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For Electric Cooperative Members
September 2010 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Sign of the Times

I read with great interest “The Dead Bank Robber Bounty” article by Clay Coppedge (July 2010). My husband has a bounty sign that used to hang in the lobby of National Bank and Trust, formerly called National Bank of La Grange. I have often wondered about its history, and now I know! Thank you Mr. Coppedge and Texas Co-op Power!

Sue Zapalac, Fayette Electric Cooperative

The Show Goes On

I am sorry that you did not include Comfort Little Theater in your article on Texas small-town theaters (July 2010, “Places, Everyone!”). We just completed our 77th continuous year of providing nonstop laughter at the funny side of life in the Texas Hill Country. Performances are on Friday and Saturday nights on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May each year. Doors open each night at “dark thirty,” and tickets are $5 for adults, $10 for children and $50 for crying babies. All proceeds go to scholarships for high school seniors and to local causes. In October, we have a meeting dubbed the “Fall Gathering of the Nuts.” If you would like to participate and become one of the “nuts,” ask anyone in Comfort for details.

Russell C. Busby, Bandera Electric Cooperative

I wish I could have included the Mountain Springs Mellow Drummers in your article on community theaters. For 27 years, this group of ranchers, homemakers, teachers, engineers and whoever has a yen for making folks laugh has entertained once a year at the Mountain Springs Community Center. Sometimes we buy our plays, and sometimes we write them. This year, we did “Hallelujah Brother,” written about comic incidents in our community. Our stage curtains are still bedsheets, and our budget is nil most years. At 85, I am still the director. Community theater is great.

Nadine Pitzinger, CoServ Electric

Pen Pals

I enjoyed the article “Pen Pals 50 Years Later” (July 2010). I, too, am a pen pal and have been since 1945. I was in the sixth grade in Parker, Arizona, and our teacher encouraged us to take part in an international pen pal program. To this date, I continue to write to Jeanne in England and Dorothy in South Africa. When I began writing Jeanne, World War II was just over. Her town, Coventry, was devastated. Germany bombed them many times over. I sent care packages containing food that came in boxes or cans and also candy. I sent tea bags, and Jeanne wrote back that her “Mummy” was afraid they would burst when she put them in boiling water (she had never seen tea bags before.). In one letter, Jeanne thanked me for the “gobstoppers”—it took awhile before we figured out she meant “jawbreakers.” Our families have visited several times in the intervening years. I write to Jeanne by e-mail, and she responds by snail mail. We also talk on the phone.

Carolyn G. Johnson, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative

I very much enjoyed “Pen Pals 50 Years Later.” I have been blessed to have a pen friend whom I have been writing to since age 11. I am 56 and he, 58, is in Manchester, England. A sixth-grade teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, introduced our class to the idea of choosing a pen pal. She had returned from a trip to the New York World’s Fair and had visited the Parker Pen Company Pavilion, which sponsored the endeavor and gave her all the information to carry back to her class. I chose a BOY—thinking this would be so fun! Little did I know that choice would lead to flying over and meeting him when I was 16, bringing my husband over to meet him in 1983, bringing my family over to meet his family in 1999, exchanging countless letters and gifts, and calls over the years and continuing a friendship through e-mails and Skype. I would strongly encourage any young person to find a pen pal and begin a wonderful friendship that could last a lifetime—it’s educational and enlightening. You may get an Aussie or a Brit—the world’s the limit.

Carolyn Norman, United Cooperative Services

> Editor’s Note: The pen pal story did not appear in all editions of Texas Co-op Power.

Wooden Nickels

Wooden NickelsI enjoyed the article about the Cedar Hill Roller Rink (“Coming Full Circle,” June 2010).  I remember going to Deuback’s Skating Rink when they owned it on Greenville Avenue. I never could master that skating backward thing! I still have 12 wooden nickels from Deuback’s that I can’t seem to bring myself to throw away!

Here’s a picture of the front and back of Deuback’s wooden nickel!

Susan Petty, Farmers Electric Cooperative

Devils River Memories

I enjoyed the recent article regarding Devils River (May 2010). My family, with several others, had the lease to camp and fish on Devils River—from the “Upper” and “Lower Holes,” as we called them, down to Dolan Falls. The “Upper” and “Lower Holes” were actually the beginning of the river we thought, as the upper hole was not fed from another source. They were actually big ponds that could only be accessed by driving our jeep for several miles until we had to finally get out and walk the final one-plus mile.

We visited four to five times a year from 1961 to 1965 or so. Back then, Mr. Fawcett owned the property, and we entered two miles west from Loma Alta at his ranch house. Miles later, we were traveling down goat roads and through numerous dry riverbeds. We would descend into the valley and to our permanent camp—and paradise. Even as a small child, I loved the beauty and nature. The fishing was great, and the camp even had a spring nearby. I will always cherish the memories as the area was totally unspoiled. My father is now 87, and we have discussed taking him back for a visit—your article renewed our interest.


Travis D. Wright, South Plains Electric Cooperative

Sun-Dried Savings, Yard Light Waste

I read your magazine cover to cover each time it arrives and enjoy it greatly. I am originally from Canada and moved here six years ago. I am very interested in conserving energy and read your tips with interest. However, I have never seen the most basic energy conservation tip of all—a simple clothesline. I have seen only a handful in the time I have been here. We have wonderful sunshine and heat. I use an Australian-designed clothesline called a Hills Hoist. I hang out clothes year-round. If you put fabric softener in with the wash, the clothes are just as soft as coming out of a dryer, and you save a lot of money using the solar dryer. The clothes are dry almost as soon as you hang them in the summer. Even on a humid day, they are dry in a few hours.  
The other tip I would like to see you promote is to educate people on the wasteful energy consumption of the yard lights that come on at dusk and go off at dawn. I see them almost everywhere I go. People have them running with porch lights on as well. We don’t need this wasteful consumption of electricity. Put timers on your yard lights or, better yet, motion detectors. How many kilowatts of energy could be saved by eliminating the automatic yard lights and just using the porch lights and turning them off when you go to bed? There is significant savings in turning them off.

Leora Alden, United Cooperative Services

> Editor’s note: Check out our new Energy section for many energy-saving tips, stories, tools and calculators.

Play It Again …

I have been enjoying your magazine for years and look forward to discovering the next treasure in the newest issue. In your October 2002 issue, you had a great article on Texas’ own musicians.

I am wondering if you would consider doing an updated article. Looking forward to the issue!

Clara Abraha, CoServ Electric Cooperative

Don’t Leave Texas Without It

I receive several magazines each month, but Texas Co-op Power is the only one of which I actually read every page. I’m sending my daughter (a temporarily transplanted Texan; her husband is a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps) in North Carolina a subscription just to keep her in the know. Hopefully she’ll be returning soon to “God’s Country.” Thanks for the great magazine!

Jane O’Neil, Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative