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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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March 13, 2013     Hays Free Press
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March 13, 2013
 

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Page 2C NEIGHBORS Hays Free Press March 13, 2013 BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com A work crew of a dozen or so men showed up Friday morning at the east Kyie home of Chuck Sherwood, 81, and his wife Sherry Cryer, 67, to replace the roof damaged by a fallen tree branch on Feb. 25. The company that covered Sherwood's home dropped his homeowners insur- ance a while back, ostensibly because of the roof he constructed over the existing trailer home, which was leaking. He said he and Cryer never filed a claim or had any problems. "They said they were going in a differ- ent direction," Sherwood said. With no insurance to help, Sherwood, an Army veteran, and Cryer were left to figure out how to make and pay for the repairs. A photo of the roof damage on the Hays Free Press Facebook page started a stream of comments from community members who wanted to help in some way. Things started to come together when Noel Rodriguez of Buda stepped in to herd the cats, so to speak. Rodriguez, a member at PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, organized work- ers, including several carpenters. He was also able to secure a $200 donation from Home Depot toward the materials. And his church also set up a donation website to collection funds from the community to help pay for the roofing repairs, which cost about $800. More than $1,400 was raised. Pastor Robin Steele, who like everyone else showed up in work clothes Friday, said any funds over and above the cost of the repairs would be used for additional home repairs for the couple. A quick look around the property showed that would be a practical solution. Rodriguez, who was akin to the proj- ect site manager, said he wanted to help Sherwood and Cryer. Sherwood said he wanted the spotlight to be shined on Rodriguez for putting the whole project together. Rodriguez is dealing with his own battles, including fighting cancer. He said Steele has been delivering sermons recently about being salty in the community. "What good does it do you to be in church warming a pew when the need is out there?" Rodriguez said, gesturing to the Sherwood home. No pews were being warmed on this day. The workers, many from Promise- Land Church, arrived early to cut down additional trees to prevent more damage to Sherwood's roof. Others climbed up ladders and began fixing the home's roof. Every person had a job. Workers were humming along, sawing, hammering, banging. The sound of hard work was continual. But Sherwood didn't seem to mind the noise. "These guys are fabulous, we're im- pressed by them," Sherwood said of the crew. "It reminds me of a barn raising." "It's kind of overwhelming," Cryer said. The work crew included Ken Button, Herbert Johnson, Rob Steele, Laddie Bordovsky, Eldon Wright and Raul Ibarra from PromiseLand. Mike Biggs, an em- ployee from Home Depot who also hap- pened to be a neighbor of Sherwood's, donated his time to come out and help. Associate Pastor W'tll Krauss was with the group cutting up the extra wood. "We're just being salty," he said of his group's effort. "This is howwe serve God," Krauss said. Clearly Rodriguez has been paying attention on Sundays. "Salt in action. It's wonderful," Steele said. I PHOTO BY DAVID WHITE Good samaritans Noel Rodriguez (middle row, second from left) and his pastor Robin Steele (third from the left), along with other parishioners from PromiseLand Church came out to help Kyle neighbors Chuck Sherwood and Sherry Cryer after a recent windstorm took off part of their roof. March 15-21 reeL THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE PG.13 11:35 2:00 4:30 7:10 9:40 THE CALL R 1;~:00 2:20 5:00 7:30 10:10 OZ: GREAT AND POWERFUL PG 12:15 3:15 7:00 10:00 DEAD MAN DOWN R 11:15 1:55 4:35 7:20 10:05 21 AND OVER R 11:55 2:25 4:50 7:25 9:45 JACK THE GIANT SLAYER PG.13 11:10 4:25 9:55 LAST EXORCISM, PART2 PG.13 11:40 2:10 4:45 7:05 9:35 SNITCH PG.13 11:25 1:50 4:15 7:35 10:05 DARK SKIES PG.13 9:25 Only ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH PG 2;15 6:50 IDENTITY THIEF R 11:20 2:05 4:40 7:15 9:50 No Passes/Supersavers ex-master in + 97-year-old ex-slave told newspaper reporter n Mar. 13, 1938 that his "proudest possession" was the memory of his famous former master, Sam Houston. Jeff Hamilton was born into bondage in 1840 on a plantation in Kentucky. Three years later, his owner moved lock, stock and chattel, which included the little boy, his mother and older siblings, to the Republic of Texas. When Jeff's original master met an untimely end, his widow replaced him with a real-life Simon Legree. James McKell drank and gambled away most of his wife's wealth while making life miserable for the slaves. "We were worked long hours, whipped, cursed and half- starved by our new master," Jeff wrote in his autobiography published in 1940. Whenever McKell needed money in a hurry, he sold a slave. Behind in the payments on two barrels of whiskey, he came for Jeff early one morn- ing in October 1853. The confused child did not understand what was happen- ing, but his mother's reaction caused him to fear the worst. "I turned my head for one last look at my mother. She was standing in the cabin door, holding her apron to her face and sobbing in a kind of hope- less way." McKell took Jeff by wagon to Huntsville, the nearest town of any size, and auctioned him off on the courthouse square. He found a buyer for the terrified boy and waited for the customer, whose reputa- tion was as bad as his own, to return with the cash. In the meantime, "a large and important looking man drove up in a buckboard buggy drawn by a fine black horse." It was none other than Sam Houston, U.S. Senator and hero of San lacinto, and he made the fate of the frightened youngster his business. Rather than allow the 13 year old to be separated from his mother, brother and two sisters, the two-term president of the Lone Star Republic of- fered top dollar for the entire family. McKell readily released Jeff but later reneged on the package deal and sold his rela- tives one by one. Life at Raven Hill, Houston's home outside Huntsville, was a far cry from the wretched existence the newest addition had known. "The General and the Missus saw to it that the cabins were kept neat and clean, and that we had plenty of bed covering...good shoes and other clothing. The Gen- eral did not permit his slaves to be whipped, and if we got sick we had the best care." Jeff was Houston's designat- ed driver during his guberna- torial campaigns of 1857 and 1859. The first was the only election the consummate poll- IIS WEEK IN tician ever lost and the second was his amazing comeback that gave Texas a pro-Union governor on the eve of seces- sion. In Austin Jeff held down three jobs: office boy, driver and personal servant. He had the run of the mansion and ran important errands for the busy chief executive. On a dark night a few weeks before the national elec- tion of 1860, Jeff spotted two members of the Knights of the Golden Circle peeking in the window of the governor's of- rice. One of the fanatics point- ed a pisstol at Houston but held his fire because an aide stood between the assassin and his target. The slave saved the master's life by sounding the alarm and causing the killers to scatter. Jeff sneaked into the bal- cony of the House chamber on Feb. 1, 1861 to hear the prophetic words of heartsick Houston to the convention dead-set on pulling Texas out of the Union. "If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder and steel, she will starve you to death." Jeff was present six weeks later for the private reading of a secret letter from the president-elect to the soon- to-be ex-governor. Lincoln promised Houston 50,000 troops to keep him in office and Texas in the Union. After polling four trusted friends, who voted three to one against the proposal, the old war horse remarked, "I have asked your advice and I will take it, but if I were ten years younger I wouldn't." Houston freed his slaves the day in late 1862 that he read a newspaper with the text of the Emancipation Proclamation. "I know I am your friend, and I know you are my friends," he said. "If you want to stay here and work for me, I will pay you good wages as long as I can." Jeff remained and rarely left Houston's side during his final illness the following July. "I slept on my pallet in his sick room but was up and down nearly all night giving him his medicine." He watched "the best friend I had ever had or would ever have on this earth" slip away and heard his last words -- "Margaret! Margaret! Texas! Texas!" Jeff stayed on until Hous- ton's widow died four and a half years later. He settled in Belton in 1889, and the Central Texas community was his home for the next half century. Jeff Hamilton kept in touch with the Houstons, who al- ways invited him to reunions and other family affairs. He made many public appear- ances, including the Texas Centennial, before passing away in 1941 two weeks shy of his 101st birthday. Great gift for someone whose local paper does not carry "This Week in Texas History." A one-year email subscription for only $20.00. Mail a check to "Bartee Halle"at P.O. 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See Solution, page 4C ACROSS 54 lion sounds t once a TX store: 55 UT has a __ team Jewel- 58 Houston company that 5 applaud committed accounting 6 TX-born actress fraud Sharon 59 personal affirmation 7 "hit me like ..... of a debt (abbr.) of bricks" 60 about 2,000 pounds 8 __ Ormy, TX 61 boxer Roy Harris got 9 TXism: "1 his nickname from his still for that" (against) home town: 16 OK town north of Cut ___.Shoot, TX Bowie on 81 18 Culberson Co. peak 21 Charley & Guy are -creators of the Texas Crossword 22 schoolyard challenge 23 .___ Colony, TX 24 TXism:" ....................... , small town gossip" 30 whisk or a fork, e.g. (2 wds.) I 34 __ Lago, TX 35 movie theater DOWN 36 wild goat 1 TX singer Roy 13 37 TX Vikki Carr album: Orbison had a four " ................. del Amor" ___ range 39 when a Dallas Star 2 in Lubbock Co. on 14 has to sit for five hwy. 84 minutes (2 wds.) 3 TXism: "jumpy as 15 43 seat of Medina Co. a 44 TXism:" as 4 filmed in TX: "The 17 a circling buzzard"__ Road" ('09) 45 boot width 9 Clint of "Trouble 19 46 this Warren was a with the Curve" with 20 star QB for the oldTexas State grad 24 Houston Oilers Chelcie Ross (init.) 47 TX Farrah was __10 TXn who sang 25 ................. in complexion "Pistol Packin' 49 " motion" Mama" 26 52 spoken, not written 11 A&M is in __ 27 53 Brussels iscapital Div. t SEC 28 of this Union (abbr.) 12 pastry "Texas v. Johnson" said flag burning was free -- TX Willie's "Farm Aid "was in Manor, TX init. for "The Deck of Cards" singer TXism: "tall ............ pack" (leader) " his time" TX Willie or Byron pro golfer & UH grad, Couples (init.) TXism: "1 to do it" (intend) " out of it" Tex-Mex music this moves the jaw of "Big Tex" (2 wds.) by Charley & Guy Orbison Copyright 2013 by O~ bison Sros, 19 20 P-1106 i61 29 seat of Kenedy Co. 31 this George found dinosaur tracks at Glen Rose 0nit.) 32 Et Paso's" Air High School" 33 room renters 38 snuff 40 of thunder 41 TX Ross Perot's 1st naval rank (abbr.) 42 " ................ - .............. school is not big in TX 48 annual Corpus event: "Boar's Head and Festival" 50 noted '52 western: "High 51 TX has extensive oil & law 56 this Hill accused TX Bush's Supreme Ct. nominee of sexual harassment 57 sing in a soft, low voice See Solution, page 4C