The Bookshelf, Young Texas Reader, Blog Notes, & Texana Youtube Channel

The Texas Bookshelf is for single, specific books' reviews and author interviews . The Texas Parlor ranges more broadly than my other websites. The Young Texas Reader focuses on the youngest through teenagers. Texas Blog Notes surveys blogs of historical and literary interest. I've started a Will's Texana Youtube collecting channel where 1,000 videos are collected in 100 playlists . Find Will in Houston or at willstexana {at} yahoodotcom

Saturday, June 28, 2008

LBJ and Cartoons

Editorial Cartoonists Hear LBJ and Kay (Graham) on Tape

By Dave Astor in Editor and Publisher Magazine
Published: June 27, 2008 8:20 PM ET
"In addition to the phone recordings and numerous other items, the LBJ Library has more than 4,000 cartoons amassed by Johnson.

"He was an inveterate collector of cartoons," said session moderator Ben Sargent, cartoonist for the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman and Universal Press Syndicate."


Tim Staley - Austin Public Library Foundation Exec.Dir.

Tim Staley has been selected as the new executive director of The Austin Public Library Foundation .
The nonprofit foundation focuses on securing private funding to support and strengthen the city's libraries. Staley will take over as executive director on June 23. He says his top priority will be to lead fundraising efforts for the new Austin Central Library,

UNT Law School in Historic Dallas Bldg

UNT Law School Planned At Historic Site

POSTED: 7:21 pm CDT June 26, 2008 UPDATED: 7:31 pm CDT June 26, 2008

Plans to open a University of North Texas law school at the old Dallas City Hall on Harwood will also open the building's infamous history to the public, NBC 5 reported.

Lee Harvey Oswald was shot in the basement sally port of the old City Hall and President Kennedy's alleged killer was jailed in an upstairs cell in the building.
Dallas City Council agreed Wednesday to spend $16 million to renovate old city hall for UNT, which expects state approval to open the first public law school in North Texas."
Read more about it at

Texas Governor's Mansion & Fire

First things first, the Friends of the Texas Governor's Mansion website is plainly one of the most visually refreshing images in terms of the colors selected (sort of a golden yellow and cream) without a lot of clutter.

That being said. There is an absolute riot of news and conjecture regarding the recent fire. The Friends have this to offer.

"The Mansion suffered a devastating fire due to arson on Sunday, June 8, 2008. Fortunately, the building was empty due to a major deferred maintenance project. The First Family, their furnishings and all the historic collections were removed last October. Even the old doors and many of the original windows were off site during this construction project. Ongoing study of the damaged building by structural engineers and preservation architects makes us optimistic that the Mansion can be restored. The roof is greatly damaged, but the exterior walls are holding well. Historic architectural elements inside the structure were covered before the fire to protect them during the maintenance work. These covers preserved many of the fireplace mantels, door surrounds and the beautiful staircase during the fire. Please check back for periodic updates on the effort to save the home."

The "Building Maintenance" page within the site does have three postings relative to the fire. (As an aside these postings appear to "blog-like" in fashion. I'd not noticed this section before. Is it an embedded blog intended to offer occasional notes on original renovation?)

No specific news yet regarding the books, records, and papers formerly within the structure. We assume such were removed as were most valuables before the recent project of renovation.
For those interested in bibliography, the website does have an admirably lengthy, and categoried list under "Bibliography and Collections", the categories being:
Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. .
Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
FGM Curating Files. Friends of the Governor’s Mansion.
Governor’s Mansion Curating Files. Governor’s Mansion.
Archives Division, Texas State Library and Archives.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Retrospective columns in Diboll Free Press

From the looks of this Diboll Free Press article, it appears they have 30 years of files from which they regularly pull samplers at 1, 5, 10, 20, and 30 years ago.  One photo accompanies this filing.  Good practice.  Seems like I recall the Marshall News Messenger doing something similar.

East Texas Historical Association's Weekly Column

The East Texas Historical Association offers a weekly column. Here's a sample 
The Forgotten Forests

Smithsonian Festival Features Texas

In Washington DC the Smithsonian operates an annual Folklife Festival.  This year it features the big THREE:  The country of Bhutan, the State of Texas, and the Agency of NASA.
NASA: Fifty Years and Beyond
Showcasing the role that the men and women of NASA have played in broadening the horizons of American science and culture

Texas: A Celebration of Music, Food, and Wine 
Exploring a dynamic and creative society, built upon rich natural resources, thriving cosmopolitan cities and engaging rural landscapes


Texas High School Admission Test 1885

Thanks to the Schotline for passing this on.

SCHotline Press Releases

"Could You Pass the 1885 Admission Test for High School?"

Posted in Uncategorized by schotline on June 24th, 2008
June 16 2008
"Could You Pass the 1885 Admission Test for High School?"
Submitted by Lou Neiger
A friend recently sent me this Internet link, , called "Could You Pass the 1885 Admission Test for High School?".
It is interesting

Wishbone the Dog is Texan

Author Michael Steele's "Wishbone is a television show which aired from 1995 to 2001 in the United States featuring a Jack Russell Terrier of the same name. Re-runs currently air weekly on select PBS stations. The main character, the talking dog Wishbone, lives with his owner Joe Talbot in the fictional modern town of Oakdale, Texas. As he tends to daydream about being the lead character of stories from classic literature, drawing parallels between the stories and events in the lives of Joe and his friends, he was known as "the little dog with a big imagination".

Austin PL & $90 million

Austin Public Library is in the implementationi stages of a $90 million dollars its re-vitalization.  The annual Austin Public Library Foundation fundraising event is called "Texas Tales: The story begins here.   This year's event will be the first chapter of the next big endeavor for the City of Austin, supporting the new Central Library. The evening's motto is "A great city needs a great library. Be a part of Austin's greatest story, and help us build a vibrant new central library." In November 2006 the citizens of Austin unanimously approved a $90 million bond package to build a new Central Library; now the City of Austin and the Library are moving forward with the process and will have a design team selected by November 2008. "Texas Tales 2008: the story begins here" is APLF's campaign launch, creating a great new Central Library for all the citizens of Austin."
[Readers may wish to note that the Foundation is not exactly, though closed tied to, the Friends of APL.  A trend for ENORMOUS captial programs is that for a separate organization other than the traditional Friends is established.]
Read more about it at
Joe Nick Patoski's new Willie Nelson book will be a general adhesive for the weekend.

Earliest museums

What are our earliest museums?  Well, the Handbook of Texas begins its article by Ron Tyler on museums ....
"MUSEUMS. Museums are a relatively recent development in Texas. Perhaps the first museum was nothing more than the exhibition in a local hotel room of an itinerant limner's portrait samples, such as Thomas Jefferson Wrightqv presented in Houston in 1837. But in 1879 Sam Houston Normal Institute established a museum to preserve materials relating to Sam Houston,qv hero of the Texas Revolution,qv president of the Republic of Texasqv and senator and governor of the state, and in 1881 Albert Friedrich began the collection of horns that became the Buckhorn Hall of Horns in San Antonio (see BUCKHORN SALOON). By the turn of the century the Museum of Human Anatomy at the Medical Branch of the University of Texas (1890), the Strecker Museumqv at Baylor University in Waco (1893), and the teaching museum at Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio (1896) were in operation, and art associations throughout the state had given birth to fledgling art galleries in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth, and several other cities."
So even before 1900 we had history, natural history, science, and art the four basic categories?  The topic could be interesting scratch on.  The Online Handbook cites "museum" being used at least 500 times.  (As an aside, before TSHA relied upon Google to search, more than 500 hits could be retrieved and were presentable in more than little 10 citation page units.  Oh, the good old days.)

Waskom, Elmo, and Tocker

The Marshall News Messenger, a fine pine tree based product that I formerly threw at (excuse me) to many homes in my early career in publishing, carries a warm story that actually carries a bit of Texana inadvertantly.
Library receives grant for an Elmo projector
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"The Waskom Public Library recently received a grant from the Tocker Foundation to fund an Elmo projector that projects book pages onto the TV, digital camera and printer as well as books to add to the collection.
Based in Austin, the purpose of the Tocker Foundation is to distribute funds principally for the support, encouragement and assistance to small rural libraries in Texas."
Read more about it at
Notice in the photo, the adult is Texas dressed and using a Texas book.  Never too young to introduce kids to their broader community.
Oh, and the Tocker Foundation is a wonderful crew - grants to small libraries just like Waskom.  Check them out.


DPS Claims Secrecy in Mansion Fire Video

The Texas Deparment of Public Safety refused to provide access or a copy of the video taped as the Governor's Mansion was being set afire.  The claim was that terrorists could learn too much about the security video system according to a story in the June 24 Houston Chronicle:
DPS tries to deny open records video request
By KELLEY SHANNON Associated Press Writer
© 2008 The Associated Press

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Author's Den

An alternative source for finding Texana outside of the traditional channel is the Author's Den.
It's self-description is
The largest most vibrant free online literary community of authors and readers! Visited by 1,400,000+ readers/mo.
Authors: Participate and you will reach many readers. Share your bio, books, blog, events, stories, articles, poetry and drive traffic to your other websites.Readers: Discover, interact, get personal, buy and read!"
Search for "Texas" and you'll find hundreds of hits: author's bios, book summaries, full text poetry and short stories, and events such as Tab Lloyd's book signing which comes up first in the long "Texas" list. See first 10

FREE TEXAS book signing (event) with Tab Lloyd on AuthorsDen
FREE TEXAS book signing, Travel news with Tab
Ghosts, Spooks, and Spirits of South Texas (book) by Carol Riley ...
Ghosts, Spooks, and Spirits of South Texas, Story
West Texas Book & Music Festival (event) with Janis C Test on ...
West Texas Book & Music Festival, Education/Training news with Janis C
Deborah K. Frontiera (author) on AuthorsDen
Honor book in 2005 for the Texas State Reading Association's Golden Spur ... Winner of the North Texas Book Festival's award for a children's book in 2007.
Floyd M. Orr (author) on AuthorsDen
Laura Bush founded The Texas Book Festival when she was the First Lady of Texas. This 11th Annual event is sure to be one of the largest and most successful
April Robins (author) on AuthorsDen
April 13, 2008 Noon to 6:00 p.m. The 6th Annual Plano Book Festival in downtown Plano, Texas at Haggard Park, and the nearby Courtyard Theatre. - Upcoming Events
Come visit with Tab Lloyd, author of FREE TEXAS: FREE THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN THE LONE STA... 6/21/2008 - The Atkinsen Ticket Author: Ken Gorman
Jeannie, A Texas Frontier Girl, Book Three (book) by Evelyn Horan ...
JEANNIE, A TEXAS FRONTIER GIRL, BOOK 3 Will the Indian children be accepted by their classmates at school? Will fifteen-year-old Jeannie FINALLY be ready
Texas Rain (book) by Jodi Thomas on AuthorsDen
Honest, straightforward, and ruggedly handsome, Travis McMurray is also more than a little bit busted, the result of an ambush during his service as a Texas ... - 16 hours ago
Jeannie, A Texas Frontier Girl, Book Three (book) by Evelyn Horan ...
Jeannie, A Texas Frontier Girl, Book Three, “An Accident” Suddenly Helga cried, “Look over there!” She pointed toward the

Beaumont's McFaddin-Ward House Restoration

Restoration Begins on Columns

at McFaddin-Ward House

June 23, 2008
By Scott Lawrence

"Work has begun to restore the four columns in front of the McFaddin Ward house.
The tops of the columns will be stripped of paint and used as a cast model for the exact replicas of the originals.
On Monday, workers boxed two of the 150 pound pieces for shipment to Oak Grove Restoration Company in Maryland.
The 100-year-old, 22-foot columns are iconic to the 1906-era McFaddin-Ward House and their slow deterioration necessitated the four-month refurbishing project."

And visit the House at

Kay Hutchison's Capitol Comment

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's office

provides a weekly column,

the Capitol Comment

Some recent issues are

John Cornyn's Texas Times

Senator Cornyn's office offers a weekly "Texas Times" column for newspapers to print should they choose, and some do.

Some recent issues are

Texas Awl Bidness on TV

Black Gold is Texas TV

Article by Tom Maurstad


"Black Gold chronicles the daily grind and explosive drama of oil-field drilling in West Texas. The debut had plenty of reality-TV traditions -- it sets up a drama-inducing narrative by focusing on three competing operations all drilling in hopes of tapping into the same reserve.
It introduces plenty of colorful characters. Each operation has its own team of players,starting with the driller who is like the quarterback and, of course, each driller represents a rival archetype."


Or see videos at Showing Wednesdays 10:00 pm

DALLAS at 40

The Bullock Texas History Museum

in Austin will tip its hat to the legendary television show "Dallas" with JR and all the crew.

Get info and tickets at this temporary file.

Hmmm, makes the Parlor wonder how's the movie coming?

Llano Estacado Bibliography

Sibley Nature Center

"The Sibley Nature Center celebrates the southern Llano Estacado and the region surrounding it within 150 miles. Through programs given at its site of 49 acres in Hogan Park in Midland, Texas, and at schools, meeting rooms, ranches, and personal homes through out the region, the Sibley Nature Center seeks to encourage the region’s citizens to be knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, and history of the region."

The list is described as "Best Books about the Llano Estacado: The following is a list of the Best Books to Read (in one person’s opinion) to learn about West Texas History and Culture, and the best field guides for the flora and fauna. "

Sibley's topics include

History - Geology, Indians, Hispanic, Anglo,

Elmer Kelton's Best Books

20th Century



Natural History

The Bookshelfer came here for the bibliography but look!
"In the collections room are a plethora of resources:
a 1,000+ volume natural history library,
the Midland Archaeological Society’s 400 volume library,
the Frances Williams Memorial Bird Library,
an insect collection,
a bone collection,
the Midland County Herbarium,
the beginnings of a Hispanic cultural library,
the beginnings of a West Texas Historical library,
vertical files of magazine and scholarly journal articles,
a collection of West Texas county soil maps, and mounted specimens."
The online collection of essays on natural and people topics is quite admirable, a leader I'd say in that area as well.

Texan John Wayne in Kansas

Dark Command:

John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and the Butchering of Civil War History

June 23rd, 2008 by Brett Schulte

reminds us John Wayne is an illiterate Texas cowboy opposing Quantrill in Kansas

Monday, June 23, 2008

Maurice Gray Dies in Beaumont

Death of Maurine Gray, aged 64

Decades long director of Beaumont Public Library.

Gray had become a legend years ago. Among other significant contributions Gray's tenure saw the conversion of the original Terrell building into a major Texana collection. When asked about it once, she simply said, "Well, the book stock and papers were already here, and the people just wanted things in better shape and add some more. That's what we're doing."

Read more about it by Dee Dixon 6/23/08 at the Beaumont Enterprise

Dallas Public Library Texana Collection

J. Erik Jonsson Central Library's 7th floor needs first priority

by Robert Miller - Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, June 22, 2008
Funding for the 13-year renovation of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library might be compared to a marathon: The desire toward the finish is as great as ever, but the legs lack the fire they had at the beginning.
Margaret McDermott's generosity launched the effort to renovate all eight floors of the central library in 1995, and so far the Friends of the Dallas Public Library have gotten $13.9 million in private and public sector money toward a goal of $19.8 million, said Deborah Brown, executive director of the Friends.
The money needed to renovate the seventh floor – the only one not covered by funding so far – is $5.9 million.
Since the Friends group is responsible for raising half – the city is matching that amount dollar for dollar – its commitment is $2.95 million."

"The seventh floor includes Texas/Dallas History and Archives, Fine Book Collection, O'Hara Exhibit Hall and Texas Center for the Book.
"The Texas/Dallas History and Archives division collects, preserves and makes available to researchers materials relating to the history and culture of the city of Dallas and the state of Texas," Ms. Brown said. "


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Roswell, Texas

Mattexian directs us to for an alternative to traditional historical views to find Roswell, Texas, a rival to Mobil's Texas Movies History. Jack Jackson woulda smiled. It's gone down the slippery slope and has gone from a net edition to actual paper. Parlor folks will get onto this and report back in the Bookshelf.

Jericho and the Republic of Texas Reaction

When Jericho was finally killed a second time (after considerable protest and the symbolic nuts campaign) the public continued its reaction to network disregard to a fine story line - maintaining freedom at personal cost - and finally under the influence of Texas tradition. See Mattexian of the Beaumont region for his response

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

History Presentation Project for High School

Friends of the Governnor's Mansion Contest

Monday, 01 October 2007
Here are the guidelines for the contest. Every one must read these to make sure your submissions are correct. Look here for all of the latest dates and criteria for submitting a successful project.

1. This contest is open to any student in a Texas public or private high school who is in grade 9-12 during the Fall 2007 semester. Home school students may also be eligible but must contact us by email no later than Monday, October 1, 2007 for special instructions.

2. Each contest entry will consist of a presentation which runs as a slide show in Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 or an earlier version. The target audience is Texas high school students; i.e. the peers of the participants. The history of the county in which the student’s high school is located must be used. The topic must cover history that occurred at least 50 years ago or earlier (prior to 1956). The topic of the presentation must be in one of the following categories:

- a local person or group of people of historical interest
- a local building or site of historical interest
- an event which was significant in the county’s history.

Some sample ideas for project topics are:

- the county courthouse
- a battlefield and the battle which happened there
- a person from the county who made national news
- the earliest settlers of the county
- a local mystery or ghost story and the people/places associated with it
- an architect and the buildings she/he designed
- an artist, group of artists or art collection

3. Students may submit individual or group projects but each student may participate in only one project. A group may consist of up to three students. Projects may not be done with any professional help except guidance from the current history or computer teacher of the participant(s). Each project must include the name of the history or computer teacher in the students’ high school who will certify that the project is solely the work of the student(s) submitting that project to the contest.

4. Participants are required to indicate their intention to participate in the contest by submitting the official entry form. The form may be accessed online from the contest home page at Each individual student or group of students will submit one entry form for the project to be entered in the contest. Only completely filled out entry forms will be accepted. The entry form must be sent electronically by 12:00 midnight CDT on Friday, October 26, 2007. No late entrants will be permitted to submit projects to the contest.

5. All participants are responsible for the following:

- Acquiring permission to use images and audio from the copyright owners
if needed
- All project expenses
- For the winners, transportation to Austin for the awards presentation
if they choose to attend.

6. Electronic submissions must be sent from the submission form accessible online at All projects submitted online must be sent by 12:00 midnight CST on Friday, November 30, 2007. Each submitted project will be automatically date and time stamped. Alternatively, projects may be submitted on a standard 48x max CD mailed to FGM, P.O. Box 2447, Austin, Texas 78768. Projects which are mailed must be postmarked by November 30, 2007. Participants will receive confirmation by email that their projects were received, so be sure your email address is correct in your contest entry record. No late entries will be accepted.

7. All projects must be created in and run as a slide show in Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 or an earlier version. The presentation must not exceed 17 slides and cannot run longer than 4 minutes. The only file type which will be allowed is .PPT, so all audio and image files must be imbedded in the PowerPoint file. The file size limit for all projects is 3.0 megabytes. The server will NOT accept larger files for electronic submission. Projects submitted by mail on a CD also must not exceed 3.0 megabytes. Larger files may be disqualified from the contest. See the Submission Page for additional technical specifications and for help on limiting file size to meet the requirements.

8. All projects must include as the first slide a title page listing the names of the participant(s), the name of their high school, the name of the high school teacher who certifies the project as the exclusive work of the participants, and the city and county in which the school is located. The next to the last slide of each presentation must include credits for the source of any image, sound or text quotation used from an outside source. The final slide of each presentation must list references used in researching the topic, including publications, web sites and local history collections.

9. All projects become the property of Friends of the Governor’s Mansion and may be made available to the public on the organization’s web site.

10. Winners will be selected in the following categories:

- Best overall project by an individual student
- Best overall project by a group of students
- Best use of audio
- Best use of images
- Best use of text
Winners in the two overall project categories will not be eligible for the best use of audio, images and text categories. Each winning student will receive a certificate. The high school of each winner will receive an award of $500 in honor of the winning student(s) and teacher who certified the winning project.
We suggest that part of the cash award be used to pay for travel to Austin for the winning students and their teacher to attend the awards presentation. Any remaining money from the award may be used for a school project suggested by this teacher.
11. Friends of the Governor’s Mansion will have sole responsibility for appointing the panel of judges for the contest. All decisions of the panel are final.

12. Student winners will be notified by email; their high school principals will also be notified. Winners will be invited to Austin for an awards presentation on a date to be announced.

Thank you for your interest in the Texas Governor’s Mansion. We hope that this contest will be an exciting and educational experience for Texas students. Please send your questions about the project to

Visionaries in Preservation in Corsicana

"The turnout was “fantastic,” according to commission staffers.

“This is the largest turnout we’ve probably ever had,” said Josh Lasserre, state coordinator of Visionaries in Preservation, a division of the Texas Historical Commission in Austin.
“This shows the community is interested in what happens in the city,” he said. “When they participate in this way it says a lot.”

as reported in the Corsicana Daily Sun

See the Visionaries THC brochure at

Talking Newspapers in West Texas

West Texas Recording Library opens telephone reader

by Kathleen ThurberMidland Reporter-Telegram
Published: Thursday, June 19, 2008 3:21 AM CDT
-Program allows visually impaired to hear current events
[Clients call in and give a listen to their newspaper]
"Today is Thursday June 19. Beep.
Press one for the Midland Reporter-Telegram,
two for grocery store ads,
four for Texas Monthly. Beep.

Press 10 for front page, 11 for local news, 12 for state news. Beep.
With the touch of just a few buttons visually impaired citizens throughout the Permian Basin will now be able to call in and soak up local news, advertisements and other information they may have been missing by only having accessibility to audio news reports. The Recording Library of West Texas opened a new phone line this week where locals can hear recordings of the Reporter-Telegram each day as well as grocery store ads, Texas Monthly articles and any requested newsletters, said its Executive Director Trish Speight. The Odessa American and a variety of national news articles also will be added to the line shortly.

Way Out West Book Festival

Way Out West Texas Book Festival
The Rotary Club of Alpine will host the WAY OUT WEST TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL to benefit the Alpine Public Library and its Marathon branch.

The multifaceted event is scheduled for August 8-9 at the Sul Ross Espino Conference Center.
For more information visit:

Texas Historical Diasters

GenDisasters ... Events That Touched Our Ancestors' Lives

An interesting site of national scope but allows to easily focus by state. The Texas list contains over 300 disasters, many with illustrations. Some of the categories are

Use this in conjunction with Mike Cox's Texas Disasters book.

J. Kent Calder, New TSHA Executive Director

Texas State Historical Association

Names J. Kent Calder

Executive Director

The news release from the Univeristy of North Texas partially states

"J. Kent Calder, right, director of Arizona State University’s Scholarly Publishing Program, was named the executive director of the Texas State Historical Association, which will be housed at UNT beginning this fall. Calder, who was selected after a national search, will begin his full-time position July 1. As executive director, he will be responsible for representing the association at public and governmental functions, managing its personnel, leading strategic planning and other initiatives of the Board of Directors and developing and implementing the association’s annual budget and fund raising activities. "


"Calder, a Fort Worth native, was the TSHA’s director of publications from 2003 to 2006 before being hired by ASU. He says he is honored to be chosen by the Board of Directors to lead the TSHA as it moves to UNT."


"Fran Vick, TSHA president, says Calder "brings a lot of enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge" to his new position, after holding management positions with the Indiana and Wisconsin Historical Societies. "He knows other state associations, but he also knows TSHA. We're thrilled to death to have him," Vick says."


A sample from 823,000 hits in Googol

A Googol search for "Alamo -car" brought 1,020,000 hits. Juneteenth may be on its way to adding another great Texas event to the panoply of liberation and freedom concepts of widely national recognition. Each symbolizes the overthrow of unreasonable bonds of an unresponsive government.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Canyon's Tex Randall in Danger

New Land Owner Reported Undesiring

Tex Randall, a statue over 40 feet tall, has stood over a Canyon business district is about to loose his right to stand tall.

"Tex was “born” in 1959. He was the brainchild of William H. “Harry” Wheeler, a sculptor, teacher, businessman, writer and musician. Wheeler was a native Texan and attended Oklahoma State University and University of Michigan.
The basic form for Tex was built of rebar, pipes and steel mesh and was hoisted up to lean over the Corral Curio Shop and cabins. He weighed in at an impressive 8,000 pounds when he was hoisted up from the ground, before the stucco was added.
Buddy Price, who worked at Currie Drilling, was one of the workers who helped get Tex up on his feet."

I recommend that Texas be removed and hired as the supervisor of the Cadillac Ranch or the Panhandle farmers' own variation "Combine City" a large area of retired combines etc.
Seems SOMEBODY oughta form a "Tex Randall Art Appreciation and Preservation Society" to address the challenges that Tex faces with the broader, corollary purpose to identify other MONUMENTAL ART in Texas, promote the historical, cultural, and technical appreciation of said art, and assist its preservation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Arte Publico - KUHF Radio Partnership

In Houston, Arte Publico, possibly the largest American publisher of Hispanic books, is teaming with KUHF radio station to give a focus of APP's "Author of the Month." So far three have been selected

Carlos Cisneros - July

Gwendlyn Zepeda - June

Javier O. Huerta - May

Alicia Gaspar de Alba - April

Eric Landau will be providing interviews to which surfers listen.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tejas Star Book Awards - Youngsters, Bilingual


Region 1 of the Education Service Centers has done it again?

in two languages?

Tejas Star Book Award

Top award to the 2007 Tejas Star Book Award Winner:

Juan and the Chupacabras/Juan y el Chupacabras by Xavier Garza

"The Tejas Star Book Award was created by the Region One ESC Library Advisory Committee to promote reading in general and for readers to discover the cognitive and economic benefits of bilingualism and multilingualism. All the children of Texas have the opportunity to select their favorite book from the Tejas Star list during the 2008-2009 school year. "

See the fuller list at the link.

The titles do not superficially suggest a particular Texas connection, but its likely that some are.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

San Jacinto Historic District

If you've been driving from Houston
eastward through the Pasadena area, you may have noticed the ENORMOUS historical pictorials emblazoned on the oil tanks. That's the San Jacinto Historic District's doings. Arising about 2006, the District been productive. The SJHD is a complementary collection of local jurisdictions wishing to maintain the heritage of the Battle of San Jacinto and the Battleship Texas with some attention to improving affairs to attract tourist dollars. Notice "Project Stars."

The Mission Statement:
" Our Mission: Sharing our Heritage and our Vision
Project Stars™ is a collaborative effort that brings together the port region communities of East Harris County (Precinct Two). This effort resulted in a Master Plan utilizing tools such as innovative urban landscaping, unique image enhancement techniques, and strategic economic development focusing on untapped historical resources. This Master Plan was created over a two year period and currently targets enhancements for 26 historic sites on major corridors.
Precinct Two represents nearly one million people living in the most populous county in Texas. Generally located between Houston’s I-45 on the west, Interstate 10 on the north, Galveston Bay on the east, and Clear Lake on the south, the precinct is larger than five states.
The Project Stars Master Plan emerged after conducting analysis, research, benchmarking and gathering community feedback over a two year period. Among the plan’s first goals was the creation of the San Jacinto Historic District. Mission accomplished: it is now the newest and the 5th largest historic district in the state of Texas.
The Economic Alliance Houston Port Region shepherded a volunteer task force of approximately 50 leaders and numerous agencies; and the number continues to grow. Our leaders have identified quality of life issues that capture the attention and the imagination. Historic sites were rediscovered as amenities unique to the area. These “stars”- as they became known in the Master Plan – do not exist anywhere else on the planet.
Implementation of our 2006 goals – with the help of many stakeholders – including economic research, the submission of several grant applications to the Texas Department of Transportation, and the planting of more than 4,000 trees is just the tip of the iceberg. Or as we say…the tip of the Stars!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Leon McBeth, Baptist Historian, Honored

Leon McBeth honored as Elder Statesman

By Ken Camp, Managing Editor, Baptist Standard, June 11, 2008
[The article begins]
"INDEPENDENCE—Leon McBeth, who wrote the definitive history of Texas Baptists and taught church history to a generation of seminary students, received the 2008 Texas Baptist Elder Statesman Award."
"In addition to numerous articles for scholarly journals and Baptist state papers, McBeth also has written nine books, including The Baptist Heritage and Texas Baptists: A Sesquicentennial History."


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Texas School Librarians Blog

A Library By Any Other Name Is Still A Collection of Information

An admirable blog. If'n you're hankerin' to get to watch librarians talk and sqawk and even balk from time to time, check it out.

June Naylor and the Texas Highways Blog

June Naylor's been writing about Texas

for some time, in some depth. You can also now find her as the principal blogger at the Texas Highways (Magazine) blog.

2008 June Signature Texana - Heritage Auction Gallery

A Penny for Your Name

If you're available in three days you can watch the progress of a 357-item auction of Texana signatures, dating from the Spanish period to modern conducted by Dallas' Heritage Auction Galleries via Ebay methodology. The signatures on on autographed letters, printed orders, books, a statue (Sam Houston), land grants, court cases

Expect floors of $200 to $50,000.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Texas Journalism Declines

The "Texas Editor" laments

the recent decline of Texas journalism in print and other in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, etc.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Texas Baptist Historical Collection - Dallas
Hours/Location/Contact TBHC
The Texas Baptist Historical Collection is open weekdays 8:30 am - 4:30 pm and is closed on major holidays as well as the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. If you plan to visit the Collection in person, please contact the Collection before your visit.

The Collection is located at: 4144 N. Central Expressway, Suite 110, Dallas, Texas 75204 in the Ambertown Tower building located on the east frontage road of North Central Expressway (US Highway 75) between Fitzhugh and Haskell streets. Click here for a map.

Alan Lefever, Director
Naomi Taplin, Librarian

For more detailed information, please contact us:
Phone: (972) 331-2235
Fax: (972) 331-2244

Doc Summers at ETBU in Marshall mentions are review of the archives at

Mayborn Writers Conference is A-coming!

Mike Merschel in his DMN "Books Blog"

notes the up-coming 4th annual UNT Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest, July 18-20, 2008-Grapevine, Texas. "A forum for journalists, writers, readers, students, educators and the general public to listen to, be inspired by and discuss literary nonfiction in all its forms with some of the most talented in the genre."

Mike draws your attention to the several page document detailing the writing contest

Or check-out their previous confernces

This year they again to have a dozen national authors telling everybody what to do and a collection of excellent state writers holding forth.

Remember the Spurs of Inspiration volume they produced a couple of years ago

Melody Kelly, President of Texas Library Association

Melody Kelly, University of North Texas Librarian

Elected Texas Library Association President

The UNT press release begins:

"DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Melody Kelly, associate dean of libraries at UNT, recently took the position of president of the Texas Library Association for the 2008-2009 term. As the association's president, Kelly will be the chief elected officer for the largest state library organization in the United States. Through the association, she will work to support library funding throughout the state for school, public, special and academic libraries.

"It will be my task to encourage the identification and the development of implementation strategies that will carry forward the Texas Library Association's vision for transforming Texas libraries," said Kelly. "This process will only just begin during my presidential term, and it will be up to the next president and the membership to keep the transformation process going so that Texas libraries working together are able to serve any Texan any time and any place through their local library facility or via the internet – bricks or clicks.""

UNT is one of the stronger and more creative academic libraries in Texas. Among it many strong point is its "Portal to Texas History" and its recent acceptance as the new home of the Texas State Historical Association.

Congratulations Melody!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Texas Mystery Authors

A fullsome website worth visiting and lingering. Some parts include
And the groups
Abilene Writers Guild
Austin Christian Writers Guild
Authors and Publishers Assn.
Bay Area Writers League
Brazos Writers
Dallas Screenwriters Association
Fort Bend Writers Guild
Flower Mound Writers Group
Houston Writers League
Houston Writers Network in the Heights
Mystery Writers of America - Southwest Chapter
National Association of Women Writers
Nuestra Palabra
Panhandle Professional Writers
Poetry Society of Texas
Romance Writers of America - Heart of Texas
San Antonio Writers Guild
San Gabriel Writers League
Sisters in Crime, Houston
Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators - Houston
Society for Technical Communication
Southeast Texas Writers Cafe
Southwest Cowboy Poets Association
Southwest Writers
Southern Oklahoma Writers
Texas Coalition of Authors
Writers Club of Pasadena
Writers League of Texas
Women in the Visual and Literary Arts
Woodlands Writers Guild

Library Digitization Conference

June 4-6

The conference descripton begins
"Last June the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, and the Texas Digital Library (TDL) convened a Texas Conference on Digital Libraries (TCDL) at the University of Texas at Austin. It was a small meeting, with generative presentations and discussion and showed that the TDL is a project with a vision. Just one year later, to judge from the attendance and energy at the second TCDL, it's also a project that has "legs". After day one my free association about the TDL is "This dog can hunt." "

See other info at the Texas Digital Library

DRT Library Director at Alamo

The description begins
Provides direction and administration of the Texas history research library located on the Alamo Historical Complex. Responsible for collection development and its security, physical maintenance, and preservation. Promotes the library's collections through tours and presentations and plans public forums. Oversees accessioning, cataloging, processing, preparation of finding aids, reference services, and automated library network. Responsible for budget development and maintenance of financial records. Prepares grant proposals and supervises fundraising efforts. Responsible for public relations with potential library donors, DRT members, and public presentations. Supervises staff of four professionals and three paraprofessionals. Reports to the Library Committee of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas."

Waymarking Historical database

Waymarking "will provide you with the tools to share and discover unique and interesting locations on the planet."

Many of the marked places are historical with markers. The THC series is popular.

Give some time exploring this one.

Jan and Mitchell recognized

Words You Want Ghostwriting blog offers two writers of the month

Jan and Mitchell

Community College Texas History Syllabus - Olivares

At the Houston Community College, they teach Texas history, don't they?
Here's Dr. Jaime Ramón Olivares' syllabus

and his blog for his classes

US History with Dr. O

Samuel Gompers Marker in San Antonio

This ex-patriot Texan's blog identifies a piece of labor history in Texas, Samuel Gompers' death in San Antonio. The event has a statue and narrative plaque from the AFL-CIO. Hmm, is there a series of labor marker throughout the state, or was this just an incidental affair?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

National Trust blog: Preservation Nation

National Trust for Historic Presevation has a blog

Preservation Nation: Historic Preservation News, Networking, and Know How

again not much Texana here, but good to compare if you're wishing to start a similar blog on a narrower interest Blog Topics,

among its diverse offerings, offers a suite of several companion blogs openable by selected general topic at

Rarely, Texana but an interesting concept. Maybe anticipating a fuller version of our companion blogs and

PRESERVATION BLOG TOPICS Click topic name below to view all available articles for that topic
Architecture and Design Issues in architecture and design, from new projects, discussion of master architects, and related news.
Educational Programs in Preservation Post information about undergraduate and graduate programs in historic preservation and cultural resource preservation, upcoming classes in preservation and cultural resource, and information on educational seminars and workshops and other study-related activity.
Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources Post employment opportunities available in historic preservation, building restoration, museum employment, architecture, urban planning, and other related fields. Full-time positions, internships, contract employment and other opportunities in preservation-related fields.
Endangered History Spread the word about a historic site or structure in your area that is endangered, as well as learn about the efforts of preservation organizations to save endangered places and threatened cultural resources.
Funding, Tax Incentives and Grants for Preservation Projects Information on funding and grants for preservation projects, available programs and tax incentives.
Heritage Travel and Tourism Trip information for historic and scenic places from all over the world. Articles about heritage travel, historic lodging and accommodations, and great trips you can take to see history all over the world.
Historic Preservation & Restoration Projects Sharing successes/failures from preservation and restoration projects, as well as techniques in the restoration and revitalization of historic homes, buildings, historic districts and places, and related structures. Case studies of preservation and restoration projects.
Legislation & Public Policy Issues in Preservation Detailing past, current and future legislation in historic preservation and cultural resource preservation, as well as highlight past/current/future policy issues in preservation at the local, state and national levels.
Museums & Cultural Resources Posts outlining current and upcoming exhibitions, museum news, and information about history and cultural resource museums. Information on history museums, historic house museums, and cultural sites and places.
National Park Service News Regular updates on National Park Service news, issues faced by parks and sites managed by the National Park Service, trip and travel ideas, and other insights into the management of our national parks.
Researching Your Historic Home Steps detailing the research process for historic homes and places, advantages of employing a historic consultant, as well as related tips and case studies.
Theater, Cinema & Opera House Restoration and Revitalization Information about the restoration and revitalization of historic theaters, movie theaters, opera houses, historic performing arts centers, etc. Also, resources available for historic theater lovers and researchers.
Urban Planning & Downtown Revitalization Issues in planning, urban design, downtown and mainstreet revitalization. Concentration on issues of relevance to the built environment and its preservation.
What's New on We will post regular updates detailing recent additions to