Page 1 --- February/March 2013


Take One!

Volume 6 Issue 68

National News and Opinions mixed with Local Small Town History and Story Telling. Representing the small-town conservative viewpoint of what makes this country great!

~Mike Norris, Owner & Publisher


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Published by Mike W. Norris dba Wolverine Design ● PO Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

Monthly Issue

February / March , In This Issue:

3 Growing Up Small Town

4 Texas Conservative 5  Michael Ramirez 7  @The Ranger Library 8  Treasure Hunters 10  Tumbleweed Smith 12  Good Neighbors 13  Eastland County Tea Party

14 Love Lessons

Learned So Far

15 Huddle Up! 16  Breckenridge

Community Page

18 TCL Word Search 19  Cisco Community Page

19 Rising Star

Community Page

20 This Week In Texas History

21 B.C. 23  The Wizard of Id 24  In Sickness and In Health

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All. B:510-152550100200



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vol.6 Issue 68

Open Letter To President Obama

On April 20, 1999, Evan M. Todd was a student at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado. He was in the Columbine library when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered the library and began shooting students. He was among the students shot and wounded by Harris and/or Klebold and after being shot, and approximately one or two minutes after Harris and Klebold exited the Columbine library, he fled the library through an exterior entrance. Within minutes after exiting the library, he encountered members of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and gave the officers a description of Harris and Klebold and told them that the two had exited the Columbine library and headed in the direction of the school commons. He also told the officers that they would possibly be able to save several lives because there were approximately twenty to twenty-five dead or injured students in the library. Evan then directed the officers to the exterior door leading into the library. From his personal experience with gun violence, Evan writes: Mr. President, As a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives: Universal Background Checks First, a universal background check will have many devastating effects. It will arguably have the opposite impact of what you propose. If adopted, criminals will know that they can not pass a background check legally, so they will resort to other avenues. With the conditions being set by this initiative, it will create a large black market for weapons and will support more criminal activity and funnel additional money into the hands of thugs, criminals, and people who will do harm to American citizens. Second, universal background checks will create a huge bureaucracy that will cost an enormous amount of tax payers dollars and will straddle us with more debt. We cannot afford it now, let alone create another function of government that will have a huge monthly bill attached to it. Third, is a universal background check system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through the lens of time. It is not impossible to think that a tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now — but future generations have the natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants ever since the Second Amendment was adopted. Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke. Gun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second Amendment shall not be infringed. 10-Round Limit for Magazines

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Published by Mike W. Norris dba Wolverine Design ● PO Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

3Growing Up Small Town

3 ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, Mike W. Norris

Picture Your Future!!!

Canadian Gun Control In America by Mike W. Norris

All fully automatic firearms are prohibited in Canada by law. Other rifles originally intended for military use are not so restricted. For example, there are tens of thousands of vintage .303 Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles that were used to defend that country during their wartime involvement. The .303 is legal for more peaceful purposes like hunting, target shooting, and collecting by law-abiding citizens. In the instance of semi-automatic rifles, they are limited to having magazines holding no more than five rounds. The legal possession of handguns is heavily restricted in Canada, but they are not totally prohibited. Lists of “Prohibited” and “Restricted” firearms are readily available on the Internet, broken down by manufacturer and model, as well as caliber or ammunition type. The Canadian Firearms Act of 1995 established the requirements for licensing and the processes to be followed for applications, revocations and appeals for Canadian citizens to legally purchase firearms and ammunition. In order to legally possess a firearm in Canada, the individual must hold a “Possession and Acquisition License,” or PAL. The process of attaining a PAL includes attending specific types of training courses which depend on the class of weapon the individual wishes to purchase or own -- or if the individual wishes to become a legal seller of firearms or ammunition. A background check is performed on all PAL applications and a mandatory 28-day waiting period is enforced on first-time applicants. A PAL certificate is only valid for 5-years in most cases and must be reissued before it expires or else the firearm owner must voluntarily turn over their firearms to authorities -- the Provincial Firearms Officers. The CFA:1995 also details the considerable powers of the provincial firearms officers, and their agents, to inspect private citizen’s gun storage methods and practices, to demand compliance with all firearms regulations and to conduct seizures of unlawful firearms (ie: those of holders of expired PAL certificates or firearms not stored correctly.)

citizen, we know as “Helix,” and a new guy who is an active member of the United States military and just recently joined our group of about 60-players. The three of us were discussing the current state of gun politics here in the USA and Helix was relating the obvious comparisons of our Senator Feinstein’s latest gun regulations to the existing gun regulations of Canada. Helix commented on “why on earth would anyone ever need a magazine that holds 30-rounds of ammunition for their hunting rifle?” To which I commented, “Why would anyone ever need a luxury sedan capable of running 120 miles per hour?” We also spoke about how different home invasion laws are in comparison to gun regulations. Our Canadian friend asked about a story that he had heard where a law enforcement officer in Texas has informed the public to defend themselves against a rash of home invasion thefts that were taking place in some metropolitan area. He couldn’t remember the details but Helix was basically asking about our “castle laws” and was pointing out how

that really appealed to him personally. I jokingly informed him that he might have been impressed that the officer addressed the public in such a manner, but in Texas, we don’t have to have law enforcement’s blessings in order to defend ourselves in our homes. Helix then related to us about the firearms officers there in Canada. They can take you to jail for improper storage of your guns, ie: if you don’t keep your ammo in a separate location from your guns or if you don’t keep your guns locked in a case with a trigger lock, then they can confiscate your guns, etc. I asked him how are you suppose to carry your gun from your house out to your car to go hunting after he said that you could not carry a firearm in public where other people can see it? And he said “You have to use a locked gun case!” I couldn’t help but think to myself how many guys I knew growing up that had rifle racks in the back windows of their trucks slung with .22’s and .3030’s. What ever happened to those days? Continued on page 11...

First-Hand Experience

With the popularity of the Internet and its global nature, it is not very difficult to make contact with normal, everyday citizens from all over the world. In the Internet spaceship game world of EVE Online (which I have played for almost 7-years) I routinely speak to players from all over the United States, as well as several foreign countries -- including Canada, Great Britain, Russia and Australia. Last night, I was speaking with a Canadian Published by Mike W. Norris dba Wolverine Design ● PO Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

4Texas Conservative ■

4 ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, Chuck Norris - The Man

In God We Trust United We Stand

By Chuck Norris

Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook’s “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at Some Reasons I wish George Washington Were Still Alive

Many conservatives point to great modern men and leaders, such as Ronald Reagan, as models we can follow, and I concur with their sentiments. But I think the best leaders lived long ago, during the founding of our republic, away from the limelight and luster of today’s politics and Washington drama. With Feb. 18’s being Presidents Day and Feb. 22’s being the actual day George Washington was born, I thought there would no better time to honor the man I consider to be one of the greatest leaders ever born. And I’m going to take a few weeks (columns) to do it. Let me begin by highlighting a few background notes for some who might not be so familiar with this pillar of American life beyond the basics, as documented by the University of Virginia and the History channel. On Feb. 22, 1732, George Washington was born to a family of middling wealth in Westmoreland County, Va., the second son from the second marriage of a Colonial plantation owner. In 1752, Washington joined the British army and served as a lieutenant in the French and Indian War. In 1759, he married Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy widow, and adopted her two children. In 1775, at age 43, Washington became the commander in chief of the Continental Army, and in 1783, he led America to victory over the British after eight years of war. As far as his political career goes, Washington served as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1759 until 1774. He was also a member of the first and second Continental Congresses in 1774 and 1775. But while others were signing the Declaration of Independence, Washington was already on the battlefield, fighting for independence. As the president of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, however, Washington was the first signer of the U.S. Constitution. In 1789, Washington became the first president of the United States of America. He was elected unanimously by the 69 presidential electors to serve his first term, which was from 1789 to 1793. He was elected unanimously again for his second term, from 1793 to 1797. He declined a third term. So here are my top 10 reasons I wish George Washington were still alive and why I believe the model of his life is still worthy to shadow today. (These are also the reasons I often cited in my New York Times best-seller “Black Belt Patriotism,” which has an expanded paperback edition.) Even as a youth, Washington was a role model for many. At just 14, George wrote out in freehand by his own volition “110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” At 17, George’s first official job was as the official surveyor of Culpeper County, Va. Washington epitomized courage. While others were frightened by their signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington was on the front lines, battling for its tenets. He faced his fears, endured grave hardships and even stared death in the eyes while helping others to do the same. Who can forget the severe conditions of Valley Forge? And what about the repeated threat of personal injury? Washington even dodged bullets on several occasions. The University of Virginia documented a few of them: “at Braddock’s Defeat where two horses

were shot under him and he had four bullets in his clothes; at the final skirmish of the Forbes expedition, on November 12, 1758, where he rushed between two parties of British who were firing at each other; at Kip’s Bay skirmish on September 15, 1776, where he rashly exposed himself in an attempt to rally the militia; at the battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777; and when making a reconnaissance of the British after the landing at the Head of Elk on August 26, 1777.” Washington wasn’t afraid of public opinion or challenging the status quo. As History’s website explained, “he struggled with advisors over what sort of image a president should project. He preferred one of dignity and humility and stumbled when encouraged to act out of character or monarchical. ... A member of the Virginia planter class, he grew increasingly uncomfortable with the hypocrisy of owning slaves, yet publicly he promoted a gradual abolition of slavery. In his will he requested that his slaves be freed upon Martha’s death.” As far back as 1786, Washington wrote, “There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of (slavery).” Washington was a man of integrity and character yet just as human as the rest of us. History explained: “Washington possessed that intangible quality of a born leader and had earned a reputation for coolness under fire and as a strict disciplinarian during the French and Indian campaign. ... An extraordinary figure in American history and unusually tall at 6’3”, Washington was also an ordinary man. He loved cricket and fox-hunting, moved gracefully around a ballroom, was a Freemason and possibly a Deist, and was an astute observer of the darker side of human nature. His favorite foods were pineapples, Brazil nuts (hence the missing teeth from cracking the shells) and Saturday dinners of salt cod. He possessed a wry sense of humor and,

like his wife Martha, tried to resist the vanities of public life. Washington could also explode into a rage when vexed in war or political battles. Loyal almost to a fault, he could also be unforgiving and cold when crossed. When Republican Thomas Jefferson admitted to slandering the president in an anonymous newspaper article for his support of Federalist Alexander Hamilton’s policies, Washington cut Jefferson out of his life. On at least one occasion, Washington’s stubbornness inspired John Adams to refer to him as Old Muttonhead.” Washington was a first-class servant leader who walked what he talked. He believed so firmly in our newly founded but poor republic that he took no pay for his service during the Revolutionary War (besides official expenses). And after eight long years of leading the war and retiring to his peaceful estate at Mount Vernon, he re-enlisted rather than stay retired. It is amazingly commendable -- if not astonishing -- that Washington came out of military retirement to serve two terms as president. He even had to borrow money to pay off debts and travel to his own inauguration. Washington didn’t allow personal obstacles to hinder his service to God, his country and his family. Among other sicknesses, according to Fox News, beginning at the age of 17, Washington suffered multiple malaria attacks throughout his life. He even had a case of smallpox and dysentery and struggled with depression and hearing loss. In 1779, during the middle of the Revolutionary War, Washington “feared for his survival,” not from bullets but from an abscess of the tonsils. And after all he had been through, at 57 years old, with his wartorn body and reportedly only a single real tooth in his mouth, Washington left behind the comfort of his estate Continued on page 11...

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5Michael Ramirez ■ ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, Political Cartoonist

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6 ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~


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7@The Ranger Library ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, Diana McCullough


By Diana McCullough

Tonight I write to you from the Starbucks Café in Stephenville, Texas. Mmmm, the aroma of coffee. Church was good. Most people are exceptionally nice. In the first three days of this week, our library has had 77 adults and 31 children visit. Sixty-one items have been checked out and 77 people have signed in to use our computers. Back at the library, Community Service Volunteers are listed on my desk calendar. Today’s big project has been PAINTING! Painting the trim around the front door AND grinding and sanding and painting the western guard rail that separates our front yard from Pine Street. The western side looks so fresh and nice! The eastern side looks like a “Before” picture. Rhonda Pipken, from the Family Services Center, has started hosting parenting classes in our library’s Community Room on Monday afternoons. I often commiserate with parents, but Rhonda has REAL skills in dealing with children in more helpful, effective ways. Please call the library @ 6471880 for more details. Rhonda and I talked Monday of the meetings we’ve hosted and attended at Ranger’s Methodist Church, down in the basement. I told her of one long-ago Task Force meeting when Pat Gohlke disclosed that Ranger’s Community Bible Study PRAYED for Ranger’s old buildings. It struck me as strange, back then, I’d never thought to PRAY for old, decaying, fallingdown buildings. I mentioned this prayer to Clinton Eaton lately, and he and I agreed that WE BELIEVE that God has heard their prayers. On Monday, a class of student photographers invaded downtown Ranger with their nice tripods and expensive cameras, taking pictures of our old buildings. One inquiry to our library’s landline, and I was passing the phone to Bob Davis and setting out with my little red notebook. We have Russ Van Der Linden to thank for the invasion. Russ now lives in Weatherford, after years in Europe, but originally hailed from Baird, and once enjoyed a special connection to Ranger. He fondly recalled a pool hall in a basement in days of yore. (Could that have been in the Gholson Hotel?) I was concerned that their subject was BLIGHT--I have visited a number of art galleries in recent months. Russ, said YES, “urban decay” IS a new wave in photography but “Architectural Photography” was the assignment for these students from the Art Institute in Fort Worth. Russ gave specific examples about “cornices” and the like, and spoke nostalgically of disappearing architectural designs. He said Ranger had enough structures for a two day field trip and that these field trips may be continued every third quarter class. Russ mentioned the friendliness of the people in Ranger and we talked about making some of the photographs available for the Ranger public’s viewing pleasure. A picture IS worth a thousand words. I am so, so thankful for the vision of Ranger entrepreneur Chris Paul. Mr. Paul is the gentleman who has worked on restoring our Adams’ Grocery Store building to its former glory, and he has done a BEAUTIFUL job. I met Chris Paul at Camilla Adams’ funeral service, he thought the world of this wonderful lady. I asked Bobby Adams today what Camilla thought of Chris Paul. Bobby chortled, and said that his mom and Chris would often laugh and go round and round. Chris Paul is Ranger EDC’s recommendation for our open board seat. Mr. Paul has bought and remodeled a number of old homes in Ranger. Restoring old buildings, contributing to our housing market, and a savvy businessman, my fingers are crossed that Mr. Paul is the

Ranger’s historic Adams’ Grocery Store & Hardware, operated for decades by Camilla and Bobby Adams, and renovated by Ranger entrepreneur Chris Paul. A new restaurant is coming soon!

RIGHT person to get “On Board” and help us—he’s ALREADY contributing to Ranger’s economic development! The Ranger Beautification Committee is dedicating a Walking Trail at the City Park in honor of Camilla Adams this Saturday. 200 copies of a local recipe book called “Beautiful Food” are being printed and proceeds will help fund the Walking Trail project. New playground equipment is envisioned as well. You may notice the work of the Beautification Committee when you see the plants and adornments at

Ranger’s Main Street railroad crossing and the oil derricks throughout town. Camilla Adams made a difference to Ranger, Texas, and WE can, too. Lisa Gardner’s “Touch and Go” passed the muster test! It’s an adventure! Fourteen more new books are on our latest Brodart book order. In closing, wise words from Mother Teresa: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Please take care, and as always…ENJOY READING!

Published by Mike W. Norris dba Wolverine Design ● PO Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

8Treasure Hunters ■

8 ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, Jerry Eckhart

By Jerry Eckhart To see more of Jerry’s treasure finds, search Facebook for “Jerry Eckhart” The Henry Rifle

Almost everyone is familiar with the lever action Winchester rifle. It has been featured in documentaries, TV shows and movies. The Winchester lever action has been called “The Gun That Won The West.” Without a doubt that particular rifle has been and still is one of the most popular firearms around. It’s design and mechanism has been copied and improved by many other manufacturers around the world. That particular firearm would never have come about were it not for a gunsmith by the name of Benjamin Tyler Henry who worked for Winchester. Henry began experimenting with the recently developed metallic cartridge and devised a mechanism where as the rimfire metallic cartridge could be utilized in a rifle. He came up with what is now known as the Henry rifle. It was slow to catch on, but eventually became one of the preferred weapons of the Union in the Civil War. Following the Civil War, it became a preferred weapon of those traveling West, as well as sporting hunters throughout our growing nation. It wasn’t until 1873 that a number of modifications were installed by the Winchester Company and its popularity really took off. It was heavily advertised as a big game rifle, although it had a lighter powder charge utilizing a .44 caliber bullet. The Henry was touted as having a penetration depth of “at 100 yards is 8 inches; at 400 yards 5 inches; and it carries with force sufficient to kill at 1000 yards” (Wiley Sword, The Historic Henry Rifle). That was more than enough power for buffalo hunters to make their kills at short ranges, although history has given more attention to the Sharps as the preferred buffalo gun. The popularity of the Henry spread throughout the West, and especially here in Texas where the Indian problem was extreme. Because the Henry held 16 shots (17 when a cartridge was in the chamber) it proved ideal for rapid fire during an Indian attack. The majority of the ranchers in our area carried a Henry rifle on their saddles while out on their daily chores. It isn’t unusual for we metal detector users to find numerous spent Henry cartridges as we hunt for relics in the rural areas. In spite of its popularity, the Henry had some defects that soon led to the improvement and its conversion to the more efficient Winchester lever action. The rifle had no forestock, which made it a problem when fired rapidly. The

barrel quickly overheated, making it too hot to hold and having to wait for the barrel to cool. The weapon also utilized rimfire ammunition which was often undependable and prone to misfires. Benjamin Henry was aware of this problem and initially equipped the gun with a forked firing pin that struck the cartridge on both sides simultaneously. This still did not solve the problem and many misfires occurred. It was standard procedure for the one firing the gun to eject the cartridge and attempt to fire another. They would then reload the misfire and attempt to use it again. Obviously this worked, because many spent cartridges have been found with multiple pin strikes. I once found one with 22 pin strikes on it, which means it took 11 tries (two strikes per try) before the cartridge fired. It wasn’t until the centerfire cartridge was developed that this problem was overcome. An original Henry rifle now commands thousands of dollars and are popular among gun collectors, although there are

few around. A few years ago, a family of gunsmiths began to reproduce the Henry Rifle, with some improvements. That new Henry is rapidly sweeping sales of rifles and has proven to be an excellent and dependable weapon. Henry ‘s legacy lives on today as Oliver Winchester designated that all rimfire cartridges developed bear the letter H on the base of the cartridge. Today, when we purchase Winchester ammunition we will see that characteristic H stamped into the base, a gentle reminder of the Gun That Won The West. Send Comments to:


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Published by Mike W. Norris dba Wolverine Design ● PO Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

9 ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

Published by Mike W. Norris dba Wolverine Design ● PO Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●


10Tumbleweed Smith ■ ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, Bob Lewis



For the last eight years, Sulphur Springs has staged a Dutch Oven Cookoff. Rick Wilson is one of the organizers. He’s been using the three-legged cast iron pots to cook with since the 1960’s when he was in Boy Scouts. “There’s nothing that you cannot cook in a Dutch oven. I’ve seen such exotic things as salmon and a delicious garlic chicken. We’ve had pork loin and a prime rib stuffed with lobster. I’ve seen crepes and baked Alaska, a white chocolate bread pudding and all kinds of candies. One lady makes a tomato cobbler that is out of this world. I have a recipe for what I call lazy quiche. It has bread and eggs and sausage. You’ve just got to see it to believe it.” The term Dutch oven has been around for more than 300 years. The Dutch were experts at producing cooking vessels. Americans added the legs. The ovens became standard ware for colonists and settlers. Lewis and Clark carried a Dutch oven with them when they explored the northwest. They come in different sizes, from four to thirty inches in diameter and are shallow or deep. Modern ones come in a variety of colors. Rick has more than fifteen of them. Sometimes he cooks with a stack of them, saying it takes up less room that way. He used to cook with his buddy, John Chester. They would sit around a campfire after cooking a meal and dream of staging a Dutch oven cooking event and even teaching Dutch oven cooking. John passed a few years ago and a Hopkins County Historical Society Dutch Oven Cookbook is dedicated to him. Rick holds classes in Dutch oven cooking, which attract around forty students. Cooking with a Dutch oven is scientific. He prefers using charcoal. “Charcoal briquettes carry so many degrees of heat for so much time. We have charts that tell you how many briquettes to put on the top and bottom of each oven to maintain a certain temperature inside it. We’ve got a lot of people in our contest that do it like I did when I first started and that’s to use

coals from the fire. You regulate your heat inside the oven with the coals on top of the lid and below the bottom of the oven. You put more coals on top than you do underneath because the top is further away from the food. It’s a unique way of cooking and it takes some experience and planning.” The cookoff usually has about twenty contestants, who compete for cash prizes: $300 for first place, $250 for second and $150 for third. Then they give special awards for the best meat, bread, dessert and vegetables. Some lady judges inspect how the food looks and awards THE BEST IN POT prize. The cookers bring in their own food to cook. “I know there’s a lot of cookoffs that furnish everything and everybody is provided the same thing. Here we decided several years ago, after talking with some of our cooks, that they’d rather bring in their own food. That’s the reason we have such a variety of food. The only thing we ask of them is that the meat be USDA government inspected and approved. No roadkill.” REFLECTIONS ON A BUTTER MOLD

Colleen Church Leonard of Midland has written a book titled THE BUTTER MOLD, A COLLECTION OF HERITAGE POEMS. “There’s no great wisdom here, these are just things that I have felt,” she says. When Colleen was growing up north of Stanton, she knew she was going to be a poet. “I can remember when I was a little bitty kid, maybe even before I started to school, mother told me to quit talking like that, referring to my speaking in rhymes.” Friends and relatives started asking her to write some verse for various occasions. “Some of it has been for a cousin’s birthday, or for someone who died. I’ve written poems for weddings and showers,

even for a new baby. It probably started when I wrote a poem for my mother’s birthday.” Her poetry has won first place in statewide competition. The Texas Humanities Commission asked her to write a poem for the 1986 Sesquicentennial celebration to be included in that year’s Anthology of Texas Poets. Colleen has had experience with old country ways and has written poems about pioneer Texas women, how they burned prairie chips, carried water from the windmill boiled clothes and pressed them with a flat iron. A long time ago, butter was made in a churn and then put into a wooden butter mold. “You might say it weighed and shaped it because if you put the butter in right and took it out right, it would be a full pound of butter.” She has the butter mold she used as a child and the first poem in the book is about that item. “Unobtrusive pieces of wood and a small rectangular pine box, With no touch of paint or varnish, but worn fine by sandpaper fingers. Worn by the bubbling of the milk as the yellow butter, churned as a child Jumping up and down, was worked back and forth into the box Until every crevice was filled, the paddle handily brushed and stroked As across a child’s yellow hair. And the box would yield a full pound When carefully pushed out by the handle and bar And fall gently to the waiting waxed paper. And after the drying, one rolling touch of the rubber stamp, Like the turning of a head, to put the guarantee of integrity upon it. The name of she who nourished and drained the cows, She who churned and molded butter, a lifetime of forty thousand pounds. Stacked in three smooth parts, the butter mold sits quietly on the shelf.”

Published by Mike W. Norris dba Wolverine Design ● PO Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

11Growing Up Small Town ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, Continued...

Our military member then told us a story about his house being broke into one night and he unloaded a “less lethal” bean bag round from his shotgun at the intruder -- knocking him out. He said when the police arrived and questioned him, he informed them that the next two rounds in the gun were buckshot and that the guy was lucky that all he needed was the bean bag. We all agreed that had the intruder been running with two or three buddies, then the whole thing could have turned out differently and we discussed what would have been the outcome had there been more intruders than there were bullets? Or what if our military friend had not been such a good shot on the first trigger pull? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? We Aren’t Canada

After talking with my buddies online last night, I came to this conclusion: This is the United States of America -- this isn’t Canada; this isn’t Europe; this isn’t Great Britain. If you don’t like it here... then why don’t you just get out of this country? If you don’t like your neighbors having access to superior fire power, then why don’t you move? If you don’t like the local SevenEleven selling a 32oz Big Gulp, then why the heck do you shop there? If you don’t want your kids to weigh 200lbs before they are old

enough to drive a car, then why don’t you address that problem at home with your own kids instead of politicking the school board and/or the state and/or the federal government into telling the rest of us what we can feed our kids? It’s not like we are cannibalistic and going to beef up your kids so we can feed them to our kids -- so what’s your problem? Why should WE THE PEOPLE conform to YOUR ideology?

Our Founding Fathers left countries that thought the same way as you do....and created a new land of Freedom and Opportunity that has endured for over two centuries! So what makes you think your ideas are going to be better than theirs? Who do you think you are? If you want to go back to the old way of being told what to do and how to do it and when to do it, then by all means, load up your crew and move back to those same old countries. Stop trying to force us to go back in time to when all men were subject to a king’s rule. If you want to go to that kind of place, then stop jacking with our Freedoms here in God Bless America and just go to where your ideal society already exists...just pack up and go! At least that way, you can try it out and if you don’t like it you can move back. If you screw up our Freedoms here, then where are we going to move to when the king is crowned? Send Comments to:

■ Texas

Conservative, Continued...

on the edge of the Potomac River and traveled eight days to New York, where he was sworn in as president. Washington was a devoted family man. In 1759, at 26 years of age, Washington married widow Martha Dandridge Custis. Though Martha and George had no children, he adopted her daughter and son from her former marriage. They also provided personal and financial support to nephews, nieces and other extended family members. If it’s true that behind every great man is a great woman (and it is, as evidenced by my wife, Gena, who does more for me and others than the world will ever know), then Washington’s wife, Martha, is definitely to be credited for part of the power behind the myth of the Father of Our Country. For example, for each of the eight years of the Revolutionary War, Martha came to Washington’s winter encampments (including Valley Forge) to boost his morale, as well as the other officers’ morale. No doubt Martha’s initial struggle to support Washington’s departure as president must have had some emotional connection to her finally having him home at Mount Vernon after his service in the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention and his eight years of leading the war. Though Martha refused to attend his inauguration, she stood by her man by living with him at the temporary U.S. capitals New York and Philadelphia. Though Martha and George had a strong relationship, there’s no doubt he had a lifelong love interest in the beautiful and intellectually astute Sally Fairfax -- the wife of his friend George William Fairfax -- whom he met when he was just 16. Sally’s father never would have allowed her to marry someone other than a man


from a wealthy family like theirs, and Washington didn’t fit the bill. Mount Vernon historians noted how Sally “remained ever faithful to her marriage” yet a good friend of the Washingtons’. In 1773, she moved with her husband to England, where he died in 1787. In 1798, just a year before Washington’s death, he wrote to Sally, urging her to return to Virginia. He added, “(Nothing has) been able to eradicate from my mind the recollection of those happy moments, the happiest in my life, which I have enjoyed in your company.” Sally never returned and died alone in England in 1811. No man is perfect, and that included George Washington. He himself confessed: “We must take human nature as we find it. Perfection falls not to the share of mortals.” Remembering that was likely the key to his humility, service and mercy to others. Maybe his own struggle to receive the Holy Eucharist when he attended services at an Anglican church was born from his wrestling with his own humanity and possibly even the human toll that incurred when he was leading the war. George was married to Martha for roughly 40 years. Just before her death in 1802, Martha destroyed nearly all of Washington’s letters to her, though three did survive. Next week, I will finish my reasoning and discuss how some people today view Washington as yesteryear’s presidential billionaire mogul. For more on the monumental figure, I recommend the amazing book “George Washington’s Sacred Fire,” by Peter Lillback and Jerry Newcombe. Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook’s “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at http://chucknorrisnews. To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.

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12 ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~ ■ Good

Neighbors, Clint Coffee CLU ChFC State Farm Insurance® Agent


Life Insurance: Making a Difference to Those Left Behind When the unexpected happened, these people been killed in vehicle-related collisions, and is found out how being financially prepared can partnered with Comfort Zone Camps, which make a big difference in the lives of those left offer grief counseling for children. to carry on. “Life insurance not only allowed us to survive in life, it gave us the opportunity to thrive in Melissa Wandall life,” she says. Bradenton, Florida Melissa continues to speak on the value of life In 2003 when Melissa Wandall was nine insurance, what it does for a family, and why it months pregnant, she got the call that no wife shouldn’t be taken for granted. wants to receive: Her husband Mark had been in a serious car accident not far from their home. “My husband told me he wanted to assure his He died soon after. family a life in the event of his absence,” says According to Melissa, she immediately had to Melissa. “He wanted to show us how love really embrace what had happened. “From that moment can go on. And it has. “ of impact, I had to take care of our family,” says Melissa. “I didn’t want to be a ‘broken mommy’ For other examples, tools and information, for my baby. “ please visit: The driver who caused the accident hadn’t stopped at a stoplight, so Melissa took the opportunity to lobby for a new speed camera law in her state. Because of her husband’s life insurance benefits, she was able to devote five years to the effort, and on May 13, 2010, the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act was signed. She also started the Mark Wandall Foundation, Comments: which cares for children whose parents have

■ Page

2 Continued, Mike W. Norris

Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all. Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?” Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on? Lastly, when did they government get into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose. Selling to Criminals

Mr. President, these are your words: “And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.” Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program? Furthermore, the vast majority of these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all the hoops — because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn’t now — so what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy guns legally just resort to the black market. Criminals and murderers will always find a way. Critical Examination Mr. President, in theory, your

initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others. Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why? You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual: First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and

enables criminals to run amok. Second, press Congress to repeal the “Gun Free Zone Act.” Don’t allow America’s teachers and students to be endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they cross the school line. This is your chance to correct history and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with resistance. Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals. Respectfully, Severely Concerned Citizen, Evan M. Todd

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13Eastland County Tea Party ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, In Defense of Liberty


Did You Know...

There ARE Some Politicians Who Call It Like It Is -and- Free Market Capitalism Works!!! If you wish to keep track of what our president is doing, you should check the Whitehouse Website regularly -- Wyoming State Representative Hans Hunt

A Letter Sent To Rep. Hunt reads: “Dear Representative, I hope you are taking care of yourself during this busy session. I know it is a challenging, compressed time. I am writing to express my grave concern about House Bill 105. Ample evidence has shown that schools and guns do not mix, and in particular, guns in the hands of amateurs/non-professionals is extremely dangerous, especially in any highly-charged situation. to expose our children to greater risk in their schools by encouraging more guns on campuses is something that we cannot allow. My husband and I moved to Wyoming not too long ago. We believed it was a good place to raise children. With the recent and reactive expansion of gun laws and the profoundly serious dangers of fracking, we find we are seriously reconsidering our decision, which is wrenching to all of us. However, the safety of our family must come first. We are waiting to see what the legislature does this session. I know of other new-to-Wyoming families in similar contemplation. Your choices matter. It would be sad to see an exodus of educated, childrearing age adults from Wyoming as a result of poor lawmaking. sincerely, Rev. Audette Fulbright” Mr. Hunt’s Response reads: “Rev. Fulbright, I’ll be blunt. If you don’t like the political atmosphere of Wyoming, then by all means, leave. We, who have been here a very long time (I am proudly 4th generation) are quite proud of our independent heritage. I don’t expect a “mass exodus” from our state just because we’re standing up for our rights. As to your comments on fracking, I would point out that you’re basing your statement on “dangers” that have not been scientifically founded or proved as of yet. It offends me to no end when liberal out-of-staters such as yourself move into Wyoming, trying to get away from where they came from, and then pompously demand that Wyoming conform to their way of thinking. We are, and will continue to be, a state which stands a head above the rest in terms of economic security. Our ability to do that is, in large part, to our “live and let live” mentality when it comes to allowing economic development, and limiting government oversight. So, to conclude, if you’re so worried about what our legislature is working on, then go back home. Sincerely, Hans Hunt Representative Hans Hunt House District 02” President Obama’s Minimum Wage Plan

There’s a basic bargain in America. It says that no matter who you are or where you’re from, if you’re willing to work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to find a good job, feel secure in your community, and support a family. President Obama has fought for the middle class, and has made historic investments in making sure that there are ladders of opportunity for

those working hard to make it to the middle class. Rewarding hard work by raising the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour: The President believes that no one who works full time should have to raise their family in poverty. But right now, a full-time minimum wage worker makes $14,500 a year – which leaves too many families struggling to make ends meet, with a family of four supported by a minimum wage worker still living below the poverty line, even counting tax credits for working families. That’s why the President is calling on Congress to raise the Federal minimum wage to $9.00 and index it to inflation thereafter. The President is also proposing to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, which has not been increased for over twenty years. The erosion in the real value of the minimum wage has been a factor in increasing inequality in recent decades. The President’s proposal would address this problem by raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation so that working families can keep up with rising costs. For a working family earning $20,000 - $30,000, the extra $3,500 per year from raising the minimum wage would cover: The family’s spending on groceries for a year; or The family’s spending on utilities for a year; or The family’s spending on gasoline and clothing for a year; or Six months of housing. Source:

What the Whitehouse doesn’t bother to explain is that raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9.00 an hour for approximately 15 million minimum-wage workers, would cost American businesses an additional $52.5 Billion dollars in additional labor costs with absolutely no promise of increased productivity or sales! Who do you think pays for that extra cost? The consumers maybe? Meanwhile, in North Dakota -where Forbes Magazine reports the

state to be growing faster than any other state in the country at over 3-times the national average -- some employers are starting off new hires at $15 an hour to work retail cashier and fast food positions! And they still can’t get enough workers! It’s a perfect example of a marketdriven economy where there is high demand for products and services all across the spectrum. In fact, there are reports of Las Vegas strippers heading to North Dakota because they can make more money a night dancing out there than they can in Sin City! Another example: I’m reading an ad for a Bar-B-Q caterer in Williston, ND that reads: “We do full time man camp catering. Your kitchen or ours. All kinds of food available. Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner (100 Man Minimum)” And here’s an ad for workplace lodging - “New homes, Fully Equipped, Living Room, Kitchen, HDTV, Five to Nine Beds Each!” Here’s a caption from a photo of a Love’s truck stop - “Officials announced in January that a Love’s Travel Stop will be built north of Williston this year in the Bakken Industrial Park, which will also house a semitrailer service station, truck wash and parking space for 400 trucks.” That’s right, a 400-truck parking lot!!! A North Dakota State University study estimates that the population of Williston, ND will reach 54,000 by 2017. In the 2010 Census, the population of Williston, ND was 14,716 -- a projected increase of 367% in 7 years. So while Obama is busy trying to engineer prosperity by artificially raising the minimum wage by government mandate, there’s real prosperity being made out there in this country by folks who are working for it, not waiting for it. That’s what America is all about.

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14Love Lessons Learned So Far ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, Vicki Stiefer


By Vicki Stiefer

How does a caveman communicate?

Men are cavemen! There I said it. Lightening didn’t strike and my husband did nothing but roll his eyes and continue flipping channels on his television remote that looks something like a handheld command center for a secret government outpost. I had the smelly privilege to watch a bunch of men in their own environment and I am happy to report that thank goodness women are different! They were telling jokes, slapping each other on the back, yelling and trying to out talk each other and lifting their legs and passing… and laughing! After my initial shock and disgust I realized the 3 guys that I was observing really did like each other. The jib-jabbing that I thought was negative and hurtful should have been translated as bonding. I know you think I’m crazy but once I put down the popcorn and pulled myself away from what I thought was curious and fascinating behavior I had but one question, “What makes men so different from women?” We can go with the normal stuff like men are technical and women are emotional. Men most of the time, do better at math and women do better in reading and writing, but what does this have to do with basic social differences between guys and gals? If you don’t know the differences then your marriage suffers. Women internalize things all the time and since their brain works ninety to nothing, if he’s not talking or paying attention to her then he’s mad or he doesn’t like her, etc…According to Susan Sherwood, Ph.D on, she says, ( tv-shows/curiosity/topics/10-ways-men-women-comminucate-differently. htm) “It’s the middle of the day during a long drive. He’s sitting at the wheel,

cruising along. She’s sitting in the passenger seat, reading, glancing up now and then at the passing scenery. Suddenly, she turns to him and cries, “Talk to me!” She’s not stir crazy; he’s not ignoring her. They’re just living the classic divide in communication between men and women. She’s more discussion-oriented; he’s all action. One reason for these differences stems from the way relationships develop during childhood. Girls’ friendships focus on making connections -- talk is essential to this process. Sharing secrets, relating experiences, revealing problems and discussing options are essential during girls’ development. Boys generally take another approach to friendship. Their camaraderie is not less profound; it’s just different. Buddy groups tend to be larger, focusing on activities rather


than conversation. This differentiation in youth leads to dissimilar communication styles in adulthood. Women communicate through dialogue, discussing emotions, choices and problems. Males remain actionoriented -- the goal of communication is to achieve something. Research indicates that these are the general, even common, tendencies of men and women, but these divides are not absolute. There are certainly men who want to chat about their feelings and women who quickly tire of discourse. But one way to classify male-female interactions is to examine them through the lens of childhood: talk versus deeds. With that in mind, here is a list of 10 ways that (most) men and women communicate differently and how these differences affect their interactions. ” Dr. Sherwood makes total sense to me but the guys that I saw were communicating albeit in a smelly, guttural sort of way, but it was communication, so ladies what is our problem? Send Comments to:

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15Huddle Up! ■ ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~ , Matt Swinney


By Matt Swinney

The Evolution Of A True Fan What does it take to be a true sports fan? First, we need to find out what the definition of the word “fanatic” is, in the sports realm, which “fan” is short for. According to Webster’s dictionary, the word “fanatic” is: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. Can a person be too much of a fanatic? Absolutely!! Recently, Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback, Matt Cassel, was injured and was laying on the ground in a game against the Baltimore Ravens. He got hit in the head and had trouble standing. When the fans in the stands figured it out that he was injured, instead of being quiet and solemn, they were laughing and cheering that he got hurt. Is that what being a true fan is, happy that someone got hurt? I would really hope that’s not the case. In another example, in 2011, Bryan Stow, a paramedic, father of two and a huge San Francisco Giants fan, was attending a baseball game, where his favorite team, the San Francisco Giants were facing their rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers. On his way back to his car, he was attacked by two Dodger fans. He was beaten up so severe that he was placed in a medically induced coma. It’s an answered prayer that he survived the attack. These two examples aren’t what it means to be a true loyal fan. There are many more examples that I could give you as to when fans go too far and are too out of control, but I want to give you ways to curb that behavior. This goes to all levels of competition, from T-ball all the way up to professional sports. Every parent of every kid that plays sports thinks that their kid will be the next Josh Hamilton, Tony Romo, or Dirk Nowitzki. But, the reality is that only a small percentage of kids will be pro athletes. Parents are the biggest fans for kids, but parents need to be supportive of their kid no matter if they do good or not do good. They don’t need to berate their kids, no matter if it’s at home or in front of their teammates. Being a true fan starts at home. When you happen to attend a high school football game, make

sure you continue to be that true fan by cheering on your team, no matter if they’re winning or losing because the athletes appreciate the positive reinforcement. Also, if you happen to see them after the game with their head hanging down in shame because the outcome of the game didn’t go as planned, make sure you pat them on the back and tell them that they did a great job. Finally, if we give these young athletes constant positive reinforcement, then they will grow up to be a true loyal fan. If you see people around you saying insulting things to the athletes, tell them that they’re not being a true fan and that we need to build them up not knock them down. Send Comments to:

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20This Week In Texas History

20 ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

, by Bartee Haile

By Bartee Haile Frontier Hero Puts Adventures Down On Paper

Buck Barry stayed in his native North Carolina just long to marry an old flame on Feb. 24, 1847 before coming back to Texas to start a family. All too often early settlers of Texas are portrayed as illiterate fugitives. Not so with James Buckner Barry, who possessed a better than average education for the times and was running to an exciting land full of opportunity rather than from the law. Twenty-four years old when he left his Tar Heel home, Barry spent a month at sea before finally docking at New Orleans. He had to wait a week before finally boarding a ship bound not for Galveston but an inland port of entry on the Red River. Jefferson was not much to look at on Apr. 12, 1845, the day Barry first set foot in Texas. As he recalled in his memoirs half a century later, “Several houses were under construction but there was only one finished.” The newcomer did not linger long at the future haven for bed-and-breakfast tourists. He wandered west through the wild countryside with his ultimate destination San Antonio. On his way to the Alamo City, Barry visited the latest and last capital of the Texas Republic. Austin was still in its infancy and offered the traveler little more than Jefferson. Barry clearly was not impressed. Other than the capitol building, “Austin had only a few houses built of logs, clapboards and whipsawed lumber,” he wrote so many years later. “I recollect seeing only one white woman in town, if it could be called a town.” The day after Barry reached San Antonio, the inhabitants were panicked by reports of another in a series of Mexican invasions. He eagerly rode out with a Ranger company to confront the threat but never caught sight of the trespassers, who had retreated to the Rio Grande. A short time later, Barry “joined the little army of the Republic of Texas, numbering 250 men, commanded by Major (John Coffee) Jack Hays.” He was assigned to a squad of ten headquartered “on the Trinity River, something like halfway between where Dallas and Fort Worth have grown to be cities.” Of all his memorable experiences as a Ranger on patrol, none withstood the ravages of time quite like a strange sight in a snowstorm. “We saw a horse at a distance standing still with a saddle on. We found his rider frozen to death with a noose of the bridle reins around one wrist.” In the spring of 1846, Barry and his comrades invited a passerby to breakfast. That was how they learned war with Mexico was about to break out on the border. Jack Hays saved a place for the North Carolinian in the First Texas Mounted Rifles, a regiment made up of Rangers and other hard-fighting frontiersmen. Membership in the unit was Barry’s ticket for nearly every major battle and a front-row seat for an unforgettable incident. Bright and early one morning, a detachment of Mexican lancers surprised the sleeping Texans. To give his men time to wake up and prepare for battle, Hays “rode out front with his saber in hand and challenged the colonel of the lancers to meet him halfway between the lines to fight a saber fight.” The enemy officer “advanced waving his saber, while his horse seemed to

dance rather than prance. Within a few feet of the Mexican, Hays pulled a pistol and shot him dead from his horse.” The lancers “charged us like mad hornets” making three costly passes through the Texan lines. Marveling at the enemy soldiers’ courage, Barry wrote, “I have never called a Mexican a coward since.” After the one-sided war, it was back to North Carolina for Barry and marriage to the sweetheart who had waited for him. The newlyweds set up housekeeping in Navarro County, where voters drafted the office-shy breadwinner for three terms as sheriff and one as county treasurer. In late 1855, Barry moved west to Bosque County on the edge of the frontier. But plans of spending more time with his growing family were spoiled by the depredations of so-called “reservation Indians” from their government-protected sanctuary on the Brazos. Barry devoted the next decade, including the entire Civil War, to fighting Indians and retrieving the horses and human captives taken on their raids. He eventually succeeded in bringing about the relocation of the troublesome tribes north of the Red River thereby averting all-out war

with the U.S. Army. The familiar figure with the shoulder-length hair and fondness for buckskin dabbled in politics in the 1880’s and 1890’s, first as an active supporter of the Grange and later with the People’s Party. After a failed bid for state treasurer in 1898, Buck Barry retired to his ranch near Walnut Springs. He completed his autobiography, published in 1932, before going totally blind and dying on his eighty-fifth birthday in 1906. Last chance! Three “Best of This Week in Texas History” collections for the price of two: “Hurricanes, Tornadoes & Other Disasters,” “Secession & Civil War” and “Revolution & Republic.” Mail a check for only $28.40 to “Bartee Haile” at P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549 or order on-line at twith. com Interested in collections of Bartee Haile’s columns? Visit the “General Store” at or request a list from P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 7754

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21B.C. ■ ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~ , by Mastroianni & Hart

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23The Wizard of ID ■ ~ February 2013 v6.68 ~

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February Update

We made it through our first month at home! It’s been quite an that I didn’t know for sure that we would be able to make it through. But here we are! If you read back over last month’s update, you’ll remember that we were living the life of stress and desperation! But I believe that we have put that behind us and Ruthie is making tremendous progress back toward as much “normal” as we can get. They say that a picture is worth a 1,000 words (but I’ve heard that in this economy they are going for about 200) so in order to keep things uplifting and cheerful, I think you will enjoy the following photos..... First, here we have a joyful “Aunt Ruthie” as my brother and his wife had their first born son on February 18th. His name is Hammond Norris and Ruthie was able to go by and hold him for a few minutes before she had to go to her dialysis session later that afternoon! Doesn’t she look happy? Isn’t that the smile that everyone remembers? I think so!

Next, we have our favorite Ruthie trying to enjoy a little bit of “normal” life. I have been working with her in the kitchen to show her how to make her own coffee or hot cocoa; fix a bowl of cold cereal or pour a glass of milk or juice; etc. On this occasion I showed her how she could stand at the stove and warm up some tasty ravioli. I

know the counter space looks cluttered but I am trying to keep some of her favorite stuff within her reach.....that and I keep trying to get Sherrie to wash the dishes!!! Our schedule is becoming a little more manageable the last few days. We finished up our twelve therapy sessions with Hendrick Rehabilitation and Ruthie got released from their services. She’s not out of the woods yet, so we signed her up for therapy here in Eastland at Eastland Memorial. Her first session will be Monday, March 4th, so we have a couple weeks off so to speak. Ruthie can now get in and out of the Jeep almost without any help w h a t s o e v e r. She has also learned how to get out of bed and get herself into her wheelchair; BUT, she was trying to do that the other morning and she fell straight down on her booty! Scared the crap out of me because I was still asleep at the time! But with only a bruised ego, Ruthie got right back up and into her chair with a little help. We had a pretty rough day the Saturday before

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Donations may be made to: Farmers & Merchants Bank

Ruth Norris Benefit Fund

930 East Main Eastland, TX 76448 (254) 629-3282 Credit Card donations can be made online at: the paper went to press. We spent the night before chasing her blood sugar and it really did a number on her tummy. We spent most of Saturday paying for it. But Sunday was one of her best days yet! She woke up excited about the day... and insisted that I get up and get started on making pancakes! After breakfast we ran down to Carbon to spend the morning with family. Afternoon was spent cleaning up around the house with Ruthie directing traffic and trying to tell everyone what to do (but in a good way!) She’s sitting in the recliner right now, watching the Food Network...her “normal” Sunday routine. Life is good, and we’re ready for another week!

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Published by Mike W. Norris dba Wolverine Design ● PO Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ● Issue #68  

National News and Opinions mixed with Local Small Town History and Story Telling. Representing the small-town conservative viewpoint of what...