company would build a power line through this area, there have been numerous informational meetings. Landowners have been given names and contact numbers of Oncor representatives. Those representatives have been professional, quick to respond and considerate of suggestions. At my request, the original easement through my property was changed to protect the grave of a Lampasas County pioneer.

Compensation for land condemned for public use can be subjective. I consider my settlement with Oncor to be fair.

Do I like having my land bisected by this power line? NO! Will it add greatly to the power going into the grid? Perhaps not initially, but it opens another source of energy for people, proponents and critics alike, for whom electricity improves our lives in countless ways.

Joe B. Rushing, Hamilton County ECA