Opinions

Fri
24
Feb

COMANCHES NOT EASY PICKINGS FOR BUFFALO HUNTERS

By Bartee Haile

Acting like the Paul Revere of the Texas Panhandle, Pat Garrett rode from camp to camp on Feb. 22, 1877 warning fellow buffalo hunters, “The Comanches are coming! The Comanches are coming!” That, of course, was not altogether true. The Indians had been in the vicinity for weeks but posed no real danger to white hunters with sense enough to keep their distance.

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Fri
24
Feb

Things Aren’t What They Seem

By Baxter Black

- If you see an Indian dressed like a cowboy, he’s probably a cowboy.

- If you see a cowboy dressed like an Indian, he’s probably a country music singer.

- If you see an Indian dressed like an Indian, he’s probably an entertainer.

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Fri
17
Feb

My Kinda Truck

By Baxter Black

I like a pickup that looks like a truck

And not like a tropical fish.

Or a two-ton poodle with running lights

Or a mutant frog on a leash.

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Fri
17
Feb

This Week In Texas History

TRIPLE LYNCHING TOUCHES OFF NASTY FEUD

by Bartee Haile

A masked mob dragged five suspected cattle thieves kicking and screaming from the Mason County jail on Feb. 18, 1875, lynched three of the terrified outlaws and touched off a nasty feud forever known as the Hoodoo War.

In the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War, Texans often took the law into their own hands. Desperate characters, who mistook common folk for easy pickings, were routinely dispatched without benefit of judge, jury or clergy.

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Mon
06
Feb

Mechanical Problems

On the coldest morning of last December my pickup wouldn’t start. It wasn’t the battery; it turned over. I ground away at the starter, manipulating the manual choke (it’s 30 years old) until the battery began to weaken.

Installing my daughter behind the wheel and hooking up the jumper cables, I squirted jets of ether down the carburetor’s throat as my daughter ground the starter. Occasionally it would catch and a ball of flame would shoot from the two barrel!

I broke off and went to town for more ether. My daughter suggested it was outta gas. She switched the gas gauge from MAIN TANK to AUX, “See,” she said, “it’s empty.”

 

 

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Mon
06
Feb

ALABAMA DOCTOR SURVIVED MASSACRE AT GOLIAD

By Bartee Haile

 

After a two-week wait on the Gulf Coast, a company of Alabama volunteers organized and led by Dr. Jack Shackelford, was officially “accepted for service” in the army of the rebellion on Feb. 3, 1836

As soon as he heard that Anglo-American colonists in Mexico’s northernmost province had risen up against the repressive central government, Shackelford called a public meeting in the town of Courtland near the Tennessee state line. The respected physician and War of 1812 veteran asked who would join him in the fight for an independent Texas, and practically every able-bodied male in attendance, including the doctor’s son and two nephews, stepped forward.

 

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Thu
26
Jan

High Wire Act

by Baxter Black

One slow summer afternoon I was down at the calving shed near the river. For two months each spring it was like salmon spawning at rush hour! Hundreds of heifers, covies of calves, never ending nights, dozens of days, aches, dings, scratches, sutures, sleeves, scours, shots, dry eyes, chapped hands and sticky stuff in the hair on your arms. But that was last spring. Now I was puttering around in the quiet barn. I was picking up empty bottles and trash, straightening the corner room with its heater and cot. The sun’s ray sliced through the cracks in the wall and spotlighted dust motes floating around.

Thu
26
Jan

INFAMOUS TEXAS FUGITIVE FLEES TO BRAZIL

by Bartee Haile

The news out of Brazil on Jan. 30, 1977 was that a 19-year fugitive from Lone Star justice, had been arrested for financial misdeeds in his extradition-proof sanctuary. Long before the savings and loans scandal of the 1980’s, there was BenJack Cage, scam artist supreme. The six-foot four-inch former football player could size up a sucker across a crowded room, or as one of his many victims observed, “He can take your pulse at 20 paces.”

Fri
20
Jan

Keeper of the Key

There’s a strange group of people who speak in sacred tongues.

They gather in convention halls and really test their lungs.

And to those on the outside, they’re god-like and they’re wise

As they try to win a convert with passion in their eyes.

They begin to speak of bloodlines, of cows their bull has sired

With evangelistic reverence, they truly are inspired.

Recounting her performance and weight per day of age

They rattle off her record, reciting page on page.

 

Fri
20
Jan

“DIVINE SARAH” PLAYED TO PACKED HOUSES IN TEXAS

By Bartee Haile

 

Sarah Bernhardt’s special train rolled into Dallas on Jan. 24, 1892 for the first of four Texas stops on her “Grand World Tour.” Texans flocked to see the famous French actress, but those that missed the golden opportunity would get a second chance.

After her initial trek across the United States in 1880, the internationally acclaimed “Divine Sarah” regularly returned for profitable encores over the next 37 years. Even more than the sensation her dazzling presence always created, Bernhardt relished the impressive box office receipts. Whenever the “Pride of Paris” ran short of cash, she could count on adoring Americans to help her get back on her dainty feet.

The Lone Star State finally appeared on the Bernhardt itinerary during a two-year marathon billed as her “Grand World Tour.” Showing incredible stamina, she appeared in 170 cities, including 1892 dates in Dallas, Fort Worth, Galveston and Houston.

 

 

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