Opinions

Fri
14
Apr

A ROOSTER GOT THE TOE

Bobby Weddle lives between Stanton and Lamesa. He loves to tell family stories. This one is so popular he gets requests for it at family reunions and other gatherings. “My mother and dad were farming up close to Key, a little old farm community out of Lamesa.

My three older siblings were my sister Frances, my brother Marvin and my sister Dolly. It was their chore to bring in firewood every day before it got dark. They chopped wood and grubbed stumps with a sharp axe. “

 

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Fri
14
Apr

RENOWNED RANGER ROUTS RIO GRANDE RUSTLERS

By Bartee Haile

The sheriff of a South Texas county overrun by Mexican bandits sent the following telegram to Ranger headquarters in Austin on Apr. 18, 1875: “Is Capt. McNelly coming? We are in trouble. Five ranches burned by disguised men last week. Answer.” Although the sprawling spreads south of San Antonio had been plagued for years by hit-and-run rustlers, previous losses paled in comparison to the current crime wave. Led by Juan Cortinas, parttime revolutionary and full-time thief, well-organized bands were driving hundreds of cattle every week across the Rio Grande for shipment to Cuba. In spite of his delicate appearance, which made it possible for him to impersonate a woman during the Civil War, Leander McNelly was definitely the man for the job. If anyone could clean up South Texas, it was the hard-as-nails Ranger who enforced the law by waging all-out war.

Thu
06
Apr

Hi-Horned Red Cow’s Calf

by Baxter Black

I have calved a lot of heifers in my life…thousands. All of us who have that type of experience know that after the sweat and strain, the slick and sticky, the hope and pull, the grunt and sigh, when the wet little creature plops on the ground, sometimes there is a moment that time stands still. A second, or two or five, we stare, our world suspended, waiting for a sign.

Then the new baby sniffs, or blinks, or sneezes, or wiggles an ear, and at that moment it feels as though a burden has been lifted from our shoulders. We did it. We did it again. Just regular common people like us, engaged in that age-old profession of stockman, have participated in a miracle; life being passed from one generation to the next.

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Thu
06
Apr

BLOODY TRIPLE MURDER IN THE BIG THICKET

by Bartee Haile

Ten years into a 99-year prison sentence for murder, a trusty told the guards he was going fishing on Apr. 11, 1930 and vanished into thin air.

In February 1915, a farmer and his son hunting in the Big Thicket, the impenetrable natural wonder that once covered portions of 11 southeast Texas counties, came upon a partially decomposed corpse in a shallow grave. The coroner’s educated guess was that the man had been dead two weeks, but the bullet holes in the victim’s chest left no doubt as to the cause of death. The deceased was identified from his clothes and dental work as an oilfield worker named Richard Watts.

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Fri
24
Mar

EX-CONGRESSMAN NEGOTIATES RELEASE OF TEXANS

By Bartee Haile

Waddy Thompson did not let the fact that he had been a private citizen for two weeks keep him from asking one more life-saving favor of Santa Anna on Mar. 23, 1844.

Texans naively presumed their neighbors in New Mexico would jump at the chance to join the Lone Star Republic. So, in the summer of 1841, President Mirabeau Lamar sent more than 300 soldiers, merchants and a grab bag of adventurers to deliver an engraved invitation and to stake Texas’ claim to the lucrative trade of the Santa Fe Trail.

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Fri
24
Mar

Anything That Can Go Wrong

By Baxter Black

“By gosh, that’s a new twist,” thought Terry as he tightened his collar against the biting wind and stared at the heifer. She was trying to calve standing up! He eased up on her and dropped a loop over the horns.

She stood atop a swell on the high plains of eastern New Mexico. Terry reached her and tied 100 foot of polyethylene water skiing rope around her horns, as well. A safety line so he could at least get within 100 feet of her if she decided to take off in the 300 acre pasture.

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Thu
16
Mar

MISERABLE

by Baxter Black

March came in like a lion and left the door open

It’s blowed like a banshee for weeks

I saddle and ride like some kind of robot

She builds up a temper and shrieks

The constant thrumming that grates on my skin

And pulls on my collar and coat

Like an EPA leech that’s hooked to my lungs

And blowin’ its breath down my throat

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Thu
16
Mar

RELUCTANT REB RECEIVES FIRST TEXAS PARDON

by Bartee Haile

On Mar. 21, 1877, Guy M. Bryan wrote the new President of the United States, an old college classmate, to recommend a relative for the Supreme Court.

William Pitt Ballinger had no idea why the caretaker governor of Texas summoned him in the middle of May 1865. But he was relieved to learn Pendleton Murrah and Gen. John Bankhead Magruder had accepted the fall of the Confederacy as an irreversible fact.

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Fri
10
Mar

To Be Honest

By Baxter Black

I was walkin’ through the show barn at the Stock Show. As I passed two fellers sittin’ ‘round a tack box, I heard the words, “Well, to be honest...”

I froze in my tracks! It’s been my experience that anything preceded by those four words usually turns out to be a windy conglomeration of half-truths, excuses, sales pitches and exaggerated claims bound to make even the most gullible sucker have second thoughts.

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Fri
10
Mar

ALAMO COWARD LEAVES COMRADES TO DIE

By Bartee Haile

At the Academy Awards on Mar. 14, 1945, Joan Crawford took home the “Best Actress” Oscar for her sixty-eighth motion picture Mildred Pierce.

Life was a struggle from the start for Lucille Fay LeSueur born in San Antonio in either 1904, 1905 or 1906. Her father abandoned the family, while she was still in the womb, leaving her mother in desperately dire straits.

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