People of Duncanville interview

  • What is your name and what do you do?
    • My name is Raymoondo Juan Kwatoko Lee. I’m an aspiring motivational speaker and clothing line creator (“MOONDOWEAR”).
  • What’s something you’re proud of that others might not know about?
    • I’m a great communicator with a gift to inspire others to be their best! I’m actually funny too, a lot of people don’t know that about me. My nonprofit, Warriors-Hope & Compassion, hosted a Humanitarian Mission for the Duncanville Police Dept. Jan. 27, 2017.
  • How long have you lived in Duncanville?
    • I’ve lived in Duncanville for 2 years in June.
  • What’s your favorite part of living here?
    • I love the quiet streets, nice neighbors, and the great parks.
  • What’s something that could be improved?
    • We need more police patrols, major department stores nearby, and community activities. More minority representation on the City Council and other civil departments. Lower rental payments on commercial buildings. A Homeless Outreach Mission.
  • What’s a favorite memory of Duncanville that you have?
    • My favorite memory is seeing the faces of appreciation from the Duncanville Police Officers and Chief Robert Brown at the “Thank U 4 Your Service Humanitarian Event” in Jan. 2017. Shaking their hands and telling them how much we appreciate their service to the great Duncanville Community.

Bryant C.

He was four and his sister Glenna was two when his family moved to “the old Pickard place,” just south of Duncanville and outside the Duncanville city limits. It took a while for the adults to make the house livable.  The old farmhouse into which they moved was built in the late 1800s and had no water, electricity, or plumbing.  The wind blew so hard through the cracks in the wooden-plank walls that it blew the newly installed wallpaper off the walls before it could stick.  Bryant remembers sitting under a big pecan tree watching the well being dug and eating a boiled egg.  That big pecan tree and old well are still there, on Main Street across from the Fire Station.

There were fewer than 1000 people living in Duncanville in 1950, and farms were more common than not. Bryant would go with his father to the Duncanville Feed Store, where I.T. Cawthon would sit and talk with old man Will Daniels by the potbellied stove, drinking coffee, before conducting their business.   Although Duncanville had a post office in the middle of downtown, it did not deliver outside of the Duncanville city limits, so the Cawthons received their mail on a rural route out of the Cedar Hill Post Office.

They lived up on a hill overlooking South Main Street. Local boys would race between the two bridges on South Main Street at night, because the bridges were just about a quarter-mile apart. The Blue Hole was between the Cawthon land and the Giles land; part of Ten Mile Creek, it was shale and rock, with many ledges under which pyrite could be found. Boys would go there and skinny dip; when the Cawthon family went as a group, I.T. would go ahead of them and run the boys off.

I.T.’s “real job” was working for Western Electric, which handled phone equipment. In 1960, The Company (based in New York City) sent a writer and photographer from New York to the Cawthon Farm for a Company Magazine article on him entitled “The Smallest Ranch in Texas.”

Bryant started first grade in 1953 at Central Elementary, in one of the last years in which all 12 grades were housed there. The school playground backed up to the Duncanville Air Force Base, and sometimes a ball would get kicked over the fence; the boys then had to go all the way around the base to the entrance (on Main Street) and ask armed MP guards for permission to retrieve the ball. Bryant was part of the last class (1965) to graduate from the Old Duncanville High School (now Reed).

In 1962, the Cawthons sold the farm to a close friend and local developer, Larry Ground. He sold the Old Pickard House and it was relocated to another place in Duncanville, where it is still a residence today. The farm was developed  into Dannybrook Estates, named after Larry’s oldest son, Danny.  The streets were named for his other children:  Linda, Sharon, Larry and Timothy. I.T. Cawthon kept 3 acres at South Main and Danieldale, and built a house at 1443 South Main for his family. Several years later this house became Hanging Gardens, which was demolished (by court order) in January.

I.T. Cawthon served as the Duncanville Mayor from 1966 to 1969 and was a City Councilman from 1962 to 1965.

People of Duncanville – Becky

Becky J.

remembers a town where everybody knew everyone, the skating rink her daddy owned was almost the only entertainment in town, and 69 of the 169 students in her graduating class had attended school together since first grade.

Though she lived outside of Duncanville city limits proper, Becky lived in Duncanville ISD and attended Duncanville schools, starting at Central Elementary and graduating from the first high school located on Camp Wisdom in 1969. While she attended schools, the population grew and the district expanded into multiple elementary schools and a larger high school. Becky remembers: “School memories — oh so many! When there was only one elementary school (later Central Elementary (grades 1 through 3 or 1957) in the building that had formally been the ENTIRE Duncanville ISD, half or so of the playground was a blacktopped area that was basically what was left after the original high school gymnasium burned.  Beyond that was a dirt area with swing sets, metal slides, monkey bars, and space to play tag, bordered by the fence for the army base.”

“Because the town and school district was growing (new housing booms) 5th graders were split, with 2 classes bused daily for the first half of the school year to First Baptist Church while construction on 2 new elementary schools, Fairmeadows and Merrifield, was completed. At mid-term, all the elementary school kids were split between Central and the new schools which housed grades 1-6.  Junior high (7-8 grades) went to what was several years later named for J. Herman Reed, but at the time it was just the Junior High.  9th through 12th grades were all in the High School.  The class of ’65 was the last to graduate there.  Schools were first integrated when the new high school on Camp Wisdom Road opened.  Although there were some black soldiers stationed on the base, none of those families lived in the few base houses along Main St.”

School standards were high, Becky remembers; students struggled to maintain a C average, and anyone with a B average and up would likely get scholarship offers from surrounding colleges. Two teachers especially stuck out in her memory: Jerre Simmons and Grace Brandenburg. Jerre Simmons was Becky’ freshman English teacher, and began her students’ high school careers with a dramatic reading of Jabberwocky. Grace Brandenburg, Becky’s senior English teacher, was “the epitome of her name.”  Under choir director Ron Bretz, musicals were performed at the high school, with sophomores through seniors allowed to participate. Becky remembers, “The first one I recall was “Oklahoma”, in 1963; my favorite (and first) was “Lil’ Abner” in 1967 (a rollicking production complete with the Sadie Hawkins Day race scene), ’68 was “South Pacific”, and ’69 “Music Man”.”

Little D Roller Rink on Wheatland Road near Cockrell Hill was virtually the only entertainment in town until the late 60s, when the bowling alley was built. Skaters of all ages attended, and many romances bloomed there; “only parents were allowed to sit and watch.” Admission was $.50 with an extra $.25 for skate rental, and the rink also hosted many church and birthday parties. Becky remembers: “The rink was a converted tin quonset hut, no air conditioning, just 2 big exhaust fans at the end opposite from the entrance. My folks owned it from spring ’58 through sprint ’66, “modernizing” it from clamp-on to shoe skates, adding overhead insulation, and changing from wooden half-walls around the floor to a single metal pipe about 4′ high.  Nothing fancy, just a safe place for some good clean fun. (Nobody used the word “exercise”, but a Weight Watchers group skated there for a few years during the daytime while their kids were in school).” Becky’s dad loved when boys who grew up at the rink would come back and see him while on leave from the armed forces.

Smile!

The library wants to take your picture, so we’re giving you plenty of notice to look your best. (Although, we’re sure you look your best everyday.)

We are always trying to provide better security for our patrons. Attaching photos to your accounts will help us protect you from possible identity theft. These photos are for internal use only. They will not be printed on your cards and are not shared with anyone. They are only visible when a staff member pulls up your account with your library card number.

Photos will be taken at account renewal and/or account creation starting on MAY 1st.

Cleanout Duncanville 2017

It is time for Spring Cleaning. Once again the city of Duncanville is here to help. We’ll take junk that needs to be trashed; we’ll take stuff that’s still good but you don’t need any more; we’ll shred old papers; we’ll recycle batteries and electronics.

Read below for even more information (like the date and time) on this fabulous, Earth-friendly, help-your-fellow-humans, event.

Goodbye

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye

Our very favorite Library Director, Dennis, will soon be leaving to take up a new position in Coppell. We are sad for ourselves but happy that he will have a new opportunity for himself. His last day here will be Saturday April 15, so please stop by before then to wish him well.

Staff reads

Judging by how few titles I have this week, it looks like the library staff needs some title recommendations. Can anyone help us out? Use the comments feature at the end of this post to tell us what you are reading.

 

 

The Imitation Game (dvd) starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

This 2014 film is based on the story of British mathematician and cryptanalyst Alan Turing and his colleagues at Bletchley Park, who managed to break the codes of Germany’s Enigma machine (previously thought to be absolutely unbreakable), thereby shifting the balance of power in World War II, saving thousands of lives, and helping pave the way for the developments in computing technology of the latter half of the 20th century.

~ Dennis

 

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iBoy (movie)

This movie is about boy who after an accident finds that he has power. Then he helps a friend in need. It is also a book by Kevin Brooks. I partially read through the book and was excited when I saw this movie was coming to Netflix.

~ Emma

  History of Duncanville, Texas.

A little-known title to many, it covers Duncanville’s history up through 1976, when the volume was published.

~Hannah

Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

Imagine a world where a benevolent computer rules everything, and people can live forever…. In Neal Shusterman’s version, in order to prevent overpopulation, the scythes are charged with “gleaning” – aka killing. If you like teen dystopian novels, this is worth a try.

~Hannah

Staff reads

So we’ve almost got more TV shows than books this week. Actually, if you count the first title, we do have more TV shows. That first title is also a TV show (we’ve got it on order). But hey! Those TV shows teach us about other cultures and history! So they’re educational. And education is always a good thing.

We’d like to know what y’all are reading too! So, please feel free to let us know in the comments.

 

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (Book 1) by Alexander McCall Smith

This is the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

~Candace

 

We Will Not Be Silent : The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman

Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie belonged to the Hitler Youth as young children, but began to doubt the Nazi regime. As older students, they formed the White Rose, a campaign of active resistance to Hitler and the Nazis. Risking imprisonment or even execution, the White Rose members distributed leaflets urging Germans to defy the Nazi government.

~Danene

Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

By the time Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 3.5 million children belonged to the Hitler Youth. Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores how Hitler gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany’s young people.

~Danene

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This show is about a girl who is obsessed with K-dramas (Korean Drama). Then she gets sucked into the world of one of her favorite K-dramas. I was looking through Netflix for some foreign TV series to watch. I like this because it take a look into what might go on behind the shows.

~ Emma

Image result Timeless (TV series)

This show just finished its first season on NBC. I’m only up to episode 4. It’s about a bad guy who stole a time machine and is determined to sabotage America by changing its history. There’s also a team of good guys (which includes a historian) who are determined to protect history. So far, they haven’t been real successful.

The show was created by the same guy who created the show “Supernatural” which is now in its 12th season and has been renewed for a 13th. So I’ve got high hopes for this one.

~ Buffy the Netflix Watcher

People of Duncanville

Preserving Duncanville’s History

The Duncanville Public Library is looking for current and former Duncanville residents and City employees that would like to share their personal story with the community via a collection of mini-interviews to be published throughout the City’s communication channels. Inspired by Humans of New York, the Library hopes to capture and preserve the history, personality, and diversity of the community. Individuals from all religions, ethnicities, and ages are encouraged to participate free of charge. Interested persons should contact the Library’s Technical Services Librarian at 972-780-5097 or by email at holsen@ci.duncanville.tx.us.

You can read our very first interview here!

 

 

Staff reads

Sorry for the late post this week. I know y’all are just sitting around waiting for all week to see what we’ve been reading/watching. If anybody ever tries one of our recommendations, please let us know what you thought of it.

We’d like to know what y’all are reading too! So, please feel free to let us know in the comments.

 

Over Dressed by Elizabeth L. Cline

This book takes a look into how we should really look into where our clothes are being made. Also that we should support thrift shops (i.e. charity shops, vintage and etc.) and ethically responsible companies (fairtrade/local). Learn the basics of sewing to update/upgrade those thrifty buys. Even though I am a newbie at this thing it has made me think of the buying and selling martials. So I encourage you go out there to find what inspires your sense of fashion, and what your values are.

~Emma

Beneath by Roland Smith

Above by Roland Smith

Pat O’Toole follows cryptic clues to find his big brother, Coop, who has become mixed up in a cult-like community living beneath the streets of New York City. This two-part book series is an edge of your seat page-turner!

~Danene

Image result The OA (TV Series)

The story starts out with a girl who has been lost for a long time. She then makes friends with some unlikely people. They gather around to hear her story of her adventure in the great wide world. This is a Netflix Original so you’ll only find it on there. I was scrolling through for something new to see. If you’re into sci-fi shows you might like this.

~Emma

Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime: Stories by J. California Cooper

In Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime, Cooper’s characteristic themes of romance, heartbreak, struggle, and faith resonate.  We meet Darlin, a self-proclaimed femme fatale who uses her wiles to try to find a husband; MLee, whose life seems to be coming to an end at the age of forty until she decides to set out and see if she can make a new life for herself; and Aberdeen, whose daughter Uniqua shows her how to educate herself and move up in the world. This was a really good book that I didn’t want to put down. I love this author’s style of writing.

~Candace

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

This is the last book of the One Crazy Summer trilogy. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother Big Ma and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half-sister, Miss Trotter. The two half-sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible. I loved this trilogy and would definitely read it again.

~Candace

Leverage (TV series)

A group of (semi) reformed thieves decide to use their criminal powers for good. They break laws in order to help regular people who get taken advantage of by those who have enough money to avoid the law.

[Bonus: one of the actors is from Dallas}

~Buffy the Netflix Watcher