89 Chapters
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Preface by Kenneth L. Untiedt

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF
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“High Flyin’ Times”

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



AND A PIPER TRI-PACER by Barbara Pybas

Our High Flyin’ times were good years, the late 1950s and early

’60s, a healthy, optimistic, happy era. Even with the Cuban Crisis and Kennedy’s death, this ten-year folklore period seemed less complicated and stressful than the ensuing decades of the Vietnam

War and national turmoil. Perhaps, to the young, obstacles are undaunting and overcome readily. This account is neither about barnstorming nor acrobatics, but for the pure enjoyment of flying and a good excuse to use it in a farming-ranching operation. DFW

Airport was non-existent and the rigid FAA rules not in place; even a radio was not a requirement. VFR (visual flight rules) was sufficient for little planes.

Jay Pybas was bit by the flying bug in his mid-thirties. After returning from World War II Marine Corps service, completing a stint with GI Bill college time and marrying an Oklahoma A&M co-ed, he found his way back to Texas. For ten years he struggled to revive a Red River bottomland farm released by the U.S. Government. This Cooke County area had been used as the infantry and artillery training area for Camp Howze during the war. It had grown to a jungle with disuse but, nevertheless, was fertile and promising. By hard work, stamina and extreme fortitude, in ten years the valley became beautifully productive.

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“Fannie Marchman’s Journey from Atlanta, Georgia to Jefferson, Texas”

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




HORSE AND WAGON, IN 1869 AND BEYOND by Ellen Pearson

Fannie Franks was born to Amanda and George Fowler on

Amanda’s mother’s plantation, near Holly Springs, Mississippi, on the 19th day of September, 1851. One year after the family returned to their own home in Holly Springs, George Franks went to New York City to buy goods for his store. He died there of pneumonia. Fannie and her mother moved back to the plantation.

Fannie’s mother died when she was three years old. Fannie’s only memories of her mother were, first, after the little girl had got into a hive of bees, looking up at a mirror and seeing her mother searching her “light curls” for the remaining bees and, second, of

Amanda’s sister taking Fannie to her mother’s bed, when she was dying. Amanda’s brother, Mitchell Fowler, and his wife took the girl to a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, and raised her graciously and generously.

Fannie met her husband-to-be, William Riley Marchman, at her school, called Pantherville, ten miles from Atlanta. “Mr.

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"From the Gallows: A Confession and Apology”

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


AND APOLOGY by Jerry B. Lincecum

One of Dr. Samuel Johnson’s more acerbic comments has often been quoted or paraphrased: “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Grayson County had its first legal hanging in Sherman on Friday, April 8, 1869, and a statement from the gallows by one of the men who was executed seems to confirm Dr. Johnson’s theory. In the fiftieth-anniversary edition of the old Sherman

Courier, on August 15, 1917, a lengthy account of the first legal hanging is given.

Before reviewing the document, however, let’s briefly consider the literary and folk tradition it fits into. In 1871, a London bookseller named Charles Hindley published a “large and curious assortment” of miscellaneous writings that he collectively entitled

“Curiosities of Street Literature.” A major portion of this collection consisted of “gallows literature” of the streets. These accounts of public executions, dying speeches, and confessions range from the execution of Sir John Oldcastle in 1417 to the trial and execution of F. Hinson, who was hanged at the Old Bailey in 1869.

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“Safe in the Arms of Trainmen”

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


She was Lana Turner and I was Hedy Lamarr when the train went by. The rest of the time, we splashed about, with hopes of getting properly wet in her twelve-inch-deep concrete swimming pool, née watering trough. The pool was at the foot of her long sloping backyard, a kind distance from her mother’s ears but not out of sight of a watchful eye from the kitchen window.

We were seven and eight years old, my friend Priscilla and I, both very white dishwater blondes growing up in that small North

Texas town. Our suits were not Barbie bikinis, no spandex, no DayGlo colors. They were one-piece, colored burnt orange or royal blue, held up by a tie around our necks sometimes defaulting to allow an innocuous nipple to ride over the rim of the décolletage.

But already we were trying out our skills as “glamour pusses.”

When that first woof-woof came drifting down the tracks, we stopped what we were doing and prepared for the passage of the

Katy some few yards away. We dipped our hair in the water and slicked it back, stood up and patted our soggy suits, clamored out of the water and perched, one on each of the back corners of the pool, like a couple of Acropolis porch maidens. Though we didn’t know to suck in our bellies, the rest of us was ready—bony little feet angled, one knee provocatively bent, one hand on a hip, the other couching a head tossed back wantonly.

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