First in a series

MAYPEARL — The house at 201 First Street in Maypearl has been home to two women with a fervor for serving the Lord, eagerness to serve others and a special love for Maypearl.

Those two women looked out upon the streets of Maypearl from the same front porch, witnessing different times of the small town’s history.

Leatie Davis moved into the home in 1943 — a time when trains still came through the community and hungry passengers enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs from a stand in the home’s backyard.

Now, Mildred “Lucky” Talton, Davis’ granddaughter, watches as the new David’s Supermarket takes its place just across the street from her home since 1964, signaling a new era in the town’s history.

The views from that front porch will always hold a special place in Lucky’s heart.

“Me and my grandmother had some good times on this front porch,” Lucky said with tears in her eyes.

Soon, Lucky will have a new front porch, attached to a new home, which will be filled with a mixture of old and new, along with all of the memories of her 79 years.

But her new porch will still look out onto the same stretch of Maypearl.

Years of weathering have left Lucky’s house slowly deteriorating and the recent heavy rains left 6 inches of water in her home, which sits low to the ground and relatively close to a drainage ditch along First Street.

“It’s just deteriorating,” Lucky said of her home. “I was so afraid last time it rained that (the water) was going to come up over the road.”

Paul Wilbur, owner of Maypearl Hardware & Feed, heard of Lucky’s troubles. Over the years, he has come to know Lucky as a sweet lady who has spent many hours baking bundt cakes for the business owners and staff downtown, as well as people throughout the community.

“She’s a really nice lady,” Wilbur said.

It just so happened Wilbur was in the process of selling and demolishing some rental homes located outside of Maypearl.

“We decided instead of selling all the houses, we could give her one,” Wilbur said.

Wilbur picked a two-bedroom, one-bath home of 735 square feet built in the 1940s to replace Lucky’s current home, which he guesses to be at 600 square feet. Although the home is around 60 years old, he has big plans for a total remodel of the house.

“It will basically be a brand new home when she moves in,” Wilbur said.

However, Wilbur is not taking credit for all the work. Since he decided to donate a home, he has received offers of services and donations from various businesses and individuals.

“It’s fun to watch the community get involved. A lot of people just stepped up,” Wilbur said. “This is definitely a community project.”

So far, DeWayne’s Concrete has decided to donate all the concrete for the entire project; Martin Heating and Air has promised heat and air conditioning equipment for the home; Southall Electric is donating all electrical supplies as well as staff to perform electrical work; Duckett & Son Plumbing will donate all plumbing material as well as time to complete the plumbing work; the city of Maypearl is donating a storage facility for Lucky’s belongings during the transition period; Kelley Jacobson is providing dumpster service to remove all remnants of the previous home; Flying W Group is donating the home as well as other materials required during construction phase; Buera Vista Inc. will donate all inspections to ensure the home is up to code; Dirt Work Inc. is donating time to perform the demolition of the previous home as well as any additional dirt work; European Bedding is donating furniture for both bedrooms, including mattresses, box springs, headboards and night stands; and McMillan Building Movers & Sons is donating the house moving.

Members of the Maypearl community have promised donations of time and materials to aid in the demolition and remodel.

“This is totally God’s work — I just happen to be helping,” Wilbur said. “I had an idea and it’s fun to watch it take off.”

While Wilbur already has a list of donors and volunteers, the project lacks some items, such as new appliances, paint, new fixtures, cabinets, furnishings and various materials such as sheetrock, lumber and siding.

“We still have a lot to go,” Wilbur said.

Plans for the remodel include a bigger bathroom, a back porch, a ramp connecting to a wooden front porch, a new roof and a new carport.

“We’re bringing everything up to code. We’re doing this all thinking of her. We’re taking every step we can to ensure she has a good quality of life,” Wilbur said.

A few weeks ago, Wilbur went to Lucky to tell her that she would soon be living in a new home. Both Wilbur and Lucky agree that the announcement was emotional for the pair.

“I cried — I thanked the Lord because I knew it was the Lord working through him. He and I were both crying,” Lucky said, with tears welling in her eyes. “I didn’t want to leave Maypearl. I just appreciate it and thank God every day.”

Last week, Lucky had the opportunity to see her new home, prior to the remodeling phase.

“Monday, when she wanted to see the house, we didn’t even get in the driveway and I could hear her crying,” Wilbur said. “Everyone was bawling.”

“I like it,” Lucky said, as she wiped fresh tears away. “I’m just thankful I got to see it. I just thank God.”

“She’s been waiting a long time. She’s always been the perfect person,” said Lucky’s niece, Carolyn (Talton) Coleman of the project. “There’s not anyone in this neighborhood that she hasn’t helped. She’s always making cakes. She even took some down to the workers at David’s. She’s always helping other people.”

“She deserves it, she really does,” she said.

Lucky has started packing her things and is gradually moving out of the house. She plans to live with her daughter in Arlington during the demolition and construction phases. And although she is excited about the new home, she remains emotional about the loss of the home that has been in the family since 1943.

“It’s going to be hard, but I know it’s got to go,” Lucky said.

“But you’ve got pictures and memories,” Coleman said.

Although the entire house will be demolished and some trees and plants will have to be removed from the property, Lucky hopes that a grapevine flourishing along one side of the home will remain on the property.

“My grandmother planted it. It’s been putting out grapes every year,” Lucky said.

The demolition is planned after the approval of the building permit by the city council within the next few weeks.

Those interested in donating materials or volunteering time should call Wilbur or Samatra Kerbow at Maypearl Hardware & Feed, (972) 435-3476.

E-mail Mandy at mandy.bourgeois@waxahachiedailylight.com