Opinion

Cowboy Actor Sabotaged Own Movie Career

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Sunset Carson, a star of 1940’s westerns, made one of his countless personal appearances on Mar. 29, 1976. But it is safe to say that none of the students and few of the faculty at Denton High School had any idea who he was.

Lakota and Smallpox

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Pekka Hamalainen seems a strange name for a person who writes books about American Indians. Yet, born and educated in Helsinki Finland and a professor at England’s Oxford, he is the reigning expert on US Comanche and Lakota history. His new book LAKOTA paints a picture of undefeated horseback warriors who gradually took over more and better country for their chosen lifestyle. He says tribes had been warring with one another over food, territories, and capturing each other as slaves long before Europeans arrived. Fighting seldom occurred between settlers and Indians but rather between the Spanish, French, British and eventually American traders. Competing for Indian trade, the Europeans tried to bribe their way into Indian alliances with guns and whiskey.

Watch Out for Those Dummies in Police Cars

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Dennis Ivey of Crockett is one of those people who seem to be everywhere. He has been a preacher at the same church for 30 years, has been active in the arts community in Crockett and has a band that performs all over East Texas. He is also gifted with an imaginative sense of humor that he puts to use in all kinds of situations. Sometimes his humor backfires.

Personal Attack Just What Sam Needed

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“Was the late secretary of war removed in consequence of his attempt fraudulently to give to Gov. Houston the contract for the Indian rations?" an Ohio congressman asked on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Mar. 24, 1832.

Switchin’ Flies

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I have a rancher pen pal in Northern California who is sort of a health nut. He told me once about sharing an evening with his father many years ago. My friend was telling his father about all the precautions he practiced to stay healthy: no coffee, no alcohol, no chocolate, no cigarettes, no fats, wearing gloves to shake hands when he went to town, and eating boiled potatoes instead of fried. He had a long list.

Tumbleweed Smith

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Andrews has a turtle race on the 4th of July. “It’s the biggest thing here on the 4th of July," says Mylissa Powers. “Everybody gets up super early because the race is like 8 o’clock in the morning. They draw a big circle, put the turtles in the middle of it and the first one out of the circle is the winner."

Galveston Bootleggers Shoot it Out

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Rival bootleggers turned downtown Galveston into their own private shooting gallery on Mar. 13, 1931 sending innocent bystanders diving for cover and two wounded gangsters to the hospital.

German Nature Book

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One of my best experiences while teaching a college nature writing class came when I invited Felicia Locke as a guest speaker. She took my class for a magical curandera walk through alligator juniper on a very foggy day deep in the Davis Mountains. Felicia had collected, mounted, and brought with her a huge collection of common plants she knew we would find, all labeled with their uses as well as common and scientific names. My students would have followed her home like the Pied Piper, if Casey Adams hadn’t had steaks cooking on a fire.