Dismiss Notice
Woodbarter has upgraded to HTTPS. Please see click here for all the details.

A true Texas fact

Discussion in 'Kenbo's Chat Room' started by woodman6415, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    The Arcane Texas Fact of the Day:

    I mentioned that yesterday was Farrah Fawcett's birthday. Most Texans don't know that the song "Midnight Train to Georgia," which was such a huge hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips in 1973, was inspired by Farrah. In 1972, the song's writer, Jim Weatherly, phoned his friend Lee Majors, who was Farrah's husband at the time. Farrah picked up the phone and answered the call. Weatherly and Farrah chatted briefly and she told him she was going to visit her mother, taking "the midnight plane to Houston." Although Lee Majors and Farrah were already both successful by that time, Weatherly thought Farrah's line was a good one and used Farrah and Lee as "characters" in his song, which is about a failed actress who leaves Los Angeles and is followed by her boyfriend who cannot live without her. Eventually the genders were swapped to a failed actor who leaves Los Angeles and is followed by his girlfriend who cannot live without him, a train replaced the plane, and Houston was changed to Georgia. Here is Jim Weatherly singing the original song, the song that Farrah inspired, "Midnight Plane to Houston." As soon as you hear it, you'll recognize it.



    RIP Farrah Fawcett
     
    • Way Cool Way Cool x 2
    • Great Post Great Post x 1
    • Sincere Sincere x 1
  2. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    Traces of Texas


    The Texas Quote of the Day:

    “If anyone asks you what kind of music you play, tell him 'pop.' Don't tell him 'rock 'n' roll' or they won't even let you in the hotel.”

    ----- Buddy Holly, who died 60 years ago today, on Feb. 3, 1959
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
    • Sincere Sincere x 1
  3. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    Col. Robert Hall photographed in 1898 in San Antonio at the age of 84. The back of the photo reads "Col. Robert Hall Old Texas Veteran, Indian Figheter and Spy in General Taylor's Army During the Confederate War." Robert died the next year and was buried in Cotulla, Texas.

    5BE878EF-8584-47CB-A488-80EF75FF9EB4.jpeg
     
    • Way Cool Way Cool x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Wildthings

    Wildthings ASTROS 2017 WORLD CHAMPIONS Full Member

    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Location:
    Gulf Coast of Texas
    First name:
    Barry
    Today in Texas History -- February 4th

    La Bahía becomes Goliad

    On this day in 1829, the Mexican government issued a decree officially changing the name La Bahía to Villa de Goliad. The term La Bahía (“the bay”) historically referred to several entities, including La Bahía del Espíritu Santo (present Matagorda and Lavaca bays) and Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga Mission and its accompanying presidio. Coahuila and Texas state legislator Rafael Antonio Manchola proposed the change, arguing that the name of the settlement around the presidio was meaningless because neither the mission nor presidio were located on “the bay.” His suggestion of “Goliad” was actually an anagram for the name of Father Hidalgo, the priest who led the fight for Mexican independence. For a time during the 1830s settlers called the town both La Bahía and Goliad. The community played a key role in the Texas Revolution and became the site of the signing of the first declaration of independence for Texas.


    Republic of Texas authorizes ill-fated Peters colony

    On this day in 1841, the Republic of Texas passed a law authorizing the president to enter into an empresario contract with William S. Peters of Pennsylvania and his associates. The contract required Peters to bring 200 colonists to North Texas every three years. The colony was headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, and its bumpy history contrasts sharply with that of such earlier colonies as the Austin colony partly because the successful earlier empresarios lived in their colonies and managed them personally. After the initial authorizing law, the Peters colony entered four contracts with the republic. Each was an effort to correct some defect in the previous one, or to relax the demands of the government on colony officials, who failed to bring in the requisite colonists. Peters and his investors soon gave up, and in 1844 the Texas Emigration and Land Company was founded to take over the colony. The company continued the earlier management's precedents for rapacious demands on the colonists and inept management. The installation in 1845 of the officious Henry O. Hedgcoxe as the company's agent in residence inflamed the colonists and precipitated the Hedgcoxe War, in which the agent was driven from the colony. A settlement was eventually reached, and the deadline for colonists to file their claims was extended to May 7, 1853. But it took nearly ten legislative enactments over nearly twenty years to bring final settlement of the land titles. The colony that helped settle North Texas brought little if any profit to the investors and much disgruntlement to the settlers.


    Hero from Rio Grande valley dies in Vietnam

    On this day in 1968, Marine sergeant Alfredo Gonzalez died near Thua Thein, Vietnam, after action that earned him the Medal of Honor. On January 31 the native of Edinburg was commanding a platoon in a truck convoy formed to relieve pressure on the beleaguered city of Hue. After being wounded, he moved through a fire-swept area and rescued a wounded comrade. On February 3 he was again wounded, but refused medical treatment. The next day, as the enemy inflicted heavy casualties on his company, Gonzalez knocked out a rocket position and suppressed much enemy fire before falling. The missile destroyer USS Alfredo Gonzalez, named for him, is the first United States military ship named for a Hispanic.
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 3
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  5. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    One of the nicest descriptions of Lubbock

    Traces of Texas
    The Texas Quote of the Day:

    "Lubbock reminds me of a huge monster that fell out of the sky. Every once in a while it moves, but they don't know who to call in to kill the damn thing."

    ----- C.B. "Stubb" Stubblefield, legendary barbecue pitmaster
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
  6. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    The Arcane Texas Fact of the Day:

    The Driskill Hotel in Austin is named for the man who built it, cattleman Jesse Lincoln Driskill. Jesse was born on November 4, 1824, in White County, Tennessee. At the age of twenty-three Jesse Driskill moved to Barry County, Missouri, where he married Nancy Elizabeth Jane Day, originally from Columbus, Georgia, on September 5, 1847. The couple lived in Missouri four years and then moved to Bastrop, Texas. Driskill went into the merchandising business, moving first to San Antonio and later to San Marcos and Bryan. In 1857 he entered the cattle business, and for three years during the Civil War he furnished beef to the Confederate army and the Texas Rangersqv. Driskill was paid for his efforts in Confederate dollars and by the end of the war, with no cattle and no money, had gone broke.

    He began to rebuild his herds. In the early days of the Chisholm Trail, Driskill could be found driving cattle to northern markets with his brother-in-law, William H. Day. Driskill was said to have been an adventurous drover and fearless ranchman, and through persistence he became successful once again in the early Southwestern cattle trade. Business fell off sharply after 1871, when permanent residents of Abilene, Kansas, the destination of many trail drives, became fed up with the cattle trade and the wranglers who accompanied it. In that year Driskill moved his wife, four daughters, and two sons to Austin, the westernmost metropolis in the state at that time. He also continued on in the cattle trade, establishing ranches in South Texas, Kansas, and the Dakota territories.

    In 1885 he purchased the site for his future hotel, an entire city block for $7,500. The Driskill Hotel opened on December 20, 1886. For many years it served as a social and political center in Texas society. The Driskill family lost their fortune in 1888, when a late spring freeze on the northern plains killed 3,000 cattle. Payments on the hotel could not be met, and Driskill was forced to sell to S. E. McIlhenny. Driskill died, some said a broken man, on May 3, 1890, of a stroke. He was 65 years old. He is buried in Austin's Oakwood Cemetery. The inscription on his tombstone reads "He loved his fellow man."

    Citation: Handbook of Texas Online, Mary Jayne Walsh, "DRISKILL, JESSE LINCOLN," accessed February 04, 2019
     
    • Way Cool Way Cool x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    Traces of Texas
    This is Jacob Luckenbach, the man who created the community that ultimately became Luckenbach, Texas. His TSHA entry is interesting:

    "Jacob Luckenbach, early settler, was born in Marienberg, Nassau, on October 6, 1817. He married Justina Ruebsam in 1839 or 1840. They had two small daughters and were classified as farmers when they signed with the Adelsverein in 1845. Accompanied by Jacob's two younger brothers and three sisters, the Luckenbachs sailed from Bremen in early December on the Johann Dethardt and landed at Indianola at the end of December 1845.

    In January 1846 the family was among first settlers to arrive in Fredericksburg, a new community carved out of the three-million-acre Fisher-Miller Land Grant, purchased by the German Immigration Company in 1844. Luckenbach was allocated a town lot in the new village and a ten-acre lot southwest of town, where he built the family's first home. The Luckenbach family became American citizens in 1852 and shortly thereafter sold both Fredericksburg properties and moved twelve miles southeast to the site that later became Luckenbach. During this time Luckenbach was deeded 640 acres of land through the state immigration program.

    He aided in forming Gillespie County in 1848 and from 1854 to 1858 was county commissioner and school supervisor. He opposed secession but served in Capt. Engelbert Krauskopf's Home Guard during the Civil War. His youngest brother, August, joined a group of Union sympathizers and was killed by Confederate forces in 1862. Jacob's other brother, William, was appointed justice of the peace in Gillespie County in 1865 and served several years in that capacity.

    Jacob's son Albert was engaged to Sophie Engel when she was appointed postmistress at Luckenbach. She named the post office Luckenbach, in honor of her future husband. They later moved to a new settlement in eastern Gillespie County, where Sophie was again appointed postmistress. She named that post office "Albert."

    Jacob and Justina Luckenbach raised three boys and nine girls. In 1883 they sold their property in Luckenbach and retired in Boerne, to be near six of their children who lived there. At the time of Mrs. Luckenbach's death on February 27, 1907, eleven of their children survived her. There were also forty-two grandchildren and twenty-two great-grandchildren. Jacob Luckenbach died on February 27, 1911, four years to the day after his wife's death."

    Source: Handbook of Texas Online, Garland Perry, "Luckenbach, Jacob"

    AD7753A8-1364-495D-9215-E426646353BD.jpeg
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 4
  8. Wildthings

    Wildthings ASTROS 2017 WORLD CHAMPIONS Full Member

    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Location:
    Gulf Coast of Texas
    First name:
    Barry
    I love the area around Luckenbach
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    Usually ride bike over 2 or 3 times a year ... beautiful country ... usually good music
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Wildthings

    Wildthings ASTROS 2017 WORLD CHAMPIONS Full Member

    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Location:
    Gulf Coast of Texas
    First name:
    Barry
    Luckenbach. Where everybody is somebody!!

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    The Arcane Texas Fact of the Day:

    Waylon Jennings had never been to Luckenbach when he and Willie recorded and released the classic "Luckenbach, Texas."
     
    • Way Cool Way Cool x 2
  12. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    My home town

    San Angelo’s racial climate generally typified other civilian-military communities in Texas; however, the infamous 1881 Fort Concho Mutiny raised serious doubts and concerns about the posting of black units in close proximity to white townships.

    By 1875, the frontier army had permanently vanquished the Indian threat from West Texas and that in return brought about significant changes. In less than a decade, Saint Angela, once a quiet German pioneering community, became San Angelo, one of the rowdiest frontier towns in the state especially when it came to civilian-military relations. Flooded with ex-Confederates, extreme lawlessness, racial prejudice, and anti-Union sentiment, San Angelo was an iniquitous hotbed waiting to explode. Much of the turmoil centered on rancorous hostilities between black Tenth Cavalry troopers stationed at nearby Fort Concho and racist townspeople. In fact, following the senseless murder of one black soldier, what many called a mutiny ignited.

    From 1868 through 1881, racist attacks on black soldiers dogged the Concho river valley. Simmering tensions finally boiled over early in 1881. While at Powell’s saloon, local rancher Tom McCarthy shot and killed Tenth Cavalry trooper Private William Watkins for no apparent reason. Some insisted he acted in self-defense; then again, conflicting statements painted McCarthy to be a cold-blooded murderer.

    As the news reached post, riled and well-armed Tenth Cavalry troopers feverishly debated about what to do. Soon thereafter, they crossed the North Concho River in search of McCarthy, whom they believed was holed up in the Nimitz hotel. Bullets then rained down on the hotel for several minutes.

    One witness claimed the troopers acted more like a firing squad. “A large body of Negro soldiers marching single file along Chadbourne Street. When directly opposite the Nimitz hotel they halted in perfect alignment, stepped back three or four paces and opened fire. They then moved around on Concho Avenue and poured volley after volley into the Nimitz,” stated the man.

    Conversely, duty officer William George Wedemeyer inferred that the soldiers believed they were being attacked. “About dark some cowboys came to the creek opposite the post and fired at the post and a sentry. Just before taps alarm was given some cavalry soldiers went to town with their arms. I heard and saw the flashes of shots, evidently firing indiscriminately into the house. About 200 shots were fired,” said Wedemeyer.

    Three days later, on February 3, both black and white Fort Concho soldiers notified San Angelo residents that they would wipe out the entire town if hostilities persisted. Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers were called in to restore order.

    For whatever reason, Regimental Commander Col. Benjamin Grierson failed to notify his superiors until February 8, after he had relocated the regiment to a nearby encampment. Grierson insisted to superiors that his soldiers acted strictly out of self-defense. Despite tremendous public outcry, no troopers were found guilty of any wrongdoing. To ease tensions, by the following summer, the regiment had been sent to Fort Davis, an isolated frontier outpost in the state’s rugged and unsettled Trans-Pecos region. The United States military thus renewed its unofficial policy of posting black units at desolate frontier locations apart from white settlements.

    I think this pretty much nails it down San Angelo was indeed a wild and wooly frontier West Texas town.
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
  13. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    ‘Dead” Ellis’ by Mike Cox

    Private Ellis could be the life of any party.

    A cavalryman stationed at Fort Concho across the Concho River from the community of San Angelo, Ellis crossed the stream whenever he had the time and money to enjoy the various amenities only civilian proprietors could provide. One of those was booze.

    Not one to enjoy too little of a good thing, Ellis often became over served.

    On one such occasion, the soldier passed out in one of San Angelo’s many saloons. Several of his friends grabbed available appendages and carried their comrade back to their barracks, throwing him down on his hay-stuffed mattress before calling it a night themselves.

    When the bugle sounded early the next morning, the hung-over soldiers dutifully climbed out of their beds, dressed and assembled on the parade ground. Everyone except Ellis.

    After dismissing the company, Ellis’ sergeant went to not-so-gently awaken the drunken trooper and have him escorted to the guard house. But Ellis would not budge.

    That’s when the sergeant noticed that Ellis’ muscles had gone rigid. Though still warm to the touch, the soldiers did not appear to be breathing.

    The sergeant sent a solider to the post hospital to fetch the surgeon. The doctor arrived and examined the unconscious trooper. Finding no heartbeat or pulse, the surgeon pronounced Ellis dead from alcohol poisoning and ordered his removal to the small white frame house behind the hospital, a structure better known as the Death House.

    In the days before refrigeration and the common practice of embalming, a death house was a standard ancillary structure at most hospitals. Bodies went to the death house to be prepared for burial, a process on the frontier that did not amount to much more than tidying up the newly departed and placing the remains in a pine coffin for interment in the post cemetery the following day.

    Though Fort Concho had been established in 1867 as part of a chain of forts intended to protect Texas from Indian raids, most of those who ended up in the graveyard were people who died from natural causes. For most soldiers, boredom loomed as a bigger threat than violent death at the hands of Comanches or Kiowas.

    Three years after the Army came to the Concho, the government completed a two-story stone hospital with a one-story ward on each side, the most imposing structure on the post. The post surgeon provided the best medical care of the day, but he could not perform miracles. The only thing he could do for Ellis was complete the necessary paperwork so that his family could learn of his demise while in the service of his country.

    Ellis had several good friends, most of them having been present on his spree the night before. In a final gesture of respect, his soldier pals gathered in the death house to sit with his body.

    To assuage their sense of loss, the soldiers took turns sipping from a jug of whiskey somehow slipped past the sentries whose job it was to monitor those who passed between the fort and San Angelo.

    Sometime after midnight, nearly 24 hours after Ellis’ death, the soldiers heard what sounded like a moan coming from their buddy’s coffin. Dismissing the noise as the prairie wind, the soldiers heard the sound again. A moan, no question. Readily prepared to fight hostile Indians, the soldiers had no interest in taking on inhabitants of the spirit world.

    The troops retreated not-so-orderly through the closest window or door, not caring which as long as they got out of that house and away from Ellis’ ghost. But, as the saying goes, reports of Ellis’ death had been greatly exaggerated. He had only been dead drunk, not dead.

    Ellis’ friends had found the situation no less terrifying than Ellis, whose blood-alcohol level had finally dropped low enough to allow a return to consciousness. Realizing he lay in his dress uniform inside a wooden coffin just a few hours away from being buried alive, the soldier jumped from the box and crashed through a window to catch up with his fleeing friends.

    The damage to government property, not to mention his drinking spree, cost the soldier some time in the guard house but it also netted him a nickname that lasted the rest of his long life: “Dead” Ellis.

    The military abandoned Fort Concho in 1889, the last company of soldiers marching off to San Antonio. The military reservation became private property and the hospital was converted into a rooming house. Later, it became a hay barn.

    In 1911, lightning sparked a fire that heavily damaged the building, leaving it a stone shell. Eighteen years later, the rest of the structure was razed.

    But like “Dead” Ellis, the building came back to life. Following an extensive archaeological investigation, the building was rebuilt to its original specifications in 1986-1987. Now it and most of the other structures at the fort are a National Historic Site.

    And docents guiding tours of the reconstructed hospital still tell the story of “Dead” Ellis.

    © Mike Cox
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
  15. Tony

    Tony Hardwood Enthusiast Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

    Messages:
    15,021
    Likes Received:
    4,256
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    First name:
    Tony
    For all y'all that think in-and-Out is good. (Bless your hearts)
    IMG_0448.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Wildthings

    Wildthings ASTROS 2017 WORLD CHAMPIONS Full Member

    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Location:
    Gulf Coast of Texas
    First name:
    Barry
    Amen to that brother!! Whataburger til I die!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. Wildthings

    Wildthings ASTROS 2017 WORLD CHAMPIONS Full Member

    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Location:
    Gulf Coast of Texas
    First name:
    Barry
    Today in Texas History -- February 21st

    Other than being my brother's 75th birthday here are some interesting tidbits - Happy Birthday James!!

    Don't forget - The siege of the Alamo begins on the 23rd


    Roy Bean stages a prize fight

    On this day in 1896, colorful lawman Roy Bean staged a heavyweight championship fight on a sandbar just below Langtry, on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. Bean, known as the "Law West of the Pecos," was appointed justice of the peace for Pecos County in 1882. He settled at Eagle's Nest Springs, which acquired a post office and a new name, Langtry, in honor of the English actress Lillie Langtry, whom Bean greatly admired. Bean soon became known as an eccentric and original interpreter of the law. When a man killed a Chinese laborer, for example, Bean ruled that his law book did not make it illegal to kill a Chinese. And when a man carrying forty dollars and a pistol fell off a bridge, Bean fined the corpse forty dollars for carrying a concealed weapon, thereby providing funeral expenses. He intimidated and cheated people, but he never hanged anybody. He reached his peak of notoriety with his staging of the match between Peter Maher of Ireland and Bob Fitzsimmons of Australia. The fight was opposed by civic and religious leaders such as Baptist missionary Leander Millican, and both the Mexican and the U.S. governments had prohibited it. Bean arranged to hold it on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, knowing the Mexican authorities could not conveniently reach the site, and that Woodford H. Mabry's Texas Rangers would have no jurisdiction. The spectators arrived aboard a chartered train; after a profitable delay contrived by Bean, the crowd witnessed Fitzsimmons's defeat of Maher in less than two minutes. Among the spectators was another somewhat disreputable lawman and boxing promoter, Bartholomew "Bat" Masterson.


    WASPs arrive at Sweetwater Army Air Field

    On this day in 1943, the first trainees of what would become the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) arrived at Sweetwater Army Airfield (better known as Avenger Field). Organized the previous year as the Womens Flying Training Detachment and the Womens Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, the organizations were consolidated as the WASPs in August 1943. Under the direction of famed aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran, experienced women pilots in civil-service status were trained to fly army planes to relieve men for World War II combat duty. For a brief period, Avenger Field trained both men and women, but in April 1943 it became the "only all-female air base in history," except for the male instructors and support crews. Fourteen classes, totaling 1,074 pilots, earned their wings in every type of army plane before the WASPs were disbanded on December 20, 1944.The WASPs flew sixty million miles for the AAF and received high praises from their commanders; thirty-eight pilots died in service.


    New county seat given new portmanteau name

    On this day in 1902, Dalhart became the county seat of Dallam County. The name is a combination of the names Dallam and Hartley. The original settlement began where the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad crossed the tracks of the Fort Worth and Denver line, on the boundary between Dallam and Hartley counties. It was first known as Twist Junction. Subsequently, it adopted its first portmanteau name, Denrock, derived from the names of the two railroads. When the ever-unpredictable postal authorities objected, the name was changed to Dalhart
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
  18. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    From Traces of Texas
    The Texas Quote of the Day is an article about West Texas that was written by the Los Angeles Times in 1998 and it is very entertaining!

    BROWNWOOD, Texas — Diners at the Brownwood Country Club glanced up from their salad and sirloin one Saturday night to see gun-toting strangers descending on the kitchen.

    Moments later, a waitress emerged, looking a mite sheepish.

    "I don't think we're going to serve you all anything else," she whispered. "Everybody in the kitchen has his hands up."

    Invading drug agents soon left with their target, the chef, in tow.

    And so it goes in West Texas, zany and unpredictable, often maligned and misunderstood.

    It is a place where folks considered bootlegging not a crime but a public service. Where a guy could lose $1 million and laugh about it. Where a rookie roughneck might find himself welcomed to the oil business with a rattlesnake on the floorboard of his truck.

    More than a state of mind, West Texas is a world unto itself--and proud of it.

    There is a monument to a horned toad in Eastland and a statue of a jack rabbit in Odessa. In Monahans, there is a museum in an oil storage tank.

    A guy near Abilene rolls his Lincoln out of the garage and into an approaching hailstorm every other year or so. Why? An insurance scam. A rancher convicted of smuggling drugs arrived as ordered at the federal prison in Big Spring. In his private jet.

    A modern-day poker game in Odessa ended in gunfire. The lone survivor ran to a nearby house for help and was shot to death by the frightened occupant.

    The little Panhandle town of Lefors once tried to give itself away, offering 14 free residential lots in a drawing. Only four winners came forward.

    Worse, confessed city secretary Virginia Maples, "I haven't heard from those people in quite some time."

    In the Panhandle, the town of Happy is known as "The Little Town Without a Frown." San Angelo's civic charms include Miss Hattie's Museum, a bright red, richly restored bordello.

    During a football game at Lubbock, host Texas Tech was penalized because zealous fans insisted on throwing tortillas on the field.

    In 1856, writing in "Expedition Through Unexplored Texas," W.B. Parker assessed West Texas thusly: "For all purposes of human habitation--except it might be for a penal colony--these wilds are totally unfit."

    A Vast Mix of Contradictions

    Today, author A.C. Greene insists West Texas is "A Personal Country," a vast mix of contradictions scattered throughout large, small and remote cities, mountains, prairies, deserts, ranch lands and farmlands.

    Its people are tough, earthy, proud and fiercely independent.

    The region's most enduring treasure, Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, has been around for 90 million years. There, a blazing sunset reflecting off the reddish and rocky walls and pinnacles is nothing less than a spiritual event.

    Less fetching is a chunk of land about halfway between Dallas and Lubbock christened "The Big Empty" by native writer Jim Corder. Larger than a couple of New England states, it has fewer than 25,000 people, many living on small farms and ranches.

    Outsiders, Corder said, miss the strange and lonesome beauty of the mesquite, cactus, tumbleweeds, red and rocky terrain and purple and gray stunted hills.

    They also miss the rural majesty of Old Glory fluttering above the tiny post office in Old Glory and the small-town rivalry of six-man football games between such teams as the Rochester Steers and Jayton Jaybirds.

    When the discovery of oil brought new folks and mounds of money, much of West Texas was a wide, sparsely populated expanse of cattle lands. It was ripe for cattle rustlers familiar with the long, strung-out herds that moved over the winding trails to market.

    Of course, Hollywood loves West Texas, portraying it as wild, warped and woolly, an untamed land of cowboys, Indians, crooks, killers, con men, oilmen, boozers, crazies, rowdies and rattlesnakes.

    That's distorted, of course, but not altogether wrong.

    In 1920, a Texas Ranger submitted his report on a cattle thief: "Mean as hell. Had to kill him."

    West Texas is home to a group called the Republic of Texas, whose members consider Texas an independent nation. They got everyone's attention during a weeklong armed standoff last year with 300 state troopers and Texas Rangers in the rugged Davis Mountains.

    The pioneer spirit and relentless solitude of West Texas are reflected in West Texans such as Judge Roy Bean of Langtry, "the Law West of the Pecos."

    The judge, with his beer-drinking bear at his side, once fined a dead man all the money he had on him. Got him for loitering.

    Famous Con Man Still Wheels, Deals

    It could have been a similar instinct that motivated con man Billie Sol Estes.

    Once a Pecos entrepreneur and Democratic confidant of Lyndon Johnson, Estes, 73, now resides in Brady. The best-known fertilizer salesman in Texas history still is wheeling and dealing despite two federal prison stints and several other brushes with the law.

    Then there was "The Wizard of the West," the late Tom "Pinkie" Roden. Pinkie was a shy, gentle, stuttering, freckle-faced hulk who grew up dirt poor, made a fortune on illegal whiskey and then founded the most far-flung legal liquor store chain in all of Texas.

    During his earlier days, investigators quietly bought his souped-up used cars for a better chance to catch his drivers.

    "He drove us crazy," the late Coke Stevenson Jr., once the state liquor board administrator and an improbable admirer, had said. "But I couldn't help but like him."

    Fifty or 60 years ago, golfer Hoolie White made a hole-in-one at the No. 6 hole on the Anson municipal course. Did it again last year, at age 91.

    "The women in town have been all over him since the news came out," fellow golfer Jeep Spurgin said.

    For West Texans, there is no need to travel to Florida to find Miami or to Tennessee to visit Memphis. There's also an Eden and a Nazareth. Levelland is in fact level, and the view from Plainview is indeed plain. Trees do grow in Notrees, and although there is no real lake in Big Lake, there once was a giant pool--of oil.

    The University of Texas owned much of the arid grazing land around Big Lake when the Santa Rita No. 1 gushed on May 28, 1923, making the university one of the richest schools in America.

    If Fort Worth is truly the "City Where the West Begins," then most of the state somehow lies in West Texas. And not to pick on Brownwood, but its residents proclaim their West Texas heritage while living right smack in the state's geographic center.

    The historic Chisholm Trail lives on, much of it as the Cholesterol Trail. There's no escaping MonA Wild, Western State of Mindkey's brisket in Borger, Bar-L's ribs in Wichita Falls, Sarah's enchiladas in Fort Stockton or Allen's family-style fried chicken in Sweetwater.

    On Interstate 40 in Amarillo, there's the Big Texan Steak Ranch, which ballyhoos a 72-ounce chunk of beef on the house for anyone who can eat it in an hour. Ben Heiple of Pampa showed up recently with Taboo the tiger, who wolfed down the monster in 90 seconds.

    "For dessert, they gave him a second one," Heiple said, grinning. "They were really nice people."

    Although West Texans rarely hang horse thieves anymore, justice sometimes is iffy.

    Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, the noted defense attorney, figured in a West Texas case in which police brutality was rivaled only by police stupidity. Several of Borger's finest chased a fugitive onto the famous Four Sixes Ranch, and in the darkness and confusion gunned down not the fugitive but the ranch foreman.

    They even handcuffed the mortally wounded rancher and jerked him around before he died. Thanks to Racehorse, that cost the city of Borger a bundle.

    Almost as bizarre was the case of Ralph Erdmann, who was West Texas' main forensic pathologist in the 1980s, handling bodies for 48 counties.

    Make that mishandling bodies.

    Among his more gruesome errors were a misplaced head and parts from two corpses packed as one. Erdmann once ruled a woman's death was accidental, but it was determined later that she had been smothered by her former lover.

    Strange things happen in West Texas.

    Foremost, perhaps, is the weather: droughts, floods, tornadoes, dust storms, hailstorms, searing heat, blue northers.

    Blackie Sherrod, the Dallas sports scribe, says there once was a West Texas county so dry that "rainwater was wet only on one side."

    It's a fact that West Texans shielded their dinner tables during the Dust Bowl days by eating under sheets.

    Years ago, someone staged a rock concert outside Lubbock. It attracted as many state troopers and reporters as ticket-holders and was memorable only because of the hot weather followed by blowing dirt, rain, cold and finally an ice storm.

    All within hours.

    Just last June 1, decades-old high-temperature records fell in Lubbock, where it was 105; Amarillo, 103; Midland, 106; and San Angelo, 105. Temperatures soared to 109 in Wichita Falls and 110 in Childress.

    A freak hailstorm near Dalhart once dumped waist-deep volumes of pellets, closing farm roads.

    A wordsmith named George Autry says God was working on West Texas when darkness fell, delaying his plans to include such wonders as lakes and trees. By daybreak, the ground had hardened "like concrete."

    God's solution, says Autry: "I'll just make some people who like it this way."

    ------ "Wild, Wild West Texas," Los Angeles Times, November 6, 1998
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 3
  19. woodman6415

    woodman6415 Member Full Member Thread Starter

    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Pipe creek Texas
    First name:
    wendell
    The Arcane Texas Fact of the Day:

    In the 1870s, a parrot caused a cattle stampede through Stephenville. It happened like this:

    In those days some of the north-bound cattle herds passed through Stephenville. It wasn't much of a village and a few fenced-in fields made going around it inconvenient. There were six or seven log cabins, with shed rooms of rawhide lumber, strung along the trail and out away from it. The central and largest structure served as a courthouse. It had a gallery covered with boards made of pin oak. The liveliest place in town was a saloon, where, for two-bits, a purchaser could get a 'fair-sized drink' of wagon-yard whiskey drawn from a 50 gallon barrel. Usually a group of cowboys were congregated there, but dogs far outnumbered people in the town, and dog fights were the chief entertainment. The sheriff owned a large parrot that habitually perched on the roof of the courthouse gallery. It had picked up a considerable vocabulary from the cowboys, including (naturally) profanities. Its favorite expression was "Ye-oh, sic 'em!" which usually started a dog fight.

    On this particular day a herd was stringing through town, shying but keeping the middle of the road, when the parrot flapped his wings, gave a cowboy yell, and screeched "Ye-oh, sic em!" In a second all the dogs commenced to fighting. Some charged the herd, which stampeded. The cattle knocked down all the galleries, including the one the parrot was perched on, rammed through the sheds, and even demolished some of the cabins. Stephenville looked like a tornado hit it.
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  20. Wildthings

    Wildthings ASTROS 2017 WORLD CHAMPIONS Full Member

    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Location:
    Gulf Coast of Texas
    First name:
    Barry
    Today in Texas History -- February 23rd
    You could look back 1 year ago and probably 2 years ago and read about the 13 day siege and fall of the Alamo OR just read on --

    The Alamo Remembered - 13 Days to Glory!

    Day 1 - Tuesday, February 23, 1836

    This battle, though neither final or decisive, was the seminal moment in the Texas War of Independence.

    Near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio) was an 18th century Spanish Mission. Abandoned at the end of that century, it was briefly turned into a garrison for Spanish troops; who gave it the name, "Alamo". After Mexico gained its independence from Spain, the Alamo was held by a Mexican garrison; till this force was expelled by Texians under the famous knife-fighter James "Jim" Bowie, a land-owning resident of San Antonio, in December of 1835.

    Bowie was at first ordered by the new Texian Army commander, Sam Houston, to dismantle the fort and retrieve the 19 cannons of various caliber left behind by the Mexicans. Instead, upon finding he had insufficient transport to effectively evacuate the guns, Bowie decided to improve the defenses (with the aid of engineer Green B. Jameson) and hold the Alamo. Bowie felt strongly that the Alamo could be a bastion defending Texas from Santa Anna's coming attack. In a letter to Henry Smith, a leader of the Texas War or Independence Party, Bowie argued that "the salvation of Texas depends in great measure on keeping Bexar (San Antonio) out of the hands of the enemy. It serves as the frontier picquet guard, and if it were in the possession of Santa Anna, there is no stronghold from which to repel him in his march towards the Sabine."

    Bowie shared command of the mixed "regulars" and "volunteers" with Colonel James C. Neill. Neill sent to Houston and the provisional government for supplies and additional men; but at this stage both the Texas government and Houston's incipient army were in disarray; and no help was sent to the Alamo.

    On February 3, 1836 Lt. Colonel William Barret Travis arrived at the Alamo with 18 cavalrymen of the new Texan army; to take over as Neill's second-in-command. Travis was a young lawyer from Alabama, recently come to Texas to build a new life. Five days after Travis' arrival, another group of volunteers, these from Tennessee arrived at the Alamo. They were led the famous frontiersman and former U.S. Congressman, David ("Davy") Crockett; a man who was already a legend in his own time; famous for his abilities as a sharpshooter.

    When on February 11th Neill had to absent himself from the Alamo because of family matters, he left Travis, the highest-ranking "Regular" army officer in command of the garrison. Bowie, who led a band of 30 "Volunteers", would act as his co-commander. Bowie and Travis detested each other, and as they prepared the fort against eventual attack, tension between the two men was high. But all supposed that Santa Anna would not attempt a winter campaign, and long before he arrived in the spring Neill would have returned; likely with reinforcements.

    However, Santa Anna, who fancied himself as "the Napoleon of the West", was doing what all great generals attempt: the unexpected. In the dead of winter, he was marching north toward Texas, at the head of an army of 6,019 soldiers. This force had set out in December, even as Bowie was capturing the Alamo in the first place. Their progress was slow as the army worked its way over difficult and sometimes frozen terrain; encumbered by artillery, supply wagons, and numerous camp followers. Santa Anna had spent 1835 putting down rebellions and fighting battles in Mexico against well-armed local militias; and the core of his army was comprised of loyal veterans. However, many of the soldiers were newly recruited replacements, and their officers used the march north to train their men. On February 12, Santa Anna crossed the Rio Grande, undetected by the Texian defenders. It was not till the morning of February 23 that Travis' scouts reported the approach of Santa Anna's 1,500 strong advance guard, when it was only 1.5 miles outside of town.

    While the surprised and unprepared Texians hurried into the Alamo, the Mexican army occupied San Antonio Bexar. A parlay soon followed, in which Bowie sent his engineer, Green B. Jameson, to ask terms. According to Mexican sources, he was informed by Santa Anna's aid, José Bartres, that El Presidente demanded unconditional surrender ("on discretion"):

    ... according to the order of His Excellency... the Mexican army cannot come to terms under any conditions with rebellious foreigners to whom there is no recourse left, if they wish to save their lives, than to place themselves immediately at the disposal of the Supreme Government from whom alone they may expect clemency after some considerations.

    This was in keeping with Santa Anna and the Mexican government's official position toward the Texian rebels: In late December 1835, the Mexican Congress passed the Tornel Decree, declaring foreigners fighting in Texas against Mexico "pirates", to be treated with summary justice. Santa Anna had in the previous year shown no clemency to rebels in Mexico, and his reputation preceded him. Even had the Texian garrison within the Alamo been so inclined, they were under no illusions that they could expect mercy at the hands of Santa Anna.

    Not that they were so inclined:
    To this demand for unconditional surrender, Travis and Bowie answered with a blast from the fort's 18 pounder cannon; signaling their defiance.

    In response, Santa Anna ordered the raising, over the highest tower in the nearby town, of a blood-red flag and the playing of the Degüello; a bugle call used by Spanish armies, signaling "no quarter" to their opponent. The name "Degüello" derives from the Spanish verb for the act of throat-slitting; and so the tune was also known as the "cut throat" song!
    This battle would be to the knives.

    :texas::texas: GOD BLESS TEXAS :texas::texas:

     
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
    • Sincere Sincere x 1
Current Time: 6:51 PM