Kissin' Kuzins

By Dickie Dixon

For Posterity’s Eyes September birthdays: 14th: Scotty West, Bobby Gene Tucker 15th: Morris Weeks, Ruth (Knotts) Dusan, Gary Selman 16th: Kay Cartwright, Billie Barkley 17th: Mary Jane (Medford) West, Melissa Cheney, Lucas Coke, Belton Wayne Havard 18th: Ashton Fleetwood 19th: Kati Fagan, Mike Hermes, Laura (Hopson) Dickerson 20th: Bridgette Williams 21st: Toni (Martin) Warner 23rd: Marsha Osborn 24th: Trey Minor 25th: Codie Lee Hendrix

Once again: Thank you Mrs. Frederick! When I landed in to the eight grade at Lufkin Junior High West under the principalship of B. B. Kilgore, I had the privilege of having Josephine Frederick for my English teacher. Now then, I wouldn’t have said this, but Mrs. Frederick ran a tight ship: she would beat you until you listened. Seriously, she really did teach you what she was hired to teach you.

She had her work cut out for her. On the same row, on the far west of the room, sat Page Perry, Danny Bob McGaughey, and me. Many days she took one of the three of us out to the hall and rearranged our derrieres so we would think about listening. Oddly enough, she had a way about her that you received the discipline from her positively. It reminds me of the definition of a diplomat I’ve heard: A diplomat is a man who can tell you to go to hell and make you look forward to the trip.

We spent what seemed like an interminable amount of time diagramming English sentences. I had a knack for that, and, because I could do it well, I took great pride in demonstrating to her that I could solve the puzzle (or puzzles, i.e, the sentences she gave me to diagram). I suspect that, in spite of the frequent rearrangements of my derriere which she administered in the hallway, I made an A in her class for the whole year. I never had any idea how I would use it or if I would use it, but I did it any way.

I had two chances to use my knowledge of diagramming. The first one was in a Transformational Grammar class I took as an elective for my major in English at SFASU under the professorship of Sid Bellamy. The approach was an alternative to the type of English sentence diagramming I learned under Josephine Frederick. Simply put, we treated a sentence as a math equation, something like S (Sentence)= NP (Noun Phrase) + VP (Verb Phrase), the equation for a simple sentence. Other more complex sentences would have different equations.

The second time I put it to good use was in my New Testament Greek exegesis classes, where we were diagramming Greek sentences not English sentences. Again, because of Mrs. Frederick’s previous instruction, I aced the requirement. There was no additional learning curve for me.

And as that happened, I thought: “Once again: Thank you Mrs. Frederick!”

Save the Date! Angelina County History Harvest Don’t let our history fade away. You can preserve Angelina County and East Texas history! Let us digitize your old photographs, documents, letters, diaries, and videos. Bring your local history discoveries to the Museum of East Texas on 503 N. Second St. in Lufkin, Texas on Saturday, September 16th, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. For more information please contact (936) 639-4434

Save the Date! Carolyn Spears, Curator of the Old Stone Fort Museum, will discuss “The History of the Old Stone Fort and the Old Stone Fort Museum” on Monday, September 18, 2017 at 4:00 P.M. to the Angelina County Genealogical Society in the Community Meeting Room of Kurth Memorial Library on 702 S. Raguet St. in Lufkin, Texas. For more information, call Vivian Cates at (936) 858-3801 or Dickie Dixon at (936) 240-8378. The public can e-mail Vivian or Dickie at