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South Texas Living

Sharing memories at reunion in Three Oaks Community

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Rainy Days and Starry Nights
December 5, 2012 | 2,230 views | Post a comment

As my brother Bob and I drove down the country road in the Three Oaks community west of Poth, Texas, I saw farmland with occasional oil wells pumping the black oil from the ground. Once in a while I would see one that was silent. But what we mostly saw was the land with no crops on it. This area of Wilson County used to be rich farmland that produced corn, maize, peanuts, and other legumes. Before that it was cotton, but then the boll weevil wiped out the farmers in the ’30s, and most of the farmers who lived in the Three Oaks, Dewees, and Kasper communities started to grow flax, peanuts, corn, and vegetables. Most of Wilson County’s men were farmers back then.

Then I saw the white frame building up ahead. The sign in the yard said “Three Oaks Community Center.” The parking lot adjacent to it was already full of cars and pickup trucks. It was only 11 a.m. The luncheon for the Three Oaks Reunion didn’t start until noon. But Leona Hosek Mocygemba had said when she called me on the phone to invite me that day, that everyone gets there early to visit and reminisce about the olden days. The Three Oaks Extension Club, which has a luncheon and games for senior citizens every month, holds this reunion once a year on the first Wednesday in November.

When we walked in, there were already about 40 people sitting at the long tables visiting and catching up on the news. Several friendly ladies greeted us at the door, and asked us to sign the guest list. I saw a few familiar faces, like Evelyn Koether Raabe and Rose Zahn Polasek. I did a story about Rose several years ago. Then Leona greeted me and introduced herself (she had only been a voice on the phone before that). She also introduced me to her cousin, Margaret Lamza Kubena. She has been writing and calling me for several years, telling me how she liked reading my books and my stories in Rainy Days and Starry Nights. Now I had a face to remember.

We sat down at one long table and began to visit with the people around us, and several ladies came over to introduce themselves to me. There were lots of Lamzas there. I met Mary Ann Lamza, Agnes Lamza, Elizabeth Lamza, Margaret Lamza, and several more. I was having a hard time keeping up with them, so I began to write their names in my little notebook! But I got mixed up who was kin to whom, and whom they married. It turned out several of them remembered my sisters and brothers, because they went to Poth High with them. It had been more than 50 years since they had seen them.

They asked for a show of hands of people who had gone to various country schools in the area. There were lots of people who had gone to Three Oaks, but there were also people from Johnson School, Dewees School, and Kasper School. If I have forgotten a school, forgive me. I should have taken notes!

Soon it was lunchtime. They had cooked a delicious meal for us, and served it, and I felt so honored and special. The food was delicious and the desserts were too. All homemade. I had a piece of carrot cake. Three Oaks women are wonderful cooks!

Then we played bingo. Usually I do not like to play bingo, because it is too boring for me. I would rather talk and visit. But that is just me. But I had such fun because I won a couple of times and so did Bob. It turned out I like bingo!

After that, it was time to go home, but people lingered to visit, and as we went out on the porch, a hand tapped me on the shoulder.

I turned to see a man who looked familiar say to me, “Lois, do you remember me?”

I said, “You look familiar. I think you must be a Raabe.”

And it was a Raabe, Howard Raabe, who had gone to school with us at Kasper School. He was there with his brother, David Raabe. I could have spotted them anywhere. They look just like their daddy, Otto Raabe. I think it had been maybe 60 years since I had seen Howard. But as we talked, I felt like were kids again, going to Kasper School. The Raabes walked to school and we walked to school with them several miles to and from school every day, and we (the Zook children) had to go just up the lane from our house. I am looking forward to next year’s Three Oaks Reunion.

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