People, Places & Events



National Nursing Home Week celebrated
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The Mabank Nursing Home celebrated National Nursing Home Week Sunday through Saturday, May 13-19.
Many nursing home residents are the people who planted the seeds that have made the community grow stronger.
They have been the teachers, business people, parents and other central figures that produced all of the good things that Mabank now enjoys.
“This week gives us a chance to honor these special residents, as well as the families, staff, volunteers and community,” administrator Amanda Cline said.
To kick off the week, Mabank Nursing Home residents and staff began with a balloon release and will continue with many special events throughout the week.
From facials, to popcorn and a movie and a special presentation of “The Creature Teacher,” this week is packed with plans to celebrate.
“We will end the week with a cookout for the residents and their families. We hope all are able to attend and witness first hand the compassion that goes into caring for their loved ones,” Cline said.

Star Wars troopers coming to Mabank
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The Star Wars Stormtroopers are coming to the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 2.
They will kickoff the Tri-County Library Summer Reading program “Sail Away with Books.”
The stormtroopers will read to you when you come to sign up.
Summer Reading will run the month of June with book based movies, stories with Ms. Linda and professional storytellers with their special programs.
Everyday you attend you may drop your name in the hopper for a chance to win a gorgeous Rampage System 20-inch bike from Wal-Mart’s Paul Edmondson.
See you Saturday June 2, at the Tri-County Library, 132 E. Market Street, downtown Mabank.

Local teacher plays ‘Taps’ for veterans
Local teachers wants to provide ‘live’ buglers for vets funerals
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–The haunting, melancholy sounds of Taps echoes through the thoughts of those present at every veteran’s funeral.
It is a sound that both stirs the emotions and honors the deceased, but it isn’t always played by a live bugler, sometimes it’s electronic.
Retired Kemp High School band director Don Harrell (pictured here) plays Taps for special ceremonies as well as veterans funerals.
“When I play Taps, it is hard for me to play because of the emotions I see reflected in the faces of family and friends (of the deceased),” he said.
Harrell teaches first and second grade music at Monday Primary School in Kaufman and fifth grade beginning trumpet.
But he also has an avocation in which he believes very strongly, that of providing a live bugle player for every veteran who passes.
The Pentagon declared that every veteran has the right to two people at their funeral to fold the flag, and to play the electronic Taps.
Harrell’s belief was emphasized recently when the Vietnam Memorial wall was in Kaufman.
He met a friend, Jimmy Hutchins, while he was at the ceremony.
Hutchins explained he had just returned from the funeral of a veteran friend.
The ceremony included Taps, played using the electronic method (a CD player).
“In the midst of the ceremony the batteries quit. We had to stop and find a set of ‘AA’ batteries before the funeral could proceed,” Hutchins told Harrell.
“This is kind of the epitome of what I am doing. I just think it is important the family have a live bugle player,” Harrell said.
There are many others who feel the same as Harrell.
“I am a member of ‘Buglers Across America,’ an organization formed for the purpose of providing a live bugler at memorial services,” he said.
Harrell recalled his first time to play at a ceremony.
“I got started playing Taps for the Submariner Veterans ceremony,” he said.
Several years ago the veterans were holding their annual meeting at the home of their national president at that time, who lived on County Road 2613 in Styx.
Members at the occasion included both World War II submariners and German U-Boat sailors, he explained.
Later Harrell went to Johnny Pauls in Aledo, a music store that he frequented.
They told him about a program by the manufacturers of the Jupiter bugle to supply commemorative bugles to the families of deceased veterans, of any war.
“With 1,800 World War II veterans a day dieing, not including all other wars, it becomes a tremendous effort to provide bugles and buglers,” Harrell said.
He bought one of the bugles for himself.
“Since I bought this bugle I have played for veterans and for memorial events in Kaufman County and other local areas,” he said.
Harrell worked in conjunction with the company to provide a live bugler to play at the service and then to donate the engraved bugle to the family.
“The program was, we bought a bugle with engraving of Taps on it, in a display case,” he said.
Jupiter discounted the $340 to approximately $85.
Funds came from donations, some from students and sometimes Harrell, Hutchins said.
The big problem now is that Jupiter is going to quit manufacturing the horns.
“They have approximately 140 in commemorative cases left. I don’t know where the money will come from to buy the bugles,” Harrell said.
He hopes that some organization or individual might come to his rescue, he added.
The dedication of those who play for veterans will be exemplified Saturday, May 19.
Echo Taps, an initiative that aims to mobilize players for Armed Forces Day, will get under way.
“I intend to be a part of the Echo Taps effort,” he said.
Echo Taps will try to place brass players at all national cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, and American Battle Monuments.
“The idea is to play a cascading version of Taps, one in which each bugle is followed by the next, and on and on,” Harrell said.
Bugles across America is seeking volunteers to be buglers at the events and funerals.
“There are requirements to be met to become a bugler. You must be able to play Taps well,” he explained.
His daughter, Danna, who is currently attending college, is planning to be a volunteer bugler, he added.

Chamber hears TxDot plans
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Construction is progressing along U.S. Highway 175, and despite a design problem, one side of the highway through Eustace is complete, area Chamber members hear May 10.
No longer are drivers having to sit through lane closures for highway construction through Eustace.
Traffic is now diverted onto the new portion of the highway and flowing well in both directions, Chad Ingram (pictured here), Texas Department of Transportation assistant area engineer, Athens office, told Chamber members.
Everybody is anxious for the five-lane highway to be completed, and Ingram assured the 103 business people in attendance at The Greater Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, Phase III has started.
“But, if the weather becomes a problem, we could have (U.S. 175) from Athens to Kaufman torn up,” he predicted.
Work has already begun on State Highway 334 in the Seven Points area, Ingram said.
Chamber member Dino Perreli questioned the wisdom of “buttonholing” the five-lane highway onto the two-lane SH 334 bridge.
The problems involved the condition of the bridge and funding, Ingram explained.
Someone else asked about a rumor concerning private funding of the three planned bridge replacements on SH 198.
Ingram assured them there is no private funding involved.
A “placeholder” date of 2025 has been set for the widening of SH 274 to Trinidad.
“This is just a place holder. No funding has been allocated for the project,” he said.
In other business,
• the Business of the Month went to First National Bank - Kemp/Seven Points.
• the “Pie in the Face” winner was Ralph Fortner of Southside Bank. He raised the highest dollar amount in the fund-raiser.
Tate Cramm received the most pennies, earning the right to throw the pie.
Another $25 was added to the pot when Cramm decided to auction off his privilege.
• members heardJudge Johnny Adams reminded everyone to keep Friday and Saturday, June 8-9, open as the 52nd annual Mabank Rodeo will be coming to town.
Western week begins with family activities, games and bed races Tuesday, June 5.

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

ABOVE–My name is Reverse. I am a beautiful male 3-4 years old Min-Pin mix. I am fixed and current on my shots. I walk on a leash and absolutely adore people and I get along well with others. I was adopted out last year and brought back to the shelter by animal control. The girls who work here remembered who I was. I love to lay in your lap and am just a wonderful boy. I do get a little upset when left alone, so I sometimes chew things up. It is best to have a fenced yard or a good size run/crate to place me in when you’re not home. Unfortunately, I am heart-worm positive. I am in need to gain weight and attention to my coat, I have lost some hair. I would make a wonderful pet to someone of any age. I am a wonderful boy in need of a wonderful loving family who will be there for me forever.
ABOVE–My name is Baby. I am a beautiful 6-7 years old female Terrier mix. I am fixed and in need of my rabies shot. I walk on a leash and am still very playful. I was brought to the shelter by animal control looking so pitiful. I had a pretty good spell of the mange. I have received a few mange baths and am looking good now. I really had a rough time. I am now growing my coat back and am getting plenty to eat and the girls at the shelter spoil me pretty good. I am a wonderful loving old girl looking for my new loving forever family.

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 Wednesdays.

For further information visit our website at