Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

July 19, 2013

Gems of our fair city

By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun

— You guys may have noticed we have a new sports editor. Mike Phillips grew up in Chicago, and has worked at some big newspapers in Miami and Georgia.

It’s fun seeing our town and the quirky people in it, as well as the things here we may be guilty of taking for granted, through Mike’s eyes.

One thing he expressed great interest in was the Warehouse Living Arts Theatre. I mentioned I was going to see “Moon Over Buffalo” the other evening, and he wanted to know all about it. Which got me to thinking, just how lucky are we to have that theatre and gallery downtown? How blessed we are to have Sandra Mahood and all those volunteers who are willing to learn all those lines, and commit to giving up most of their evenings to this pursuit? How fortunate must we be to have so much acting and singing and behind the scenes talent in this one little town?

For instance, the lead role in “Moon Over Buffalo” is the dastardly, narcissistic George Hay. He is played with great glee by my favorite large personality, Gary Douglas. I can just picture Gary’s eye and eyebrow movements as he read that script, rubbing his hands together, wheels turning about all the things he could do with that part.

Now Gary has about 57 kids (okay, five) and a wife and a full-time job. In fact, his barber shop was burglarized twice during the rehearsal period for the play. He and Lori have also purchased a new home, which they are renovating, and I believe the morning after opening night they were giving a huge garage sale.

Now how’s that for dedication?

It just doesn’t get more hectic than that, I hope. Poor Gary, but to his credit, that crazy George Hay will literally make you LOL. (Threw that in just for you, big guy. LOL).

If you don’t have tickets already, run, don’t walk, down to the Warehouse and purchase some now. We are indeed a blessed population to have this kind of local theatre.

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So, in perusing Facebook this morning I was horrified to see that the old fire station over by Drane Intermediate School is in danger of being torn down. Stephen Farris had old photos he had gathered as assistant chairman of the Navarro County Historical Commission in trying to raise awareness of this historic structure. Farris said if they could get a committee or group organized in trying to save it, perhaps one day it could be a museum of fire fighting history, since it is the only remaining fire station from that time period, built in 1902.

I love that idea.

My first acquaintance (and I guess my only) was as a child, when it was a place called The Sketch Box. Seems like it housed an art gallery, maybe a lady framing pictures, and someone taught art lessons.

Isn’t it odd how I can remember that I took art lessons there (in the upstairs part, to be exact) but that I can’t remember the teacher? What kind of kid in fifth grade or whatever remembers a building over a person?

No matter, I just was not aware of all that history on this building that Stephen has unearthed. If you get a chance, go to his Facebook page and peruse the old photographs and even one old magazine article from 1916 about a state award that was received for the garden next to the old firehouse.

C’mon folks. Let’s see if we can’t rally some troops and save this old gem.

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I don’t know what you’re doing this weekend, but we are celebrating my grandson Zayne’s third birthday! Folks are right, it’s a special kind of love you feel for your grandkids. I love this boy to no end. I’m excited about gathering with the rest of the family to celebrate his presence on this earth.

Happy Third Birthday, Zayne!!!

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Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at dkirk@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com