89 Chapters
Medium 9781574412383

“There’s Life Beyond the Sonic: Growing Up Cruising”

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF


GROWING UP CRUISING by Charlie McCormick

On Friday and Saturday nights in Snyder, Texas, my high school friends and I cruised the strip—what we called making the drag.

We bought gas with dollar bills and change so that we could drive our chromed trucks and dirt-caked cars around the strip’s milelong, imperfect loop. We turned around at the Sonic Drive-In on one end of the strip and in the Bar-H-Bar Western Wear parking lot on the other. In between, we passed our classmates, potential dates, and occasional fights. We played our music too loud. We drank Pearl Light and Lone Star beer from cans as our cars entered the shadows between the street lamps, hoping that the cops wouldn’t see us and that our friends would. The drag, at least for those few hours after dark, belonged to us. The next morning, it would belong to our parents, our bosses, and our teachers, and we would drive down it again as we ran errands or went to school or work. But not on Friday and Saturday nights. At night we had our own reasons for cruising the strip. And driving around our imperfect loop—twenty, maybe thirty times in a row—we knew that, despite the fact that we were going nowhere, we were on our way.

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Medium 9781574412772


Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF



A commitment to the preservation, analysis, and enjoyment of folk music underlay the 1909 creation of the Texas Folklore Society. As it was in the beginning, so it remains. Over its century-long existence, the Society has been a nurturing home for collectors and interpreters such as John A. Lomax, William A. Owens, Américo

Paredes, and others. Its publications are replete with both scholarly and popular examinations of cowboy songs, train songs, field hollers, border corridos, the blues, and Old World ballads that made their way to Texas. Annual meetings have consistently featured presentations on various aspects of folk music by both academicians and lay aficionados. Groups as varied as the Southwest

Texas Sacred Harp Convention, the Jubilee Choir, Four Boys from the Brakes, and the East Texas String Ensemble have performed the songs of our collective past at TFS convocations all across the

Lone Star State. Nor would any annual meeting be complete without the hootenanny that has been a TFS tradition for the last halfcentury. It has been and remains a symbiotic relationship that through all the years has enriched both the Society and folk music.

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Medium 9781574412772


Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF

BOOKS OF THE TFS by Len Ainsworth

Books drew me to the Texas Folklore Society. I began to read TFS books in high school without paying attention to the publisher, being drawn to them by the editor and frequent contributor, J.

Frank Dobie. A ranch-oriented small-town boy in the 1940s, books such as Pitching Horses and Panthers just suited me. The illustrations by Will James, another favorite, were icing on the cake. Reading Mustangs and Cow Horses was akin to a religious experience and the subject of much discussion with a best friend.

We had grown up with horses, and recognized Dobie, Boatright, and Ransom as the gurus (although we wouldn’t have understood the word) or founts of greater knowledge about a Texas still much alive in our thoughts. We even expanded our taste to beyond

Dobie offerings, insofar as our school library provided them.

Someone in the school must have developed a fair collection of the earlier TFS publications for them to be available at least a dozen years later. We read some of the Mexican tales (Puro Mexicano,

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Medium 9781574412567

"Eden Cemetery”

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF

EDEN CEMETERY by Margaret A. Cox

I grew up with a healthy respect for graveyards. My grandmother sold tombstones during the 1940s, and I have memories of visiting graveyards with her as a young child. She often took rubbings of monument designs to get ideas for her customers. When I first learned to read, I pronounced the word: “gravy-yard.” This was corrected very shortly. I remember my grandmother walking past graves, sighing and saying, “I love to walk among the bones of my ancestors.”

One grave in the Eden, Texas, cemetery has no headstone. The entire length and width of the grave is covered in a block of cement, about three feet high. I asked my grandmother about this grave, which looked like none of the others in the entire cemetery.

She said she thought the old judge had covered his wife so she couldn’t come out and haunt him later on. He said she had been a mean old thing in life, and he didn’t want to take any chances.

The cemetery in Eden was located near my grandmother’s home. We children could sit on the front porch and watch the funeral processions pass by. Some cousins warned us not to count the cars following the hearse, or we would be the next person to die. I always tried to avert my eyes when funerals were in progress after that.

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Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF



One of the things that I have always liked about being a member of the Texas Folklore Society is the fact that the annual meetings are always in a different place within the state each year. Ever since our family’s first meeting in 1982 in Fredericksburg, we have looked forward to the TFS meeting in the spring. But for us, getting there is half the fun—or challenge—depending on how you look at it.

That first meeting I was still in college at A&M in College Station. I was asked by Dr. Silvia Grider to present a paper on folktoys. This stemmed from a demonstration of folktoys that I gave to the folklore class I was in the year before that Dr. Earnest Speck taught at Sul Ross in Alpine. Even going to that first meeting had its challenges. I missed a big lab test in my major (entomology) on that Friday. I had OK’d it with my grad student lab teacher, but that didn’t fly with the professor whose reputation as a hardnose was legendary in the entomology department. When I came back,

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