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"Tall Town Tales
by a Country Editor"

by R. E. Bailey

Reviewed by John Troesser

Since a newspaper is the heartbeat of a town, we are including a review of a book by the Founder and Editor of The Luling Newsboy and Signal:

"Tall Town Tales
by a Country Editor"


Although our brief and unplanned visit to Luling occurred five minutes after the Chamber was supposed to have closed, we were treated like the day's first visitors. All questions were answered in a "that's-who-we-are" manner by Trey Bailey, Director of the Luling Economic Development Corp. Our inquiry about the Luling newspaper's name brought not only the answer, but the additional fact that Mr. Bailey's Grandfather had started the paper.

We bought the current issue and paid .50. We then asked for last week's issue and were told that that would be 35 cents. We got the feeling that if we didn't like the news, we might get a refund. We then asked a passer-by the library's location, and they knew! Always a good sign.

In the library, we found "Tall Town Tales by a Country Editor", written by R. E. Bailey. After spending a half-hour reading Grandfather Bailey, it reinforced what we had heard about apples not falling far from the tree.

In this volume that deserves reprinting, we learn about the ordinary and extraordinary events of Luling in the 1940s and earlier. There's the story of the possum that broke into a taxidermy shop and was made a permanent exhibit. Another was the farmer who brought a wagon load of melons to market only to be turned away because they weren't "shippers" (melons good enough to leave Luling). Determined to sell them for whatever price he could get, he set up alongside the RR Tracks. His luck changed when an unscheduled train appeared carrying troops just back from Europe, recently paid and famished for the taste of watermelon. He sold out in five minutes with most soldiers telling him to keep the change from a dollar.

Editor Bailey also addressed the problems of using the Editorial "We" when he wrote about his cat Stinky and how stepping on the cat caused a fall. "One of our right ribs was cracked, and it popped like a Chinese firecracker shot out of season".


John Troesser

See Luling, Texas
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