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 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

A Head-Plant In The Mud

I was about 17 years old. Lake Travis was really low like it often is. We had a bulldozer and a Cat 12 Motorgrader down along the bottom land, cleaning up and leveling out so when the lake came back up it would………no we knew it wouldn’t stay smooth but Cec had a good idea. Something to keep me busy. My helper was, David Jordan, my one day in the future brother in law. He was a couple of years younger than me. If I remember correctly it had been a fairly uneventful day, that is until I started out … Continue reading A Head-Plant In The Mud

A Loader Laying On It’s Side

In the early days we didn’t have the best equipment to work with. We didn’t expect anything to start without jumper cables or pulling or pushing it to start it. We had an old HD 5 Allis Chalmers Track Loader that we’d been using to clean out a stock tank down on our place. When we stopped for the day, on the before we parked it beside the road so we could reach it with a pair of jumper cables. There was a road cut with the bank about four feet tall that the loader was sitting up on. When … Continue reading A Loader Laying On It’s Side

Throwing A D-7 Dozer Off Of The Trailer

Kenny and I went down to Turkey Bend and loaded a D-7 Cat Dozer and was headed back to Smithwick. The road was not paved back then, which was probably in 1968. The bar-ditch was usually wet from the springs that flowed out of the rock outcroppings. It was fairly clean without cedar brush back then. Kenny was driving too fast and got too close to the ditch as he came into the corner. This caused the truck and trailer to slam into a 4′ high vertical bank on the right side with great force. This resulted in truck and … Continue reading Throwing A D-7 Dozer Off Of The Trailer

The Adventures Of Driving Under-Powered Trucks

The 60s were a different time than now when it comes to the horse power of trucks. Today our trucks operate with 500 to 600 horsepower. Back then the common range was 180 to 250 HP. We still hauled equally heavy loads over the same roads as today. Trucks were used much longer and maintained must less than by today’s standards. It was common for when we were hauling a heavy dozer in hillier areas for me to go ahead in a pickup to assist. When we knew there was a grade too steep coming up, Kenny would pull over, … Continue reading The Adventures Of Driving Under-Powered Trucks

Let me tell you about Delbert and Nancy Boultinghouse, My Mother’s Parents

This is a story I wrote sometime ago about my mother’s parents and what life was like back in the 1915 throughout their lives. Much, if not all of their married life was spent in Smithwick. Nancy was a member of the Martin Family from Burnet. I think Delbert was raised primarily in Smithwick. From this union came 11 children, 3 boys and 8 girls. They lived on what has always been known to me as the Old Boultinghouse Place, which is a couple of miles east of the Smithwick Cemetery. A quarter of a mile east of Balcones Springs … Continue reading Let me tell you about Delbert and Nancy Boultinghouse, My Mother’s Parents

Cec and the Riviera

Kenny (my brother), Cec (my dad) & I headed off one Saturday morning to buy Kenny a new car to go off to college in. Cec was sure that Kenny should have something economical, so a nice 63 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4 door was acquired for him. It was a pretty common looking little car. It looked more like our grandmother should have been driving it. Kenny was less than pleased, but knew that life was going to be tough for him, with his going to school and plans to get married soon. So he went along with it. On the … Continue reading Cec and the Riviera

The Flying Stick

It was my 16th year of life. My brother Kenny was in college up at Tarleton, his second semester and had moved into an apartment, that had formerly been occupied by a cop he was told. The cop had left a night stick behind. Kenny was sure that I would need that club one day, so he brought it home to me. He always looked out for me like that. The wooden stick had been drilled through the core had a steel rod inserted. I kept it stuck between the seat and the console. My means of transportation was a … Continue reading The Flying Stick

Andrew Theron Lewis – Graduate of The Sweeney School of Automotive Repair.

May 29, 1920 I was going through some old files this morning and ran across this diploma of my grandfather. I had seen it before but never had really examined it. But to find this and look at the dates help me to understand how being shortly after the end of WW I and with more and more automobiles coming about, there was a real need for mechanics to keep them running. I don’t know how long he worked in the business of fixing cars, but being a farmer, the skills learned here were put to use throughout his life. … Continue reading Andrew Theron Lewis – Graduate of The Sweeney School of Automotive Repair.