'Funny' runs in Engvall family

Talk about bedside manner, this Temple doc kept patients in stitches even when they were getting... er, stitches.


“Dr. Bill Engvall Sr. was the funniest man I’ve ever known. I think he was much funnier than his son, Bill Engvall Jr.”

Dr. Bill Engvall Sr. (left) was a popular anesthesiologist at Scott & White Hospital in Temple. Bill Engvall Jr. is a popular comedian known as part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

Very funny doctor kept patients and workers smiling at Temple hospital

NOTE: I wrote this story in the spring and published it on Facebook and elsewhere, but I have received many requests to run it again. Here ya go!


In the summer of 2002, Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy stormed the country with their unique brand of working-class humor. Foxworthy was already a comedy sensation, and the tour lifted Bill, Ron and Larry to similar stardom.

Engvall was an immediate fan favorite, and he has been called the funniest man in America. Some folks in Temple, however, say he isn’t even the funniest “Bill Engvall.”

Born on May 4, 1934, in Temple, William Ray Engvall Sr. (the comedian’s dad) was a talented Scott & White anesthesiologist who always had a joke to tell.

He began his medical career with the U.S. Public Health Service in Keams Canyon, Arizona, where he worked at an Indian hospital. He moved his family to Richardson in 1972 to pursue further education as an anesthesiologist. After the younger Bill graduated high school, the family moved to Temple where senior worked at Scott & White Hospital and taught Texas A&M medical students.

Dr. Mark Richardson did his anesthesia residency at S&W and knew Engvall well.

“Dr. Bill Engvall Sr. was the funniest man I’ve ever known,” Richardson said. “I think he was much funnier than his son, Bill Engvall Jr.”

Richardson said he once asked Dr. Engvall how he came up with his funny jokes.

“He said, 'It’s not the jokes but rather the telling of the jokes.'”

“We were walking down a hallway headed toward the crowded anesthesia lounge,” Richardson recalled.  “He said, ‘I want you to listen. When we enter the lounge, I am going to tell a joke, but listen carefully to my story.’”

The doctors entered the lounge and Engvall began a very animated telling of his story. Richardson listened carefully.

“The story was convoluted and made no sense at all, but that didn’t stop everyone in the lounge from laughing hysterically. He turned and looked at me with an all-knowing look.” 

“The story made no sense,” Richardson said. “There was nothing funny about it at all, but he told the joke with such enthusiasm that everyone in the room was laughing so hard they were grabbing their sides. I was the only one in the room who was stone faced, not laughing, and I realized what he had meant. The telling of a joke was much more important than the joke itself.”

Richardson said Dr. Engvall had hundreds, maybe thousands, of the funniest jokes ever told in his head, but more importantly he knew the art of telling a joke. He was a master storyteller.”

Joy Lynn (Villines) Smith held several positions during her career at S&W, and she was a medical secretary when she knew Dr. Engvall.

“He was very funny,” she said. “The secretaries loved it when he came through to make us laugh.”

Those who worked at S&W with Dr. Engvall said he was kind, compassionate, creative, intelligent and very, very funny. He was a man who truly loved life.

An entry in the guestbook after Dr. Engvall’s death in 2018 is testimony to the good doctor’s compassion:

“I have the sweetest memory of Dr. Engvall explaining anesthesia to my 7-year-old (son) as he was preparing for eye surgery in 1979. As he explained the procedure, he was drawing this cartoon of Donald Duck blowing up a balloon. Dr. Engvall was a one-of-a-kind treasure.”



New developments continue to pop up around the area, and West Temple is no exception. Here's a couple of new residential areas that are in the works...more to come!

180-unit Cypress Creek will have summer start, developer says

“Cypress Creek will be an amenity-rich gated community that includes a clubhouse, leasing center, a full fitness studio, a business center, a wifi lounge, a community kitchen, an outdoor grille house, a resort-style swimming pool, a playscape and a dog park,.”

By DAVID STONE, Our Town exclusive

A new 180-unit mixed-income apartment community will begin construction in West Temple next summer and will be open by spring 2023.

Texas-based Bonner Carrington and Sycamore Strategies are developing Cypress Creek Apartment Homes at South Cedar Road just off West Adams Avenue, said project spokesperson Emily Protine.

“Cypress Creek will be in the Temple city limits and Belton school district,” Protine said. “The complex will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans for lease.”

The 9.92 acre, $31 million complex will lease 46 units to tenants earning 50 percent or less of the area median gross income and 44 units to residents earning 51 to 70 percent of the area median gross income. The remaining 90 units will lease at market rates.

Single bedroom, one-bath units will range from 751 to 767 square feet and will cost $567 to $985 depending on the tenant’s income. Two-bedroom, two-bath units will be 1,009 to 1,042 square feet and the lease range will be $677 to $1,085. Three-bedroom, two-bath units will range from 1,168 to 1,179 square feet and the rental range will be from $778 to $1,200.

“Cypress Creek will be an amenity-rich gated community that includes a clubhouse, leasing center, a full fitness studio, a business center, a wifi lounge, a community kitchen, an outdoor grille house, a resort-style swimming pool, a playscape and a dog park,” Protine said. “There also will be monthly events and activities for residents.”

Tarver Ridge townhome development will be located at 715 South Pea Ridge Road on a 5.29 acre site.

Tarver Ridge still in planning stage

Our Town report

An 89-unit townhome development is in the works for a West Temple location near Joe M. Pirtle Elementary School.

Tarver Ridge townhome development will be located at 715 South Pea Ridge Road on a 5.29 acre site. Derek Marshall of Baird Williams Construction owns the property through the entity BWC Ventures LLC.

Temple-based Clark & Fuller civil engineers produced a site plan to the Temple Planning and Zoning Commission that showed 22 townhome buildings with 89 units in a variety of architectural styles, plus a half-acre neighborhood park.

Most of the townhomes are attached in groups of four, the exceptions being one building that has six units and one that has three.   

The project will require a 6-foot-wide sidewalk to be constructed along South Pea Ridge Road, along with internal sidewalks and trail connections. Two-inch diameter trees are to be planted every 50 feet along South Pea Ridge, Tarver Drive and the internal streets.

A private park in the complex will be owned and maintained by the homeowner’s association.

Temple City Council is expected to hold a first reading on the recommended item Oct. 7 and second reading on Oct. 21.


Jessica Fingers of Temple took these amazing photos during last night’s thundershow. The storm was loud and lit up the sky for hours. Our Town welcomes your high-quality photos…just send them to ourtowntemple@gmail.com. Be sure to include photographer’s name and a description of the photo.

COVID-19 testing site reopens today

The COVID-19 drive-thru testing site located in the parking lot across Wilson Park Softball Complex, 2136-2210 E Avenue H, will resume operations starting today.

The site will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The testing site will have 200 COVID-19 tests available each day and 50 Pfizer vaccines. Booster shots also will be available.


September 29, Wednesday - School-Age Story Time (K-3rd Grade), Short films, stories, constructive play. Temple Public Library. 4:15 p.m.

September 29, Wednesday - McLane Lecture Presents Charlie Duke,  Apollo 16 Astronaut, Brigadier General USAF (Ret.), and Business Entrepreneur in the Frank and Sue Mayborn Campus Center. 11 a.m.

September 30, Thursday - TLC’s Celebration of Crazy, Sexy Cool with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Bell County Expo Center. 7:30 p.m.

September 30, Thursday - Funniest Comic in Texas semi-finals. Corky’s.

October 1, Friday - Oktoberfest in Downtown Temple. In conjunction with First Friday. Block parties throughout the entertainment district.

October 1, Friday - Randy Rogers Band, Johnny Steaks and Bar-Be-Que, Salado. 6 p.m.

October 1, Friday - Mark Richey and two-stepping’ fun at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.

October 2, Saturday - Transportation Family Day. Experience the largest gathering of Model T cars in the state of Texas and explore the history of the first automobile. Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

October 2, Saturday - Preschool Story Time, Stories, songs, literacy activities. Recommended for children 3 to 5 years old. Temple Public Library, 10:30 a.m.

October 2, Saturday - Sirena Festival & Mermaid Parade, Barrow Brewing Co, Salado. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

October 2, Saturday - Dave Jorgenson and his unique Texas music at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.

October 3, Sunday - Keys for the Kingdom, a concert with four pianists on four grand pianos. First Baptist Church in Temple. Free admission! 6 p.m.

October 3, Sunday - Temple Civic Theater’s annual Bazaar Thrift Sale & Blood Drive. Rummage through racks of clothes and tables packed with fun finds. TCT facemarks, wristbands, mugs and memberships also will be on sale. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

October 5, Tuesday - Temple’s National Night Out. 6:30 p.m.

October 7, Thursday - The Spazmatics, Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton. 6 p.m.

October 7, Thursday - Teen Dungeons & Dragons: Beginners Program. Temple Public Library. 5 p.m.

October 7, Thursday - Taproom Trivia at Fire Base Brewing Company. Compete for bragging rights and brewery prizes. 7 p.m.

October 8, Friday - Painting with a Twist, 3 Texans Winery. 6:30 p.m.

October 8, Friday - Branded Heart live at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.

October 8, Friday - Ethan Smith & The Dirt Revolution will be at O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.

October 9, Saturday - Pre-Historic Fundraiser, Tiny Hooves Rescue & Petting Zoo. Seaton Star Hall. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

October 9, Saturday - Dark Explorers Paranormal Team will host a public investigation at The Book Cellar. No open-toe shoes. Bring Your Own Flashlight. 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

October 9, Saturday - Fall Festival Farmer’s Market. Walker Honey Farm. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

October 9, Saturday - John Christopher Way and his crowd-pleasing music live at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.

October 9, Saturday - Fall Craft Extravaganza. Make leaf lanterns, fall wreaths, shrinky dinks, more. Temple Public Library, 2 p.m.

October 9, Saturday - Downtown Temple Farmer’s Market. 2 North Main. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

October 9, Saturday - Shinyribs, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.

October 9, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.

October 11-17 - Hocus Pocus, The Beltonian Theatre, Belton. Noon.

October 12, Tuesday - Czech Film Night at The Beltonian. Free admission. 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

October 15, Friday - Dancing music with Hyway Traveler at Bo’s Barn. 8  p.m.

October 16, Saturday - Van Cliburn Recital featuring Yekwon Sunwoo. Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Belton. 7:30 p.m.

October 16, Saturday - West Temple Oktoberfest. 3 West Alehouse & Grill. 11 a.m.

October 16, Saturday - 35 South burns up the dance floor at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.

October 16, Saturday - St. Luke Fest 2021, raffle, petting zoo, live music, carnival games, food vendors, silent auction, bingo and more. St. Luke’s Catholic Church. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

October 16, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.

October 16, Saturday - Cookie Decorating. Blackmon Community Center. 10 a.m.

October 16, Saturday - Michael Salgado at Schoepf’s BBQ in Belton, 6 p.m.

October 18-23 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Beltonian, Belton. 6-8 p.m.

October 19, Tuesday - UMHB Opera/Musical Theatre Scenes. A College of Visual & Performing Arts presentation. Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Baugh Performance Hall. 7:30 p.m.

October 22, Friday - Unity Fest on the street in front of Ras Kitchen. Featuring Alex Marley and many other acts. 4 p.m. to midnight.

October 23, Saturday - Don Gregory Memorial Lions Club Golf Tournament. Sammons Golf Course. Contact Jeffrey Thigpen Thigpen.jeff@gmail.com to register or for sponsorship opportunities. 4-person scramble begins at 8:30 a.m.

October 23, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.

October 26, Tuesday - The College of Visual & Performing Arts presents the UMHB Concert Choir and the Women’s Chorus. Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Baugh Performance Hall. 7:30 p.m.

October 29, Friday - Uncasing of the Colors for the 607-member 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the 3rd Squadron, 36th Infantry Division, now headquartered at the Texas Army National Guard on Airport Road in Temple. Santa Fe Plaza, 10 a.m.

October 29, Friday - Season closing event, Domestics vs Imports, Little River Dragway, 7 p.m.

October 30, Saturday - Barktoberfest, Dog costume contest at 5:30; adoptable dogs on site. Barrow Brewing Co., Salado. 1-7 p.m.

October 30, Saturday - Bulls & BBQ, Live bull riding followed by concert with Jake Worthington and Keith Braxton. Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton, Noon.

October 30, Saturday - Tablerock’s Fright Trail. One-half mile walking trail presents thrill, chills and haunting skits. Salado. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

October 30, Saturday - BooCru at Crusader Stadium. UMHB in Belton. Wear your Halloween costume to the UMHB v. Belhaven game. Trick or Treat at 10 locations inside the stadium during the first half. Halftime parade of costumes on the football field. Noon.

October 31, Sunday - Halloween! Have fun, be safe.

November 4, Thursday - Spur Classic Sporting Clay Shoot, Weber Shooting Range. 8 a.m.

November 4, Thursday - Brown Bag Bingo, Sammons Community Center Bring a brown bag with a small, non-food Bingo prize inside. 5 p.m.

November 6, Saturday - Chris Hillman, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.

November 7, Sunday - Temple Symphony Piano Trio featuring Suzanne Jacobson on violin, Cory Blaise on cello and Kiyoshi Tamagawa on piano. Cultural Activities Center. 3 p.m.

November 11, Friday - The College of Visual & Performing Arts presents One Voice in concert. Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Baugh Performance Hall. 7:30 p.m.

November 13, Saturday - Market in the Vines. Take a walk through the vines and shop with over 50 vendors! Free to the public. 3 Texans Winery. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 13, Saturday - A Night in Vegas…St. Mary’s Catholic School Casino Night. Live auction, silent auction, games, drawings. Benefits the school’s educational programs. Cultural Activities Center. 6 p.m.

November 18, Thursday - Taste of the Holidays 2021: A Candy Cane Christmas. Mayborn Convention Center. 10:30 a.m.

December 4, Saturday - Barrow Brewing Christmas Market, Salado. Noon.

December 4, Saturday - Temple Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert featuring soprano Priscilla Santana and tenor Brian Joyce. Temple High School. 7:30 p.m.

Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.


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