There is one thing certain about Maude Barcheers, you have not been to Lorenzo, Texas if you have not tasted her cooking. She was baking cookies for her Sunday School class and the rest of the people in the church found out about it, so now she makes enough cookies for the entire church every Sunday morning, so the Sunday School class will not be interrupted by members looking for cookies.
Reverend Dennis Williams came to town as the new pastor a few years back and on his congregational visits, he stopped by Maude's home and discovered Fried Pies. Needless to say, she is one of the most visited members of the church.
Maude Roberts met and married a local boy Eugene Barcheers in the Oklahoma community of Mead. He only lived about a mile from her home. They were actually from Duran, Oklahoma in Bryan County. Her father was a farmer in Oklahoma and raised peanuts, corn and cotton.
They came to the Lorenzo area in 1950 to pull cotton. Gene, as he was called, got a job at the local blacksmith shop, where the City Park is now located, and decided to stay.
They started their family in Lorenzo and had two boys, Bobby and Clifford. They have five grandsons and nine great grandchildren. Bobby and Clifford both went through the high school in Lorenzo. Clifford now lives in Abernathy, Texas. Bobby passed away after high school. Eugene passed away August 21, 1980 at home.
Since 1990 Maude has slowed down some after heart surgery, but needless to say, she has adopted Lorenzo as her home and that is where she quilts, does piece work and attends Bible Class and First Baptist Church faithfully, a far cry from the six o'clock in the morning to eleven o'clock at night hours at the Hornet Cafe.
The Hornet Cafe was opened by John Simkins. The first cook was Velma Elmore. John had a John Deere shop in the back, where the men played dominos all day and John repaired tractors. Bessie Hoople, Reba Norris and Yvonne Beshirs, her two nieces, worked at the cafe.
Before coming to work at the Hornet Cafe, Maude worked for Walter Crouch and Babe Williams in Ralls for about a year. Then she worked for a Mr. Jud in Lubbock for another year.
Upon going to work at the Hornet Cafe she recalls she "worked and then she worked" as the hours were from early morning till late at night. She had breakfast in the morning and a dinner, which always featured three vegetables and two meats with a dessert. The dessert was usually a cobbler and sometimes a cake. She fixed three chickens everyday, and sometimes had to fry more, as the men really went after the fried chicken. Meats were 75 cents.
In 1971, Simkins passed away and Maude bought the cafe from his wife. Maude owned the cafe until 1980. Her dad became ill and she went back to Oklahoma to take care of him. Eugene used to help her in the cafe by running the cash register. Shortly after Maude went to Oklahoma, Gene sold the cafe to Irene Fedelin. The Hornet Cafe was where Galvan's Restaurant is located today.
During the time she had the cafe, Horace Norman had the theatre next door and ran it until he went out of business. Cliff Westerman went down and got Mexican Nationalists and brought them to Lorenzo and they stayed in the barracks down on Sixth Street. This created a need for entertainment so Horace Norman had a midnight show on Saturday night. By the time all the men from the barracks came, it blocked the whole street in front of the theatre and cafe as they milled around waiting for the movie to start. It was a good customer base for the cafe. She closed as soon as the theatre opened because when they came out, she could not handle that large a crowd and, of course, this would add another two hours to her day.
The cafe was an eating place for the residents of Lorenzo. Kids often came at noon from school until the campus was closed. A young girl Myrna Chamberlain who was in school at the time would always come down to eat her hamburger, but she would not eat until all the kids there had been served, making sure they had their food and drink. Myrna later became Myrna McMillan.
Some tales from the Hornet Cafe are Maude's favorites. One day customers were talking about the bank robbery. There was a heated discussion as to the date of the event. So Maude and Bessie just pushed everyone outside, closed the cafe and went out to the cemetery to see what date was on Irwin Bownds' tombstone. They came back to the cafe and settled the argument.
Apparently this was an on going thing in the cafe, as the conversation between the customers was often settled because Maude kept the back issues of the local newspaper for that reason and to make sure the facts were correct. This created lots of fun and lots of hard work, but fond memories.
A quote from Maude, "My memory is gone and my forgetter is working overtime."
"Once Upon A Plain" by Carroll Wayne Wallace, Sr. and Sydna E. Wallace ©2000
Services for Maudie Lee Barcheers, 90, of Lorenzo was at 2:00 PM, Monday, March 21, 2005 at the Lorenzo First Baptist Church with the Rev. Dennis Williams officiating. Burial was in Lorenzo Cemetery under direction of Adams Funeral Home of Lorenzo. She passed away Saturday, March 19, 2005 at her home in Lorenzo.
She was born November 25, 1914 in Yarnaby, Oklahoma to Charlie and Florence Emma (Bowers) Roberts. On June 10, 1933 she married Eugene Barcheers in Durant, Oklahoma. He preceded her in death on August 21, 1980. She was a member of the Lorenzo First Baptist Church and the Sr. Citizens Bible Class. She moved to Lorenzo in 1950 from Boswell, Oklahoma.
Preceded in Death by son Bobby Barcheers September 28, 1954 and Grandson Robbed Barcheers 13, 1967.
Survivors include; a son; Clifford Barcheers of Abernathy, two brothers; Albert Roberts of Salina, California, Robert Roberts of Biggs, Oklahoma, four sisters; Floosie Patterson of Randolph, Texas, Jessie Riggs of Bon ham, Texas, Jo Lank ford of Apache, Oklahoma and Ann Miller of Sherman, Texas 4 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and 5 great Lank ford grandchildren.
Casket bearers Don Barcheers, Eugene Barcheers, De Wayne Barcheers, Wade Barcheers, Laboured Beshirs and Ray Beshirs.
©The Crosby County News & Chornicle, Tursday, March 24, 2005, page 9
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