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The Gunter Gazette
April 2018

The Gunter Library & Museum
110 S Hwy 289 #4
Gunter, Texas 75058

Gunter Library Book Club:  All Are Welcome

-Nancy Watson 

The Gunter Library Book Club met once again on the third Thursday of the month at 7 pm. Half a dozen avid readers gathered to discuss the book The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee. This discussion marked the club’s first discussion of a nonfiction book.  The club has planned out the rest of the year with a diverse selection. The meeting dates and book selections for the remainder of 2018 are as follows:

April 26 – Persuasion by Jane Austen

May 24 – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Barrows

June 28 – Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills by Charles Henderson

July – no book club

August 23 – Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

September 27 – The Life We Bury by Allen Eskins

October 25 – The Call of the Wild by Jack London

November 29 – Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor

December – Holiday Party TBA

Whether you have ever participated in a book club or not, are old or young, are male or female, you are invited to participate in as many or as few book club discussions as you like.  I hope to see some new faces on April 26th at 7 pm at the Library to talk about the classic romance, Persuasion.

STEM & Scratch

During March, STEM participants built and raced Sail Cars. Scratch Coding classes designed a Fish Ball game and learned to code skywriting. There will be no STEM or Coding class April 3 because Juanita will be attending Texas library Conference (TLA) in Dallas from April 3-6. On April 10, STEM will build a model Ferris wheel out of popsicle sticks. On April 24, the project will be building a rubber band powered helicopter. Coding class in April will design a musical bouncing ball.

Sneak Peek at Summer STEM: Can you make a banana play like a piano? Can you draw a musical instrument on paper and make it play a song? What can you do with a MakeyMakey?  Make it Sing SummerSTEM Camp begins Tuesday June 5 at 4:30 pm for children going into 2nd – 5th grades. Register during May so we can provide enough materials.


 All STEM activities are on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 4:00. Activities are designed for 2nd – 5th grade children.

Coding with Scratch 2.0 meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at the same time.


Library Update

March has come and gone like a whirlwind. With Spring Break, St. Patrick’s Day, beginning of Daylight Savings Time, new books to catalog, children’s story times, 3-5th grade after-school STEM and Coding, the new Thursday evening book club, preparing the Annual Report to the State Library, and the arrival of Spring, library staff have been busy.  

New books: We added three new books to the children’s Spanish language collection, La princesa y el guisante by Nicholas Wu, De la Cabeza a los Pies by Eric Carle, and Donde Viven los Monstruos by Maurice Sendak. Other children’s books added include I see a cat by Paul Meisel, Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education by Raphaele Frier, and If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff. Middle school books include Max Brallier’s The Last Kids on Earth, the first in a best-selling series. Young adult books include two by Suzanne Weyn, The Bar Code Tattoo and The Bar Code Rebellion, and the Last Star by Richard Yancey, concluding his trilogy. New books for adults include Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours, Allen Eskens’s The Life We Bury, Un-Ju Kim’s A Thousand Miles to Freedom, Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones, Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, and Amanda Lee’s KETO Diet for Beginners.

Library Conference: Jennifer Woodwell applied for and received a $900 grant from the Tocker Foundation to attend the Texas Library Conference in Dallas the first week in April. The Tocker Foundation underwrites the expenses for grant recipients who have never attended TLA. She will attend a pre-conference on Tuesday April 3 on grant writing and Juanita Hazelton will attend a pre-conference on new genealogy resources. Library Board member Jackie Kruzie will also be attending the Conference in her role as a Regional Director of North Texas SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators). With three library volunteers attending the Conference, expect to hear about exciting ideas to expand services of Gunter Library.

 Dia de los Libros, Dia de los Libros:  Local author and Library Board Member Jackie Kruzie returns in April with a school visit and library activities to celebrate reading. Find more information at the library.

 Sneak Peek at Summer Reading: Libraries Rock! Get ready to rock with music all summer! Texas author Nancy Churnin opens summer activities at 10:30 on May 5 with her new book: Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy who Made America Sing. Rock with Logan Family music in July! Listen to Coco: Miguel and the Grand Harmony in August. Preschool Story-time continues all summer with rocking activities at 10:30 on Tuesdays.

Sneak Peek at Adult Summer Reading: Book Flight Bonanza challenges adult readers to choose books in pairs. Pick up a flyer on June 5 for suggestions of books with similar themes. Read four books from the list to be entered in a drawing for a Kindle Fire.

A Special Thanks to The Preston Trail Rotary Club!
This month Larry Peters of the Preston Trail Rotary Club delivered a generous check to the Gunter Library and Museum for $1000. This donation helped the Library buy our new main circulation computer and bring us up to date with current technology. The Library appreciates their generosity to help our community. Thank you! 
Rotary is where neighbors, friends, and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change.  Through Rotary clubs, people from all continents and cultures come together to exchange ideas, and form friendships and professional connections while making a difference in their backyards and around the world.

Story Time with Ms. Jennifer!

March blew in like a Lion in story time this month! We started off celebrating Dr Seuss with games, fun snacks and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back! We also read The Monster That Lost His Mean! It was such a great story and we learned to be Kindness Monsters! Our friend Leigh Moore made us the most wonderful Monster Cookies ever! She is so talented and a great friend to the Library! We even had a great Easter Egg hunt for our Easter Story Time!
  We have so much fun with our story time every Tuesday at 10:30 am. Grab a friend and join us, we would love to have you!
If you would like to read a story to our group, let me know and I will put you on our schedule! The children love to hear from other people too!
 Kindergarten Story Time
Happy Birthday Dr Seuss! 
We had a silly time celebrating Dr Seuss’s birthday in March with all the Gunter Elementary Kindergarten students. We read The Cat in the Hat Comes Back! Most of the kids, and some of the teachers, had never heard it before, which made it even more fun to read! We had a fantastic time making a Dr Seuss bookmark, playing ring toss over the Dr Seuss character game and Dr Seuss BINGO! We even sent home a fun HOP on POPcorn snack! We love when our Gunter Kindergarten students come and visit with us! Our goal is to have a really fun and memorable experience in the Library that they will always remember! In May we will introduce the Gunter Library Summer Reading Program, “Libraries Rock!”
Have you always wanted to volunteer in the community? Now is your opportunity to do just that! The Gunter Library is always growing and changing. We need some enthusiastic people that can share their talents with the library! You can volunteer four hours a month or more; it's all up to you! There are always things to do in the library and with your help we can make a difference!
We appreciate your donations to our community library! Please click on the form below to fill out and return to us.

Donating to the community library has never been easier! We now have paypal!

Book Review of The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee

-Nancy Watson

The Girl with Seven Names will take you on a tour throughout Asia including North Korea, China, South Korea and Laos.  This nonfiction bestseller tells the author’s escape story from North Korea. The book was written by Lee with a co-writer and is often paced like a thriller as the escape story of the then 17-year-old begins to unfold.

The author was raised in northern North Korea on the western border with China. Her somewhat upper-class background provides a window into North Korean life: the life of indoctrination of children there and the caste-like system that defines one in North Korean society.

The book was fascinating, but it seemed surprising that a defector writing her story did not seem to go far enough in its calling out repression in North Korea.  The book also seemed to occasionally stretch a reader’s ability to suspend disbelief at perilous moments Lee faced that were almost miraculously resolved in the nick of time.  However, some of this may be due to, as Lee states in the Author’s Note that this story being based on her memory of events and that some details were omitted or changed to protect those still in North Korea.  

Despite this sometimes ‘too tidy’ feeling I had as I read, I do recommend The Girl with Seven Names.  Want to go deeper in learning about other defectors’ stories? You might try A River of Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa or The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.


Wilton white candy melts
Waffle pretzels
Pastel M&M’s

You will also need:
Baking pan
Parchment paper


1. Preheat oven to 250°.

2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

3. Place pretzels on parchment paper.
Note: You can use as many pretzels as you want, as long as they are in a single layer, because they will not expand like cookies.

4. Place one white melting candy onto each pretzel.

5. Place pan in the oven for three minutes or until candy has melted.

6. Take pan out of the oven and place an M&M in the center of the melted chocolate on each pretzel.

7. Place 6 M&Ms of another color around the center M&M. These are the flower petals.

8. Place pan in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until chocolate is cool.

9. Enjoy this tasty spring snack!

Small Talk 

-Mitzi Nelson, M.S., CCC-SLP


“PLAY BALL!” the umpire yells excitedly as the crowd erupts in cheer.  It’s spring time and baseball fever is filling the air. While exhilarating to watch, playing ball can be much more than skills to hit the ball, make the perfect pitch, or slide seamlessly into Homeplate.   


A game of catch is a fun way to teach children the underlying skills required to have a conversation.  Conversation is sharing thoughts back and forth between at least two people. Children cannot see this exchange of ideas.  However, they can see the exchange of the ball from one partner to another. The ball becomes a physical representation of an idea.  


Think about what happens if one player holds the ball too long during a game of catch.  The other player becomes impatient and is ready for his/her turn. This is true in conversations, also.  If one person is hogging the conversation, the other person becomes impatient and will ultimately leave the conversation.  In a game of catch, a player will quit playing if the ball is never thrown back. Playing catch helps a child understand it’s not okay for them to talk non-stop.  It teaches that both people need a turn to talk.


Playing catch requires that players stay engaged in the same activity.  A conversation requires that people must be able to stay on the same topic.  Playing catch helps children learn sustained attention to a common task which is a foundational skill of conversation.


Children of all ages can play a game of catch and learn the foundation rules for having a conversation.  The umpire is right. Let’s play ball!

April Gardening
-Juanita Hazelton

Its time now to plant nearly everything, including warm weather crops like bush beans, peppers, corn, cucumbers, and squash. Tomato transplants can be set out one-two weeks after the average date of the last killing frost. That date was mid-March. However, experience tells us to be prepared for a late frost in April, so have plastic milk jugs, or other covers ready, just in case. Neil Sperry advises in his online gardening magazine that large tomato varieties like Big Boy and Beefsteak do not set fruit well when temperatures reach 90 degrees during the day. He recommends small and medium sized varieties such as Celebrity, Roma, Porter, Sweet 100, and Red Cherry. Super Fantastic, Better Boy, and Early Girl will also produce well. We looked for Porter tomatoes but were unable to find them anywhere yet. A good thing about Porter tomatoes, if you raised them last year, they will sprout voluntarily. Find someone who raised them last year and ask them to share their abundance.

The broccoli plants I set out on Valentine’s Day are developing heads. I can’t say the same for the cabbage plants. They are growing very slowly, but I am harvesting scallions and asparagus. The grapevine I planted by the front porch is thriving and so are the cannas I transplanted from Merrill’s sister’s yard in south Texas. When I took my grandkids plant shopping, Lauren chose a blackberry bush and strawberries. I chose a blueberry plant as an experiment. Sean chose two different kinds of cactus! We will see whose plants thrive the best!

Things to do With Leftover Hard Boiled Eggs

1. Chop them up and toss them in the Best Potato Salad Ever.

2. Served with sliced tomatoes and arugula on toast, this Healthy Egg Salad is a perfect quick lunch.

3. I never in a million years would of thought you could make Chocolate Chip Cookies with hard boiled eggs, but these look delicious.

4. Do you also have left over ham? Then this Cobb Salad is a great option.

5. Or you could make Ham Salad Sandwiches.

6. If you love Chinese food you will love these Soy Sauce Braised Eggs.

7. This Egg Salad recipe uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Much healthier than normal egg salad.

8. Egg Breakfast Casserole makes enough to feed an entire crowd, or prep breakfast for the entire week.

9. Make a huge batch of this Chicken & Egg Salad and lunch is done all week long.

10. Creamed Eggs On Toast is a true comfort food. It is also a super easy and affordable dish to make.

11. This Cheeseless Caprese Salad is Whole 30, Paleo and Gluten Free.

12. Peas, celery, hard-cooked egg, shredded cheddar, and pimentos combine to make Pea Salad.

13. Love avocados as much as eggs? Try out this  Creamy Avocado Egg Salad.

14. When Eggs and Pickles combine, you get amazing things. Like these Red Wine Vinegar Pickled Eggs.

15. Making poached eggs is a pain. This Eggs Benedict recipe calls for hard boiled ones.

16. Cauliflower Potato-Style Salad features all the traditional flavor and savor without all the calories

17. This Portuguese Pizza is topped with cheese, ham, olives, onions and hard boiled eggs!

18. These Tomato & Cheese Stacks are quick and easy to make. Great idea for last minute company.

19. Tuna Empanadillas are filled with tuna, hard boiled eggs and and olive stuffing- yum!

Portraits from the Past

-Juanita Hazelton

In February, the library received a book in the mail with this letter enclosed:

“Dear Gunter Library & Museum,

Several months ago, my father and I made a stop at your museum and were amazed to find my great-great grandparents photos hung prominently on your genealogy wall (Mr. and Mrs. Charles Polk.)  We also found other helpful materials and wanted to make sure you received a final copy of the book we had been compiling (since both the Payne and Polk families have connections to Gunter.) We are appreciative of your help.”

I have always wondered about the two portraits of Charles Bingley Polk Jr. and Alice Neal Elliott Polk in the Gunter Library & Museum. Obviously, they were important early citizens in Gunter, but who were they? Thanks to “History of the Polk & Payne Families” compiled by Dustin Ballard, we have the answer to that question.

Charles Bingley Polk Sr. was a wealthy landowner in Jackson Parish, Louisiana, with as many as 126 slaves in 1860. After the Civil War, in 1874, Charles Sr, his wife Sarah, and son Charles Jr. moved to Texas, settling near Elmont. Their farm was next to land owned by Reverend David Elliott, an early settler in Grayson County. His daughter Alice Neal Elliott married Charles Jr in 1879. Charles and Alice were among the first settlers in Gunter. Charles purchased $100 worth of land on January 25, 1904 from Jot Gunter. He became the first mayor of Gunter.

Besides farming, he was also a businessman. In 1902, with associates, he formed the First National Bank of Gunter. In 1908, he was manager of Howe Grain. He owned a drug store in Gunter. In 1908, the July fire that burned six Gunter buildings, destroyed his drug store as well as another building owned by his son Ralph Bingley Polk. They had no insurance.

In 1909, Charles was vice president of the Continental State Bank of Gunter. The Gunter Water Supply Company was incorporated by Charles and associates in 1911. He was involved in real estate and the Retail Coal Dealers Associate of Texas. In 1911, he opened a large store on Main Street selling hardware, furniture, farm implements and automobiles, running the store with his son Ralph and son-in-law J. S. Yowell. The hardware store was sold in 1919. Gunter’s post office sits on that lot today.

Charles and his wife retired in 1926 and moved to Sherman. Their house at 208 S. Elm Street still stands and is currently a law office. Alice was 71 years old when she died in 1932. Charles, who was 76, took his own life the next year.

Bingley Polk Jr attended North Texas State Normal School in Denton beginning in 1907-1908, and then worked with his father at Polk, Yowell & Co hardware store in Gunter. In 1912, he married Flora Mae Keith. He and Flora operated the Polk Hotel in Sherman in the 1930s, an old folks home in Whitesboro in the 1940s, as well as farming. During World War II he worked at Perrin Field. They left Gunter sometime in the late 1930s and lived in Sherman and Whitesboro.

Bingley and Flora had ten children. Their daughter Kathleen Jewell Polk married Oscar Clyde Payne, the son of John and Lillian Payne. John Stephen Payne’s wife Nannie had died in 1897, leaving him with four children age 7 months to six years old.  He moved in a covered wagon from Missouri to Texas where he married his cousin Lillian Francis Payne in 1903, near Waco. Shortly after they married, John and Lillian moved near Van Alstyne. Their twelve children attended Elmont School. After John’s farming days were over, they moved to Maple Street in Gunter. They are buried in Gunter Cemetery.

Clyde Payne and Kathleen Polk married September 26, 1931, when she was 14 and he was 20.  They had been married 72 years when Clyde died in 2003. Their daughters Hattie Faye Payne Ballard, Betty Ruth Payne Chambers, Peggy Ann Payne Stephens Weindel, and Barbara Ellen Payne Dowd attended school in Gunter, at the same time as my husband Merrill and his siblings. Some of their children and grandchildren went to school with my children. If you are a native of Gunter, you may have known them too!

Thank you to Dustin Ballard for donating your family history to the Gunter Library & Museum. Now I know the who and why of two mystery portraits in our museum. If anyone else has Gunter family histories, please consider donating copies of them to the museum. Someday your descendants who come looking for their family stories will bless you.

What Gardening has Taught Me

-David Mendez

I always love starting a new hobby. For most endeavors I’ve tried, from motorsports to weightlifting, it’s humbling to know that many mistakes will be made in the name of refining the craft. Gardening has been no different. I snapped a stem off one of my Blue Larkspurs, buried half-grown plants in soil overrun by neighboring roots, and flooded cacti with too much water. The biggest lesson taken, however, has been the importance of balance. There’s a “Goldilocks” zone to water, sunlight, and soil quality. An imbalanced on any variable throws off the whole equation and ultimately the garden’s health.

This can also be gleaned from motorsports, where too much application of throttle can disrupt your momentum in a corner and actually slow you down. Or even fitness, where our motivation to get results can cause a scenario where too much work is done, thus sabotaging our well-meaning efforts. Both feel like the right thing to do in the moment. But it was as I stood impatiently, over a mound of dirt in a recently seeded container, expecting a beanstalk to pierce through the clouds that it occurred to me: I’d done all that was needed. Any more watering or ruffling of the soil was only going to accomplish the opposite of my intentions to grow butterhead lettuce. Saplings have emerged since that moment of clarity.

Using that logic, I’ll be sure to balance my dinner with a fine cheesecake, chocolate, tiramisu, etc. Or is that wrong way of looking at this?

The Gunter Area Chamber of Commerce 2018 Annual Banquet was held March 27, 2018. The keynote speakers were Mark Millar, City of Gunter Mayor and Bill Mager’s, Grayson County Judge. 
The 2017 Emerging Business of the Year is Kona Ice.
The 2017 Business of the Year is Treeland Nursery.
The 2017 Citizen of the Year is Fire Chief Gallagher.
The 2017 Chamber Member of the Year is Russell Petty. 
Congratulations to these wonderful community members! We appreciate all you do for our community! This is a great way to contribute to Gunter. Thank you to the Chamber Board Members:
Brandy Cochran-President
Tonya Crow-Vice President
Linda McAllister-Secretary
Board Members- 
Matt Cooper, Donald Martinek, Mary McCauley, Denise Piaschyk, Melanie Rayburn.
Please join this great organization!
“Join Today and Grow Your Business With Us”
Schedule of events for 2018
April 9th - Meet the Candidate Night at 6:30
May 17th - GHS Scholarship Awards
June 1st - Membership Networking at Landmark Bank Happy Hour 5:30-7pm. 
July 4th - Fourth of July in the Park 6-10 pm
October - Community Barn Dance
November - Member Networking Event - The Woods Potluck Dinner
December 1st - Holly Jolly Craft Fair 9-3:00 pm at GHS

The City Council Member of a city, has to be a leader — but what truly defines a good Leader or Council person?

People have a variety of expectations, but among the most common traits sought in a successful and strong city leader are honesty, communication skills and community involvement and the best interests of the community

Certainly, you need to be able to get things done and command respect; these are some of the things that make a good leader.  Communication is also a key. When there is a problem, when there is budget crisis, you need the ability to explain that carefully to the people so they know what the options and trade-offs are and why such actions are necessary.
Another key to being a good leader is not only handling a big crisis well, but dealing with everyday issues that concern residents and their lifestyles. Councilmembers are held accountable for how things run in the community. Big picture issues like budgets, utilities and roads are concerns for our citizens, especially in tough economic times, but even small issues should never be taken for granted.

One of the first things that comes to my mind is a person who in some way, let’s the people in the community know that she hears and understands their concerns.  Who presents themselves as open-minded and community-minded before being voted in, continue to show them as that and be that same person after she is voted in.” Say what you can do, say what you might be able to do, and say what you can’t do.”

A good Councilwoman should always display integrity and an open mind.  A good Councilwoman is someone who has a broad view of both the larger world around us and the unique world in our community.  I think someone who has strong leadership skills, but a vision for the future rather than maintaining the status quo,” is the person that is best suited to help lead our city.
And the last of the keys, to being a good councilwoman is using creative thinking to solve problems. To lead a city it takes a lot of people, there have to be people who have real minds and real hearts and real skills. A good leader will get those people to work with her in the city. The mayor is the chief — But the final decision is made by City Council therefore the Council needs to have the right people together at the right time to do the right things for the city.

A Councilwoman, has to be a person of the people, by the people and for the people.

That woman is Jeannie Anderson

Vote for Jeannie Anderson for City Council- May 5, 2018

Paid for by the Jeannie Anderson for City Councilwoman Campaign

Check-Out Library Materials 24/7 Online!

Gunter Library and Museum card holders can check out eBooks and eAudiobooks through OverDrive and their great new app Libby. You can find out more by going to Libby is highly recommended for first time eBook readers, it is so easy! You can also easily read or listen directly from your browser by going to Here are some quick steps to getting started if you already know your library card number and password.

  1. Click on Sign in on the upper right corner of the page.

  2. Select Gunter Library Museum from the drop down menu on the left side of the page.

  3. Type in your library card number.

  4. Type in your PIN (you may email if you do not remember your PIN).

  5. Click on Sign in.

  6. Search for title, author, or keywords or just browse.

  7. Click on Borrow, then go to Loans under My account at the top of the page.

  8. Click on Read in Browser. If you are using the app and want to have it available when not connected to WI-FI click on Download and choose EPUB.

Pro Tips

  1. If the word Borrow is under a title it is available to check out. Place a hold puts you on the waiting list when the book is checked out to someone else.

  2. A book symbol lets you know it is an eBook.

  3. A headphone symbol lets you know it is an eAudiobook.

  4. Items check in automatically after 2 weeks, but you can return most titles early if you would like.

  5. Three dots lets you know that there are more menu options available if you click on them.

  6. The Libby app will remember your library card information for multiple accounts and multiple libraries.

  7. Pressing the spacebar will advance one page forward in the book. The left and right arrow keys will move you back and forth one page. The up arrow will let you know how far you are in the book and allow you to change the text size.

If you want to join the eBook crowd but just aren’t getting the hang of it, email us for an eBook assistance appointment at

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110 S Hwy 289 #4, Gunter, TX, 75058