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Posts published in April 2003

I remember…

I hope you all had a happy Easter and spent time with family and friends. I had a new addition to the family on Easter mornin’…..a fine little stud colt born to “I’m Shameless”, his proud momma. We haven’t chosen a name yet, but favor something like “Toby’s Anthem”, after Toby Keith’s Song of the Year, “American Anthem”. His momma, I’m Shameless, was named after a Garth Brook’s song by the same name, so…

I’m really excited about the Cowboy Ranch Competition at the George Ranch on May 3rd and 4th. I’ve told you all about it, but will mention it again. Your whole family will have a ball if you take the short forty minute drive to the first exit after you cross the Brazos River on 59 South, go to your left about eight miles and it’s on your right, you can’t miss it. There will be real chuckwagon cooking with gooood food, lots of cowboy stuff for the kids and, and, a team competition for workin’ cowboys you won’t wanta miss!

Well, I was discussing the upcoming book and CD, titled “I Remember”, when my better half asked me if I remembered the old movies with the singin’ cowboys? You bet I did! You probably guessed it, I wrote a poem about it! To make a long story short, we decided to introduce this new one to a few close friends, like you all! So, you are the first to read this new one. Hope you like it!

The Silver Screen

The names I seem to remember best,
from when I was a kid,
Are now the stuff of legends telling, of
the daring deeds they did.
T.V. wasn’t the way at first, we saw our
heroes then.
The Silver Screen on Saturdays, was
where it all began.
A nickel or dime was entrance fee, a
coke a nickel more.
And our feet would always stick, on that
gooey movie floor.
The guys would always laugh and talk,
then the lights were turned down low.
To signal all was to begin soon, the start
of our favorite shows.

The serial was continued from last week.
Could the hero come back again?
And if he was dumb enough to kiss the
girl, all of us would grin.
Now was time for the western to start,
we all could hardly wait.
Then Dale and Roy and Trigger were
there, ridin’ through the gate.
And Roy was oh so smooth, as he sang a
cowboy song.
We kids knew every single word, so we
would sing along.
Next week it might be Hoppalong, or the
Cisco Kid.
Everyone really loved those guys, and
the daring deeds they did.
Gene Autry was a favorite, and
Champion his trusty steed.
When he told us to follow “The Cowboy
Code”, we were quick to heed.
The Lone Ranger with Tonto his trusted
friend, kept us glued there in our seats.
They may have been my favorites, I
dreamed someday we’d meet!
His silver bullets never failed, to find the
bad guys hearts.
Many ran when they heard his name,
headin’ for other parts.
John Wayne, The Duke some called him,
fought for right in every show.
Another of our cowboy heroes, pointing
the way to go.
Now a Silver Screen’s in every home,
both here and in far off lands.
But some have never seen those guys,
ridin’ cross the sands.
I think it’s time we brought them back,
those heroes from long ago,
And they would straighten out the world,
the right way they would show.
And we could all be kids again, knowing
who was really bad and mean,
The world would be a better place again,
if we had that “Silver Screen”!

I gotta go check on “Toby” and his momma. You can come if you want to, but please, now especially, shut the gate!

Just a Ridin’,

College basketball’s top star Ford to be honored at Texas Exes gala in Baytown


BAYTOWN– This year’s top college player T.J. Ford of the University of Texas Longhorns, will meet fans on April 26, prior to being honored at a fund-raiser dinner hosted by the Baytown and Bay Area Texas Exes alumni association.

Ford will be at the Baytown Historical Museum at 2 p.m. to meet fans and sign autographs. Then, at 6:30 p.m. he will be at the Goose Creek Country Club for the Texas Exes Annual Scholarship Fundraiser. Tickets for the fundraiser are available from Brennon Marsh, at Southwest Bank in Baytown.

Returning to the area will be a homecoming for Ford, who grew up in Highlands. The son of two Sterling High graduates, Ford began his education at B.P. Hopper, where he attended first and second grade.

Ford then began playing basketball at Highlands Elementary and later Highlands Junior School, where he finished the eighth grade in 1997.

Sterling High missed out on Ford, when his parents moved to Ford Bend and he was enrolled in Willowridge High School. While at Willowridge, he led the team to two state championships, including a number two ranking in the nation.

After signing with UT-Austin, Ford made an immediate impact breaking seven school records for freshmen.

Ford continued to dominate college basketball in his sophomore year as well, as he lead the nation in scoring with 15 points per game. This accomplishment, along with others, earned him the Naismith Collegiate National Player of the Year Award and the John Wooden Collegiate National Player of the Year Award. For a player to win both honors is almost unheard of in today’s game.

This year, Ford also took the University of Texas to their first final four appearance in 56 years.

Crosby gets the Blues


CROSBY – One of the largest Blues festivals in the world comes to Crosby May 3, featuring nine of the leading blues artists in the country.

This is the fourth year in which Across the Board Entertainment and Radio One Inc., have hosted a Blues festival at the Crosby Fairgrounds. This year, Budweiser “The King of Beers” is the “Title Sponsor.” The Budweiser Southern Blues Festival is to be one of many nationally successful musical events sponsored by the company and this local venture has been found appealing to the entire family.

Previously, The Southern Blues Festival was the most attended concert ever under the roof of the Rock’n C Arena. Small wonder considering headliners like Marvin Sease and Tyrone Davis are integral to the venture.

Traditional blues connoisseurs can find few better than Lattimore to provide the finest in wrenching catharsis.

That is the essence of Blues, catharsis; purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially sadness, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience. The music form is release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit after having cascaded through the emotion into the other side.

According to Steve Delasbour President of Across the Board Entertainment, “The Budweiser Southern Blues Festival is the occasion to connect your soul, and body on a musical beat, beginning with the nodding of your head to the stomping of your feet. Your fingers start popping and hips begin to move, suddenly you realize you are in a totally different groove. Your thirst will be quenched with numerous beverages, wet and cold, and your appetite thoroughly satisfied by a variety of foods sold. You will be stimulated by what you hear and see, and your spirit will take flight and be set free.”

Mel Waiters brings an especially spiritual tone with his brand of Blues. Waiters has great range and directs great energy into the re-telling of powerful drama from personal experience.

For the first time in Crosby, Pat Brown will bring her ringing coloratura, packing the might of a Billie Holiday. Representing other of the dynamic impact of the Blues Diva, an internationally celebrated contribution, are Cynthia Walker with Denise LaSalle in mezzo-soprano.

Patrick Green and Floyd Taylor ring in with strong voice and heavy bands playing in harmony both Soul as well as Rhythm and Blues Music.

In total plans are for 12 hours of performance, fun, a variety of food, and beverages. The festival is to be a (BYOB) affair in which only plastic liquor bottles are allowed. No beer, water, food, soda or ice will enter the fairgrounds. No coolers, video cameras, or glass containers will be allowed.

Gates will open at 11:00 a.m. and the shows start at 1:00 p.m. The event will be hosted by “Funky” Larry Jones, “Chili Bill Smith,” and “Kandi” Eastman of Majic 102 FM. Don Dam and Stevey ‘Goodtime’ “T” of KCOH 1430 AM will also host along with D.J.s from KSHN 99.9 FM, THE CHOICE, 90.0 F.M., and Al Flemon of KYBI 101.9.

Ticketmasters has the tickets, additional information can be found on the World Wide Web by logging on to, or The festival information line can be reached at 281-471-5060.

Highlands VFD battles truck fire, hazardous waste spill that closes I-10E for 6 hours

HIGHLANDS– A smoky and stubborn fire that started in the tire well of a semi, hauling a cargo container, threatened motorists and nearby businesses Tuesday, and caused authorities to shut down Eastbound I-10 at the San Jacinto River for almost 6 hours.
The fire spread from the tires to the wooden floor of the flatbed trailer, and then consumed part of the metal container and its contents, according to Chief Harvey Little of the Highlands Fire Department.

Responding first to the fire, Highlands soon had help from Channelview and eventually Houston’s HAZMAT trucks. The container had just come from the Rohm & Haas plant in Deer Park, and was loaded with barrels of glacial methylacrylic acid. One of these barrels caught fire, and the result was a toxic cloud that threatened humans nearby, including the firefighters.

Firefighters used water from their tank truck to cool the fire, and eventually douse the flames. However, by that time the acid has spilled over the roadway and released gases into the air, and it was not safe for motorists or emergency personnel. Therefore the eastbound lanes were shut down until the spill could be contained and cleaned up, and eventually a crane was called to the location to life the remains of the container onto another truck, and remove it to a safe location.

This remedial process lasted until almost 5 pm in the afternoon, and tied up traffic for as much as eight miles at the worst condition. Detours were announced by local radio stations, and a traffic jam on US90 near Crosby ensued, with side roads such as FM2100, FM1942, and Crosby-Lynchburg Road clogged for hours.

Authorities did not have a cause for the fire, but fire inspectors were considering possible locked brakes or a leak from hydraulic fluid as conditions that could have contributed. No injuries to the driver or firefighters was reported.

Newport water quality achieves “Superior” rating


CROSBY – The Newport Subdivision has traveled a mighty hard road to achieve good water but now the drinking water can be called superior, according to the state regulator agency.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) designated the public water system operated by Newport Municipal Utility District as a Superior Public Water System on April 8.

Texas water supply systems are regulated by (TCEQ) with supervisory jurisdiction. The new designation for Newport means the subdivision’s water exceeds minimum acceptable standards for the state.

Newport M.U.D. is a political subdivision governed by a five-member board of directors elected by residents. Sources inside the Newport MUD Board say that Newport is now one of very few Municipal Utility Districts east off the San Jacinto River to meet this standard. State statistics show less than 13 % of community water systems in Texas have achieved superior ranking, and only 58 systems in Harris County have been so designated.

“A superior water system must meet and maintain a higher set of standards than the minimum rules that apply to community water systems,” says James Pope of the Public Drinking Water Section of the TCEQ.

Richard Swanson, President of the Board of Directors, said, “Through the endeavors of our operating staff, the Newport MUD was able to achieve the highly esteemed water system rating of ‘Superior.’ It will take the commitment of the staff and the Board of Directors to maintain this rating in the coming years.”

Newport MUD is operated by Professional Utility Services, Inc.

“Newport MUD provides water service to approximately 2400 homes, multifamily units, and businesses in the Newport subdivision near Crosby.” writes Lori Aylett, attorney for Newport MUD, “A superior water system must continually meet or exceed the enhanced standards to remain a superior system.’’

Since 1936, state agencies have recognized outstanding water supply. The program was codified by state law since 1945. To be rated superior, a system must be inspected and evaluated by TCEQ personnel as to physical facilities, appearance and operation.

Thoughts of an Old Georgia Boy

Could not work in the backyard yesterday like I had planned. Had to take the Mrs. for a ride to keep her happy, she told me the backyard work will be there tomorrow. Guess she got tired of sitting on the front porch and watching cars go by. There was a time when I did that at my grand folks place on Liberty Hill Road; you could hear a car coming for a long way from that house on a hill.

The Mrs. wanted to go see the bluebonnets and all the other wild flowers in the hill country around the Chappel Hill area. We made a slow wide loop admiring not only the flowers but also the layout of the land. Some places you could see way off for miles and the rolling hills were so pretty, clear blue sky with a little breeze.

Took notice of a lot of buzzards flying the thermals out that direction. By one large pond I noticed more than a dozen in the air and on shore by the pond was I’d bet over 30 or more. That has got to be their roosting area.

One of my buddies was telling me of them finding a buzzard’s roost when they were growing up in Del Rio. Said they came under the birds at night and disturbed them. He said the buzzards threw up on them. You know it is against the law to kill them. I have heard before of them doing that if you mess with them. Believe me, I know better.

Saw one nice spread while riding around, it too was on a hill off the winding road with a fenced in field that had a couple of little burrows frolicking around. I made a comment to the Mrs. that I would like to have something like that one day and a couple of the little jackasses. She looked at me like I was crazy but I would like two. I already have a couple of nice names for them when the time comes.

Noticed lots of cardinals and dove on this trip and I did see two-dogwood trees but no kudzu, or poke salad. Lots of dewberries in blossom also. The question came up about why people never tried to domesticate the cardinal, they re so pretty.

I did the driving and one would have thought she had brakes over in the passenger seat. She got right testy with me telling me not to say anything about her driving. I love it when she talks dirty to me.

From the Chappel Hill sausage to Houston’s Hickory Hollow BBQ chicken fried steak yesterday; the old gout is pounding in the big right toe today. Rich foods like that tear me up. Guess you could say I like it but it doesn’t like me.

Easter is this coming weekend then standby for a slow shift from nice weather to near hot to hot and it’ll be that way for the next five to six months.

Semper Paratus.

Crosby Rodeo announces acts


CROSBY – An exciting three nights of PRCA rodeo and concerts with double billings of performance acts are among the features for the Crosby Fair & Rodeo this June.

Thronging the Rock’N C Arena should be no problem for new Country/Rock sensations Cross Canadian Ragweed after Patrick Murphy leads off Saturday, June 14. Gene Watson and Deryl Dodd are the singing features for Thursday. Owen Temple leads off for Kevin Fowler on June 13.

This year, as usual, top ranked cowboys and cowgirls for the rodeo sport as much as the concerts give fans extra incentive to become ticket holders.

Now Texas Country Music Revolutionaries need take no exception to the name Cross Canadian Ragweed. There is guitarist a named Cross, a native Texan songwriter/singer named Canada and a drummer named Ragsdale. Holster ’em already, it’s a new sound that was critically acclaimed at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year. This new sound is straight from rocking honky tonks, rowdy roadhouses and sold-out festivals across the Red Dirt and Lone Star states and assorted other Southern border states. The guys in the band are in their mid-twenties.

There is also a bass playing vocalist named Plato and there are some philosophical slants to their songs too. The band has five records to their credit including Live And Loud At The Wormy Dog. Walls of Huntsville, Broken, On A Cloud, and Freedom are some of their popular songs. They tackle themes like destructive jealousy, hypocrisy, the trial of loyalty to Jesus, abuse of authority, and poking fun at suicide.

Of the song Freedom, Cody Canada says, “I wrote the second part first after watching Gladiator, Patriot and Braveheart all in one day, a testosterone fest. But after 9-11, it took a different turn…”

Patrick Murphy is about to release his debut CD The Rest of Forever. Murphy has toured the Greater Houston area bar scene and he’s been waiting a long time to take a big shot with a big voice.

Kevin Fowler makes country music that keeps Texans drinking and dancing throughout the Lone Star state. His most recent release, High on the Hog, debuted at #54 on the Billboard chart and #3 on Billboard’s New Artist Chart. It features guests including Willie Nelson and is led by “The Lord Loves the Drinkin Man.” Beer, Bait & Ammo, a self-released album in 200, charged a frenzy with hard-core, unapologetic genuine country consciousness. It sold 30,000 copies primarily in Texas and spawned 4 singles getting about 15,000 spins on the radio.

Willie Nelson says of Fowler, “A great entertainer and a great songwriter who, in my opinion, should go a long way.”

Fowler started his major league music experience with Dangerous Toys, a Texas hard rock band, that recorded two albums for Columbia Records (one certified gold) in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s. Later, Fowler started Thunderfoot, a hard edged Southern Rock sound.

Owen Temple was born down near Kerrville and is based near Dallas now. He still plays the Texas circuit but once you hear his CD’s (he’s cut three) you’ll be convinced that their is something far too significant to be kept locally.

Sometimes he harkens to the muses of Hank Williams and Merle Haggard and at other times he writes like Guy Clark and Rodney Crowell. Those are high standards and he always seems to be reaching for a deeply sensitive clarity between strands of steel guitar, violin and wailing harmonies.

Temple has produced a variety of storytelling definitive of drama and conflict in writing.

“I like those cool little psychological states-those little pieces of personality and beauty – and try to communicate them through song.” says Temple of the portraits and character sketches in his songs.

“All those problems in relationships or life that don’t seem to have a really easy answer and that sometimes seem contradictory with what the truth is.” Temple explains how he packs as much honest feeling into melodic homespun folk and honky-tonk punch.

Deryl Dodd can deftly pick soulful harmonies on a guitar. When Dodd moved to Nashville in 1991, he found gigs playing for Martina McBride and Garth Brooks. He played professionally since he was in high school. He started out learning to play before he could speak in the Pentecostal Church where his dad preached in Comanche, Texas.

Dodd’s first album, One Ride In Vegas, was released in 1996. Critics heralded his artistry and talent and were thrilled with his organic voice and good looks. But Dodd wasn’t happy with the characterization, he wanted it to be about the music. In 1998, the album Deryl Dodd, broke and tours with Tim McGraw then Brooks and Dunn were on schedule but he got sick. Diagnosed with an inner ear infection initially, he kept touring. It was later learned he had viral encephalitis.

It wasn’t until 2000, that Dodd was able to give it another go, “I became more spiritual because of the illness. I began to focus more on God’s grace than His judgement. I had to stop beating myself up,”

He’s on his way up again and this time, with the experience of two major rides under his belt, the enlightened, renewed Deryl Dodd is hanging on for the full count.

Gene Watson is the most often attending artist to the Crosby Fair & Rodeo. He first became nationally famous in the 1970‘s and has had a string of successful records based on soulful deep melody.

Relay for Life raises over $355,000, has 1,500 walkers


BAYTOWN– Over 1,500 people, representing 102 teams gave of their time and energy this past weekend to help make the Bay Area Relay for Life a success.

This annual event features teams competing against each other in fundraising efforts, with all money going to the American Cancer Society. The event culminates in a 16-hour walkathon, as team members join together to walk around the football field at Stallworth Stadium in solidarity against cancer.

For the past two years, the Baytown chapter has been the single largest fundraiser in Texas, with last year becoming the first chapter to break the $300,000 mark. Julie DeTorre, one of the organizers of the event, said that Baytown is poised for a three-peat, having already brought in over $355,000. DeTorre said that there are still pledges to be collected and additional monies collected and that by the August 30 deadline, they expect to have raised over $360,000.

Each year the Relay begins with cancer survivors taking the opening lap. This year 250 survivors, along with family and friends, marched in the opening lap. This was followed by team walking, which featured Lee College leading the procession.

Just after 9 p.m. the stadium took on a glow of hope and remembrance as over 5,000 luminaria, honoring those who have cancer and in memory of those who have died from cancer, were lit and the stadium lights were turned off. Walkers continued to march in the light of the ring of candles as the names were read.

Neighborhood in Highlands fights to keep bar from opening

HIGHLANDS– A petition is circulating in this community, with the intent of expressing opposition to a businessman’s plans to buy the old Hall Fabric Store on S. Magnolia Street, and open an establishment that would have a beer and wine license, and additionally have games and other diversions.

Marvin Smith has reportedly purchased the building from the previous owners, Hollis and Doris Hall, and petitioned the TABC for a license.

When adjacent homeowners learned of these plans, they contacted government representatives, including State Representative Joe Crabb, State Senator Jon Whitmire, and Congressman Chris Bell.

The opponents pointed out in their petitions that the building is next door to expensive residences, near a church, and at an intersection that serves as a school bus stop for small children.

However, it seems that the new owners have not violated any laws, and it is apparently not possible to stop the business from opening, they were advised.

This has not deterred the group from continuing their opposition, with the hope that the negative feelings will build up and stop the business. In addition to the petition, flyers have been distributed and meetings have been held with neighborhood groups, according to some of the participants.

Most recently the building has been used by Videos Tonite Scene II. However, it has been vacant for about a year.

Realtor for the transaction was Krisher-McKay of Baytown and Highlands.

Shattered Dreams in Huffman…

The illusion that teens can drink and drive without consequences is lies bleeding in a reality based dramatization in front of Hargrave High. Christy Graves EMT-P, directs triage and a re-enactment of a three vehicle smash-up prior to a comprehensive 2 day program involving several activities to educate about substance abuse and vehicles. Students were taken from class every 15 minutes to represent those dying on our roads at that rate by the Grim Reaper. On Wednesday, an assembly shows vehicular homicide charges brought against one student, and then students funereally hear motivating speakers. Next week’s issue will feature more on this topic.