Sunday, December 31, 2006

Another year equals 104

Dec. 31, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

She will turn 104 years old on Jan. 31.
Residing in an assisted living facility, Edith Guess of Temple said she isn't too excited about her upcoming birthday.
'I'm a shade too old,' Mrs. Guess said. 'And I'm just going to get older.'
But after a couple of her friends started teasing her, a slight grin contradicting her unimpressed demeanor.
'There will probably be a party with cake and candles,' Mrs. Guess said, pointing to a picture of last year's birthday party. 'They better give me every one of my candles.'

Independent 101-year-old strong in will

Dec. 31, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

For the past 15 years or so, her goal has been to get out of bed and get dressed.
'I might not feel like doing anything after that,' said Virginia Bowen of Temple. 'But I'm not going to stay in the bed all day. I take one day at a time and enjoy it for all it's worth.'
That may be the 101-year-old's secret to long life. She's independent, living on her own.
Once an enjoyer of novels and puzzles, Mrs. Bowen's wit is still in tact, sharp with a century's worth of comments and opinions.
'My eyesight's not as good as it used to be,' she said. 'It's hard to hear too. But I get up and do as much as I can.'
One thing she looks forward to each week is her trip to Studio 2000 in Temple, a local beauty salon. Everyone who works there knows her when she comes.
'It's Miss Virginia,' they all said during one of her visits in December. Hi's and hello's were exchanged, and the long-time customer got at least four hugs before she had a chance to sit down.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Area Spotlight: Church reaches out to AIDS victims

Dec. 30, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

Churches ostracize sick people.
Yes or no?
The answer depends on the illness.
If that person is sick with hives, depression, delusion or cancer - then no.
If that person is sick from HIV and AIDS - then, maybe, yes.
'People with HIV and AIDS are continuously turned away from church and organized faith activities because of the social stigma associated with the disease,' said Janet Cates, program manager for HIV patients at Central Texas Support Services in Temple. 'The ignorance of AIDS in Central Texas is shameful. Everyone thinks it's still a gay disease. It's not.'

Daring to share: Woman's controversial newletter in 14th year of publication

Dec. 30, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

It's yellow. It's monthly. And it's not a phone book.
Some, outraged by its message, tear the strip of paper into shreds and call it junk mail.
Others are intrigued. They study every edition and enjoy discussing its contents.
To the Temple woman who writes it, 'Connections: A Monthly Newsletter Calling the Church to Faithful New Life' is a tool for her to express her thoughts about church and religion.
Schooled in philosophy and history, newsletter author Barbara Wendland said she seeks to eradicate the narrow views of the Christian church. The unofficial reformer holds a master's degree in theology from the United Methodist Seminary at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Getting the truth from the man in the red

Dec. 24, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

Santa Claus is not in high school anymore.
'So can we please stop spreading rumors?' Claus asked. 'If you want to know something, just ask.'
Regarding the issue of entering houses without chimneys, the toy maker from the North Pole wants to set the record straight, once and for all.
'I might fly around in a sleigh, and I might live with elves, but disappearing into thin air, that's ridiculous,' Claus scoffed. 'I don't shrink tinier than a needle, and I'm not in cahoots with Captain Kirk and Spock, so I don't get beamed up.'
Claus patted his belly. He was at Temple Mall one day earlier this month talking to a newspaper reporter.

She's a child at heart come Christmas

Dec. 24, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

Some people never outgrow Santa Claus.
That's the toy maker's hope for every one of us.
Edith Wolffberg of Killeen is a 102-year-old woman who did Santa proud. Mrs. Wolffberg says she still believes in Santa. In her long life, she said she's never seen a reason not to believe.
'Edith and I just sit and visit. She's real sweet,' Claus said. 'We don't talk about anything in particular. She doesn't really have a wish list like the kiddos. She just likes talking to Santa.'

Santa gives rare interview

Dec. 24, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

Santa has a secret.
'It's bad, but I've got to tell someone,' Santa Claus told a newspaper re porter one day at Temple Mall. 'House after house, it's always the same. Cookies and milk. Cookies and milk.'
The jolly old elf wasn't badmouth ing his most favorite snack. It's just that he works up a mighty appetite on Christmas Eve, flying around the whole world, unloading toy after toy.
'I need something more substantial. I get hungry on Christmas Eve. I mean real hungry,' Claus said. 'This year, I am telling kiddos that I'd like a big, old thick prime rib.'
Don't worry, though. Temple Mayor Bill Jones was quick in volunteering to leave Santa a plate of steak and potatoes.
'It would be an awful shame for San ta to go hungry,' Jones said. 'Well it won't happen, not here in Temple. I'll make sure Santa gets his prime rib.'

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Church learns tradition of Moravian candle craft

Dec. 23, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

For 250 consecutive years candles have been part of Moravian Christmas Eve services in America.
Temple Brethren Church will continue the Czech tradition this year. The service, 'Light the Way,' at 2202 Bird Creek Drive is set for 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.
To prepare for the candle lighting ritual, the Rev. Bill Rinderknecht taught about 40 congregation members how to make the traditional Moravian candles on Sunday, Dec. 17.
Supplies needed include bee's wax candles, flame-retardant red paper, scissors, scotch tape and Styrofoam.
'You use bee's wax because it's the purest form of wax known,' Rinderknecht said. 'Since it was developed as a children's item, the pureness is important because it represents the pureness of Christ.'

Festival of lights: Family hosts latke-licious party

Dec. 23, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

If there's no latke, it's not Chanukah.
The latke is what a hashbrown aspires to be, a patty-sized potato cake fried in German tradition.
'They are delicious. The latke completes the Hanukkah party,' said Jan Hart, the chief latke cook at the Hanukkah party that took place at the Frankel residence in Temple on Thursday, Dec. 21.
With each ladle full of batter, Mrs. Hart was teaching 12-year-old Rebecca Frankel how to properly form and fry each latke.
'Foods that are fried in oil are important at Hanukkah celebrations,' said Mary Jo Koss of Temple.
She referenced the Hanukkah story that tells the miracle of how the oil lasted eight full nights instead of just one.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Church sends gifts to Cardboard Village

Dec. 16, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

Big cardboard boxes can make wonderful playthings for small children.
An imagination and a few crayons can transform them into cowboy forts or adventuresome hideaways. If a pair of scissors enters the equation, an empty TV box can turn into a whole-day affair for a 3-year-old.
But the youngsters in Saltillo, Mexico, see no such potential in their cardboard boxes. For them, they are lifeless and mundane. Pale brown cardboard is all they see everyday, no matter where they travel within their village.
Dubbed Cardboard Village, Saltillo is one of the poorest villages in Mexico.
'Everyone there lives in a cardboard house,' said Wanita Rylander, missions affiliate with Christian Life Church in Temple. 'They worship in a cardboard church. It's an amazing, sad sight to see.'
To add some Christmas festivity to the lack-luster environment, Ms. Rylander and a mission team of 12 from CLC Temple set out Thursday to deliver more than 450 cheerily wrapped Christmas packages.

God's love in action: Sip of water puts name on church's mission

Dec. 16, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

In Texas heat, thirst tortures.
For that dry, thirsty mouth, that first sip of water is a gift.
That's why the leaders of Christian Life Church in Temple say they frequently volunteer to distribute bottled water during public events.
'People were thirsty,' said Kathy Gillis, wife of CLC Senior Pastor Rick Gillis. 'They needed something to drink. So we gave it to them.'
In a nutshell, Mrs. Gillis said that idea is at the heart of CLC Temple's mission to share God's love in practical ways.
'That's what we do,' Mrs. Gillis said. 'We look for needs in the community, and then we go out and meet them.'

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Familiar face called to serve however he can

Dec. 3, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

It doesn't matter who's driving, they all wave at the man behind the big, red sign - the man they call Mr. Stop.
His name is Matthew Wilson, and he sits in a tollbooth-sized box each weekday, guarding the main entrance at Temple High School. He's done so for 25 years.
Drivers intending to park in the high school lot wait for his nod of approval. And when the afternoon bells ring, the traffic jams a bit because all the students, teachers, coaches and visitors won't turn to go home until they wish Mr. Stop a good evening.
'The all know me,' he said, grinning. 'I like my job here, and I like the people I've come into contact with. Never have been disrespected.'
He said he tries to greet each face within the steady stream of motorists, entering and leaving.
'I don't know all their names all the time, but I just keep on talking and smiling,' Wilson said. 'You might not think it makes a difference, but it does.'