Opinions

Fri
30
Dec

DOC HOLLIDAY’S FIRST STOP WAS DALLAS

by Bartee Haile

Doc Holliday rang in the New Year in Dallas on Jan. 1, 1875 by shooting a fellow gambler.

With a powerful planter and war hero for a father, John Henry Holliday had a lot to live up to. Not only was Major Holliday top dog in the county, he had also commanded Fannin’s Avengers, a company of Georgia volunteers, in the Mexican War.

Thu
22
Dec

How Do You Know It’s Christmas?

So how do you know it’s Christmas?

‘Cause the sheep can always tell.

They follow a little tradition and have for quite a spell.

On Christmas Eve around midnight, the sheep, wherever they are

All rise in quiet unison and fixate on a star.

And from their stirring comes a sound, a chuckling tra, la, la

That weaves and builds itself into a soft melodious baaa Which carries like a dove’s lament when nights are very still

As if they’re calling for someone beyond a yonder hill.

 

 

Thu
22
Dec

CATTLE KING CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD

By Bartee Haile

 

A Confederate general took one look at the badly wounded captain on Dec. 26, 1863, decided George Littlefield was a goner and rewarded him with a battlefield promotion to a major.

The Littlefields had lived in Gonzales County less than two years, when the head of the house suddenly up and died. Cut off from her kin in Mississippi, Mildred Littlefield found a way to raise and educate four children while running a successful business. To her oldest son, the iron-willed woman would always serve as a reallife role model.

Fri
16
Dec

A Family Affair

by Baxter Black 

If you live in a rural community, you can probably name many examples of a multi-generational family that operates a ranch or farm. Their lives are built around the animals or crops they raise. Last August I spent a couple days gathering and branding calves for a local rancher.

It was obvious that Dad was in charge and every member of this tight-knit family knew his job. You expected things would move smoothly along, in part due to the up-to-date facilities and reasonably calm livestock. He said a prayer for the gather, then sent us out to bring in the 100 or so cows.

Fri
16
Dec

YOUNG TEXAN PICKS WRONG HERO TO WORSHIP

by Bartee Haile 

Billy the Kid rode into Fort Sumner, New Mexico with five fellow fugitives on the night of Dec. 19, 1880, but sensing danger in the darkness, the most wanted outlaw in the Southwest pulled up leaving a young Texan in the lead.

If his parents had not perished in a smallpox epidemic soon after emigrating from Ireland, life might have been very different for Tom O’Folliard. Relatives in Uvalde, Texas took pity on the orphan and tried hard to mold him into a law-abiding adult. But he was immune to their strict teachings and ran off right after his twentieth birthday.

O’Folliard wandered all the way to Lincoln County, New Mexico, scene of the fabled frontier feud that forced everyone, native and newcomer, to pick a side. Always on the lookout for fresh recruits, William “Billy the Kid” Bonney befriended the bewildered Texan, who eagerly joined his growing gang.

 

Fri
09
Dec

An Imaginary Interview Between Yours Truly and Leaders of the Animal Rights Extremists

by Baxter Black

Let me welcome you to our unending discussion on the Unintended Consequences of Unwanted Horses in the U.S. including Wild Horses.

TOPIC 1: Since 2008 when horse slaughter ceased in the U.S., to 2016, 1,151,000 (one million one hundred fifty-one thousand) head have been exported to Mexico and Canada for slaughter for human consumption, primarily in Europe. Is it more humane to transport unwanted horses far away for slaughter, or closer?

Fri
09
Dec

FORMER REBEL GENERAL RETURNS GRANT’S FAVOR

by Bartee Haile

Puzzled as he was by the odd request, President Jefferson Davis gladly gave a Texas general the toughest job in the Confederacy on Dec. 11, 1863.

As a member of the West Point class of 1846, Samuel Bell Maxey roomed with Thomas Jonathan Jackson, who went on to become the legendary “Stonewall.” Another close friend at the academy was a hard-drinking cadet, who kept his nose buried in novels rather than textbooks, named Ulysses S. Grant.

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.”
 

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