Opinions

Wed
19
Nov

FARMING DREAMS

by Baxter Black

In the land of Nod a movement sprung up to build houses without the use of power tools. The advocates of organic construction (OC) supported the movement because it prohibited the recovery and use of the carbon coal and oil. To be OC any lumber used must be hand-hewn, saws must be manually operated. Mule power is approved. Machine made tools must be made by a blacksmith and made from stones, dug and formed by hand.
 
Wed
19
Nov

PEACH STATE VOLUNTEERS FIGHT AND DIE FOR TEXAS

by Bartee Haile

Georgians rallied at Macon on Nov. 22, 1835 in support of the valiant struggle for Texas independence, and at the end of the evening 32 volunteers stepped forward to form the nucleus of the famed and ill-fated Georgia Battalion. Despite the crude communications of the times, southerners managed to stay abreast of the exciting events in Mexico's northernmost province. Since several Georgians played major parts in the distant drama, residents of the Peach State had more than a passing interest in the outcome.
 
Wed
12
Nov

KEEPIN' BUSY

by Baxter Black, DVM
 
Skip, whattya doin' now days?" "Oh, I'm doin' a little day work for Irsik and ridin' two green colts for $50 a month. I think I've just about sold that load of salvage lumber I traded Mr. Jolly out of. "Some guy came by the other day and wants me to audition for the Marlboro Man. Said they pay pretty good even if they don't pick me. I've put down on some lease pasture. If my pardner comes through we're gonna turn out a few steers. I've got some other deals workin', playin' guitar with Butch and Jim on Fridays, shoein' the odd horse now and then. Ol' Man Gammon pays me to irrigate his yard every other Sunday. Other than that ...not much."
 
Wed
12
Nov

KARLA FAYE HAD IT COMING BUT NOT CHIPITA

Leading up to the 1998 execution of ax murderer Karla Faye Tucker, there were repeated references to the fact that a woman had not been put to death in Texas since Nov. 13, 1863. Her name was Chipita Rodriguez and this is her sad but true story. For more years than most folks could remember, Chipita had lived alone in a wood cabin near the banks of the Aransas River. Weary riders caught out after dark on the trail between Refugio and San Patricio could always find cheap lodging at her place.
 
Thu
06
Nov

Switchin' Flies

by Barney Nelson
 
Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I've been digging in my recipe box again. Amazing how many memories are stored on those little 3x5 cards or scraps of stained paper. The oldest, of course are from family, like "Aunt Net's Cherry Salad," probably pre-1900, which comes from one of my grandmother's sisters who homesteaded in Montana. Next oldest are my grandmother's, and my mother's. A few come from mom's of old boyfriends when I started thinking about cooking, like "Ida Mae Pershbacker's Green Enchilada."
 
Thu
06
Nov

GINGER ROGERS DANCED AND ACTED UP A STORM

by Bartee Haile
 
Fourteen year old Ginger Rogers danced circles around the competition at the Baker Hotel in Dallas on Nov. 9, 1925 to win first place in the state Charleston contest. Virginia Katherine McMath was born in Independence, Missouri - Harry Truman's hometown - but like most "naturalized" Texans came to the Lone Star State just as soon as she could. In the case of Ginger, a nickname from a cousin who could not pronounce "Virginia," it was in 1922 at the age of 11 when she moved to Fort Worth with her mother and stepfather, John Rogers.
 
Wed
29
Oct

TOTEM POLES IN THE MUSEUM

Nat Shick was a person who was in love with life and expressed that love in many ways. His house was a labyrinth of passageways and rooms filled with bottles, fossils and all the things he collected. At Christmastime he tied tin can lids on trees and they whirled and sparkled. When he married his wife Holly he made a cheesecloth path among the West Texas brush to the church nearby. He twisted the trunks of two young trees together to signify their love. The trees grew intertwined.
 
Wed
29
Oct

THE ALAMO - MOST HAUNTED PLACE IN TEXAS?

by Bartee Haile
 
[The primary source for this column was "Spirits of San Antonio and South Texas," a book by Docia Schultz Williams and Reneta Byrne.]
What better time than Halloween to delve into the otherworldly legends surrounding Texas' most sacred site? If only a fraction of the many eyewitness accounts and second-hand reports contain a particle of truth, the Alamo has to be the most haunted place in the Lone Star State.
 
Thu
23
Oct

TRIBE PAID HIGH PRICE FOR BEFRIENDING TEXANS

A surprise attack by four hostile tribes on Oct. 25, 1862, cut the number of Tonkawas in half leaving less than 150 still alive and kicking. Half a dozen small groups of native peoples based in Central Texas banded together in the early seventeenth century. Even though this new tribe called themselves Tickanwatick, a tongue-twister meaning "the most human of men," in time they came to be known as the Tonkawa, Waco for "they all live together."
 
Thu
23
Oct

Switchin' Flies

I never took a class in economics. Therefore, I can easily claim expertise. It seems to me that instead of arguing whether our economy needs to increase demand (sneakier advertising) or increase supply (cheaper prices), we need to start thinking about what else besides "stuff" people might want to spend money on in order to create jobs. I think we've been a capitalist country long enough to at least begin to wonder if maybe "he-who-has-the-biggest-pile-of-stuff-wins" is not working. We are starting to call people "hoarders" and consider them mental cases when we discover their overstuffed houses. We call that stuff clutter or even junk. Knick knacks collect dust and spiders, feel claustrophobic, and basically look dumb. Compulsive shoppers are now considered shopaholics who need intervention.
 

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