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Wind of the West Texas Variety

Posted by on Aug 24, 2018

One of the realities of living in the Texas Panhandle is the ability to not become agitated by the wind. There are some days the grit and gusts can drive you mad, but then there are those unbearably hot summer days when you can count on that cool breeze just before sundown. Today we have the shelter of our cars, home and offices where we can escape the incessant blowing that can continue over several days and nights. Weather fills many conversations in this area, mainly because it’s so unpredictable and can change within a matter of several hours. Because of the wind, our rain and snow never falls straight down. It comes in wet and sideways. “She shivered with cold, for the icy wind was at her like a great dog, leaping on her, pulling at her clothes,...

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Looking for Your Next Read?

Posted by on Aug 10, 2018

Book reviews for a few gems I discovered this summer. True Life Memoir MORE THAN EVERYWHERE by Vanessa G. Foster I sat next to Vanessa at a writers dinner on the campus of WTAMU in Canyon, Texas this past summer. As with most gatherings that involve writers, the question always comes up: what do you write? Vanessa tells me that she just finished her memoir but it took her many years to write it. In answer to my question as to what makes her life’s memoir so unique, she says, “I was on the run from the FBI.” Of course I had to read it. This memoir packs a punch! Vanessa is forced to flee from the FBI after they raided her husband’s drug lab. The literary prose is stunning, and the story is haunting. She holds nothing back....

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Inspiration from a Flint Point

Posted by on Aug 3, 2018

I found inspiration from an Indian point dating back to the Antelope Creek People who occupied the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles between 1150 AD and 1450 AD. The utilized the quarry at Alibates for over three hundred years, trading the flint with other tribes. On our ranch in the Texas Panhandle, heavy rains had washed off the top soil to reveal grey soil and chunks of blackened rock in a dry creek bed. Fragments of bone and flint flakes surrounded me. No doubt this had been the site of a fire pit. Kneeling on the side of the gentle slope, I moved aside the darkened rocks and began digging. After two hours of concentrated effort, I unearthed a perfectly formed point of grey Alibates flint. The arrowhead was a blank, which would have been carried in a pouch until...

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Crow Country & Chief Plenty Coups

Posted by on Jul 27, 2018

“Thank you for coming to Crow country. The land you are standing on is mixed with Crow blood.” ALDEN BIG MAN JR. I’m blogging about the Western Writers of America conference held in Billings and the field trip opportunities. I hopped on a bus and enjoyed a sack lunch while we journeyed to the Crow Nation to learn about Chief Plenty Coups. Chief Plenty Coups State Park is located on land still occupied by the Crow Nation south of Billings, Montana, a tribe once occupying the Yellowstone river valley from Wyoming, Montana and into North Dakota before being pushed west by the Cheyenne and Sioux. We walked the land and toured the home of one of the great Chiefs, best know for protecting the original homeland of his people and guiding by example for five decades. The land is...

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WWA Panel: Returning Buffalo to the Plains

Posted by on Jul 20, 2018

WWA Panel: Returning Buffalo to the Plains The Western Writers of America conference in Billings, Montana this year offered several informative panels on various topics. “Returning Buffalo to the Plains” was the topic, moderated by Bill Markley, with Kathleen O’Neal Gear, archaeologist and historian, along with her husband W. Michael Gear, archaeologist and award-winning author, who have been raising bison for 25 years in the Owl Creek Mountains of northern Wyoming.  Gervase Hittle worked as foreman/manager of Dan O’Brien’s Wildidea Buffalo Ranch located on the Cheyenne River. The buffalo have a long and storied history. North American bison fur that had been woven into wool was discovered in Iceland as far back as 1300 AD. The estimated numbers of bison that thrived on the grasses of the great plains was estimated to be around 70 million. By 1800, 50-65...

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