Opinions

Fri
14
Oct

PROMOTER TURNS TINY COLLEGE INTO PIGSKIN

by Bartee Haile
 
The Oct. 16, 1939 issue of “Life” magazine featured a two-page spread on the Rattlers of St. Mary’s and the surprising prediction that the tiny Catholic college was “well on its way to becoming a major football power.” Those startling words were music to the ears of John Clark “Mose” Simms, the colorful promoter whose publicity stunts had made the team the talk of Texas and the entire nation. But the controversial hustler was fast wearing out his welcome at the San Antonio school. Simms was eating lunch in a café west of Fort Worth in 1934, when he read a newspaper article about St. Mary’s plan to revive its football program mothballed three years earlier.
 
Fri
14
Oct

Hoot and a Holler

Hoot had a way of keepin’ the bubble level. Which ain’t as easy as it sounds in the cricks and hollers around Ada. Ol’ man Johnson was tight with a dollar bill but flexible when it came to runnin’ cattle. Meanin’, he turned ‘em out on his ranch and gathered ‘em up but the numbers didn’t always jibe. He now owned several steers that had evaded sale day for at least three Octobers.
 
Fri
30
Sep

Cow Thoughts

The ol’ cow thought to herself, ‘I sure hate standin’ in line. Even if it’s just once a year it’s not somethin’ I look forward to. ‘Oh, great. Here comes that yay hoo with a hot shot. Where’d they pick him up? Must be refugee from the hayin’ crew.
 
Fri
30
Sep

SURGEON’S SON CHOOSES ACTING OVER MEDICINE

By Bartee Haile
 
The life and career of actor Zachary Scott, handsome star of stage and screen, were cut short by cancer on Oct. 3, 1965. Zachary Thomson Scott, Jr. was born in Austin in 1914. The son of a surgeon was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps but never showed the slightest interest in medicine. He was drawn instead to drama and began appearing in plays while still in high school.
 
Fri
23
Sep

SANTA FE PIONEERS TRICKED INTO SURRENDERING

by Bartee Haile 

Just as the Mexican officer repeated his request on Sep. 24, 1841 that the 97 Texans lay down their guns, a missing comrade mysteriously appeared and insisted the wild goose chase into New Mexico was not worth the loss of a single life. The blood had hardly dried on the battlefield at San Jacinto, when the new Republic declared the Rio Grande to be its western boundary. It was no coincidence that the claim encompassed the 300 year old settlement of Santa Fe, end of the famous trail that every year attracted $200 million in trade.

 

Fri
23
Sep

Be Deliberate

by Baxter Black 

“If you’re in a hurry, be deliberate.” It always fascinated me that Charmayne James’ horse Scamper looked like he was running slower than the others, but his time was always faster! Was his stride longer? Was his body longer? Were his legs longer? Did it take less strides to go the same distance as the others? Or was each step done with such precision that it eliminated even the slightest misstep that would add micro-seconds to the run? I watch with awe the rodeo calf ropers that flop the calf to the ground and tie him down with two wraps and a hooey, faster than the eye can see! They usually take the short cut on the tie and wait on pins and needles, hoping it will stay tight the required 6 seconds. However, he takes a risk by going for speed.

 

Fri
16
Sep

County Fair Buy Out

“Roy, can you show us the scar? It’s gotta be a big one!” “What scar?” “Where they took your conscience out!” “Aw Kendall, yer full of it! What would an order buyer know about a conscience anyway!” “I was just down to the fair office. I noticed that you put a floor bid on all the kids’ show steers. I’ve never seen anything so low! It’s shameful! Little kids came up to me with tears in their eyes. It broke my heart. And you, the owner of one of the biggest auction markets in the state!” 
 
Fri
16
Sep

RECORD CASUALTIES FOR TEXAS REBS AT ANTIETAM

by Bartee Haile

 

Texans died in record numbers on Sep. 17, 1862 at the Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg, bloodiest of the Civil War. Never one to rest on his laurels, Gen. Robert E. Lee invaded Maryland six days after winning the rematch at Bull Run. His objectives, endorsed by President Jefferson Davis, were to bring the border state into the Confederacy and the enemy, whose morale was at an all-time low, to the bargaining table.

 

Fri
09
Sep

The Cowboy Image

by Baxter Black

The livestock business has an effective symbol that has withstood the loving treatment of Hollywood, Nashville and Madison Ave. It is now under attack by the Anti-Livestock Industry. It is the cowboy. Hollywood made heroes of cowboys who always got the bad guy, practiced safe shooting and could leap on their horse from a burning train! Then Hollywood gave us the urban cowboy who could disco and wore a straw hat made of oatmeal, rattlesnake heads and sweepings off a chicken house floor!   

Fri
09
Sep

TEXANS SURVIVE FIRST UBOAT SINKING OF WWII

by Bartee Haile

A Houston judge learned on Sep. 8, 1939 that his daughter not only had survived the U-boat sinking of the British passenger ship Athenia but also had been hailed as a heroine by the American ambassador. In her last letter before leaving Europe, Helen Hannay told her parents not to worry. “There may be a delay, but we will get out all right. We aren’t in the least afraid.” The teenaged traveler closed on a prophetic note: “I am certainly glad to have had this lovely trip and to have seen all the beautiful things before they are blown up.”  

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