Tag Archives: Texana


Teeter Totter


Adelsverein: The Sowing

This wonderful second novel of a trilogy about the German settlements in the Texas Hill Country concerns the tragic Civil War years, when an apparent majority turned its back on the old efforts to bring the proud but always-threatened and always-broke Republic of Texas into the Union. Texas was much smaller then but still had fewer slaves than most slave states, and author Celia Hayes contends that it was mainly the John Brown raid on Harper’s Ferry and subsequent rumors of possible slave insurrections that drove Texas into the Confederacy.

With the departure of so many of the state’s finest (including many Germans) to the battlefields of Tennessee and Virginia, the scoundrels took over the home front. Particularly in the hills where so many settlers more often spoke German than English and so were considered foreigners of dubious loyalty. Indeed many of them were Unionists, as a monument to some murdered ones, erected in Comfort in 1866, still attests. Tragedy likewise comes to Hayes’ main characters, the fictitious Becker and Steinmetz families, and we suffer along with them in the fulsome emotion her story has created in us.

This is old-fashioned story-telling at its best, and I was pleased to see many fewer typos and misspellings than in the first book. And I have bought the third one, the Harvest, and look forward to it. The old German towns of the hills, especially Fredericksburg, the principal place of the tale, are now major tourist attractions, something the old German burghers would have been pleased to know. It’s enriching to now have an emotional attachment to such as the old coffee-mill-style Verein’s Kirche (which still stands amidst the daily bustle on Main Street) thanks to Mrs. Hayes good writings.

Record freeze


This is Upper Michigan not Central Texas. There’s no snow on the ground here at all. But it feels like the picture because it sure is cold. The elephant ears in the front yard at the Rancho are turning black, like rare reader Diller’s ladyfinger banana plants. He’s a farmer in the West Central Florida panhandle where he has cows to worry about. JD Allen, down in Brazosport, likewise expects to lose his red and yellow hibiscus. I’m worried for the rose bushes in the Back Forty. Time will tell.

Texas 34, Texas Tech 24

Not the prettiest Texas win I ever saw, but it will have to do. Tech, as always, was a tough customer. The Leach bomber squadron’s new QB Taylor Potts is almost as good as Graham Harrell was last year. Fortunately for Texas, Potts does not have WR Michael Crabtree. Colt looked pretty shaky for most of the game. Turns out he was sick earlier in the week. He certainly showed no sign of a serious Heisman campaign, but we have a long way to go yet. The defense, however, played great. RB Tre’ Newton was fun to watch.

Hummer time

Not a reference to the overpriced, oversized urban assault vehicle, but the little, frenetic hummingbird. We’re seeing a lot more now that it’s cooled off some than back during the big heat wave. JD invested in a red feeder you fill with sugar water. We used to do that, until the yellowjackets made a mess of it. Now we just let the Turk’s Cap and the Plumbago get bushy. They attract all the Ruby-Throats we need.


 * Not sure how CGHill gets "Land of Cheerfulness" out of Terra Vigoris, but I like it and the moon shot is awfully nice.

* From wedding meme to divorce parody in one week! Must be an intertubes record of some kind.

* Ann has done some supremely weird things with the look of her blog, but this one is nice. I still can’t get into her comments, however. Curse Google forever.

* Tikirobot has some strange stuff, but, so far, none are funnier than this bicycle river jump video.

* Not many people (I would guess) know that the Marx Brothers got their comedy start in Texas.

* And, speaking of Texana, it’s pretty cool that my old friend Texas archeologist Tom Hester has given Birdie Rose, who died one day shy of her ninth birthday in 1879, a special kind of immortality on the web.

Seven Things I Love

Snoopy The Goon says he’s tagged me and I have to tag seven others in this venerable blogospheric game. It’s a new one for me, but I’m honored to try.

I’ll try not to make it too, too sentimental. Inject a little humor here and there, if possible. Here goes. And, except for No. 1 and No. 2, not necessarily in this order.

1) The Creator of the Universe. Who made a few big mistakes here and there, but I know he/she/it tries. And needs all the help he/she/it can get–whether that’s in any accepted theology or not.

2) Mr. Boy and Mrs. Charm and the rest of the clan, kith as well as kin.

3) A good night’s sleep. Sometimes hard to come by in increasing old age.

4) A good read. Fiction or non-fiction, book or blog post or media article, it doesn’t matter.

5) Sitting on the condo balcony at Port Aransas at night every summer watching the twinkling lights on the offshore oil rigs. Just thinking about all that non-Saudi oil makes me happy, even if I don’t own a well.

6) Texas. Anywhere (even Houston). Anytime. Rain or shine. Drought or flood.

7) Writing. Anything. I’m presently embarked on a book of Texana, though the research is not going well. A recently completed Civil War novel is piling up the rejection slips. But I’ll keep querying agents, and probably try another one of those before long.

And now, as Mr. Goon says, to the victims: Scott Chafin, CGHill, Alan Sullivan, John Salmon, whose comments I can never get to work, so I’ll link this and, maybe, he’ll see it, JD Allen, MK Freeberg, whose WordPress comment thingie on "the blog no one ever reads (except me)," keeps rejecting me, so I’ll try another link he might see, and Akaky Bashmachkin.