Opinions

Fri
02
Aug
Edgar's picture

BLIND ORPHAN WHISTLED THROUGH LIFE

This Week In Texas History

With the encouragement of his piano teacher at the Texas School for the Blind, Fred Lowery got up the nerve to audition for a radio program on July 31, 1929.

A few days later, the station manager phoned the 19 year old blind orphan to tell him he had the job. For the first time in his life, he would be paid for what he loved most to do – whistle.

In reality Fred Lowery was neither an orphan nor completely sightless. His mother had died soon after his birth in 1909 at Palestine, but his no-account father was very much alive when he abandoned the boy and his three older sisters.

 

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Fri
02
Aug
Edgar's picture

Talkin’ Dirty

In this column I have often mentioned scours, abscesses, big tits, bad bags, cancer eyes, foot rot, slurry pits, afterbirth, retained placenta, castration, heat cycles, sheep pellets and snotty noses.

Over the years I have received the occasional letter castigating me for talkin’ dirty.

It is never my intention to offend the sensibilities of my readers. My poems and stories are always written with the idea that people who read them regularly are livestock people. In real life I’m not comfortable cussing or telling blue stories in mixed company and I’m no different writin’ this column.

 

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Fri
26
Jul
Edgar's picture

SALOON SHOOTING CHANGED YOUNG TEXAN’S LIFE

This Week In Texas History

By Jul. 26, 1881, the desperate young cowboy had put a hundred miles between him and a blood-splattered barroom in Bryan. Three days of hard riding in the broiling summer heat must have seemed like an eternity to Reuben Stillwell. But with the Brazos County sheriff breathing down his neck, the 21 year old cowpoke dared not stop.

Never in his worst nightmare could he have imagined Saturday would be the fateful day that changed his life forever. After taking in the horse races with his best buddy Lucien Reed, the two adjourned to their favorite watering hole to get out of the sun and to quench their thirst. Stillwell and Reed did their drinking standing up with their backs to the table, where the town doctor and the Porter brothers sat. The trio had started an argument over a bet at the racetrack, and now they tried to pick a fight by taunting the boys at the bar.

 

Thu
25
Jul
Edgar's picture

Cowboy Wedding

When one of my cowboy friends tells me he’s getting married, my first question is “Does she have a job?” This particular wedding took place in the pines of Arizona. I thought that I would never again see such a group of ill prepared misfits as these groomsmen, then came the 2020 lineup running for President. But whatever magic took place, it must have worked, they’re still married and she’s still got a job.

There’s two things a cowboy’s afraid of: Bein’ stranded afoot and a decent woman. I went to a cowboy wedding recently where the bridegroom had found him a decent woman. This was not yer normal “walk down the aisle, kiss the bride” kind of wedding. This was the merger of two Arizona ranching families complete with rings made outta barb wire, a fiddle playin’ “Here Comes the Bride”, and mosquitoes.

Fri
19
Jul
Edgar's picture

FDR’S BLACK SHEEP SON MARRIES TEXAS SOCIALITE

Elliott Roosevelt stepped off a passenger plane at the Chicago airport on Jul. 18, 1933 and into a swarm of reporters.

Responding to the newshounds’ first question, the president’s 22 year old son confirmed he had indeed just returned from Reno, Nevada, where an obliging judge granted him a divorce from his first wife. But he deftly dodged the follow-up query about a possible replacement.

Rumor had it that Roosevelt had his eye on a pretty socialite he had met in Texas a couple of months earlier. He told the newspapermen that he had no intention of tying the knot so soon after regaining his freedom then added with a sly smile, “I haven’t had a chance to ask anyone yet!”

Four days later, Ruth Goggins of Fort Worth became the second in a long list of Mrs. Elliott Roosevelts.

 

Fri
19
Jul
Edgar's picture

Good Dawg

Every genuine or would be cowboy’s pride and joy is his ‘good dawg!’ One of the highlights at a Stock Show is the stock dog trials.

Now, allowin’ for the fact that all my exposure to stock dogs in the past had been on workin’ cow outfits, I wasn’t prepared to see a dog that actually obeyed his master’s commands! It was quite a shock.

Accordin’ to the rules there were six classes of competition; three with cattle and three with sheep. They were divided into Advanced, Open and Started.

In the Advanced category the trainer could not cross a certain point in the arena. Using primarily voice commands, he instructed his dog to drive cattle through a series of gates, chutes and other obstacles. These dogs were a pleasure to watch. They were quick and quiet and like a good cutting horse, anticipated the critter’s moves. One of the best dogs was blind!

 

Fri
12
Jul
Edgar's picture

BIG BEND SITE OF “THE GREAT CAMEL EXPERIMENT”

This Week In Texas History

A caravan of 24 heavily loaded camels left Fort Davis on Jul. 11, 1859 for a make-it-or-break-it field test in the Big Bend.

The U.S. Army noticed as early as the 1830’s that the climates of the camel’s native habitat in northern Africa and western Asia and the deserts of the Great Southwest were nearly identical. The animal seemed ideally suited for long-distance treks across the vast North American no-man’s-land, where temperatures reached 120 degrees and water as well as vegetation were extremely hard to come by.

 

 

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Fri
12
Jul
Edgar's picture

BAXTER BACK

Old dogs. They write songs about’em and watermelon wine. They have sayings about ‘em learning new tricks. They even name feet after them, i.e., “My ol’ dogs are shore tired!”

In a dog’s lifespan they usually figure eight dog years equals one human year. Little dogs usually live longer than big dogs. Fourteen is old for a dog, and Rookie had turned fourteen that year.

 

 

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Thu
04
Jul
Edgar's picture

LAWMEN BEAT THE BUSHES FOR FUGITIVE INMATES

This Week In Texas History

In the second mass escape in two weeks from the same Texas prison farm, eight more convicts bolted from infamous Eastham on Jul. 8, 1937.

This was how the Associated Press reported the manhunt for the first bunch on Jun. 23: “Nineteen ‘hard-boiled’ convicts who fled to freedom from Eastham prison farm sought to keep out of the reach of an army of men and bloodhounds searching for them in the scrub oak and pines of East Texas.”

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Thu
04
Jul
Edgar's picture

Guess You Forgot

This year we recognized the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of the end of the 2nd World War. Europe had been completely conquered except for England, an island about the size of Wyoming. President Roosevelt made the decision to “go all in”.

The United States of America attacked Normandy Beach with full force of more than 156,000 troops, 50% American plus British and Canadian troops. Casualties of Allied Forces numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Truly a world war. From D-Day June 6, 1944 to V-E day May 8, 1945 (Victory in Europe), Eleven months.

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