Cemetery Working Day – 1954 Smithwick Cemetery, Burnet County

Something important to the life and condition of a cemetery is the care it receives. Until a few years ago it was a Smithwick tradition to meet 3 times each year on designated Saturdays to do a thorough cleaning of the whole cemetery. I think it was in February, June & November. Everyone in the community and from places everywhere would show up, spend and few hours tidying up the place, then a big pot luck meal was enjoyed outdoors on the grounds. That tradition has now fallen by the wayside as more funds are available to hire the maintenance … Continue reading Cemetery Working Day – 1954 Smithwick Cemetery, Burnet County

The Gift

Some of my best memories growing up was hauling hay and doing the hard work. Back in August of 2012 when Madeline and I turned 60, our kids along with Kenny and Carol threw us a grand party out at their place on Cow Creek. Jimmy Palmer brought me one of the best gifts I could have received. It was his hay hook that had hung in their barn for all these years. He wanted me to have it to remind me of the time that when he got out to open a gate and he got back in I … Continue reading The Gift

The Cushman Scooter

I once had a Cushman Scooter like the one below, except it was painted gray. it had the little jump seat on the rear, just like this one. Most scooters like that just had a single seat. I can’t remember where it came from, but as I recall it didn’t run when I got it. But I tinkered with it and got it going. Smithwick probably wasn’t the best place to have a motor scooter like this. It didn’t have much ground clearance and would bottom out on a terrace in the field or drag on a rock laying in … Continue reading The Cushman Scooter

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

When I Was Young, Everyone Looked Really Old

Old Man Cardwell When we were young, preteen years for me, we went all over Smithwick horseback. Mostly it was Kenny, Jimmy Palmer, Glenn Lewis and me, but sometimes others in the community joined in. Everett and Maude Jackson had the little store beside the road just below the cemetery, towards the church house. The store had really limited fare. Mostly snacks and soda pops. I don’t remember them having any perishables. Maybe some soda crackers and Vienna sausages and cans of potted meat. Across the highway from the store and down the creek a little ways was a little … Continue reading When I Was Young, Everyone Looked Really Old

A Horse In The Highway

I was driving my first car, a 1963 Ford Galaxy. Prior to buying that car I had driven whatever vehicle was setting around. In those days there were several to choose from. It looked like a used car lot in front of our house. The year was 1967. I was almost 15. After closing down the Texaco, my first job outside of working for my dad, I drove up and down the street until it appeared everyone had headed home, so I started out for the 9 mile trip to Smithwick. The time was early to be going home, I … Continue reading A Horse In The Highway

My First Swimming Lesson

Back in the “old days”, 1956 probably, we were all down at the river. We called it the river, even though it was a lake. That being Lake Travis at Smithwick. I would have been no more than 4 years old. At this time Uncle Owen Lewis had acquired several Lone Star Aluminum Fishing Boats that he rented out. That was a common thing to do in that day. There was a huge pecan tree that grew close to the river bank on Shop Branch in the big U curve just before the creek met the lake. That tree had … Continue reading My First Swimming Lesson

Evolution of a State by Noah Smithwick

I have always heard it said that this is one of the best, if not the best first hand account of the settling of Texas ever put into book form. I grew up with a 1st edition, 1900 copy of this book in our home. It had belonged to my grandfather, A.T. Lewis. I knew it was a book that had to remain in our family. I grew up in Smithwick Texas, with the old Smithwick Mill on the Colorado River being on part of our family property. That being the old homestead of Francis Porter Lewis and Florence Stinnett … Continue reading Evolution of a State by Noah Smithwick

Long Distance Calls

I mentioned once a post once that it was long distance to call from Marble Falls to Burnet. Hard to believe how much phone calls could cost, relative to the times. Even the 13 miles between towns. Times sure have changed. In the early to mid 1960s we would listen to the radio station out of Burnet. For the life of me I can’t remember the call numbers. KHLB sounds right. But that may have been the second naming of it. Big Jimmy Palmer got in a habit of calling up to the radio station for contests they were running … Continue reading Long Distance Calls

The Watch And The Dice Game

Back in the mid 60s our Dad, Cecil, leased our place out for deer hunting. I only remember him doing it for a few years. Several of the guys were connected through marriage. I think they mostly came out of Austin. Richard Ward and Bill Hayden I remember for sure. There were several others, maybe a half dozen in all. One other fellow, Harrison was his name. He was a really large guy as I remember. He had a business out on North Lamar just south of US 183. It was a craft supply place, I think. I remember us … Continue reading The Watch And The Dice Game