Monday, October 31, 2005

New with the old

Where do you suppose these fashionable, historically-steeped homes are located in Nacogdoches? A clue: from one of the balconies, it would be easy to keep an eye on Sam Houston's secretary of war... but not just yet.... Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Nacogdoches County Chamber Annual Meeting

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce celebrated
its 84th Annual Meeting and Banquet on October 11, 2005, at the
Fredonia Hotel. Special awards were given to the Fredonia
Hotel as Small Business of the Year, Memorial Hospital as Large Business of the Year, ATHENA Award - Judge Sue Kennedy, and Citizen of the Year - Bryant Krenek.

Photo IDs:
Incoming Chair John Ruckel, left, receives the
gavel from 2004-05 Chair Gary Justice

From left, Fredonia Hotel Manager Jim Boiles, Bryant Krenek,
Memorial Hospital CEO Tim Hayward, hospital
board chair Annie Hoya, and Judge Sue Kennedy.
From the Daily Sentinel's Johnny Johnson:
Teamwork was the theme Tuesday night at the
84th annual membership banquet for the Nacogdoches County
Chamber of Commerce.
Citizen of the Year Bryant Krenek related a story of a farmer

and his blind mule, who could single-handedly pull a bogged down
vehicle out of mud — but only if the farmer made the mule think
that other mules were pulling with him. "We can pull a lot harder when we feel like we're part of the team," he said.
It was part of the secret Krenek said former mayor A.L. Mangham

Jr. passed on nearly 30 years ago, when Krenek first came to
Nacogdoches. "He shared his secret of success — it's all about teamwork," Krenek
said. "And when I look out at you tonight, teamwork is what comes to mind."
More: click here

Monday, October 17, 2005

Red Thread: Welcome to Nacogdoches

Ilona Toth came into the Nacogdoches County Chamber office, asking for a little help. "All I need is a sewing machine, some material, maybe a mirror and an ironing board," she said. Ilona had evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and was now living in East Texas. Several strangers came to her aid. Bove Sewing Center donated a sewing machine and a family in western Nacogdoches County opened their home to the shy, determined evacuee.
This past Saturday the Red Thread opened at 800 North Street.
This was not the first time Ilona has had to start over. "I had to move from Hungary to Texas 20 years ago and started with nothing," she said. After a several years in Corpus Christi, Ilona moved to New Orleans in 1990, where she built a popular business making gowns, Mardi Gras costumes, making alterations and generally sewing her way to success. Along the way, she started a sewing school, teaching other women an important and useful trade.
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in September, flooding her beautiful store on Magazine Street, and sending Ilona and her friend Sandor Szabo in search of refuge. They drove to Nacogdoches, almost 400 miles northeast of the Big Easy.
After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita passed, Ilona made her way back to New Orleans to survey the damage. She managed to salvage some of her tools and materials, but had no intention of staying. As reported by the Associated Press, "Ilona Toth wept as she began packing up to leave 15 years after opening her business. 'It's just too hard,' said Toth, a Hungarian immigrant. 'Every year a hurricane is always coming. We always have to evacuate, then clean up. It's too much trouble.'"
Unfortunately, Ilona fell during the cleanup, breaking a couple ribs. She was only slowed a little, however, as she had secured her new location on North Street in Nacogdoches, and was anxious to get back and start again.
Sandor built shelves, painted steps and constructed a front counter, using parts from a kitchen table he'd found. Ilona installed mirrors in the fitting room and placed her fancy pillows above the work areas.
She greeted guests during a grand opening October 15, proudly giving tours of her fitting room, work room and show room.
In the shop front, a brilliant scarlet gown greets guests. "Whenever I am in a fashion show, I always bring out the red dress at the end," she said. "It is my signature."
And now a little part of the Big Easy - with a Hungarian accent - is woven into the fabric of East Texas, and it begins with a new Red Thread.
The Red Thread is open for business 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 800 North Street, Nacogdoches, TX 75961. Contact Ilona at 936-564-9409.
-- BP

Inside the new store Posted by Picasa

Ilona Toth and Sandor Szabo Posted by Picasa

Ilona finally gets to rest. Posted by Picasa

After Katrina, along comes Rita

Remembering Rita: Radar and satellite impages from midnight Thursday, Sept. 23 (Accuweather) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 15, 2005

First Things First

Thanks for taking a look at Nacogdoches. We'll be adding information about the Oldest Town in Texas from time to time. Meanwhile, there's plenty of info out there about this unique town in the deep forests of East Texas. Here's an interesting site with VR (virtual reality) tour.
And one with general info for visitors and another for people thinking about moving to Nac. And another for industry and retailers looking to relocate here. Don't miss the SFA site, either.