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

The Front Page

19 US Soldiers Killed in Attack

At least 19 US soldiers and 3 others died Tuesday in the deadliest attack since the invasion of Iraq last year.


1324 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.

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

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

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.

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


Candlesticks in old Santa Anna

Those candlestsicks mean a lot to me..

When I was a kid in the early 70's and we still lived in Garland we would come to Granny Wright's House in Santa Anna for Christmas.

At that time there weren't a lot of towns that put up street decorations for Christmas and I used to think how much Christmas must mean to those that lived in Granny's town.

Cindy tells me those aren't the same decorations but they are pretty close in design.

I will try to share more of Granny Wright's Christmas stories with you later this week but I just can't do it right now.

It is nice to see Mr. Hetzel's That Santa Anna Store all lit up, too!

Candlesticks in old Santa Anna - Part II

Those candlesticks meant we were getting close to Granny's House.

Granny Wright was a very special lady. By the time my Step Dad, Tex, had married my Mom; Granny had already been a widow for several years. She lived in her home with her youngest two children, Lynn and Judy. They were both in High School at the time. Lynn and wife Jerrie and their family now live in Mason and Judy and her husband Phil Chambers live in Coleman.

Granny's House was a small single walled structure on the East end of Avenue C just a couple of blocks from where we live now. I remember going there this time of year and it being so cold that we would get under the piles of handmade quilts piled so high that you could not move!

Granny worked for many years at the Ranger Park Inn as a nurses aide and her husband, Doyle, had worked for the City of Santa Anna. Granny never learned how to drive a car so she depended on the kids and friends to take her to work and shopping. Most of her Christmas shopping was limited to G&E Hardware and Phillip's Drug. She loved to go to Phillip's and buy fabric and of course to TG&Y in Commerce Square. She usually had multiple gifts for everyone and at least one of them was handmade as only Granny could. They were always personalized and made you feel really special especially since Granny was on such a modest, fixed income.

Granny always had a big meal ready to eat even though she didn't have a big fancy kitchen with cabinets and all. I can not tell you how much love that Granny showed each of us and how she treated us Peltons just like we were hers.

Granny always sent out a handwritten announcement of the date and time of the annual get together. The notice was handwritten and personalized for each family and was written in Granny Poetry.. a mix of rhyme, prose, and poetry that I can't explain to you. One year she mentioned that it was just "her and the Christmas Mouse" waiting for everyone to get there. And that year she got a couple of mouse figurines to go along with her "Mouse".

.. and it went crazy from there.. with her getting mice from everywhere to the point where she didn't really know what to do with them. Each she treated very special.. some years she was given a special built shelf to hold the mice and she would sort them by size and shape. She was usually pretty speechless about the mice and I am not sure if she really liked them or not.. I think when she passed away she had some 400+ mice. One year I noticed my name on some items around her house and when I asked Mom why and she told me that Granny had started putting on her things the names of who she wanted to have them when she passed away. It really made me sad to think about her not being there.

Granny also wrote a handwritten poem to each family as a follow up to Christmas. She would list each person that was there and those that weren't and maybe why or what gift they got. One year we started a Chinese Christmas and Granny had stuffed some kind of gift into one of her large old bud vases for the Chinese Christmas and thus started the family vase which showed up for several years as a gag.. sometimes it had cash or lottery scratch off tickets in it. After several years I traded for it and retired it to our home permanently. I used to call it my "Granny's tea glass".. another one of my Granny stories where you were grown up when you got a big tea glass...

Her last Christmas she gave each of of her kids and grandkids a handmade quilt that she had made and finished with the help of Ladelle Morris.

That's all I can do..

Gone but not forgotten.. Granny Wright "love ya bunches"..


It's Official.. the sign's are up and the doors are open

Santa Anna has a real restaurant again!

Noreta's Steakhouse has opened up in the old Miss Kitty's location in downtown Santa Anna.

Cindy and I are waiting for them to get the hang of things before venturing out eventhough they have been in the steak business for a long time.

The Pelton girls, Jessica and Jennifer, went last Saturday night along with Josh and the boys.

Jennifer had sold a few more pecans and wanted to eat out for a change.

She said the Teriyaki Chicken she got was really good and Josh got a steak and of course Jenn sampled it and said it wasn't as good as Dad's. Cindy and I had splurged and I had bought a couple of rib eyes at the Santa Anna Grocery before they left. We all eat medium rare so I had it ready before the kids left and Jenn had to test it out as well. I told her to slip me a twenty and I would cut her off a piece and split my potato with her and well.. she left!

One of my old high school football coaches, Roger Goodwin, used to say about cooking steak, "Knock it's horns off and wipe it's butt!"

Well, I at least turn ours over the fire a couple times to "warm it up"..

It's Official.. Part II

Well Cindy and I went to Noreta's Thursday night. I guess my writing about it got her wanting to go. We went around 6:30 or so and there was a light crowd.. mostly Santa Anna folks. The bitter cold and last minute Christmas shopping probably kept it down. Cindy said they have been really busy except for Sunday afternoon.

Noreta seated us with a smile and "How are ya'll?" The new carpet, fresh paint, light western decor, and white cloth draped tables and place settings really made the place look clean and crisp.

Our young waitress was really nice and polite. I wish I had gotten her name because she did a really good job. They had a fried pork ribs special but Cindy and I opted for choices from the full menu. Cindy picked the Monterrey Chicken and I chose the Grilled Red Snapper. Both came with salad and soup bar, and a choice of baked or French fried potato. We both chose baked potatoes and on our waitress's suggestion for an appetizer, "Texas Toothpicks", a combination of fried onion and jalapeno strings with a bowl of ranch dressing. This was one of many choices of appetizer's which Cindy always said was a Miss Kitty's weakness.. no appetizer's.

The salad bar was pretty complete and even had one of my favorites, pea salad. About halfway through our salad, my Mom and Step-Dad, Pat and Tex Wright came in the front door. They walked by across the room looking for a warm table in the back corner and as they sat down I got Mom's attention and they sat down with us. Mom and Tex chose said that this was their third trip and that they liked the chicken fried steak but they both ordered the fried pork ribs.

The Texas Toothpicks came out and were really good. And then our food arrived at about the same time. All of the portions were really generous and the potatoes were big and loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits.

None of us had steak so I still don't have an opinion or comparison with mine. Noreta's steaks were always pretty good at Coldwater so I'll bet they still are. That will give me a good reason to go back!

Go by and see them at Noreta's Steakhouse in downtown Santa Anna and tell them SantaAnnaNews.com sent ya!


Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

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

Update! Santa was recently sighted on North Pole Street at Mayor Findley's riding in on his special sleigh to get those last minute visits in.

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.


The Lights of Christmas in Santa Anna

Cindy and I both noticed that there doesn't seem to be as many Christmas lights around town as there were last year. But there are several that really stand out. Of course the grand champ is Santa's house on North Pole Street (see above).
Our place is the same old red and green.

The Frausto's on Hwy 283 South.

The Wheatley's on Hwy 283 South.

The Fleeman's just west of Hwy 283 South.

The Robinett's on South 7th St.

The Hipsher's on West Ave B.

Not sure who is living here next to Mom on Avenue B but they have really fixed up Mrs. Hunter's old house.

The Horner's on Ave A.

The McMillans between Henderson's Funeral Home and the First Baptist Church.


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.


Santa Anna Mountaineer and Lady Mountaineer Basketball

The JV and Varsity Girls and Boys faced the teams from Panther Creek in the Monday night's District basketball action at Perry Gym. I am not sure about the Girls JV score as I got there right at the end. The Varsity Girls won 63-33 and the Boys lost 33-68. The next games will be vs Loraine in Loraine next Tuesday.

Angel Deleon shoots a three point shot.

Ben McIver takes a short shot.

The Varsity Girls and Boys faced the teams from Novice in the Friday night's District basketball action. Both teams won.

Mayra Dean shoots it from way out.

Patrick Kerr lays it up high.

Game photo albums are on the Sports Page.


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.


1 and 1 Web Hosting Service

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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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