who likes to hunt dove knows that hitting a small, fast-moving object in the air
is not easy.|
In his 1937 book, “Memories,” J.B. Cranfill told the story
of J. M. Carroll, a man who had the reputation of being the best wing shot in
When a state shooting tournament came
to Lampasas in the early part of
the 20th century, Carroll went to the grounds the day before the scheduled competition
to pop some caps in practice. He shot four boxes of shells, not missing a single
of the 100 clay pigeons he trained his shotgun on.
After Carroll put his
piece away, a stranger approached and asked if they could talk privately. Carroll
“You’re the best shot I ever saw,” the man began as soon
as they had walked out of earshot of anyone. “If you will enter the contest, I
will back you up and make bets on you, furnishing all the money, and we’ll divide
Carroll smiled at the scheme the man laid out.
mighty good of you, my kind friend, but I’m pastor of the Baptist church here
and am afraid that the acceptance of your proposition wouldn’t look very well
for a preacher.”
“Oh, Hell,” the man said, shrugging his shoulders and
of men of the cloth, an East Texas
preacher, known to be quite fond of fried catfish, railed on in his church one
Sunday about the sinfulness of fishing on the Sabbath.
That Monday, one
of his congregants came to him with a nice string of catfish.
I should own up that I got these yesterday,” the fisherman said with some hesitance.
The preacher didn’t say anything for a moment, gazing intently at the hefty stringer.
Then he piously reached for the gift.
“These fish didn’t sin,” he pronounced.
during the Civil War, Wilhelm Nowotny grew up along the Guadalupe
River in Comal County. |
One of his descendants, Vera Jean Patton Nowotny
later recalled in a privately published family history that Wilhelm had an interesting
habit: Each morning he walked to a particular spot on the river, kneeled and splashed
the water with his fingers.
Perch would swim up and nibble on his hands.
Whether he ever used this as a fishing technique went unmentioned. Ironically,
as much as he loved the river, Nowotny eventually moved his family from Sattler
to Blanco, believing the
humidity from the Comal harmed his health.
of a protestant denomination fervently opposed to drinking, despite the teachings
of his religion, really appreciated an occasional bottle of bust-head Mustang
grape wine. |
One day a member of his flock came to the church with an offering
of $1,000 and a gallon of homemade wine. The preacher accepted both, but then
realized he had an ethical problem. He would have to publicly acknowledge the
gifts in the church bulletin, but he did not believe it wise to own up to having
taken the wine.
His solution, an example of the old saying that you don't
have to lie if you tell the truth just right, read as follows:
thank Farmer and Mrs. [blank] for the fine financial contribution they made to
our building fund. The reverend and his wife also enjoyed the Mustang grapes and
the spirit in which they were given."
pupil at a country school wrote long and laboriously on the blackboard and finally
sat down, quite proud of himself. |
Regrettably, the teacher couldn’t make
out what he had written, his handwriting was so bad.
“What in the world
did you write?” she asked.
“Well, damn, can’t you read?”
boozy roughneck in Eastland County pointed to the horizon and asked his equally
drunk buddy if that was the moon rising.
“I don’t know, friend, I’m new around here, too.”
ago, when the capital city was still a small town, a young man bent on a political
career rode his buggy up into the hills west of Austin
and gathered as many cedar choppers as he could find to hear his platform.
He started talking and went on and on. Throughout his campaign speech, the cedar
choppers sat expressionless.
any of you ever heard of George Washington?” he asked.
No one answered.
“Have any of you ever heard of Sam Houston?” the candidate continued.
Again, no one responded.
“Well, have any of you ever heard of God?” he
At that, one tall mountaineer stood and said, “Did his last name
start with a D?”
© Mike Cox
October 9, 2008 column
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