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Bill Spinks


A look through the area’s past — Born from former slaves, Rosa Hill makes long-lived life in Sherman

Mrs. Rosa Hill, believed to be Sherman’s oldest resident will be buried in West Hill Cemetery, at 105 years of age— some 80 years after she arrived in Texas from South Carolina and saw a new word, “chili,” which she thought was something cold. That was in 1894 and Mrs. Hill had just arrived in Sherman by train to join her husband who had come ahead to the area that had been described to him as “prosperous, where a lot of money could be made.” Mrs. Hill was born in Jonesville, S.C. March 10, 1869, to Lott and Emma Hill, who were freed from slavery in 1865.

A look through the area’s past — Llamas gain popularity in Texoma

Llama Linda Ranch, owned by Linda Hayes of Denison, was named the premier exhibitor of the Houston Livestock Show’s Llama Division. Hayes has been showing llamas for four years and has a herd of 20. “Llamas have become increasingly popular as pets,” said Hayes. “They are clean animals that are easy to care for and are safe around small children.” Grayson County itself has close to 100 llamas.

Putting the ‘compromise’ in comprehensive

One of my wife’s favorite books is a short story published by Leo Rosten in 1937 entitled “The Education of Hyman Kaplan.” It’s the tale of a particularly enthusiastic Yiddish immigrant who struggles to learn English during a night school class in New York City. The book humorously plays on a few of the more absurd aspects of our native tongue as well as the Old World tensions among the class’ various European constituencies.

Markets never die

We all have our issues with “other people.” Each of us has a list of things we find objectionable or morally questionable or downright reprehensible that we wish other people just would not do. I, for example, find veganism to be an insult to the farmers and ranchers of the Heartland. I think smoking cigarettes is a narcissistic habit with no upside for society. And I’m pretty sure the music of U2 is playing on loop in some circle of Hades.

Their piece of the pie’s gone, let them eat cake

There wasn’t enough pie to go around at the Chamber of Commerce banquet here Tuesday night. The surprising, bulging attendance was a tribute to the accomplishments of the Bonham chamber, but it made magicians of the kitchen help. There was enough provender for the expected 300 guests, but fully 400 persons from Fannin and Grayson counties showed up for the event.

Memories of growing up in the 1930s

When you want to get the full story, the best thing to do when possible is to go to the people who were there or involved. This was the case Monday when a group of Colbert residents, my age and older, got together for a very interesting history session arranged by Wyota Hannan.

This and that about Denison

From time to time I run across items about Denison that are too short for a column, but interesting information about the early town. I have accumulated several and when they are put together, they make a pretty good story.

We still Believe

“Dear Editor, I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? Virginia O’Hanlon.”