HOWDY! “Welcome Home!”

Sam and Mattie Austin 119 South Church Mount Pleasant, Texas

This is the last picture I have of my folks, taken while we were on tour break. We had spent a few days painting 119 South Church and had just finished Sunday lunch. This was in the final stages of alzheimer’s disease for my Dad. It was the last time he and I really had a conversation. (Note the cap on the shelf at the left of the photo. It was there for him to wear as he ‘inspected’ our work. The house was my final home base before I left for college and it was the ‘headquarter’s’ for the annual Tabb Reunion where my son and I spent hours cranking Mattie Tabb’s home-made Peach Ice Cream. My parents were solid in belief and open to anyone who graced our door. 119 South Church is a monument to Sam Austin and his integrity. It was completed my senior year by good friends who made up my Dad’s crew on every fine home he built. (Some bear “Texas Historical” markers. Those men worked all day and would come over around 6:30PM to spend three or four hours “helping Sam and Mattie and Jimmy build their home”. It took nearly a year of ‘volunteer’ work and was truly a labor of love. I learned the importance of that and always felt that the opportunities God gave me had that same ingredient of respect and integrity. This house was sold to a lady who had been our maid for years. She and her husband never missed a payment and provided a home for a bunch of her off-springs. It doesn’t look the same today, but it’s still standing and still providing shelter in the storm of life. I will always think of 119 South Church as “Down Home”. A house where Love Lived, donchaknow. Really

And that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

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