BANG! BANG! BANG! …HE SHOT HIM DEAD – By James Johnston

On August 4, 1949, celebrating the wild west got a little too real in the Big Spring rodeo arena that was once just off 11th Place immediately west of today’s Howard College campus. Most of the 2,500 fans missed the drama of the night at the roughshod wooden bleacher arena, but the script of the night would be one of the most unnerving dramas in the Big Spring Rodeo’s history. In 1947, bad blood had started between bad-ass 38-year-old Henry Preston (Buck) Jones and 32-year-old Herbert Frizzell when Jake Monroe had dragged Frizzell into a conversation over Jones’ timing calls … Continue reading BANG! BANG! BANG! …HE SHOT HIM DEAD – By James Johnston

Learning To Do Things in Moderation

There are few things that I ever attempt doing that I do it in moderation. Several years ago a guy was passing through with an old bookcase in the back of his van. He camped out for a while at Cec’s Fishing Camp at Smithwick. The story was that he was short on funds and needed to sell this family heirloom so he could travel farther west. It was full of old books. Mostly classics. Like nice sets of the classics. I found a note inside that told that it was a wedding present to a couple, supposedly the sellers … Continue reading Learning To Do Things in Moderation

A Trip To See The Doctor

A few years ago, my wife and I were getting ready to leave for a trip of a lifetime. A trip that I was really excited about. We were flying up to Calgary Canada and getting on a train to spend the next few days traveling west to Vancouver. Train moved along during the daytime, stopping at night, allowing us to sleep in nice hotel rooms. Once we got to Vancouver, we spent a day or so there then boarded a cruise ship for a trip up to Alaska, to see the amazing sights and then back again, where we … Continue reading A Trip To See The Doctor

A First For Me (this happened back in 2017) And many times since.

The other day received a phone call from the 210 area code. A number I didn’t recognize, but I took the call anyway. The girl introduced herself as Gracie (didn’t catch the last name) with Healthcare Services. We exchanged pleasantries. “How is your day going?” “Fine and how is yours”? Then she launches into how she would like to help me save some money on my health insurance. Of course she was talking so fast, never taking a breath that I couldn’t explain to her that I have everything taken care of – As we just renewed our policy last … Continue reading A First For Me (this happened back in 2017) And many times since.

Ain’t No Need To Talk Down To Me !

Back around 45 years ago I had a project in Austin and was waiting for John Harlan and his boys to finish another road bore (that’s the process of drilling a hole underneath a highway to installed a pipe so you don’t impede traffic) then come to mine. I was driving down Ben White Blvd and looked over and spotted John standing there beside the highway so I turned around and went back to check with him about when he’d be to my job. It was a very customary to do. Everyone wasn’t walking around with a cell phone in … Continue reading Ain’t No Need To Talk Down To Me !

Austin In The Early 1950s

This is 55 minute film clip showing how Austin was in the 1950s and highlighting many of the businesses and places of interest. While 55 minutes may be a long time to sit and watch the whole thing, I’ve found several of the portions that were of most interest to me personally. I will list them below with the approximate time each starts on the film. Twin Oaks Shopping Center – 7:00 min Bergstrom Air Force Base – 18:40 min Bar-K Guest Ranch @ Lago Vista 20:00 min Barton Springs Pool – 24:00 min The Building of the Industrial Area … Continue reading Austin In The Early 1950s

Cecil Lewis Let A Blast Get Away From Him

Back in 1967 there was an old service station in Burnet at US 281 and League St. The owner decided to replace the old gas tanks with new larger ones. After they had removed the old tanks it was discovered that some rock would need to be blasted so the hole would become large enough for the new tanks. Cec (the name that Kenny and I called him by – short for Cecil) was contacted about coming up to Burnet to drill & shoot the the rock. (Shoot the rock means to dynamite it) He headed out to do that … Continue reading Cecil Lewis Let A Blast Get Away From Him