Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mexia Jewelry Company

This is the interior of the store. Hope Bohanan (on the right) helps a customer.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mexia Jewelry Company

Mr. Williams stands in front of his store.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sonny Sikes Update

Ex-Mexiaite can’t let go of lifelong work - horses By MATTHEW JACKSON-The Huntsville Item

EDITOR’s NOTE: Letcher N. (Sonny) Sikes was raised in Mexia, introduced at an early age to rodeos, horses, etc., never has let the passion for these die. He is a 1951 graduate of Mexia High School and coached Sam Houston State to several Rodeo National honors. His story was written by Matthew Jackson of The Huntsville Item, a member of CNHI, the owner of The Mexia Daily News. —-

Like most professional athletes, Sonny Sikes of Huntsville has a trophy room. But this room is not glistening with golden statuettes and dangling medals. This is a room that tells tales of gritty arena glory, of sweat, of blood, of majestic animals driven by the hands of cowboys. This is Sonny Sike’s “saddle room.”

Like most cowboys, Sonny Sikes came to rodeo at an early age, and like most cowboys, it is not a sport he is willing to let go of even at old age.

“My father was a farmer, but he didn’t like farming. He liked horses,” Sikes said. “He would train farm horses and teach them to do tricks, and I just caught on from him.”

Sikes won his first major title in 1950, when he was just a junior in high school, and hasn’t looked back in more than half a century of competing.

In his years as a cowboy, Sikes’ credits include four National Collegiate Titles and a spot on Sam Houston State University’s first ever National Collegiate Champion team in 1956.

As recently as 2005, Sikes was still claiming titles in the senior division of professional rodeo.

His saddle room is stacked to the ceiling with proof of his achievements as a roper.

But for Sonny Sikes, as much as he loves riding, teaching has become his life’s work and his great passion.

After graduating from Sam Houston State University with his master’s degree in 1957, Sikes returned to his home of Mexia, Texas, to teach grade school. As much as he loved the work, his ambitions were loftier.

“After one year, he decided to leave and go back to Sam,” said Joanne Sikes, Sonny’s wife. “He went to the president of the college and said ‘I wanna get the rodeo program going again, and I’ll take whatever job you can give me.’”

Sikes said his decision to return to Sam and work to build the rodeo program to one of national prestige was motivated by his own experiences as a college cowboy.

“When I was at Sam, we didn’t have a rodeo program really,” he said. “There was no coach, we just got a professor to be listed as our sponsor, and we practiced on our own. I wanted to come back and make the program more than that.”

Sikes returned to Sam Houston State in 1959 and took a position in the agriculture department. He would work as an agriculture professor and rodeo coach for the next 42 years, and in those four decades, he would build Sam Houston State’s rodeo program to one of the best in the country.

“I told the president that I would get enough students to come to Sam Houston to pay my salary,” Sikes said. “And a few years later, we had the biggest rodeo club in the state.”

During his tenure at Sam Houston, Sikes also served as Executive Secretary for the National Collegiate Rodeo Assocation for 18 years, while maintaining his status as a full faculty member.

He also led the Sam Houston State rodeo team to eight national championships.

In 1968, Sikes coached both the women’s and men’s teams to national championships, a double crown feat that was a first in 1968, and has only been replicated three times in forty years.

Just two weeks ago, on June 21, Sikes and members of the 1968 teams were honored at the National Collegiate Rodeo Finals in Casper, Wyo. for their achievements.

“I cried for two hours after that,” Sikes said. “It was a touching moment.”

“After it was over, one of the girls called me and said ‘I think everyone there wished that they’d had Mr. Sikes as a coach’,” Joanne Sikes said. “He’s made that much of an impact. He doesn’t like to toot his own horn, though. So I’m gonna toot it for him. He’s a wonderful, wonderful man.”

In spite of all of his rodeo accomplishments spread over a more than 50 year career, Sikes still considers education his greatest legacy.

“I got a lot of students to get an education that didn’t intend to get one,” Sikes said. “They came here to rodeo, but I always emphasized education. It wasn’t just about riding, it was about building a future.”

In his saddle room, Sikes takes a down a dusty, well-loved saddle made of rich dark leather softened by time and countless arena rides. He wipes away dust to reveal that it is the saddle he received upon winning his first national collegiate championship for calf roping in 1953.

“This is the first saddle I ever won in college,” Sikes said. “This saddle is 55 years old.”

As the old cowboy wipes away the dust from his old saddle, it is clear that while it may not be a shiny trophy, in his eyes, it’s solid gold.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Update on the Falling Wall

Mexia Daily News - IT KEEPS ON FALLING: "More of the eastern wall on the old building downtown, keeps falling. Navarro College, owner of the building, is in the process of effecting a contract to have the facility torn down. The latest fall considerably damaged the adjacent building to the south. Soon, a contractual agreement is due to be announced by Navarro. The 'yellow ribbon' continues to be up, until the building is down and danger subsides."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

O. J. Lee Obituary

Oliver John (O. J.) Lee, Jr.

Funeral services for Oliver John (O. J.) Lee, Jr., 73, of Mexia will be Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. at the Calvary Baptist Church. Brother David Snow and Mr. Neil Bond will officiate with interment to follow in the Shiloh Cemetery.

Visitation with the family will be 6:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, July 18, 2008 at Blair-Stubbs Funeral Home

Mr. Lee was born September 2, 1934 to Oliver and Amy McElroy Lee in Mexia. He passed away July 17, 2008 in Mexia. He was a life long resident of the Mexia/Shiloh area. He retired after 48 years as an accountant for Beene Motor Sales. Mr. Lee was a member of General Motors Business Accounting Organization for 44 years where he also served 4 years on the Manager’s Council. He served as Mexia Lions Club treasurer for many years. Mr. Lee served as bookkeeper for the Shiloh Water Supply Corp. He was a deacon at the Shiloh Baptist Church. He, also, served his country in the U. S. Army.

Mr. Lee is survived by his wife, Nancy Posey Lee; a son, Jonathan Ross Lee and wife, Nancy of Mexia; a daughter, Carrie Lou Ingle and husband, Jim of Mexia; grandchildren: William Oliver Ingle, Zachary Ingle, Rachel O’Hare, Andrea O’Hare, Presley Lee, Triston Lee; great granddaughter, Lacey O’Hare.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Pallbearers will be Harlon Brady, Jacob Thompson, Robert Lee, Brett Beene, Gary Barkouski and Kent Kendall. Honorary pallbearers will be the Mexia Lions Club.

Please visit www.blair-stubbs.com to leave a memorial message or sign the guest book.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Could this be Magic? -- The Dubs

You can read all about the Dubs here. Key quote: "The group's next single, "Could This Be Magic", also written by Blandon, was another pop hit, rising to #23 later in 1957 and becoming recognised over the years as a doo-wop classic. This success landed the group a spot on an Alan Freed package and they toured extensively in the U.S. and Canada."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Big One

Mexia Daily News - GREAT DAY AT THE LAKE:: "George Liles and Kade Johnson, grandson of Johnny Ingram, enjoy a great day at Lake Limestone. Kade caught the 'big one.' Lake life is good, says George."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Old Glory

Mexia Daily News - OLD GLORY: "OLD GLORY WAS LIFTED HIGH in front of the Armory for Boomin' on the Fourth. The flag was positioned atop the Mexia Fire Department's high ladder, which has been used in combatting a few fires since arrival to the fire arsenal a couple of years ago."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Store Collapse

Mexia Daily News - And The Wall Came Tumbling Down: "It's unclear whether or not Humpty Dumpty sat on it and caused the wall to fall, but what is known is the old 'Five-and-Dime' store which later became nothing but a vacant building, is apparently 'rickety' and could be dangerous for any pedestrian walking in the area. A professional crew had previously checked out the 'asbestos factor' and that issue has been abated (no more asbestos) in the downtown building at Commerce and Sherman, but so far no razing plans have been announced. The wall fell Saturday night, although the exact time is unknown. Guy Featherston, Dean of Navarro College-Mexia South Campus, Tuesday told The Daily News that indeed, plans are being accelerated, due to this episode. The building is owned by Navarro College. 'We have talked to a contractor,' Featherston said, 'But, the only holdup so far is its posing a danger to an adjacent building.' Nevertheless, look for an announcement to raze it soon. Inset picture shows the building located to the south, adjacent, and its awning, which has taken a decided dip."

Gladys, Ray, Jerrie

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Poodle Skirts

Mexia Daily News - Celebrating the past with 50’s theme for “Grand Finale” of “Summer’s Nights”: "As usual the weather was hot and humid for the 10th annual “Summer’s Night” fundraiser at Old Fort Parker last Saturday night. This was a special night as the curtain closed that night on the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Old Fort. For the past 10 years, Sarah McReynolds said, “We have had these loyal supporters of this event who come every year. If they are unable to come, they still purchase a table.”

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008