Kids ride free on the Texas
Cure for the summer doldrums
Special to The Monitor
RUSK–It is mid-summer when the doldrums set in and families start
thinking of ways to perk up everyone’s interest by doing something
different. The Texas State Railroad can fill that need.
It is the perfect place to come and enjoy a summer’s day.
The living history and the beautiful East Texas countryside experienced
from the coach of one of two antique trains make for a great time.
This 125-year-old historic railroad that runs between Rusk and
Palestine, has a special offer you can hardly refuse, “Kids Ride Free!”
That’s right! Kids 12 and under ride free through the end of September.
As one mother put it “…this was a great time for my children and me.”
Information and reservations for this one of a kind experience are
available by calling (903) 683-2561 or (800) 442-8951. You can also
check out the railroad on-line at texasstaterailroad.com.
The railroad operates on a Thursday-Sunday schedule until the end of
July and on a Saturday/Sunday only schedule beginning in August.
A grandmother said it best; “I bring my grandchildren, nieces, nephews,
great nieces and nephews to ride the train every year. The history, ride
and just pure enjoyment my family receives is priceless”.
So shake off the doldrums and take a nostalgic ride on the Texas State
New country club
community breaks ground
By Dan Eakin
WILLS POINT–A crowd of about 50 people, composed largely of dignitaries
from the Kaufman Chamber of Commerce and the City of Kaufman, was on
hand for groundbreaking ceremonies for Racers Ranch Tuesday morning.
Racers Ranch, located just seven miles southwest of Wills Point in what
is now a remote area of eastern Kaufman, will be a country club
community with a 3.25-mile race track, rather than a golf course.
“This is one of the most unique developments I’ve everh heard of,”
Kaufman Chamber president Lee Ayres told the crowd.
“This is beyond unique. This will bring rooftops. This will bring jobs.
The opportunities that will come out of this development are far
reaching,” Chamber board chairman Michelle Sjerven said.
Racers Ranch will be composed of more than 1,300 acres of ranch land,
including more than 600 acres of trees.
“This will be a great place for homes, and we will have a great
racetrack. But this is also about preserving land.” co-developer Bill
“Within a few years, there won’t be another 1,300-acre ranch within an
hour from Dallas,” he said.
“This will create a legacy for racers to pass on to generations to
come,” co-developer Dan Gage added.
Racers Ranch will also feature an equestrian center.
Representatives of the Wills Point Chamber of Commerce were invited to
attend the groundbreaking, but were not present,Ayers noted.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for Racers Ranch were held on the property,
about three miles south of I-20 on Hiram Road.
The ceremonies were held in front of a cabin to be used as a sales
Construction of a country clubhouse and other facilities is set to begin
within a few weeks.
Racers Ranch residents will have access to a variety of country club
amenities, including a secured gate entrance, a clubhouse and a swimming
Part of the property is less than a mile from the Van Zandt County line,
Georgias noted, and that it has a Wills Point address.
“Rather than being a country club for golfers, this will be a country
club for race car enthusiasts,” he said. Also, an equestrian center is
planned for horse lovers.
The ranch is to be built around a 3.25-mile road-racing course created
by world-renowned track designer Alan Wilson of Wilson Motorsports in
North Salt Lake, Utah.
“This track will be fashioned similar to Wilson’s other designs in North
America like the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., as well as
his international work at Le Circuit Mont Tremblant in Montreal,
Quebec,” development spokesman Mike Gullatt said.
About 60 home sites are planned for Racers Ranch, he said.
“Those who want to live near the race track in homes overlooking the
race track may do so, and those who want to live further away
overlooking a quiet peaceful pasture may also do so,” he added.
Most of Racers Ranch is being built on the old Molouf Ranch, also known
as Cross Creeks Ranch.
“There are still about 200 head of cattle on the ranch,” he said. Once
the project is completed, some cattle will remain, as will horses.
He said some of those who will live on the ranch will have horses of
their own which can be stabled at the equestrian center, and that Racers
Ranch will also provide some horses for those who just want to go for an
occasional horseback ride.
There are several motorsport race track complexes in the United States,
but this will be the only one combining race track and equestrian
No grandstands are planned for the race track.
“It will be for the use of the ranch owners and their guests,” he said.
High-speed driver safety straining will be available to residents and
“Safety will be our number one issue,” he said.
“We are very, very excited about becoming a part of this community and
working with the people in this area,” Georgias said.
Cedar Creek Kiwanians
hear Chamber news
Davis touts fund-raisers, and money horror stories
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
SEVEN POINTS–Greater Cedar Creek Lake Chamber of Commerce board
chairman Ron Davis described an outdoor grill/cooker he designed to be
featured in the Chamber’s next fund-raising activity.
“Someone is going to get a quality piece of equipment and a trailer to
haul it around on for the price of a ticket,” Davis said during the
club’s weekly luncheon Wednesday at McClain’s Willows Club.
“It’s not going to breakdown in any of our lifetimes,” he added, stating
the heavy-gauge steel and other materials were all donated for its
It is valued between $1,500 and $2,000, he said.
Other major fund-raisers on the Chamber’s docket include the Red Hot
Golf Tournament set for July 28 at King’s Creek Golf Course and the Red
Garter Saloon, set for Aug. 26 in Tool.
Davis also shared details of the Chamber’s first leadership class, which
ran from September to May and graduated seven members.
The monthly class meetings inform leaders of how things work in the
county, city government, police and sheriff’s department, court system,
medical emergencies, how school districts are organized and governed,
and the like.
“Even if you think you know how these work, you’ll learn things you
didn’t know before,” Davis said.
The Chamber is planning a second leadership program come September for
12 candidates. “It’s our way of grooming people for leadership here
around the lake,” he said.
“You are the Chamber. What it can do to promote our area and our member
businesses – that’s what it wants to do,” he said.
Davis is also the president of First State Bank, Mabank. He listed seven
regulatory agencies that the banking industry has to answer to and
pleaded for patience on the part of bank customers when it comes to
establishing identification and filling out forms when large amounts are
Most of these regulations are aimed at preventing tax evasion, but we’re
told its for home security, he said.
“We want to serve our customers well, but the government requires us to
get our customers to fill out forms that often tries their patience,” he
However the major problem facing bankers and merchants is the passing of
counterfeit bills and checks.
“There are a million horror stories,” he said.
The worst ones involve small amounts of money or fraudulent checks made
in small amounts.
A thief can write $2,000 a day of worthless checks in amounts less than
$100, and get away with it, because the one incident that is caught is
such a small amount, it doesn’t seem worth the cost to prosecute it, he
The best advice Davis gave to help consumers spot fraudulent activity
was to “monitor your checking account statements, carefully.”
How did hot dog get its name?
Special to The Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–You can help make history by attending the first annual
American Legion Post 310 National Hot Dog Month Celebration Saturday
July 22 at the Post. Legionnaires will be selling hot dogs from noon
until 6 p.m.
Information will also be available for nonmembers who are interested in
joining the Legion, the Auxiliary, the Riders, or the S.A.L. And a
horseshoe tournament is being planned.
Proceeds from this event will be used to purchase perishable items for
the Christmas Food Baskets, an annual Legion activity.
History Answer – The term “hot dog” is credited to sports cartoonist Tad
At a 1901 baseball game in the Polo Grounds in New York City, vendors
began selling hot dachshund sausages in rolls.
From the press box, Dorgan could hear the vendors yelling, “Get your
dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!”
He sketched a cartoon depicting the scene but wasn’t sure how to spell
“dachshund” so he called them simply, “hot dogs.” And the rest is
Game Warden, Coast Guard
join forces on lake
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–the duties of Coast Guard Auxiliary (CGA) Flotilla 5–14
and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Departmentoften merge.
Speakers Jim Salzman, immediate past Flotilla Commander and Tony Norton,
Region III, District I Game Warden shared the speaker’s podium at the
Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake weekly luncheon, Friday.
Salzman said the approximate 32 members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary
patrolled and sometimes answered emergency calls.
“Our organization is all volunteers. Members buy their own uniforms and
supplies,” he said.
“During Katrina, about six of our members transported RVs, back and
forth in the storm-hit area.
“We are now leading into coastline security,” Salzman explained.
The CGA is now under the auspices of the Department of Homeland
Security, instead of the Department of Transportation, he said.
“We are a major player in times of disaster and security,” he said.
However, the Coast Guard Auxiliary has no law enforcement powers.
“But, we are there for each other. The CGA are there when they are
needed and the Department of Wildlife is there when they need
enforcement,” Norton said.
Norton said in April, he was sent to Charleston, S.C., to receive
training by the Coast Guard.
Norton said boaters on the lake are encouraged to name a designated
driver when they plan to party with alcohol, just as automobile drivers
“This fourth of July was slower than in the past. The message has got
out that we will not tolerate drinking and boating,” Norton said.
While open container laws do not pertain to boats, the public
intoxication laws and DWI and BWI laws do apply, he explained.
“The overall impact has been positive,” he added.
There were other unexpected problems Norton said.
“This season was kind of odd. There was a little bit of lack of
preparation seen more this year than in past years,” he said.
Some of the problems included lack of registration, not having enough
life jackets and other necessary safety items.
“Take the time to prepare if you have people coming in,” Norton said.
Individual boaters are responsible for their own safety, he added.
“And Personal Water Craft are more likely to be in an accident,” he
“A PWC can turn a 50-year-old man into a 2-year-old,” Norton added.