Blanco County News
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013 • Posted January 17, 2013
Over the years I have been surprised many times by people who have had special experiences or who seemed to possess certain unusual skills or gifts. One such person was E. LeRoy Hatch, M.D. “Doc” Hatch was a country doctor who practiced his medical trade in and around the little Mormon settlement of Colonia Juarez in northern Mexico.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 • Posted January 10, 2013
J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964) was a teller of tall tales, a spinner of yarns. In 1949 he wrote a story about a certain Brother Coyote who, while hunting for food one day, happened to tread on the living quarters of a little cricket. When the cricket objected to having his “palace” desecrated and accused Coyote of insulting him, Brother Coyote arrogantly replied, “Insult you!
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 • Posted January 4, 2013
In 1909, when American millionaire publisher William Boyce set out for a business appointment, he quickly realized that the warning he had received about the “pea soup” fog in London was no exaggeration. The fog was so thick he could see almost nothing beyond a couple of feet. He soon lost his bearings and became hopelessly lost. “Just then a boy of about twelve appeared out of the gloom, carrying a lantern.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 • Posted December 19, 2012
I seldom ask a child or a young person what they want for Christmas. Instead, I ask them, “What are you giving your mother for Christmas?” I am interested in their reaction. Many are quite taken aback and most don’t know how to reply for the simple reason that they have been so caught up in what they want for Christmas that they really haven’t given much thought to what they can give someone else. Back in the early sixties BYU produced a short film entitled, “The Gift.” It is about ...
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 • Posted December 14, 2012
When we moved to Horizon City, Texas, the town was little more than an isolated retirement community located in the desert east of El Paso. It was a quiet residential area wrapped around a golf course that, from the air, gave it the appearance of an oasis in a sandy, wind-blown wilderness. My wife and I enjoyed buying veggies, eggs and baked goods in the small “mom and pop” shops located along the main thoroughfare.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 • Posted December 6, 2012
I still remember many of the stories my mother told us about our pioneer ancestors and their many adventures as they trudged west on foot, in wagons and on horseback in search of freedom on the new frontier. One such story was recorded by Susanna White and published in the “Children’s Friend” magazine in 1943. She said that one Sunday it became necessary for Mr.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 • Posted November 29, 2012
In 1942 following the outbreak of World War II, the Japanese assaulted the Philippine Islands and ultimately captured them. Because the U.S. Navy was unable to evacuate stranded soldiers, this action resulted in the capture of some 60,000 Filipino, 15,000 American and several thousand British soldiers. The capture of the allied troops led to the infamous 80-mile Bataan Death March which has been described in Congressional testimony thusly: “They were beaten and they were starved as they marc ...
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 • Posted November 23, 2012
The giant monument in honor of the historic Battle of San Jacinto in East Texas is impressive from any angle. It is the world’s tallest memorial column at 567 feet. It wasn’t supposed to be taller than the Washington Monument but when they placed the 220-ton star on top, measuring 34 feet from point to point, it topped out at higher than its Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 • Posted November 8, 2012
As a boy in grade school, I remember that nearly every classroom displayed a picture of George Washington, and most displayed a likeness of Abraham Lincoln; Washington for his role in establishing the Union and Lincoln for his role in preserving it. They were both wise and good men who played well their essential roles during difficult and trying times.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 • Posted November 2, 2012
1976 was a very good year. I was working at a good job getting paid more than I was probably worth; the third of my children and my first daughter, Tara, was born; we lived in a good neighborhood in El Paso in a comfortable home; my parents were in good health and lived relatively close by just south of the border; and I became a naturalized citizen of the United States. 1976 also marked the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by freedom-loving patriots who put ...
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 • Posted October 19, 2012
On a wall in my little home office there are two frying pans hanging from a nail. The old pans, one measuring about eleven inches in diameter and the other eight, are crusted black with carbon on the outside from some sixty-plus years of hard use. They were probably gifts when my parents wed back in 1937.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 • Posted October 5, 2012
I think my mother pulled some strings at school to get me into Mrs. Webb’s second grade class. My older brother, Boyd, was taught by Mrs. Webb in the second grade and Mom thought she was an excellent teacher—and she probably was. Mrs. Webb was a buxom, grey-haired woman who, as I recall, never smiled.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 • Posted September 30, 2012
When I was attending UT Austin back in the early 1970s I was the father of two young boys. Naturally, I was always looking for ways to entertain them while at the same time helping them to develop motor skills and a sense of curiosity. One day while browsing a second-hand store near where we lived in Austin, I came across an ancient Underwood typewriter that was in perfect working condition.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 • Posted September 21, 2012
My first long-term Boy Scout camping experience took place at Camp Steiner in the lofty Uinta Mountains of Utah near the border with Wyoming. For a solid week I was in Boy Scout heaven. My buddies and I roamed the forests and lakes and streams and climbed snow-capped peaks in search of adventure.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 • Posted September 13, 2012
When I was about eight years old, my parents took me out of school a few days early to make a trip to Mexico to visit my grandparents and to help move my Uncle Hugh’s family from there to Utah. I remember I had perfect attendance at my elementary school and I wasn’t sure I wanted to miss any school days.