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High cotton: 327s, Blue Knights, and a Beamer

October 15, 2014
High cotton: 327s, Blue Knights, and a Beamer

I’m not really a car guy.
When my fellow high schoolers were drooling over their first cars and getting them “souped up,” I was watching old scary movies and learning shorthand. (Today, I can remember only one thing in shorthand – and I advanced to regional in the UIL competition in 1973 – my first name.)
I just never got the car bug. I never drove fast; President Jimmy Carter’s lowering of the speed limit meant nothing to me since I was already driving only 55 miles per hour everywhere.… Read the rest

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Was Ernest Hemingway really a ‘Western’ man?

October 15, 2014
Was Ernest Hemingway really a ‘Western’ man?

Famous journalist, writer, war correspondent, world traveler Ernest Hemingway, I think, was a western man. During the early 1930s he spent his winters in Florida, but he traveled to Wyoming and Idaho in the summers. He hunted deer, elk and grizzly bears. He even met with actor Gary Cooper in Idaho and hunted with him.
As a youngster Hemingway learned the love of the outdoors by hunting, fishing and camping with his physician father in the woods and lakes of Northern Michigan.… Read the rest

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#drgrandpa says it’s time to ‘Find your new joy!’

October 15, 2014
#drgrandpa says it’s time to ‘Find your new joy!’

I woke up this morning under the patchwork “crazy” quilt that my Granny Lewis made for me when I was 10 years old. When I think of Granny, I think of quilts, Fritos and bean dip, crocheted afghans, playing croquet in the front yard, and “camping out” in a hammock stretched between two trees.  Those two trees still stand in my dad’s yard.… Read the rest

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Ruling prevents enforcment of voter ID law

October 15, 2014
Ruling prevents enforcment of voter ID law

An Oct. 9 ruling by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos of Corpus Christi prevents the state from enforcing the voter identification law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011 as Senate Bill 14.
In the case, Marc Veasey et al. v. Rick Perry et al., Ramos ruled the law was enacted with a discriminatory purpose and an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans. Ramos said the law places an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote that is, in effect, a poll tax.… Read the rest

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And that’s the way it was: December 28, 1986

October 8, 2014
And that’s the way it was: December 28, 1986

We tend to forget what kind of peo-ple we were decades ago. But I got a glimpse of the long-forgotten Mark.
While digging in my personal junk drawer – not to be confused with the family junk drawer that houses tape, paper clips, old college IDs, and playing cards – I came upon a blast from the (far distant) past.
I was searching for some replacement foam pads for my earphones because Grandbaby Oz ate the originals off the earpieces.… Read the rest

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Leading candidates appear in debate forums

October 8, 2014
Leading candidates appear in debate forums

Texans interested in who their next governor and lieutenant governor will be witnessed major party candidates for those offices engage in live, one-hour broadcast debates last week.
Fellow state Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, opponents in the race for lieutenant governor, faced off in Austin on Sept. 29. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott competed on stage in Dallas on Sept. 30, each striving to succeed longtime Gov.… Read the rest

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Gift book brings unexpected true Western stories

October 8, 2014
Gift book brings unexpected true Western stories

Readers of this column probably have heard some variation of this expression: “My (relative) went on vacation, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”
Well, my sister-in-law came home from vacation and brought me an exciting Western book that is even autographed by the author.  The only catch is the book’s title: Soiled Doves: Prostitution In The Early West. Written by Anne Seagraves, it is well researched.  I hoped I would find a good story to tell.… Read the rest

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Rethinking your investment portfolio: You mustn’t miss these opportunities!

October 8, 2014
Rethinking your investment portfolio: You mustn’t miss these opportunities!

Did that headline get your attention? No, I haven’t decided to dabble in financial advising. Trust me; that would not be a good thing. My idea of successful financial planning to have enough in the bank to cover the last check I write before death. Maybe someone else will leave a generous inheritance to my kids. I just don’t want to leave them with unpaid bills.… Read the rest

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Running it up the flagpole and saluting (?) it

October 1, 2014
Running it up the flagpole and saluting (?) it

Once upon a time, I was a firefighter in Arlington. I played a lot of ping-pong and spades and, oh, yeah, sometimes went into buildings that were 1,500 degrees or so.
(I’d like to say I was carrying on a proud family tradition, but I simply answered an ad in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, took the tests, and got hired. Not very romantic. Since it paid more than the truck I was driving – and had benefits!… Read the rest

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Making the most of life’s ‘next’ days

October 1, 2014
Making the most of life’s ‘next’ days

Christmas Day…son’s graduation day…daughter’s wedding day…any adult birthday that ends with a “0”…
What do these days have in common? My answer is that these days are: (1) on the calendar for months; (2) take a lot of planning and preparation; (3) take most of your focus for the final days leading up to the “big day”; (4) probably leave you physically, emotionally, and maybe even financially exhausted.… Read the rest

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