Opinions

Thu
23
Jan

TEXAS WAS A REGULAR STOP ON HOUDINI'S TRAVELS

By Bartee Haile.
 
Following a weeklong engagement at the Majestic Theater, a cheering crowd saw Harry Houdini, escape artist extraordinaire, off at the Dallas train station on Jan. 22, 1916. The four year old Hungarian, who grew up to be the most famous live performer of his generation, came to the United States with his family in 1878. During his childhood in Wisconsin, little Erik Weisz showed more aptitude for athletics than academics and stopped going to school altogether after the third grade. Erik ran away from home at 12 with Galveston on his mind. No one can say for sure whether he ever made it to the Texas island, only that he rejoined his relatives in New York City a short time later.
 
Thu
16
Jan

"MA" FERGUSON SERVES A SECOND TERM AS GOVERNOR

By Bartee Haile.
 
On Jan. 17, 1933, eight years and two months after her election as the first female governor in American history, Miriam A. Ferguson returned for a second-term encore. Following the impeachment and permanent exile from public office of husband Jim in 1917, "Ma" Ferguson stepped forward to defend the family's tarnished honor. She waged a successful campaign for the statehouse seven years later but lost a 1926 reelection bid to challenger Dan Moody. The Fergusons were anxious to return the compliment, especially after Moody masterminded repeal of the Amnesty Bill which restored Jim's political rights and erased the impeachment proceedings from the senate records. However, to deny a sitting governor the nearly automatic second term was a risky long shot, so the husband-and-wife team decided to wait until 1930 when they would not face an incumbent.
 
Thu
16
Jan

Switchin' Flies

By Barney Nelson.
 
I've heard the old saying, "All politics is local." Maybe it could even be said that all politics is a local stock show. Just about any problem faced by our nation can be found in a stock show. And, just like at the national level, the ones who either benefit or pay are our kids. When I was a kid, my family lived on my grandmother's stock farm in rural Iowa. We raised cattle for respect and pigs and chickens for money. One year, during the middle of my dad's tight farrowing season, my parents had to go to a meeting at church.
 
Thu
09
Jan

A DEER IN THE HOUSE

Big Spring police were called to a house burglary just before Thanksgiving. When they arrived at the residence, they noticed both the glass storm door and the wooden door had been smashed. They heard sounds from inside and cautiously entered the house. They noticed the walls, curtains, sheets and carpet had blood on them. Furniture was broken, lamps were knocked over and dish fragments were on the kitchen floor. The officers thought it might be the scene of a mass murder. As they got farther into the house, they saw what was making the sound: a two-year-old, 75-pound buck whitetail deer.
 
Thu
09
Jan

TEMPORARY TEXAN AT CENTER OF "TEAPOT DOME" SCANDAL

On Jan. 9, 1923, a week after resigning as secretary of the interior, the central character in the Teapot Dome scandal decided to hang around Washington, D.C., a little while longer. Albert B. Fall was still in his teens, when he moved to northeast Texas from his native Kentucky. A restless orphan with loads of ambition, Fall punched cattle before trying his luck at prospecting south of the Rio Grande. The precious metal fever did not subside, and in 1886 he sought his elusive fortune in the silver fields of the New Mexico Territory.
 
Thu
02
Jan

UGLY INCIDENT MARS BAYLOR BOWL UPSET

By Bartee Haile.

In just their fourth post-season appearance in school history, the Bears of Baylor University squared off against the heavily favored Tennessee Volunteers in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1957. It was not for nothing that the Baptist college was known as the hardluck member of the Southwest Conference. The Bears had won their last championship way back in 1924 and would not win another until 1974. Prior to the 1956 season, seven different teams had come close to breaking the frustrating drought only to finish second in the SWC gridiron race.
 
Thu
02
Jan

Switchin' Flies

By Barney Nelson.

Mon
23
Dec

Ornaments

By Barney Nelson.
 
I have gradually pared back on my house decorating through the years. I still put up a Christmas tree, but I no longer hunt through the forest to find it. For a while, I used a dried yucca blossom stalk, but several years ago, I got too lazy even to hunt one of those, so I bought an artificial evergreen with lights. For a while I hung ornaments on it, but now I claim to like it with just lights. Back when I did hang ornaments, I had sort of weird taste. On my Christmas tree always hung a small wreath made of black bear claws. The claws were the last remnants of a bear my mother shot. I once owned a rug made from its hide, but through the years, deterioration gradually consumed the fur. So I made a Christmas ornament before I tossed the rest.
 
Mon
23
Dec

EARLY TEXANS SETTLED THEIR DIFFERENCES WITH DUELS

By Bartee Haile.
 
Gravely wounded in a Christmas Eve duel at Gonzales, Reuben Ross waited until Dec. 25, 1839 to die. The deadly dispute began two months earlier, when Ross challenged Henry McCulloch, brother of the famous Ben, to a duel on behalf of an offended friend. Angered by McCulloch's refusal to fight, the messenger became the antagonist and hounded the reluctant duelist until he finally agreed to meet him on the field of honor. Ross "won" the chivalrous combat by wounding McCulloch in the right arm. That should have ended the affair, but the victor would accept nothing less than the death of his opponent. Ross was "intoxicated and obnoxious," according to the Handbook of Texas, when he "drew his pistols" leaving a sober McCulloch with no choice other than to kill him.
 
Wed
18
Dec

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY?

By Baxter Black.

Somewhere in the annals of land grant colleges, the ag departments converted from offering a degree in Animal Husbandry to a degree in Animal Science. As far back as 1628 "husbandry" was defined as agricultural produce, land under cultivation, farming. The word husband also implies a caretaker of land and livestock, a hands-on activity. From shepherds watching their flocks by night as described in the Bible, up to farm managers milking cows, showing fat steers and roping at the branding fire, Animal Husbandry was an appropriate title for a Bachelor's degree for a century.
 

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