Opinions

Fri
28
Jul

Horses Kin Hurt Ya!

by Baxter Black 

Horses kin hurt ya! SOMETIMES ON PURPOSE!

I looked up at the pig-eyed backyard horse. The roll of fat down the crest of his neck quivered as he snorted and flared his nostrils. He was not pleased that I’d managed to get a halter on him in the first place. He belonged to a thirteen year old kid who rode him faithfully at least once a month. This horse was used to bein’ the boss and he did not tolerate my attempts to force my wishes on him.

I tried to calm him but the suspicion never left his eyes. Maybe I’ll try him without a twitch, I told myself with optimistic bravado. I picked up my plastic syringe of Ivomec paste, took a firm grip on the halter and gently eased the tube into his lips.

 

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Fri
28
Jul

CHOLERA THE UNSTOPPABLE SCOURGE IN EARLY TEXAS

by Bartee Haile 

Cholera again reared its deadly head in San Antonio on Jul. 30, 1834 causing the panic-stricken populace to flee for their lives as the second outbreak in as many years turned Texas’ largest settlement into a ghost town.

Early Texans knew from tragic experience that cholera was a killer, an unstoppable scourge which struck suddenly and spared nobody. The highly contagious intestinal ailment produced severe vomiting and diarrhea that quickly depleted body fluids. In five days or less, the dehydrated victim went into shock and more often than not wound up in the graveyard. 

Mon
24
Jul

This Week In Texas History

By Bartee Haile

OPEN OR CLOSED? NOTHING NEW ABOUT BORDER DEBATE

Worried the war might cut off their supply of cheap labor, the Texas Dirt Farmers Congress appealed to the federal government on Jul. 22, 1941 to reopen the border with Mexico.

Texas did not always have such a significant Mexican presence as today. In fact, at the end of the nineteenth century, less than one Texan in 20 had ancestral roots south of the Rio Grande. Even in cosmopolitan San Antonio, the Lone Star melting pot with a population of fifty-three thousand, Germans outnumbered Mexicans. But the Mexican populace grew by 75 percent in the opening decade of the new century. The annual influx surpassed the total number of Mexicans that settled in Texas during 300 years of Spanish rule.

 

Mon
24
Jul

Baxter Black

Photosensitization

Like a good boy I subscribed my mother to one of the papers that carries my column. Later I asked her how she liked it. She said, “It’s fine, son. I like most of ‘em but those where you ramble on about cow diseases and stuff like that I really don’t find near as interesting.”

Well, bear with me, Mom, here goes another. Summertime brings with it bathing suit ads, lawn mower commercials, kids home to help with the chores, mosquito’s, firecrackers and PHOTOSENSITIZATION. Photo: light; sensitization; sensitive to. Sensitive to sunlight. And that is an understatement! We’re talkin’ hard core, fourth and goal, damn the torpedo’s, all ahead full sunburn! Not to be confused with true sunburn or snowburn.

 

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Fri
14
Jul

Pestilence

by Baxter Black

Piojos! Lice! The biting kind. You see ‘em everywhere They’re thick as thieves on cattle’s backs and crawlin’ in their hair!

And ticks the size of Tootsie Pops transfuse a cow a day!

And two can pack a yearlin’ off or pull a two-horse sleigh!

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Fri
14
Jul

MYSTERY OF “LADY BOUNTIFUL” — SAINT, SINNER OR BOTH?

by Bartee Haile

Lillian Knox, once the prime suspect in the staged suicide of her timber tycoon husband, was back in the news on Jul. 15, 1939 following her arrest in Los Angeles on warrants out of Dallas and Shreveport.

The Big D district attorney announced that the notorious “Lady Bountiful,” the nickname bestowed upon Knox by East Texas admirers, would be extradited back to Texas to face seven counts of check forgery. The postal inspector in Shreveport was quick to add that the unlikely fugitive had a date in federal court on charges of mail fraud.

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Fri
07
Jul

HOUSTON BOUNCES BACK FROM LONE ELECTORAL LOSS

by Bartee Haile 

Two years after fellow Texans spurned him in the only ballot-box loss of his career, Sam Houston gave his first and last speech in a comeback campaign for governor on Jul. 9, 1859.

As one of just two southern senators that opposed repeal of the Missouri Compromise and extension of slavery to the western territories, Houston paid dearly for his 1854 vote against the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. That lonely stand ultimately cost Old Sam his seat in the United States Senate as well as the 1857 gubernatorial election.

In May 1857, eight days after the Democrats nominated Hardin Runnels for governor, Houston declared his own controversial candidacy. Against a lackluster opponent young enough to be his son, the former President of the Texas Republic should have been a shoo-in. But times had changed, and he was the underdog risking humiliation.

 

Fri
07
Jul

White Oaks Rodeo

by Baxter Black 

The 4th of July weekend means different things to different people. Each of us may have a special memory of some 4th of July. Maybe it’s when you got married or had a baby or took that vacation to Yellowstone. To a lot of folks in the livestock business it means RODEO.

The Independence Day that stands out in my mind was years ago. The big rodeo at White Oaks, New Mexico. You probably won’t find White Oaks in your Rand McNally since it’s a ghost town but it’s down around Carrizozo and Capitan north of the Mescalero Indian reservation. It wasn’t exactly a card carryin’ PRCA show so it was right down my alley!

Fri
23
Jun

Handyman Jacks

by Baxter Black 

People develop a morbid relationship with the most unlikely things. “Git rid of that horse, Newt! It’s bound to kill ya someday!” But Newt keeps saddlin’ up the widow maker.

“Don’t be eatin’ those chilis, Newt! Ya know they’ll keep you up all night!” But Newt eats ‘em and spends the night on the john.

“Dadgummit, Newt! I know that was yer Daddy’s pocket knife, but enough’s enough!” But Newt’s still cuttin’ calves with a half-inch blade.

 

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Fri
23
Jun

MAYOR DEFENDS GALVESTON ON EVE OF CRACKDOWN

by Bartee Haile

Testifying in front of a legislative committee on Jun. 25, 1951, the mayor of Texas’ “sin city” defended his much-maligned constituents with the curious logic, “The people of Galveston ought to be commended for not being hypocrites!”

The island was wide-open decades before Sam and Rose Maceo appeared on the scene just before World War I. Barbers by trade, the ambitious brothers soon discovered there was a killing to be made in bootlegging.

During the Great Depression, the Maceos branched out into big-time gambling and ruthlessly eliminated the competition. None of the slayings was ever traced back to the genial gangsters with one notable exception.

 

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