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Two fishing tales, both true, really, I swear

May 11, 2016
Two fishing tales, both true, really, I swear

Here are two fishing stories, both kinda, mostly true since they are fishing stories and anglers are about as believable as politicians.
Story one:
The Internet is abuzz – well, when isn’t it abuzz, I suppose – about a couple of guys catching a very nice tuna using a drone. Yes, those flying drones, the kind that are used to record beautiful vistas from on high or to spy on sunbathing neighbors.
Two dudes in Australia “while enjoying some cold beers” (a fishing essential for many) dreamed up the idea of using drones to seek out fish – a sort of aerial fish finder.… Read the rest

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When Who plus Why equals What

May 11, 2016
When Who plus Why equals What

Note: This week’s column is part two of last week’s. If you have not already seen that one, you can find it at http://drgerrylewis.com/do-you-know-who-you-are/.

When Pastor Terry gave me a tour of Friendship Baptist Church, he did it with both pride and humility. He’s proud of his church and his God and humbled at the amazing ways God has provided.
When space began to become an issue for this growing church, they started thinking about how they could remodel and renovate their facilities. They had set a little bit of money aside for that purpose, but once they began seriously looking at all that it would take, it became apparent that it was going to cost more than they had.… Read the rest

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The first recorded violence in a Kansas cowtown

May 11, 2016
The first recorded violence in a Kansas cowtown

This column first appeared May, 15, 1977.

I found an account of the very first instance of violence in the Kansas cowtown of Wichita after its establishment during the heyday of the cattle trade.
It appeared in a newspaper called the Walnut Valley Times on March 3, 1871.

HORRIBLE AFFAIR IN WICHITA
“We have just learned the particulars of an unfortunate affair that occurred at Wichita on Tuesday afternoon the 26th (28th) of February at about four o’clock. It seems that Deputy U.S. Marshall Jack Bridges and Lee Stewart, a scout with a party of 25 soldiers under command of Captain Randall of the 5th U.S.… Read the rest

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Cruz ends campaign, Perry endorses Trump

May 11, 2016
Cruz ends campaign, Perry endorses Trump

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suspended his presidential campaign May 3 after losing Indiana’s GOP presidential primary to frontrunner Donald Trump of New York.
The Indiana loss mathematically eliminated Cruz from achieving the necessary delegate count to gain the nomination at the Republican Party National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18-21.
On May 6, Rick Perry, Texas’ former and longest-serving governor (December 2000 to January 2015) endorsed Trump for president. Perry, who dropped out of the GOP presidential primaries in 2012 and 2015, also signaled his availability as a vice presidential running mate for Trump.
Cruz, who served as solicitor general under then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, was elected to the U.S.… Read the rest

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The well-watered times

May 11, 2016
The well-watered times

Some people thought it was the end of the world. I thought it was the center.
There was a lot to love about my West Texas hometown. Beautiful sunsets, fields of cotton as far as the eye could see, clouds sailing overhead like great fleets of ships – as well as a beautiful old theater, a big swimming pool, a bustling square. I grew up believing we had the best schools, the best basketball teams, the prettiest girls, the nicest people, the happiest dogs, the best Mexican food.
About the only thing we didn’t have was a lot of rain.
I don’t think I ever saw an issue of the newspaper that didn’t have a weather- or farm-related story.… Read the rest

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Oh, Pretty Woman: Say hi to dad up there

May 4, 2016
Oh, Pretty Woman: Say hi to dad up there

I’ll bet my dad is pretty happy right now.
For almost 10 years, he’s waited for Mom at the Pearly Gates. And on May 2, she headed that way.
In Dad’s final months in 2006, I visited as often as I could. He voiced his concerns about his wife of decades.
She was leaving on stove burners.
She repeated something she had just said a minute early.
She was forgetting to brush her hair and shut doors.
She was “not acting right” and asked me to keep an eye on her.
Dad was right to be concerned.
Mom managed to live at Lake Whitney alone for a while; however, when visiting, we clearly saw signs of decline.… Read the rest

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Know who you are

May 4, 2016
Know who you are

Who are you? Who? Who? Who? Who?”
That’s either a chorus of owls, the theme song from CSI, or a classic rock song (1978) from The Who.
It’s also a great question. So often, we ask, “What do you do?” rather than “Who are you?” Maybe the reason we ask that is because it is so much easier to answer. If we define ourselves by our vocation, we may not be clear on who we really are. And if we are not clear on who we are, how will we be able to communicate it to anyone else?
A few months ago, in response to an intriguing email, I had lunch with Pastor Terry Terry of Friendship Baptist Church, located just outside Boyd on County Road 4698.… Read the rest

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On ‘meeting’ a pair of California Hispanic pioneers

May 4, 2016
On ‘meeting’ a pair of California Hispanic pioneers

This column first appeared November, 22, 1995.

I “met” two Hispanic pioneers of California during a recent visit there. These men both settled in what is now Ventura, California, but which originated as Mission San Buenaventura. The two men were Jose Francisco Ortega and Raymundo Olivas. The Ortega and Olivas homes are historic sites and are preserved in Ventura today.
Jose Fransisco Ortega was one of the earliest settlers of the California coast and is given the credit for discovering San Francisco Bay. As the first commandante of the Santa Barbara Presidio, Ortega received a land grant from the Spanish in what is now Santa Barbara County.… Read the rest

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Supreme Court sends Voter ID case back to 5th Circuit

May 4, 2016
Supreme Court sends Voter ID case back to 5th Circuit

Texas’ voter identification law will remain in effect for now, but the U.S. Supreme Court has instructed a lower court to rule on its constitutionality before November’s election.
On April 29 the Supreme Court temporarily upheld a stay granted by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 14. The stay has allowed the Texas law to remain in effect.
Justice Clarence Thomas, acting on behalf of the high court, ordered the New Orleans-based appellate court to decide Veasey v. Abbott by July 20, well in advance of the November 8 General Election.
The plaintiffs allege the state law’s requirement — that in order to cast a ballot at an election poll a voter must present certain approved photographic identification — places a discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional burden on blacks and Hispanics.… Read the rest

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The problem isn’t the president

May 4, 2016
The problem isn’t the president

Every four or, at most, eight years, we experience a peaceful transition of political power from one presidential administration to the next.
Okay, by “peaceful” I mean noisy, messy, and disgusting – but without bloodshed (unless you count protesters at Trump rallies). That in itself is a miracle to many countries in this world.
Lots of places, when someone gets power, they hold on as long as they can, whatever the cost. They abolish constitutions, eliminate opponents, take over the military – and use public office to enrich themselves and their families at the expense of their people.
It’s immoral, but it’s the way much of the world operates.… Read the rest

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