By Loretta Humble
I’m going to write this quick because I am busy, and I am tired. I am tired because I am working hard on something good I can’t tell you about yet. It is one of a number of wonderful things that are happening in this town right now. It is fun to think about them.
The latest of these is the sculpture garden JoAnn Surls and James Surls are creating to honor their husband and father, Joe Surls. You can read the details on the front page of this paper. Believe me, this is very big news. James is a Malakoff boy who went off and made it as big as you can make in the art world. JoAnn already had created a magic place where James grew up, and where JoAnn still lives. Gorgeous gardens, and multiple houses full of our local history. Combining their enormous creative ability, they are producing an amazing gift to us all. I’ll be talking about this lots more.
Then there is Faith in Action. Although largely supported by the First Baptist Church of Malakoff, it is a separate entity that encourages all people of good will to become a part of it. The food pantry is presently feeding 2000 folks per month, and sending 50 weekend bags of food home with children who depend on the schools for their only balanced meal. Becky’s Closet is providing good clothing to close to 40 people every week. They are going full steam ahead on a house for foster children, a battered women’s shelter, and counselling services.
Then there is the Flagg House/Historical Society. It is here basically through the efforts of two people, Ken Andrews and Pat Isaacson. Frustrated at last with attempts to house Malakoff’s history elsewhere, Ken just bought the Fowler House and named it the Historical Society. He could have just as easily named it Ken and Pat’s Project. Pat works as both museum curator and manager of the Malakoff Chamber of Commerce, which is now located there. When the Chamber of Commerce has funds, she receives a very small salary for that job. When it does not, she works anyhow. When the bills to keep the building operating come due, Ken pays some of them, they use what donations have come in to pay what they can, and then Ken and Pat split the rest. A lot of people, including myself, have given great stuff to go into the museum, and several, particularly Jerry Lindamood, have put in a lot of hours helping with repairs and exhibits, but so far we mostly have two people to thank for a very wonderful gift to our town.
Then there is the Bartlett House property, another piece of our history that was nearly lost. If you go by there and look, you may not think a whole lot has been done. That is, unless you remember how it looked a few years ago when it was totally grown up, with old cars and trailers rusting in the yard, and vandals continuing to work on destroying the building. An enormous amount of work has been done by a ridiculously small group of little old ladies and one or two old guys. They created the “Malakoff, Texas” book both to preserve our local history, and to raise funds to do clean up the grounds and build the fence around it. It would take a huge grant to restore the building, but they think that will happen in time. Right now their plan is to restore the grounds and gardens. They have come up with a huge plan to raise funds to do that—the Spring Fling. I will be talking about that soon. But let me just say here, it is going to be BIG.
Then there was the Christmas Parade. Remember how great that was? Remember how we all felt so good about it? We were one big family. I believe we are going to have a lot more times like that. Our annual Cornbread Festival is coming up, and along with it the Knife and Tomahawk Throw. It will be another great time for our whole community to come together and play. I truly believe we are on the eve of a Golden Age for Malakoff. I intend to do everything I can to help it happen. I hope you will too.