Kissin’ Kuzzins: Summa Cum Laude or Laudy How Come?

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

By Dickie Dixon

Belated Birthdays  May birthdays:  14th:  Elsie Simpson 15th:  Margaret (Snapp) Dixon, John Bradley Dixon

For Posterity’s Eyes May birthdays: 17th  David Treadaway  19th: Janet Worthen 21:  Jazmin Moore 22nd:  Billy Ray Allen 20th:  Sue Bezata, Kenzie Jetton, Patty Ericson 21st:  Ann Stewart 22nd:  Becky Jerke, Sherri Baker 24th: Rosemary Blackstock, Kati Kennedy, Amanda Kennedy 25th:  Ashley Holmberg, Terri Thomas Hutton 26th:  Ray Allen

Milestones:  Reverend Bettie (Engram) Kennedy was born May 19, 1931 and died July 25, 2015.  Bob James Treadwell was born May 23, 1913 and died June 2, 1982.  Maxie Lee (Shaw) McCarty was born May 24, 1903 and died November 18, 2003.

Summa Cum Laude or Laudy How Come?  Over the years the author I have kidded that, when I graduated from high school, I didn’t graduate summa cum laude (a collegiate term meaning “highest with praise”)—I graduated laudy how come.  Now, I said that in jest, but some folks I knew bought in to that, implying I was scholastically challenged.  Years later, after I had left Pilgrim’s Pride in Lufkin/Nacogdoches as the lead chaplain/counselor in charge of the EAP/chaplaincy program for Marketplace Ministries, I applied as the personnel manager there.  Much to my surprise, on the application, I needed to indicate what my academic ranking was in my high school class.  And, to my surprise, I finished 49 out of 286.  Man, if I had only “kicked it up a notch,” as Emeril Lagasse would say, there’s no telling how high I could have gone.  Five years after graduating, on entering seminary, I made the highest grade on the advance placement exam and was asked if I wanted to skip the first two years and start in the third year of New Testament Greek.  So, I didn’t graduate laudy how come after all.  What a great feeling.

Now, getting to the bottom line:  Grades matter and they don’t.  It is interesting that some who have been more financially successful were not exactly Rhodes scholars.  So, those of you who aren’t at the top of the heap, take heart when you have to answer:  Did you graduate summa cum laude or laudy how come?

Save the Date! (1) A panel discussion from among the 1963 Lufkin High School State Baseball Championship team possibly with others will discuss their 1963 season, when they speak to the Angelina County Genealogical Society at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 21, 2018 in the Community Meeting Room of Kurth Memorial Library on 702 South Raguet Street in Lufkin, Texas (75904).  Refreshments and desserts will begin at 3:30.  For more information, call Dickie Dixon at (936) 240-8378, or e-mail him at

(2) Bob Flournoy will discuss “The Sawmill Community of Manning,” when he speaks to the Angelina County Genealogical Society at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 21, 2018 in the Fellowship Hall of Keltys United Methodist Church on 1867 Old Mill Road in Keltys, Texas (now a part of Lufkin [75904]) For more information, please contact Rev. Cindy Doran at (936) 852-4123 or Dickie Dixon at (936) 240-8378, or email Cindy or Dickie at

(3) A request from the author:  On Saturday, April 21, 2018 I spoke on “Where the Houses Went” at the Camden Sawmill Reunion in Camden, Texas at Pine Grove Baptist Church. If you or your family rented one of the sawmill houses or know someone who did, or you or your family bought one of the sawmill houses or know someone who did, please contact me at (936) 240-8378 or  I understand some of the houses may have been torn down.

For book reviews/notices please send a complimentary copy to Kissin’ Kuzzins P. O. Box 151001 Lufkin TX 75915-1001

Send your queries to Kissin’ Kuzzins P. O. Box 15-1001 Lufkin TX 75901 by email to or by phone to (936) 240-8378