Machinery By The Pound

Back when I was a kid, the old times would often reference how much various machines cost by weight. They would say things like “that excavator weighs about 40,000 pounds and costs $40,000” or “that bulldozer weighs 60,000 pounds and costs $60,000 “. This was a way of quickly estimating the cost of equipment based on its weight. This may not seem like a very sophisticated was to do things, but considering there weren’t computers in those days and many of the men in the business had limited education, a lot of simply ways were developed to relate to various … Continue reading Machinery By The Pound

Finding The Stash Of Stolen Beer

Back in the early 1960s, Kenny and I were doing what we usually did just about every day. We rode horses. That was our job, our vocation. We weren’t pleasure riders. We broke and rode horses to make our spending money. We had a contact to ride Shetlands for a fellow. I’ve written much more about that, so I’ll just place that down at the bottom of this story. We rode up an old cedar chopper road that was down below our house a little ways. The road was overgrown with small cedars and a tight squeeze to get up … Continue reading Finding The Stash Of Stolen Beer

The Odyssey

I have a friend, I’ll call him Jack. We had been doing the same type of construction for many years. He had worked for a couple of my competitors, but each were friendly competitors, so we have been in various joint venture arraignments throughout the years. Somewhere along the way, due to a divorce or perhaps it was the cause of the divorce, Jack developed a serious cocaine habit. He came to me in the need of employment. His habit had caused him to be let go from his last job. Not realizing that cocaine addiction couldn’t be cured with … Continue reading The Odyssey

The Scary Thing About Artificial Intelligence

My son Ron Jr. did an experiment with an AI app. Below are 3 examples of asking it to write a poem in the style of various writers in history about a minnow. Each response was completed within 10-15 seconds. Then I asked about the Astros and this years World Series. I am amazed by all this, however I’m not sure whether I actually embrace it or not. Will it not stifle the creativity of generations to come? Why would anyone waste their time composing and writing anything, when a few clicks on a keyboard will get you far superior … Continue reading The Scary Thing About Artificial Intelligence

The Unfortunate Incident With The Motorola Radio’s

Things are so different today than when I first got into the business some 50+ years ago. When people were out on a jobsite and you needed to tell them something, you drove out and delivered a message in person. Austin was a much smaller then, but a message could be delayed several hours at times. I think we had better planning skills then or our expectations for getting much done was a lot less. Somewhere along the way voice pagers came into vogue. But when you were out on a job with machinery running, if you heard the thing … Continue reading The Unfortunate Incident With The Motorola Radio’s

Planting Bluebonnets

One of the last activities I remember doing with Grannie Ruby, my Dad’s birth mother, was walking down our driveway where the soil had been loosened by the blade of a motor grader when I’d graded the road. We gave her a sack of wildflower seeds, heavy on bluebonnets, that she carefully sowed. Madeline and several of the boys were there that day as we walked along with her down the long driveway. We turned around at the highway and caught the other side as we returned to the house. She looked so at home doing that type of thing. … Continue reading Planting Bluebonnets

I Had A Dream Last Night

It was a haunting dream. I was at a friends funeral. It wasn’t at a church or at a cemetery. Instead it was at a park in Marble Falls. That park was actually the old rodeo grounds in town. A lot of people showed up. It became a grand event. As things got underway, something strange started to happen. It went from a single to a double casket affair. Everyone was saying such nice things about these fellows, whom had be friends for just about their whole lives. It got around to people getting up and telling stories about these … Continue reading I Had A Dream Last Night

This Is The Spicewood Home Demonstration Club Cookbook circa Early 1960s

While there are many delicious recipes in this book, I am concentrating on the advertising that was contained within. There were business from Marble Falls, Burnet, Johnson City, Lampasas and Austin that many of us grew up with. This cookbook was most likely purchased by my Grandmother, Leona Lewis or her sister Mandy Lewis and given to their sister Rose Anderson, who resided down in Bastrop County. Rose’s daughter, Kathy Anderson Strittmatter sent it to me, knowing how much that I and many on The Angora Chronicles enjoy looking back on our past. Thank you very much Kathy. Continue reading This Is The Spicewood Home Demonstration Club Cookbook circa Early 1960s

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 Southwest Graphite MinesBurnet County, Texas

Southwest Graphite Mines operated out near Lake Buchanan, on the north side. The aerial views show it’s proximity to the dam. It ceased operations a few years ago. I have read that all graphite production now comes from other countries with no active mines left in the United States. I remember in times past seeing workers from the Graphite Mine around Burnet, covered in black. You could “only see the whites of their eyes”. There was a packaging or warehouse facility in town, Burnet, along the highway near where the Dollar General and Whataburger is now. I think there was … Continue reading The Southwest Graphite MinesBurnet County, Texas