In 1931 he
did a series of shows in Texas raising money for victims of the
recent drought. He traveled at his own expense. He was in Austin
on Monday night; then flew into San
Antonio on Tuesday, touching down at 5pm. The Alamo City like
most of Texas was bone dry, but that evening there was thunder and
lightning to the west. Just before midnight, it began to rain.
"I brought the rain with me, but the republicans will probably
take credit for it." - Will Rogers on the weather
Rogers traveled across Texas with a group that included former big
league baseball player and manager Tris Speaker from Hubbard and
Jimmie Rodgers from Kerrville.
Jimmie Rodgers was a world
famous singer and songwriter. Will Rogers called Jimmie
Rodgers "that distant cousin of mine," although everyone knew
they were not related.
On Wednesday morning the rain fell so hard that Jimmie
Rodgers had to borrow his wife's Packard to get himself, Will
Rogers, and the rest of the entourage to their next gig in San
"Never miss a good chance to shut up." - Will Rogers on marriage
The Packard left San
Antonio at noon, drove through Boerne
and arrived in Kerrville
at 2:30. It pulled up next to the curb at Schreiner's Store on Water
Street. Will Rogers chatted out the window and shook hands with
a crowd of people standing in the rain. The Rogers' group then stopped
at "Blue Yodeler's Paradise,"
Jimmie Rodgers home at 617 Main Street, for lunch. After that it
was on to San
Angelo. They made it just in time for the 8 o'clock show.
That night Rogers poked fun at politicians and joked about himself.
He reminded the crowd that he never graduated from high school,
but he was rich in life experiences.
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The
few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the
electric fence for themselves." - Will Rogers on education
Until his death in a plane crash on August 15, 1935, Will Rogers
was the most beloved personality in America. There was talk of nominating
him for president, but he never seriously considered it.
"I'm not a candidate for any office," he told the audience in San
Angelo. "Washington doesn't need another comedian." - Will Rogers
© Michael Barr
18 , 2015 Column
San Antonio Light, January 27, 1931, p 2A.
Kerrville Daily Times, January 29, 1931, "Will Rogers in Kerrville
On His Way To San Angelo," p1.
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