Opinions

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.

 

 

Fri
06
Jan

John’s Scrapbook

By Baxter Black 

I stood with George, ears perked, eyes alert, like border collies waiting for the signal. John, (we’ll call him John), finally made his momentous decision known, “We’ll do a C-section! But, I want pictures for my scrapbook!”

John was a senior veterinary student spending the week with me during calving season. George was my assistant.

The object of John’s attention stood quietly in the chute. She was a crossbred heifer, carefully selected for those quality criteria; four legs and a pulse. Although she weighed over 800 lbs, she wasn’t much taller than a bathroom sink and wide as a mobile home! Being nine months pregnant made you want to paint “GOODYEAR” on her side!

 

Fri
06
Jan

TEXAS ADMIRAL WARNED FDR ABOUT PEARL HARBOR

by Bartee Haile

Admiral James Otto Richardson met with Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Jan. 5, 1941 and for the second time in three months tried to convince the President that the Pacific Fleet was a sitting duck at Pearl Harbor.

Joe Richardson was born in Paris in 1879, and that northeast Texas town was where he grew up and attended public school. A brilliant student, he was singled out by his congressman for a hard-to-come-by appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

Shortly before his departure for Annapolis, his father, a former captain in the Confederate Army, told him, “Son, you can’t expect to compete with those Northern boys in the naval academy. There’s something about this Texas sun that dries up your brain.”

 

Fri
30
Dec

Tell Me How It Was

By Baxter Black
 
The little kid sat on his knee
 
And looked up with stars in his eyes
 
He said, “Granddaddy, tell me again
 
How it was when you were my size.”
 
The old man remembered with care
 
 And the memories flooded his mind.
 
 He said, “It was wild and free in the west
 
But that was before your time
 
I had me a little blue roan
 
And son, he could run like the wind.

Fri
30
Dec

DOC HOLLIDAY’S FIRST STOP WAS DALLAS

by Bartee Haile

Doc Holliday rang in the New Year in Dallas on Jan. 1, 1875 by shooting a fellow gambler.

With a powerful planter and war hero for a father, John Henry Holliday had a lot to live up to. Not only was Major Holliday top dog in the county, he had also commanded Fannin’s Avengers, a company of Georgia volunteers, in the Mexican War.

Thu
22
Dec

How Do You Know It’s Christmas?

So how do you know it’s Christmas?

‘Cause the sheep can always tell.

They follow a little tradition and have for quite a spell.

On Christmas Eve around midnight, the sheep, wherever they are

All rise in quiet unison and fixate on a star.

And from their stirring comes a sound, a chuckling tra, la, la

That weaves and builds itself into a soft melodious baaa Which carries like a dove’s lament when nights are very still

As if they’re calling for someone beyond a yonder hill.

 

 

Thu
22
Dec

CATTLE KING CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD

By Bartee Haile

 

A Confederate general took one look at the badly wounded captain on Dec. 26, 1863, decided George Littlefield was a goner and rewarded him with a battlefield promotion to a major.

The Littlefields had lived in Gonzales County less than two years, when the head of the house suddenly up and died. Cut off from her kin in Mississippi, Mildred Littlefield found a way to raise and educate four children while running a successful business. To her oldest son, the iron-willed woman would always serve as a reallife role model.

Fri
16
Dec

A Family Affair

by Baxter Black 

If you live in a rural community, you can probably name many examples of a multi-generational family that operates a ranch or farm. Their lives are built around the animals or crops they raise. Last August I spent a couple days gathering and branding calves for a local rancher.

It was obvious that Dad was in charge and every member of this tight-knit family knew his job. You expected things would move smoothly along, in part due to the up-to-date facilities and reasonably calm livestock. He said a prayer for the gather, then sent us out to bring in the 100 or so cows.

Fri
16
Dec

YOUNG TEXAN PICKS WRONG HERO TO WORSHIP

by Bartee Haile 

Billy the Kid rode into Fort Sumner, New Mexico with five fellow fugitives on the night of Dec. 19, 1880, but sensing danger in the darkness, the most wanted outlaw in the Southwest pulled up leaving a young Texan in the lead.

If his parents had not perished in a smallpox epidemic soon after emigrating from Ireland, life might have been very different for Tom O’Folliard. Relatives in Uvalde, Texas took pity on the orphan and tried hard to mold him into a law-abiding adult. But he was immune to their strict teachings and ran off right after his twentieth birthday.

O’Folliard wandered all the way to Lincoln County, New Mexico, scene of the fabled frontier feud that forced everyone, native and newcomer, to pick a side. Always on the lookout for fresh recruits, William “Billy the Kid” Bonney befriended the bewildered Texan, who eagerly joined his growing gang.

 

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