People, Places & Events



MVFD to hold annual fish fry
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Every year for 22 years, the annual Mabank Volunteer Fire Department fish fry has been a viable community fund-raiser and gathering.
This year the fish fry is from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4, following the equestrian event for Special Olympics.
The MVFD has sponsored the equestrian event for the past eight years at the Andrew Gibbs Arena in Mabank.
“All donations will be greatly appreciated,” MVFD spokesperson Johnny Adams said.
“Jason Neighbors will hand-batter the fresh catfish and our firemen will cook them,” he added.
The meal includes homemade coleslaw, hush puppies and luscious desserts prepared by the MVFD Auxiliary, he added.
Entertainment will be provided by Jess Leonard, adding to the enjoyment for the evening.
Other activities include bounce houses for the kids and free blood pressure checks.
The station is located at 111 E. Mason Street (Business 175).


Local quilters announce show
Special to The Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel Quilters Guild is announcing an upcoming quilt show titled “Budding Stars.”
The show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 24, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25.
The show will be held at the newly expanded First Presbyterian Church in Mabank.
The church is located at 112 W. Mt. Vernon in Mabank. Mt. Vernon is four blocks south of U.S. Highway 175 off State Highway 198.
In addition to many beautiful quilts, the show will have door prizes, vendors, educational exhibits, a country store, silent auction and a quilt drawing.
Admission and parking are free.
The Gun Barrel Quilters Guild is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of quilting and promoting excellence and education in the art of quilt making.
The guild meets at 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank.
Anyone with an interest in quilts or quilt making is invited to attend.


British visitor combines flowers, cowboys and longhorn cattle on Texas visit
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff writer

TRINIDAD–Her expertise lends itself to nature’s beauty, the arranging and design of tender and exquisite floral adaptations fit for a queen, literally.
The author of five bestselling books on floral design and arranging, Judith Blacklock, is known worldwide for her accomplishments.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
A committee from the Dallas Museum of Art accompanied author Judith Blacklock to visit the Triple N Ranch near Trinidad. Pictured are (from left, front row) Arleen Ottensman and Marilyn Hailey; (back row) Donna Boytner, Harriett Gibbs, Blacklock and Diane Sealey.

Her arrangements have brightened the rooms and halls for such notables as Princess Diana, the British Royal Family, the Prime Minister and others.
Currently in the Dallas area as she tours the United States to promote her newest book, “Church Flowers,” Blacklock couldn’t resist the adventure of visiting a real Texas ranch.
She wanted to see a cowboy, cattle, horses and in general, a real, working spread.
So, sponsors arranged for her to visit the Triple N Ranch near Trinidad, the home of Ed and Nan Creel, March 27.
Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
A London author of five books on flower arranging, Judith Blacklock and her assistant, Tom Koson, visit the Triple N ranch, owned by Ed and Nan Creel.

The visit was certainly not a trip back in time to the “Old West,” as Blacklock’s party, which included guests from the Dallas Museum of Art, got an up-close look at a modern, working ranch.
Guests worked up an appetite by enjoying the great outdoors, beginning with watching about 60 head of longhorn cattle being driven in and worked by real cowboys.
The excitement that caused – the English visitors tried to decide if it was really safe to watch the huge horned beasts running by, or whether it would be more prudent to seek safety – was indeed a high part of their Texas adventure.
Farrier Heath Almond was on hand to show his blacksmithing skills, trimming the horses’ hooves.
Of course, being an expert in flower gardening, Blacklock and her entourage enjoyed a turn around the sprawling ranch house, which features lush St. Augustine lawns, flowing fountains and a “Tony Blair” garden, with such favorites as red and yellow roses, potted geraniums and a potted container of lemon thyme.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
British author Judith Blacklock visited the Triple N ranch near Trinidad, owned by Nan and Ed Creel. Pictured are (from left) Nan Creel, Blacklock, Michelle Anderson and Ed Creel.

Even though most folks from the lake area considered the day brisk (if not downright chilly), the guests from Britain were amazed at the “lovely warm weather.”
Blacklock’s assistant, Tom Koson, who is in charge of making sure the floral selections are fresh and beautiful, said he can’t wait to tell his friends about wandering around the grounds in his shirt sleeves in March.
Koson tried to estimate the temperature in Celsius, thinking it was about 18 degrees C (64 degrees Fahrenheit), but discovered later, using charts, it was only 15 degrees C (59 degrees F), but that felt real warm to him, he said.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Spectators gather at the fence lining the chute for a close-up look at a herd of longhorn cattle being driven through the chute. Pictured are (left to right) Michelle Anderson, Diane Sealy and Harriett Gibbs.

One Texas gentleman declared strongly that he still considered it winter, as he was chilled from the 20 mph and gusting north wind.
Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Cowboys on the Triple N Ranch ride behind a small herd of longhorn cattle, driving them through a chute where visitors could see them being worked and treated. Author Judith Blacklock from England and friends got a close-up look at real cowboys working real, live longhorns.

After enjoying the outdoors, a real Texas-type meal was served by Blue Mesa Grill of Dallas around 6 p.m., what would have been “tea time” in England.
The meal featured classic “Tex-Mex” dishes, including fajitas, baked corn souffle, gaucamole, black beans and rice.

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


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