The Texans Incorporated Reunion was held at the Bangs Community Center on Saturday, December 3rd 2005, and was, if I do say so myself, a tremendous success!The Bangs Community Center The event, which doubled as a signing party for my book Pedlar of Dreams, was an attempt to reunite as many former Texans Inc. employees as possible, and dozens were on hand. The result was a marvelous four-hour gathering of employees, historians and TV lamp collectors.
The weather was unseasonably mild, alleviating the fears of snow and/or bitter cold that had nagged at me during the preceding weeks. It’s certainly hard to complain about temperatures in the 70s in early December! The newly remodeled Bangs Community Center was a perfect facility for holding the event, with ample room, a great kitchen and lots of decorative touches. (Western motifs, of course!) My wonderful friends Martha and David Cole went beyond the call of duty, decorating the center, providing refreshments and bringing some pieces from their spectacular lamp collection for display. They also assembled several posters of vintage newspaper articles. These stories provided a wealth of insight into the early days of the lamp factory, and were displayed on easels throughout the center. Gene Deason from the Brownwood Bulletin was on hand, taking photographs and conducting interviews with the visitors.
I was honored to share the spotlight with the Texans Incorporated designer Richard Gunter (on right below), who happily reminisced and shared “war stories” with fellow workers, many of which he hadn’t seen in over 20 years. Mark Stevens and Richard GunterI won’t attempt to name everyone, but the attendees included former Texans Incorporated President Lonnie Sikes, Plant Manager Pete Eads, Secretary/Book Keeper Evengeline Eads, and Stephen and David Young. Their father Tommy Young was the company President for many years. It was a moving experience to see so many old friends reunited, and it underscored the close-knit nature of Texans, as they truly were a family. It is an unfortunate fact that today such workplace camaraderie is the exception rather than the rule. While Richard and I stayed extremely busy with book signings, we were still able to break away to visit, but not as much as we would have liked. Hopefully we can organize a similar event in the near future… without the distraction of the books!
Below is a collection of photos from the event with brief descriptions. I must again thank all those who attended and/or participated in organizing the reunion, particularly Martha and David Cole. Without their tireless work promoting the event it would not have happened. Thanks! Thanks must also go to the folks at TexasBank, who sponsored the event. The community embraced the reunion and welcomed me with open arms, and I’ll never forget their generosity and friendship.
– Mark Stevens
Myself and long-time Texans Inc. Plant Manager Pete Eads.
Richard greets Reverend James Ford, who served as a welder for Texans Inc. in the early days.
Richard, Steven and Veta
Richard Gunter, Steven Young (son of Texans Inc. President Tommy Young) and Veta Young.
Former Texans President and co-founder Lonnie Sikes. (left)
Texans Inc. products
Various Texans Incorporated products on display.
My lovely wife Scherrie!
Designer and mold maker, Floyd Thomas.
David and Martha
The host and hostess of the reunion, David and Martha Cole.
Mark and Paula Germany
From Mineral Wells, collectors Mark and Paula Germany.
The Cole’s and the Young’s. Nice shirts!
Jim Hunter Jr.
Second-generation employee Jim Hunter Jr.
David and Jim
David and Jim talk about the old days.
David Cole with Pete Eads.
Texans Alumni Pat Miller.
Show and Tell? David Young at right.
Much fun was had by all!