of my favorite pastimes is perusing the past for interesting stories with a twist.
Here are a few examples found. |
During a movie years ago at the Majestic
Theater in an east Texas town, a fire
started in the projection booth due to an overheated electrical circuit. Without
fanfare the ushers and managers emptied the crowd calmly and with order. As the
fire spread the manager went back inside searching for anyone that might be left
As he looked through the thickening smoke of the balcony he spied
a young mother sound asleep in her seat nursing a baby. Probably tired from tending
a newborn, she slept on in spite of his screaming at her to flee.
he dashed across the flaming balcony to her side, snatched the nursing infant
and fled to the opposite side entry. The mother awoke and ran screaming at the
kidnapper of her baby. As she stepped through the entry door the entire balcony
collapsed to the floor below. All escaped safely.
everyone has heard of Judge
Roy Bean and his Law West of the Pecos.
The man was self-appointed as judge, outrageous in behavior and arrogant beyond
belief. He was once confronted with an unidentified corpse found on the prairie
with a pistol and $50 in the pockets.
After due consideration Judge
Bean fined the dead man $50 for wearing a concealed weapon.
Pecos butcher was hauled
court accused by a black washer-woman of failure to pay his laundry bills and
even throwing her out of his butcher shop when she tried to collect her due. Bean
sentenced the man to "deliver in person, four pounds of his freshest beefsteak,
to the woman's home the first day of every month for one year or go to jail."
states there was once a Rev. Andrew Jackson Potter, a gun-toting preacher who
passed God's word on to the heathen with his pistol lying on the podium beside
his Bible. Although of considerable age and suffering from heart problems, he
was known for long prayers in his sermons. One night at a revival in a small church
lighted with coal oil lamps and candles he raised his arms to pray and keeled
over dead. Mysteriously, though all doors and windows were closed, all lights
both coal oil and candles went out at the same second. Quite an impressive exit,
a lighter note, the dangers of loss for cowboys
and their mounts were not limited to range accidents and cow wrecks. A horse could
be lost for many reasons.
I have read two notations, one years ago and
another recently in Ivan Cate's new book, "XIT Ranch, A Texas Legacy," about how
well-trained and well-behaved cow horses were sometimes confiscated by the rich
ranch owners to use on their polo fields. Some ranches like the XIT
often built training facilities for the hobby.
With access to many good
horses, the cowboys all had their favorites. Each learned quickly to be aware
of the visiting bosses when they came out on the range. The employees went to
great lengths to hide or disguise a good working ranch horse from confiscation.
They compared the "loss to the boss" the same as the old-time horse thieves.
27, 2010 Column ©
Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164,
by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears weekly.
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