Friday, January 16, 2009
Deep into East Texas
During my career as a roving columnist for the Houston Post I was called upon to put together a show in Livingston, which is on the Trinity River in East Texas. I called upon a number of my resources. This show was centered on the Alabama Coushatta Indian reservation east of Livingston. I called upon the Salt Grass Trail to send a covered wagon, which it did. I called on the Houston Zoo to send racoons, which it did. I called upon the Carter center to send a log to be cut into sections, which it did. There were Indians on the reservation, but other groups from as far away as Beaumont and from Oklahoma also sent participants. I called upon Bill Daniel of Liberty to bring some hunting dogs, which he did. All this required some planning, but it also created some excitement so that we ran out of places to sleep and restaurants in which to eat. Finally a huge crowd assembled and the fun began. The hunting dogs treed a racoon, the oxen pulling a large log passed in front of the stage, the covered wagon filled with pioneers attracted a lot of attention, and a group of young Indians from Oklahoma did a war dance. This show benefitted the Texas Indian Reservation, which had become almost dormant. Inspired by the response, the leaders of the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation began to put on an annual show with local talent. This show raised money which was used to expand and update the reservation.