Opinions

Fri
02
Dec

My 10 Most Unforgettable Lifetime Experiences

1. Lying flat on my back in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix at 2 a.m. I passed the carafe of Chablis to my reclining colleague who looked at me and said, “Pardner, I don’t think you’re executive material!”

2. Mud wrestling with Hurricane Charlotte in San Juan Capistrano. It was there I lost $110 on a frog named Montezuma in the big frog-off.

3. The tobacco-spitting contest in Pasco where I placed third. As Tom Hall would say, “I used to couldn’t spit over my chin; now I can spit all over it!”

 

Fri
02
Dec

TEXANS PAY THROUGH THE NOSE FOR 1850 COMPROMISE

by Bartee Haile 

In an angry editorial on Dec. 5, 1849, an influential Austin newspaper advocated a scorched-earth policy in response to the pending theft of New Mexico from the Lone Star State.

“Rather than surrender to the usurpation of the General Government one inch of our blood bought territory,” fumed The State Gazette, “let every human habitation in Santa Fe be destroyed.”

Texans were too busy battling the mortal enemy on their southern flank in 1846 to pay much attention to the autumn occupation of New Mexico by the Army of the West. Those few that noticed how quickly Gen. Stephen Kearney established a military regime in Santa Fe never thought to question his motives.

 

Thu
24
Nov

The Committee Meeting

“I call to order the meeting of the Committee of the Department of Commerce. The purpose of the agenda today is to assess the importance of agriculture in the state. Our job is to determine which businesses should be included as part of agriculture. Let’s start,” said the chairman. “Well, obviously,” said the Commissioner of Agriculture, “Any business that produces raw product, animal or vegetable, is part of agriculture. Like milk. A dairy should be included.”
 
Thu
24
Nov

MEXICAN REBEL FOUGHT BOTH SIDES FOR YEARS

By Bartee Haile
 
Jose Maria Jesus Carbajal waited until the guards were fast asleep before calmly walking out of the Matamoros jail on the night of Nov. 28, 1835. The native Texan reached Goliad in time to sign the first statement of independent intent in the Lone Star rebellion. The Carbajal family tree was full of bold adventurers, whose exploits spanned two continents and three centuries. Antonio migrated to England and served as an advisor to Oliver Cromwell. Francisco and Luis conquered Peru and Mexico for God and king, while Geronimo was among the earliest settlers of San Antonio de Bexar.
 
Fri
18
Nov

TEXAN’S NAZI WARNING FELL ON DEAF EARS

Globe-trotting newspaper reporter Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker spoke at Southern Methodist University in Dallas on Nov. 20, 1941, but as usual his pro-war message fell on deaf and hostile ears. For years the award-winning journalist had implored the public to take a hard second look at Adolph Hitler and the threat fascism posed to democracy around the world. But he was drowned out by the greatest American hero of the century, who emphatically insisted that events in Europe did not concern this country.

 

Fri
18
Nov

Coffee Shop Experts in Small Towns

Visit any café or machine shop in any small town in rural America. The first topic of conversation is the weather. It has to be discussed, cussed, praised and pounded thoroughly before any other subject is taken up. It is followed by the market; the price of soybeans, grain, cattle, hogs or the price of tea in China. Then, usually politics, sports and local gossip. I’ve been in a million of these conversations. Everyone has an opinion and we’re quite willing to share it. It takes a little time to hear everybody out but it’s worth it as long as we can get in our two cents worth. But I’ve noticed that farmers and ranchers are a little like vets and lawyers when we get down to talkin’ about our own business.

Fri
11
Nov

Part Indian

By Baxter Black

Cutter said to me, “I’m part Indian.” I’ve heard that statement so many times from gringos that I’ve concluded I’m probably the only white man in North America who can’t claim to be part Indian! But when you think about it, that’s a pretty positive comment on the improving race relations in our country. White men in the early part of this century did not brag about being part Indian. It also appears that Indians are having a renewed sense of ethnic pride. That’s a good thing.

Fri
11
Nov

A YOUNG JOHNNY REB’S LETTERS HOME

By Bartee Haile

“I long for a little excitement,” a Confederate private wrote to the folks back home in Texas on Nov. 11, 1864, “and a battle is the only thing that can satisfy me.” To hear historians tell it, the War Between the States was a giant chess game played by gentleman generals. But the soldiers, who fought and died in America’s bloodiest conflict, were men, not faceless board pieces, with families, hopes and dreams and each had his own story to tell.

Fri
04
Nov

Rudy's 2nd Letter

Whel frenz, I was ther. Bakster’s buk pardy. He prefurrs I refur to him az Mastr wich emplys sum Roilty capasite. So far az ledership I’d rank him sumwher just behind General Custer. So, he throes this BBQ to anowns his latest markitting asolt on the gollabul! I red sum ov it. At lest the pichurs ar gud. His artist frends demonstraded wye thay mak a livin drowing insted of trhowin a rop!

 

Fri
04
Nov

HORNS LET CHAMPIONSHIP SLIP THRU THEIR HOOVES

By Bartee Haile
 
The University of Texas lived up to its lofty billing as the best college team in the land on Nov. 2, 1941 by crushing SMU 34-0 for the sixth straight victory of the season. Dana X. Bible’s Longhorns looked invincible even to nearsighted sportswriters back east, who always tried to ignore the superior brand of football played in the Southwest Conference. But after Texas blew out Colorado, LSU, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Rice by a combined score of 196-27, the Associated Press had no choice but to award the Austin juggernaut the Number One ranking.

 

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