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  • Texas | Columns

    "It's All Trew" by Delbert Trew

    Appears in the Amarillo Globe News
    Delbert Trew retired from a lifetime of farming and ranching along with stints as a carpenter, cow trader and 35 years as a "Saturday night professional musician." He turned to freelance writing because he was "literally full of it."
    E-mail at trewblue@centramedia.net
    Delbert Trew

    Columns

  • Putting up peaches brings back memories 10-23-12
  • Lawman's interview provides historical insight 9-25-12
  • Zane Grey's novels sparked love of reading 9-11-12
  • Friends provide funny tidbits 8-28-12
  • Phrases, terms have underlying meaning 8-21-12
  • Modern terms' origins intriguing 8-14-12
    “American Yesterday,” a 1956 book by Eric Sloane, tells of the origins of many terms handed down to modern times.
  • Never shake hands with a stucco man 8-7-12
    If you have ever wondered why so many old houses are still standing, it’s probably because the sides are coated with a concrete process called stucco.
  • Aprons, bonnets necessary gear for country ladies 8-1-12
    Most country people who remember their elders also will remember the shawls, aprons and slat bonnets worn almost every day of the year.
  • Recycling easy, practical process 7-19-12
    Farmers, ranchers and other country people are amazed at this new interest in a process they have practiced forever. To many, this one effort has contributed to their survival for more times than they care to remember.
  • Time to exchange years of frugality for quick cash 6-20-12
    Being raised during the Dirty Thirties by parents of ultra-conservative beliefs, “fix it up, use it up and wear it out” was pounded into my young mind daily.
  • Buffalo, bull fight a dud 6-13-12
    A contest held in 1907 between a Mexican fighting bull and a buffalo bull at a bullfighting arena in Juarez, Mexico.
  • Hard work keeps ranchers employed 5-22-12
    Webster’s Dictionary states:
    Work — Something produced or accomplished by effort, exertion or exercise of will.
  • No end to uses for paper, twine 5-8-12
    If you are old enough to remember a “twine or string ball,” usually kept on a pantry shelf, you are probably moving around a bit slow.
  • Storms, railroads shape area history 3-6-12
    Long before the town of Spearman was born, the settlement of Hansford became the county seat with the winning votes for the election swung by “the use of a three-seated hack and liberal doses of Dodge City tarantula juice.” Their new frame courthouse was nearing completion in 1891 when a cyclone struck...
  • Best western was not always best 2-28-12
    Until the driving of The Golden Spike in 1869, signaling the coming of The Railroad Age, accommodations along the various trails, stage routes, freight routes and river routes were a tragedy to most travelers.
  • Gunny sacks save the day 2-21-12
    For a long period of time in the old days, almost everything ordered from suppliers and hauled on freight wagons either came packed in a wooden crate, a wooden nail keg, a wooden barrel or a gunny sack. Once the items reached the frontier, the crate, keg, barrel or sack became a commodity just like the items packed inside.
  • Famed builder's life became caricature 1-24-12
    Stephen Wallace Dorsey, the famed builder and owner of the historically acclaimed Dorsey Mansion at Mountain Spring, N.M., led a glamorous, honest and successful career until he entered the political arena in 1872. From that moment on his life was plagued with fraud, conspiracies, shenanigans, thefts and lawsuits.
  • Trew Ranch hosted Rockledge rail site 1-7-12
    From 1900 to 1902, Rock Island Railroad built tracks from Oklahoma to Tucumcari, N.M. From today’s Jericho to Alanreed, the track followed Old Trail’s Ridge, dividing the Salt Fork of the Red River and McClellan Creek watersheds. It also was the early day mail route from Old Clarendon to Mobeetie.
  • As sure as fences break, we'll still need barbed wire 12-21-11
    Almost as destructive as prairie fires are the damages perpetrated by wild hogs...
  • Childhood home's 'inside plumbing' didn't come easy 12-13-11
    I think the year was about 1946. We had harvested our wheat and were getting ready to plow wheat stubble south of Perryton...
  • Hauling grain after Dust Bowl quite a chore 12-6-11
    If you have ever spent a long hot day on the end of a No. 10 grain scoop, scooping wheat out of or into a truck or barn, this column should trigger a few memories.
  • Domino could have been lost, carried in flood 11-29-11
    Extremely worn and battered, it appeared old as the hills. The black dots were barely discernible, as well as the color...
  • Cowmen use stock pen logic 11-22-11
    Most old cowmen and cowboys have worked in hundreds of corrals during their lifetimes. Some pens were built with new welded pipe, galvanized panels and were painted. Others were built of used railroad ties and landing matts, surplus from World War II. Others were hog wire, barbed wire or salvaged telephone poles or raw cedar stays cut with an axe and set in stockade design...
  • Some fight mesquite, others find use for it 11-16-11
    Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was almost no mesquite in the Panhandle of Texas...
  • Barter way out of shame, curse 11-8-11
    Some call it bartering, trading, horse-trading or just plain old begging. After all is said and done, you tried to buy it cheaper than it was priced...
  • Businesses, job workers cope with economy woes 11-2-11
    When relating stories about good times and bad, and the many varied remedies and solutions people offer, I tell the following stories to illustrate my points...
  • 'Washboarding' only good for jokes 10-25-11
    Among the drawbacks of living out in the country is during extremely dry times the dirt roads have a tendency to form series of small ridges on the surface, which I call washboarding...
  • Dams make water, wild creatures return< 10-18-11
    Once upon a time, these Panhandle Plains were densely populated with wild creatures of every description...
  • Take some notes, quotes, common sense advice 10-4-11
    A long-time scout for the U.S. Cavalry once stated, “We sure did chase a lot of Indians. When we found them, I never knew whether we found them or they found us.”
  • Cowboys past offer interesting sayings 9-27-11
    Few can compare with the old-time cowboys in descriptions and outlandish sayings...
  • Every tub must stand on its own bottom 9-20-11
    During research for my articles, I run across many quotes that strike a chord...
  • Playing for dances brings back entertaining memories 9-13-11
    "Growing up in a musical family, then later playing professionally for 35 years..."
  • Old towns gone, not forgotten 9-6-11
    As I gather information about the past, I am amazed that today’s towns and communities often had different names in the past...
  • Early settlers had too much or not enough 8-29-11
    In examining the history of the American Dream, especially in the rural areas of the new nation, the people either had too much of something or not quite enough to get along and survive...
  • Quotes offer glimpse into life in Old West 8-23-11
    Louis L’Amour, one of my favorite Western writers, once wrote: “When a man or woman came West, their past became an unknown and the present became an open book..."
  • Raton Pass toll road tales see no justice 8-16-11
    Possibly the most famous toll gate in western history belonged to Uncle Dick Wooten, located in Raton Pass on the line between the New Mexico and Colorado territories...
  • There will always be change 8-8-11
    There is no doubt the Crash of 1929 and the extreme drought of the 1930s contributed to The Great Depression and Dust Bowl. However, closer study reveals the beleaguered people caught up in this strife and disaster were caught up in another monumental change as well...
  • Homemade remedies got the job done 8-2-11
    In days of old, ... old-timers used what was at hand to combat cut worms, borers, beetles, termites, mites and ticks. Here are a few remedies I have encountered...
  • Writers amazing in their descriptions 7-26-11
    The publications and writers continually amaze me with their varied descriptions and choice of words. Here are a few of note...
  • Sibley inventions simple 7-19-11
    Although Maj. Henry Hopkins Sibley never reached the war hero level, he made great contributions to the comfort and survival of his fellow troops during his career. Graduating from West Point in 1838...
  • Family: Weird things and them bones 7-12-11
    I'll admit, up front and honest, that my family is a bit weird. I'll also admit that we probably have more fun than most families. Here are a few examples.
  • Animals adjust to barbed wire 7-5-11
    Because of the nature of the subject, a significant chapter of Old West history - bloody livestock injuries - is often ignored or forgotten. However, it did happen, and here is the story.
  • Most everyone has interesting tidbits to share 6-28-11
    Seems almost everyone I meet has a story, joke, old saying or an interesting tidbit...
  • Texas place names describe unique stories of towns 6-21-11
    The Place Name Survey of Texas, developed and added to for the past 20 years or more, lists and explains the uniqueness of names in Texas. Here are a few that caught my eye...
  • Water producers, grandmas make miracles 6-14-11
    Of all the strange, weird and confusing bits of history, none quite compare with rain dancers, water witchers and grandmas...
  • Texans a bit different, and I'm good with that 6-7-11
    The change from rural Texas to big-city California spawned many interesting experiences...
  • 'Tumbleweeds' took outlaws to prison 5-31-11
    Among the more famous conveyances adapted and used by man were the "tumbleweed wagons." Actually, they were only common canvas covered farm wagons put to use hauling captured prisoners being taken to the Fort Smith prison.
  • A comparison of ranching: past and modern days 5-23-11
  • Firewood stories abound in history 5-17-11
    My favorite firewood story comes from the history of a Colorado gold mining strike high in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Grasshoppers' attacks on region no sci-fi tale 5-10-11
    The one disaster that took all and left nothing behind was the grasshopper plague.
  • A stitch in time saved 9 in a girl's hope chest 5-3-11
    A suggestion from writer/cousin Jackie Gill, ... I am writing about embroidery...
  • In 1880, travel time was quite the trip 4-26-11
    A study of the actual mileage exhibited in a map of the Texas Panhandle, No Man's Land, the Western Indian Territory, the Cherokee Outlet, the Cherokee Strip and the southwestern section of the State of Kansas, drawn in the year 1880, bring travel at that time into focus...
  • There's a tool for every job 4-19-11
    No matter the design, brand, type or cost of a machine or implement, sooner or later it will break down and need repair. That fact is as reliable as the sun coming up each morning...
  • Fairs gave us info long before TV ads 4-12-11
    Once upon a time, long before today's boring, repetitive, loud and often dumb TV advertisements, armloads of unwanted junk mail and irritating phone calls, there was a subtle and entertaining form of advertising called a fair.
  • New rock wall piece of history 4-5-11
    Recently I built a dry-stacked rock wall in Bull Canyon... I learned the method while visiting in Nashville, Tenn., years ago where miles of such rock walls still stand after being built by slaves in the early 1800s.
  • Cherokee outlet, strip not the same 3-29-11
    Contrary to popular belief, The Cherokee Outlet and The Cherokee Strip are not one and the same. Here is the explanation according to Kansas and Oklahoma history...
  • Grasslands rooted in dust 3-22-11
    Just how, when and why did the establishment of these "national" grassland places take place? We have to go back to 1933, the worst year of The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl and the "First Hundred Days" of the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Farming machinery most reliable friend 3-1-11
    With only me, myself and I to do the work I stay busy at trying to stay out of a rest home. However, with age creeping up, muscles and bones not as strong as in the past, I find myself depending more and more on my best friend Jose Kubota.
  • Cattle brands mark originality 2-22-11
    Recently I acquired a book, "The Manual of Brands and Marks," published in 1970 by The University of Oklahoma Press, authored by Manfred Wolfenstine. If you are interested in the history of brands, this is the book to study.
  • Necessity bred Western dress 2-15-11
    In 1872, a Reno, Nev., tailor wrote Levi Strauss that he had been adding copper rivets to standard issue Levis to add strength to the most stressed seam corners...
  • Stories outlive Texas ghost towns' ambition 2-8-11
    Though early towns had avid supporters with ambitious agendas, most fell by the wayside as progress arrived and highways and railroads passed them by.
  • Old West boots, vests have well-ridden history 2-2-11
    Among the myriad of changes occurring in the Old West let us examine the common boot. Originally built on one last to fit either foot, the foot gear had wide, flat heels and "stovepipe tops" reaching almost to the knees. Made for walking or marching the design was utilitarian...
  • Western saloons often 1st business erected in towns 1-25-11
    According to the book "Saloons of Denver" by Scott Dial, published in 1973 by Old Army Press, the word "saloon" was not used in America until 1841, the year wagon trains began leaving for California...
  • Longhorn: Texas' first industry 1-17-11
    The book "The Long Trail" by Gardner Sowle, published in 1976 by McGraw-Hill, tells the real story of early cowboys, longhorns... boiling fact down to common sense explanations...
  • Brands Have Rich History 1-11-11
    Currently, there are 32,609 registered brands in Colorado... Retaining a registered brand in Colorado is not cheap, costing $225 for a five-year period...
  • Always take your come-along along 1-4-11
    Though some might look down on the common working man, he is actually an ingenious person. If you don't believe me search the U.S. Patent office files and find millions of tools, most invented by a working man to make his work easier or faster.
  • Discussing 'original primary Age of the Cowboy' 12-28-10
    Most historians agree somewhat, the age of the cowboy began in 1866, the first full year of peace after the Civil War. The end came in about 1895
  • This is why we dance counter clockwise 12-21-10
    As expected, our question of, "why do we dance western dance around the floor counter clockwise" generated a varied response. The numerous theories varied from the sublime to the serious to the ridiculous. Here are a few of the best answers...
  • Fire, bricks and early chimneys 12-14-10
    Few of the tools needed by man equaled that of fire. He needed it to cook, heat, make light and to use for making other tools, like in blacksmithing...
  • Shotgun shacks cheap, practical 12-8-10
    A memory or two involving the famous "long skinny houses" that graced the West on both farms and ranches and later on during the many oil booms and busts.
  • Western Dance: Burning Question Counterintuitive 11-30-10
    Recently, after enjoying an evening of good western swing music on a ranch near Quitaque, this question came up. "Why do western dance participants always dance in a counter-clock wise direction around the dance floor?"
  • Early Texans relied on corn for cakes, livestock 11-23-10
    To the early Texas settlers, raising corn was a matter of life or death.
  • Did lost colony in the Okla. Panhandle exist? 11-17-10
    Recently while visiting friends in Kenton, Okla., I picked up a small local history book titled, "The Way I Heard It," by Jennie Rose Benton, copyright 1996. The contents tell of early history in the area, which eventually became Beaver County in Oklahoma...
  • Homesteaders Act greatest act ever passed 11-9-10
    Signed by President Abraham Lincoln, the act offered 160 acres of land to any qualified homesteader who paid a modest filing fee, built a home, planted at least 10 acres of crops and remained on his land for five years...
  • Is this really progress? 11-2-10
  • Flats make one worn and tired 10-26-10
  • 'The times, they are a'changing' 10-19-10
  • Book spurs memories of ol' saddle houses 10-12-10
  • Turkeys' use of old windmill towers a twist 10-5-10
  • English filled with nicknames in everyday life 9-28-10
  • Digging post holes by hand was hard work 9-21-10
  • Remembering old Tascosa 9-14-10
  • 'The Farmers' Almanac' a good guide for life 9-7-10
  • Coal workers suffered 8-31-10
    The next time you travel north toward Denver, take a break at the Ludlow Exit just north of Trinidad, Colo. A good paved road leads west about two miles to the huge and educational Ludlow Massacre Monument. I promise an interesting visit.
  • Frontier justice followed crime increase 8-24-10
  • A place for everything - if I can find it all 8-17-10
  • Crudity of travel gives way to progress 8-10-10
  • Branding is an old tradition 8-3-10
  • New photo, many thanks 7-27-10
  • Fire taught difficult lessons on frontier 7-20-10
  • Inventions sprung from filling needs 7-13-10
  • Two men part of Texas lore - but for different reasons 7-6-10
    Known as "the Jinglebob King of the Pecos," John Chisum cast a long shadow in the early history of cattle ranching... Almost as well known but standing alone at the opposite end of the spectrum was Edward Z.C. Judson, alias Ned Buntline...
  • Porcupines a source of thorny problems 6-29-10
  • Area full of historical tidbits 6-22-10
  • Photos serve as reminder of boundaries' importance 6-14-10
  • 'The West' full of myth, mystery 6-8-10
  • Justice often comes with theatrics 6-2-10
  • Cow feed, from slab to sack 5-25-10
  • Winter scene paves way to ranch memories 5-18-10
  • Vibrating 'critter' frightens rattlesnake-wary cowboy 5-11-10
  • Book offers county tales of the Texas Panhandle 5-4-10
  • The past delivers unusual stories 4-27-10
  • Aging and exaggerating 4-20-10
  • Louisiana Purchase a great deal 4-13-10
  • The truth behind 20-Mule Teams 4-6-10
  • Buffalo horses and outlaw cattle 3-30-10
  • Danger lurked on Texas frontiers during Civil War 3-23-10
  • Sheep often taken for granted 3-16-10
  • Bankers are remembered for bark, bite 3-9-10
    When old-timers gather to visit, the tall tales do fly.
  • Law and order used to be so very different by Delbert Trew 3-3-10
  • Like Grandpa said, 'Where there's a will, there's a way' 2-23-10
    No better examples exist than the problems of the old-time freighter.
  • Horse hobbles were a vital tool 2-17-10
  • It was burdensome training the beasts 2-9-10
  • In terms of description, 'cowboy' has been varied 2-6-10
  • Before miracle materials, rawhide ruled 1-26-10
  • The do's, don'ts and wonders of having pet turtles 1-19-10
  • Early-day ice monster 1-12-10
  • Farmers bend to advances in plows 1-5-10
  • Things I bet you never knew - and then some 12-29-09
  • A whale of a tale? No - try wolves 12-22-09
  • Bits, pieces on odds, ends 12-15-09
  • For your vocabulary pleasure - Words can have odd origins 12-8-09
  • Well, in the past, water was work 12-01-09
  • With change came demise of tollgates 11-23-09
  • Exactly how narrow does a niche have to be 11-17-09
  • On your mark, go ... Big day was all important 11-10-09
  • Old-timers' tales - true or not 11-3-09
  • Dusting off pages offers up the dirt on Times gone by 10-27-09
  • Turtle hunt leaves us shellshocked 10-21-09
  • For goodness sakes: Seems I'm done being rattled 10-13-09
  • Trip to the Old West as child vivid as ever 10-6-09
  • Animal stories and other true, but fowl tales 9-29-09
  • From gunslingers to skunks, varmints took toll on Dodge City 9-22-09
  • Funerals have changed, but this wedding was old-timey 9-15-09
  • Water needed for towns 9-7-09
  • Myths, truths about tidbits 9-1-09
  • The times, they aren't a-changin' 8-22-09
  • Horses enabled Comanches to rule Texas 8-11-09
  • There's more to Borax than one might think 8-4-09
  • Preserving garden seed important 7-28-09
  • Old magazine shows of changing times 7-21-09
  • Doing more work has helped us overcome 7-16-09
  • Americans moved West on the backs of mules 7-7-09
  • Younger generation needs to be more frugal 6-23-09
  • Parade honoring mothers-in-law drew thousands 6-16-09
  • Amarillo in thick of Dust Bowl 6-9-09
  • Saloon doors knew how to swing 6-2-09
  • Cheap labor helped build Thompson Park 5-26-09
  • Whiskey was common currency 5-19-09
  • Don't count out us old folks 5-12-09
  • What became of old marker on state line? 5-5-09
    Those of us living along Route 66 who research and promote the old road's history have long pondered the fate of a missing Texas Highway monument...
  • Bodark trees tough as nails 4-28-09
  • Nothing beats experience of Western movie 4-20-09
  • With all these critters, I never really feel lonesome 4-14-09
  • DAR's Collingsworth history good as it gets 4-12-09
  • Go see your old people, write it down 3-31-09
  • History depends on who's telling 3-24-09
  • Everyone was GTT: Gone to Texas 3-17-09
  • Hair-raising stories from pioneer days 3-10-09
  • Washing-up facilities grew with the wheat 3-3-09
  • Modern red tape outgrew family Bibles, tin boxes 2-25-09
  • Indian trails full of mysteries 2-17-09
  • Separating buffalo fact from fiction 2-10-09
    This period, from 1868 to about 1878, is filled with historical events including fights against the Plains Indians, the demise of buffalo herds and, lesser known, the demise of a wolf species, the Great Plains lobo...
  • Pioneer Texas railroad system drew snickers 2-3-09
  • Romans say take your meds and pray 1-27-09
  • Short grasses make tall demand for water 1-20-09
  • Pair made a fortune, thanks to steel 1-13-09
  • Problems for farmers multiplied during war 1-7-09
  • Barbed wire called 'Devil's Rope' for a reason 12-30-08
  • Old mining days were hazardous 12-22-08
  • O, brother, where art thou? 12-15-08
  • Dad had a ball with newfangled electric 12-2-08
  • Old blacksmith shop full of stories 11-25-08
  • Pear preserves always worth the work 11-19-08
  • Good use of newspaper 11-18-08
  • I've got some issues with the term 'issues' 11-3-08
  • Necktie: Torture device of men's fashion 10-28-08
  • Scales revolutionized ranching 10-21-08
  • 'Scrape' takes on numerous meanings 10-15-08
  • Bertillion Method early way to track criminals 10-7-08
  • Head-rises wiped out frontier towns 9-30-08
  • Canadian River was watery trap 9-30-08
  • 'Big Ditch' brought river water to gold mines 9-23-08
  • Camino Real known as scenic byway 9-16-08
    The old road "Camino Real" or Royal Road may not be the oldest road in America but was completed in 1598, a long time ago... The U.S. designated it a National Scenic Byway and in November of 2005...
  • Travelers forced to siphon 9-9-08
  • Selling water never a thought 9-2-08
  • Moreno Valley great spot for a vacation 8-26-08
  • Stetson led way for modern cowboy hats 8-19-08
  • XIT was on cutting edge of ranching 8-12-08
  • There were rules in good-old days, too 8-5-08
  • Deadly trail tamed by fort's installation 7-29-08
  • Old West accounts often fabrications 7-24-08
  • Vigilantes were the law in frontier towns 7-14-08
  • Technology replacing old ranching ways 7-10-08
  • Fresh beef top concern for settlers 7-3-08
  • Forts the front line for Texas 6-26-08
  • Early Texas rarely let go of land 6-19-08
  • Early Texas settlers saw many firsts 6-12-08
  • Military posts had top jobs 6-3-08
  • Hanging preceded death of a town 5-29-08
  • Early settlers threw mega-wedding 5-13-08
  • Lots of laughter in Old West 5-8-08
  • Origins of land ownership 5-1-08
  • POW camp stirs memories 4-24-08
  • No journey too far for determined cattlemen 4-17-08
  • Icons grow grayer 4-10-08
  • Wagons vehicles of West 3-27-08
  • Voters hold fiery rally 3-20-08
  • Tick trouble takes 30 years to terminate 3-13-08
  • Locusts plague settlers 3-6-08
  • Crude work: Oil methods fascinating 2-28-08
  • Horse-to-tractor switch laborious 2-21-08
  • Brush up on the classic products 2-14-08
  • Dust Bowl was deadly 2-7-08
  • Indian scouts helped end the Indian wars 1-31-08
  • Horse had to run its course
    Region the birthplace of shopping cart, 'Old Yeller'
    1-22-08
  • Captain William Coe lived criminal highlife 1-16-08
  • Orphans find homes in West 1-8-08
  • Standardized wheel widths kept you in a rut 12-26-07
  • Pop.: 150, minimum 12-18-07
  • It's a wonder the Panhandle was ever settled 12-11-07
  • Patience a valuable lesson 12-3-07
  • Military editions are book rarities 11-27-07
  • Train travelers owe much to service pioneer 11-20-07
  • Old West fires often impossible to tame 11-13-07
  • Tobacco is as American as apple pie and baseball 11-6-07
  • Survival rough as the land in Cimarron Country 10-30-07
  • Old-time improvisation in branding and jailing 10-23-07
  • Early ranchers formed well-organized groups 10-16-07
  • Bull Durham tobacco the 'cheapest luxury' 10-10-07
  • New Deal art provided hope 10-2-07
  • Museum honors horse's gallantry 9-25-07
  • Surveying, mother of invention 9-18-07
  • 'Spares' needed pairs 9-11-07
  • Myths of the South Plains 9-5-07
  • Stables were cultural hub 8-28-07
  • How legends are made 8-21-07
  • Lamp chores evolved 8-14-07
  • Conditioning a saddle into tiptop quality 8-7-07
  • Water supply not to be taken for granted 8-1-07
  • Annual pear event preserves the past 7-10-07
  • Buffalo slaughter had benefits 7-3-07
  • Can you please pass the salt? 6-26-07
  • Home canning was a high-pressure job 6-19-07
  • Country cures tame pesky farm critters 6-12-07
  • Measuring systems of the past 5-29-07
  • Fascinated by food facts 5-22-07
  • Higgins was stage station 5-14-07
  • Trail drivers brought in income, coined phrases 5-6-07
  • Hungry cowboys foil pickle plan 5-2-07
  • History? It's in the mail 3-30-07
  • Autograph book reveals mother's girlhood 2-1-07
  • My, how record keeping has changed 1-1-07
  • Work continued despite weather conditions 12-15-06
  • Old gardeners avoided 'feast or famine' route 12-1-06
  • Wildfires top long list of life's hazards 11-14-06
  • Great Depression brought many programs 11-1-06
  • Rationing reminds of sacrifices for war effort 10-16-06
  • Some old-time superstitions prevail 10-3-06
  • Book about old-time expressions evokes story 9-26-06
  • Dirt-moving methods improve through years 9-19-06
  • Chance chats solve history's mysteries 9-13-06
  • Texas weather always unpredictable 9-5-06
  • What a smoker smokes can reveal personality 8-29-06
  • Past can continue to serve the present 8-21-06
  • Rollaway bed was favorite for sleeping, hiding 8-15-06
  • Texas, Oklahoma line ever-shifting until 1930 8-8-06
  • Water - then and now 8-1-06
  • Right lubrication greases squeakiest of wheels 7-25-06
  • Tagging vehicles has colorful history 7-18-06
  • Mineral Wells once a booming health spa 7-10-06
  • Haphazard biscuits now memories 7-4-06
  • Second income not such a new thing after all 6-27-06
  • Saving energy has always been worthwhile 6-20-06
  • Love, appreciation for trees go full circle 6-13-06
  • Deere was a man farmers could really dig 6-7-06
  • 'Greatest Generation' kept America together 5-29-06
  • Evolving farms grew to look like small towns 5-22-06
  • Water defines local historical events 5-17-06
  • WPA aided America's health 5-8-06
  • Being in hot water actually a luxury 5-3-06
  • A look at wash day from early to modern 4-25-06
  • Crocks: The Tupperware of their day 4-17-06
  • A criminal or a saint? You never know 4-11-06
  • Reflecting on traditional meat processing 3-30-06
  • Brick chimneys a favorite memory 3-14-06
  • Ghost towns aplenty in Texas Panhandle 3-11-06
  • Daily chores were priority during childhood 2-27-06
  • Cowboys: Stand-up comedians for the Lord 2-21-06
  • Neighbors quick to help those in need 2-14-06
  • Technology opens many doors 2-7-06
  • Dipping into the history of snuff, tobacco 1-31-06
  • Pederson Creek offered unique privileges 1-24-06
  • Canning remains popular throughout time 1-18-06
  • Childhood medications were simple, gave relief 1-12-06
  • Trewisms: Hard-earned observations reflect life's lessons 12-13-05
  • Phillips 66 Service Station 10-1-05
    The First Phillips 66 Retail Outlet in Texas – 1928
  • Encounters of the outhouse kind make great family reunion tales 9-17-05
  • Lessons Learned Riding School Bus Last a Lifetime 8-26-05
  • Rural 'home office' centered on farmer's almanac 8-7-05
  • Wash day on the farm always fell on Monday 7-22-05
  • Factory-made horse trailer had its share of problems 7-1-05
  • A penny saved is worthless if it's nowhere to be found 6-15-05
  • Memory tickled by itch of childhood ailments 6-1-05
  • Boys will be boys - and also troublemakers 5-14-05
  • Domino, pool parlors were pre-TV entertainment 5-1-05
  • Point of view depends on viewing point 4-11-05
  • Some cuss words aren't really cuss words 4-5-05
  • Language changes a little from generation to generation 3-28-09
    Some believe a different language was spoken in the old days? Maybe so, here are a few examples used by the Trew clan.
  • War surplus was godsend to folks at home 3-14-05
    "Everyone wanted a jeep. This heroic vehicle had appeared in every war movie, newsreel and photo sent home from the war."
  • Quills, nibs, ink bladders were part of daily life 3-1-05
  • All types of things happened when making butter 2-1-05
  • Dogs figure in life's fondest memories 1-16-05
  • Planning for weather is trying proposition 1-1-05
  • Fuel Fires Up Memories 12-15-04
  • 'Waste not, want not' was law at supper 12-1-04
  • Once lowly fare, potatoes enjoy popularity 11-15-04
  • Home remedies would cure or kill you 11-1-04
  • The Hog, the Whole Hog, Nothin' but the Hog 10-20-04
  • The Great Nail Pickup 9-1-04
  • First Car Memories 8-17-04
  • Old Time Objects Long Gone 8-2-04
  • Five gallon buckets were versatile, useful farm equipment 7-7-04
  • Two addendums to vows help marriage to last 5-26-04
  • Coal oil was useful all-purpose home remedy 4-1-04
  • Unique Monument 3-24-04
    The "TRIBUTE TO BARBED WIRE" The Only Monument in the World dedicated to Barbed Wire
  • Got sweet, skim, sour, butter or scalded milk? 3-19-04
  • Using concrete involved search for sand, much hauling 3-19-04
  • Things Worthy of Prayer: Baling wire, duct tape, drywall screws and caulking 3-17-04
  • Quilting was hub of family, social life 3-14-04
  • 'My mama's cornbread' discussion gets hot 3-14-04
  • Biscuits, even the 'whomp' kind, make world a better place 3-14-04
  • Bugs provided hours of entertainment 3-14-04
  • Smoking just seemed to go along with pioneer, cowboy life 3-10-04
  • Mailbox was rural portal to outside world 3-3-04
  • Screen door was faithful fixture 2-26-04
  • Barbed Wire Telephones 2-20-04
  • Harvey Girls and Juke Quarters
    2-6-04
    A fact most significant to the history of the West is that approximately 100,000 girls signed up to work for Fred Harvey from 1901 to about 1944.
  • Linoleum was family's first sign of prosperity 2-6-04
  • Dishevelment is lifelong trait
  • Delbert Trew

    Delbert Trew was born in Ochiltree County in the northern Panhandle of Texas in 1933. His wife Ruth was also born in the Panhandle on a farm near Follett, Texas. This was during the darkest days of the Great Depression and in the heart of the Dustbowl. They are retired and live 65 miles east of Amarillo on a ranch that's been in the family for 54 years.

    Both have suffered personal tragedy. Delbert's first wife and sixteen-year-old daughter were killed in a car wreck in 1970 and Ruth's first husband, a Marine helicopter pilot became one of those still missing in Vietnam. They married, combining their surviving families.

    Living through hard times, good times, tragedy and three major wars gave Delbert boxcar loads of hindsight and experience.

    Delbert retired from a lifetime of farming and ranching along with stints as a carpenter, cow trader and 35 years as a "Saturday night professional musician." He turned to freelance writing because he was "literally full of it."

    Writing for newspapers, magazines, doing public speaking and now publishing books, his writing hobby has turned into a full-time job. He doesn't complain, since it's still better than digging post holes in the hard Panhandle soil.

    He states to all, "I write from a been-there, done-that and seen-it-all philosophy. Whether I write or speak, and whether the subject is nostalgic, historical or humorous, I guarantee 'It's All Trew' from start to finish."

    As a disclaimer he sometimes says, "I never let the truth stand in the way of a good story" and other times he says, "If you've already heard this story, don't stop me, 'cause I want to hear it again, myself."

    Delbert is also a museum curator and supervisor at the Devil's Rope Barbwire Museum in McLean, Texas. Those traveling old Route 66 would be hard pressed to find a more qualified Panhandle ambassador.

    His time spent as an editor/publisher, plus being "a mite windy" assures that time spent with his writing or listening to his programs will be both enjoyable and fun.

    His column "It's All Trew" appears weekly in the Amarillo Globe News. Mr. Trew has graciously agreed to share his column with our readers providing them a closer look at the Texas Panhandle - past and present.


    February 5, 2004

    For books, see Delbert Trew's website: http://delberttrew.com/
    Books by Delbert Trew
    Delbert Trew - Book Order Form
  • "It's All Trew" 80 weekly news articles as published in the Amarillo Globe-News
  • Here and Gone: A Gray County Centennial Edition
  • The RO Brand: The Story of Alfred Rowe, founder of McLean, Texas and the RO Ranch.
  • The McLean P.O.W. Camp: A WWII installation built at McLean, Texas
  • Warwire: The History of Obstacle Wire Used in Warfare

    With Bill Russell:
  • Twice Told Tales of the Llano Estacado (Illustrated by Al Martin Napoletano)
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