Opinions

Thu
15
Aug
Edgar's picture

A WIDE SWING THROUGH EAST TEXAS

Tumbleweed Part Owner of Texas

Usually on an interview trip I’m gone about 3 days. This time I took an entire week and it proved worthwhile. I came home with 30 interviews and they were all stellar. The trip started in Milford near Waxahachie where I interviewed Cliff Yeary, a colorful blacksmith who lost an eye to an arrow and sometimes works in kilts.

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Thu
15
Aug
Edgar's picture

BAXTER BLACK

Life is just a bowl of cherries to a first rate feedlot hand, All the gates swing free and easy, every day’s precisely planned. The boss is always pleasant and lavish with his praise. And when your wife demands it, you get another raise.

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Fri
09
Aug
Edgar's picture

COVERT MISSION PAYBACK FOR MEXICAN RAIDS

At Bird’s Fort north of present-day Arlington, the Snively Expedition officially disbanded on Aug. 7, 1843 and the dispirited members went their separate ways.

Seven tense years after San Jacinto, a state of war still existed between the independent province and its estranged mother country. On the diplomatic front, Mexico refused to recognize Texas sovereignty and periodically threatened fullscale retaliation. And it was not empty talk, as hardly a calendar went by without rifles replacing rhetoric in brief but bloody conflicts.

In June 1841, President Mirabeau Lamar tried to put teeth in the Lone Star claim to New Mexico, but the Santa Fe excursion was fatally flawed by poor preparation. The 300 Pioneers were taken prisoner without a shot being fired, and they languished in Mexican dungeons until their release the following spring.

 

Fri
09
Aug
Edgar's picture

The Anti-Smoking Device

Many years ago, Dr. Erfan called to tell me his story. He’d spent seventeen years inventing and testing a device to help people quit smoking. It involved a small battery operated unit that clips in your ear like a hearing aid. Whenever the smoker felt the urge to smoke, he pushed a button on the unit. It sent a micro-amp charge which stimulated a nerve in the ear. This nerve caused a release of natural body chemicals which reduced the need for a smoke.

Human trials had shown very positive results. Enough so that the devise was already cleared for use in other countries. But not in the U.S. The F.D.A. was not satisfied. They demanded animal testing. Thus Dr. Erfan’s call. His question, “Was I aware of any animals stupid enough to smoke?”

 

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Fri
02
Aug
Edgar's picture

BLIND ORPHAN WHISTLED THROUGH LIFE

This Week In Texas History

With the encouragement of his piano teacher at the Texas School for the Blind, Fred Lowery got up the nerve to audition for a radio program on July 31, 1929.

A few days later, the station manager phoned the 19 year old blind orphan to tell him he had the job. For the first time in his life, he would be paid for what he loved most to do – whistle.

In reality Fred Lowery was neither an orphan nor completely sightless. His mother had died soon after his birth in 1909 at Palestine, but his no-account father was very much alive when he abandoned the boy and his three older sisters.

 

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Fri
02
Aug
Edgar's picture

Talkin’ Dirty

In this column I have often mentioned scours, abscesses, big tits, bad bags, cancer eyes, foot rot, slurry pits, afterbirth, retained placenta, castration, heat cycles, sheep pellets and snotty noses.

Over the years I have received the occasional letter castigating me for talkin’ dirty.

It is never my intention to offend the sensibilities of my readers. My poems and stories are always written with the idea that people who read them regularly are livestock people. In real life I’m not comfortable cussing or telling blue stories in mixed company and I’m no different writin’ this column.

 

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Fri
26
Jul
Edgar's picture

SALOON SHOOTING CHANGED YOUNG TEXAN’S LIFE

This Week In Texas History

By Jul. 26, 1881, the desperate young cowboy had put a hundred miles between him and a blood-splattered barroom in Bryan. Three days of hard riding in the broiling summer heat must have seemed like an eternity to Reuben Stillwell. But with the Brazos County sheriff breathing down his neck, the 21 year old cowpoke dared not stop.

Never in his worst nightmare could he have imagined Saturday would be the fateful day that changed his life forever. After taking in the horse races with his best buddy Lucien Reed, the two adjourned to their favorite watering hole to get out of the sun and to quench their thirst. Stillwell and Reed did their drinking standing up with their backs to the table, where the town doctor and the Porter brothers sat. The trio had started an argument over a bet at the racetrack, and now they tried to pick a fight by taunting the boys at the bar.

 

Thu
25
Jul
Edgar's picture

Cowboy Wedding

When one of my cowboy friends tells me he’s getting married, my first question is “Does she have a job?” This particular wedding took place in the pines of Arizona. I thought that I would never again see such a group of ill prepared misfits as these groomsmen, then came the 2020 lineup running for President. But whatever magic took place, it must have worked, they’re still married and she’s still got a job.

There’s two things a cowboy’s afraid of: Bein’ stranded afoot and a decent woman. I went to a cowboy wedding recently where the bridegroom had found him a decent woman. This was not yer normal “walk down the aisle, kiss the bride” kind of wedding. This was the merger of two Arizona ranching families complete with rings made outta barb wire, a fiddle playin’ “Here Comes the Bride”, and mosquitoes.

Fri
19
Jul
Edgar's picture

FDR’S BLACK SHEEP SON MARRIES TEXAS SOCIALITE

Elliott Roosevelt stepped off a passenger plane at the Chicago airport on Jul. 18, 1933 and into a swarm of reporters.

Responding to the newshounds’ first question, the president’s 22 year old son confirmed he had indeed just returned from Reno, Nevada, where an obliging judge granted him a divorce from his first wife. But he deftly dodged the follow-up query about a possible replacement.

Rumor had it that Roosevelt had his eye on a pretty socialite he had met in Texas a couple of months earlier. He told the newspapermen that he had no intention of tying the knot so soon after regaining his freedom then added with a sly smile, “I haven’t had a chance to ask anyone yet!”

Four days later, Ruth Goggins of Fort Worth became the second in a long list of Mrs. Elliott Roosevelts.

 

Fri
19
Jul
Edgar's picture

Good Dawg

Every genuine or would be cowboy’s pride and joy is his ‘good dawg!’ One of the highlights at a Stock Show is the stock dog trials.

Now, allowin’ for the fact that all my exposure to stock dogs in the past had been on workin’ cow outfits, I wasn’t prepared to see a dog that actually obeyed his master’s commands! It was quite a shock.

Accordin’ to the rules there were six classes of competition; three with cattle and three with sheep. They were divided into Advanced, Open and Started.

In the Advanced category the trainer could not cross a certain point in the arena. Using primarily voice commands, he instructed his dog to drive cattle through a series of gates, chutes and other obstacles. These dogs were a pleasure to watch. They were quick and quiet and like a good cutting horse, anticipated the critter’s moves. One of the best dogs was blind!

 

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