Opinions

Thu
11
Jun

Tumbleweed Smith

Most people call Jesse Perez of San Antonio "License Plate Jesse" because he has thousands of them. "It just seems like license plates are something that a lot of people like and they want to buy them from me," says Jesse. "So I started selling my license plates. I get them from collectors, garage sales, flea markets, and individuals. I hear about some being for sale and I go buy them. Matter of fact I bought some today. I have all the years for Texas and I have all thestates. We have them from rusty to brand new. Some are still in the boxes, never been used."

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Thu
04
Jun

GRADUATION TIME

Every once in a while I'm asked to be the speaker at a high school graduation. I love doing that because I've seen some colorful and different events. The graduates are always in a good mood and make a terrific audience. Borden County High School in Gail asked me to speak at a baccalaureate service, something I had never done before. Baccalaureate is defined as a sermon to a graduating class. The word sermon sort of scared me.
 
Thu
04
Jun

LOUIE SNAPPIN' BEES

Ol’ Louie loved bees. Of all the things I remember about him, I remember that best. He’d be layin’ out in the front yard, day dreamin’ and sunnin’ himself when I’d see an eye open and an ear cock. Then he’d spring to his feet and start snappin’ at the air. His jaws would be makin’ a sound like someone hittin’ the edge of a water tank with a two by four. When he caught a bee he’d spit it back out real fast! I never figgered whether he liked the taste of ‘em; maybe they still had honey clingin’ to their boots or maybe it was just a game. I don’t know.
 
Thu
28
May

GREELEY GOES WEST TO WARM TEXAS WELCOME

The New Orleans Picayune in a May 27, 1871 editorial echoed the same concern Horace Greeley expressed about his trip to Houston, when the New York publisher wrote, "I go to Texas reluctantly."
 
Thu
28
May

Switchin' Flies

I remember an old conversation about cowboy wages. Once upon a time, during my travels around the West, a lady connected to a large ranch operation explained tearfully how she worried that her family didn't pay their  employees enough. Since there was no one else around, I felt responsible . . . . as a totally unauthorized, self-appointed representative of the cowboy culture, at least the bill-paying side. I did not take her question lightly, and wanted to get this conversation right.
 
Thu
21
May

This Week in Texas History

MEXICAN DICTATOR LEAVES OFFICE FEET FIRST  After five years as the tyrannical ruler of the chaotic country south of the border, Venustiano Carranza left office on May 21, 1920 like otherpresidents before him - feet first. When Gen. Victoriano Huerta moved into the presidential palace over the dead body of Francisco Madero in February 1913, a premature sigh of relief was heard in many quarters. The church, aristocrats and foreign investors all lined up behind Huerta, a sadistic drunk, in the hope his iron hand might restore order.  But the north was solidly against the coup, and the first influential figure to come out against Huerta was the governor of Coahuila, Venustiano Carranza. At 53 the white-haired landowner did not look the part of a revolutionary and, in fact, sought nothing more than democratic reforms. But unlike Madero, Carranza knew how to get along with the radicals in order to use them as his shock troops.   

Thu
21
May

Switchin' Flies

Where did selling one's soul to the devil come from? Nobody really knows because it appears in ancient folklore from around the world, sometimes older than the Bible. I found one old folktale from Africa about a man who sold his soul fora white horse.  Almost any successful person has been accused: popes, priests, virtuosos, the rich, and courageous soldiers; and lots of people have been tempted: Muppets, the Enterprise crew, Bart Simpson. People also sell their souls for lots of reasons: money, eternal youth, talent, knowledge, time travel, winning, sex, fame, power, etc. One recent Super Bowl ad even featured the devil offering a Mercedes- Benz in trade for a "signature."  

 

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Thu
14
May

Switchin' Flies

What do you do when someone you love faces a major life challenge? Small towns are wonderful when you're in trouble, but maybe we're too wonderful sometimes? I remember once having a flat a few miles south of Fort Davis. Since it had been 20 years and 20 (chuckle) pounds since I had changed a tire, I figured I'd die, so I called Jimmy Bencomo. He said he'd lock up and be right there.
 
Thu
14
May

This Week in Texas History

Under pressure from the Mexican government to give the Karankawas one more chance, Anglo-American colonists signed a peace treaty with the flesh-eating Indians on May 13, 1827. Generations before the white man came on the scene, the Kronks were driven from Louisiana by neighbors outraged by their loathsome taste for human flesh.
 
Thu
07
May

Editor: Letters

There he goes again. In his latest posting titled "Small Businesses Have Major Impact" US Congressman Will Hurd claims he's acting in the best interest of small businesses while in reality his actions only serve his billionaire donors at the expense of small businesses. His repeal of the estate tax benefits very large estates especially large Wall Street holdings. Very few small businesses are involved.
 

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