Opinions

Fri
14
Nov

Farming Dreams

By Baxter Black
 
In the land of Nod a movement sprung up to build houses without the use of power tools. The advocates of organic construction (OC) supported the movement because it prohibited the recovery and use of the carbon coal and oil. To be OC any lumber used must be hand-hewn, saws must be manually operated. Mule power is approved.
 
Fri
14
Nov

KARLA FAYE HAD IT COMING BUT NOT CHIPITA

By Bartee Haile
 
Leading up to the 1998 execution of ax murderer Karla Faye Tucker, there were repeated references to the fact that a woman had not been put to death in Texas since Nov. 13, 1863. Her name was Chipita Rodriguez and this is her sad but true story.
 
Thu
06
Nov

Keepin’ Busy

Skip, whattya doin’ now days?” “Oh, I’m doin’ a little day work for Irsik and ridin’ two green colts for $50 a month. I think I’ve just about sold that load of salvage lumber I traded Mr. Jolly out of. Some guy came by the other day and wants me to audition for the Marlboro Man. Said they pay pretty good even if they don’t pick me. I’ve put down on some lease pasture. If my pardner comes through we’re gonna turn out a few steers. I’ve got some other deals workin’, playin’ guitar with Butch and Jim on Fridays, shoein’ the odd horse now and then. Ol’ Man Gammon pays me to irrigate his yard every other Sunday. Other than that ...not much.”
 
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Thu
06
Nov

GINGER ROGERS DANCED AND ACTED UP A STORM

by Bartee Haile
 
Fourteen year old Ginger Rogers danced circles around the competition at the Baker Hotel in Dallas on Nov. 9, 1925 to win first place in the state Charleston contest. Virginia Katherine McMath was born in Independence, Missouri – Harry Truman’s hometown – but like most “naturalized” Texans came to the Lone Star State just as soon as she could. In the case of Ginger, a nickname from a cousin who could not pronounce “Virginia,” it was in 1922 at the age of 11 when she moved to Fort Worth with her mother and stepfather, John Rogers.
 
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Fri
31
Oct

THE MULE MAN’S DAUGHTER

Ann Reeves of Pittsburg grew up during World War II. “My dad was a farmer during the war and he had all different kinds of crops that went to both servicemen and the local citizens. He had to get his sweet potatoes in one day and couldn’t find anybody to help him. He had this one man who was picking up the crates in the field, handing them to my dad and he was putting them on a flat bed truck.

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Fri
31
Oct

THE ALAMO – MOST HAUNTED PLACE IN TEXAS?

What better time than Halloween to delve into the otherworldly legends surrounding Texas’ most sacred site? If only a fraction of the many eyewitness accounts and second-hand reports contain a particle of truth, the Alamo has to be the most haunted place in the Lone Star State. The original ghost sighting was without a doubt the most frightening. Santa Anna was on his way to his richly deserved comeuppance at San Jacinto, when he sent a messenger back to San Antonio with orders for the rearguard to burn the battered ruins of the Alamo. The bodies of the slain Texans already had been reduced to ashes by a matching pair of funeral pyres, so it made a twisted kind of sense that the mission they died defending should suffer the same fate.

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Thu
23
Oct

A PISTOL PACKING MAMA

She has been named A Woman of Distinction by more than one group. She won a pink Cadillac for selling Mary Kay products. She won a white Mercedes for selling the Arbonne line of health and beauty aids. She was named Restaurateur of the Year for 2009 by the Texas Res- taurant Association. And she could have been arrested for at- tempted bank robbery. Her name is Linda Love, the new head of food services at Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo. For her, it’s full circle. When she was growing up in San Angelo she was a candy striper there as a teenager.
 
Thu
23
Oct

TRIBE PAID HIGH PRICE FOR BEFRIENDING TEXANS

A surprise attack by four hostile tribes on Oct. 25, 1862, cut the number of Tonkawas in half leaving less than 150 still alive and kicking. Half a dozen small groups of native peoples based in Central Texas banded together in the early seventeenth century. Even though this new tribe called themselves Tickanwatick, a tongue-twister meaning “the most human of men,” in time they came to be known as the Tonkawa, Waco for “they all live together.” Maternal clans were the cornerstone of Tonkawa society. Children were born into their mothers’ clan, and men became members of their spouses’ clan. A brother married his dead brother’s widow, a common practice among Anglo-American Texans well into the twentieth century, and a man’s property was inherited not by his children but his nephews and nieces.
 
Thu
09
Oct

To The Feedlot Hoss

Boys, I offer a toast To that creature tied to the post Who through all his ills and occasional spills Still gives us more than his most He’s black, bay or he’s brown
 
Thu
09
Oct

CREW TALKED CAPTAIN OUT OF ABANDONING “HOUSTON”

A Japanese torpedo so badly damaged the HOUSTON on the night of Oct. 13, 1944 that the captain of the light cruiser gave the order to “abandon ship.”The first but soon forgotten U.S. naval vessel to bear the name of the Bayou City was a German cargo carrier seized during the First World War. The second was a heavy cruiser christened in 1929 by the daughter of a former mayor of Texas’ biggest town. The USS HOUSTON was a personal favorite of Franklin D. Roosvelt and his choice for four official cruises between 1934 and 1939. After the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the presidential pleasure craft became the flagship of the Asiatic Fleet. The Japanese claimed so many times to have sunk the HOUSTON early in the war that American sailors jokingly nicknamed her the “Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast.” But the enemy finally made good on their boast on the tragic night of Mar. 1, 1942.
 

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