The Battle Of The Smithwick Lewis Family

This story dates back to the late 1950s. I will be telling it from my perspective, which is the side I was born on. FP and Florence Lewis had a bunch of kids. There were two girls and seven boys (couple more died young) and they raised them in Smithwick. Best I know they had several pieces of property but our old home place was originally Stinnett land that they bought from Grandmother Florence’s family or inherited it. It was comprised of 450 acres that stretched from FM 1431 down to the Colorado River. It was approximately 1/2 mile of … Continue reading The Battle Of The Smithwick Lewis Family

Drilling A Water Well

Cec talked LJ Henderson into bringing a track drill, normally used to drill holes for blasting rock, down to Smithwick to drill a water well. That wasn’t the conventional way to drill a water well, but Cecil Lewis and LJ Henderson weren’t your conventional guys either. After going down close to 100′, they hit water. When drilling with a track drill, the operator would stand right next to the hole being drilled,so all of the dust and rock cuttings being blown from the hole come out and cover the driller. Very few jobs could be dirtier. When the drill bit … Continue reading Drilling A Water Well

The Runaway Tractor

We always had a problem with trucks, cars and machinery taking off and rolling away when we parked it at our house. Most of the time it worked out without being a real disaster. We didn’t live on top of a hill exactly, but the ground wasn’t level either. Which was good and bad. Bad if the brakes weren’t set good, but good when the battery was down on a vehicle and you needed to roll it to get it started. Once I started to town, forgot something and came back. Forgetting to set the parking brake and in a … Continue reading The Runaway Tractor

The 58 Ford Pickup Takes A Roll Or Two

It’s funny the ideas that young boys can have! Living about 9 miles out of Marble Falls meant a drive home every night on a very crooked stretch of paved country road. It’s common knowledge that deer feed at night by the moon. So on a moonlit night there were more deer along the roadway. We were convinced that on nights when the moon was really bright that driving home without headlights provided an overall better chance of not hitting a deer. With headlights off you could see the silhouette of the deer along beside and in the road. The … Continue reading The 58 Ford Pickup Takes A Roll Or Two

Mind You, I’m Not Bragging

But I’ll have to say that after going through an old box of papers, I have formed a different opinion of what was normal. These are papers I left behind at Smithwick when I moved on to start the “calmer period in my life”, when I got married, that my mother so carefully archived for me. I look back on my early “growing up years” and think that I was a fairly normal boy. I got into a few things, but nothing much that I was ashamed to admit. The following photograph is a vast array of traffic tickets I … Continue reading Mind You, I’m Not Bragging

@@@My Own Take On Funerals

I don’t want this to sound morbid, but I have attended so many funerals that I’ve almost developed a classifying system for them. There are the personal ones, that you have to attend. Those are family and very close friends. They are mostly sad affairs. Seldom are we ready to lose those people. While they are sad, there can be moments of joy mixed in. There are the ones that are children and there is never a way to put a happy face on that. Those are always sad, heart wrenching affairs. They haven’t got to experience nearly enough of … Continue reading @@@My Own Take On Funerals

The Salt Cedar Switch

I scarcely ever see a salt cedar tree anymore. As a small child there was one growing off the edge of the sleeping porch at my grandparents house. In fact that’s about the only one I ever remember. I saw one a while back down along the river by the lower end of The Santa Elena Canyon at Big Bend. It made me remember why I was so well behaved as a youngun. Just the threat of “Ronnie Gene do I need to go cut a switch off that salt cedar” would get me in line. I’m doubtful that there … Continue reading The Salt Cedar Switch

The Sound of Hoof-Beats

I was the kind of kid that wanted to ride a donkey while everyone else rode horses. Tar Baby was an average donkey to most but he was my pride and joy. We rode in rodeo parades with me dressed as a clown. Kenny, my older bother was quite the horseman. He lived to break and train horses. I was made to help with the horse breaking, but it was something that I could have done without. By the time I was 7 or 8 years old our spending money came from working with Shetland Ponies. We lived on the … Continue reading The Sound of Hoof-Beats

Brown Parker’s Well

Brown Parker and wife Eula moved back to Texas after spending 3 decades or so out in California, to a couple of acres down on our old home place on the hill overlooking the Lake. He went up to Marble Falls and bought a building that needed to be moved. He set it up on stilts the way it had been in town, so it would improve his view. Many of you may remember this building. In the earlier 60s it was a snack bar that Mr. Seals and Mr. Hill had built at the mini-golf place. To have water … Continue reading Brown Parker’s Well

Learning To Water Ski

Kenny and I grew up on the lake and were out on it a lot. We spent a lot of time running up and down Lake Travis in a boat gathering up fish. We weren’t setting out trot lines or dropping hooks in the water either, but that’s a whole other matter we’ll have to get to at another time. I had a little boat that I had bought and had been waiting for Kenny to get in on leave from the Army before I launched it. We put the boat in the water one afternoon at Smithwick. The boat … Continue reading Learning To Water Ski