Eyes upon Texas

Brian George packs up meat before heading out to help feed Hurricane Harvey evacuees.
Brian George packs up meat before heading out to help feed Hurricane Harvey evacuees.

A POSTING surfaced this week from my own grandson, Jonathan Michael, who along with his family survived the flood that hit the area of Houston.

“IF I’ve learned anything from this, it’s that there are 3 things that will never let Houston down: 1. Gallery Furniture 2.H-E-B 3.Rednecks in boats.” How true that statement is not only for Houston but other areas along the southern coast line.

Jonathan, was raised in the Kilgore, Overton, New London area in the heart of East Texas and with Marine training and his Redneck training managed to get a flat-bottom boat and start a rescue mission in the midst of devastation.

“I AM so proud of my grandson,” said Claire Pits Sanches when her call came in on Tuesday. “He went down there without being told and without waiting for some organization to ask for help. But, I am proud of all the guys that went with him. In my eyes, they are all my grandsons,” she said excitedly. Cody Edmonson, the grandson of Claire and the late Julius Sanches headed toward Houston with a handful of friends including Brian George, Will Hale, Micah Shannon, Robert Honzell and other good ol’ boys.

The group took seven boats with two per boat. Cody and Brian teamed up in one as requested for rescue. They were in the Spring area and felt fortunate to spend the night at the Spring Volunteer Fire Department. They returned to Kilgore early Wednesday.

“I am getting ready to go back,” said Brian George as he “chunked” packages of meat in an ice chest to carry be cooked. “We are cooking twenty briskets and fifty pork butts to carry back. We are carrying food back this time.”

“Seeing all of the people and the devastation was unbelievable,” he said. “The first boat we took out, we picked up a family with a two-month-old baby. You just don’t get over that.”

“I did nothing heroic,” said Micah who arrived in Houston the day after Brian and Cody. “The real heroine is the little girl who, while riding in the boat, drew hearts and a note on piece of paper that said, ‘thank you for saving Houston’.”

“There were so many people you almost felt you were in a rat race, but it was very plain to see it was a God thing. It was God bringing everybody together to help each other and I believe there were much less deaths taking place there than with all of the senseless shootings taking place in other states,” he said. “Just don’t make a hero out of me, I was just there to do what I hope others would do for me.”

Micah’s brother “Bubba” is in the Beaumont area working and a cousin, Tommy Montgomery, is volunteering in Humble. Micah, back at the barbershop for a few days was busy trying to catch up.

“I wasn’t worried about him (Cody) going or being stuck in a boat in pitch dark,” said Marja Edmonson. “They were all raised together; are hunters, and accustomed to duck hunting in the dark. But, when I heard of some of the reactions of those not wanting to leave, then I began to worry,” she admitted. “But, I do think they just about starved while gone, stopping at the first Whataburger they came to when leaving,” she laughed.

Yes, in East Texas and beyond, we are proud of good raising, high morals and not wasting time when a plea for help goes out.

“HAVE you ever been in a hurricane?” asked Justice of the Peace Jerdy Wolverton. “I was born in Port Arthur, moved to Houston, back to Port Arthur, Beaumont, Lake Charles and got caught in the hurricane of 1957. That was enough for me,” he said.

ADDISON INDIA MITCHELL arrived on this earth just hours before Hurricane Harvey the daughter of of Britt and Megan Mitchell. They live in The Woodlands. Her proud grandparents from Kilgore are Penni and J Mitchell and great-grandmother India Stroope. Glimpses of the little “doll” can be seen on J and Penni’s cell phone with promises of more to come.

DURING FIRES AND FLOODS “critters” move to drier and higher grounds. Made a believer in that statement were Tonya Phelps Willis, Daughter Kayla Wade Chandaris and Baby J. T. As the trio was leaving Wal-Mart after a shopping trip recently, they met up with a three foot snake in the parking lot.

“It sure wasn’t what you expected to see in the middle of Wal-Mart parking lot. Someone had run over the back of the snake and it was stuck on the pavement but was whipping back and forth trying to get loose. Management was definitely called to do something and Kayla wouldn’t even walk on the other side to get past it. I had to go get the car and drive around and pick her up. Guess that proves to expect the unexpected,” she laughed. “Observe your surroundings. A snake is a snake.”

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or 903-984-2593.


Special Sections