Friday, December 23, 2011


Merry Christmas, everyone. We said it that way because that is the way it is. Well, one thing is special about today. It is a Christmas Sunday.

Christmas continues to arrive each year, always bringing much discussion. Following are a few questions for your consideration. You would do well to read Matthew 2:1-12 and Luke 2:1-20. We are using the New International Version (NIV) translation. Feel free to use the translation of your choice. The facts remain the same regardless.

Do you know how Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem?

Many conjecture various modes i.e. donkey, oxcart, etc. The answer is found in Luke 2:4-5a, “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary …”

Fact is the Bible does not share the mode of transportation. We know they went to Bethlehem. God provided for their welfare including their manner of travel.

Who did God use to tell Joseph and Mary they should go to Bethlehem in the first place?

Luke 2:1-3 tells us this plus more, “In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.” It is interesting to note the role Caesar Augustus had to play in the great scheme of things.

Exactly what did the innkeeper tell Mary and Joseph when they arrived at the inn in Bethlehem where Jesus was to be born?

Certainly there was communication but read Luke 2:6-7, “While they were there (Bethlehem), the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Nowhere does the Bible record any conversation involving the innkeeper.

Which animals were present at Jesus’ birth?

Probably you know that no animals are mentioned as being present. We can assume some things but what does the Bible say?

For example, was Jesus born in a stable?

Remember Luke 2:7, “… and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Does the Bible say that Jesus was delivered in a stable? No, but the Bible does say that, “She…placed him in a manger.”

How many angels spoke to the shepherds in the field? No doubt you have heard there were numerous angels.

Luke 2:9-11 states, “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’”

There were, indeed, numerous angels but they did not come along till Luke 2:13-14.

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’”

We do not know the actual date Jesus was born. You have read and heard of this more and more with the passing of time. The fact that he was born is what matters.

Christians believe Jesus was born of a virgin. Prophecy and fulfillment deliver the message plain and clear.

Consider Isaiah 7:14, written 800 years before the birth of Jesus, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

The fulfillment of this is found in Matthew 1:22-23, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’-which means, ‘God with us.’”

So, “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about…” See Matthew 1:18.

Merry CHRISTmas, everyone,
from Winston and Mardell Hamby.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


There are football games that I can almost remember but cannot quite recall, such as the first game ever attended by this eleven-year-old in 1946.
I did not know what a football was much less a football game. But soon I was to become a student well-grounded.

You see, my sister, Ann Lowell Hamby, was a freshman at South Park High School that same year. Ann marched, played bugle and bell lyre in the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Most modern folks refer to a bell lyre as a glockenspiel. That is two German words, glocken (bell) and spiel (play). I’m glad my sister played a bell lyre because I never could have told people what she did had she played a glockenspiel.

We invited a friend of mine from church to go with us to that first game. Her name was Joyce Vick. She was one year older than I was but it didn’t matter.

My parents did not realize that I had discovered girls some three years prior to this occasion. I thought Joyce was a very interesting friend but did not know why. I digress. Back to football.

There was lots of cheering and yelling. Everyone was standing up. I could not see anything. I wondered why they were acting like that. Even my parents were standing and smiling.

I asked, “Hey Joyce, what’s everybody doing?” Joyce explained (she thought), “We just scored a touchdown.” This “we” wording confused me. I had not done anything and Joyce had not done anything. All my parents had done was stand and smile. At least they were not jumping up and down.

I did not want Joyce to realize I was in the dark thus asked her, “Whose side are you on?” She looked at me with her loving smile and said, “Quit being silly.” To this day, I have yet to understand women.

That same year, one of the football players became my hero. His name was Billy Baggett. I recall his running nearly the length of the field for a touchdown at Greenie Stadium. We were playing a tough team, the Orange Bengal Tigers. I believe Orange won that game thirty-something to 6.

Later one afternoon I was with my mother who had driven to campus to pick up Ann. I was lingering outside the car. Billy Baggett came strolling by and said to me “How ‘ya doing there fella?” I was stunned that Billy Baggett spoke to me. That’s when he became my hero.

Another year when I played trombone in the band, we traveled to Orange in a passenger car on the Southern Pacific Railroad. They parked us on a spur and we filed from the train coach into the stadium. The train track was right there.

At halftime, the band formed a big square on the field. We played music and several couples, unknown to me, square-danced. It was a fun-show although I feared that folks back in Beaumont would find out. Our church did not believe in dancing of any sort. I was relieved when no one challenged my Friday night escapade.

After returning to Beaumont from college, I saw the Greenies defeat the Port Arthur Yellow Jackets 16-14. Galena Park came over for a playoff game which we won 7-0. We traveled to Spring Branch where we lost 0-8. There were no touchdowns scored in that game but only a safety and two field goals.

Eddie Jackson, Greenie ’47, who died in the early 1950s from a rare brain disorder, had written a poem. His last verse became the Greenies’ slogan, which more than sums it up:

“The sun that sets may never rise,

But Greenie fight never dies.”

Winston Hamby

Monday, December 05, 2011


Retired Lamar Professor David G. Taylor hit a homerun when he and his wife moved to Beaumont in 1955.

Dr. Richard W. Setzer, Dean of the Lamar School of Business, hired Taylor as Professor of Marketing.

Upon arriving in Beaumont, David hit another homerun when he and his wife, Etoie, joined the First Baptist Church. They have served long and well continuing to be shining lights of faithful inspiration. Taylor is a Life Deacon and loves to talk about his church ministry. Etoie was supposed to be named Etoile, but her birth certificate was mis-spelled. So Etoie it is although their children called her “Mother.”

Prof. Taylor did not have to wait long after settling down in his new office at Lamar. The phone rang and Taylor found himself with his first consultation appointment. Yet another homerun.

That first meeting in Taylor’s office was with the three Rogers’ brothers, Nate, Ben, and Sol. Their inquiries centered on how to build and market a shopping center. From those early consultations emerged the incredibly successful Gateway Shopping Center. Of course, most of you reading this know the rest of the story.

Prof. Taylor arrived in time for the integration of Lamar State College of Technology. He hit a homerun and has many a story to tell about that historical period in time. His first black student was Alvin G. Randolph, who turned out to be one of Beaumont’s leading realtors. Taylor and Randolph developed a close friendship that lasted until Randolph’s recent death.

Taylor’s teaching career included 15 months at Baylor, 6 years at Arkansas State, and 33 years at Lamar. He retired from Lamar in 1988.

Just after Hurricane Rita, Taylor drove to the Sam Rayburn Lake area to help a friend “clean up the mess.” There were fallen trees and debris all over the cabin grounds. David reached down to pick up a piece of wood and was surprised when a copperhead snake chose to bite his finger. Taylor killed the snake and named it Rita. This amounted more to a foul ball than a homerun but it did instigate a run to the hospital.

Etoie and friends finally got David through all the brush on the road and reached the Jasper Hospital. Everything seemed fine except for the fact that there was no electricity in Jasper, including the hospital.

The doctors told David they were going to airlift him to Tyler. Taylor rode flat on his back in that medical chopper. He told me that Etoie sat up front beside the pilot and conversed with the pilot over the two-way radio. All David could do was stare straight up at the ceiling of that craft. He did note that the chopper was black and yellow. Anyway, he recovered.

Taylor has always enjoyed entering contests. Each win is a homerun and they include: A trip to Mexico City, a fur coat for Etoie, a trip to Paris, a 1964 Pontiac LeMans, and numerous appliances. His most recent win was a Gatorade Cooler with 15 Gatorade towels and 15 bottles of Gatorade.

Taylor is in reasonably good health for a man of 85 years. He explains, “I still mow my own yard for the exercise. I seem, however, to be losing my hair (what hasn’t turned gray has turned loose). But my neighbor’s Jack Russell Terrier (Max) seems to love me so it can’t be all bad.”

A tome of great dimension would be required to hold the life experiences of David G. Taylor. He should write his autobiography. This would result in another home run.

David is a prolific writer. He has been published in magazines and newspapers, including several articles in the Beaumont Enterprise.

David and Etoie just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
That, my friends, is definitely a grand slammer.