Opinions

Fri
19
Jan

RADIO QUACK MADE MILLIONS OFF HIS LISTENERS

By Bartee Haile

Dr. John R. Brinkley, the most notorious quack in America, filed for bankruptcy in a Texas court on Jan. 17, 1941 in a last-ditch attempt to fend off creditors and lawsuits.

Traditionally susceptible to health-care charlatans, Americans between the World Wars seemed especially vulnerable to con men in white coats. But no one came close to Dr. Brinkley, who in less than 20 years fleeced the faithful for $20 million. A lowly railroad relief agent in his youth, the future master of the flimflam dragged his wife and three children from town to town. Searching for more than a hand-to-mouth existence, he enrolled in medical school around 1908. Unable to endure the academic grind, he dropped out and never set foot in another classroom.

Fri
05
Jan

WEST TEXAS RANCHERS DEFY FUTURE GOVERNOR

By Bartee Haile

Panhandle cattlemen called the attorney general’s bluff on Jan. 9, 1886 by indicting themselves on charges of “illegal fencing” on public land. Fifty-two ranchers, including the majority of the grand jurors, defiantly thumbed their noses at state authorities.

By the 1880’s, most people in the eastern half of Texas believed beef barons in the distant Panhandle were exploiting the public domain for their own private gain. Pressure mounted on the legislature to curtail the custom of letting the cowmen graze their herds for free on government land.

 

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Fri
05
Jan

2017 – A Year To Forget

By Baxter Black

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – President John F. Kennedy, 1962.

The U.S. at that time has been remembered as a “royal” time. It was the age of Camelot. His wife a queen, he was the Golden Boy.

 

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Fri
29
Dec

Down On The Farm

It’s Christmas time again in the city. Street lights, store windows, parties, jolly songs are being sung, tv and radio commercials are pronouncing its coming! Most of the attention centers around giving and receiving gifts, cards, trees, eggnog, turkey dressing, decorations and company coming. And in the midst of all this joyous chaos of celebration, someone is bound to remind us of the “real meaning” of Christmas; the birth of Jesus Christ.

It’s understandable that we need reminding. We get so busy just being “busy” about earthly stuff that is comes between us and our Maker. It is especially true if our world circles around skyscrapers, big malls, traffic jams and 8 to 5 commitments.

Fri
29
Dec

COWARDLY COUSIN EMBARRASSED “FATHER OF TEXAS”

By Bartee Haile

Limping up Buffalo Bayou in a leaky ship, Henry Austin landed at Harrisburg on Dec. 29, 1830.

No one hates poverty quite as much as the miserable soul, who once had money but let it slip through his fingers. Stephen F. Austin’s first cousin was just such an unhappy has-been, a pitiful prisoner of his wealthy past that spent his last 40 years searching for a paradise lost. Elijah Austin was a New England merchant, who broke the commercial ice with China and made a fortune in Far East trade. Cutting short his son Henry’s childhood in 1794, he sent the 12 year old on a cruise to the Orient as a cabin boy.

Fri
22
Dec

What’s Christmas to a Cow?

by Baxter Black

I know you've prob'ly asked yourself, what's Christmas to a cow?

You've not! Well maybe, just perchance I've got you thinkin' now,

When we march out on Christmas morn like nothin's goin' on,

has Yuletide struck the night before and disappeared by dawn?

Were plastic sleeves a'hangin' up around the calvin' shed?

Did visions of molasses blocks cavort inside her head?

And did she lay awake all night tensed up anticipating

Or, in excitement, milk her bed by accident, while waiting?

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Fri
22
Dec

HOW DID “THREE STOOGES” CREATOR DIE?

This Week In Texas History
by Bartee Haile

Ted Healy, the comic genius behind “The Three Stooges,” kissed his wife and three-day old baby good-night on Dec. 20, 1937 and headed for his favorite Hollywood haunts to celebrate the birth of his first child. The name on the future comedian’s birth certificate was “Ernest Lea Nash” or “Clarence Lee Nash.” No one seems to know for sure. But there is no doubt that it was issued in 1896 in the town of Kaufman east of Dallas. By the time little Ernest (or Clarence) was ready for school, the Nash family was living in Houston. He was 12, when they moved to New York City in 1908. Dazzled by the bright lights of Broadway, the teenager decided his future was in the exciting world of show business rather than on the nine-to-five treadmill of his coat-and-tie father.

Fri
08
Dec

Hunting Camp Cook

by Baxter Black

Fall is hunting season. Airports from Bozeman to San Antonio are filled with men in camouflage suits carrying gun cases out of baggage claim. They are here to stalk the fleeting deer and the wiley elk. And, they bring with them millions in revenue, part of which winds up in the pockets of outfitters and guides.

Good hunting camps do much to attract hunters, often year after year. Some camps are elaborate, others Spartan but all boast a good cook.

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Fri
08
Dec

COLONIZER TAKES SLUM REFUGEES TO HELL ON EARTH

by Bartee Haile

Five dozen Europeans from the slums of New York City set foot in Texas on Dec. 12, 1833 on their way to a promised paradise on the Rio Grande.

John Charles Beales was an English expatriate, who moved to Mexico in 1804. A physician by profession, he was a late entrant in the race for Texas real estate.

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Fri
01
Dec

The Right Tool For The Job

by Baxter Black

Clark owned a small dairy farm in Delaware. Thinking to add to his larder, he bought a black steer at Dill’s auction down the road to fatten a beef for the family. He put the steer in a grazing pasture with the dairy heifers. In a short time he noticed that the steer was trying to breed the heifers! Not a good thing on a dairy farm. He decided to take him back to the sale the next week, in the meantime he needed to separate him from the heifers.

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