89 Chapters
Medium 9781574412567

Contributors’ Vitas

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


Jim H. Ainsworth authored three business books and coauthored a fourth (all published by John Wiley & Sons) before leaving the profession that had chosen him. At fifty-three, he planned to pursue the abandoned dreams of his childhood—to be a cowboy and an author. He made a trip by covered wagon and horseback across Texas to retrace the journey his ancestors had made two generations earlier, and wrote Biscuits Across the Brazos to chronicle the trip. He traveled the team roping circuit as an amateur and worked roundups on big ranches. Working beside real cowboys sent him back to writing. Using lessons he learned from more than 10,000 client interviews over thirty years and memories from his rural Texas roots, In the Rivers’ Flow, his first novel, was published in 2003. Rivers Crossing followed in 2005.

Rivers Ebb, a Writers League of Texas contest finalist and Writers

Digest International Book Competition finalist, is the third novel in his Follow the Rivers trilogy.

Carolyn Arrington willfully admits to being a songwriter, poet, substitute school teacher, mother (grandmother), and wife. She enjoys playing all the stringed instruments, as well as others: guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, mountain dulcimer, hammer dulcimer, dobro, mouth bow, penny whistle, saxophone, harmonica, and probably some others she just can’t think of right now. Her musical preference is Old Timey music, bluegrass, and folk, but she also plays alto sax in the local community band. She writes a lot of songs about other historical events and whatever else comes into lyrical play. She says she is an ethnohistoricalmusicologist.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412567

"Chipita Rodriguez: The Only Woman Hanged in Texas During the Civil War”

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



I was introduced to Chipita Rodriguez when I took a Texas history course in college several years ago. Our assignment was to pick from a list of subjects on which we would like to do a book report.

Being a little bit of a history buff, and a songwriter and poet,

Chipita’s story fit my interests very well. I read various books and articles, and did well on the report. But all during my research for the report, I kept thinking the story could be taken to another level. Hence, the song came about. I performed it for a local junior high class, and one student told about a relative’s land that borders the property that Chipita’s ghost walks on. He said her ghost has even been seen in recent years. It seems that on nights when the sky is clear and the moon is full, you can hear her moaning and see her walking along the bank of the river, with the rope still hanging from her neck.

History books tell us that Chipita Rodriguez spent her early years in Mexico with her family and later, only her father. Chipita and her father, Pedro, fled Mexico when the Texas Revolution prompted Santa Anna to pledge attacks against the revolting Texians and settlers such as the Rodriguezes.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412567

"Oscar—The Friendly Ghost”

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


I never met “Oscar.” I am convinced he existed because of my source—my daughter Jan and her friends Gwen and Ted, and their two children. Believing in ghosts or active spirits depends upon an experience one may encounter. I haven’t had the pleasure or displeasure of any contacts with ghosts, so I always view the stories I hear concerning those ghostly meetings with a slight doubt. But golly, gee, my own daughter became a believer. That perked up my interest in checking out this friendly ghost named Oscar.

The background of this story is the Abilene house where Ted and Gwen first lived. Their home was one of many believed to have been built on an ancient Indian burial ground. In that area, there was a universal belief that the spirits were active. Ted and

Gwen believed that Oscar truly was an active ghost in their Abilene residence.

Oscar first made his presence noticed in the children’s room.

Momma Gwen had felt Oscar’s presence several times, and the children would say with no fear: “Momma, Oscar is here again.”

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412567

"The Past at Rest: Two Historic Austin Cemeteries”

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



The looks of disbelief and inevitable questions are remarkably similar year after year. “We’re going where?” Patiently I explain that classes next week will be held off-campus at the Texas State Cemetery on East Seventh Street and Oakwood Cemetery alongside

Interstate 35. “What,” my students ask, “do graveyards have to do with this course on Texas history?” “A great deal,” I respond, guaranteeing that our cemetery tours will bear physical witness to much that we have discussed in class. I promise to illustrate the remarkably different ways different cultures approach the burial ceremony, and to reveal the meanings of gravestone symbols stretching back thousands of years. Such visits are one of the more effective learning opportunities for those studying the state’s rich history and peoples.

The State Cemetery dates from Edward Burleson’s death in

1851. Wishing to honor the former vice-president of the Republic of Texas, state legislators arranged for his interment on land owned by Andrew Jackson Hamilton, himself a future governor. Three years later, the state purchased eighteen acres from Hamilton to serve as the final resting place for Texas heroes and high-ranking government officials. Based on the nineteenth century concept that cemeteries could serve as museums for the living as well as resting places for the departed, the Board of Control has managed the facility over the intervening years as the “Arlington of Texas.”

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412772


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


The Texas Folklore Society has a rich history, with some largerthan-life folks birthing the Society into existence and guiding its earliest years of infancy and beyond. There have also been those who contributed monumental amounts of time, sweat, ink, and tears before they left us. There have been many who have “been there” to nurture and encourage, and to provide smiles and laughter. And there have been many who have coordinated all the endless details of the meetings, banquets, publications, communications, finances, and everything else that needs to be done to keep the

Society running from day to day.

And then, there are those of us who participate just by being in attendance at the meetings—from Thursday’s Hoot to Saturday’s

Business Session and check-out at noon. We soak up the annual camaraderie, the familiar faces and stimulating culture, and welcome opportunities to buy more books (or at least consider buying them), sometimes bringing new folks along and helping the TFS wherever we can, perhaps by creating our own smaller traditions within the larger group. This article is an account of how our family became involved with the Texas Folklore Society and what it has meant to us. It began with me.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters