3085 Slices
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9 Police Officer Jeff Couch (December 20, 1920)

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


Police Officer Jeff Couch

(DECEMBER 20, 1920)

“He sacrificed his life to the cause of law and order.”

“Will the circle be unbroken?” is a classic gospel hymn whose sentiment also happens to describe the powerful bond existing among members of the law enforcement fraternity.1 The fraternal ties binding officers together make them like an extended family. Sometimes, those ties are ethereal; at other times there is actual blood kinship, as in the case of the Couch family. The fact that the hymn was already popular at the time our next officer was killed makes it even more appropriate to his story.

Jeff Couch in a family photo, dressed in his best for a studio portrait, date unknown. A very distinguished young man, one of the new breed of officers joining the FWPD after World War I. (Courtesy of Charles Mullins, Covington, Texas)

Jeff Couch was born Abner Jefferson Couch on February 20, 1894, the first child of Charles and Susan Couch of Fort Worth. Almost from birth, it would seem, he was destined for a career in law enforcement. His father, C. D. “Charlie” Couch was a member of the Fort Worth Police Department (1892–93) before retiring to go into the saloon business. One of Charlie’s fellow officers and a good friend away from work was Sid Waller who chose to make a career with the FWPD. Waller would become Jeff’s stepfather, the man who raised him after Charlie’s untimely death. Susan Couch, Jeff’s mother, was the daughter of a Galveston barkeep but was adopted and raised by Abner Dean, a Fort Worth barkeep, who was co-owner with Charlie Couch of the Novelty Saloon. Jeff’s first name came from his maternal grandfather, although he always preferred his middle name or the diminutive thereof. He had a sister, Sadie, born to Charlie and Susan in 1899.2

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Saint Mark the Evangelist

Marie Paul Curley Fsp Pauline Books and Media ePub

Only a Boy

“Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15–16).

Mark was not one of the Twelve whom Jesus appointed to be his companions, to go out preaching at his command. Mark was not even one of the disciples who followed the Master and listened to his teachings; nor did he witness the miracles Christ performed. When it all began he was too young, only a boy.

But, today, that unforgettable first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Mark knew that something very special and important was happening. The Master, Jesus of Nazareth, sent his disciples to prepare the paschal meal in the upper room of Mark’s home.

“Wow,” thought Mark. “These are his companions. They’ve seen everything he’s done and heard all his teaching. I wish Father didn’t tell me to leave them be.”

When it was evening, Jesus arrived with the twelve apostles. Just seeing him was enough to set Mark’s heart ablaze. He had heard all the stories of this prophet, now here he was celebrating the holy day in his house.

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Chapter 18

Rebecca McClanahan Indiana University Press ePub

Early photographs of my mother confirm my father’s frequent remark: “She was a living doll.” Sometimes I correct him, joking that if he’s looking to make points, he shouldn’t use the past tense. But usually I don’t make a federal case about it, partly because the remark doesn’t seem to bother my mother, but mostly because his affection for her is so obvious and steadfast. Let’s say she’s getting up from her chair, where she’s been piecing a quilt or arranging photographs in an album or writing a note to one of their fifteen grandchildren. As she moves across the room, my father’s gaze will follow her with the admiration of a newlywed, for, if we are to believe his eyes, she is all news to him. Sometimes, out of the blue, he will say to me, “You have an amazing mother, do you know that?” This is a rare gift: for a daughter of any age, let alone a daughter as old as I am, to witness a father’s love for her mother. And I mark it here, so I will not forget. If beauty resides in the beholder’s eyes, my mother is still beautiful.

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8. The Hardest Man to Catch

Chuck Parsons University of North Texas Press ePub


The Hardest Man to Catch


—John R. Hughes, May 27, 1897

Hughes entered his tenth year as a Ranger in 1897, rising from private to captain in ten dangerous but exciting years. His work had dealt with such various activities as following the tracks of sheep thieves, enforcing a quarantine line, trailing fence cutters, and challenging desperadoes to surrender, only to be met with gunfire. Although occasionally under fire, as yet he had not been wounded.

Hughes as well as any of his men faced the possibility of sudden death in gunfights or from some deadly disease: in addition to the shooting deaths of Joe McKidrict, Charles Fusselman, and Frank Jones, Hughes had experienced Company D Ranger George P. Leakey’s death from tuberculosis on the train between Pecos and El Paso in April 1896.1 In early 1897 Hughes feared Ranger James Maddox Bell would not long survive, and discharged him so he could be nursed by relatives. Bell, discharged on January 31, 1897, died from tuberculosis on July 29 of the same year at the young age of thirty-two. Relatives had cared for him, and provided a large memorial marker above his final resting place in the Stockdale City Cemetery in Wilson County.2

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13 Strengthening NEPA through a Constitutional Amendment

Wendy Read Wertz Indiana University Press ePub

ON SEPTEMBER 21, 1989, CALDWELL GAVE A KEYNOTE SPEECH in Washington, D.C., at a special two-day conference cosponsored by the CEQ and EPA to mark the twentieth anniversary of NEPA.1 A month earlier, CEQ general counsel Dinah Bear had written: “Thank you so very, very much for agreeing to speak at the conference. . . . As you know, this conference will be the first of the ‘NEPA 20th year’ conferences, and it is so appropriate that you will be the first speaker. . . . As I believe I mentioned to you over the phone, you were requested by name as a speaker more than any other person in our survey of federal agencies.”2

In his speech, although gratified that NEPA’s impact assessment procedures had been so widely adopted over the years, Caldwell nonetheless reaffirmed his continuing disappointment at the general failure of both the executive branch and the courts to incorporate into their decision making those components of NEPA that focus on the ethical, qualitative, and social implications of human-environment interactions.3 He particularly noted that since 1976 the Supreme Court had reversed lower court rulings in all eleven NEPA-related cases brought against federal agencies by plaintiffs seeking greater consideration of the act’s substantive policy provisions.4 “Judged by their actions,” he added, “no president has yet taken NEPA as a serious obligation, or regarded its implementation as a presidential priority. The bureaucracy understands this, and with rare exceptions looks to the courthouse rather than the White House for guidance. And so, with the important exception of the environmental impact statement provision, NEPA remains a noble work of rhetoric – an effective instrument of procedural reform – but with its promise yet to be fulfilled.”5

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