SUNDAY September 27, 2020
Our need for socialization and recreation has us asking often these days if we should "take a chance" or not when getting out and about. Sometimes it is good to try something new or go out on a limb in the interest of good mental health. We all know what precautions we need to take during this pandemic pause — wear masks or otherwise stay six feet apart from people outside your core group, and wash your hands or sanitize often, especially after touching things in public. Experts say as long as we do these things, getting out is good for us.

Read about a few fun things to do here in this issue and on our website. Enjoy your time in the Upper East Side of Texas. Chances are you'll have a great experience.

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“Pronghorn Canyon” by Elizabeth Dryden is one of the many pieces in the virtual exhibition "Texas Women" by Western Gallery, opening this Friday. Read more about the event.
On September 24, 1964, The Munsters TV show aired their first episode. The show depicted the home life of a family of funny "monsters" with a goofy Frankenstein-looking father, Herman; his vampire wife, Lily; her old, complaining vampire father, Grandpa; a half-werewolf son, Eddie; and Marilyn the "beauty" that makes her the family outcast. The show was a satire of both traditional monster movies and the wholesome family fare of the era. Although no more episodes were made after 1966, the family that lives at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the fictional suburb of Mockingbird Heights in California is still entertaining fans in reruns. For those that want a more interactive view of the "Munsters" they might consider checking out Munster Mansion in Waxahachie.
It's hard to imagine that country singer Kadie Lynn Roberson from Kemp, Texas, turns a mere 17 years old on September 29 because she's been in the music industry for so long. She was just 12 when she won a prestigious spot on the TV show America's Got Talent winning the hearts of judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howie Mandel, and the rest of the country. Read our interview with Kadie in the County Line archives and find her touring scheduled on — she's got numerous events coming up in the Upper East Side of Texas.
In 1982, famed baseball pitcher Monty Stratton of Greenville died on September 29 and was buried at Memoryland Memorial Park there. Stratton was a major league baseball pitcher with the Chicago White Sox until an accident in 1938. He was hunting rabbits on his family farm when he fell and his shotgun discharged, striking him in his right leg. The pellets damaged a main artery enough to require amputation the next day. After he was fitted with a wooden leg, Stratton worked with the White Sox for a while as a coach and practice pitcher. He later organized a semipro baseball team in Greenville and made many contributions to the town. His life is depicted in the 1949 Academy Award-winning film The Stratton Story, starring Jimmy Stewart. Stratton's wooden leg is on display at the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum in Greenville.
Beloved pop singer Johnny Mathis was born September 30, 1935, in Gilmer, Texas. He went on to be one of the most beloved pop singers in American music history. Gilmer pays tribute to this native son at the Historic Upshur Museum. Mathis' career started in the late 1950s — and he continues performing today as the pandemic allows. He has recorded 74 albums and sold more than 350 million records worldwide. Several of his albums received gold or platinum status. True fans especially love his best-selling Christmas albums.

Mathis — the fourth of seven children — moved with his family to San Francisco, where he grew up. He wanted to become an English and physical education teacher, but someone heard the 19-year-old singing in a club one weekend and his career in music started. In time, he won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys) and three of his hits were also included in the Grammy Hall of Fame: “It’s Not for Me to Say” (1957), “Chances Are” (1957) and “Misty” (1959). 
First Virtual Edom Art Festival Starts Saturday
"Fallfest 2020" by Laurie Aurand is one of many artworks featured in this year's Edom Art Festival held online at from October 1-31. People can see all the art on the website and interact directly with the artists to purchase. It's a great way to get some shopping done and support the arts at the same time.
Covering the Arts Across the Upper East Side of Texas
Coffee Shops Worth a Sip
A couple of years ago our friend Jim Willis did a round up of good coffee shops in the Upper East Side of Texas and these have stood the test of time. They encourage relaxation and conversation, have attentive wait staff and baristas and are eager to please guests. Be sure to call ahead to verify hours.

Watermelon Mills
Mount Vernon. Located on the southeast corner of the downtown square, Watermelon Mills is the winner of the 2016 County Line Magazine Best Coffee award. There’s seating around a cozy fireplace or enjoy the outdoors on their sidewalk tables or deck. The furniture is a thoughtful selection reflecting period styling. 100 Main Street, 903.270.2551,

The Foundry
Tyler. The Foundry is a block south of the downtown square and has a different energy than many other coffee houses. It is well designed and decorated, making good use of the building’s industrial interior. In addition to the main space there is a sitting area to the left of the front door, a "study room" towards the back and even an entertainment space separated by a roll up warehouse door. Each latte is an artful creation lovingly poured into white ceramic cups. The Foundry is a part of Bethel Church which meets on the upper floor. Everything about the space and the operation says "class." 202 South Broadway, 903.944.7805,

Jo’s Downtown
Mount Pleasant.This lovely old two story 1894 building was purchased by Ark Ministries who founded Center Church on its upper floor and Jo’s Coffee House as a non-profit on the first floor. The name Jo’s is from the building’s previous tenant, Jo’s Antiques. It’s on the corner of the square in Mount Pleasant and it’s spacious. The very tall ceiling room stretches from the front of the building to the back where it opens onto a shady deck. There’s upstairs seating as well. The main room is a collection of smaller eclectic spaces with a long table in front, a couch and chairs by the fireplace, and several other sitting areas. 102 N. Jefferson Avenue, 903.577.0567,

Speakeasy Coffeehouse
Quitman. Speakeasy is in an (almost) 100-year-old building that really was once a speakeasy, located across the street from the courthouse. The theme is readily seen in the menu items, like the Greta Garbo or The Babe specialty lattes, and heard in the house music. It’s a large comfortable space that offers several areas for gathering and visiting. It’s the first pearl in a downtown Quitman renovation plan. 103 North Main Street, 903.760.2739.
More than 80 years ago Orson Welles and his troupe of radio actors interrupted the Columbia Broadcasting System's programming to "report" that Earth had been invaded. The broadcast was a joke but people didn't know that and were scared. Some people supposedly jumped in their cars to flee the area of the "invasion." The Opera House Theatre Players in Jefferson are presenting the famous broadcast of "War of the Worlds" from 1938 as the opening production of their 32nd season. 

Check out many other events this week and coming soon on the County Line CALENDAR and more fun THINGS TO DO on our website.
Feel free to send story ideas, poems, letters, and beautiful photography from the region to Let us know what you enjoy most about this area.
County Line Magazine
PO Box 608
Ben Wheeler, TX 75754
Office: (903) 963-1101
Text: (903) 312-9556