When little Annie Laurie Williams was a student at Peabody Elementary School in Denison shortly after the turn of 20th century she sat at her desk and dreamed of someday being an actress and seeing her name up in lights.
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Today it’s not unusual to find a woman in a leadership role in a company, a city, a county, a state or even the national government. Women have been told for many years that they can do anything they set their minds to do. Today they believe it.
I read recently of the death of Billie Letts on Aug. 2 in an Oklahoma City hospital after a brief illness. Billie was a former Southeastern Oklahoma State University English and creative writing professor whose book, “Where the Heart Is,” was made into a movie by 20th Century Fox starring Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing and Joan Curak.
Denison got its first school building in 1874. Forty years later in 1914 that school building was replaced with the one we all know as the “old high school building on Main Street”. This year, 2014, Denison high school students will begin the new school year in a brand new, state of the art building. Is that a coincident or what?
One of Denison’s early characters, Mort MJ. Scholl, who called himself a historian in the 1929 edition of a little tabloid-sizes “Historic Denison” newspaper, had some pretty good stories in his monthly paper that sold for $1 a year and was officed upstairs at 221 West Main.
Only twice in my life did someone actually let me know that they wanted my job. There have been times that I would gladly grant them that wish, but fortunately, I never did.
Newcomers to this area and sometimes those who have been around a few years occasionally ask about and are surprised that a Prisoner of War Camp was located just west of the Denison Dam beyond the present spillway area at the end of World War II. The camp was built to house 150 prisoners.
When I wrote last Sunday’s column I left out two early clubs in Denison and one of the many across Red River. John Crawford reminded me of one and I later remembered the other two.
You might say that Denison had a newspaper before there was a Denison.
We just observed Memorial Day, a time when we remember all the military men and women who have given their lives fighting for their country. There is another military day that we remember every year that took place 70 years ago at Normandy when Operation Overlord, also known as D-Day, signaled the beginning of the end to World War II in Europe.
Having been at home for the last two weeks recovering from rotator cuff surgery, I have listened to a lot of music and watched a lot of television. With my arm in a sling, there wasn’t a lot more I could do – no driving, no turning my arm in several different directions, no lifting, no typing and lots of other “don’ts.”
Almost daily we hear about acts of bravery by people who are remembered as heroes. Earl G. Thurman Jr., was one of those people who as a soldier during World War II was honored “For gallantry in action near Abucay Hacienda, Bataan on Jan. 20, 1942.”
Today is Mother’s Day, a holiday celebrated on the second Sunday in May in honor of all mothers.
Everyone makes a big deal about talking on telephones today, but between 1886 and 1918 Denisonians already were talking on the telephone. In fact, there were two telephone companies in town.
In 1874, a spectacular scene took place on Main Street one evening during September. I forgot to state that it was a staged scene.
During the days of World War I when soldiers were transported across the United States on trains and troop trucks, there was a small haven in Denison where the soldiers, mostly young men, could grab a sandwich, a piece of fried chicken, a piece of cake, some cookies, a candy bar, a piece of fudge or coffee or a cold drink.
From time to time I am asked about the early day bottling companies in Denison and Sherman. Most of the time I cannot locate the information that I know I have. Today I have some of that information in my hands.
While thumbing through one of my three ring notebooks trying to decide what this column would be, a headline, “Denison Boasted 40 Saloons in 1890,” jumped out at me. How in the world could there have been 40 saloons in the young town of Denison?
In the years between 1880 and 1959 if you were homeless, orphaned or had no family and were mentally ill with no place to go, there was a place that became known as the Grayson County Poor Farm that might have been a haven for you.
Did you ever look for something in every possible place that you thought you might have put it before you gave up and went on to something else? I seem to be doing that over and over.
Several years ago a garden club asked me to talk about one of my favorite subjects, but this time with a “twist.” I did a lot of research for this talk and don’t remember having written a column about it.
Fifteen years ago, a group of former Denison High School students got together in Denton and formed an informal group that became known as the Denton Lunch Bunch. On Wednesday, that group and many other former DHS students will be coming home to Denison for their first-ever Lunch Bunch meeting in their home town.
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