Hood County News – November 20, 2001

by Christopher C. Evans


Two old schools, not one, will be on display during the Cresson School’s part in the 2001 Granbury Merchants Candlelight Tour Saturday and Sunday Dec. 1-2. One will be the historic Cresson School itself, again this year one of just a few significant public Hood County structures to be included on the tour.

The other will be — Voila! — Hood County resident Nevin Foster’s scale model of a one-room Hood County school created from 1885 specifications!

In what has to amount as a huge coup the Cresson Community Organization, with assists from the Hood County Historical Society and Foster himself, has acquired the scale model school on indefinite loan.

CCO Prexy Helen Long said she hopes to use the model as part of the school’s living classroom exhibit during the tour, which runs 2-10 p.m. Saturday and 2-8 p.m. Sunday. That exhibit, in which guest “pupils” may sit in desks in a classroom right out of the 1930s, last year featured Lynda Wallace as the ruler-wielding schoolmarm and Dillard Crook as expository narrator regarding what it was like to be a student at the Cresson School.

Completed in August 2000, the remarkable Foster model includes tiny red Big Chief tablets on some pupils’ desks, a Bible atop the teacher’s and real “T.P” in a minuscule one-hole outhouse. The model until recently was on display at the Hood County Museum. After a perfunctory peek at Foster’s painstakingly accurate model Thursday night, it would seem that it perfectly complements the Cresson School, as an example of what an earlier version of the 1931-era Cresson School might have been, indeed, was in some part of Hood County.

And all of the above are but part of why you and yours should plan to drop by the school during the C’Light Tour. This year’s motif is “A Bunkhouse Christmas” and included will be a display of artifacts from the career of legendary Canadian-born, Cresson-based bull-rider and horseman Hughie Long.

What’s more, if CCO Vice President Chris Cornwall has his way, the Cresson School will be outlined in lights in time for the 2001 Granbury Merchants Candlelight Tour Dec. 1-2. Which is good, because in years past the feeling has been that people haven’t visited the school during the tour because they don’t see it from Highway 377.

Cornwall, who showed up at Thursday’s bi-monthly CCO meeting with three unopened boxes containing strings of lights, thought of the idea after seeing a mission in Goliad outlined in lights in a travel magazine. He also volunteered to buy the lights. Anyone willing to help string them should show up at the school about 1 p.m. Sunday Nov. 25.

Here’s betting the old mission-style school looks awful cool once those lights are up.

For several years now the merchants have included our school in their annual Candlelight Tour, for which we are grateful. At the same time, it is no secret among those involved that last year’s effort — as in lots of work — yielded but 18 visitors in 14 hours.

May the throngs increase this year. And, oh, yeah, one more reason you should come to the Cresson School during the C’Light Tour: You may get cookies and cider or somesuch if you go to the other great stops on the Candlelight Tour.

If you come to the Cresson School, you might get some real cowpoke grub!

SIDETRACKS: Flu shots will be available from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday Nov. 21 at the Cresson School. The cost last year was $10 a shot for those not covered by government medical programs, etc. Sure hope it hasn’t gone up… CCO President Helen Long said a vote to determine a mayor and alderman for the City of Cresson may not be possible until an early March Hood County-wide election date. “To tell the truth, that’s not much time for the candidates to file for office, get their campaign together and get going, anyway,” said Long, who guesses that County Judge Linda Steen might well opt for including the Cresson vote on the March ballot…One name inadvertently left off last week’s short list of folk darn near sure expected to file for the mayor-aldermen race — top vote-getter is mayor, the five next in line are aldermen — is that of Bob Cornett, who has been active throughout all the incorporation discussions…Scenic Ridge resident Cornwall, who has been a big contributor to Cresson civic affairs for several years, said he is undecided about running for city office due to increasing demands on his time from his log home business and family obligations. The feeling here is that Cornwall, whose business acumen and willingness to dive in and help no matter the cause are already appreciated, should file to run even if he’s not got the time to campaign. Let ye olde voters decide, as they say One bystander has suggested that if the Cresson Fire Department put up its own slate of officers and supported that slate fully, the department might just be running the city a year from now…After raising $3879.85 at the 2001 Fall Festival, the CCO, which oversees improvements to and operation of the school, has $7,452.82 in ye olde coffers, enough to start tearing out the auditorium ceiling by mid-December with help form the Hood County Adult Probation Department, but probably not enough to cover purchase and installation of needed tile, light fixtures, fans and labor. “We may have to wait until next year to finish it up,” lamented Long, who did get an loan offer from Dillard Crook of a three-tiered scaffold that will make the ceiling work much easier and safer.