Friday, October 30, 2009
Another time when I was horseback I went on a fox hunt. We were hard pressed to keep up with the dogs who were hot in pursuit of a fox. Then we came to the Trinity River. The dogs ran up and down the bank, baying. It was obvious the fox had swam across the river. So I plunged in and swam my horse across the Trinity, but first I took off my boots and hung them around my neck. The dogs followed. But the fox had gained enough time to reach his nest. The dogs circled around an opening in the forest but it was too small for them to enter. The fox escaped to run another day.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
During my horseback tour of Southeast Texas I went to the Sidewalk Cattlemen's annual meeting at Madisonville. To provoke the cattlemen I rode with an English saddle and wore knee britches, a derby, and a jersey. Sure enough the cattlemen threw me in a horse trough. After that we all got a plate of barbecue and ate.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
We rolled into Memorial Park in Houston and spent the night. Early the next morning the Salt Grass Trail riders began to saddle up and get ready for the big downtown parade. I was attached to the Port City wagon which included Vernon Frost Jr. and John Mecom Jr. As we moved through the middle of Houston I was right behind the chuck wagon on the Port City covered wagon. I looked up and saw a chilling sight. A young woman on the sixth floor of one of the downtown office building was getting ready to throw a large wreath right on top of me. I got a firm grip on my horse's reins and moved close to the wagon. The wreath landed right on top of us and my horse bolted. I looked to the right and there were children on the sidewalk enjoying the parade. I looked to the left and there was a mass of people on the other sidewalk. I did not want to trample anyone. And so, I gripped my reins firmly and headed my horse straight for the chuck wagon. The impact knocked my mount to his knees and I stepped off and grabbed his head. John Mecom jumped out of the wagon with a rope in his hand. We tied the rope around the horse's head and jumped in the wagon. At first we had to drag him, but then he began to trot along behind. As we moved down the street the chuck wagon door broke open and pots and pans began to fall into the street. Babe, the Port City cook, ran along behind the wagon, picking up pots and pan and cursing. At the end of the parade we went down a quiet thoroughfare and made it to the Port City Stockyards, about six miles away. My horse continued to trot along behind. The crisis was over.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
While I was working for the Houston Post I wrote a territorial column. I visited the towns and cities in 50 counties of Southeast Texas. It was during this time that I helped create the Salt Grass Trail. Reese Lockett of Brenham was chosen to be the boss of this trail, which originated in Brenham and arrived in Houston to open the annual Fat Stock and Livestock Show. I rode horseback on this trail ride for six years. We started out with a handful of riders and one wagon, this was the LH7 covered wagon furnished by E. H. Marks of Barker. Within three years we grew to more than 2,000 riders and 65 wagons and we jammed some of the highways. At that point we had to post some rules, such as only so many riders to a wagon. After it was organized it was not as much fun, but it had to be controlled.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I have always loved horses. Some people like cats and others like dogs but horses are my thing. When I was younger and living on my ranch I once raised a horse from a colt to a mature mount. This horse would follow me around like a dog. Sometimes I would get on top of this horse and ride around without a saddle. I would use a rope halter, no bits. Then the war came along and I sold out, including this horse. It almost broke my heart. After the war I bought a horse for every member of the family, including my wife and each of my daughters.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
While I was working at the Institute of Texan Cultures I watched the Hilton Hotel del Rio being built. It was built by H.B. Zachary, an early developer, who then sold it to the Hilton chain. Being of a generation which drove nails and cemented bricks from the ground up, I was amazed at the new construction techniques. First they assembled an entire floor on ground level. Then they raised it to the heighth required and put it into place. This saved a lot of time and money. In order to develop the area along the river for Hemisphere the power structure of San Antonio condemned a large tract of land which was basically a slum. They also moved the Coca Cola plant. When they drilled a shaft in the old Coca Cola building they struck water. It made me wonder why the Coca Cola people hadn"t taken advantage of this location to water down their original formula.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I would start my day at the Institute of Texan Cultures by going down to the River Walk. Early in the morning you would encounter doctors, lawyers, and professional men wearing a suit of clothes on their way to their offices. I would walk down one side and come back on the other. Then I would stop at a nearby restaurant and have breakfast. After that I would go to my office and see what was in store for me. It was a great way to start your day.
Monday, October 19, 2009
While I was working at the Institute ofTexan Cultures under the supervision of Henderson Shuffler he called me in and told me to take a Roman Catholic nun from the nearby convent to lunch. "By the way, take George Washington with you," he said. We went to the Driskill Hotel dining room, one white man and one black man, and we met the mother superior, who was large and overweight) and one of the sisters, who was much younger. At the front desk we ran into some confusion as the host tried to separate is. It is unusual for the dining room to serve such a mixed group. The nuns were wearing black gowns, of course. When we ordered the mother superior ordered a large meal. Henderson had given me some money but it was not enough but fortunately I had enough in my own wallet to take care of the bill. It turned out that George's wife, Emma Lois, had attended the convent. George and I were Episcopalians but Emma Lois had once been catholic. The mother superior had contacted Emma Lois who had referred her to the Institute, and Henderson Shuffler had assigned us to talk to them. They wanted to be sure that we were not going to offend the Roman Catholic church and I assured them that we were not.
Friday, October 16, 2009
One of our readers wrote that I need to recall a happening that was publicized here a long time ago. This involved a time when I was working for the Institute of Texan Cultures at Hemisphere. The governor had been involved with some hustlers in California and now he had turned the program over to Henderson Shuffler and his staff. We were getting ready for Hemisphere and then one of the California hustlers notified us that he was coming to investigate us. I took fellow associate George Washington out to lunch and we discussed the problem. We went down to a department store and purchased a large knitting needle and then we bought a boy toy, a model which looked like our future visitor. We went back to the office and laid out the model on the table and stuck the needle in his leg. George mumbled some African mumbo jumbo. Well, the California hustler was driving down a boulevard in Los Angeles, a little too fast, and he turned over and broke his leg. This was the same day. About a week later this character showed up at our office in a wheel chair. The model was still in plain sight. When he saw it he screamed and left to return to L.A. I do not believe in voodoo, but this character did.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Bob and Cindy Peterman, who run Star Awards, are being audited by the State of Texas. This is their first audit. They have kept books, but their methods are not the same as the state. They have not made a lot of money but the state insists on auditing them. There should be a limit to these audits.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Last night I got up to go to the bathroom about midnight. I looked out the window and there was a fat doe deer eating grass in the back yard. The drouth appears to be over. This morning I said hello to Dorothy, my next door neighbor, who was sitting on her front porch. She is handicapped. We will all line up for flu shots tomorrow. The weather is cool, which suits me fine. It rained yesterday which also suits me.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
We received more than 5 inches of rain over the week end. I was due at Bob and Cindy's for dinner and I had to take the long way around. Barricades were put up at several roads. People were rescued from their cars. Dry creek beds are flowing. The drouth is all but ended. More rain is forecast. So far as I am concerned it can rain every day.