Opinions

Fri
19
May

OL’ DUFFY

by Baxter Black

Ol’ Duff slept in the bunkhouse in the corner by the wall

Nobody slept beside him. It was self-defense, that’s all

‘Cause Ol’ Duff was a chorus of expulsions in his sleep

That sounded like a freight train goin’ through a band of sheep!

His sinuses would vibrate ‘til the quilt slid off his bed.

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Fri
19
May

WARRIOR PRIEST SAVES TEXAS FOR SPANISH CROWN

by Bartee Haile

Spanish authorities banished Father Juan Manuel Zambrano from provincial Texas on May 22, 1814, but the combative priest stood his ground and forced his earthly adversaries to rescind the order.

Gov. Manuel de Salcedo succeeded in sending Zambrano into exile in 1807. After three long years of isolation in the Mexican interior, the penitent priest was permitted to return to his native San Antonio over the strong objections of the governor.

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Fri
12
May

PUBLISHER URGES TEXANS NEVER TO SURRENDER

By Bartee Haile

In the May 9, 1865 edition of his newspaper the Houston Telegram, publisher Edward Hopkins Cushing encouraged his readers to keep on fighting and never to knuckle under to the Yankees.

Throughout Lone Star history, the most zealous residents have often been those who were Texan by choice rather than birth. A prime example was Vermont-born and Dartmouth-educated Cushing, who became a naturalized citizen of Texas in 1850 at the age of 21.

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Fri
12
May

Cow Population

By Baxter Black

(The following excerpts are from the Oklahoma Livestock Committee meeting on Species Relations. Voting members include beef cows, feedlot steers and dairy cows.)

“Will the secretary please read the state demographer’s report?”

“Yes, Madam Cowperson. For the first time in the history of the state, the human population will surpass the number of livestock.”

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Fri
05
May

LBJ FACES MUDSLINGER IN 1946 CAMPAIGN

By Bartee Haile

Hardy Hollers began his bid for Lyndon Johnson’s congressional seat on May 13, 1946 with these fighting words: “He went on a few months’ sightseeing tour of the Pacific with a camera in one hand and leading his publicity agent by the other.”

For the past year, LBJ had thought about running for governor instead of a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Fri
05
May

Who’s in Charge?

By Baxter Black

Sometimes we forget who’s in charge.

There has been so much concern lately regarding man’s ability to change the environment. We worry about cutting down the forests, damming up the rivers, endangering the species, warming the globe and paving the wetlands. We have begun to wonder, somewhat self-righteously, how on earth the earth ever survived without us!

Then we have extreme weather.

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Fri
28
Apr

ROOKIE PITCHES “PERHAPS MOST PERFECT GAME EVER”

by Bartee Haile

A rookie from the Lone Star State pitched his way into the major-league record book on Apr. 30, 1922 by retiring 27 batters in a row.

The rarest achievement in baseball is a perfect game. To accomplish this incredible feat, a pitcher cannot allow a single batter to reach first base. Only 21 have done it since 1900, and one of those was a nobody from North Texas.

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Fri
28
Apr

Landscaping

by Baxter Black 

Genie noticed the bottle of Jack Daniels on the kitchen table when she got home late that night. Like most lettuce farmers, if whiskey was kept in the house, it was not usually kept on the kitchen table.

She marched in the bedroom to find her husband Don sprawled out on the bed with one pant leg off and one sock on. He looked like a body that had been dragged off the bottom of a lake.

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Fri
21
Apr

Pick It Out

by Baxter Black 

The newspaper photo showed them leaning into the harmony like four caroling coyotes! The caption named the pickers and said they were members of a new country singing group. It announced that they would be playing at the Dairy Queen on Thursday. The owner explained that the Troubadours would be appearing at the restaurant for a while, playing for hamburgers and exposure.

It ain’t easy to get into show business! It’s a long way from Monte Vista, Yreba or Blue Earth to Nashville.

Music has always been a part of my life. My family emigrated to Oklahoma from Texas. Grandpa played old-time fiddle. He taught his kids. I’ve been seconding good musicians as long as I can remember.

 

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Fri
21
Apr

THE CHARMED LIFE OF A FRONTIER LAWMAN

by Bartee Haile 

A Texan for three years and a Ranger for less than one, Jeff Milton survived his baptism of gunfire on Apr. 25, 1881 just as he would many other brushes with death in the years to come.

When the wife of Florida governor John Milton gave birth soon after secession, the pleased papa named the baby Jeff Davis in honor of the Confederate president. The elder Milton died in the closing days of the war, proud of the fact that his beloved Tallahassee along with Austin, Texas were the only southern capitals not to fall to the Yankees.

Young Jeff hung around the ruins of the family plantation until 1877, when he moved to Texas to live with a married sister. The teenager worked for his brother-in-law in a general store at Navasota before deciding relatives do not make the best bosses.

 

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