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James Pelton's News for and about folks from Santa Anna Texas

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Have You Forgotten?

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?-- Darryl Worley country music singer/songwriter. I never will.. September 11, 2001. Where were you when the world stopped turning?-- Alan Jackson country music singer/songwriter. The September 11 Digital Archive will help you remember.

You know sometimes it doesn't hit you until it is personal.

Remembering those that have served and those that are serving our country.

Clay Hubbard tells me that Allen Tucker is now in Iraq. I believe that Maricela (Marty) Siller is also in Iraq. Please pray for their safety and families while they are gone.

Please remember these Santa Anna folks that are serving our country in combat, training, or support: Maricela (Marty) Siller, Eddie Dawson, Ike Garza, Clay Hubbard, James Watson, Austin Voss, Randy Casey, Mike Montgomery II, Mark Rutherford, Allen Tucker, James Culpepper, and Shane Watson.

1299 American soldiers or sailors have died in Operation Enduring Freedom as reported by the Department of Defense and the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. Pray for our country, its' leaders, and our soldiers and sailors.

Many service men and women return home safely. Operation Tribute to Freedom Homecoming Photographs.

My favorite female Country music vocal groupShedaisy's website has several letters from some that are left behind while their loved ones are defending our country.


Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

OH!.. you better not pout and you better not cry.. 'cause Santa Claus is coming to Santa Anna!

Well I hope that you have been good, because I sure have..

Friday the 17th, Saturday the 18th, Tuesday the 21st, and Thursday the 23rd from 6PM until 8PM Santa Claus will be at Ray and Jean Findley's home on North Pole Street (North 8th). If you haven't got to see him yet be sure and go by and get your last minute wishes in. He will be available for picture taking and such.

The last few years Santa Anna's Mayor, Jean Findley, has hosted Santa's visit to Santa Anna... maybe we can get her to rename the town for a day to the "City of Santa Claus"?

This year Santa will be riding in on his special sleigh

The Findleys always decorate their yard for Santa with many of the yard decorations made by hand.


McIver Family Welcomes New Little Christmas Gift

On Sunday, December 5, 2004, 9:44 a.m. the McIver's welcomed Oran Daniel McIver to their family. He weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz. and was 20.5 inches long. Daniel was born at Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, delivered by Shannon Abikhaled, M.D.

Daniel has a big sister, Mary who is 5 yrs. old and a big brother, Will who is 2 yrs. old. Grandparents are Terry McIver, Orabeth McIver, Frank and Kay Gray all of Santa Anna. He has a great grandmother, Bettie Henderson also of Santa Anna.

Proud parents are Reece and Kallie McIver of Elgin, Texas.


Stolen Heirloom and Drive - Part II

Please forgive me if I am a little emotional around this time of year.. I know I have been in a very strange mood here lately. The older I get the more some things seem to get to me.

As this site grows and I burn more midnight oil, this site has taken on a "blog" feel. A friend of mine recently asked me what a "blog" was. It is short Internet slang for "web log" and usually is a kind of a journal of an individual or a certain topic or interest. Not so much that is what I want, but in order for my thoughts to make any sense, if they make any, that is just the way they are coming out.

Nevertheless, I usually think of something I should have said after I have already said something else and that is what this Part II is all about.. the other part is below

One reason I brought up the stolen rocking chair story is.. as I have told you I usually listen to KOXE on the radio as I go to work and the morning DJ, Bob James, got a blowup snowman stolen out of his front yard this past weekend and was going off about it on Monday morning. He was telling about how he bought it for his grandkids and his story just got me thinking about the rocking chair and my grandson.

I also listen to KOXE because of Paul Harvey. He is on in the morning at 7:30 and again at lunch. I started listening to his show everyday back when I worked in the oilfield with Cecil Ellis, mentioned in the story above. Cecil and I would stop for lunch everyday at noon and eat our lunch. We would sit in the pickup and listen to Paul Harvey if it was cold or sit outside it in shade in the summer time. After Paul Harvey was over we would catch a little "power nap".. now this was long before power naps came about but I think Cecil started them!

I have always liked Paul Harvey's show and the way he tells his stories. It is nice now that you can listen to any of his programs online from the past week at PaulHarvey.com.

The kids recently bought me the movie "Big Fish" for my birthday. It is about a father and the stories he tells his son all his life. It came out last year sometime I think and they thought I would like it. We sat down the other night and watched it and it got me to thinking about the stories we tell our children. Anyways.. it is a good movie to watch.

Shortly after that Paul recommended during one of his programs that we tell our stories to our kids and grandkids while we are still alive... and maybe that is what this is all about.. my stories to tell.

Have you told your story to someone?


Pelton Family Heirloom Stolen

A little over a year ago when our Grandson, Dawson, was born, Cindy gave her rocking chair to his mom and our middle daughter, Jennifer. The heavy wooden rocker was given to Cindy by her Dad when Chrystal was born and all of our children were rocked in it. Sometimes the girls even rocked their selves in it as they got older. Jennifer was proud to get it so that she could rock Dawson to sleep in the same chair that her Mom rocked her in.

At the time her and Josh were living in his Mom's house on Vale Street in Coleman near the old tile factory. They took the chair home late one night and left it on a partially enclosed porch overnight to make room for it in the house the next day. The next morning they awoke to find the chair gone. They of course reported it to the Coleman Police Department but nothing was ever found of it. I encouraged Cindy to put something in the paper and maybe offer a reward for it. She dug around and found these photos of Chrystal in the rocker but never got around to doing anything with them.

We have looked for a rocker to replace it but it would just not be the same. So I am offering a $100 reward for the return or information that leads to the return of the rocking chair. It can be positively identified. If you have the rocker and read this you may certainly return it. You may also remain anonymous. If you took or have the chair and choose not too return it I hope that you have put it to good use rocking a baby that will grow up to be a better person than you!


Nice little drive in the country..

That is what I get everyday when going to and from work on my hour long commute. I have mentioned before that I get distracted when driving by looking at the wildlife, fences, hay, etc.

I guess I got my appreciation for a well built fence from a fine old man that I worked with in the Oil Patch in the early 80's. His name was Cecil Ellis, father of one of my former boss men when I worked for Coleman County Telecommunications, Jerry Ellis. Cecil was one of those old men, I say old men out of respect because at the time I was 18 and he was in his 60's... anyhow he was one of those what I call "John Deere Men"... you know one of those men that road a "Poppin' Johnny" until they had a permanent stoop. These tractors had no cabs or suspension of any sort other than the big old spring under the unpadded iron seat. They had no air conditioning, no radio, and no power steering, and the steering wheels were hard black rubber. They were just as at home standing on one of these as they were sitting on it. You may have known one of these men.. most of them worked until they couldn't work anymore.. Cecil Ellis, William Brown, Walter Pape,.. and few more.

Anyhow, Cecil and I worked for a couple of years on a pulling unit for Norman Pautsky of Wichita Falls. Mr Pautsky owned several oil leases in the Trickham area and Sammie Joe Powers was our boss. My Step Dad, Tex Wright, also worked for them at the time but I didn't work with him very often. Cecil never did get in too big of a hurry which was good for me because I was pretty dumb about all that oil field stuff. What I didn't know, I made up for in youthful energy and strength along with Cecil's know how we made a good team. I always say that I was lucky to work with him because he always took care of me.. always making me wear my hard hat and making sure I didn't lose any fingers or worse.

At the time the company was also doing a lot of drilling and when they would move the rig onto a location they would usually tear down a fence to drive through. Cecil and I would get to come behind them and put in a gate. Most of the time it would be a wire gate with cedar posts. I am not talking about the posts that you go to the lumber yard and buy either. Cecil would always bring along his ax, sharpened and ready to cut, and just head out into the brush and start cutting out a few of the straightest cedar staves and posts that we could find. We of course dug the holes by hand too! The fence always had to be straight and tight and the gate nearly so tight it couldn't be shut!

So that is where I get my appreciation for a good fence or gate.

I have also come to appreciate a good hay crop over the years as well. Cindy's Pawpaw, A.C. Pierce, passed away about this time last year. A.C. made a living hauling and selling hay most of his life. I used to go with him and help sometimes in the mid 90's when he would needed some help. We always hauled square bales of course.. usually to the Edington's Sale Barn in Coleman.

These men taught me how to work hard and enjoy the simple things in life.. I sure miss them sometimes.. both the men and the simple things.

But that is what I like about my drive home and here are a couple of photos from the last couple of weeks from it:

Steam coming off of a round bale near Goldthwaite.. going to work one morning.

Turkey near Lohn.

Sunset from between Zephyr and Early.

Santa Anna Mountains from mountain near Lohn.

Santa Anna Mountains from near Stewardson's South of Santa Anna.


State Champions / "Sir, may I see your driver's license and proof of insurance?"

Cindy and I drove to Abilene Saturday afternoon to see the Texas Six Man Football State Championship game at Abilene's Shotwell Stadium featuring the Richland Springs Coyotes and the Turkey/Valley Patriots. I still am not too sure that Valley likes to be associated with Turkey.. some places it was used.. like the program.. and some it was not. I think it is similar to Valera Panther Creek. Sometimes when these consolidated schools combine they try to find mutual ground I guess.

We have gone to a few playoff games missing only the previous two weeks when we went to New Mexico for Thanksgiving and for an office Christmas party last week. We very much enjoyed the game and saw several Santa Anna folks. Since Richland Springs is in our district they have been a little more meaningful to watch I guess especially since they won.

The game started at 6 so it was over around 9 or so and we headed back into Abilene to finish up a couple of Christmas gifts and as I was making a left turn onto Treadaway when I was nearly T-boned by an Abilene Police cruiser. As I entered the intersection I had a solid green arrow to turn and was following the line of cars ahead also turning. The light may have turned yellow but I only recall it being a normal green light. The oncoming traffic had not started yet and I was already in the turn. As I entered the halfway mark of the turn I saw out of the left the police cruiser lurch towards me and I thought "...they are fixing to hit me!".. and I thought they must really be after somebody so I continued trying to get out of their way and they fell in behind me turning on their lights so I signaled to change to the right lane and so did they so I signaled to turn down the first side street or parking lot and turned onto the next street and pull over. Cindy hadn't seen them right away and asked what I was doing?

As the female officer came to the window she asked, "Sir, may I see your driver's license and proof of insurance?"

I already had them out and handed them to her. The card I handed her was for one of our other vehicles and I carry it in my wallet so I had to dig in the glove box for the right one. As I did she advised me that I had "failed to yield the right of way to the oncoming traffic" and should yield on green when turning left.

She ran my license and returned it advising me that she would rather me yield than her have to work a wreck. I agreed and she let me go. Nice enough.. but I pride myself on being a good safe driver. I have to be.. driving 600 miles a week just go back and forth to work in Goldthwaite. Cindy, with her knowledge of traffic laws, of course concurred with the officer that I should not "commit" to the turn if not able to complete it safely. I say if this was the case nobody would ever turn left across traffic. Obviously they haven't driven in Dallas or Brownwood and made a left turn lately!

Since I have a commercial driver's license, moving violations and at fault accidents are particularly more important not to get. I have had a commercial license since I worked in the oil field in the early 80's. At the time I got my license I took a Chauffeur's License test because it cost the same, had the same driving test, and only had a couple of more questions on the written test.

I kept my license even when in the service station business and having a commercial license actually helped me get a route driver job at Pepsi in Brownwood in the early 90's. When I first started there it was shortly after a major traffic accident near San Antonio involving a Coke truck and a school bus and several children were killed and the driver of the Coke truck was at fault when he failed to yield the right of way at an intersection. So I have always been a little more self conscious about school buses... more on this below.

I was working at Pepsi when CDL's first came about.. the ones that were designed to keep Interstate truckers from hiding traffic violations. I was a supervisor at the time and would go out with each driver on six routes in order for them to get in early enough to go by the DPS office in Brownwood and take a test. There were tests for General, tractor trailer, and air brakes at the time in order to drive our trucks. As we would drive around the route I would quiz each driver to prepare them for that day's test and became pretty good at the questions and answers at the same time.

The lady giving the tests encouraged me to take all of the tests including passenger, tanker, doubles/triples, and hazardous materials. There was no charge during the grandfather time but $10 per test after that to add an "endorsement". So I studied a little more and took and passed them rather than just sit around. The only license I did not have was for a motorcycle which I have now since getting my bike. Yes, I am a biker.. more like a cruiser than a biker.. mostly because I can't get my "biker chick" on the back!

I also helped the girls get their licenses.. not that it makes me a better driver or anything like that, but I have taken a lot of multiple choice tests over the years! By my own admittance I have a hard time paying attention when I am driving.. I like to look at the nice fences, wild game, sunrises, sunsets, and everything but the road.. unless somebody else is driving like one of the girls when I am an even worse back seat driver..

Now for the school buses.. having driven a route truck from Brownwood to Menard, Junction, Mason, Llano and Kingsland; and then to Deleon, Comanche, Hamilton, and Hico; and then Brady and Coleman; and now to work in Goldthwaite I have seen lots of school buses. Their are a couple of things that really get to me: when a bus driver won't let you pass them after picking up their passenger and they have ten stops ahead, and when a school bus speeds in a school zone.

Enough of all this for now. I took a couple of pictures at the game and will try to add them Tuesday night. That's all for now thanks for listening to me ramble. Keep those words of encouragement coming as that is what keeps me going when I don't really feel like it.

A few Santa Anna folks at the game "riding the fence".

Nice Richland Springs crowd.

Coyote celebrates another 'yote touchdown.


2 Nights of Christmas in a Small Town

The Santa Anna Chamber of Commerce presented "2 Nights of Christmas in a Small Town" on Thursday and Friday nights in Downtown Santa Anna.

The event featured a "Texas Wine Tasting Affair" at Sunnie's Antique Shop.

Cindy and I didn't make it downtown for Thursday's First Night in a Small Town.. other than on a run I made to the Santa Anna Grocery for Cindy, aka Betty Crocker, who was getting ready for Open House at City Hall. There was quite a crowd around seven, but on my second run for supplies they were already thinning out. I talked to my Mom, Pat Wright, and her and my Step-Dad, Tex, made it and said they had a good time but the crowd was less than they expected.

We did make downtown on Friday night for all of the hoopla and there was quite a crowd. Most of the folks I saw were from Santa Anna and a few from Coleman.

There are several things that I noticed and I will share some of them with you as the week goes by. The main thing I think that really stands out is the need for the big crowd draw for out of town folks. Sunnie's really put on quite a show but what we really need is a good restaurant!

There are indications that someone is soon to occupy the old Miss Kitty's location, I think they will benefit greatly from the recent success of many of the downtown business's.

Miss Kitty's was just a little too soon for the boom!

..or maybe it was the start of it?


Santa Anna Mountaineer and Lady Mountaineer Basketball

The JV and Varsity Girls faced the Girls teams from Paint Rock in the District opener at Perry Gym Tuesday night. Both teams won with the JV score of 46-10 and the Varsity score of 64-33.

The JV Girls celebrate while Coach Herrod looks on.

Jessica shoots the run and gun.

The Girls and Boys Varsity will take on the Novice teams in Novice Friday night starting at 6:30.

In last Thursday's first round of the Lohn Tournament the Girls and Boys both fell to the Baird teams. The girls final score against Baird was 41-45 and the boys was 39-47. Both teams played the Brady Freshman teams in round two on Friday and came out on top with the girls winning 76-29 and the boys won but we didn't get to stay for the finish so I don't have the score.

In Saturday's Consolation game the Boys and Girls both won to bring home a couple of trophies. The girls played the team from Eden and won 64-33 and the boys beat the team from May 60-49.

Game photo albums are on the Sports Page.

Tasha Zarate shoots, and makes another 1st quarter three pointer vs Brady.

Matthew Vasquez scores a another fastbreak vs Brady.

Chaplin Delarosa drives in for two.

Rudy Enriquez goes up for two.


SantaAnnaNews.com Photos for Sale

I have debated whether or not to do this but I am going to try it out and see how it works for a while.

Several have asked me for copies or prints of various photos on the site. Based on my experience and what I have read in various publications, photos printed at home just are not lasting very well, especially in the Sun or bright rooms. Some that we have printed out look good for a couple of weeks and just seem to fade too fast. So I have found a site that will do a pretty good job of printing and of course all the photo places can print from a floppy or compact disk now.

Many want photos of some of the various school games and since this whole deal really started after the Booster Club asked if I would take some photos for the programs and maybe to give each athlete a CD with some photos on it at the Sports Banquet in the Spring, I want to be sure that each of you knows about it. The CD's given to each athlete won't have all of the photos but will have some of the better ones, simply because they all won't fit on a single CD. Of course you can always just right click on any image on this site and print it out (please note that they are copyrighted but I will grant you personal use.. especially if they are of you or one of your children!). For other use please get my permission before using them.

The photos on the site are also not the original quality or size in most cases, because they have to be redone for the Internet and faster loading. Some of the photos won't be suitable for printing larger than 5" x 7"s.

With that said I will be selling season CD's for $5 each and you can get the whole season for each sport and then print out whatever you want. The 2004 Football season with pep-rallys, homecoming parade, and some halftime activities is on one CD and the 2004 Volleyball season on another. The Basketball season should be available at the end of the season but will probably be on two CD's.. one Girls and one Boys.

The following pricing will be for professional quality commercial prints:

Photo Size

Per Print

4 wallet size

$6 sheet

4" x 6" singles

$1 each

4" x 6" multiples

6 for $5 or 15 for $10

8" x 10"

$10 each

16" x 20"

$25 each

20" x 30"

$30 each

Prices are subject to change but I will give you notice before ordering. Plus shipping and handling which is currently $2 for any amount. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back upon return of photos in original condition. Please allow a few weeks for delivery... which I will have a better idea of as time and orders go by.

To place an order just locate the photo or photos you want, identify them by game and photo number (right click on the photo to see the filename and number), and then send me an e-mail at photos@santaannanews.com.


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This is great time to get it whether you just want it for an e-mail address of your own, like james@yourlastname.com, or for putting some family pictures on the web, or getting your business on the web
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Any questions just send me an e-mail and I will be happy to help you get started, or just click the 1 and 1 ad on the left, or any of the links in this article.

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