Opinions

Mon
24
Jul

Baxter Black

Photosensitization

Like a good boy I subscribed my mother to one of the papers that carries my column. Later I asked her how she liked it. She said, “It’s fine, son. I like most of ‘em but those where you ramble on about cow diseases and stuff like that I really don’t find near as interesting.”

Well, bear with me, Mom, here goes another. Summertime brings with it bathing suit ads, lawn mower commercials, kids home to help with the chores, mosquito’s, firecrackers and PHOTOSENSITIZATION. Photo: light; sensitization; sensitive to. Sensitive to sunlight. And that is an understatement! We’re talkin’ hard core, fourth and goal, damn the torpedo’s, all ahead full sunburn! Not to be confused with true sunburn or snowburn.

 

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Fri
14
Jul

Pestilence

by Baxter Black

Piojos! Lice! The biting kind. You see ‘em everywhere They’re thick as thieves on cattle’s backs and crawlin’ in their hair!

And ticks the size of Tootsie Pops transfuse a cow a day!

And two can pack a yearlin’ off or pull a two-horse sleigh!

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Fri
14
Jul

MYSTERY OF “LADY BOUNTIFUL” — SAINT, SINNER OR BOTH?

by Bartee Haile

Lillian Knox, once the prime suspect in the staged suicide of her timber tycoon husband, was back in the news on Jul. 15, 1939 following her arrest in Los Angeles on warrants out of Dallas and Shreveport.

The Big D district attorney announced that the notorious “Lady Bountiful,” the nickname bestowed upon Knox by East Texas admirers, would be extradited back to Texas to face seven counts of check forgery. The postal inspector in Shreveport was quick to add that the unlikely fugitive had a date in federal court on charges of mail fraud.

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Fri
07
Jul

HOUSTON BOUNCES BACK FROM LONE ELECTORAL LOSS

by Bartee Haile 

Two years after fellow Texans spurned him in the only ballot-box loss of his career, Sam Houston gave his first and last speech in a comeback campaign for governor on Jul. 9, 1859.

As one of just two southern senators that opposed repeal of the Missouri Compromise and extension of slavery to the western territories, Houston paid dearly for his 1854 vote against the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. That lonely stand ultimately cost Old Sam his seat in the United States Senate as well as the 1857 gubernatorial election.

In May 1857, eight days after the Democrats nominated Hardin Runnels for governor, Houston declared his own controversial candidacy. Against a lackluster opponent young enough to be his son, the former President of the Texas Republic should have been a shoo-in. But times had changed, and he was the underdog risking humiliation.

 

Fri
07
Jul

White Oaks Rodeo

by Baxter Black 

The 4th of July weekend means different things to different people. Each of us may have a special memory of some 4th of July. Maybe it’s when you got married or had a baby or took that vacation to Yellowstone. To a lot of folks in the livestock business it means RODEO.

The Independence Day that stands out in my mind was years ago. The big rodeo at White Oaks, New Mexico. You probably won’t find White Oaks in your Rand McNally since it’s a ghost town but it’s down around Carrizozo and Capitan north of the Mescalero Indian reservation. It wasn’t exactly a card carryin’ PRCA show so it was right down my alley!

Fri
23
Jun

Handyman Jacks

by Baxter Black 

People develop a morbid relationship with the most unlikely things. “Git rid of that horse, Newt! It’s bound to kill ya someday!” But Newt keeps saddlin’ up the widow maker.

“Don’t be eatin’ those chilis, Newt! Ya know they’ll keep you up all night!” But Newt eats ‘em and spends the night on the john.

“Dadgummit, Newt! I know that was yer Daddy’s pocket knife, but enough’s enough!” But Newt’s still cuttin’ calves with a half-inch blade.

 

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Fri
23
Jun

MAYOR DEFENDS GALVESTON ON EVE OF CRACKDOWN

by Bartee Haile

Testifying in front of a legislative committee on Jun. 25, 1951, the mayor of Texas’ “sin city” defended his much-maligned constituents with the curious logic, “The people of Galveston ought to be commended for not being hypocrites!”

The island was wide-open decades before Sam and Rose Maceo appeared on the scene just before World War I. Barbers by trade, the ambitious brothers soon discovered there was a killing to be made in bootlegging.

During the Great Depression, the Maceos branched out into big-time gambling and ruthlessly eliminated the competition. None of the slayings was ever traced back to the genial gangsters with one notable exception.

 

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Fri
02
Jun

DIRECTOR MADE HIS OWN DREAM COME TRUE

by Bartee Haile

Twenty-eight year old King Vidor released his fourteenth motion picture on Jun. 3, 1923. Talent, hard work and a little luck turned the star-struck Texan into one of Hollywood’s finest film makers.

The Galveston native, who survived the 1900 hurricane as a boy of six, was mesmerized by the newfangled medium called “the movies.” Landing a part-time job at a local theater, he spent countless hours watching the screen spring to life with thrilling tales of faraway places.

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Fri
02
Jun

The Grapevine

By Baxter Black

What better way to impress his new lady friend, thought Rob, than to take her to his friend’s rancho for an afternoon branding and BBQ? His ’84 model two horse trailer had been repaired so many times that it looked like a well drillin’ rig! The ‘98 pickup was using 2 quarts of oil to a tank of gas and his horse was...well, ol’ Yella looked right at home.

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Fri
26
May

BOOZE GETS THE BETTER OF DIXIE DEAD-EYE

By Bartee Haile

Dallas Stoudenmire resigned under pressure as city marshal of El Paso on May 27, 1882 and promised to get help for his drinking problem. After his recovery from four near-fatal Civil War wounds, the Alabaman emigrated to Texas and gave farming a half-hearted try. Deciding sod-busting was not for him, he rode with the Rangers for several months before moving onto the Panhandle. But wherever he went, gunplay was not far behind.

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