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Twenty-five years of HS sports and counting

August 24, 2016
Twenty-five years of HS sports and counting

I’ll be on the sidelines again this Friday night – for the 25th consecutive year.
In that quarter of a century, I’ve seen a lot exciting games and events. And I’ve sat through some contests that seemed like they would never end.
I was pretty excited by the time of that Aug. 1992 season-opening game, my first to cover.
The first football contest I would ever cover was the resumption of the Springtown-Azle rivalry, the first meeting of the teams since the 1950s. The Porcupines won 13-7 in a game that became a near-annual rivalry for the next decade.
I started calling it the Battle of 199 then switched it to the Blacktop Battle and was geared up to producing a traveling trophy when Springtown dropped in classification and the teams quit facing each other.… Read the rest

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He’s still good

August 24, 2016
He’s still good

God is good!” I hear that phrase and see it on Facebook often. It almost always follows a report of some kind of blessing. We got some much needed rain today. My friend got a good report from the doctor. I got the job. My kids made the trip safely. We baptized three people at church today.
I love hearing good news! And I love it when people publicly acknowledge the truth of James 1:17 – “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
I know it bothers some cynics when a successful public figure says, “I just want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” It even bothers some Christ-followers when someone says that who has made some, shall we say, less than Christ-honoring choices.… Read the rest

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Charles Goodnight: ‘Cattaloes’ and a young bride

August 24, 2016
Charles Goodnight: ‘Cattaloes’ and a young bride

This column first appeared November 21, 1979.

Finding out things I didn’t know about Western characters that I thought I already knew a lot about is fun. It makes the person, and the West, even more real.
I already knew about Charles Goodnight and the Goodnight-Loving Trail to New Mexico and later to Colorado. I knew that Goodnight returned from Colorado to form a partnership with Britisher John Adair.
And:
• That he made the ranch into a profitable enterprise for himself and his partner and even experimented – unsuccessfully, though – with crossing buffalo and cattle: cattaloes.
• That the Panhandle town of Goodnight was located near his ranch headquarters.… Read the rest

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Texan diagnosed with Zika illness after trip

August 24, 2016
Texan diagnosed with Zika illness after trip

A Texas resident who recently traveled to Miami, Florida, has tested positive for Zika virus disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported on Aug. 15.
The traveler, an El Paso County resident, sought testing after becoming ill. This is the first Texas case to be linked to travel within the continental United States. The case will be classified as “travel-associated” and is being investigated for more details, the DSHS said.
While this is El Paso County’s first reported case of Zika, Texas had 121 reported cases of the disease as of Aug. 19. The count includes three pregnant women, two infants infected before birth and one person who had sexual contact with a traveler.… Read the rest

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The good thing about reaching your 60’s

August 17, 2016
The good thing about reaching your 60’s

This begins in the autumn of 1972.
I was 16 and trapped at Lake Whitney, 18 miles from school and often alone on weekends with my brother – and future wife (unknown at that time, of course) when she ventured outdoors.
The regular stream of summertime visitors who love knowing someone who lives at a lake had dried up; who goes to a lake in the chilly autumn?
So, I became quite adept at entertaining myself.
Before Pokemon Go forced children outside again, back in the 1970s, we went outdoors on our own accord.
I had a football and created two solo games.… Read the rest

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I got it! I got it!

August 17, 2016
I got it! I got it!

There are certain words and phrases that are designed to put an immediate stop to everything. “Stop it!” comes to mind. “Whoa!” works. “Freeze! Police!” would definitely get me to freeze. I’d be curious about why, but I’d freeze first and ask questions later.
I’ve heard a two-word phrase several times over the past two days that has not necessarily caused me to stop, but to chuckle, especially since the words weren’t directed at me. My 22-month-old granddaughter has begun asserting some independence – again, only funny because it is not directed at me – when she is attempting to do something and her parents try to assist.… Read the rest

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Cowboy memories survive through his daughter

August 17, 2016
Cowboy memories survive through his daughter

This column first appeared Aug. 22. 1985.

It certainly is nice when people in the Azle area approach me and tell my they enjoy reading my columns.
It’s even nicer when they can give me some information for one of my columns. That has happened this week.
Mr. Ollie Cothran, after retiring in 1984, has been helping keep the Azle Historical Museum open by doing volunteer work. She worked for the Trammells’ restaurant for 20 years. One day at the museum, she told me about her father, a real western cowman.
Her father, Oscar Robert Norton, was born Nov. 1, 1878 in Dublin.… Read the rest

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Texas voter ID law relaxed in time for fall election

August 17, 2016
Texas voter ID law relaxed in time for fall election

Voters will have more options when presenting personal identification at the polls for the November 8 general election, Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos announced last week.
Pursuant to an Aug. 10 federal court order, Cascos said, if a voter is not able to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID, the voter may vote by: (1) signing a declaration at the polls explaining why the voter is unable to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID; and (2) providing one of various forms of supporting documentation.
Supporting documentation can be an original, certified birth certificate, a valid voter registration certificate or one of the following:
• Current utility bill;
• Bank statement;
• Government check;
• Paycheck
• Other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.… Read the rest

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If you think things are really bad now, you should’ve been around in the ‘60’s

August 10, 2016
If you think things are really bad now, you should’ve been around in the ‘60’s

It’s hard not to chuckle when you hear someone say these are the worst times in American history and that this is the most important election ever.
We’ve been way worse off.
Oh, there’s plenty to complain about – “two horrible choices for president, the incredible laziness of today’s youth, and the ‘entitled’ mind-set of many Americans today” to name a few.
None of this holds a candle to what went on in the 1960’s.
You think there are race issues now? Ha!
In the ‘60’s, there were race riots all over the United States with cities burning for days: Detroit, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Baltimore to name just a very few.… Read the rest

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The single greatest risk of the current election cycle

August 10, 2016
The single greatest risk of the current election cycle

I am typically loathe to comment publicly on politics, but the current election cycle has stirred up some issues that I believe to be relevant to every person, particularly people of faith.
The stage is set. Both of the major political parties have settled on their nominees for the highest office in the land. In less than one hundred days, the next President of the United States will have been elected and it will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
How in the world did we get here? How should people of faith respond? Which candidate poses the greatest risk to the cause of Christ in the world?… Read the rest

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