The Spirit of ‘76, as written by Karen Howard Muennink

To say “our” class was special could be an understatement! I doubt our parents were thinking about us graduating as our country celebrated its bicentennial.
All the festivities that surround graduation actually begin when school starts. First, our senior rings arrive and the tradition of getting your ring turned 76 times for good luck had many of us flooding the halls to complete this very important task.
Then, of course, class elections to determine who would provide the leadership we needed.
The year is seriously a blur considering all the achievements of this class. One special example was that our senior band members felt an extra bit of glory receiving the Sweepstakes Trophy because they were the first class to go through band all four years, making Sweepstakes each year! Reference 1976 Corral pg. 90
Fast forward to Spring as clubs and organizations chose beaus and sweethearts, and classes elected favorites.
The Junior Class chose “Spirit of America” as the theme for our prom, which was held in the multi-purpose area of the high school.
Our class was honored with several parties at the end of the year. The Methodist Mother’s hosted a breakfast. Next came the Hobo Party at the Baptist Church. Then came the Catholic Supper. Finally, the seniors went Around the World. While visiting Hawaii in Sheri Carter’s backyard, Jim Hundley and Clay Burleson decided to throw Kathy Anderson, Miss Texas, into the pool! Great memories!
One week and one day later, May 23, 1976, we attended Baccalaureate Services. The very next day, on Monday, May 24th, dressed in our caps and gowns, we marched into the gymnasium to take our assigned seats for Commencement. Guadalupe Rivas gave the invocation. Many of the seniors participated in the choir during Commencement. I was honored to give the Salutatory address. Jeanne Southern was named our class’ Valedictorian. Ken Rector, highest ranking boy, gave the benediction. After all had received his or her diploma, we flung our caps high and celebrated this milestone in our lives!
This is an excerpt from my Salutatory address.
“A whole new world lies in wait for this graduating class. May we possess always the integrity, the courage and the strength to be a beacon of hope to those who follow. This is my wish and my goal, my prayer in this year 1976—two hundred years after the birth of our Country!”
Karen Howard, DHS Salutatorian, 1976

Shop Devine First

Black Creek has been blessed with a lotta rain lately…as has Yancey and Moore and everywhere in between. Been in a contest with Billy Grote in Moore for braggin rights to the rain totals. In the last 35 days, we have gotten 10.4 inches of rain bringing our 2023 number up to 14.8. Took us all the way to October 17th last year to get to this number.
The last column was a little short so I’ll try to include it in this entry.
Regarding the National Budget and the Debt Ceiling, I think we need to sent a few Medina County elected officials to Washington and show them how to not only balance a budget but build reserves to a point where we never have to increase the Debt Ceiling ever again.
The US is in debt so far that our great grandchildren will be shouldered with an unfathomable debt that will never be reconciled.
Not gonna steal anybody’s thunder but, the City Council meeting on June 20th will be very interesting. Please plan to attend.
I see a lotta “Shop Devine First” signs out. Great idea. Just remember, there are other locations to shop besides Walmart. There is a pharmacy located in downtown where the other one used to be and that is where I get all my medicines. Very nice Pharmacist who is trying to make it in a small town…be nice to help him out if you can. You don’t have to wait for a checker to come back from break or check yourself out.
A 2023 Notices of Appraisal are out!! Even though my school and County taxes are frozen I gotta vent. My Structures and Improvement value increased $24,470 even though there were NO improvements to anything on our place. Our Market Value of Land increased $74,400 to total a $98,870 increase from last year. Even with the exemptions plugged in, the 2023 Taxable Value is still $23,000 more than 2022. I have already filed my Protest.
Phil McAnelly put out his Sunday School information a couple Saturdays ago that included a short story about his youth that included items like stock tanks, cypress cisterns, slingshots and homemade fishin poles. Brought back a lotta good memories. Bad memories would include warm cow patties, stickers, mad mama hens and cactus.

Crab King

We spent a few days at the beach last week, and it was the best. I love listening to those waves. While my favorite part was relaxing, Tucker’s favorite part was by far, spotlighting and chasing down sand crabs every night. He’s gotten to be a big brave boy, and surprised us all when he picked up a good size sand crab himself. Last year he liked chasing them, but ended up just dancing around when it came time to reach down and pick it up.
It was a lot of fun. Cousin Audrey went with us too, and enjoyed yelling “Crab alert! Crab alert!” every time she spotted one. But when they got too close, she bear hugged big cousin A’Dell’s leg and climbed halfway up it until the crab was captured. It was too cute.
At one point, we spotlighted two crabs standing just a foot apart. Grandpa asked, “Which one you gonna catch?” Tucker quickly replied, “Both!”
And as we started laughing, sure enough he busted a move and caught two crabs at once, one with each hand.
My sisters built the most immaculate sand castle of all, with a little wooden bridge, and on Thursday evening there was a beautiful sunset and a full moon reflecting on the ocean. It was one of the prettiest shows I’ve ever seen.
The beach is such a refreshing place. I often wonder how those waves rolling in and out can do such wonders for me. Turns out that somewhere between 50-70% of earth’s oxygen comes from the ocean, maybe that’s why it’s so dang refreshing to breathe that ocean breeze.
Just another great excuse to go get your crab on!

It’s Flag Day!

This past week was a fun week for the most part. Tuesday was my normal workday in our gift shop, but Wednesday morning, bright and early, I headed to Devine for my fun time with family and friends. I got to spend time with three of my little great-granddaughters, two great-grandsons, my son, my daughter and her husband, and my oldest grandson and his wife! It was a wonderful visit, and I even won at Bunco. I came home Friday afternoon, and Saturday, we were out at the park with our raffle, it was hot and dry, however, we had fans and plenty of water. None of my family got lucky, but my neighbor won the Grand Prize, so I at least get to visit it! The prize was this gorgeous outdoor living area, couch, chairs, indoor/outdoor rug for the floor, glass topped table, fire pit/bbq pit, and a few incidentals that were included! To say she was surprised when I talked to her would be to put it mildly. We are all excited for her, as she, like many others buy chances from us each time we have a raffle. As far as I know, the money we made will be used for a few more wheelchairs for the hospital! Also, I am sure that each and every one of us was glad that the rain held off until the middle of Saturday night. It was quite a storm, I get up, walk around the house and go back to bed! I can’t fix it, so no point in losing sleep.
Sunday morning, I was up early putting the finishing touches on the food that I prepared for our breakfast at church, we do this the first Sunday of each month, and this time I was one of the hostesses. We had a good crowd and most of us took home empty baking pans! That is what I love to do. After the breakfast, my friend and I went into town to the family center, and got busy making tea and coffee, and in general getting things set up for the lunch we were to have a little later. It was the 120th anniversary of Catholic Daughters of the Americas in our parish. It was a wonderful crowd, and a wonderful meal.
Wednesday, June 14, is Flag Day. Let’s all be sure to put out the flag on this day!
Have you ever wondered in what order the states came into the Union? Who actually designed the first flag? Why does it have 13 stripes? How many stars were on the first flag? Which were the original 13 states? When was Texas admitted as a state?
Legend has it that Betsy Ross, a widowed seamstress was the one who made the first flag from a sketch given her by George Washington. She is said to have changed the number of points on the stars from six to five and then made the first flag in 1776. However, history has proven that it is just that, a legend.
A second legend claims that John Hulbert designed it a full year before Betsy Ross is supposedly did. This flag had 13 stripes and 13 stars in honor of the 13 original colonies.
These colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. They all became states between December 7, 1787 and May 29, 1790.
The First Flag Law was passed by congress on June 14, 1777, giving this country an official national flag, consisting of 13 stripes alternating red and white, and a union of 13 white stars on a blue field.
Congress on May 1, 1795, adding two stripes and two stars in recognition of Virginia and Kentucky, passed the Second Flag Law. This 15-striped, 15-star flag is the second version of the national flag.
The Star-Spangled Banner was written as a poem in the Baltimore Patriot newspaper. Frances Scot Key composed the verses while viewing the battle of Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. It became our national anthem on March 3, 1931. (This flag is in the Smithsonian Museum. It is not being restored it is being preserved. The size of this flag, 30 X 42 ft, is astounding, considering the time and place that it flew.)
The Third Flag Act was passed on April 4, 1818, and created the third official version of the flag. Navy Captain Samuel Reid proposed that the flag contain 13 stripes to represent the 13 original colonies. At that time it was decided that a star, represent ting a state, would automatically be added to the flag on the Fourth of July after ea territory was admitted. The flag in 1818 consisted of 13 stripes and 20 stars.
On July 4, 1846, the 10th official design of the Stars and Stripes was created with the addition of Texas into the United States.
June 14, 1861, was the first recorded observance of Flag Day, which was the anniversary of the First Flag Law and took place in Hartford. Connecticut. Bernard Cigrand is generally given the credit for helping to promote Flag Day.
On July 4, 1877, the centennial of the First Flag Act, the 38th star was added honoring the admission of Colorado into the Union. This created the 20th official design of the Stars and Stripes.
The entry of New Mexico and Arizona into the Union on July 4, 1912, created the 25th official design of the flag with the addition of its 47th and 48th stars honoring these two states.
From 1912 until 1959, the flag had 48 stars and 13 stripes. In that year, Alaska became the 49th state and the 16th official design of the flag was created. The following year, on July 4, 1960, Hawaii was admitted to the Union and a 50-star flag became the 27th official design. At 12:01 a.m., a 50-star flag was raised over Ft. McHenry by presidential order in honor of the victory described in the national anthem.
Here is to the red of it-
There’s not a thread of it,
No, not a shred of it, all the
Spread of it, From foot to head, but
Heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it,
Precious blood shed for it,
Here’s to the white of it –
Thrilled by the sight of it,
Who knows the right of it,
But feels the might of it
Through day and night?
Womanhood’s care for it
Made manhood dare for it,
Purity’s prayer for it,
Here’s to the blue of it
Beauteous view of it,
Heavenly hue of it,
Star-spangled dew of it,
Constant and true;
Diadems gleam for it,
States stand supreme for it,
Liberty’s beam for it,
Here’s to the whole of it,
Stars, stripes and pole of it,
Body and Soul of it,
O, and the roll of it,
Sun shining through;
Hearts in accord for it,
Swear by the sword for it,
Thanking the Lord for it,
Red, White and Blue!
By John J. Daly

Sweat Equity

I recently wrote a Tale about going down to the Home Place and shooting a rifle given to me for Christmas when I was 11 years old. Part of that same day included some labor, sowing Bermuda Grass seed and fertilizer on recently cleared land as part of a project that included cleaning out an old tank that had become badly silted up.
The net result is a nice picnic spot with the planned placement of a new table or two between 2 big old Live Oak Trees sitting close to the freshly dug water hole. In my old Brain, I can see some fun times out there, enjoying the setting with the predominantly SE breeze blowing across the body of water that hopefully will be supplied soon by rainfall and drainage flow.
While that good creek bottom land is very fertile and no doubt will become green fast with native growth, I wanted to “help” Mother Nature along by spreading the grass seed and high Nitrogen fertilizer mix to ‘pretty it up” some.
It did not take too long during that effort to get well warmed up in the high humidity & 90 plus degree day. I mentioned how tiring the effort was to the Boss Lady upon returning home and she referenced that most anybody, but a Stubborn Old Fool would realize it was NOT smart to be doing that kind of work on such a warm day.
While I reckon that is likely pretty close to the Gospel Truth, I must admit it sure did feel good to think MAYBE, I was helping create a setting that will be enjoyed, Lord Willing, for a long time to come by our Friends and Family. With that mindset and a look toward the future, it was not much of a price to pay by investing some Sweat Equity in the endeavor. I think with just one more day of similar effort, the work will be done with an eye toward a multi-generational improvement being put into place.
And that strikes me as a Real Good Deal!

Elva P. Delgado

Elva P. Delgado, from Devine, Texas joined the Lord in her heavenly resting place on May 31, 2023. She was born on January 19, 1943 in Moore, Texas. She was born to Donato & Angelita Perez and was one of 10 children.
She married Joe Thomas in 1965. Together they had four children, Bessie Smith, Martha Thomas, Joe Allen Thomas & Daniel Thomas. Eight grandchildren Marcus Velasquez, Megan (Velasquez) Ferrell, Jamie (Smith) Dale, Sonny Hernandez, Ashley Smith, Damon Thomas, Cole Smith & Slade Thomas and seven Great Grandchildren.
She had a lifetime devotion to God, her faith, prayer and helping others. She was a prayer warrior and read her bible daily, always helping others. She loved sewing especially quilts, cooking & baking, so many people enjoyed her burgers, tamales & capirotada.
She worked at the nursing homes in Devine for many years as a nurse’s aide, caring for the elderly and sick. She loved traveling and visiting others. Her greatest treasure was her children, grandchildren & family.
She was survived by her children, Bessie Smith (David Densford), Martha Thomas (Carlos Galvez), Joe Allen & Daniel (Priscilla) Thomas, Brother Arturo (Nancy) Perez, Twin brother Eliseo (Mary) Perez, Monseis Perez Sr., Tomas (Rosa) Perez, sister Yolanda (Arturo) Sanchez & Don Pererz.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Donato & Angelita Perez, her first husband Joe Thomas and second husband Jose Delgado, brother Guadalupe Perez, sister Naomi Jass and brother Saul Perez.
A Viewing will be held at 7:00pm on Wednesday, June 7th at Primrose Funeral Services in Devine, TX. Funeral Services will be held Thursday, June 8th at 10:00am at the First Baptist Church in Devine, Texas with interment to follow in Longview Cemetery in Bigfoot, Texas. A reception will follow services at the First Baptist Church in Devine, Texas.
Services are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Services in Devine, Texas.

Raymond Edward Gallaway

May 19, 1939 – May 26, 2023

The soul of Raymond Edward Gallaway, of Lytle, Texas, was received into heaven on May 26, 2023. Although we will no longer hear his many stories and laughter or feel his genuinely warm greetings, the difference he made in the lives of others here on earth will continue. Raymond, also known as Ray (and affectionately as “Uncle Buddy”), was born to Homer and Mary Ellen Gallaway on May 19, 1939 in San Antonio, Texas. He was a proud graduate of Luther Burbank Vocational High School after attending St. John Berchmans Catholic School and Parish.
Ray’s devotion to Charlotte Ann DeCock began on September 17, 1960, when they wed at St. John Berchmans Catholic Church in San Antonio. Ray and Charlotte settled in Somerset, Texas in 1969 where he and his brother Patrick established Gallaway Brothers Feed, Seed & Hardware Store that was a landmark for 36 years. Ray retired from the store in 2005 and made many new friends in Lytle, Texas while continuing his lifelong passion of raising livestock. He was a founding shareholder of Somerset National Bank, served faithfully as the St. Mary’s Catholic Church council president and sang in the choir, was a Somerset City Council Alderman, was president of Somerset Little League, served two terms on the Texas Pork Producers Association, was vice president of the Somerset Lions Club and was president of the Somerset Young Farmers. He positively impacted and touched the lives of generations in the Somerset community and beyond.
Ray is survived by the love of his life and wife, of 62 years, Charlotte Gallaway, and their loving family of six children and their spouses: Joan and Marc McGaffigan, Ray Jr. and Lori Gallaway, Michael and Ann Gallaway, Claudette and Billy Jordan, Jessica and Chris Schimelpfening, and Karen and Scott Rankin. Ray is also survived by fourteen grandchildren (and spouses): Blaine (Kate) McGaffigan, Brett McGaffigan, Lauren (Patrick) Cooper, Ty Gallaway, Elizabeth Gallaway, Christi (Clynton) Knox, Kimberly (Tyler) Hardy, Blair, Jacob and Brooke Rankin, Skylar and Sadie Schimelpfening, and Hunter and Chase Rankin, along with three great-grandchildren, Fiona and Dylan McGaffigan and Layne Hardy.
Ray is, also, survived by his brother, Patrick Gallaway and his wife Janice; his sister, Janice Potter and her husband, Tom; his brother-in-law, Bobby Springer, plus many loving, nieces and nephews, who were his pride and joy, as were his many friends whom he considered his extended family.
Ray is preceded in death by his mother and father, sister Diane (Persyn) Springer, brother-in-law Rene DeCock Jr., and son-in-law, Lance Rankin.
We know Ray will be watching over us from heaven and we will remember him as we emulate his warmth toward others and his faithful love of God.
Friends and family will be received at a visitation at Primrose Funeral Services in Lytle, Texas on June 12, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with a Rosary to be recited from 7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Lytle on June 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. with burial to follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Somerset. A reception will follow at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Somerset.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Lytle, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Somerset, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children or your favorite charity.
If you wish to share a memory or express your condolences to the family, you may do so by visiting Arrangements are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Services in Lytle, Texas.

Stella Guevara Fernandez

Stella Guevara Fernandez, 91, of San Antonio, Texas, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Stella was born in Natalia, Texas, on September 23, 1931, to Francisco Guevara and Cipriana Rodriguez Guevara.
Stella attended Natalia High School and later married Felix Fernandez. They had seven children together. Stella moved to California where she raised her children. Stella worked for and retired from Memorex where she was a Quality Control Specialist. After retirement she returned to Texas where she made San Antonio her permanent home.
Stella is preceded in death by her parents Francisco and Cipriana Guevara, her infant son Felix Jr. and her brothers, Victor, Alex, and Frank Guevara. Stella is survived by her children Beth (Van) Chapa, Elsa (Rick) Valdez, Ronald Sr. (Cathy) Fernandez, Diana Miller (Vince Madden), Richard Fernandez, and Monica (Ron) Delgado. Her sister, Manuela Pena, 16 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great- grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Stella was a loving and compassionate person who touched many lives. In her youth, she enjoyed singing with her sister, Manuela for their father. She enjoyed sports and was a catcher for a Natalia baseball team. She was also a drum majorette in high school. Stella was a fantastic cook, the best tamale maker during the holidays and she enjoyed preparing meals for her family. She loved to bake and was famous for her delicious carrot cake. Stella loved stitching quilts for her children and grandchildren and was a great storyteller too. She had many happy memories of her childhood. She would share those stories with her children and grandchildren often. Stella was adored by all who knew her and will be missed. Above all Stella treasured her family, especially her grandchildren whom she loved watching and caring for. We take comfort in knowing that our mother, Stella went home to be with her Lord and Savior. Thank you to all for your support and prayers. Heaven gained a beautiful, sweet angel.
Visitation was held at Primrose Funeral Services in Devine, Texas on Monday, June 5th, 2023, from 5 P.M.- 9 P.M. with a Rosary that was recited at 7 P.M. Mass was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Devine, Texas, on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023, at 10 A.M. with interment to follow at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery.
Services are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Services in Devine, Texas.

Sarah Rodriguez

December 6, 1941 ~ May 26, 2023

Sarah Rodriguez went to be with her Lord and Savior, on May 26, 2023.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Elvira Flores; sisters, Consuelo Miranda, and Sylvia Isaac; and brother, Joe Flores.
She will be greatly missed by her husband, Johnny; sons, Dr. Ronald Rodriguez (Rose) of San Antonio, John Allen Rodriguez (Louisa) of Austin, and daughter, Cindy Hensel (Steve) of Augusta, Georgia; sisters, Amalia Espinoza, Oralia Flores of Sacramento, California, Sonia Hernandez, Rose Mary Hernandez, Gloria Garza; brother, Pastor Miguel Hernandez, along with her grandchildren; Victoria Rodriguez of Baltimore, Maryland, Lucas Rodriguez, Alana Rodriguez of Austin, Michael Hensel, Alyssa Hensel, and Matthew Hensel of Augusta, Georgia; and numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
Sarah devoted many years to intercessory prayer for family, friends and their families and even acquaintances of their friends. Often, she did this with prayer partners which grew to a ministry unto itself.
Sarah was best known for her fantastic cooking and baking skills, including making wedding and special occasion cakes for friends and family. She was very creative and loved to make jewelry, flower arrangements, and created beautiful gardens for her and her family to enjoy. One of her greatest joys in life was baking cookies with her grandchildren. She also dedicated many years to the Lytle and Atascosa County 4-H Clubs.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. with a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at Primrose Funeral Services of Lytle, Texas. Pastor Dan Ytuarte from Prevailing Word Church in Lytle and Pastor Terry Sisneros of Destiny Church in San Antonio will be officiating.
Interment to follow in Ruiz-Herrera Cemetery in Von Ormy, Texas.
If you wish to share a memory or express your condolences to the family, you may do so by visiting
Arrangements are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Services in Lytle.

Annie E. Van Winkle

Annie E. Van Winkle, affectionately known as “Chummy,” went home to be with her Lord on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at the venerable age of 90. She was born in Von Ormy, Texas to Kenneth and Mollie McMonagle on July 24, 1932. She married her high school sweetheart, Howard, on August 2, 1948. They celebrated 62 years of marriage together. Annie and Howard both worked at Kelly AFB until they retired in the late 1980’s. After retirement, they traveled to 48 of the 50 states and visited many cities. Annie called the San Antonio area home her entire life but eventually settled down in Lytle, Texas in 1992. While living in Lytle, Annie enjoyed playing golf and volunteering; at the Library, The Women’s Club thrift store, the Lytle Methodist Church and at the Hospice Thrift store in Devine. Her first love was the people in her life; extensive family, friends and the thousands of people she could strike up a random conversation with. Her second love was the Dallas Cowboys and she hoped she could watch them win another Super Bowl. Annie loved cooking for and spending time with her loved ones. She lived a life full of fun, laughter, music, family and friendships. Annie’s infectious laughter and generosity affected a tremendous number of people over her 90 years, and she will be missed by many.
Annie is preceded in death by her husband, Howard; her parents; brother, Mickey McMonagle; sister, Catherine Wenzel and grandson, Chris Becker. She is survived by her daughter, Linda (Jim) Becker, son Don Van Winkle; sister, Mary Lee Fey; grandchildren, Stacy (Jon) McAnarney, Erin (Rick) Clark, David (Dana) Van Winkle, William Parke (Paige) Van Winkle; great grandchildren Ashley, Austin, John, Madison, Logan, Ryan, Audie, Jackson and Wilder, as well as many other family members.
A Graveside Service was held Friday, June 2, 2023 at 2:00 pm at the Lytle Community Cemetery on the corner of N. Benton St and Laredo St. After the service, The Women In Faith of Lytle Methodist Church served refreshments for family and friends in the Lytle Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, where all were able to share their stories of remembrance.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to either the Lytle Methodist Church or your favorite charity.
If you wish to share a memory or express your condolences to the family, you may do so by visiting
Arrangements are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Services in Lytle, Texas.