Opinions

Fri
04
May

AIR DISASTERS NINE YEARS AND FIFTY MILES APART

By Bartee Haile

Twenty-three minutes into the short hop from Houston’s Hobby Airport to Dallas Love Field on May 3, 1968, Braniff Flight 352 carrying 85 passengers and crew broke up in a thunderstorm and crashed near the Navarro County community of Dawson.

Nine years earlier, another Braniff turbo-prop flying the same route also disintegrated in mid-air raining wreckage and human remains down on the quiet countryside near Buffalo in Leon County. A mere 50 miles separated the sites of the two deadly aviation disasters.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/Martin%20County%20MessengerID317/

Fri
04
May

LE FOWLER: WOOD CARVING FISHERMAN

When I drove up to LE Fowler’s house at White Oak, near Longview, half the driveway was taken up with a huge, wellequipped fishing boat. I could tell I was in the right place. Lots of people had told me about this legendary fisherman. Some call him a fish witch because he can catch fish where nobody else can. Some say he’s psychic. Whatever you call him, he knows where and when to catch fish.

He has won some big tournaments and has been a fishing guide. Once on a successful outing, one of his customers asked him how he was catching all those fish.

LE’s girlfriend, who was along on the fishing expedition, was quick with the answer. She said, “I’ll tell you how he’s catching all those fish. He thinks like a fish.” 

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/Martin%20County%20MessengerID317/

Fri
27
Apr

VON RYAN EXPRESS” AUTHOR A POW FOR 869 DAYS

By  Bartee Haile

U.S troops liberated a German prisoner-of-war camp on Apr. 29, 1945 bringing to an end the 28-month ordeal of a Houston newspaperman turned bomber navigator. Anyone, who has driven the streets of Texas’ largest city, has at one time or another ridden down Westheimer Road. Few realize, however, that the urban thoroughfare named for a nineteenthcentury German immigrant is the longest in the entire Lone Star State. Mitchell Louis Westheimer came to Texas in the 1850’s.

Fri
20
Apr

RANGERS AND INDIANS UNITE TO FIGHT COMANCHES

by Bartee Haile

Texas Rangers and Indian allies in war paint crossed the Red River on Apr. 24, 1858 in search of a common enemy — the Comanches.

The key to Hardin Runnels’ surprising upset of Sam Houston in the election of 1857 was his belligerent attitude toward the North and the Indians. While the new governor could not declare war on the Yankees, he was free to turn Rip Ford loose on the Comanches.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/Martin%20County%20MessengerID317/

Fri
20
Apr

The Day The Ranch Changed Hands

I first met the crew in the bunkhouse the day that we bought the 4 D’s.

I’d come in that night after supper and found’em all takin’ their ease.

My job was to count all the cattle and stay till the transfer was done.

I offered my hand to the cowboys and asked how the outfit was run.

“My name is Man’well Palamino. Vaquero. I came here to ride.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/Martin%20County%20MessengerID317/

Fri
13
Apr

MUTINY ON THE ROAD TO SAN JACINTO

By Bartee Haile

Hearing his commander-in-chief had decided to stand and fight, an insubordinate captain rejoined the Texas Army on Apr. 14, 1836 in time for the Battle of San Jacinto. When Travis’ final appeal reached the independence convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos on Mar. 5, 1836, Sam Houston quickly excused himself. He headed for Gonzales “to collect all the armed forces that could be found” and to march to the Alamo according to his “Review of the San Jacinto Campaign” written in 1845.

Fri
13
Apr

THE #1 FAN OF THE ANDREWS MUSTANGS

Leland Hamilton of Andrews watches the Andrews Mustangs practice, no matter what the sport. It seems he’s always on the sidelines, urging the young athletes to do their best. He is at the practices from start to finish.

“I go to volleyball practice, basketball practice, softball, baseball, and I watch track,” says Leland. “Now golf, I’m out at the course some, but I can’t be everywhere. I start going to football practices every August and stay with them ‘til the end of the season. Summer’s a pretty dull time for me ‘cause there’s no practice to go to.”

Coaches appreciate Mr. Hamilton’s giving the kids encouragement. He’s been doing it so long that when the high school publishes its annual sports magazine it features a full-page color picture of him talking to players or coaches. One year the publication was dedicated to him. I visited with him during baseball season.

 

Fri
06
Apr

CLIFF AND NANCY RICHEY, TENNIS’ SHINING SIBLING STARS

By Bartee Haile

A single point away from losing a Madison Square Garden grudge match on Apr. 5, 1968, the female half of tennis’ best ever sister-brother team mounted one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport.

The story of Nancy and Cliff Richey starts with their father George. Growing up in San Angelo during the Depression, his own dad groomed him for the boxing ring until his mother put her foot down. The athletic boy next showed promise on the baseball diamond before hurting his pitching arm. Searching for a sport in which he could excel, George picked tennis, easily the least popular pastime in 1930’s West Texas. He practiced from daylight to dark on the only private court in town, which happened to be in a neighbor’s backyard, and taught himself to play with his healthy left arm.

 

Fri
06
Apr

A LOVE STORY

By Baxter Black

This is a love story.

In a small ranching community in the west there lived a man, his wife and four children. They were no different than their neighbors, they ran cows, built fence and did their part to keep their little town alive.

The children attended the local school. Students numbered less than a hundred. But the remoteness of the area instilled a strong interdependence among the ranchers, families and townies.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/Martin%20County%20MessengerID317/

Fri
30
Mar

FITTING END FOR WEST TEXAS GUNFIGHTER

By Bartee Haile

The surprising thing about the Apr. 3, 1902 death of Barney Riggs was not the violent nature of his demise but that the West Texas gunfighter managed to live so long.

There is no telling how many notches Riggs had on his six-gun before moving to Arizona in the early 1880’s. Not that he was a professional killer, but just an amateur with a fast draw and a very bad temper.

The fact that Riggs somehow seemed to have “reasonable doubt” on his side kept him out of jail until Sep. 29, 1886. That was the day he shot a friend in the head for fooling around with his unfaithful wife. This time there was no doubt as to Riggs’ guilt, and the judge saw no reason for leniency. The Texan started serving a life sentence for murder on New Year’s Eve 1886 in the notorious Territorial Prison at Yuma.

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Opinions