Opinions

Fri
25
Jul

IMPEACHED EX-GOVERNOR TRIES TO WIN BACK OFFICE

by Bartee Haile.
 
The Dallas Morning News in the Jul. 27, 1918 issue endorsed William P. Hobby for governor with an editorial cartoon showing a tight-lipped Texan casting his ballot “for law and order.” The illustration was a none too subtle slap at the colorless incumbent’s challenger, “Farmer Jim” Ferguson who had been removed from office the previous year. The endorsement of the Big D daily made it a clean sweep among the major newspapers in the state for the disgraced ex-governor’s replacement.

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Thu
17
Jul

SERENDIPITY ON THE ROAD

For my birthday in June we stayed in the El Capitan Hotel in Van Horn, a historic structure built in the 30’s. On the way we stopped in Midland for a couple of interviews. Jimmy Patterson talked about his new book on the history of Midland, then we visited Magic Jack, who teaches magic to kids. In Fort Davis I interviewed Joe Duncan, who owns the El Capitan. He told me about its history, how it went from a hotel to a bank, then back to a hotel. Fort Davis has a bunch of fascinating folks.
 
Thu
17
Jul

Was Jean Lafitte the First President of Texas?

When his last rival worthy of the name fled Galveston for a healthier climate on Jul. 21, 1817, the self-proclaimed “President of Texas” consolidated complete control of the island. Whether Jean Lafitte made that ludicrous claim after going into business on the strip of sand off the Texas coast in the spring of 1817 is highly questionable as are most stories told about the legendary pirate. Maybe the buccaneers that terrorized the Gulf of Mexico under his leadership called him “president” as an inside joke. But no matter because it was this blend of fact and fiction that in the end made Lafitte immortal.
 
Thu
26
Jun

Tree Implanting

By Baxter Black.
 
When I was a lad I remember my brother John wouldn’t go anywhere without his “blanky.” My son and daughter each had a stuffed animal, a fuzzy rabbit and a sock monkey named Chango. I think Grandmother Phyllis made them. Looking at the photographs, Fuzzy and Chango accompanied us on many vacation trips. Alas, the monkey jumped ship in Puerto Vallarta. It was traumatic.
 
Thu
26
Jun

INDIAN FIGHTER DOES THE ARMY’S JOB

By Bartee Haile.
 
On Jul. 1, 1855, Gov. Elisha Pease called upon James Callahan, a veteran Indian fighter with a hard-as-nails reputation, to save an endangered species — the frontier settler. After nine years of the Potomac politicians going back on their word, nothing Washington did should have surprised the citizens of the biggest state in the Union. But Texans never imagined the United States government would leave the Lone Star frontier unprotected.
 
Fri
20
Jun

THE FIREMAN POET OF EASTLAND

“My dad wrote poetry and I guess it just came natural to me,” says Sam Williams of Eastland. “When I’m inspired about something, I write it.” Sam owns a construction company in Eastland, where he serves as a volunteer fireman. He remembers a poem handed down from generations of his family: “I had a mule. His name was Solemn Slick. All that I could dream was how that mule could kick. He could kick a feather from a dove or break an elephant’s back. He backed up against the Rio Grand and kicked it off the track. Swam the Gulf of Mexico settin’ on a log. Whipped a dozen Yankees and swallowed a yellow dog.”
 
Fri
20
Jun

LYNCHING STARTS DEM CONVENTION OFF ON WRONG FOOT

Early arrivals to the Democratic National Convention were greeted by a gruesome sight on the morning of Jun. 20, 1928 – a lynching victim hanging from a Houston bridge. Five months earlier, Democratic leaders picked the Bayou City as the site for their quadrennial get-together, the first meeting of its kind in a southern state since the Civil War. Credit went to businessman Jesse Jones, national finance chairman, whose expert stringpulling made his hometown of 250,000 the winning entry.
 
Fri
13
Jun

Don’t Forget the Cowboy and the Horse

By Baxter Black.
 
Sometimes, when we go to our livestock meetings and see all the technology we forget about the cowboy and the horse. In the PowerPoint presentation it all looks so orderly as the healthy steer standing in the hydraulic chute smiles at the camera while the hired hand in a clean shirt demonstrates a procedure with music playing in the background.

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Fri
13
Jun

DALLAS DOCTOR FALLS FOR FAMOUS FEMME FATALE

By Bartee Haile.
 
Clara Bow, the scandalous “It Girl,” slipped into Dallas under the cover of darkness on Jun. 15, 1930 in search of an ex-lover and $30,000 in hush money. The femme fatale of silent films entered a Los Angeles hospital for an appendectomy in February 1928. On the day of her discharge, Clara’s constant companion Tui Lorraine walked in on the famous patient and a handsome intern “locked in a passionate embrace.” The embarrassed doctor turned beet red and ran out of the room.

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Fri
06
Jun

Man Against Beast

by Baxter Black.
 
Man against beast is a theme in many a story, from days of yore to 21st century wolves ravaging baby calves. It normally takes a hero to slay the dragon or sue the EPA. Heroes are often battling with giants, against all odds; David and Goliath, Jack and the Beanstalk, or the Alamosa High School Maroons vs Miami Heat.

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