Thursday, July 25, 2019

Deacon Jones and the Skeeters

If Wharton Chamber Night at the Skeeters wasn’t fun enough, an added bonus was purely happenstance. Sandra (the Retired Hon. Sandra K. Sanders) and I were sitting there minding our own businesses with hotdogs and Diet Coke, and along comes Deacon Jones.

Grover William “Deacon” Jones (born April 18, 1934) is currently serving as the special assistant to the president for the Sugar Land Skeeters. He’s also a retired American professional baseball player, coach, manager and scout.
After retiring as a player, Jones served as a scout and minor-league coach and manager in the White Sox organization through 1973. Jones was a coach for the Houston Astros from 1976–82, and with the San Diego Padres from 1984–87.

So, it was a great visit. He’s a born story teller, charismatic as can be, and reeks enthusiasm for life, people and baseball. We first met him when the Skeeters were building the ballpark in Sugar Land and he came spoke here at a Wharton Chamber Lunch and Learn.

Wharton Night at the Skeeters was a success with 145 Wharton folks present. The Skeeters won. The fireworks show was a winner, too.

Friday, July 12, 2019

We have company! Old cars and new folks in town

Aside from having me as her boss, Kim Peikert’s favorite part of her job is hosting tour groups. She returns from the tours energized (and even better prepared to put up with her favorite boss.)
Friday (today, July 12) is one of those days. The chamber’ office manager, Kim serves as host and Official Tour Guide to the Golden Crescent Antique Car Club of Victoria. The 30 members came to town in their classic cars.
After meeting up at the chamber office, the Southern Pacific Depot is their first stop. Next is the Morris Carriage House Museum. Then it’s lunch at Hinze’s Country Kitchen. Their visit concludes with a tour of the Wharton County Courthouse, the most extensively restored courthouse in the history of Texas.
I grew up in a faraway place called Philadelphia. Most native Philadelphians don’t think much about the Liberty Bell, or Independence Hall, or Alfred’s Alley, or the Betsie Ross House, or many other significant landmarks and historic places there. But visitor’s sure do. 
It’s good to take stock of what you have in your own town — what’s your town’s story, and what’s unique about your town. Yes, Wharton is small, but it has a unique story, and visitor’s appreciate it. Ask Kim.