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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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Western historian thinks original meaning not modern one

October 1, 2014
Western historian thinks original meaning not modern one

Occasionally in this column I’ve played a little game with readers and have written: “Quick, what is the first thing you think of when someone says ‘Cowboys’?  Is it football?  Or, “Texas Rangers” – is it baseball? As a Western historian, I always try to think of the Western term first.
So…quick! What first comes to mind at the word “Winnebago”? You failed the Western history test if you thought “RV.” Yes, a company currently headquartered in Forest City, Iowa, Winnebago County, called Winnebago Industries, Inc.… Read the rest

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Perry helps break ground on outer space project

October 1, 2014
Perry helps break ground on outer space project

Gov. Rick Perry on Sept. 22 participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the SpaceX Commercial Launch Facility near Boca Chica Beach, adjacent to Brownsville, which will launch commercial satellites into Earth orbit.
Perry said the groundbreaking “is the result of years of cooperation between Texas and SpaceX” and his office’s Texas Enterprise Fund “was instrumental in bringing SpaceX to Texas, with a $2.3 million grant in August that will bring 300 jobs and create $85 million in capital investment in South Texas.” The State of Texas also is offering $13 million from its Spaceport Trust Fund to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp., Perry said.… Read the rest

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Bummed out about jolly good toilet paper TV commercials?

September 24, 2014
Bummed out about jolly good toilet paper TV commercials?

Things keep on a-changing.
Modern Library’s Greatest Book of the 20th Century, Ulysses by James Joyce, was banned for decades.
Back in the day, the word “pregnant” could not be uttered on TV.
On the radio, “Louie, Louie” was banned mainly because parents in 1963 – hearing the most popular version, by the Kingsmen – thought their children were being told vile things through the lyrics. Even though the “obscene” words were anything but, parents – and the FBI!… Read the rest

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Thoughts on how can you do the R.I.G.H.T. thing

September 24, 2014
Thoughts on how can you do the R.I.G.H.T. thing

I had to do something this week that I really hate to do. I turned down a speaking engagement. They are easy to turn down when I am already booked somewhere, but I actually had this specific time slot open. The problem was that it was about the only open time slot for this whole week, and I knew I would not be able to give my best effort and preparation to it.… Read the rest

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A tale of two Sauk chiefs and the Black Hawk War

September 24, 2014
A tale of two Sauk chiefs and the Black Hawk War

War is complicated, and sad. I had never paid much attention to the Black Hawk War of 1832 except to remember that the future President Abraham Lincoln fought in it.
In the 1820s and 1830s the policy of the U.S. government – quite logical at the time – was that whites would not settle the land west of the Mississippi River for generations. Therefore, treaties to persuade, purchase, coerce the native tribes to move west of that mighty river would allow them to continue their life there free of white encroachment and conflict.… Read the rest

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