Members present were Judi Walser, Lucille Porter, Rae Moore, Janna Montgomery, Melba Thomas, Pat Collins, Karen Harman, Donna Manhart, and Sue Flowers.Calvin, Julia, Greg and Stephanie Bachman, Christy Beck, Carolyn Taylor and her girls, Robyn and Alysha attended the memorial service for Dale Laroy Hensley on Monday at Clovis, New Mexico. Calvin and Laroy are cousins, and Dale’s wife Pat is a sister to Julia. We send our sympathies to the familys. We will miss Laroy at the Durham Alumni. He was a very faithful attendee. He graduated in 1955. He chose to be buried at Santa Fe at the National Cemetery. He had a very long and illustrious military career. He attained the rank of Colonel in the Air Force, a Viet Nam veteran. He chose to be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather. The real heroes of the wars never tell of their heroic exploits, they are to be written in the future from files of released classified information. Saturday evening at the Baptist Church after a pizza party, they had special entertainment from Billy and Loretta Whitfield and Dale and Merlene Hester. Dale and Billy are two very lucky guys, they married sisters, Loretta and Merlene. This was the first time the Hester had been to Durham. They entertained with all kinds of songs. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, Silver Bells and Sweet Georgia Brown and lots of old standbys and one we had never heard before. It was the tune of Waltz Across Texas but the words were Waltz Across Walmart. The crowd was small but it was just a warm up for Sunday morning.
The word had gotten around, and the videos had been played and there was almost a standing room only crowd for the song service. Dale and Billy on guitar, Loretta on the piano and Merlene harmonizing with the guys. I got to talk to Merlene for just a moment before church and she said that she and Dale met at college in Panhandle and in February they will have been singing together for 55 years. About ten years ago they sold their cattle and rented their pasture at Laverne and have been traveling in their motor home to county fairs, cowboy churches, Sr. Citizens and hundreds of funerals. They started out singing in their small country church at Clear Lake and raised their boys to play all the instruments with them. The church closed down last year because there wasn’t anyone left in the area and now they attend church at Laverne. Their boys are grown and have families and Billy and Loretta’s boys that played with them are grown so it makes for a perfect singing traveling group.
The speaker was Randy Fisher from Garden City, Kansas. He was chosen in 2000 with two other cowboy poets and three musicians and they entertained at Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the troops. He said it left him with a deeper respect for our veterans and a greater love of country. His sermon was in remembrance of Pearl Harbor, a day that will live in infamy. He asked for current and former veterans to stand for recognition. We were surprised by the number because quite a few of our visitors were also veterans. He delivered a very fitting poem about an old rancher losing a son and his wife on a cold snowy wintery day while he was checking on the cattle and instead of his grief overtaking him, he found the story of the real father and son in his wife’s open Bible with a note left for him. He challenged the audience to look for their day of infamy and to seek the kingdom.
After the sermon most everyone stayed for the church dinner. I got to visit for just a minute with Donna Horton, Lucille and Jr. Porter’s daughter. The family has moved from Texas and are relocated back to the east coast.
Christy Beck and Miss Kendall were also visiting with her parents, Greg and Stephanie Bachmann and enjoyed the church service and lunch.
Donna Manhart had visitors on Saturday afternoon, Gene and Annie Myers from Sun City, Kansas. The Church of Christ had their Christmas service and party on Sunday. All the members from Reydon also attended. Chuck Milner led them in singing Christmas carols. Johnny and Merlene Shaw had a visitor, Kara Kovisch, with them at church.
Sue Flowers has had her belief in Santa Claus restored. When she got home on Saturday evening there was a great big box with food and gifts in her car.
All of the Durham community send their love and prayers to Addie, Gale and Zoe Barker’s granddaughter. She had a four-wheeler wreck just a few miles west of the Hitchin Post and was mediflighted to OKC.
Every once in a while, I get a phone call from someone who gets the Cheyenne Star and asks about people that still live at Durham but never see their name in the paper. So here goes, their name is in the paper.
Sy and Neva Churchill, Albert and Joan Smith, Max and Janna Montgomery, Joyce Meek, Yvonne Cockrell, Joey and Tammy, Colter and Cannon Cockrell, Ronald and Darlene Hensley, Darrell Crawford, Glen and Frankie Cockrell, Darlene Johnson, Tom and Jodi Jester, Ron and Margie Baker, Darrel and Dawn Malson.