Opinions

Fri
12
Oct
Edgar's picture

A Minority Needs Help

What do cable TV and “Where your food comes from” have in common?

ANSWER: Television ag programming is beneficial, educational to the curious public people who eat food, and the Food Producers that provide the food they eat.

Interesting surveys: population of U.S. 327 million people that eat, 3.2 million is the number of food producers that feed them.

 

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Fri
12
Oct
Edgar's picture

RAILROAD BUILDER HEEDED ADVICE OF UNSEEN SPIRITS

By Bartee Haile

On Oct. 9, 1928, thirteen days after burying her husband of half a century, Arthur Stilwell’s widow plunged to her death from the couple’s high-rise New York City apartment.

The easiest explanation was that Jennie Stilwell could not go on living without the man who had been the center of her existence for so long. But another less romantic reason for her suicide was that the railroad builder and founder of as many as 40 towns, most notably Port Arthur, Texas, had left her practically penniless. Biographies of Arthur Edward Stilwell say he “ran away” from his home in Rochester, New York at 14 after his father’s jewelry business failed. But since runaways as a rule are fleeing neglect or abuse, that is not an accurate description of an adolescent unusually mature for his age. And, besides, the youth was not alone.

 

Fri
28
Sep
Edgar's picture

INDIAN FIGHTER AWARDED TWO MEDALS OF HONOR

by Bartee Haile

On Sep. 29, 1872, Sgt. William Wilson won his second Medal of Honor in six months of combat against the Comanches. One of less than two dozen fighting men to receive a pair of American’s highest military decoration, the obscure cavalryman earned both on the battlefields of Texas. In its 157-year history, the coveted citation had been bestowed upon better than 5,000 servicemen, but only 19 had been so honored on two different occasions. Seven marines, seven sailors and five soldiers comprise that elite club.

The name of the first double recipient was Custer — not George Armstrong Custer, the vainglorious general with the golden locks, but his younger brother Tom, who earned his pair three days apart in the last month of the Civil War.

 

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Fri
28
Sep
Edgar's picture

I Should’a Brought a Raincoat

As Noah said when he went out on the deck to check the windshield wipers, “I should’a brought a raincoat.”

Paul’s day started out with a drumroll. Every morning for months as he went into the machine shed he noticed the rusty gate hinge on the door jam. It was shoulder high and stuck out like a rhino horn. ‘Could be dangerous,’ he often thought.

That morning he was in a hurry and listed just enough to starboard to catch his shirt sleeve on the hinge. It jerked him hard to the right! As he swung around he stepped on the weed hoe. It stood smartly to attention and saluted him across the eyebrow!

 

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Fri
21
Sep
Edgar's picture

IRISH COLONIZERS END UP ON OPPOSING SIDES

By Bartee Haile

A pair of ambitious Irishmen applied for a giant land grant in sparsely settled Texas on Sep. 20, 1826. They did not want much, just the entire coastal plain between the Sabine and the Nueces!

James Power was 21 years old, when he left the Emerald Isle for the New World in 1809. The shrewd merchant landed in New Orleans and over the next dozen years carved out a comfortable niche for himself.

 

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Fri
21
Sep
Edgar's picture

That Time Again

It’s fall on the cow outfit. Time to get out the WD 40 and grease up the handles on the squeeze chute. Maybe find the three or four syringes that work, buy some new gaskets and barrels along with a box of needles. Time to look for the ear tagger, nose tongs and dehorning saw. You could stock up on hot shot batteries and plastic whips and shovel out the chute floor before it freezes.

That’ll be the easy part of workin’ your cows this fall, the mechanical tasks associated with good management. Yet, laying in wait like the hangover after the night before, is that ominous responsibility that all good cowmen dread… that’s right, boys… the open cow.

 

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Fri
07
Sep
Edgar's picture

Labor Day on the Farm

Labor Day was created by Unions to recognize the American Worker. It did not include ranching and farming; if they did it would destroy the ability of a farmer to get a loan. If a farmer included the cost of his daily labor on a financial statement, no banker could find a way to show a profit. But things have changed. ‘Haying’ used to be a full time job for teens in the summer. Tossing bales onto a flat-bed, stacking them on the truck, hauling them back to the hay yard or the barn, throwing bales off and restacking them. It was always hot, sticky, scratchy, sweaty and hard. But if you were on the football team in high school you’d finish the last cutting with money in the bank and muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger! Oh, and the suntan was free.

Fri
07
Sep
Edgar's picture

HOUSTON LOCKS NAVY SECRETARY OUT OF OFFICE

By Bartee Haile

Returning to work on Sep. 5, 1837, Samuel Rhoads Fisher, secretary of the Texas Navy, was stunned to discover that President Sam Houston had changed the locks on him.

When the Independence appeared off the port of Velasco in the spring of 1837, the whole town went down to the docks. No one wanted to miss the triumphant return of William H. Wharton, who singlehandedly had talked the United States into recognizing the new nation of Texas.

Among the host of dignitaries on hand to greet the diplomat was naval secretary Fisher. But instead of embracing his old friend, he watched helplessly as Wharton and the Lone Star sailors were taken prisoner by the Mexican navy.

 

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Fri
31
Aug
Edgar's picture

A DOUBLE LIFE ENDS IN DOUBLE MURDER

By Bartee Haile

The afternoon editions of Houston newspapers sold out in minutes on Aug. 31, 1931 as readers hungry for the facts behind the whispered rumors of a shocking double murder bought up every copy. Early that morning, frightened tenants in an upscale apartment building reported hearing the sound of gunshots to the landlord. He in turn called police, who rushed to the Montrose address southwest of downtown.

With a pass key provided by the property owner, officers gained access to the blood stained premises. Chester Jones, 35, and his 25 year old wife Jane were still in their pajamas, when unknown intruders surprised them at the breakfast table. The husband was shot where he sat – once in the head, four times in the chest and once in the hip. The missus must have tried to run but was knocked to the floor by a second shooter, who finished the helpless woman off with four bullets from a pistol of a different caliber.

 

Fri
31
Aug
Edgar's picture

Predator Friendly

A concept in protecting coyotes has been introduced by a group of Montana animal rights disciples; Predator Friendly Wool. They proposed to develop a market for wool raised on ranches where sheep are not protected from predators. The sheep raisers who do not practice predator control are to be paid a bonus on their wool. They propose to sell Predator Friendly Wool products through boutiques.

Well, all I can say is HALLELUJAH! When was the last time anybody wanted to help sheep people? The government took away wool subsidies, eco-freaks wear petrochemical derivatives and cowboys won’t eat sheep. Suddenly, from out of left field we have concerned citizens with expendable income willing to buy and wear wool items.

 

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