Sunday, April 27, 2008

Man finds more than roots in childhood: Memory inspires him to teach young gardeners

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Grandpa was the gardener.
He knew what to plant where and when, and he knew how the big shovel worked.
The little boy's only job was to follow his grandpa and drop a seed in each hole new hole.
'What a feeling it gave me when the plants started growing,' said Neil Cochran of Georgetown, the little boy all grown up. 'I was part of it. I was there to plant it, and I was there to pick it, whatever it was my grandpa had planted.'
But, as they do for most people, the rigors of earning a living and having a family came to take precedence over things enjoyed in childhood.
'I didn't garden while I was in the Marines,' Cochran said. For several years after graduation, he worked as a series officer for the Marine Recruit Depot at Parris Island in South Carolina.
'And when you're a parent, you're too busy running around after the kids to bother with a garden.'
So it wasn't until Cochran was in his 40s that his passion for gardening was rekindled. The trigger that did it was a child's excitement.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Retired preacher honored for church services

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

He was living the life of a happily retired preacher, expecting nothing but next week's fishing trip.
So when the Austin Seminary Association started contacting him, Ralph Person was more than a little surprised.
'They had to be dusting off the history books to find out about me,' said Person, a former pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Temple.
But contrary to what Person thought, the Association wasn't writing an anthology.
The group wanted to inform him that he was the 2008 winner of the seminary's Distinguished Service Award.
'It's a big honor to be recognized in this way,' he said. 'In the way it's worded, it symbolizes everything that I worked for in my career.'
The script at the bottom of his award thanked Person for his 'service to the church.'
'Notice that it doesn't say Presbyterian,' Person said. 'It says, 'to the church,' the whole church. That's speaking to the kind of ecumenical work I was about.'

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Temple priest nominated for Episcopal bishop

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Move over, Hillary and Barack. Make room for the Temple priest vying to be bishop.
David Alwine, pastor at Christ Episcopal Church, is one of six people nominated to lead the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. The election is set for May 24 at Christ Cathe dral Church in Houston.
But Alwine's name won't be broadcast in TV commercials or plastered across plastic posters. 'To campaign for bishop is completely different from what you'd think,' Alwine said. 'People learn about you by calling you up and asking questions. They can ask any question they want, and you're obligated to answer them.'
There's about 900 lay and clergy delegates eligible to vote. Just as a handful of delegates represents each state in U.S. political elections, a handful of delegates will represent each of the diocese's 158 congregations.
Episcopalians will have the chance to get to know the candidates for bishop early next month. Meetings are set for May 7 in Austin, May 8 in Tyler and May 10 in Houston.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Clock man gives good time to shop folks

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

What consumed James Tuck's interest before clocks?
'Well I was out on the street, messing with women,' Tuck said.
Giggles came from the corner. Dolores Marshall and Charlotte Guthrie, the two women who work with him at Springhouse Antiques, couldn't help from eavesdropping.
'Oh, you're wife will be glad to know that,' teased Ms. Marshall.
Tuck dismissed the semi-threat with a 'hmmph.'
'Ah, I was a pilot,' Tuck said.
That seems a bit of an understatement coming from the man credited with earning the United States its first aerial victory in the Vietnam conflict. An article in the October 1967 issue of Esquire magazine features Tuck and his successful air battle maneuver.
His war stories are a regular asset to the antique store.

Couple gets cozy with clocks

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Some people have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing what time it is.
Fred Westbrook of Belton is one such person. He has 55 clocks in his house - and they're all ticking.
When the hour strikes, there's a minute-long whirlwind of sound. There are cuckoos, bells, chimes and whistles; it's a symphony gone haywire.
But the noise is welcome. It doesn't annoy him or his wife, Barbara. And they say the incessant tic-tocs don't disturb their sleep.
'I love to listen to the clocks. I look forward to it even,' Mrs. Westbrook said. 'There I am wanting to listen to them, but I pick up my knitting or a magazine, and no sooner than I do that - I miss it. I guess we've both gotten used to it.'
Keeping their clocks on time, though, is a bit of a chore.

Grandma's clock finds its voice

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

A customer walks in with a question about a clock.
The man David Yuergens wants is James Tuck, the clock guru at Springhouse Antiques in Salado. He's not difficult to spot; he's wearing a white baseball cap that says, 'Tuck's Tic Tocs.'
'What you got for me?' asks Tuck, a longtime clock repairman.
'It's not running,' Yuergens said, pointing at a gold clock inside an age-worn box.
The clock doctor sets the clock on the counter and leans forward, so that his eyes are level with his patient.
Not 30 seconds go by before Tuck says, 'Well of course it's not. You've got this piece on wrong.'
The repairman shares a laugh with Yuergens.
'Look here, this has got to hang on that little thing there,' Tuck said. 'You got that?'
Yuergens was now hunched beside Tuck squinting at the clock. His brow was furrowed, looking as if he were trying to commit Tuck's instructions to memory.
'Nothing else is wrong with it,' Tuck said. 'It's just got to be wound.'
As his able fingers worked, Tuck talked about the thing he was resuscitating.
'This is an anniversary clock,' Tuck said. 'Probably made in 1945. You can tell by how it was made.'
Yuergens and his wife, Linda, nodded.
The clock starts ticking. Tuck smiles, sets it on the counter and steps away.
'How will I know when to wind it again?' asks Yuergens.
'Well I just wound it for you,' Tuck said. 'This time next year, you'll know to wind it again.'

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sass is secret weaponin not-so-stylish show

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Women may not like to keep secrets, but they can do it - if they want.
Eight women from the Newcomers Club did.
The proof is the hoax of a style show that took place Monday at the Wildflower Country Club in Temple.
As it has for the past 25 years, the club members thought the annual show was going to highlight the latest styles of spring and formal wear.
But it didn't.
The models wore trash bags, mismatched sets of animal prints, too-tight spandex and underwear. But they did it with grace and pride.
Each of the six models used the stride of a trained model, complete with a curtsy, pause for photos and Queen of England wave.
The 130 women in the audience, who, by the way, were quite nicely dressed, hooted with laughter as they saw their friends delight in disgrace.

Bonkers for buttons: Antique dealer finds herself immersed in strange collection

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

You've got them on your clothes. Your grandma kept them in baby jars. Bags have them.
And you - you may use them as paperweights or replacements for game pieces you've lost. Maybe you've stashed some stray ones in that drawer with the expired coupons and empty medicine bottles.
They may be tiny, but buttons, my friend, are everywhere.
Hundreds of people pay them no attention because - well - because they're just buttons. But because they are buttons, countless others pay homage to them.
They buy them, sell them and construct button altars. These people are button collectors.
Their breed isn't endangered. With 50 state chapters, the National Button Society boasts a membership of thousands.
They're not as recognizable as hunters or athletes, but they're there.
They're lurking around garage sales, estate sales and antique shows, thumbing through all sorts of odds and ends, looking for anything that might have a button, or for something that might be hiding a button - like hope chests or dollar grab bags.
One such person is Janice Canard of Temple.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Faith blends Torah, messiah

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

The rabbi is Jewish, but he thinks Christ is the messiah.
He's not confused. Rabbi Robert Miller of Temple is a student and teacher of Messianic Judaism. He leads Agudat Bris - the Covenant Fellowship in Temple.
And he's back in town after starting five churches in the name of Yahshua, four in Australia and one in New Zealand.
The name Yahshua is, 'for all intents and purposes, Jesus,' said Rabbi Robert Miller of Temple, recently returned from a month-long visit to Australia. The translation is from Hebrew and Aramaic writings.
'But in Greek, Jesus means Zeus the healer, and that would be pagan, wouldn't it? Whereas Yahshua is 'my salvation.''