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19. The Last Cowboy?

John R. Erickson. Photographs by Kristine C. Erickson University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Nineteen

The Last Cowboy?

The thesis of Jane Kramer’s 1977 book The Last Cowboy was that the cowboy didn’t have much of a future. The frontiers had been tamed, the big pastures had been fenced, and something called

“agribusiness” had moved into the Old West, pushing the cowboy out of the picture. Kramer was a competent journalist, and she was correct in thinking that the values and goals of agribusiness were quite different from those of traditional ranching, and that agribusiness had no sentimental attachment to the cowboy. But her main thesis just happened to be wrong. The cowboy didn’t die.

The word agribusiness first appeared in farm and ranch publications in the early 1970s. It referred to production agriculture (farming and ranching) as well as to the support businesses that have sprung up around agriculture, those that deal in chemicals, feed, medicine, seeds, fertilizer, irrigation equipment, implements, and commodities.

“Agribusiness” evokes images of bankers, accountants, lawyers, commodities traders, feedlot owners, and real estate brokers, not noble cowboys.

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15 The Final Years

Wendy Read Wertz Indiana University Press ePub

Since . . . 1970 . . . the distinctive Caldwellian exhortation to think and act on an environmental grand design before it is too late to save ourselves and the world we love has lost none of its gentility, eloquence, or disquieting power.

GEOFFREY WANDESFORDE-SMITH,
“Environmental Politics at Thirty: Caldwell,
Churchill, and an Unruly World”

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON, Ulysses

IN JANUARY 1997, FOLLOWING THE SUCCESSFUL REELECTION of Clinton and Gore to a second term, the CEQ finally released its major report on NEPA: The National Environmental Policy Act: A Study of Its Effectiveness after Twenty-Five Years. In a renewed period of hope within environmental circles that a progressive agenda could at last be initiated – and then expanded should Gore win the presidency in 2000 – the report concluded: “NEPA is critical to meeting the environmental, social, and economic goals this Nation has set for itself. . . . With this study in hand, CEQ is embarking on a major effort to reinvent the NEPA process. Over the next several years, CEQ will be proposing specific actions to strengthen strategic planning, public information and input, interagency coordination, interdisciplinary and place-based decision-making, and science-based and flexible management approaches. . . . What we have learned will carry us into the next century of environmental stewardship for the benefit of our Nation’s communities.”1

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Medium 9780253006110

9. “What Do You Think of the Science of Generalship?”

Ethan S. Rafuse Indiana University Press ePub

The morning after his meeting with Ives, a still pale and thin George B. McClellan made his long-awaited appearance before the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. “If I escape alive I will report when I get through,” he advised Lincoln before heading over to the Capitol. After meeting with the committee, McClellan told Ives its members had been surprisingly cordial. Wade, McClellan reported, “said to him that the committee had no desire to embarrass him” and were “exceedingly anxious to sustain him, and to cooperate.” McClellan assured the committee that he appreciated the problems caused by delay and that he had decided an immediate advance was necessary in Kentucky, which he promised would “soon be a field of action.” The interview closed on a satisfactory note, according to McClellan, with Wade thanking him for “his frankness and courtesy.”1

The committee’s journal only noted that its interview with McClellan consisted of “a full and free conference . . . in relation to various matters connected with the conduct of the present war.” A postwar biography of Chandler, however, gives a very different impression of the interview from the one McClellan gave Ives. When McClellan responded to demands for explanations for why he did not attack by stating that he needed more bridges across the Potomac to secure his line of retreat, an exasperated Chandler reportedly responded, “If I understand you correctly, before you strike the rebels you want to be sure of plenty of room so that you can run in case they strike back?” Wade immediately chimed in, “Or in case you get scared.” McClellan then “proceeded at length to explain the art of war and the science of generalship, laying special stress upon the necessity of having lines of retreat, as well as lines of communication and supply.” Wade had no use for this. All the people wanted, he informed the general, was “a short and decisive campaign.” After McClellan left, Wade asked Chandler, “[W]hat do you think of the science of generalship?” “I don’t know much about war,” Chandler replied, “but it seems to me that this is infernal, unmitigated cowardice.”2

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Medium 9781574412956

Part I. The Frontier Years (1861–1888)

Richard F. Selcer and Kevin S. Foster University of North Texas Press PDF

Introduction

Before the first cattle drive came through, before there was even

a town worthy of the name, Fort Worth marked the frontier where civilization ended and “the West began.” There was a community around the fort as early as 1853, but law and order was slow in coming. For the next twenty years, the peace was kept by a sheriff who could call on a trio of constables in a pinch. Since there was no town to speak of, there was no need for a municipal law officer, specifically, a marshal. The county lawman (the sheriff) and the precinct lawman (the constable) could easily get the job done. For Tarrant

County’s first twelve sheriffs, it was a part-time job; the rest of the time they were farmers or cattlemen or shopkeepers. Fort Worth finally got its own law enforcement in 1873 when it was chartered by the state legislature, making it the first town between Dallas and

El Paso to have its own marshal.

The sheriff, however, remained the principal local law officer even after Fort Worth had a marshal. His domain was mostly empty prairie plus a handful of settlements such as Birdville and Johnson’s

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Medium 9781770906730

2: TALKING DRUMS IN DEATH VALLEY

Neil Peart ECW Press ePub

TALKING DRUMS IN DEATH VALLEY

FEBRUARY 2011

THE SETTING OF THE OPENING PHOTOGRAPH is Death Valley National Park, California, near the site called Natural Bridge. The snow-topped Panamint Mountains form the backdrop, while I am gesticulating and (no doubt) pontificating in the middle, surrounded by the people and cameras of the Hudson Music crew. The subject of my little speech was drumming—specifically, drumming in front of an audience.

So that explains the title, but suggests a number of other questions. Starting with, I suppose, “Um … why?”

Well, it started in 1995, when I made an instructional video about composing drum parts and recording them, called A Work in Progress. My collaborators on that project were Paul Siegel and Rob Wallis, and we had enjoyed working together, sharing our ideas and realizing them on film. Paul and Rob were both drummers who had gravitated to the educational side, founding the Drummer’s Collective in New York City, then later Hudson Music, to make instructional DVDs. They were around the same age as my bandmates and me, and likewise had enjoyed a long, productive partnership of close to the same duration, so we understood one another.

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1 A Century of History and Heritage: The Roots of an Environmental Focus

Wendy Read Wertz Indiana University Press ePub

On November 21, 1913, Lynton Keith Caldwell, the first child of Lee Lynton Caldwell, the local school superintendent, and his wife, Alberta, was born in the local hospital of the farming town of Montezuma, Iowa. If his father had not departed from two hundred years of family tradition by taking up a profession other than agriculture, Caldwell might well have grown up to be a farmer himself. Genealogical records trace his paternal farming heritage back in an unbroken line to the 1760s, when his branch of the Caldwell family, believed to have emigrated from Ireland, resided in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. In 1808, during the period in which President Thomas Jefferson hoped to establish a largely self-governing agricultural society in America, John T. Caldwell, born in 1776, traveled with his wife and thirteen children to Ohio, thus becoming among the earliest to settle in that state. One of his sons, also named John, married when he was eighteen. Of this John’s eleven children, the third-born, Nicholas, became Lynton Keith Caldwell’s great-grandfather.

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Medium 9781574412444

2. 6:12 a.m., 6 lbs. 15 oz.

Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe University of North Texas Press PDF

night into the rain and fog for ice cream and pickles. Besides, pickles are old food.

6:12 a.m., 6 lbs. 15 oz.

Mark covered his nose with his hand and described for me what he saw as Sam was coming out.

“You know, when his head was . . . well, the doctor told the nurse that he was coming out sunny-side up. So I looked down. Even though I couldn’t see Sam’s nose yet, his eyes were wide open, and they were going from side to side. Like this.”

With his hand, he flattened his own nose right below the bridge, at the same spot where he’d stabbed himself with a pencil as a second grader. The injury left a little blue pencil dot that never faded. He moved his dark blue eyes rapidly from one side to the other. I smiled.

“It was amazing. He was so curious already. You should’ve seen him,” he finished breathlessly.

I was too busy pushing to get in on any of that fun, I thought. Where did Mark get this new burst of energy? I was exhausted. Sam was fine, but the nurses had whisked him away soon after he was born. I was so tired that I didn’t care.

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Medium 9781626567658

11 The Union Movement’s Hail Mary Pass

van Gelder, Sarah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the decades after World War II, the union movement was one of the main forces boosting the incomes and security of working people. In fact, there would probably be no middle class in the United States without it.1 But the number of union members peaked in 1979, and unions have been fighting losing battles since then against the increasing power of globalized corporations.

Some people are trying something different: unionized worker-owned cooperatives.

“So many times we’re on the defensive, we’re reacting,” Ellen Vera, a staff organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), told me. Vera was on loan from the UFCW, working with a diverse group of people in Cincinnati to jump-start a new effort to create unionized worker-owned cooperatives.

Unionized cooperatives “give us a way to proactively create the kind of work environment we really want to see.”

I met Ellen and her husband, Flequer Vera, at a small restaurant in Cincinnati, along with Kristen Barker, executive director of the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative.

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Medium 9781576752760

CHAPTER 9: A Passion for Learning

Frick, Don M. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

So my search shall bear fruit—not in final accomplishments on which I shall rest—but in ever widening horizons. My satisfaction shall derive from the contemplation of these horizons and in the satisfactions that accrue from expanding my powers to explore them. Life then is growth; when growth stops there is atrophy. The object of the quest is the capacity to grow, the strength to bear the burden of the search and the capacity to live nobly—if not heroically—in the situations that develop. 1

ROBERT GREENLEAF

They called it The Great Depression, but there was nothing great about it, at least not for most stockholders. Owners of AT&T stock, however, were the exception. There was no reason for them to expect that the company would continue paying pre-Depression dividends of $9.00 per share. In 1932, net earnings were only $5.96; in 1933, $5.38; 1934 figures were again $5.96; and in 1935, per share earnings totaled only $7.11. 2 AT&T had laid off 20% of its work force. At its most desperate time, Western Electric had 110 laid off 80% of its employees.3 Still, like clockwork, shareholders got their $9.00 per share checks from AT&T.

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Medium 9781574415056

1. First Blood

Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown University of North Texas Press PDF

“To be tried at that time for the killing of a Negro meant certain death at the hands of a court, backed by Northern bayonets. . . .

Thus, unwillingly I became a fugitive, not from justice, but from the injustice and misrule of the people who had subjugated the

South.”

John Wesley Hardin

n May 19, 1847, the Rev. James Gibson Hardin (age twenty-five), and Mary Elizabeth Dixon (a year younger than he), were joined in holy matrimony in Navarro County, Texas. History has not preserved any details of the ceremony, however. Presumably, the groom wore his best suit of clothes, and the blushing bride her best dress, but no newspaper account has been found to verify the details of their wardrobe.

Any information about the guests also remains undiscovered. The only record that has been preserved is a court document proving that Justice of the Peace Q. N. Anderson solemnized the ceremony.1

Mary Elizabeth Dixon, most often referred to by her middle name, was born December 7, 1826 in Sullivan County, Indiana. She was the daughter of Dr. William A. and Malinda McArthur Dixon.2 There may have been other children who did not survive to adulthood. Several of

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Medium 9781574416312

10. Undaunted Courage and Fine Generalship

Bob Alexander University of North Texas Press ePub

SPRINGTIME OF 1893 HAD CLOSED finding U.S. Deputy Marshal/Special Ranger Baz Outlaw sitting in a reasonably good position career-wise. Certainly, despite the intermittent drunken and messy imbroglios of the past, maybe his word about foregoing taking a drink would stand good. Unquestionably, several Big Bend Country folks thought he was yet the man to turn to in a crisis. John Humphries, the storeowner previously advancing Baz cash in lieu of Captain Frank Jones forwarding Outlaw's quarterly pay vouchers, apparently had forgotten and/or forgiven—or it never had amounted to too much in the first place. Subsequent to some intricate consultations of a serious nature, John Humphries carried the message. Civilian Humphries wrote to Baz Outlaw enjoining him to exercise his authority as a federal officer: Proclaiming to the deputy marshal that the “Mescal business” at the Chispa Coal Mines must be stopped. The novice would-be lawmen had concocted what they believed was an ingenious plan. As it was spelled out to the Deputy U.S. Marshal, they would furnish him—loan him—a Winchester, horse, and saddle for the job.1 Then he could

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Medium 9781574414509

Chapter 4: William R. McLaury

Paul Lee Johnson University of North Texas Press PDF

Four

William R. McLaury

Following his discharge from the Army, Will McLaury lived in Tama

County for about six months. He was, by this time, in his early twenties and once he regained his health was eager to set out on his own. By his own dating, he left Iowa in March of 1865 to travel to Nebraska, Colorado, Montana,

Wyoming, Utah, and back to Iowa. All of his roaming over the West took place in the year-and-a-half between March 1865 and October 1867. According to his family, Will spent this time driving a stage, following the gold rush into

Colorado and fighting Indians during that time. It is perhaps more likely that he was actually working hauling freight during this period of time. Late in

1867, he came back to Iowa to spend another few months in the vicinity of his boyhood home.1

What stories did he bring for the eager ears of his younger brothers?

What seeds of wanderlust did he plant in their imaginations? Was he aware in later years of having influenced his younger brothers to seek their fortune far from Iowa?

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Medium 9781574411515

6 “I’ll die with them, if they’ll keep me that long.” “I’ll die with them, if they’ll keep me that long.”

John Mark Dempsey University of North Texas Press PDF

“I’LL DIE

WITH

T H E M , I F T H E Y ’ L L K E E P M E T H AT L O N G ”

many of the trips then, but I was doing the payroll and turning the bills into the mill,” Smokey remembered. “Jerry Elliott did a lot of those [trips]. And Bill Hudson, who played the guitar, and Paul Blunt.

Lefty Perkins made a lot of those trips” (Montgomery oral history,

168; Elliott interview, March 8, 2001).

The arrival of Jerry Elliott signals the beginning of the modern period of the Doughboys. Jerry joined the Doughboys as a substitute for Smokey during Smokey’s Levee Club days. Elliott is a distant second in seniority with the Doughboys, at a considerable 40plus years of service. “In any other group, that would sound like a very long time,” he said with a smile (Smith, 19).

Elliott was working as the manager of a Fort Worth music store.

Doughboy Johnny Strawn, a fiddler modern-day Doughboy Art

Greenhaw calls “a great artist,” actually invited Elliott to join the group.

“Johnny came by out at the store one time, and said, ‘Hey, Smokey is going into the Levee Club, and we need somebody to go on the road with us and play banjo.’ And I said, ‘I don’t play banjo very much. I play a few chords well enough to sell ’em across the counter.’ And he said, ‘Well, that’ll do. You sing and sing parts, so come to work with us on the road with the Doughboys.’ And I said, ‘Well, I said I don’t even know how to play banjo very well.’ And he said, ‘Well, tune it like a guitar.’ Well, I tried that a time or two, but that just didn’t work for me. So I learned to play the darn thing right, but I never could play solos like Smokey. But I knew all the chords and did all the vocals, so I started traveling with the Doughboys.”

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Medium 9781574412604

Chapter 12 Conditt Murder Case: A Study in Detection

Harold J. Weiss Jr. University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 12

CONDITT MURDER CASE: A STUDY

IN DETECTION

One of the rangers of shrewdness, ability and wide experience in handling such cases was quoted by a county official as saying that if the people would only exercise patience the “whole thing would come out sooner or later.”1

Near the end of his sixteen-year career as a Ranger captain,

McDonald faced a multiple murder case that would test his investigative skills. A white man, Joseph Fagan Conditt, his wife, Lora, and their five children, rented a farm in a mixed neighborhood of whites and blacks near Edna in Jackson County. In the morning hours on September 28, 1905, while the father was working land a few miles away, the mother and four of her children were brutally murdered. Inside the house lay the bodies of Lora, whoso skull was crushed with an adz, and her oldest daughter, Mildred, who had been raped and had her throat slashed. Outside in the yard the bodies of three sons were found. One boy’s head had almost been decapitated, while the other two sons had their skulls caved in with a metal bar. Only a small baby boy with a head injury survived the horrible crime.2

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Medium 9781574412338

Seams of Our Lives

Edited by Karen A. Waldron, Janice H. Brazil, and Laura M. Labatt University of North Texas Press PDF

seams of our lives

I am a part of all that I have met.

“Ulysses,” by alfred, lord tennyson

Far greater than the tiny seams in sewing are the invisible ones that bind parts of our lives together intricately with those of others. They also appear where different aspects of one’s own life are tied together to form a continuity of life’s cycles. The expansiveness of these pieces forms a rich tapestry.

Gail Hosking Gilberg begins this chapter with her poem, “Traveling

Words.” She created from her own ache, “language / whispered in solitude.”

Yet, “transmitted like light / on its own journey,” her words became vital in binding her to another writer.

Such threads bind not only our lives together, but can form the fragile connection between life and death. In her piece, “Jared Found,” Bert Kruger Smith initially shuts down because of her tremendous ache over the loss of her son.

Convinced that Jared is just missing, in her distressed state she says, “A sixyear-old can’t get lost forever.” This is a story where life and death are woven together, where mourning and celebration are closely connected by a jagged edge. She can develop the courage to re-connect with the love of her husband and remaining children only when she finds that, through love, Jared will always be part of her being.

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