Thursday, 17 November 2011 by Berneta Peeples
Melany Ann Di Coin was raised in the rural area that many people don't realize is not too far from the biiiggg Houston area. It's a "don't close your eyes or you'll miss it" little towns named Waller, in Waller County. Melany grew up on a farm in Waller County where she was riding horses by the time she could walk and her aim in retirement is to find place like that.
She recalled "we had sleep-overs which were really camp-outs in the pasture. We did two things, rode horses all night or the girls were trying to make me into a pretty girl. I was and still an a 'tomboy.' But they tried to do something with my long black hair. I wore it then like I do now and it was the same color.
"In the yearbooks nobody recognizes me. My hair is curled and I have on make-up. After all it was nine against one."
She grinned. "It's been near 50 years but we still haven't explained to our mamas exactly how my horse stepped on another girl's hand at 1 o'clock in the morning. We were playing chase around the pasture in one of those overnight sleep-overs.
"We were galloping all over the pasture and both of us were pushing our horses hard. Somehow her horse made a quick turn and she lost her balance and hit the ground, right by my horse's foot and broke her hand. That curtailed sleep-overs for a while."
They learned to water ski in a rice pond. "We knew not to fall off - the pond was full of water moccasins."
Melany could write a travel book. She wants to retire in some of those places she has visited and worked. She listed the Big Bend and parts of west Texas, vs. the East Texas pine forests, plus Zion National Park and a few spots in Utah and Wyoming.
She found Bell County when she came to Temple to help care for her mother.
Along the way she collected salt and pepper shakers. After she counted 400 pairs she found a booth at Vintage Days Antiques.
Then there was other stuff around the place so she moved over Moore & Garrett taking bigger space. She pleads guilty to making yard sales for more items for her booth. She's on the regular work staff at M&G.
She is proud of the fact that she went to Willie Nelson's first concert in the tiny east Texas town of Trinity.
She is a devoted follower of all the "old C&W" country singers from the 1980s back.
That was when they sang songs with words and tunes. "I have most of the top hits by all of them, the girls and the boys."
She is proud of her Uncle William Early Jones. He had seven sons and all seven are Texas Rangers." She reluctantly admits that Singer Tommy Lee Jones is not one of them.
But it was Uncle William that ran the gunman John Wesley Hardin out of Gonzales. There are newspaper accounts - Williams told Hardin, leave or else. Gonzales wasn't big enough for both Jones and Hardin. Hardin left.
She has the six perfect grandchildren."I never realized that six kids could be so different. Each child is outstanding, each in a different way.
She has one daughter and two sons. One son is just a hardworking, wonderful man. The other is a major in the Army, stationed in DC.
Just don't ask questions about his job.
Central Texas in general and Belton in particular, is a wonderful place to live. She wishes there was better fishing in the Leon River. She says she loves to dance, is a good dancer, but she can't sing a note.
She likes primitives for her home furnishing and her bathroom features Roy Rogers.