Opinions

Fri
16
Nov

Grandpa Tommy Saved The World

We were watching The History Channel at Grandma’s casita. It was a story about the USS Enterprise being attacked. It was 1945. They were describing acts of heroism that occurred. Stories of men risking their lives, staying with wounded comrades instead of swimming to safety. Stories that never made the paper or were recognized but were remembered only by those brave souls who dog-paddled in the waves next to a burning ship 3 miles above the sea floor.

It was one of those moments where my son and I were engrossed. I said, “Isn’t it funny, the only person in this house who really understands what we’re watching, is asleep in his chair.” Grandpa Tommy. Kansas farm boy, Junior Petty Officer on a rebuilt WWI destroyer, 3 years, 3 months, 21 days operating as troop ship on the Pacific ocean, docking only twice in ports other than atoll island landings.

 

 

Fri
16
Nov

WESTERN ARTIST REMINGTON VISITED TEXAS OFTEN

The Evening Tribune took note of the presence of Frederic Remington in El Paso in a brief announcement on Nov. 19, 1893. The renowned artist was such a frequent visitor to Texas’ westernmost town that the editor saw no reason to make a big deal of another appearance.

Proving roots need not dictate destiny, the painter who gave stay-at-home Americans their first true glimpse of the Southwest grew up in northern New York state. He enrolled in Yale at age 16 to please a demanding father but dropped out as soon as he died.

A few months later in the summer of 1881, Remington began his lifelong love affair with the West. Soaking up the spectacular sights on a two-month trip to Montana, he understood even then that the frontier was living on borrowed time. “I knew the wild rivers and the vacant land were about to vanish forever.”

 

Fri
09
Nov

PEASANTS HUNTING PHEASANTS

Each fall, the governor of the great state of South Dakota host his Invitational Pheasant Hunt. This is meant to be a way to show off South Dakota’s state bird, their pride and joy, the wily pheasant. It’s also a means of attracting some special guests from out-of-state to look into the possibilities of investing money and business into the state. Well, it worked. High-rollers from as far away as New York to celebrate and join the hunt.

Now, lots of these fellers were good hunters, but a lot (like yours truly) couldn’t hit a slow-moving freight train with a bucket of Pratt & Lambert.

They split us into teams. Mine was called Custer’s Last Chance and Bugle Corps.

 

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Fri
09
Nov

AMERICAN VOLUNTEERS FIGHT TO LIBERATE TEXAS

By Bartee Haile

The Republican Army of the North, a motley crew of American adventurers and Mexican rebels, reached La Bahia on Nov. 1, 1812 and made themselves right at home in the empty fortress.

When Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara hurried off to Washington, D.C. in March 1811, the Mexican revolt against the Spaniards was treading water. As he begged the U.S. government for desperately needed aid, his compatriots went down for the final time.

But Don Bernardo refused to call it quits and resolved to foment another rebellion. Learning from the fatal mistakes of his dead predecessors, he chose a more favorable site, the poorly guarded province of Texas, and more experienced fighters, the outcasts and outlaws of the Neutral Ground.

 

 

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Fri
02
Nov

Ear Tag Identification

Good ranch managers often use numbered ear tags to monitor their herd more closely. Clem thought Reg ought to give up and start all over again.

They had moved the pairs that were mothered up to the east pasture down the road. Accidentally, calf number R31 had gone with that bunch. His mama had been left behind. In his I.D. number the R stood for red. His mama’s number was also R31 but her tag was yellow. In the record book she was listed as YR31. Her calf was listed as BYR31. There was also a cow in the herd with a red tag numbered 31 (R31 in the book).

Mama YR31 was bawlin’ and missin’ her calf. Reg asked Clem to haul her to the pasture and find her calf. On the way he asked him to pick up a dry cow they’d left in a trap.

 

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Fri
02
Nov

AMERICAN VOLUNTEERS FIGHT TO LIBERATE TEXAS

By Bartee Haile

The Republican Army of the North, a motley crew of American adventurers and Mexican rebels, reached La Bahia on Nov. 1, 1812 and made themselves right at home in the empty fortress.

When Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara hurried off to Washington, D.C. in March 1811, the Mexican revolt against the Spaniards was treading water. As he begged the U.S. government for desperately needed aid, his compatriots went down for the final time.

But Don Bernardo refused to call it quits and resolved to foment another rebellion. Learning from the fatal mistakes of his dead predecessors, he chose a more favorable site, the poorly guarded province of Texas, and more experienced fighters, the outcasts and outlaws of the Neutral Ground.

 

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Fri
26
Oct

COOKING CHILI IN TERLINGUA, A TEXAS TRADITION

by Bartee Haile

It took three days to clean the pots, haul away the mountain of beer cans and sober up the last of the revelers, but by Oct. 24, 1967 everything was back to normal in the Big Bend ghost town. The Terlingua Chili Cook-Off had been a rousing success, but no one thought at the time that they had started an annual shindig that would become a Texas tradition.

It all began that summer with the publication of an article entitled “Nobody Knows More About Chili Than I Do” in the August issue of Holiday magazine. The author was New York humorist H. Allen Smith, who showed he had a gift for getting under Texans’ skin.

 

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Fri
26
Oct

The Half Polled Rooty Toot

Yer not gonna keep’er, still, are ya Dad? She must be twelve years old.

I RECKON SHE’S CLOSER TO FOURTEEN NOW, AND NATURALLY HALF POLLED.

You mean she was sired by a hornless bull?

NO. SHE’S JUST GOT ONE HORN. WHICH MAKES HER HALF POLLED OR BETTER YET IT MAKES HER HALF UNICORN.

 

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Thu
18
Oct

TEXANS ELECT “SICK MAN OF SENATE” TO FOURTH TERM

By Bartee Haile

With Election Day just two weeks away, Sen. Charles Culberson spent Oct. 21, 1916 doing what he did best — nothing. Why bother campaigning when a fourth term was already in the bag? Looking for an appealing replacement for Gov. Jim Hogg in 1895, power broker E.M. House picked the handsome attorney general. Although his glaring lack of principles moved one politician to observe that 40 year old Charlie Culberson “would be all right if he had a little more iron down his backbone,” Colonel House considered the shortcoming an asset rather than a liability.

Following his mentor’s meticulous plan, the Democratic nominee survived a strong Populist challenge to win the gubernatorial election of 1894 with 55 percent of the popular vote. He took the oath of office in the tenth and final congressional term of his father, David Culberson.

 

Thu
18
Oct

Hung Up In The Fence

She was a pretty cow. A big polled Hereford but she was only half bagged up. So they sorted her off. These were pretty rangy cows and when they got separated from the big bunch they got nervous. Rex and Clair dropped her over into the “questionable” pen to run her though the chute. Rex wanted to check her bag.

The big cow had fire in her eyes when she saw Rex. She charged him! He raced to the fence. Clair stepped in front of the one-cow stampede and swung at her with a broken plastic whip. She changed directions, missed him by a hare’s breath and cleared the fence herself!

 

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