Sunday, October 28, 2007

The fun's about to start for boy with muscular dystrophy

Telegram Staff Writer

Like every other kid, Joshua Dubcak is exited because it's just three days to Halloween.
'I want to be Spiderman,' the 14 year old said.
The costume is ready, said mom Carrol Dubcak of Temple. 'He and his dad are ready to go out Wednesday night to trick-or-treat.'
Joshua was all smiles Thursday afternoon as he listened to his mother talk about the fun week ahead.
He had just got out of the pool where he had swum and splashed with Katy Cunningham of Harker Heights. The lad was absolutely jazzed.
Why shouldn't he be?
Halloween isn't the only fun thing on his calendar.
The eve of spooks and witches is but a prelude to the more exiting day that follows - the day he leaves for Disney World.

Artist corrals horses, ideas with photographs

Telegram Staff Writer

It took more than 20 years for the professional photographer to find his eye. It was in the last place he thought to look - a Mexican cemetery.
No, no - Keith Carter didn't spend two decades chasing after a runaway eyeball. The eye he had missed for so long was his own way of looking at things.
'The eye of every photographer is different,' Carter said. 'It takes a long time to find.'
On that Mexican graveyard stroll so many years ago, Carter said he saw dozens of things he could photograph.
'But those pictures had all been done before,' Carter said. 'I wanted to do something different, something that was me.'
The stroll was long, he said - so long and boring he'd thought it was a waste of time.
But then Carter looked up, and saw tattered paper streamers hanging from tree branches.
'They looked like they were ghosts, floating over the tombstones,' Carter said, adding that the memory still gives him chills.
It was at that moment, Carter said, that he finally figured the purpose of his pictures.
'I never was into literal photography,' Carter said. 'I didn't want my picture to be a mirror. I wanted it to be a window toward what I felt.'

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nursery worker retires post at Temple church

Telegram Staff Writer

For hundreds of children, hers was the face that smiled at them every Sunday morning.
In the 33 years that Marlene Wagnon was there, pastor Jeff Loudin said the nursery at Taylor's Valley Baptist Church in Temple was a happy one.
'She loves the kids, and the kids love her,' Loudin said. 'She has been an incredible blessing to us.'
Her career ended earlier this month with an Oct. 18 retirement celebration. The church presented her a formal black plaque, thanking her for her three decades of service.
A special guest at the ceremony, Temple Mayor Bill Jones III gave Mrs. Wagnon an honorary certificate - something that Mrs. Wagnon said was very much a surprise.
That certificate says, 'Marlene Wagnon is well-known for the loving care she as bestowed upon the children who were entrusted to her care and protection over the years.'
More precious to her, though, are children.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Terminally ill man talks about special friendship

Telegram Staff Writer

The unknown never was something for him to fear.
For more than 35 years, Chuck Tredway was a truck driver, forever pulling in some new city. Every face he saw was a stranger's.
But it didn't bother him. Every road led home to his wife.
Now, Tredway is 54 and attached to a tube that feeds him his breathing air. He's on hospice care - living while dying.
It's been a year since Tredway's doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer and chronic heart failure.
'There's tightness in my chest, shortness of breath and dizziness,' Tredway said, his voice strong but crackly. 'And here recently, my short-term memory has started to go.'
The broad-shouldered man paused a moment to take a breath. He wiped the sweat from his brow with the hand towel on his lap.
'I know I'm dying. I could die tonight - or I could die next month. There's no way to tell,' Tredway said matter-of-factly, explaining his death depends on when the blood flow to his brain stops. 'It's all set up for when it happens. A nurse will come to administer the morphine drip. I imagine when the brain and heart stop at the same time, it hurts pretty bad.'
Tredway laughed. He says he has no desire to confirm his assumption.
'The only thing I'm afraid of now is not being on the right side of the track when I do die,' Tredway said, smiling.
It's not a fear that nags at his every thought, though.
It's a fear he's faced. One Tredway said he has come to understand.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pastoral care is a difficult, but rewarding calling

Telegram Staff Writer

Watching people die isn't routine for most of us.
But for those in the field of pastoral care, it is.
Comforting a person as he or she takes the last breath is a duty for chaplains, church leaders and caregivers, said Vic Killian, chaplain at King's Daughters Hospital.
'The role is a special one,' said Killian, who will be moderator for the Oct. 27 conference designed to educate the community about pastoral care.
For Judy Hoelscher, chaplain with the Scott and White Hospice team, the role is an honor.
'When a person passes, it is a sacred, holy moment,' Ms. Hoelscher said. 'It is a privilege to be with someone when they go from this world to the next.'
For Rodney Kruse, another chaplain from Scott and White Hospice, the job is rewarding.
'Because they have given me something - a real, honest visit,' Kruse said. 'That's something that's important to me. A good visit is a gift.'

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Belton Belles share a longstanding tradition - cheesecake photographs

This Temple Daily Telegram story was picked up by the Associated Press

Telegram Staff Writer

Their photo album seems like it could belong to anybody.
It's full with pictures of friends enjoying themselves on vacation - rafting, hiking, sightseeing, chatting and laughing. But then come the bathing suit pictures.
There's picture after picture of six women in bathing suits, posing in the middle of Times Square or on a pirate ship in Cancun, Mexico.
It's tradition for the album's owners: Janette Kornegay of Amarillo, Pat Parker of Belton, Nita Pate of Temple, Edna Drake of Arlington, Janice Wright of Temple and Patricia Gray of Crisfield, Md.

Patricia is the youngest at 691/2, Edna's the oldest at 71 - and the rest are 70. The close friends - who say they're more like sisters - have been taking bathing suit pictures for 19 years. "It started in 1988," Janette said. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

California crash kills Belton grad

Telegram Staff Writer

Before a bunch of medals adorned his U.S. Air Force uniform, he was the star of a group of Belton friends who called themselves the Magnificent Seven.
The late Lt. Col. Raymond Roessler had a dynamic personality, said Mike Beevers of Belton, one of the Magnificent Seven graduates from Belton High School's class of 1982.
'He was outgoing, popular, witty and fun,' Beevers said. 'He was our alter ego. He was the way the rest of us wanted to be.'
Roessler, 43, died early Friday morning while piloting a single-engine plane that crashed near the top of Cajon Pass, between the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Growing up special: Families adjust to life with unique children

Telegram Staff Writer

'People think it's sad to have kids like ours, but it's not,' said Barbara Kane of Killeen. 'We laugh more than anything.'
Mrs. Kane's 8-year-old son, Matthew, was born with Negative 2P, a rare chromosomal disorder that limits physical and intellectual ability.
'We make sure there's a lot of laughter,' Mrs. Kane said. 'You don't think about the future. You never know about tomorrow. All you have is today.'
That philosophy, she said, makes the good things so much more special and the bad things not worth mentioning.