A Phoenix in Wood County

PhoenixArticle_PICPhoenix, one that rises from the ashes, or is reborn.

On August 11th 2013 Sue Shockey’s house in Holiday Village caught fire from a week old burning tree stump root.  Despite the best efforts of Quitman, Land’s End, Yantis, and Alba fire departments the house was a total loss, probably assisted by 10 gallons of gasoline stored in her nearby shed.  As Sue tells the story returning home from church she discovered her shed was burning and was making headway with a water hose until the aforementioned 10 gallons of gas ignited.  Picking herself off the ground Sue decided to call in the pros and dialed 911.

Recently I learned from Kathy at Stitchin’ Heaven that Sue was an avid quilter, and that she lost 10 sewing machines, including a brother 2003 embroidery machine, and thousands of yards of fabric in the fire.  My wife (also named Susan and an avid quilter) decided to help Sue get a jump start through a contribution from the Lands End VFD.  With Susan’s help, the Department donated over 50 yards of fabric to help Sue get back on her feet, quilting-wise.

As the late Paul Harvey would say, “Now for the rest of the story.”  When delivering the fabric to Sue at her newly rebuilt home, my wife and I discovered the extent of her passion.  A large section of her new house is dedicated to her quilting and handcraft pursuits.  In addition to quilting, Sue also knits the little caps you see newborns wearing in the nurseries, and scarves given to the children at local hospitals.  Sue and other Wood County quilters donate the handcrafted items to the Children’s Advocacy Group in Winnsboro, Texas.  These are, in turn, distributed to children and teenagers as far away as Parkland and Children’s Hospital in Dallas.  That right all of her hard work is donated to sick children.

Visiting with Sue was a humbling experience for us.  Sue stated; “I just want to live out the rest of my life giving back to the community.”  Sue is what we would call a hidden treasure in Wood County.  Sue, in her giving nature, tried to offer us a financial donation for the responding Fire Departments needless to say we told her to put it toward a new sewing machine.  Part of the Land’s End VFD mantra is “Neighbors helping neighbors… making East Texas a safer place to live, work, and play.”  Sue, thanks for your passion and service to our community.

Now, does anybody have a good used Brother 2003 embroidery machine?  I know someone who could put it to good use. Let us know at theanchor [at] landsendhoa.org.

Drew Roberts
Asst. Chief Land’s End VFD