- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) - A cabin on a rise above a small lake in Longview is ready to welcome its second Texas governor on Saturday to usher in the next era for a Boy Scouts troop that’s turning 100.

This time, the governor is a Troop 201 alumnus.

The Longview News-Journal (https://bit.ly/2qvBxYP ) reports a young Greg Abbott joined the Longview troop about a year after Gov. John Connally came to Longview to help mark the troop’s 50th birthday, in 1967.

Connally presided as the young men buried a time capsule at the base of the flagpole outside their Scout Cabin in Teague Park.

Gov. Abbott is scheduled to lead his old troop in unearthing that long tube stuffed with memories left by troop members, many of whom will be on hand to discover those reminders of growing up in Longview.

“I’ve already talked to several of my friends that are coming back,” said Joe Allen III, one of a trio of Eagle Scouts whom Connally helped usher in to the Boys Scouts of America’s highest rank 50 years ago. “There’s going to be a whole group of us from the 1960s.”

Indeed, Troop 201 alums Kenneth Raney Jr. and 188th District Judge David Brabham spearheaded the reunion, while former Scoutmaster Doug Wiley and his wife, Lorelei, coordinated Troop preparations.

“They have really done a fantastic job of organizing this and putting it together,” said Paul Hill, today’s Scoutmaster.

Connally helped award Eagle Scout designations to Allen, David Duncan and Kelly Coghlan. On Saturday, they’ll be back to see Abbott do the same for four troop members who now have earned Eagle Scout status.

Along with Hill’s son, Mason Hill, they are Nathan Northcutt, Seth Powers and Clayton Griffin, all 17.

Abbott lived in Longview during his elementary and into junior high school years. His participation in Saturday’s time capsule reveal was discussed immediately when he chose Longview as the second platform from which to launch his gubernatorial campaign in 2013.

He’ll return for a sold-out barbecue lunch, expected to arrive just as the sauce starts dripping from chins. He’ll then preside over a public celebration of one of the elder Boy Scout Troops in the Lone Star State he now leads.

They’ll also bury a new time capsule.

Troop 201 participated in Abbott’s 2015 inauguration parade.

Abbott wrote a personal column for the News-Journal last summer on the passing of his Longview Scoutmaster, V.G. Rollins, whom he had seen during a 2015 stop here.

Organizer and Troop alum Raney said tickets for the barbecue were gobbled up.

“We have our hands full with 650,” he said. “However, as with all of these events over the past 50 years, the general public is welcome to attend and we want to encourage it.”

The event is, in a larger sense, a celebration of Longview and Gregg County, along with the troop that’s welcomed decades of new members graduating from Cub Scout troops throughout this region.

Longview was a lot smaller town in the early 1960s,” Allen said. “One walk-in movie theater and two drive-ins, and people knew each other. And it was a slower time.”

Scoutmaster Hill, understandably, has his heart on today’s Scouts.

“I’m thinking about the four boys that we’ve got that are Eagle-ing,” he said. “And the hope is, in 50 years, they’ll be old guys and we’re having the next 150 years and pulling their time capsule out.”


Information from: Longview News-Journal, https://www.news-journal.com

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