Boerne: Settlement on the Cibolo. By Jefferson Morgenthaler. Boerne: Mockingbird Books, 2005. paperback, photos, maps, bibliography, photo credit list, index, 125 pages. ISBN 1-932-80108-1 $14.95 http://www.mockingbirdbooks.com
Jefferson Morgenthaler , a former attorney and now independent historian (degrees from UT- Austin) and publisher, and his family moved to a farm on the outskirts of this
One of the earliest matter of record for the area is the squabble, over land on Cibolo Creek about 30 miles northwest of
Morgenthaler's research results in a book that is detailed in its following farmers along their property lines, artisans along the trails, the milkman Fabra on his delivery route, families to an occasional religious event, cattle along the streams, and merchants to and from San Antonio, but it is casual in the way a fellow would talk with neighbors.
After settlement the community found its first big challenge during the Civil War that was roundly opposed by the non-slave-holding freethinkers. The tight-knit nature of the folks is revealed as Morgenthaler says, "The Boerne Gesangverein became more than a singing club; it became a gene pool." And today, although anybody and swim in the public pool, the life-guard can likely to have German ancestors.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Gregg Cantrell, author of a new biography of Stephen F. Austin (first substantive volume since Barker's tome in the 1920's) is interviewed at
It begins: "
ADP: This is the first major work covering the life of Stephen F. Austin since Eugene C. Barker published The Austin Papers and The Life of Stephen F. Austin in 1928. What inspired you to write a new biography of Austin?
Cantrell: Back in the early 1990s, I served on a committee at Sam Houston State University that was charged with planning the big celebration of Sam Houston's 200th birthday. While serving on that committee, we learned that there were no fewer than four new biographies of Houston being written. As a teacher of Texas history, I knew that Houston and Austin were both born the same year--1793--and I wondered what was being done on Austin. The answer, as it turned out, was nothing! I was hooked."
Read more about it.
Or see his TCU homepage at http://personal.tcu.edu/~gcantrell/
Okay. Here's what you wanted. You sit down and have a personal one-on-one with 14 successful, living, contemporary authors (and the editor as well) about their lives, childhoods, inspirations, literary influences (both native and ultrariverine), disappointments, and goals.
W.C. Jamison, a native West Texan has done it for you and I'm right glad for it.
First, let's list the authors in alphabetical order, like the chapters:
Judy Alter, Robert Flynn, Don Graham, Rolando Hinojosa, Paulette Jiles, Elmer Kelton (now passed), Larry L. King, James Ward Lee, James Reasoner, Clay Reynolds, Joyce Gibson Roach, Red Steagall, Carlton Stowers, and Frances Vick.
Whether they read Tarzan, the Texas old rocks, Shakespeare, or Vanity Fair; fought wars, avoided housework, drudged through writing classes, collected rejection slips, or scratched farmland; plied their trade in periodicals, books, theatrical joints or classrooms, Texas became home and a place of literary reference.
Judy Alter used the
If a youngster wished to teach a sorta course in modern
Tejano. A Novel by Allen Wier.
Allen Wier, a
So his novel Tejano is been quite admired for this authenticity and its successfully sustained story line over its 736 pages. A reader can gain some measure of the plot by scanning the table of contents that is also annotated with significant events from each of the 43 chapters. The story is written as if by a series of witnesses and the dramatis personae list of "Witnesses" precedes the prologue. The witnesses append to the life and journey of Gideon Jones, a picaresque figure, and the stories those met by Jones, with considerable other focus from Knobby Cotton, now a freedman.
Jones is an itinerate mortician from which circumstances his stories often arise, and his "journal" stands as the basis of his tales. Ultimately, the stories from
There are vivid details, human portraits, and intriguing narratives. For local application, if you enjoyed McMurtry's Lonesome Dove or the Cormac McCarthy novel trilogy, Tejano is a novel for you. And certainly it's required for any substantial
Calvin Littlejohn: Portrait of a Community in Black and White. By Bob Ray Sanders and foreword by Don Carleton. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press and the UT Briscoe Center for American History, 2009. Long, cloth covered hardback with excellent portrait of Littlejohn on the cover, many toned b&w photos, and at the end a list of the photos with lightly expanded annotations of the photos. ISBN 978-0-87565-381 $29.95 http://www.prs.tcu.edu
Bob Sanders is long-time fixture at the on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper. He provides the extensive narrative detailing Littlejohn's life and the photos, now housed at the Briscoe Center in Austin.
During World War II and broadcasts of Amos and Andy, Calvin Littlejohn came from Arkansas to Fort Worth as a young man to serve as a domestic. Quickly rising, he went on to become the premier photographer of the African Fort Worth community and occasionally beyond.
Schools and students, businesses, community & social events, church buildings and folks, sports & entertainment, and world leaders fill the several chapters.
The adjectives that come to mind are: lively, dignified, industrious, poignant, sorrowful, insightful, and just plain heart-warming. The man had an eye - and a camera. Delightful.
Several photos are particularly striking:the "Introductory" page's image of Littlejohn in his own early lab; the 1991 self-portrait (page 13), two fellows resting on wooden crates (no doubt talking about the flooded homes in the background (page 82); third, the wonderful group of kids with their hula-hoops (page 87), and the bride in her gown on page 112.
Corpus Christi. by Scott Williams. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009. Paperback, many b&w photographs, 6"x9", 128 pages (thicker paper than Arcadia's usual production), ISBN: 9780738558530 $21.99
Scott Williams, UT journalism graduate and long-time writer on Texas and Corpus Christi, has joined with the Corpus Christi Public Library and produced this bustling item in Arcadia's "Images of America Series" of photographic books just chock-full of photos. And folks of the "Sparkling City by the Sea" will enjoy to extra boon of a packet of picture postcards attached to the book. This locale's European heritage stretches back to the bay's discovery by Pineda in 1519 as his expedition sketched the first shoreline map of Texas and the 1734 Spanish Fort Lipantitlan. The later push came with Henry Kinney who started a trading post there in the 1830's, and his Kinney Ranch following the Spanish tradition.
The photos progress from the "Prelude to Paradise, 1839-1899," to "Rising from the Dust, 1900-1925," "Ushering in Prosperity, 1926-1937," "The Military Comes Marching In, 1938-1961," and finally "Modern Era Growth, 1962-2000."
Although its early period of being a sleepy little coastal community is aptly described (even its involvement in the Civil War is largely limited to the 1862 Battle of Corpus Christi Bay), cattle ranches, coastal trade, bridges, railroads, commercial and sport fishing, tourism, and of course, Army & Naval installations and the awl bidness offered steady incentives to growth while hurricanes weeded out the faint hearted. Now the "Body of Christ" city is one of the few large Texas cities that retains a genuine, original personality. I've always enjoyed the Texas Library Association and Texas State Historical Association conventions there.
My favorite photo from the first chapter is an 1876 crew of surveyors with their equipment and attending youngsters in training, all be-hatted but not a Stetson in the gang.
Likely the post prominent house of its turn-of-the-century time was the residence of Henrietta King (yes, King ranch folks), and the photo below that of the 1910 Sinton Ladies Club in their best, again all be-hatted but not a Stetson in the flock, demonstrates the attraction to nearby places. A photo proves snow fell in 1924 and another shows the KKK rose in 1925.
The rise of Tejano influence is signaled by photos of Hector Garcia and Gabe Lozano, Sr. And James B. McCulllough, their first African American postmaster, is featured.
Oh! And don't forget the postcard packet.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
José Cisneros, Immigrant Artist. Edited by Adair Margo and Leanne Hedrick.
José Cisneros has long been an admired actor and fixture in
In the 1930's he and Tom Lea begin their friendship. By 1938 he shared with Carl Hertzog the project of Everett DeGolyer's Across Aboriginal America, and subsequently begins long-term
For a fellow who was inspired to artistry via books borrowed from a friend and taught himself to draw by using a stick in the dirt, Cisneros drew a bold line in international art, and likely still sees those lines even though he's 99 and color-blind.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Well, pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee because when you get your copy, you'll be looking and clicking for a spell. This 4th edition of Antique Maps of Texas has over 300 maps. Yessireebob.
CONTENTS: And its arranged into "Great Maps of Texas" 1777-1931, Special Maps (cattle, exploration, military and forts, county, geologic, minerals) US historic 1803-1907, and 9 sections of grouped USGS selected topographic maps. Accompanying each map, Charlton has written a 200-word text on the map, the topic, and / or the cartographer.
NAVIGATION; You can flip through the pages as you would a paper book; you can zoom in for a closer look; you can pan by grab and drag; you can bookmark, you can click the 17 tabs set on the right-hand edge, you can use the find button to search the maps' supplementary text Charlton provided. And, hey, look, there's a date and place index in the back. And for those accustomed to passive viewing, you can set the presentation on an auto-flip and watch the page spreads at a variable time span. If you prefer to opt out of the "page" presentation, a side-show option can be invoked. To top it off, Charlton has added period graphics between the sections.
Sure enough, the 1902 (the year before my father was born) Century Atlas railroad map shows my father's hometown of Harleton, my mother's hometown of Jefferson, and my hometown of
Charlton's near decade long project is admirable. And while you can certainly use and benefit from this electronic map collection, Charlton also offers you the opportunity to have him supply printed versions. There're fairly good prices.
This is a worthy acquisition for citizens, libraries, and social studies teachers.
Nafta and the Maquiladora Program: Rules, Routines, and Institutional Legitimacy. Edited by Van V. Miller. El Paso: Texas Western Press / University of Texas at El Paso, 2007. Many graphs and charts, pbk, ISBN 0874043042, 182 pages.$33.00
If you know about such things, this volume would be a sort of "how to do a maquiladora." Miller has collected 17 essays, most of which your humble reviewer doesn't comprehend - but business folks would. They treat history, taxation, up-grading beyond the assembly level to the manufacturing and industrial levels, foreign investment, effects on border communities, unions, relationship with the Mexican government, etc. The phrase "institutional legitimacy" was used and discussed often, but I didn't quite really understand it.
I found the historical treatment more palatable. Did you know that the U.S. has been encouraging over-seas assembly-work of US supplied parts since 1930 via the Tariff Act of that year? (Which was about the same time as the Mexican government's seizure of its foreign owned oil fields.) In the meantime, the US officially acknowledged its reliance on Mexican labor with the Bracero program which ended in 1964. The Mexican government took serious interest in maquiladoras in the 1960's and got subsequently ramped up after the peso devaluations in 1976, 1982, and 1994. After the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, the maquiladoras' role, which were originally limited to assembly of products using USA-manufactured parts, has been expanded to permit maquiladora systems to also manufacturing parts and the industrial efforts behind such. Gee, such a deal! A newer book would be interesting to consider how the present financial and employment crisis affects the maquiladoras.
|There must be a minor home industry in trivia books, for instance,|
Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges into Texas. Foreword by William Dylan Powell.
What were Sam Houston's secrets? Do real cowboys drink wine? Was Jeff Skilling a pediatric nurse on a killing spree? Name three
Bathroom Book of
African Americans in
How delightful. The pictorial volume begins with Bones Hooks, the legendary African Texan cowboy. Authors Stuart and Stuntz both teach at West Texas A&M in Canyon.
And the story of this Panhandle city during the 20th century goes onward. The 200+ photos document folks going about their lives in church life, sports, businesses, music, communications specialists, policemen, politics, trains, jewelry stores, Girl Scouting, social life, and more. Leaders, families, churches, schools, and fraternal orders, and social events have their special chapters.
The photos from church and individual collections are enriched with annotations.
Hmm, as for my favorites, there's Professor Silas Patten in his early model (maybe the 1920's) car that he used to help tend the schools under his tutelage. And there's Eddie Lee Jones beside one of the several trucks in his trucking business. I imagine Eddie and Bones could have enjoyed a bowl of chili together.
If you do not yet know somebody from