Opinions

Fri
11
Sep

COMANCHES EASIER TO DEAL WITH THAN SAM HOUSTON

by Bartee Haile
 
To please an old pal and improve his standing in Texas, Alexander Le Grand accepted a dangerous assignment on Sep. 9, 1836 only to learn that making peace with the Indians was easier than squeezing money out of Sam Houston.
 
Fri
11
Sep

Stop, Look and Listen

By Baxter Black
 
The sun had already set when Joe finally called home. Janie said, “Joe, where are you? We’ve got company coming!” Joe sighed, dug another cinder out of his hair and said, “Sweetie, I’ve had a bad day.”
 
Fri
28
Aug

SLIM PICKINGS IN LAST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

With independence about to be swapped for statehood, Texans packed the polls on Sep. 2, 1844 to pick a president for the fourth and final time. The year before the Lone Star Republic’s last election, Texans could not have imagined that they would be forced to choose between Anson Jones and Edward Burleson. Even though each man had held important positions, both were political small fry clearly not cut out to be in charge. But when more qualified figures refused to run, the nominations of their respective factions went to Jones and Burleson by default. In the absence of formal parties, the voter’s preference was dictated by his feelings for or against Sam Houston, the controversial incumbent considered a cinch for reelection in 1844. To challenge the General, the loose-knit opposition tried to persuade their hero, ex-president Mirabeau Lamar, to come out of melancholy retirement, but the dream race of Houston versus Lamar was not to be.
 
Fri
28
Aug

Team Tying

I happened to be at the National Finals Rodeo in 1988 when Leo Camarillo and partner roped their steer in five seconds flat! It ranked in my mind with John Alden pitoning up Plymouth Rock or Neil Armstrong making angels in the moon dust! I was there when history was being made! It didn’t matter that Leo’s time only took third in the goround. I have watched team roping evolve. Thirty years ago it was called team tying.
 
Fri
21
Aug

LOUIS T. WIGFALL, HOTTEST OF THE RED-HOT REBS

by Bartee Haile
 
With his inheritance squandered and his reputation in ruins, Louis Trezevant Wigfall left his native South Carolina on Aug. 22, 1846 to start a new life in Texas. The son of a well-to-do planter, Wigfall’s college days at South Carolina College, forerunner of the University of South Carolina, spawned a fanatical belief in state supremacy.
 
Fri
14
Aug

SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAINS

Back in the depression of the twenties and thirties the government started sending artists to national parks to live in the parks for a few weeks, create something about the area and donate it to the park. The artist in residence program has continued and grown and the parks have gained poetry, films, photographs, paintings and other forms of art.
 
Fri
14
Aug

POLIO SURVIVOR STARRED IN BIG-SCREEN MUSICALS

by Bartee Haile
 
During a tour of Europe with a ballet company, 17 year old Tula Ellice Finklea of Amarillo married her instructor Nico Charisse, 32, in Paris on Aug. 12, 1939. If the name on her birth certificate fails to ring a bell, how about Cyd Charisse, the beautiful brunette who danced her way to stardom in the classic Hollywood musicals of the 1940’s and 1950’s? She had gone by “Sid” since childhood because that was how her baby brother mispronounced “Sis” and probably because anything was better than Tula.
 
Fri
07
Aug

DON WARREN ENTERTAINS BY HYPNOTIZING PEOPLE

When I first heard about The Cowboy Hypnotist I really didn’t know what to think. Was it a joke? Was he a real cowboy? A professional psychologist?  All the questions were answered when I interviewed him  after one of his performances. I saw two of them and they are  amazing. He is very good at what he does.
 
Fri
07
Aug

RAINMAKERS WIND UP SHOOTING BLANKS

by Bartee Haile
The strangers that arrived at a West Texas ranch on Aug. 5, 1891 came with enough firepower to start a war, but instead of soldiers in some foreign army they were scientists on a mission to make it rain. During the Civil War, Edward Powers observed that downpours often followed battles punctuated by artillery barrages. He argued in his book War and the Weather that an armed assault on the heavens might bring relief to drought-stricken regions.
 
Thu
06
Aug

THE TRAVEL SAGA CONTINUES

In the previous column I mentioned some of the problems we encountered getting ready to go to Alaska with our grandsons (our bags didn’t arrive with us, but we picked them up later). The trip itself was perfect. It couldn’t have been better. The boys, 12 year-old Max and 9-year old Aiden chose which excursions they wanted and enjoyed them all. We wrote down what Alaska is: boats, seaplanes, salmon, totem poles, lumberjacks, fishermen, panning for gold, sourdough, forests, eagles, starfish, whales, snow-covered mountains wrapped in clouds, fjords, sled dogs, glaciers, northern lights, general stores, souvenir shops, mining, cool weather, bears, seals, jewelry, native clans, remote, magical, cruise ships, fur, parkas, beautiful, boardwalks, flowers, frontier, Iditarod, lakes, streams, waterfalls, summer jobs for students, friendly, artists, adventure, history, relaxing, vibrant, legends, otters, music and much more.

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