Opinions

Fri
13
Jul

A DREAM CHANGED HIS LIFE

BZ Lewis grew up in Big Spring. When he was six years old he took piano lessons, not knowing that music was going to be a lifetime pursuit. When he was fourteen he took up guitar. “My brother was learning guitar and he showed me a chord. Since day one I was just completely absorbed, absolutely hooked. I think I’ve played guitar just about every day except when I was on vacation or away from a guitar.” He played in a few bands all over Texas and Louisiana. “My first one was a metal band we called Stainless Steel. Later I started paying classical guitar, a truly solo endeavor. You have to figure out how to move your fingers in a way to make a musical passage work. It’s just you and your instrument and hours and hours of practice.

 

Fri
06
Jul

THE FLAG

With your permission I would like to indulge in a little naked patriotism. The United States of America, during my lifetime has become a nation like none other on earth. Not because it is the most powerful nation on earth, but because we, more times than I can count, have taken the side of the oppressed with no intention to conquer, rule or pillage.

In the act of offering our assistance, we have sacrificed blood, money and lives. We have beat ourselves up. We have questioned our motives. Our leaders have engaged in heated debate about the hows and whys, but we continue to be the single brightest light for the world’s mistreated. We will take on the schoolyard bully.

 

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Fri
06
Jul

REALITY WRECKED ABOLIONIST’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

By Bartee Haile

As the sun slowly set in the piney woods on Jul. 5, 1832, a stranger on a mysterious mission crossed the Sabine River into the Mexican province of Texas.

In recent years, Benjamin Lundy had faced the fact that agitation alone would never liberate the slaves. The Quaker editor understood that most white Americans, who in principle supported the abolition cause, cringed at the thought of blacks, freed from southern bondage, living next door.

Lundy believed the only way to overcome the prejudice so prevalent in the North was to prove that former slaves could become productive and responsible members of society. To this end, he tried without success to create a community of freedmen in the Caribbean country of Haiti.

 

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Fri
29
Jun

NEWSPAPER PLAYS DOWN TOWN’S TOUGH REPUTATION

by Bartee Haile

Ignoring the fresh graves that dotted boothill, the Tascosa Pioneer had the nerve to claim on Jun. 27, 1886, “Our society is not so rough as many have been led to believe.”

The residents of the toughest town in Texas surely shook their heads in amused amazement. Either the public-spirited publisher had baked his brains in the noonday sun, or he somehow slept through the Big Shootout.

 

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Fri
29
Jun

I Know You’ll Miss This Man

The Lord spoke to the heavy hearts that stood with hats in hand

"Your sadness pains me deeply and I know you'll miss this man

But, it's true what you've been hearing, Heaven is a real place.

That's no small consolation. You should use that fact to face

The emptiness his parting left that seeps into your bones

And draw on it to ease your pain. For he is not alone.

 

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Fri
22
Jun

A Day To Remember

It’s funny how the world goes around. Francisco and I were checking cows, making a big circle early in the morning to beat the heat. It’s peaceful out there. We’ve got grazing rights for 200 cows in 18 sections of Lowell Love grass, twenty-foot high mesquite and assorted cacti, canyons, arroyos and rattlesnakes, 40 miles north of the Mexican border in Arizona.

We were deep in the monte, ‘scrub land’, when Francisco asked if I’d like to see where my son found the dead man.

Eight years ago when my son was 16, he and Francisco were making a “juelta,” a big circle (as in “Dar la juelta” – Take a dally). I didn’t speak English to my son until he was 10 years old, so he and Francisco communicated in Spanish.

 

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Fri
22
Jun

SAM HOUSTON’S SON TAKES BRIEF SENATE BOW

By Bartee Haile

Exhausted by three exciting weeks in the United States Senate, 86 year old Andrew Jackson Houston checked into a Washington, D.C. hospital on Jun. 21, 1941.

During the months prior to the April death of Morris Sheppard, Gov. W. Lee O’Daniel had his eye on the Senator’s job. Most Texans believed flamboyant Pappy would resign from office so that his successor, Lt. Gov. Coke Stevenson, could hand him the vacant seat on a silver platter.

The Dallas Morning News advised O’Daniel to do precisely that if he did indeed have his sights set on a Senate career. Otherwise, the Big D daily encouraged the governor to “conscientiously select an appointee who would stand an equally good chance of election.”

 

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Fri
15
Jun

BIG BOOK OF BUZZWORDS

Chemicals! hormones! antibiotics! - Words that used to have meaning. Words that have become tainted. Words the ANTI’s live by. Words that are now included in THE BIG BOOK OF BUZZWORDS

Unnatural substance, pesticides, factory farming! - THE BIG BOOK OF BUZZWORDS. A complete cross-referenced collection of words used by sympathetic talk show hosts, columnists, reporters and politicians when they are required a certain spin on a story.

Corporate farming, overgrazing, veal barn. - THE BIG BOOK OF BUZZWORD. Assists the ANTI’s in making their case without using facts. You see in THE BIG BOOK OF BUZZWORDS there are no definitions.

Growth stimulants, insecticides, cholesterol. - In order to influence opinion in the sound bite allowed, one has no time for a complete explanation. Thus the use of BUZZWORDS. Think in terms of headlines..

 

Fri
15
Jun

OUTCAST CHINESE FOUND NEW HOME IN TEXAS

By Bartee Haile

A Southern Pacific special pulled into the San Antonio train station on Jun. 15, 1917, and more than 400 Chinese nationals poured onto the platform to take a peek at their new home.

The American Punitive Expedition failed to find Pancho Villa, but the footsore soldiers did not come back from Mexico emptyhanded. Although the March 1916 attack on Columbus, New Mexico went unavenged, Gen. John J. Pershing had nearly 3,000 refugees to show for his time and trouble.

Once the Army escorted them safely across the border, the Americans and Mexicans that made up the vast majority of exiles at least had someplace to go. Not so for 427 Chinese, who under U.S. law were about as welcome as the plague.

To stem the tide of Oriental immigration, Congress took the drastic step in 1882 of slashing to zero the quota for Chinese. The ban became permanent 20 years later.

 

Fri
08
Jun

Flynt & Frank

Andy and I went down to Williston, Florida to visit a couple of characters. This is horse country and these boys were hock deep in horse training. They were sure hospitable as indicated in the letter they sent after we left.

Dear Bax,

Flynt and I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed your visit. It was sure nice of y’all to take the time to come visit, especially with that bad cold. Even though both kids caught it from you, so far only one has gone into pneumonia.

 

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