Opinions

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.”  

Fri
02
Sep

Branded

Many’s the time I’ve come home with yellow paint on my coveralls. Caterpillar yellow. Spot it a mile away! We used it to mark our cull cows. Two paint brands we’d borrowed from the sheepherders were dipped in the paint can and daubed on the cow’s rump according to their condition. O for old or open. P for old and pregnant. So marked, we could sort ‘em off the good bred keepers if they got mixed. The yellow stayed for quite a while. Well, you’ve seen how long it lasts on a road grader.

 

Fri
02
Sep

TAP-DANCING TEENAGER KNOCKED ’EM DEAD

by Bartee Haile 

In a Sep. 2, 1939 review of George White’s “Scandals of 1939,” a Broadway critic reserved his highest praise for a teenager from Texas named Ann Miller, who stopped the show every night with her high-energy tap dance. The future fixture of Hollywood musicals in the 1930’s and 1940’s was born Lucille Ann Collier at her grandparent’s place near Nacogdoches. The year was 1923, and that is important because she would later change it to find work in Tinsel Town.

 

Fri
26
Aug

DIPLOMAT DEFIES OWN GOVERNMENT TO END MEXICAN WAR

by Bartee Haile
 
A lowly state department functionary, whose only claim to fame was his marriage to Thomas Jefferson’s granddaughter, opened negotiations with Mexico on Aug. 27, 1847 to finally bring an end to the war that had dragged on long enough. By February 1847, the Mexicans’ intransigence was giving President James K. Polk fits. Though badly beaten in every battle, the hopelessly outclassed opponent refused to concede defeat and showed not the slightest interest in stopping the carnage.
 
Fri
26
Aug

Coup De Grace

“Well, at least it isn’t broken,” he said as he wiped his face With his good arm. “Although it might be a smidgen outta place. That sucker sure did buck hard! I’m glad I was wearin’ my hat Or I’da punched right through that net wire fence and hung there like a bat! Dadgummit! Where’s the rest of my shirt? All but the sleeves are gone!.
 
Fri
19
Aug

ALAMO MOVIES OFTEN NOT WORTH TICKET PRICE

By Bartee Haile
 
“Davy Crockett at the Fall of the Alamo,” the third motion picture in the series, opened at theaters across Texas on Aug. 22, 1926. The first Alamo movie was made during the early days of silent pictures back in 1911, just eight years after “The Great Train Robbery.” “The Immortal Alamo” was a 15-minute one-reeler and the initial American effort of a famous French filmmaker’s brother.
 

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