Opinions

Fri
08
Dec

Hunting Camp Cook

by Baxter Black

Fall is hunting season. Airports from Bozeman to San Antonio are filled with men in camouflage suits carrying gun cases out of baggage claim. They are here to stalk the fleeting deer and the wiley elk. And, they bring with them millions in revenue, part of which winds up in the pockets of outfitters and guides.

Good hunting camps do much to attract hunters, often year after year. Some camps are elaborate, others Spartan but all boast a good cook.

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Fri
08
Dec

COLONIZER TAKES SLUM REFUGEES TO HELL ON EARTH

by Bartee Haile

Five dozen Europeans from the slums of New York City set foot in Texas on Dec. 12, 1833 on their way to a promised paradise on the Rio Grande.

John Charles Beales was an English expatriate, who moved to Mexico in 1804. A physician by profession, he was a late entrant in the race for Texas real estate.

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Fri
01
Dec

The Right Tool For The Job

by Baxter Black

Clark owned a small dairy farm in Delaware. Thinking to add to his larder, he bought a black steer at Dill’s auction down the road to fatten a beef for the family. He put the steer in a grazing pasture with the dairy heifers. In a short time he noticed that the steer was trying to breed the heifers! Not a good thing on a dairy farm. He decided to take him back to the sale the next week, in the meantime he needed to separate him from the heifers.

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Fri
01
Dec

COP KILLER FACES EXECUTION WITH A SMILE

by Bartee Haile

A minute before midnight on Nov. 29, 1930, the condemned cop killer finished a letter to his widow-to-be, glanced at the nervous chaplain and asked with a wry smile, “What return address shall I put on this?”

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Wed
22
Nov

ACTOR’S HIT-MAN FATHER MURDERED FEDERAL JUDGE

By Bartee Haile

Minutes after the fatal shooting of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas police found a trio of unusually well-dressed tramps in a boxcar behind the “grassy knoll” and marched them single-file through Dealey Plaza.

Photographers snapped several pictures of the passing parade. In the ensuing years, the youngest and tallest of the three was identified by assorted laymen and at least one forensic expert as Charles Voyde Harrelson, a notorious killer-for-hire and father of popular actor Woody Harrelson.

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Wed
22
Nov

Thanksgiving

By Baxter Black

It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S.A. Canada had theirs in October. Good neighbors, we are. It is something both countries can be thankful for. Either one of us could have moved in, only to find North Korea or Syria lived next door.

Our countries are blessed. North America’s a pretty good neighborhood. We have big backyards full of timber, pasture, minerals and oil. We have flowerbeds with fertile soil growing corn and rice and peaches.

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Fri
17
Nov

BOWIE GOES LOOKING FOR SILVER AND FINDS INDIANS

By Bartee Haile

Jim Bowie went looking for underground riches in 1831 but found instead a bunch of belligerent Indians on Nov. 20.

“The Lost Bowie Mine” was not always lost nor was it always named after the famous frontiersman. In 1753 Spaniards searching for a place to put a mission in present-day Llano County learned of a cedro de almagre or hill of red ocher. Several explorers were shown the mineral-rich mound by obliging Apaches.

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Fri
17
Nov

Cold Feet

By Baxter Black

Yer lookin’ at a feller with no tennis shoes, a ’76 GMC pickup, an outhouse and a learning permit for a cell phone. But! Lest you lump me into that group of stodgy ol’ dinosaurs that cling to the days of Garth Brooks, pygmy Angus, and real spare tires...Let me assure you that I have stepped boldly into the modern world of manly footwear.

A constant recurring memory of workin’ cows when I first started years ago was cold feet. Everybody wore their regular regulation cowboy boots with five-buckle overshoes. And everybody’s feet got cold.

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Fri
10
Nov

HOUSTON’S “HARD TO GET” STRATEGY WORKS WITH WASHINGTON

by Bartee Haile

Concerned over Texas’ increasingly cozy relationship with the British, the U.S. Secretary of State informed the Lone Star minister on Nov. 10, 1843 that Washington was ready to reopen annexation talks.

Instead of telling Abel P. Upshur that it was about time, Isaac Van Zandt played it cool by simply saying he would see if his president was interested. Reading over the diplomat’s report a few days later, Sam Houston smiled at his success in shaking up his complacent former countrymen.

Fri
10
Nov

Moose Alert

Many of the animals rights groups give awards to citizens who perform good deeds on behalf of animals. These deeds are usually along the line of rescuing mistreated horses, homeless cats or HBC dogs (hit by car). Rarely do any cowboys receive an award. I would like to nominate Andy for his daring moose rescue last fall.

Andy was still trainin’ on Gracie as they rode across the high mountain pasture in the Uintas. He had named her Gracie with the same inversely convoluted reasoning with which U.S. senators refer to each other as “My distinguished colleague...”

 

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