Opinions

Wed
21
May

SMALL-TOWN MAYOR STOPS RAILROAD IN ITS TRACKS

By Bartee Haile.
 
Choosing his words carefully after an all-day meeting with railroad representatives on May 25, 1949, Mayor T. Leo Moore refrained from declaring victory in his protracted struggle with the Fort Worth & Denver but did maintain the train would continue to stop at Electra under certain circumstances. How did a small town west of Wichita Falls and a drop kick from the Red River end up with the same name as the daughter of King Agamemnon of Trojan War fame? Few of the folks, who in 1902 chose to call their settlement Electra, had read Homer. Instead, they wanted to pay their respects to rancher W.T. Waggoner by borrowing the name of his "little" girl known for her beauty and wild parties.
Thu
15
May

Switchin' Flies

by Barney Nelson.
 
I cook almost exclusively in iron skillets. So I'm pretty sure I'm not anemic. However, there is also a dreaded iron-overload disease that causes most of the same problems (arthritis, heart trouble, diabetes) that old age causes. But I try not to worry about that. Anyway, after all these years (let's just say over 40), I consider myself sort of an expert on cast iron skillets. I hear people arguing all the time about what not to do, how to season one, how to wash them. You can even find detailed instructions on the Internet. But, here's the gospel truth from someone you can trust.

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Thu
15
May

Commentary

An open letter to the 199: Maybe you know it by now - and maybe not. Late last fall, you messed up. But one of the great things about being Americans is our ability to forgive and forget - to give folks like you a second chance to do the right thing. And that's what's getting ready to happen later this year. You, and all of those who either forgot to vote or didn't get around to making it to the polls, will get another chance to stand with the young people in Fort Davis and to support the efforts of a community that prides itself in its schools.

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Wed
07
May

Switchin' Flies

By Barney Nelson.
 
Me and a few others recently had what we call an "old lady party." One of us usually volunteers her house, one contacts everyone, and we all bring something. The combinations can get strange: chocolate popcorn, grape salad, enchiladas, and ice cream…all washed down with wine and trash can punch that we call Ponca Punch after the guy who passed on the recipe 100 years ago to one of our members…although I'm not sure she's that old.
 
Wed
07
May

"CLUBFOOTED COMET" WINS RACING'S TRIPLE CROWN

By Bartee Haile.
 
On the afternoon of May 7, 1946, Dick Kleberg drove out to where several vaqueros were branding calves on the King Ranch, and, everyone stopped what he was doing to listen to the Kentucky Derby on the car radio. Eight years earlier, Bob and Dick Kleberg, Capt. Richard King's grandsons, bought Bold Venture as the stud for the ranch's new thoroughbred racing stable. Five years later, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner sired Assault.
 
Wed
30
Apr

Switchin' Flies

By Barney Nelson.
 
In the past, I made the mistake of sending money to both a Republican and a Democratic candidate, so now I'm on both parties' mailing and email lists asking for money. Sigh. I can choose to support "our" cause in various ways: "participation" by sending money, non-participation by sending money, or by sending a "sponsoring contribution." Both parties send out ridiculous "questionnaires" with the questions worded to sway my thinking rather than actually asking me for any genuine input or opinion. So I don't answer, don't sway, and don't send money anymore.

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Wed
30
Apr

ROOSEVELT RALLIES HIS "RIDERS" IN SAN ANTONIO

By Bartee Haile.
 
Hundreds of "Rough Riders" descended on San Antonio on May 5, 1898 itching to lend Teddy Roosevelt a hand in kicking the Spaniards out of Cuba. In the crowded lobby of the Menger Hotel, tobacco-chewing cowboys rubbed shoulders with East Coast dandies, one and all anxious to renew acquaintances with the charismatic Roosevelt. The 39 year old assistant secretary of state had resigned to personally conduct the three-week boot camp to whip everybody into shape for the invasion of Cuba.

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Wed
23
Apr

Switchin' Flies

By Barney Nelson.
 
I've been reading a "book" by Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs guy. Even though I've never owned a tv, I sort of know who he is because my friends and family are almost unanimously fans. The tv show no longer exists, but I read a news article the other day saying Rowe had formed a company to award scholarships based on work ethic. Since work ethic is one of my favorite "songs," I ordered his "book." Why am I putting quotation marks around the word "book"?

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Wed
23
Apr

BIG-LEAGUE PITCHER KNEW WHEN TO WALK AWAY

By Bartee Haile.
 
Proving he was in top-notch pre-war form, the big Red Sox pitcher named "Tex" won his third start in 13 days on Apr. 29, 1946. Cecil Carlton Hughson was born in 1916 at the tiny community of Buda south of Austin and grew up in nearby Kyle. When it came time to choose a college, he stayed close to home enrolling in the University of Texas, where he turned into an All-Southwest Conference pitcher under the Longhorns' legendary coach "Uncle Billy" Disch.

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Tue
22
Apr

Switchin' Flies

By Barney Nelson.
 
Since it is April in West Texas, I have been thinking about branding and wishing I was out there. Nothing else is quite as fun. So I got as close as I could and started researching early brands. I ran across an old article about West Texas horse and cattle brands in the Archives of the Big Bend by Rudolph Mellard who ranched south of Marfa and a prolific writer of over 10 books. His article was published in what used to be a local magazine, The Voice of the Mexican Border, in the February-March issue 1934.
 

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