Young Man Who Went West 12-30-11
My father, Roy Cowser,
spent two consecutive harvest seasons in the cotton fields of West Texas just
after he turned twenty... The
Surprising Effects of Henna 12-10-11
Since I have
been bald for more than forty-five years, it is surprising that anyone would remember
that I once had hair.
An East Texas Psychic 9-20-11
I ever heard or read the word psychic, I heard of a man with psychic powers. He
lived on a farm near Mt. Vernon during the years of the Great Depression. The
Power We Longed For 8-23-11
In the years just before
and during World War II two unpaved roads led south from Saltillo. Those of us
who lived on the road that started from the east side of town used kerosene lamps
and wood-burning heaters and cook stoves. Those who lived on the road that ran
from the west side had the benefit of power supplied by an Rural Electric Administration
co-operative in Greenville...
Cotton Production As It Once Was
Reflecting today on the sight of the cotton plants, I am reminded
that one hundred years ago my father boarded a Cotton Belt train at Saltillo on
his way to the cotton fields of West Texas...
Our Time With Zophar 7-12-11
An elderly man with
stooped shoulders and a craggy face comes to my mind almost every time I drive
past the little park near the post office in Martin, Tennessee. A
Cameo From Inside 6-24-11
Recently for one year I
taught first-year composition classes in a college program in a state prison one
hour from my home in Tennessee...Defending
Popular Music of the 1940s 5-17-11
As a child on
a farm near Saltillo in the 1940s, I depended on radio as the only contact with
the world beyond our community. We had no telephone. The only newspaper we received
was a local weekly.Daddy's
Potato Patch 4-18-11
I grew up on a farm during the
1940s. The farm was located south of Saltillo in the region of loamy soil just
south of the crescent of prairie land that extends over the eastern part of Texas.
Caudles: A Family of Entertainers 3-29-11
of chipped Kewpie dolls and other chalk figures comes to me when I recall the
Arthurs’ farm house...
First and Only Football Team 2-21-11
In its seventy-five
years as an accredited high school, Saltillo fielded a football team only one
year. The year was 1945, the year I enrolled there as a ninth-grader. The Japanese
had just surrendered unconditionally a week or so before our term began.
Childhood Explorations: Wordsworth's and Mine 1-6-11
After I asked the students in a literature survey class I was teaching to
write a comparison of a few of their childhood experiences that compare or contrast
with Wordsworth’s experiences as described in Book First of The Prelude, I began
to reflect on a few of my own contacts with the natural world. Selling
the Calves> 11-22-10
In the late 1940s cattle auctions
were common in the towns of Northeast Texas. Each town picked a different day
of the week so as not to compete with nearby towns.
Unsolved Mystery from The World War II Years 7-16- 10
While walking across our
pasture near Saltillo one rainy afternoon in 1944, my father noticed a steel bar
standing askew in the damp soil...Sunday
Jaunts with the Family 6-18-10
Most of the roads
were narrow dirt roads. Sometimes overhanging branches would scrape the top of
our car, or a small boulder in the road might damage the car’s oil pan. Some of
the wooden bridges were in disprepair and probably should have been condemned.
War II Musings 5-7-10
almost all of the young men in the United States were in uniform. Most of these
men were in hastily expanded training camps, three of which were located near
Saltillo, the town nearest our farm...
Day: Drudgery Through the Centuries 4-1-10
I read Letitia Barbauld’s poem “Wash-Day,” written in the eighteenth century,
I was struck by certain similarities between the plight of the laundresses in
the poem and my mother’s struggle to provide clean laundry for our family of five...
When I began the seventh grade at
Saltillo, Paul Dodson, our teacher, told us that the State Department of Education
would present a certificate to those students who read and reported on thirty
books during the school year... Red
McCoy was one-half Choctaw, she was once given a leading role in a school play
at Saltillo. That happened in 1940, the year I was in the fourth grade and Betty
was in third. Except for a few Native Americans, all of us were Caucasians. Black
students attended separate schools in Hopkins County...
Be Comin' By Greyhound 1-16-10
Probably all of us
recall foolish acts that we regret moments or even years after the incident. When
my younger brother, our cousin John, and I were teenagers, we once privately ridiculed
the behavior of some of our relatives at a family reunion.
Hollywood Came to Wharton 12-13-09
do not regret sending the photographs my brother R. L. took of Lee Remick and
Steve McQueen to the college library in Wharton...
on Jefferson, a Historic Town 10-5-09
first heard my father mention the town of Jefferson when I was quite young. Jefferson
is located approximately forty miles southeast of the farm in Hopkins County where
I grew up...A
Clerk's Tale of Murder 8-29-09
later when I reflected on the experience I realized a person’s life might end
anywhere at any time.
Listening to the Tumbleweeds 8-1-09My purpose in contacting
Willard was to get permission to hear his string band, the Tumbleweeds, perform
at the nursing home. Once a month the band plays bluegrass and gospel music for
the residents of the home. Willard is the lead guitarist; he is accompanied by
two men on amplified guitars and another on an acoustic guitar. Each of these
three musicians is in his late sixties. Segregation
in Two Texas Towns 5-28-09
than twenty-five years ago Bill Moyers won an Emmy for a PBS documentary featuring
the “two worlds” of Marshall, Texas, his home town. The film focuses on life in
Marshall during the Great Depression and World War II, the time of Moyers’ boyhood.
As a youngster, Moyers was hardly aware of the black community in Marshall, though
it made up approximately 50% of the population...
Claims of the Wilderness 5-9-09
"As I stood
on the site, I realized that the land that day may have looked much the same when
the Caddo Indians built their village..."Memorial
Day Services at Old Saltillo Church 2-10-08Remembering
Claire Perry 1-15-08A
Few Degrees of Separation from John F. Kennedy's Death
Forty-four years after John Kennedy’s assassination
is a time for those of us old enough to remember hearing first-hand a report of
that event to reflect on its impact on almost every citizen... Competing
with Elvis in the Classroom 11-15-07
Presley and a band called the Blue Notes performed on the stage of the Humble
Oil Company’s recreation building in Hawkins one evening in January, 1955...Entertaining
the Rotary Club in Mount Vernon
When I was younger, I could never
quite understand how anyone could be devoted to the town where I was born...Plumbing
the Past 8-3-07The
Sounds of Home 6-30-07
one of his essays Scott Russell Sanders writes that in centuries past Japanese
villagers were cautioned never to wander so far from their homes that they could
not hear the village drummer... An
Influential Visit 5-28-07
"As a junior, I found
myself on the teacher-certification track, preparing to observe classes at the
only high school in Commerce."
Gram and Daffodils
of Talco During the Oil Boom 8-18-06