Greetings! Youíll probably notice that todayís column doesnít sound exactly like Roberta. Thatís because sheís out of pocket and asked me to fill in. So, let me introduce myself - Iím Sara McCombs, a relative newcomer to Walnut Springs. Sadly, I donít have all the personal and family connections that Roberta has, but I do have a great love for this community and her people plus a desire to keep you posted on whatís happening here.

So, with that out of the way, letís get to business.

And the first item is sad business. Many of you remember Robert, ďRobbie,Ē Burns, the 32-year-old grandson of David and Bettie Kellers who passed away Feb. 13 and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery. He lived near Margaret Keller, his mother, in Conroe but had lived here with his grandparents while attending WSHS from which he graduated in 1997. Our sympathy goes to the family and to all who knew him.

Since Iíve lived here, Iíve found the people of Walnut Springs to be supportive in sorrow and in gladness. One of those glad causes is the Hornetsí girls and boys basketball seasons. Congratulations to the boys on their great season, and to the girls who are still in the playoffs! Theyíll be in Perrin tonight to take on Saint Jo in area competition. If this game is as exciting as most have been, youíll need your tranquilizers. Good luck, girls!

Another thing Iíve learned about Walnut Springs is that it is rich historically. Maybe the friendliness came from the Tonkawasí influence, the appreciation of nature from the early ranchers, and the physical layout from the M-K-T. Wherever it came from, itís being emphasized during Texas Independence Week the first week of March. Youíll hear more later, but for now, be sure to put March 2 and March 14 on your calendars. March 2 is the meeting of the Walnut Springs Historical Association at 6 p.m. at the museum. This meeting features Walnut Springsí resident historical author Bryan Sowell who will enlighten us on the railroads and their impact on our history. Everyone is welcome! On March 14 at the Bosque County Historical Commissionís annual Preservation Luncheon in Clifton, Walnut Springs will be the highlighted community as Bryan presents additional information about our community. More details will follow.

It may be winter, but that doesnít slow down the involvement of our students at Walnut Springs School. The Book Fair is this week, and they would love to have you browse and buy. The fourth and seventh graders have been involved in contests built around the Texas Independence Celebration; 100 percent of those students entered the contests. The WSHA has pizza parties in store for these students. Shakota and Whitleigh Bilman and Denver Daughterty will have stories to tell when they return from the San Antonio Stock Show, and teachers and kids are getting ready for TAKS coming soon.

Finally, we have newcomers to Walnut Springs. The Baptist Church has a new minister. Jason and Miranda Sharp are in the process of moving into the parsonage as this goes to press. Make them feel as welcome as youíve made us feel.

Well, Roberta would say something about the farmer hitting the road now. Iíll just say that the best way to get out of a hole is to stop digging. So, Iíll stop digging and remind you to get your news to Roberta by calling her at 254-797-8200 or e-mailing her at rah991@valornet.com. Thanks for the attention, and have a great week!