Bluebonnet News’ photo contest winners announced

First place - Linda Stuckey

Votes have been tallied in Bluebonnet News’ Facebook photo contest, which ended Aug. 15. The top vote-getter is Linda Stuckey, who captured an image during Hurricane Harvey of Tarkington cowboys Chance Ward and Rowdy Ward as they braved floodwaters to rescue stranded cattle and horses. Her entry received 35 votes.

For the win, Stuckey will receive a $20 Chick-fil-A gift card.

The second vote-getter is Angela Allen, Cleveland ISD police chief, who shot a photo of her husband, Danny Allen, performing the baptism of his brother, Stephen. Allen said of her entry, “This is my husband, Danny Allen, at Cornerstone Church, July 15, 2018. He baptized his brother, Stephen Allen, and as he came up out of the water, he kissed his head. He was so proud of him.” Her entry received 23 votes.

Elizabeth Carey came in third place with a photo of a homeless man named Johnny. She encountered the man outside of Cleveland Walmart and decided to give him some money after determining that he was “legit.” When she handed him the money, she asked him, “What’s your story?” The man reportedly laughed and replied, “Do I need a story?”

In her entry for the photo contest, she explained that the man’s demeanor suddenly grew serious and he explained that he is an American war veteran and had lost two wives and a daughter in 15 years.

“His ‘give a damn’ was broken. That and the expression in his incredibly blue eyes seared right through me. He reminded me of my own sweet husband,” Carey said. “I handed him the money and told him to help somebody when he could. He replied, ‘I always do. I’ve got my own little coalition around here. I buy food for two homeless guys under the bridge every night.’ I said, ‘Well, it’s good to meet you and God bless you. I’m Liz.’”

She continued, “In retrospect, he blessed me, and I am ashamed that I tried to put another human being to the test to see if he was worthy of help and compassion. He aced his test and I barely passed mine.”

Carey’s entry in the photo contest garnered 21 votes.

Other top entries are: Linda Stuckey’s photo showing last year’s snowfall (18 votes); Katlyne Hvamstad’s black and white photo of a motorcycle (12 votes); Leslie Perry Padgett’s photo of a child’s bike sitting in a field of bluebonnets in Tarkington (11 votes); Becky Davidson Bird’s photo of a dog taking in a Texas sunrise as he stands alongside a pond (10); and Christine Taylor’s photo of the aftermath of a Devers ISD ‘Real Friends’ project (9 votes).

Tied with seven votes are Jesse Burch’s photo of a goat hitching a ride on a donkey, Linda Lynn Burch’s photo of a donkey in the snow, Leslie Watson’s photo of the American flag on Memorial Day in Tarkington, Semira Die’s photo of a young cowboy and a calf waiting on a trough to fill up with water, Patricia Granger’s photo of a Texas sunset and Christine Taylor’s photo of the Liberty County Courthouse following the snowfall on Jan. 18, 2018.

The next contest begins Wednesday, Aug. 15. The subject this month is “Back to School.” The photos can range from a parent’s tearful or jubilant moment as they leave their child at school; cute kids as they begin the school year; or anything else that pertains to the subject. The contest ends on Sept. 15. Entries can be submitted on the Facebook thread up until the contest deadline, but those who get their photos posted sooner have a better chance of garnering votes. After you post your photo, be sure to share the link with friends and have them “like” Bluebonnet News and then “like” your photo.

This month’s prize will be four tickets to the Texan Theater in Cleveland.

By Vanesa Brashier,

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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