Special to the Reporter

I have been playing hooky these past two weeks and have lots of news for you, some old and some new. So sit back and enjoy!

Bill and Evelyn traveled to Old Ocean, near Freeport, to attend a birthday party for his mother, Annie Bolf. She turned 90 years young on July 23.

Jennie and Otis Bennett celebrated their 63rd Wedding Anniversary on the July 21. Then Jennie had her 80th birthday on July 15 and Otis followed with his 80th on the 22.

Mattie Hannemann has been under the weather lately with a lot of back pain. She was taken to the hospital a week ago and is doing better.

Your route carrier, Peter Weisenburger, and his wife, Joy, are proud new grandparents. Their daughter, Leah, and husband, Josiah Crow, of Speegleville brought a healthy and beautiful boy into the world on the July 15. Jackson Josiah was born at the Providence Hospital in Waco at the weight of 7 lbs. 4 oz. and 20 inches long.

Jerry and I have some really great news to share. Our oldest son, Michael, was just promoted to Lieutenant Commander with the Navy! We are so proud and I know he is really happy. This is the first step that actually has to go before the board and is given by your merits and accomplishment. So this one was earned with a little more work than the other promotions. He is still over in Bahrain but was in the states just two weeks ago for a planning convention. He is now back at Bahrain for many more months.

This is the time of year for vacations. Robert and his family along with the Zeke Powell family traveling down into Louisiana and on into Pensacola, FL. When the granddaughters got back, they had some pretty wild stories for me. At one area in the Cajun country they decided to take a swamp tour. When they got to this house out in the swamps, the man who would take them on the tour asked them to come sit on his porch for an orientation, but instead of giving them a bit of info on the trip they would soon go on, they got a history of his life. He was bald with a very long wild beard and kind of spooky looking (their words). He told them he had discovered a way to make fuel for cars and trucks out of water. There was just one small problem, he needed to get a physics engineer from some college, any college would do, to help him find the one solution for that problem. He told the that he had notified Bill Ford and told them there were just four things wrong with their automobiles, but sadly the Fordís have never responded to his letter. He said if he could just get that physicist to help him solve his problem, he could stick it to the oil companies just like they were sticking it to us.

Then they finally began their tour of the swamps. He explained it was about an hour trip out to the boat through the weeds. It was in actuality only about a hundred yards, but it did take an hour. He had his trusty snake stick and had to remove each and every twig over a quarter of an inch long, just in case there lurked a snake under it. He showed them an armadillo hole. Obviously he was used to having city folks to tour with. They continued on and finally came to the boat, which wasnít very sturdy looking but they had come this far, so they would keep their fingers crossed. Whit said everyone saw an alligator except for her. Did they? Or were they only telling the tour guide that to get back to shore? During the trip out there in the hot, humid smelly swamps, Shakota began to feel faint and sick to her stomach. The Crazy Cajun, as they called him, put his hand on her forehead, as you have seen other healers do. After releasing her, he told her she would feel better soon. I asked if it worked and Shak said, she did begin to feel better, but that she thought it might have been the T-shirt they soaked in the waters and put on her head. The whole family agreed that this swamp tour was the highlight of the trip.

If any of you have a story of your vacation that you would like to share with the rest of us, call 254-797-8200 or e-mail rah991@valornet.com. Now like the farmer said when he fell off the wagon, I gotta hit the road.