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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Tribute for Lahoma Herron... August, 1921 to April 13, 2013...

I heard from Lahoma's granddaughter, Laura, on Monday.  Sadly, she informed me that Lahoma had passed away earlier this year.  She stumbled upon my posts from 2009, where I had found one of Lahoma's paintings in a Goodwill Store and so, set out to find Lahoma.  I'm reposting the original posts below, just as they were written in 2009.  Lahoma Herron was one fine lady... and this reposting, my Christmas gift to Lahoma and her family...

  Lahoma's painting, stills holds it's place of honor in my home office, where it will be cherished for many years to come...

Down Here in French Lique...

Part 1: Looking for Lahoma Herron

originally published March 19. 2009

I did a little Goodwill shopping a couple of weeks ago when Ricky and I went to drop off a few items... I figured I'd donated at least 20 or so items.. I could stand to pick up a couple of treasures... if I found any.

Lo' and Behold! I found this little treasure... a delicate oil painting... beautifully framed in Paris...
Paris, Texas that is...

There they were those sweet little birds.. sitting on a shelf behind some larger, cheaper looking pictures... mass produced... not original oil paintings... had someone tried to hide this little treasure? Too late... I found it and it is mine... and only $1.99...
An original to be sure... signed right here by the artist... Lahoma Herron... Herron like the bird? Perhaps, Lahoma was or is a bird lover... and an accomplished painter to be sure... But who is Lahoma?There are a few clues hidden back here... on the reverse of this lovely treasure... Let's see what they are... Framed by Vernon Daniel in... look... Paris... Texas...
and signed again on the back by Lahoma... obviously a gift to someone special... and Lahoma... a Christian by all accounts... as she has asked God to bless the receiver of this treasure... and they were a special recipient.. because she signed with "Love"... But where is Lahoma... and how did such a lovely treasure come to be in the picture bin at Goodwill? I'm doing my research... and I think I've found a relative of Miss Lahoma's... I've sent them an email inquiry and am awaiting their response...
Until then... The beautiful treasure, painted by Miss Lahoma Herron, has found a place of honor...
on my freshly painted walls, in my newly redecorated home office...
down here in French Lique...

A little Looking for Lahoma update... I've been in email contact with her Great-Niece Krystal.... Krystal has kindly offered to get me in touch with Lahoma. I'll let you know what happens!
Update #2... I heard from Lahoma's niece, Shelley (Krystal's mom). Shelley is going to contact Lahoma for me... There will be a new post sometime this weekend about Miss Lahoma and her art... stay tuned...

Part 2; Finding Lahoma originally published March 21, 2009

Finding Lahoma was much easier than I had expected... Yes... I have found Lahoma McCollom Herron... 86 years young; still painting, sewing, quilting and crafting, daily, in Robinson, Texas.


The beautiful bird painting was given to a young man whose last name was Daniels. Lahoma believes that the family downsized their living accommodations, and thus... her beautiful painting ended up at the Goodwill... where it found me. Then this morning, about 10 a.m. the phone rang...
I answered.."Hello?"
"Hello Dixie!"... was the reply...
"Lahoma, is that you?" I said...
"Yes dear.. it's me! It's Lahoma."...
and so the 30-minute conversation began.

Lahoma had already read my previous blog post, Looking for Lahoma Herron.  She was thrilled that I had found her painting and that I had taken the time to look for her and to write about her. Everything that I share with you here, I have Lahoma's permission to share... I hope you enjoy her story... 

Lahoma Maxine McCollom was born in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma (and named after her state... OkLahoma) in August of 1921. She Married Eugene Alexander Herron in February of 1939. After WWII, Lahoma and Eugene moved to McLean, Texas and farmed for 17 years.

In McLean, they ran the last "Grade A Raw Milk Dairy" in Texas until the drought.  

During the drought (the 6-yr Texas drought 1951-1956), they had to sell the cattle and find some other means of support.

Eugene went to California and came back with a job setting up and running a bra and girdle factory, where Lahoma also worked for 7-years. 

Finally, "Eugene got fed up with it" and they left the factory and McLean for Paris... Paris, Texas in 1961.






There, Lahoma's Sweet Shoppe was born, where Lahoma turned out all kinds of sweets, candies, cakes and pies.

Eugene passed away in March of 1981... but Lahoma continued to live in Paris.

Lahoma had always wanted to paint pictures, so around 1985 she started taking painting lessons from an artist/teacher in Paris... uh, Texas... 

and Lahoma started painting everything that would take paint. Today she paints on paper, canvas, farm implements, shells, glass... just about everything.

Then in 2003, Lahoma gave up her little house in Paris and moved to Robinson, Texas with her daughter, Lona; where she still resides. She has a walker, which she doesn't use... and one of those little "help I've fallen" beepers... just in case... but she says she doesn't really need either one! 

Each year, Lahoma (or "Aunt Homie" as she is known to her family) hand paints more than 300 Christmas cards for friends and family and mails them out. She said "sometimes they come back with a little note telling (her) that the person is deceased"...
She also has a list of special friends and family that she paints birthday cards for each year.  (In 2009 I was a lucky recipient of one of Lahoma's hand painted cards). 

We talked about my Uncle A and Aunt C (also in their 80's), and how they attend a funeral nearly every week. I told her sometimes Uncle A gets depressed with so many friends and family dying... Lahoma said she doesn't go to funerals because "they are depressin"... and she doesn't like to feel depressed!
She told me that she still loves to sew and quilt... in fact she currently has a "quilt in the frame"... but says she can't do those tiny little 16-stitches-to-the-inch Amish quilts... but she likes to quilt anyway...

What a delight she was to talk to today. I think I could have stayed on the phone with her for hours. She is full of life, and I bet, full of stories too.

 Lahoma and I have exchanged phone numbers and addresses. I think a new friendship has been born... and how lucky I am to be the benefactor of that precious painting... which Miss Lahoma is so proud to know, hangs in a special place in my home where I see it every day.

This little biography of Lahoma Herron will be printed, put into an envelope, and attached to the back of my little painting of birds... Hopefully, 50-years from now when both Lahoma and I are gone.. someone else will find this little painting in a thrift shop somewhere and wonder... "where is Lahoma Herron?"


Just enjoying the view... and the wonder of living... down here in French Lique... thanks Lahoma...

and just a note... Thank you Candy for photo shopping the three pictures of Lahoma for me... The photos of Lahoma's bird painting were taken by me. The rest of the photos you see have been googled and are simply part of my vivid imagination. Thank you for joining me in the search for Lahoma Herron.

2 comments:

Dewena Callis said...

What a wonderful story, Dixie, a real one and those are the best kinds! It would have been a privilege to know Lahoma. And I can't even begin to imagine painting 300 Christmas cards. I'm sure you did make her very happy, not just with knowing that you'll treasure her painting but knowing that you were interested in her very interesting life.

What stories there would be if everyone was a curious as you!

Sisters Treasures said...

What a touching story, Dixie. I love how you felt compelled (and followed through) to get in touch with Lahoma! (I love her name). I can understand how she felt about not wanting to go to funerals. My mom(89) and her cousin (same age) comment that they are just about the only ones left among their friends. Thank you for sharing this, it made my day. Betsy