TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Work continued
despite weather conditions

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
Last winter's near-zero temperatures brought to mind the early day winters long before insulated clothing and good car heaters were invented. Instead of our sunny weather, we suffered from blizzards and continuous 'blue northers' raging across the Midwest on a regular schedule.

Heavy rain on unimproved black dirt roads brought announcements from schools that school buses would only run on the pavements. At that time, the nearest pavement to our house was nine miles away. Snow days were snow weeks back then. Rural residents thought nothing of being stranded at home for days at a time because they were prepared for that eventuality

No matter the weather conditions, work on the farm or ranch continued. Livestock had to be tended and chores were done regardless. Everyone wore long-handles, extra socks, and a regular suit of clothing with overalls over the top. Add overshoes, a heavy coat, neck scarf, mittens and a cap with ear flaps and you could barely walk, let alone mount a saddled horse.

I have written before about the late John E. Ekelund, an early day Amarillo pioneer who worked in a clothing store. After each blizzard, cowboys from around the area rode their horses into Amarillo to purchase more warm clothing. Many had frostbitten faces, fingers and toes and sported peeled and bleeding faces after being exposed to the extreme Panhandle cold winds.

I remember a time when I was about 10 to 12 years old when our family made a trip to Amarillo to buy more warm clothing. Our main store was the Army and Navy store on Fillmore Street. We bought Levis, khaki shirts, overalls, socks and underwear, gloves, mittens and overshoes. On this particular trip the store had just received a shipment of Navy pea coats. They were dark Navy blue in color and made of wool. The tails came down to below your hips. The front had big lower pockets and best of all had two slitted pockets above in which to warm your hands. The front buttoned up fully with large buttons with ship's anchors embossed on the surface.

The coat also had a heavy collar that turned up, providing protection from the wind and blowing snow. I know the tall collar saved my life several times by giving added protection. Back at home, after the first wearing, adjustments had to be made. It seems the Navy did not ride horses and the split tails had to be cut higher to fit over the back of the saddle better. Mother attended to this modification quickly.

The Army and Navy Store provided another memorable Trew family event when it introduced cowboy boot overshoes. Up to this time, galoshes or overshoes were made only to fit over brogans or flat-heeled work boots. This wide design made riding horseback while wearing overshoes a hazard. It was an accident waiting to happen because it was easy to hang a foot in the stirrup.

The new, sleek, lightweight, four-buckle, fleece-lined overshoes with a built-in boot heel design felt good, looked good, kept your feet warm and were easy to insert and remove from a saddle stirrup. Dad bought a pair for each of our family, our employees and a neighbor. I have never been without a pair since.


Delbert Trew

"It's All Trew" >
December 15, 2006 Column
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters |
Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: December 15, 2006