Category: Small Town USA

We try to select the very best for you.  Time is spent searching and researching.  On this glorious time of year, we have chosen the Vocal Group, Pentatonix, to escort us into the Celebration!  We have also included an easy read Christmas Story for us to read on Christmas Morning.  REALLY Celebrate the Birth of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.

 The Birth of Jesus

Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2

An Angel Visits Mary

An Angel Visits Mary
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (TNIV)

One day about 2,000 years ago an angel named Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish woman named Mary. Gabriel told Mary she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the Son of God! Mary was confused and worried about this sudden news, but she had faith in God and said, “I am the Lord’s servant; let it be as you say.”

Journey to Bethlehem

Mary and her husband-to-be, Joseph, lived in a town called Nazareth. But they had to travel to the city of Bethlehem to register for a census ordered by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Both Nazareth and Bethlehem are in the country now called Israel. It is about 65 miles (105 km) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and the trip probably took them several days.

When Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem, there was no place for them to stay because the inn was already full. They ended up spending the night in a stable, a place where animals were kept. There was probably fresh hay on the floor that they used for beds.

That night, Jesus was born. There was no crib, so they laid baby Jesus in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. The manger probably had fresh hay in it and made a nice bed for the baby.

Shepherds Visit Jesus

Shepherds Visit Jesus
Jesus was born in a stable and laid to sleep in a manger. The shepherds came to see firsthand the things the angel had told them.

That night, some shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem, keeping watch over their flocks of sheep. An angel appeared to them and gave them the good news that a Savior, the Messiah, had been born. The angel told the shepherds they could find Jesus lying in a manger. Suddenly a whole group of angels appeared saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

The shepherds hurried into Bethlehem and found Jesus in the manger, just as the angel had told them. After they had seen Jesus, they spread the news, and everyone who heard was in awe.

Wise Men Visit Jesus

Wise Men Visit Jesus
Wise men from the East came to worship Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Some time later, wise men, or magi, from eastern countries saw a star in the sky that signaled the birth of a new king. They came to Judea, the region around Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to worship Jesus, the new king.

A man named Herod was the king of Judea. He called the wise men to a meeting and told them to find the new king so he could go and worship him, too.

The wise men continued on to Bethlehem and followed the star until it was directly above the house where Jesus was. They found Mary and Jesus in the house and knelt down to worship Him. They brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, some of the finest things in the ancient world. Frankincense was burned to make a sweet smell, and myrrh was an expensive perfume.

After visiting Jesus, the wise men had a dream that warned them not to go back to King Herod, so they took a different route home.

Journey to Egypt

King Herod lied when he told the wise men he wanted to worship Jesus. He was afraid this new “king” would replace him as king of Judea. He did not understand that Jesus would grow up to be king of God’s spiritual kingdom, not king of Judea.

What Herod really wanted was to find Jesus and kill Him! Herod was furious when he realized the wise men had not come back to tell him where to find Jesus. He sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill all the children under two years old, thinking Jesus would certainly be one of the ones killed.

But God had told Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt. Joseph took Mary and Jesus to live in Egypt where they would be safe from Herod. Joseph, Mary and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod had died, and then they returned to Nazareth.

baby-jesusMany of us leave the comfort of our homes very, very early in the morning to journey, yet again, toward our place of work.  Many of us drive down FM 565 N heading through the town of Mont Belvieu toward Highway 146 and points beyond.

During this time of year, when we are deluged by “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”; Elf on the Shelf; Olaf, etc; Mont Belvieu with dignity, grace, and the quietness of determination, erects in a prominent corner of the City Hall Complex, a lighted Nativity Scene that honors and draws attention to the real reason for this season.

Fittingly it is in front and stands vigil over the Vietnam Veterans Wall put up so many years ago.

The light of the Nativity Scene with Joseph, Mary, and the Blessed Baby Jesus brings a comfort to all that pass; it brings our hearts away from the commercialized Christmas we have today.   It tells our soul to the stop and think on what we are really supposed to be rejoicing about, right there in front of us: The Birth of the Most High King, sent by the One God, our Heavenly Father, to, decades later, literally die for our sins.

Now, Mont Belvieu does have a “nod” to sleigh and presents, but it is over to the side and not a place of prominence.

The people of Mont Belvieu should be proud of the town they live in and support.  You should thank your city officials for what people who don’t even live in this small town feel when that pass by the “lights.

May God Bless the City of Mont Belvieu and those that live there.  You are blessing a whole community of people you don’t even know.



Just Hold On

487432_16526334_1951_GMC_TruckBack in the 60’s, I was driving our old 1951 GMC pickup and my little eight-year-old brother, Alan, was in the passenger’s seat.  As I slowly rounded the corner on the old dirt rode, the driver’s door came open and I fell out. Alan heard the noise, looked over and realized no one was driving the truck. However, I had held on to the door. I was dragging along side the truck and finally was able to get my foot on the running board. I grabbed the side of the truck, and then got back into the driver’s seat. I put my hands on the steering wheel and got back on track!


1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on your guard at all times; holding firm to the faith; be courageous; be strong.”  Amazing the power of just holding on.


Danny R. Biddy, Pastor of the Church on Old River since 1977.    

Show Your Colors

americavetsThe Texas flag is composed of a blue stripe for loyalty, a white stripe for purity, a red stripe for bravery, and a lone star for unity.  It flies at the same height as the U.S. flag in Washington, D.C.  When Texas was engaged in the cause for her independence, Texans were encouraged to “show your colors” as a symbol of allegiance and determination.

For the believer, the Bible teaches us to always show our colors, allegiance to the cause of Jesus Christ.  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16) 

Danny R. Biddy, Pastor of the Church on Old River since 1977.    

Last nigburglaryht around 1:00 a.m. residents were woken by some breaking in to their shed.  Chambers County Sheriff’s Department was called and responded immediately.

Be diligent and watch over yourselves and your neighbors.  Be your own Neighborhood Watch.  If you see something suspicious report it to the Sheriff’s Department.

For non-emergency Phone: 409-267-2500 or call 911 in the Old River-Winfree area in case of an emergency.

Be diligent and take a few precautions that we all know, but need to be reminded of from time to time.


1. Lock your doors

Keep all doors and windows locked. It may sound obvious, but many burglaries are actually unforced – meaning thieves gain entry through back doors and open windows.

2. Invest in an alarm

House alarms are a great deterrent – but only if they are switched on! A false alarm is better than having treasured possessions stolen or being woken by someone in your home during the wee hours.

3. Scare thieves with a sensor light

Motion sensors put burglars off as crooks don’t want to be under the spotlight when up to no good. The higher up you place them, the wider the area they illuminate.

4. Hide any valuables

Don’t leave valuables such as laptops, iPads and games consoles out in full view. Thieves want easy and valuable targets they can grab and carry. Portable devices are just what they are looking for.

5. Keep keys out of sight

Keep your keys away from the front door. A small hand or a bent piece of wire through the letterbox and a skilled thief could snatch your house and car keys.

6. Unplug electricals

Electrical items such as hair straighteners, irons and clothes dryers are a fire risk if left switched on and unattended. Unplug electricals and check things are switched off before you head out.

7. Fake it

Give the illusion that someone is home by drawing curtains and using timer switches to bring lamps on at different times and maybe a radio to help foil anyone who may be nosing around.

8. Don’t make their lives easier

Ladders and tools can come in very handy and make the job of breaking in a lot easier for a visiting burglar. Make sure you store them out of sight.

9. Lock up any garden furniture

Garden furniture, outdoor toys, bikes and expensive potted plants are all very tempting. Ensure sheds, gates and garages have secure locks and fix gaps in fences to prevent opportunistic crooks from getting access.

10. Look out for each other

Let neighbours know when you go away, so they can keep an eye on things. But, resist bragging about travels on social media – you never know who is just waiting for an opportune moment.


imagesWe are excited to see the flags go up at the City Office in Old River-Wifree.  We missed them on Flag Day, so this is a happy time to see them up.

We are also seeing land owners and home owners along FM 1409 just North of FM 565 show their patriotism.  I’m sure more are to come!

Show your patriotism, fly your American Flag!






Cove Event Flyer-page0001

031414 004Kiel Williams, 2014 Old River-Winfree Founders Day President, presents Alex Karedia, Manager of Sam’s Express in Old River-Winfree with the ORWFD 2014 Business of the Year Award!

Sam’s Express is always on hand to help the community as much as possible.  One way they do this is by backing Old River-Winfree Founders Day and sponsoring the “My Best Friend” Dog Contest for two years in a row.

Kiel Williams is no stranger to the people of Old River-Winfree.  He has resided most of his life in Old River-Winfree and is known by most of residents.  Kiel also serves as a Volunteer Fireman at the Old River-Winfree Volunteer Fire Department.  He understands our community and knows what matters to us.  

Past winners of the Awards are Simple Simon’s with the “Helping Hands” 2012 Award for their help in the needs of our fellow residents; and R&L Auto 2013 Business of the Year Award winner with the Old River-Winfree Founders Day Classic Car and Truck Car Show.

We love our town and the businesses that choose to take a chance on us!

Let’s support each and every one of them!

362ca5512b903823409eb3bd41eb9946Bake sale Saturday, March 22 At Thriftee Food on Eagle Drive in Mont Belvieu

10:00 am to 3 PM

For Melissa Wilson Hill

Daughter of Dwight and Sandra Wilson

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne is Coming to Support the Family

Melissa is battling Sarcoma cancer.   She has a five month old daughter and ten-year old son.

Sandra Wilson, Melissa’s mother says, “The cancer laid dormant in her legs for two years.   When Avery (her five month old)  was born, the straining of child-birth brought it to the surface of her inner right leg.    Melissa has just finished her fourth of five chemo treatments and then radiation will begin.”

A sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops from certain tissues, like bone or muscle. The main types of sarcoma are: osteosarcoma, which develops from bone, and soft tissue sarcomas. Soft tissue sarcomas can develop from soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, blood vessels, or deep skin tissues.

As we all know, medical insurance coverage has lifetime limits.  Insurance carriers usually cover $500,000, $1,000,000, and $2,000,000 per lifetime.  It is not forever and does run out.   Cancer is expensive to fight.  Help Melissa fight her battle with all the Medical World has to offer.  Prayers are asked for.

Donation jars at Dwight’s Discount Liquor, Red’s Kitchen, and Simple Simon’s Pizza in Old River-Winfree.  Leonard’s Convenience Store at the Chambers/Liberty County Line on FM 1409 also has a jar.


Santa is making a stop in Old River-Winfree on Saturday, December 14th at the Community Building (flyer below).

Kids get to give their Christmas Lists to Santa, get their picture taken with him, and receive a gift right there!

There will be pizza, cookies, and a drink, along with Mark’s Mobile Music providing the Christmas music we all love.

Miss Old River Country Natural Beauty Pageant Winners will also be there to meet and greet everyone.

It’s all free and Sponsored by the City of Old River-Winfree!

christmas 2013

We welcome you to Old RIver-Winfree Founders Day 2013 with a look at the last 4 years.  We hope you enjoy a look back and come to the 2013 ORWFD.

Absolutely FREE Carnival Rides and games!  Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall; Portrait of a Warrior, Ken Pridgeon;  Jean Epperson, Published Author of Bay Area History; Boyce Morris, Jr. Historical Old River-Winfree Artifacts; Vendors Galore, Miss Old River Country Pageant; “My Best Friend” Dog Contest; Pie, Cake, Cupcake Bakeoff and auction; Vintage Car and Truck Contest at R&L Auto Supply, and lots of fun!

Enjoy the video!

While you are at ORWFD, be sure and visit the Hospitality Room in the ORW Community Building. Chairman Tracie Comeaux will be on hand with fresh coffee, while you stroll around the exhibits of Boyce Morris, Jr. ORWFD Historian! Below is a sampling of the Historical Artifacts of our area Boyce has, through his on blood, sweat, and tears, brought up from the ground surrounding the Old River. You will want to see this! Thanks Boyce for all you do!

You will be amazed at what Boyce has discovered about our history in Old River-Winfree and the Beauty of the river that runs through us, Old River.

We are unique in our name, our heritage, and our bond to each other.  Old River and Winfree, Texas come see your history!


dogshowlogoOn a Friday Evening, October 12, 2012, community dog lovers gathered for the “My Best Friend” Dog Contest.  This year, the Dog Contest will be on Saturday and is sure to be a good time for both dog and “friend”!

They entered into the following Categories:

Category (check one or more) $5.00 ea category

   _________ Best Trick (Talent)

   _________ Best Dressed

   _________ Best Tail Wagging (Personality)

   _________ “Caught in the Act” Photo Contest  (simple

                       camera pictures are fine)

Each dog is divided into Small, Medium, and Large Breeds, so everyone stands to win!

We had some really interesting entries last year.  A couple of the dogs were rescued dogs and one, the Black Lab, understood commands in German!

Why this fun, cheap to enter, dog contest……Read below:

They are the ones that greet us at the door;  the ones that are in the back yard yapping up a storm, jumping for joy, and dancing around just because we are home, finally.

They guard our children, our homes, our lives; and let us know when danger is around real or perceived by them.

They help us to remember our childhood; those days of carefree abandon.  Before we knew the world was not always nice.

We are so busy and caught up in our lives; but look down into their eyes and see such love, unconditional love, loyalty, and devotion even though sometimes we forget to let them out and shame them because they potty on the floor.  Sometimes their food bowl goes empty a little too long and we wonder why they are gnawing on the furniture.  We forget to fill their water bowl and wonder why they drink out of the toilet.

Sometimes forgotten in the back yard, they stand vigil for us, their family.

Enjoy the video of some of our entrants and winners!  It was so much fun for everyone!

Go to the Events Page on Old River-Winfree Founders Day Website, scroll down to the Dog Contest, click on the Form page, save and print.

The Cake, Pie, and Cupcake Bakeoff is another one of Old River-Winfree Founders Days good-time events.

This is the breakdown of the Awards:

$100 Cash Prize and Cup Trophy for Grand Overall Champion of Bake-Off

$100 Cash Prize and Trophy: Mrs. Ethel P. Ramsey Teen Excellence in Baking Award 

$25 Prize for Best in Cupcakes

$50 Prize for Best in Cakes

$50 Prize for Best in Pies

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Prizes in each Category (Cupcakes, Cakes, Pies)

We were really surprised last year when not one teenager entered the Teen Excellence in Baking Award!  Does that mean that moms and dads aren’t teaching their daughters or sons to bake from scratch.

Does this mean that television and media tells us we have to open a box or microwave a container to get a decent dessert…..We don’t know.

We hope that is not the case this year!  We hope teens bake a Pie or Cake from scratch and enter it in the contest.

It’s a win/win contest.  If your teen wins, he/she gets a $100 check AND a huge trophy.  Now what could please a teen more.

Whether the teen wins or doesn’t, all Cakes, Pies, and Cupcakes are Auctioned off to the highest bidder to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and the Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Memorial Scholarship Fun.

See what we mean about a win/win…

Enter your Cake, Pies, and Cupcakes today by printing out the form below and dropping it off at the Old River-Winfree City Hall or mailing it with your check to:

Old River-Winfree Founders Day
City of Old River-Winfree
4818 FM 565 N.
Old River-Winfree  77523

OR you can drop by City Hall and Linda will give you an application to fill out.

Entry fees are just:

$5.00 for Cupcakes; $7.50 for Pies and Cakes; $2.50 for each additional entry any category!!

What are you waiting for…let’s get baking from scratch for the Wounded Warrior Project.

2013 Cake, Pie, Cupcake Contest

Yes, it’s time again for all our little girls and young ladies to shine.  Great -Grandparents, Grandparents, and mom and dads will be busting with pride as their little babies join us in our unique Pageant where Natural Beauty that only comes from sweetness within WINS over outward beauty!

This Pageant strives to instill in our girls that each is unique and wonderful, just as they are!

It’s a fun, fun, fun contest, so get those entries in or come out and support Old River Country (now known as West Chambers County) girls.  Other counties are allowed to enter.  We understand that they got here just as soon as they  could!

Enjoy the Video!


T-Shirt picture Courtesy of Fred Westin and the Traverso Family.

All American T-Shirts in Old River-Winfree Official T-Shirt Vendor for 5 years running!

(Click on Picture to Enlarge)

2013 ORWFD T-Shirt is a Historic T-shirt.  These T-Shirts will be on sell at Founders Day on October 12, 2013 for $5.00.  They will also be on sell at the City Office Prior to Founders Day.

From Boyce Morris, Jr. Historian of Old River-Winfree Founders Day and Curator of the Future Old River Country Museum

I had the opportunity to sit down, and talk to one of early residents of Winfree, Texas. Mr. Louis B. Traverso.

He is 90 yrs. Old at looks great. Mr. Fred Weston, and wife Kathy Weston accompanied him for the visit. It was such a pleasure to sit down, and talk to them.

They told me about their family that came to this country from Genoa, Italy, and the old home place on Old River.

I was given a picture of the store that once stood on the south side of Old River. Records I’ve read from Mr. Harry Daves collection states that this location use to be named Straddle. There was a post office, store, school (Winfree School), and a house in that location. It’s believed that the post office was located in the Traverso Store. There was also a ferry crossing on Old River near the site of the Traverso Store.

In the picture of the store was Louis B. Traverso’s father Louis John Batiste who was born January 2, 1882. He passed away November 30th, 1960. His wife was Annetta V. Legatos born Sept. 19th, 1887. She passed away April 6th 1934.

The old store is no longer there. It was moved up to the road, which is now Hwy 565. He said that all of the original store was not moved to this location. Only a part of the store was moved. It was moved using logs to roll it on.

There was a camp house built on the site where the store stood. I don’t think it is standing anymore. Mr. Traverso lived there, and went to school at the Winfree school that was located there on Old River. The lumber used in the building of the home that the Weston’s live in now was cut, and made from a saw mill that Mr. Harry Daves once told me about that was located on the North side of Old River.

Mr. Traverso told me that the load of lumber brought over to use only cost thirty five dollars at that time. The home that the Weston’s live in now was moved from the river location to it’s present site using logs to transport it on.

The home is located just west “Priced to Sell” Resale shop now. It was called Old River Grocery back in the 70’s when I moved to this area. I believe the name of the store has been changed several times. He went on to tell me about his Grandpa that owned three coastal boats.

One of the boats was given to Peter Stephen who was born at the George Ball home on Old River. The boat was built at Lake Pochatrain, and named THE GARFIELD. Later it was renamed THE ANNETTA after Mr. Louis B. Traverso’s mother. I was given a picture of the boat, and a page of genealogy records. I have been invited to accompany Mr. Weston, and Mr. Traverso on a tour of the site where the store, and other buildings were once located.

I was also given permission to use my metal detector on that site to try, and locate relics, and artifacts from the past years to add to my collection, and display at the founders day each year until we can get a building for a museum built. Then all the relics, and artifacts I have found on the sites that I have hunted on Old River will be displayed in the museum.

I do not intend to let any of the historical artifacts that I have recovered leave this area. I want them to remain in the Old River-Winfree area for everyone to see, and enjoy as I have.

I’ve seen so many elderly, and younger alike come to view my displays, and tell their stories. It brings back so many memories to them.

It was an honor to talk to Mr. Weston, his wife Kathy, and Mr. Traverso. We laughed, talked, and had a great visit. I hope to be able sit and enjoy their company again in the near future. I would like to hear more of their stories, and the memories of their life on Old River.

10-13-12 054The businesses in our area are always there for us when we need them.  Supporting a small community like Old River-Winfree in their celebration of history and pride is what these businesses do.

They are your friends and neighbors and deserve so much recognition, because they never let us down.

The following businesses were announced as Contest Sponsors at the May 13, 2013 Old River-Winfree City Council meeting for the 2013 Old River-Winfree Founders Day, a City Sponsored Event.

  • Barbers Hill Bank – 3K/5K Run/ Walk Benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project in Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs
  • Sam’s Express – “My Best Friend” Dog Contest Sponsor
  • Carnes Engineering – Pie, Cupcake, Cake Bake-off and Auction
  • Dane Listi, Attorney at Law – Old River Country Natural Beauty Contest
  • R&L Auto Supply – Classic Car and Truck Contest

10-13-12 004We also are sponsored by the City of Old River-Winfree as a City Event, as mentioned above;  Advertising Expense is sponsored by Chambers County Commissioner’s Court.

Visit their website at and their Facebook Page at

To volunteer, email


John Farley, Manager of R&L Auto Supply in Old River-Winfree received the ORWFD 2013 "Business of the Year" Award from Colleen Fontenot, ORWFD President and Old River-Winfree City Council member

John Farley, Manager of R&L Auto Supply in Old River-Winfree, receives the ORWFD 2013 “Business of the Year” Award from Colleen Fontenot, ORWFD President and Old River-Winfree City Council member

R & L Auto Supply established in 1984 is located on FM 1409 in Old River-Winfree.  In a long held tradition, R & L has supported it’s community by providing dependable, quality auto parts and hardware for your home, inside and out.  They have this and much more.  See their link below from the Old River-Winfree Community News page.

They have also backed Old River-Winfree Founders Day since it’s inception in 2008 with the ORWFD Classic Car and Truck Contest.  2012 was a record breaking year for entries and they look forward to the 2013 Event the second weekend in October.  R & L sponsors the entire event with unique trophies, food, and even a band!

So thanks R&L for backing Old River-Winfree and Old River-Winfree Founders Day.

For more information what R & L Auto Supply carries click on this link  R & L Auto Supply.

Like them on Facebook at


imagesBeen thinking about opening a business or bringing your business from the house or backyard to the public.

Space is for lease in the Heart of  Old River-Winfree, just north of the historic Old River bridge.

Space leases for $800/month and the terms of lease are negotiable.

No Food Businesses, please.

See the friendly staff at Sam’s Express #1 on Hwy 146 or Sam’s Express #2 on FM 1409 in Old River-Winfree.

Sam’s Express #1 281-383-7084

Sam’s Express #2  281-385-0000



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