Opinions

Wed
06
Aug

Switchin' Flies

By Barney Nelson.

I just finished reading "Please Stop Helping Us" by the best-selling black writer, Jason Riley. The title caught my eye because several years ago I interviewed a Northern Cheyenne rancher who said almost the same thing: "Your people have helped my people to death." Helping invariably makes the helper feel good, more Christian, etc….but, and this is the heart of the problem…being helped makes the receiver feel dumber, poorer, more helpless.
 
Wed
06
Aug

DALLAS DRESSMAKERS STAGE HISTORIC STRIKE

By Bartee Haile.

In the sixth month of the longest strike in Dallas history, dressmakers tore the clothes off the backs of replacement workers, who tried to cross their picket lines on Aug. 7, 1935. A labor official from the Midwest was so shocked by the starvation wages and wretched working conditions of women hatters in Dallas sweatshops that he said they were "worse off than former negro slaves." Dressmakers did not have it much better enduring 10 and 12-hour days in hot and suffocating factories for a weekly paycheck of $9.50.
 
Thu
31
Jul

INNKEEPER TO THE WORLD GOT START IN TEXAS

On Aug. 4, 1925, Conrad Hilton celebrated the grand opening of the first hotel he built from the ground up and the first he put his name on -- the Dallas Hilton. Even though a governor once introduced him as a native son, Conrad Nicholson Hilton was born at San Antonio, New Mexico not San Antonio, Texas on Christmas Day 1887. But like so many naturalized Texans, he got here just as soon as he could.
 
Thu
31
Jul

Switchin' Flies

by Barney Nelson
 
could probably be entertained watching paint dry. One drizzly Thursday night, I showed up at Kokernot Field at 7 pm intending to watch baseball, but the infield was a series of small lakes, some of them full of quick sand, the players in shorts, many barefooted. Rats. I checked my social calendar. Nothing until maybe late August. So, I meandered to my usual spot, unfolded my chair, and put my feet up to wait for the mud to dry. No wonder I'm happy in a small town.
 
Wed
23
Jul

Switchin' Flies

by Barney Nelson.
 
What the heck are those little red velvet bugs? After a rain the other day, while hanging out clothes, I noticed those neon-red velvet, wrinkly half-full tick-looking bugs under my feet again and realized that I had been seeing them all my life. I only seem to wonder about something when it is about to bite me. So I did what I've been advising students against doing for 30 years…I headed to the Internet! Of course I got the same kind of hilarious "facts" that my students dig up. My favorite was a long irate discussion claiming a local ethnic restaurant used the bugs to color their red velvet cake.
 
Wed
23
Jul

IMPEACHED EX-GOVERNOR TRIES TO WIN BACK OFFICE

by Bartee Haile.
 
The Dallas Morning News in the Jul. 27, 1918 issue endorsed William P. Hobby for governor with an editorial cartoon showing a tight-lipped Texan casting his ballot "for law and order." The illustration was a none too subtle slap at the colorless incumbent's challenger, "Farmer Jim" Ferguson who had been removed from office the previous year. The endorsement of the Big D daily made it a clean sweep among the major newspapers in the state for the disgraced ex-governor's replacement.
 
Thu
17
Jul

Switchin' Flies

by Barney Nelson
 
A mystery bird showed up last week. I thought I knew what it was….a loggerheaded shrike or butcher bird. I hadn't seen one in over 10 years and seems like I'd heard somewhere that they were getting scarce. Shrikes are one of my favorite birds because they are fierce little hunters and hang their kills (lizards, mice, hummingbirds) on cactus thorns and barbed wire.
 
Thu
17
Jul

WAS JEAN LAFITTE THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF TEXAS?

When his last rival worthy of the name fled Galveston for a healthier climate on Jul. 21, 1817, the self-proclaimed "President of Texas" consolidated complete control of the island. Whether Jean Lafitte made that ludicrous claim after going into business on the strip of sand off the Texas coast in the spring of 1817 is highly questionable as are most stories told about the legendary pirate. Maybe the buccaneers that terrorized the Gulf of Mexico under his leadership called him "president" as an inside joke. But no matter because it was this blend of fact and fiction that in the end made Lafitte immortal.
 
Wed
09
Jul

Switchin' Flies

by Barney Nelson.
 
Who is the best meat cook in West Texas? That's a question that could probably break us all up into warring tribes like the Middle East. We don't fight much about race or religion around here, but bring up cooking brisket and you'll take your life in your hands. Since the editor of this newspaper cooks a mean brisket, and would probably assemble one of those armed tribes, I'll give him a nod for the short list, get that over with, and get back to my story.

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Wed
09
Jul

MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF "I FOUGHT THE LAW" SINGER

On the afternoon of Jul. 15, 1966, Bobby Fuller's mother noticed her Oldsmobile parked in front of the Hollywood apartment she shared with the young singing sensation. The worried woman hurried outside, jerked open the car door and there on the front seat was her boy's bruised and battered body. Before Goose Creek was gobbled up by Baytown, the Harris County community was the birthplace of two famous entertainers. Legendary singer Bobby Fuller was born in October 1943 followed eight months later by actor Gary Busey.
 

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