Opinions

Fri
01
Sep
Edgar's picture

TEXAS RANGERS SEND MOBSTER BACK TO “LA LA LAND”

by Bartee Haile

At an hour past midnight on Aug. 31, 1950, two Texas Rangers woke the boss of the Los Angeles underworld from a deep sleep to give him a simple choice: go home or go to jail.

Mickey Cohen had hoped to slip into the Lone Star State, conduct a little business and slip back out unnoticed. But the trip did not go according to plan for the West Coast mobster.

Meyer Harris Cohen was born in 1913 into an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn. Looking for a way to keep Mickey and his brothers out of trouble, their widowed mother moved the brood to the “City of Angels” in 1922.

 

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Thu
24
Aug
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THE WILDERNESS WALL

by Baxter Black

If you’ve been losing sleep at night about the public land, Yer not alone. We’re all concerned with changes wrought by man. The wilderness. To have and hold is what it’s all about And we can Save the Wilderness! By keepin’ people out! By Audubon, you know I’m right! It’s humans who befoul The habitat of prairie dog, or elk and spotted owl. A wall. We need a giant wall! At least 15 feet tall! A simulated wilderness, man-made, au natural. The next best thing to bein’ there. We’ll call it Wilderworld!

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Thu
24
Aug
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WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO CROSS TEXAS BY WAGON TRAIN

by Bartee Haile

A government wagon train forded the Red River on Aug. 23, 1857 and began the long, hard trip across the Lone Star State. Ever wonder what it was like to travel in Texas in those hot and dangerous days before cars, trains, planes and — heaven forbid! — air conditioning? While most voyagers were too busy staying alive to record their impressions for posterity, a member of an 1850’s odyssey kept an unusually detailed daily log that provides a rare first-hand account.

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Fri
18
Aug
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MIDDLE-AGED CLERK TURNS TO ROBBING TRAINS

by Bartee Haile

On Aug. 23, 1892, a Gainesville newspaper confirmed the rumored death of a local politician turned train robber.

Eugene Franklin Bunch did not fit the stereotype of the late nineteenth century outlaw. He was not an illiterate saddle tramp nor a trigger-happy sociopath but the well-educated son of a Mississippi planter. So why did he chose a life of crime at the age of 43?

Soon after the Civil War, Bunch moved to Louisiana where he taught school and married a southern belle from the same social class. Sometime in the early 1870’s, the couple emigrated to Cooke County, Texas, living briefly in Dexter, a source of illegal whiskey for reservation Indians, before settling in Gainesville.

 

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Fri
18
Aug
Edgar's picture

The Historic Star Valley Beanfield War

I guess it never would have happened if Raymond hadn’t sold his cows. The Star Valley Beanfield War, I mean.

Cy talked him into planting a bean field. They both had time on their hands. The two of them would do the work. Cy put up twenty acres and Raymond furnished the machinery. The field was in a small plot of private property surrounded by the Tonto National Forest. I should point out that both men were three score and ten...each.

May 10 they broke ground. That spring Arizona had above normal moisture and the beans came on like gangbusters! Raymond left for a week and on his return Cy was in a tizzy! The elk had invaded the beanfield!

 

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Fri
11
Aug
Edgar's picture

MEXICAN REVOLUTION SPREADS TO SOUTH TEXAS

by Bartee Haile

In the running war with Mexican bandits, six U.S. Army cavalrymen fought a brief battle with hit-and-run raiders on Aug. 10, 1915 twenty-five miles on the Texas side of the Rio Grande. 

It was only a matter of time before the violent convulsions wracking Mexico would spill over the border. In the summer of 1915, halfway through the revolution that eventually took two million lives and drove hundreds of thousands into exile, Texans living in the Valley suddenly became targets in a shooting war.

 

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Fri
11
Aug
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Parakeets And Dogs

Most of us who deal with animals on a regular basis are familiar with the books of that well loved veterinarian and author of All Creatures, Great and Small, James Herriot. He seems to embody everybody’s image of the kindly, competent country practitioner. Occasionally wrong, but always well intentioned.

Vets are often called on to minister to the needs of the owner as well as the patient. Dr. Herriot told one story that is a variation of a tale not unheard of by many veterinarians, regarding a blind woman’s parakeet. The parakeet sat in his cage and sang. He was the old lady’s sole companion.

 

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Fri
04
Aug
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TEXAN DROPPED THE BOMB THAT ENDED THE WAR

by Bartee Haile

Capt. Kermit K. Beahan of Houston tossed and turned the night of Aug. 8, 1945 knowing that the next day, which also happened to be his twenty-seventh birthday, he might be called upon to drop the second atom bomb on Japan.

The bloody 11-week battle for Okinawa, that ended in June 1945 with 49,000 Allied casualties, showed defeat had not diminished the fanatical determination of the Japanese to fight to the death. For “Operation Olympic,” the invasion of the home islands scheduled for November, the Pentagon estimate of a million Americans killed and wounded was realistic if not conservative.

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Fri
04
Aug
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My Introduction to Trichomoniasis Foetus

by Baxter Black

I was the veterinarian for a livestock company in the northwest. We had 10,000 cows on 6 ranches in 5 states with a progressive, well-managed cow/calf operation. The year was 1976.

In October I preg-tested our cows in Owyhee county Idaho. The conception rate was 92%.

Albert managed that set of 2,000 cows and he was concerned…it should have been 94%. We discussed it. I thought 92% was pretty good and he conceded the range was worse than last year. I made no effort to find a cause.

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Fri
28
Jul
Edgar's picture

Horses Kin Hurt Ya!

by Baxter Black 

Horses kin hurt ya! SOMETIMES ON PURPOSE!

I looked up at the pig-eyed backyard horse. The roll of fat down the crest of his neck quivered as he snorted and flared his nostrils. He was not pleased that I’d managed to get a halter on him in the first place. He belonged to a thirteen year old kid who rode him faithfully at least once a month. This horse was used to bein’ the boss and he did not tolerate my attempts to force my wishes on him.

I tried to calm him but the suspicion never left his eyes. Maybe I’ll try him without a twitch, I told myself with optimistic bravado. I picked up my plastic syringe of Ivomec paste, took a firm grip on the halter and gently eased the tube into his lips.

 

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