Kissin’ Kuzzins: On A Lark in Arkansas

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, June 27, 2018

By Dickie Dixon

For Posterity’s Eyes June birthdays 28th: Kathleen (Modisette) Antley 29th: Dena Rainwater, Steve Collins, Tommy Minshew, Chen Curl, Arnold Montes 30th: Josh Foyil July birthdays: 2nd: Christine Allen 3rd: Klaus Gehr 4th: Sara Patten, Caroline Holmberg, Shannon Ramsey, Judy Thompson, Morgan Capetillo, Ada Fuentes, Tony Souther

Save the Date! (1)Deep East Texas Archeological Society meeting Vernon Parish Genealogical Society President Stanley Fletcher will discuss “Ferry Tells,” when he speaks to the Deep East Texas Archeological Society at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 2, 2018 at the Iris and Anne Howard Civic Center on 213 East Court in Newton, Texas (75966). Stanley will talk about all twenty-seven ferries on the Sabine River. DETAS member Martha Palmer will be asked to add her thoughts. For more information, please contact Pam Wright at (409) 379-2109, Klaus Gehr at (337) 320-3829, or Dickie Dixon at (936) 240-8378. The public is invited to attend.

(2)Jasper County Genealogy Conference The Jasper County Historical Commission is pleased to announce the inaugural Jasper County Genealogy Conference on July 19-20, 2018. From 1-4 p,m. the Conference will help those attending the Conference with their genealogy at the Jasper County Historical Commission Library in the old jail. The next day, on Friday, July 20th, area speakers will discuss various topics at hourly intervals. For more information, please contact the Jasper County Historical Commission or Dickie Dixon. The public can contact the Jasper County Historical Commission Library at (409) 384-6441 or Dickie Dixon at (936) 240-8378. The public can e-mail the Jasper County Historical Commission at or Dickie at

On A Lark in Arkansas In the summer of 1970 I got the offer to go on a lark with my very good friend Mike Carter to work for Brown & Root in Mountain Pine, Arkansas. We were to live in a cottage on the river dammed up to create Lake Hamilton not too far from Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Mike’s father, C. M. “Shorty” Carter, was the dirt superintendent for the job there; we were building a Weyerhauser plywood plant on a former Dierks Lumber Company sawmill site.

Mike and I had been friends ever since the third grade, when I was “exiled” from Kurth Elementary to Central Ward because Barbara Windham got a C in citizenship in the second grade in Minnie Jones’s class because she sat by me. Many days when we walked home from school, Mike and I stopped by York’s Bakery next to the Central Fire Station on Lufkin Avenue. Our Moms provided us with enough money to buy the other one a doughnut or pastry. Mike and I hung out at the North Timberland Dairy Queen owned by Floyd Maddux and managed by Ann Akin, Ronnie Rowell’s grandmother. Mike for a couple of years, I think, rode to high school with my Dad and I before we had cars. We double dated together, graduated together, and worked together at my father’s furniture store, Dixon Furniture. Mike was best man in my wedding and was probably the reason Waxahachie Bible Church call me as a pastoral candidate, where he and his wife Cheryl attended. In Arkansas, he and I shared a double bed, since the cottage cabin only had two bed rooms.

To get the opportunity to participate in this lark, my job assignment was to dig forms to pour concrete. In Arkansas, a worker used a pick axe to do such a thing. It was there that I witnessed a concrete truck having to dump its whole load because it got stuck. Needless to say, when the day was over, I felt how I had earned my money. Not too long after I started, I got the chance to work in the carpenter’s shack. There, I swept the floor, made the coffee, and put the blueprints between wooden sticks so the carpenters could use them more easily. When not working in the supervisor’s shack, I worked with an old carpenter named Grover in the job carpenter shop.

We did special jobs, but most of the time we cut 2 x 12s for the rafters and nailed clips on them to hang them.

I was not prepared for two things: the cool Arkansas weather and the number of workers from Lufkin. In late May and early June in Mountain Pine, the weather was in the fifties, so I had to write my mother and ask her to mail me a jacket. We brought a lot of Lufkin with us; about twelve or thirteen worked up there: Kelly Havard, G. E. Bell, M. L. Hosmer, the Robersons and others.

This lark didn’t pay quite as much as we had hoped. Minimum wage then was $1.65; we were hoping to make over $3 an hour, but because Bechtel oversaw the job for Weyerhauser they cut the pay scale back. Because of this, I only stayed about a month, because I had a ’69 442 to pay for. By the time I paid rent, I might as well just stay home. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay. Mrs. Carter kept the place immaculate, cooked well, and made it feel like home. They loved me, and I knew it.

That’s all the time we have for now, but I just need my readers to know about the summer of

1970, when I went on a lark in Arkansas.

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Send your queries to by mail to Kissin’ Kuzzins P. O. Box 15-1001 Lufkin TX 75915-1001 or by phone to (936) 240-8378