Opinions

Fri
22
Nov

“LITTLE PHIL” MADE LIFE MISERABLE FOR CONQUERED TEXANS

[The History Press will publish Bartee’s first book on Jan. 14, 2014. You may pre-order a signed copy of “Texas Depression-Era Desperadoes” at barteehaile.com or by mailing a check for $26.65 to “Bartee Haile,” P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549.] The dictatorship of Gen. Philip Sheridan in occupied Texas officially ended on Nov. 29, 1867 four months after the president sent the pipsqueak packing. Celebrity status in the North, the product of a popular poem that exaggerated his exploits, and a cozy relationship with Gen. U.S. Grant gave “Little Phil,” who stopped growing at five feet five inches, free rein over the conquered Confederate states of Texas and Louisiana. Absolute authority allowed him to indulge his battle-hardened prejudices against secessionists
 
Fri
15
Nov
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The Rain Hotline

For several years my phone conversations with George have been depressing. Sometimes when we discuss rain, he’s never had enough on Spud Mountain. He seems to live in the endless drought conditions…until it rains
and washes out his water gaps, tanks and roads. It’s tough on his cows. Thank goodness he has a job at the bank 
 
Fri
15
Nov
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“FACTORY FARM” VISIONARY GOES BUST IN PANHANDLE

by Bartee Haile 

“What is believed to be the largest field in the country under one fence was broken and sown to wheat this fall by Hickman Price, the most extensive wheat farmer in the Panhandle of Texas,” the Kerrville Times reported on Nov.13, 1930. One sure way to get off on the wrong foot in any small town is to treat the inhabitants like a bunch of brain-dead yokels. The welldressed stranger was smart enough to grasp that fact of life, but he 
did not let something as trivial as common courtesy stop him from straightening out the editor of the Plainview paper.
 
Thu
07
Nov
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FROM PRISON TO PUBLISHING

Troy Buck was raised in Andrews. “My daddy was a horse trader and so it was obvious where I was gonna go. I joined the Texas Rodeo Association when I was nineteen, then moved into the professional ranks when I was twenty-two. I was a bull rider and calf roper for fourteen years.” He made it to the National Finals Rodeo in 1976, 77 and 78. When he retired from rodeo in 1978 he started driving a truck. In 1999, when he was fifty-five years old, he was sentenced to twelve years in prison for DWI. There was no accident involved, he was not a heavy drinker and the charges were thirteen years apart. He served the whole twelve years and was released on June first, 2011.
Thu
07
Nov
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The Presence of Nothing

By Baxter Black.
I was explaining about pregnancy testing to a young veterinary student. She plunged her arm into the cow and palpated. After a studious attempt she said, “I can’t feel anything. Maybe she’s open?” “Maybe,” is an acceptable diagnosis in some places but it doesn’t impress the owner of the cow. “Not feeling anything,” is not a diagnosis. Concept #1 in the cow vet’s Principles of Preg Testing is understanding that “Open” is not the absence of something; it is the presence of nothing.
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Fri
01
Nov
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Rattlesnakes On The Border

“Rattlesnakes on the Border.” Some of you might think this is another grim tale about the cartels and gunfights in the Mexican Border states. It’s not. Most all of roads coming north to connect with the freeway have a manned border patrol checkpoint. The object is to deter illegal immigrants and drug smuggling. A good deal of the borderland is ranching country. Two young day-work cowboys had been helping gather cows. They put in a good day and were headed home.
To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/Martin%20County%20MessengerID317/
Fri
01
Nov
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THE FLESH-AND-BLOOD DEALEY BEHIND DALLAS’ PLAZA

By Bartee Haile.

Nov. 4, 1940 was “Dealey Day” at the University of Texas as “Mr. G.B.,” founder and guiding genius of the Dallas Morning News, was honored with a testimonial banquet by the journalism department. Seventy years earlier, George Bannerman Dealey walked down the gangplank at Galveston with his English family. Forced by adverse economic circumstances to seek a promising place for a fresh start, the Dealeys chose Texas over New York.
To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/Martin%20County%20MessengerID317/
Mon
28
Oct
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THE DIALVILLE TURTLE

Dialville is a little place between Rusk and Jacksonville that developed in the 1880’s when John Dial opened a store on a railroad line. The place was originally called Dial, but when residents applied for a post office, there was already a Dial in Fannin County, so the post office was named Dialville. It became a shipping point for tomatoes, peaches and other produce. At the town’s peak in 1915 it had two churches, a school, a bank, two newspapers and a theater. About 200 people live there now.
 
Mon
28
Oct
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“MOST UNCOACHABLE PLAYER” IN HISTORY OF FOOTBALL

Joe Don Looney was on his best behavior for the Oklahoma-Kansas State game on October 27, 1962 contributing two touchdowns in the Sooners’ 47-0 rout blowout of the Wildcats and not causing his usual quota of trouble. Steve Sobol of NFL Films once was asked to name “the most uncoachable player” he had ever seen in professional football. Without the slightest hesitation, he answered, “Joe Don Looney” – the oddball the Saturday Evening Post called “the marvelous misfit.”
 

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