Opinions

Fri
28
Oct

Moderation

By Baxter Black
 
One of the hazards of having educated friends is that they are a frequent source of scientific information. Dr. Ben sent me a scholarly review entitled “WHAT DID OUR ANCESTORS EAT?” by two gentlemen well versed in nutrition and anthropology. One of the many observations they made was, with the advent of agriculture individuals became smaller in stature. They concluded that agriculture itself was not to blame but rather ‘a departure from a mixed diet derived from a variety of sources.’
 
Fri
28
Oct

SECRET PLAN TO SAVE SOUTH HINGED ON TEXAS

By Bartee Haile
 
An obscure Confederate major with a famous last name presented a secret proposal to the governor of Texas on Oct. 27, 1863. Next came the hard part — convincing Francis Lubbock that he alone could save the South. Summer setbacks had dealt a mortal blow to Confederate chances of a military victory. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Virginia was in full retreat, and on the western front the fall of Vicksburg had split the South at the Mississippi.
 
Thu
20
Oct

Bull Rider’s Limp

When I was a kid we had what we called the ‘bull rider’s limp.’ If you were entered up the Saturday before, you could develop a limp and make it last for a week! When a good lookin’ sweetheart asked what happened, you kinda shuffled and shrugged it off. “Got hurt,” you’d say. “How?” she’d ask on cue. “Ridin’ bulls,” you’d explain nonchalantly. Images of John Wayne, stoic and brave, filled the air. The dragon slayer uninjured saving the damsel. The concerned female dabbin’ peroxide in the bullet wound creasing your shoulder. “It’s nuthin’,” you’d say, wincing in pain. If only you had a saber slash across the cheek.
 
Thu
20
Oct

DESPERATE WOMAN RISKS IT ALL AT THE FALLS

By Bartee Haile
 
The first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel took the historic plunge on October 24, 1901 and lived to tell about it. In fact, Annie Edson Taylor, who survived the death-defying stunt with nothing worse than a few cuts and bruises, talked about little else for the rest of her miserable life. But the 63 year old former schoolteacher from Texas might have been better off had she perished in the foolhardy attempt. 
 
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.

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Opinions