Opinions

Fri
14
Aug
Edgar's picture

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
Edgar's picture

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
Edgar's picture

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
Edgar's picture

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.
Thu
06
Aug
Edgar's picture

RECORD NUMBER DIE IN HIGHWAY 81 HORROR

by Bartee Haile
Two Greyhound buses collided on a Central Texas hilltop before dawn on Aug. 4, 1952 killing both drivers on impact and burning an estimated 26 passengers to death. The horrendous head-on crash happened on U.S. Highway 81 seven miles south of Waco. The night was clear, the moon was shining and the two-lane road was dry. But the drivers were young (24 and 23) and inexperienced. It was only the fifth day behind the wheel for Milburn Berry Herring in the northbound San Antonio-to-Dallas bus, and Billy Malone in the Dallas-to-Brownsville southbound had been on the job just four months. The southbound carried 20 passengers and the northbound 37 with several riders standing in the aisle. 
 
Thu
23
Jul
Edgar's picture

UTOPIA FAILED TO TAKE ROOT ON TEXAS FRONTIER

By Bartee Haile
 
After three wave-tossed months at sea, a shipload of thirsty Germans streamed ashore at Galveston on Jul. 17, 1847 and went in search of the nearest tavern. The previous year, Prince Carl Solms-Braunfels had made the rounds of the universities in his fatherland to talk restless students into taking the Texas challenge. As a recruiter for the Adelsverein, an association of German aristocrats advocating Lone Star colonization as a way to relieve revolutionary pressures, his mission was to fire the imagination of the younger generation with glowing accounts of the New World paradise.

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Fri
17
Jul
Edgar's picture

RETURN TO THE BATTLEFIELD

Austin Steen of Crosbyton was a teenager when he parachuted into a barrage of German gunfire during World War Two. “We were shot at all the way down,” says Austin. “We lost 65 percent of our division.” Another enemy was the two feet of snow that covered the ground in 1945. Austin fought in the Battle of the Bulge, which had the highest casualties during the war.
 
Fri
17
Jul
Edgar's picture

UTOPIA FAILED TO TAKE ROOT ON TEXAS FRONTIER

After three wave-tossed months at sea, a shipload of thirsty Germans streamed ashore at Galveston on Jul. 17, 1847 and went in search of the nearest tavern. The previous year, Prince Carl Solms-Braunfels had made the rounds of the universities in his fatherland to talk restless students into taking the Texas challenge. As a recruiter for the Adelsverein, an association of German aristocrats advocating Lone Star colonization as a way to relieve revolutionary pressures, his mission was to fire the imagination of the younger generation with glowing accounts of the New World paradise.
 
Fri
10
Jul
Edgar's picture

Snafflebit Futurity

Have you ever been drivin’ a set of pasture cattle down the lane? Then you notice them stringin’ out longer and longer, driftin’ over into the ditches along the side ‘til pretty soon you’re a  half mile ahead of the lead steer.
You look back at the feller you put ridin’ drag. Over the backs of the wanderin’ herd, through the dusty haze, there he  is.
 
Fri
10
Jul
Edgar's picture

EXILED ARISTOCRAT SPENT HALF OF LIFE IN TEXAS

A handsome lady-killer, who lived his last four decades in Texas, was arrested on Jul. 9, 1943 for the murder of his father-in-law, the wealthiest man in the Bahamas. The woman, who gave birth to Alfred de Marigny on an island
in the Indian Ocean in 1910, ran off with another man when her child was just three years old. But his father must have been an even worse parent because the son renounced his aristocratic birthright, including the title of count, and took his mother’s surname.
 

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