Lions Club member Robert Wood introduces Tommie Ritter Smith with the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Museum in Carthage.

The Marshall Lions Club met on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at the meeting room of Jose Tequila’s Grill located at 1205 East End Blvd. South.

Vice-President Patrick Owens called the meeting to order and welcomed Lions. He asked Lion Dudley Swofford to open the meeting with prayer, and then appointed Lion Ed Hoffman to lead the Pledges of Allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags. Lion Alan Grantham led Lions in singing “Jingle Bells ”and “America, the Beautiful.”

Lion Tamer Robert Coleman welcomed Lions and guests Shay Thompson and Sydney Arnold to the meeting. He advised the club that there were 18 in the Den. The Thought for the Day is: “Count your blessings – let go of the things you cannot change, practice kindness and take a deep breath and relax!”

Tail Twister Lion Chris Horsley also welcomed the Club. He collected $1 from nearly everyone there, and then put in $20 for a vest pin previously purchased. Lion Chris told two jokes – one fell flat and the other one was so-so. Lions Alan Grantham and Paul Martin bought pins auctioned by Lion Chris. The only birthday was Lion Suzanne Willis and Lion Dare Westmoreland led the Club in singing our “Happy Song” in her honor.

Lion Robert reported that the program for Dec. 8 will be The Texas Oncology Group from Longview.

Vice-President Patrick Owens called on Lion Robert Wood to introduce his program, Tommie Ritter Smith, with the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Museum in Carthage. She told Lions that country singers Tex Ritter and Jim Reeves are Carthage’s “claim to fame!”

When Tommie got the idea to open a museum, she went to California and Tex Ritter’s sons John and Tommy told her to take anything she wanted – Tex’s wife had collected anything and everything pertaining to Tex’s career.

Tommie told of several incidents; some sweet and some not so sweet, involving Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Matt Davis, Jeannie C. Riley, Joe Allison, Kenny Rogers, Jimmy Dean, Linda Davis and Tanya Tucker.

The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame (TCMHOF) was initiated in 1998 to celebrate the contributions of Texans to the country music profession. The project highlights those individuals, living or dead. The museum is self-guided, but Mrs. Smith recommends at least two hours to experience the full museum tour. As a side note, she indicated that COVID-19 had really impacted the museum including the yearly show and six bus tours.

Tex Ritter’s son, Tommy, was born with Cerebral Palsy, but he supported John in his career.

John was a very funny comedian, mostly known for the TV Show “Three’s Company.” John’s widow established “The John Ritter Aortic Dissection Foundation” after his death on September 11, 2003, at the age of 54. The family sad this is probably what caused Tex Ritter’s death but no one really knows.

Vice-President Patrick Owens thanked Mrs. Smith for an entertaining and informative program and presented her with a Lions writing pen. He asked Lion Paul Martin to close the meeting with prayer and adjourned the meeting.

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