Opinions

Thu
15
Jan

Switchin' Flies

by Barney Nelson 

Is a red-tailed hawk's tail red on top or bottom? Well, it depends. The feathers are red on the top side. When the red really shows up though, it usually comes from sunlight shining down through the feathers. From below, the white under-wings and dark head seem outlined in black, so the short fanned-out tail usually outlined in white and seems to glow a rusty red, like a bird wearing someone else's tail.
 
Wed
07
Jan

THE MANLY ARTS

by Baxter Black, DVM
 
People ask where I got my mittens, my saddle blanket, my wild rag, my dog's muffler, my colorful selection of pot holders that hang in my tackroom. I always change the subject, but the time has come to confess. So there I was in the wilds of the high desert on a cow camp in the early fall, riding three young horses and checking' cows, water tanks and fence. Pretty tough livin' out here. My clothes didn't get washed much. My razor broke. I tried to wash up at the spring every week or two and brushed my teeth with bakin' soda and salt. I didn't have a toothbrush, of course, so I never got that tough gristle completely out. I tried to cut my own hair. Thank goodness I didn't have a mirror.
 
Thu
18
Dec

BASEBALL'S "GRAY EAGLE" FACES BANISHMENT

by Bartee Haile
 
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis announced on Dec. 21, 1926 that Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker stood accused of betting on a fixed baseball game. With the banishment of the "Black Sox" by the stern commissioner still fresh in their minds, fans had to wonder whether the Georgia Peach and the pride of Hubbard, Texas would ever play again.
 
Thu
18
Dec

Switchin' Flies

by Barney Nelson
 
Christmas shopping . . . augh! Every year the stress seems to increase. I like to dream up the “perfect gift” not just “something” so I try to keep a mental shopping list all year long of things that seem to make eyes light up for those on my gift list.
 
Mon
15
Dec

Tumbleweed Smith

My wife and I attended a 3-day history conference in Austin recently and it was without a doubt the most boring 3 days I have ever spent, except for maybe the last 3 days I was in the Army. The event started Friday morning at the LBJ Library. Four speakers were on the program and they each had 25 minutes. No break in between. They all exceeded their time limits and they all read their speeches. I wouldn't call them speeches. I would call them readings. The speakers never looked at the audience, never looked up from the pages in front of them. No jokes, no introductory remarks. They all went to the podium and read. We could have been listening to a recording . The speakers were extremely well educated, most of them with doctorates. They had exceptional credentials as authors and professors and were well known authorities in their fields. They should know better.
 
Mon
15
Dec

On The Edge of Common Sense

by Baxter Black,
 
When Marvin Garrett nodded his head, no one knew that eight seconds later the Thomas and Mack Arena would be covered with goose bumps. Marvin drew "Try Me" in the fourth round at the National Finals Rodeo 1989. He marked her out and hung the steel to'er like the rods on a Union Pacific driver! "Try Me" jumped the track! She slid, slipped and rolled around inside her skin! She punched holes in the arena dirt! Somewhere in the last two seconds Marvin reached his limit. Everything in his firebox…experience, intuition, talent and training were at full throttle and blowin' blue smoke! It was then, over the din of 15,000 rabid fans, Marvin reached down inside himself, I heard him whisper, "Yer mine…" The hair stood up on the back of my neck.
 
Wed
03
Dec

THE GAP OF NO UNDERSTANDING

by Baxter Black

There is a bridge to cross in understanding between those who live off the land (rural) and those who benefit from it (urban), but have no personal relationship with it. Examples abound. I suspect a large portion of urbanites imagine the wolf as a gladiator of the woods. He has a family with little ones. They only eat what they are forced to kill. Sort of a "Lion King" image. Rural folks consider them more like the mafia. Don Lobo is the drug dealer, thief, leader of the gangs who shoot innocent bystanders, the muggers and serial killers. Realistically they are the apex predator and consider anything else that moves as prey.

 
Wed
03
Dec

UNDERDOG HORNS KNOCK AGGIES OFF LOFTY PERCH

by Bartee Haile

The week after taking a Thanksgiving tumble against the University of Texas, the defending national champions from Texas A&M fell to sixth in the final college football poll of Dec. 3, 1940. Following another embarrassingly bad season in 1936, the University of Texas fired its 20th coach in 44 years. Instead of the usual cheap fix, the board of regents spent the big bucks to hire a gridiron genius. At an annual salary of $15,000, Dana Xenophon Bible stood to make nearly twice as much as the college president until the legislature smoothed the educator's ruffled feathers with a hefty pay hike.
 
Wed
26
Nov

HIRING A COWBOY

by Baxter Black, DVM

There's an old saying that "A cowboy is born, not made." However, I'd like to propose that if you're hirin' a cowboy to help you take care of your stock, you might look twice. You can't necessarily assume that because he's got a black hat and is broke, that he's a cowboy. He might need a little educatin' to your way of doin' things. Even a team roper can be taught to check cattle.

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Wed
26
Nov

YELLOW FEVER WAS EBOLA IN 1800'S TEXAS

by Bartee Haile

The Texas Congress picked Houston as the new capital of the Lone Star Republic over Matagorda and Washington-on-the-Brazos on Nov. 30, 1836. The Allen brothers had three years to convince skeptics that their humid heaven-on-earth should be the permanent seat of government. The resourceful promoters did a bang-up job but were beaten in the end by an invisible foe - Yellow Fever.

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