Sometimes it takes a snitch to inform those around them about what is really going on. It works out for the best when they have your best interest at heart.

This snitch came from those in attendance of a recent class reunion, who have made the claim they are a “close-knit” bunch. And the person they were snitching on was none other than Jimmie Palmer and what could be found in his garage and den. They were telling of a well-kept secret about his handiwork with wood.

Jimmie readily invited us in to look for ourselves at how he had transformed the top of a pool table into a scene from the early oil boom days of Kilgore, complete with a 4-foot-tall derrick, a train, the First Baptist Church, fire department, shotgun house and an outhouse, as well as other buildings along one side of the railroad track. On the other side of the track is Dodge City with the saloon, a covered wagon and other relics of the time. All were made by him and intricately put together.

Jimmie said, “First of all, none of this is from carved wood. It is of shaved wood.”

Describing the lumber used, he said, “I have used one-by-twos, two-by-twos and one-by-fours along with dowel sticks and even toothpicks. Any and everything made from wood.” He mainly uses a bench saw, drill press, router, solder and a band saw to create the miniature towns.

“It took me over a year to build the derrick and over two years for everything you see here. I love working with the wood and dying to get back to it,” he said.

Jimmie has taken a reprieve to deal with grieving issues over the loss of his wife, Charyl, earlier in the year and with some health issues of his own.

Jimmie’s parents moved to Kilgore in 1947. He grew up here and attended Kilgore College and Stephen F. Austin University. The Palmers bought the old city hall and set up shop with material and buttons, antique furniture, guns and bicycles. His mother became known as the button lady, always finding the right match to a missing one.

Jimmie said, “He bought it in September and told me it had to be done by Christmas that year. We worked hard and had it done by Dec. 7.” In 2008, the shop was move to South Street. Guns were the biggest item they carried, although those buttons went right with them. The gun shop was then sold to Frank Baggett.

However, he may have gotten his love of working with wood from his grandfather, John Howell, who was a carpenter. “I worked with him in the ‘60s, but I also took woodworking while in high school,” said Jimmie. “It has always been a part of my life.”

His home is filled with furniture and other things he has made over the years, but the derrick scene has brought him much joy. He seems to be just as fond of the single-room shotgun house as he is the derrick. My personal favorite was the wooden train. He has had offers from others to buy some of the pieces, but so far he has refrained from selling it. One thing we all agree upon is it needs on display to be shared with others. Perhaps those snitches in his class will convince him it needs to go into the old Kilgore Post office. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

THE WILLOWS REHAB & NURSING of Kilgore combined City Pride with Nursing Home Week with a blow-out celebration held on Monday which has continued all week, according to Activity Director Glenda Bailey.

She said, “Nurses week was from last Wednesday to Wednesday. Nursing home week began on Monday and ran all week long. Our corporate office wanted us to invite every department vital to Kilgore. We had the Fire Department, who brought a fire truck, Chief of Police Todd Hunter and police officers, two Kilgore College Rangerettes and even Kilgore’s bulldog. Just everyone we could think of that makes us proud to be in Kilgore.

“A balloon release was set off to start the week, and we have had different events every day. Thursday was crazy sock day, something that was fun and easy for the residents to participate in and not just the staff. This is their home, and we wanted them to celebrate their home with us.

“We want everyone to know how much we love our jobs. We are a work of love and when you love what you do, you love your work. “

We at the News Herald would like to extend a special thanks to all our nurses, home-health nurses and nursing homes for the care you provide.

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.

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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.


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