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, December 20, 2008


Yes, good buddies, for your diversion regarding how Texan George W. Bush may attempt to skew history, rest calm because the English language version of Russia's newspaper Pravda sets things in their own special view.  Gee, with such kind attention, maybe they'll be willing to publish his memoirs.

National Book Awards

Texans well-represented in National Book Awards competition
November 19, 2008  By EDWARD NAWOTKA / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

Hispanic Authors

Two Texans part of national selection panel, Dagoberto Gilb and Sandra Cisneros

Authors pick their 2008 favorite Latino books

Friday, December 19, 2008

History of Texas Hold'em Poker

Among those who sit at the felt table, this subject arises.  Bets can be made that the history is rich and contentious.  Here's a show card in that history ....

UT Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Center for American History to be Named For Former Governor Dolph Briscoe

News release,
Center named for former Gov. Dolph Briscoe
It begins
"AUSTIN, Texas — The Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin will be named for Dolph Briscoe, former governor of Texas, following gifts totaling $15 million.
The naming of the "Dolph Briscoe Center for American History" recognizes his support for preserving and promoting Texas and U.S. history. The gift is the largest in the history of the Center, and follows Briscoe's previous financial and in-kind support for the Center's programs and collections."
22 minute video at:

Industrial History from Tarleton State U


Reynolds and Texas Literature Intro

Texas in Literature

O'Connell Captures Danish Invaders

Joe O'Connell reports he's lured Beowulf into his cave for the dark art of tutoring in Texas literature.  Good work, Joe.

Denmark invades Texas

"For the second year I'm teaching students from Denmark about Texas literature at Austin Community College, including my own novel EVACUATION PLAN. This past Friday they came out to my house and then we brought them first to the SPJST Hall down the road and then to the Thrall-Thorndale high school football game. The author Carolyn Osborn came to speak to them this week."

ShelfLife @ Texas

University of Texas at Austin
Submission Guidelines
"If you are a faculty or staff member, student or alumni of the university, and have written a book, we'd love to hear about it. Email story ideas to Or, mail an advance review copy of your book to:
Jennifer McAndrew
Editor, ShelfLife@Texas
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, G6000
Austin, Texas 78712"

Grants to Digitize Photos and Maps - UNT Portal

Rescuing Texas History through the Digitization of At-Risk Photographs and Maps
"Through funds provided by the Summerlee Foundation of Dallas, the Portal to Texas History is offering digitization mini-grants to libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other groups which hold at-risk local history materials.  All of the materials will be scanned at the Digital Imaging Lab in the Willis Library on the University of North Texas campus in Denton.  Materials scanned for the grant will be hosted in the Portal to Texas History. Digitization mini-grants will be given in the range of $25-2500, based on the costs outlined" at their webpage. 

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hot off the electric press, as the August issue of "Will's Texana Monthly: Reviews, News and Electric Observations," is "Texas Historical and Literary Blogs," an annotated, illustrated, and categorized list of over 100 blogs "about" Texas.
The email attachment is illustrated and available free upon request.
The non-illustrated version is posted at TEXAS BLOG NOTES,
The categories include

Will’s History, Literature, and Reference Blogs -
Architectural Preservation & Appreciation -
Book Agents, Editors, Publicists, Consultants, and Their Ilk -
Book Reading Clubs & Book Companions -
Book Reviews & News -
Classroom Experiments -
Commercial Expressions -
Culturally Convergent with Historical or Literary Interests -
Historical Interests & Projects -
Historical Museums, Libraries, & Archives -
Historical Organizations -
History via Newspaper Blogs -
Literate Writers -
Literate Naturalists -
Literary Organizations -
Oozing Toward Politics -
Blog Cousins, The Fort Worth Museum Anomalies -
Favorites, Bookmarks, and Subscriptions to Feeds -
Starting a Blog -

Spanish Southwest Exhibit at TTU

New release (in total) from Texas Tech below:

Exhibit Shows World of Conquistadors and Missionaries

Medieval Southwest draws on dozens of collections to take visitors back to the Texas of conquistadors and missionaries.

Written by Cory Chandler
For nearly a year, Texas Tech University's Southwest Collection and Special Collections Library will give its entire exhibition space over to a time when the American Southwest was the domain of conquistadors and Spanish missionaries.
"Medieval Southwest: Manifestations of the Old World in the New" will continue through April 4, 2009.
The multidisciplinary collaboration will draw on the expertise of historians, musicians, architects and anthropologists; utilize the resources of Texas Tech campuses on two continents; and tap dozens of collections of rare and precious items to give visitors a glimpse of the Southwest as it was during the days of Coronado and Mission San Sabá.
To the accompaniment of period music, people will view armor and weapons used by the conquistadors and their European counterparts, such as crossbow points from 1542, a wheel-lock carbine from 1610, and a Charleville flintlock musket from 1750.
Exhibits will display buttons, coins and pottery recovered in archaeological digs, and rare books and maps never before displayed to the general public. A rare 16th century leather and embroidered Spanish trunk and a partial, elaborately carved Italian suit of armor demonstrate the work of highly skilled artisans of the end of the middle ages into the Renaissance.
Other metalwork includes a Spanish lion, decorative detailing for bridle wear and weaponry, and carved jewelry. Rare engravings and woodcuts on display, among them Our Lady of Guadalupe and one of the first depictions of buffalo, have printing dates between 1531 and 1797.
Texas Tech researchers, based at the university's campus in Seville, Spain, scoured the archives there for the original plans for San Sabá mission and presidio. The ruins, near present-day Menard, are being excavated by teams from the university. Unique artifacts will be displayed with a large reproduction of "The Destruction of San Sabá," the earliest painting to depict an event in Texas history.
Funds to research and mount the Medieval Southwest exhibit were provided by Helen Jones Foundation Inc., Humanities Texas and the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Culture and United States Universities.
Contact: John Howe, professor of history, (806) 742-1004 ext. 233, or

Rare Newspapers Grant at Portal to Texas History

News release (below in total) from University of North Texas:
Portal to Texas History to open to digitized, rare Texas newspapers
Posted by: Carolyn Bobo
The UNT Libraries has received one of five grants from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for the digitalization of special and unique collections of photographs, newspapers, interviews and other historical documents, making them more accessible to the general public.

UNT Libraries received a $24,637 TexTreasures grant for its project, "Early Texas Newspapers: 1829-1861." Partnering with the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, the UNT Libraries' Digital Projects Unit will microfilm and digitize Texas newspapers that are currently the property of the Center for American History, and place these newspapers on the Portal to Texas History. The portal, administered by the Digital Projects Unit, provides students and others with a digital gateway to collections in Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies and private collections and contains primary source materials, including maps, books, manuscripts, diaries, photographs and letters.

Dreanna Belden, coordinator of grants and development for UNT Libraries, says some of the newspapers selected for the project were published before 1836, the year that Texas won independence from Mexico and became a nation. (Left, a map from the Portal to Texas History collection shows the Lone Star State in 1841.)
"Digitizing these rare pre-1836 newspapers will provide valuable resources for those interested in Texas' colonial period," she says. "More than half of the papers selected for this project have never been microfilmed, so in the past only well-credentialed scholars would be allowed to use and access these rare and fragile issues."

Belden says all of the early Texas newspapers held by the Center for American History will be digitized "even if it is just one lonely issue." "For example, one of the papers is one issue from 1832 of the Texas Gazette and Brazoria Commercial Advertiser -- the only surviving example of this newspaper," she says. "For example, one of the papers is one issue from 1832 of the Texas Gazette and Brazoria Commercial Advertiser -- the only surviving example of this newspaper," she says.

Other newspapers that will be microfilmed and digitized include the Telegraph & Texas Register, published in Houston 1835-1845; the Matagorda Bulletin, published 1827-1836; the Redlander in San Augustine, published 1841-1846; the Texas Presbyterian, published in Victoria 1846-48, and pages of the Galveston News, which is still publishing, from 1848-1861.

Belden says that before Texas' revolt against Mexico for its independence, no newspapers survived long in the territory.
"Nine publishers printed newspapers between 1819 and 1836, but only the Telegraph & Texas Register was still in publication at the time of the Texas Revolution. It became the paper of record for the Republic of Texas, and played a major role in keeping citizens informed," she says.

Five years after Texas became a state in 1845, the number of newspapers published grew to 36, she says.

"The collection of newspapers proposed for microfilming and digitization provide critical information regarding the early history of Texas, both as a republic and a state," she says.

UNT also is one of eight universities in the nation — and the only one from Texas — to receive a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to digitize Texas newspapers for the National Digital Newspaper Program, "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers." 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Czech history

The Wilson County News bring us:
Czechs work to preserve culture, history

Elaine Kolodziej  August 26, 2008

SAN ANTONIO — People of Czech heritage and their friends came together Aug. 15 in the St. Luke Catholic Church Family Parish Hall for the annual Czech Gala. The event was hosted by Hattie Poole and the San Antonio Chapter of the Czech Heritage Society.

Jean Blaha Davis, president of the Czech Heritage Society of Texas, was the guest speaker. Following in her father's footsteps, she now works diligently toward the goal of building a new cultural center in La Grange. Groundbreaking is set for 2009 with fund-raising efforts continuing. The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center is billed as the "flagship of Czech heritage, preservation, and promotion."  CZECH OUT MORE

Movie industry after state incentives

The Dallas Morning News bring us
 Studios at Las Colinas plans Black & White Night to benefit Texas Motion Picture Alliance
Monday, August 25, 2008
Joe o'connell col. sig
"A former sports producer and a gaggle of documentarians walk into a film studio ... No, it's not a joke, but perhaps an inside look into the future of the North Texas film industry.
This Saturday, the Studios at Las Colinas will host Black & White Night with celebs on hand, including actress Janine Turner as honorary host, some as-yet-announced stars of Prison Break and Friday Night Lights, and lots and lots of film industry pros. Tickets are $35 at the door and benefit the Texas Motion Picture Alliance, a lobbying group aiming to increase the scope of film incentives offered by the state in hopes of luring more Hollywood productions. You can find more information about the event at"  READ MORE

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Everett Taylor Retires from Tyler Paper

Everett Taylor Spins Final Yarn At Tyler Paper
Everett Taylor
"With this column, the thread runs out on Taylor's Yarns, a weekly feature of the Sunday Tyler Paper for many years under that heading as this writer moves into the "retired" ranks after a 60-year news career, 57 in Tyler.

A big bundle of thanks is appropriate for many, many people who have helped in the accumulation of material to include in these reports; to countless others who have been column subjects and especially to those who have been readers, either part or full time."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Houston Public Radio Author of the Month

 KUHF "Houston Public Radio," stationed at the University of Houston, has an Author of the Month series, managed by Arte Publico Press.  Its self-description: "Arte Público Press and KUHF have teamed up to showcase Hispanic authors whose works have been published by APP. KUHF's Eric Ladau will interview an author each month, and the interviews, along with transcripts and photos, will be available here to online listeners through on-demand audio streaming."  For each a half-hour interview is available.
KUHF-Arte Publico Press Author of the Month: Anne Estevis
Friday, July 18, 2008    
by: Eric Ladau

Author Anne Estevis has been selected as this month's KUHF/Arte Publico Press Author of the Month. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, KUHF's Eric Ladau spoke with Ms. Estevis.
> read more       > click to listen

KUHF-Arte Publico Press Author of the Month: Carlos Cisneros
Wednesday, June 11, 2008    
by: Eric Ladau

Author Carlos Cisneros has been selected as this month's KUHF/Arte Publico Press Author of the Month. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, KUHF's Eric Ladau spoke with Mr. Cisneros.
> read more       > click to listen

KUHF-Arte Publico Press Author of the Month: Gwendolyn Zepeda
Tuesday, May 13, 2008    
by: Eric Ladau

Author Gwendolyn Zepeda has been selected as this month's KUHF/Arte Publico Press Author of the Month. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, KUHF's Eric Ladau spoke with Ms. Zepeda.
> read more       > click to listen

KUHF-Arte Publico Press Author of the Month: Javier O. Huerta
Friday, May 2, 2008    
by: Eric Ladau

Author Javier O. Huerta has been selected as this month's KUHF/Arte Publico Press Author of the Month. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, KUHF's Eric Ladau spoke with Mr. Huerta.
> read more       > click to listen

KUHF-Arte Publico Press Author of the Month: Alicia Gaspar de Alba
Friday, April 10, 2008    
by: Eric Ladau

Award-winning writer Gaspar de Alba will read selections from her novels that illustrate the persecution of women at this month's Artful Thursday, April 10th at 6:30 PM in the MFAH's Brown Auditorium. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, KUHF's Eric Ladau spoke with Ms. de Alba.
> read more       > click to listen

Texas Public Radio Reviews Texana

Texas Public Radio reviews a Texas book, sometimes two, on almost all of its weekly broadcasts of its "Texas Matters" half-hour program.  The program is usually 3-5 segments of several minutes each, and the book review/author interview is usually last. 
Texas Public Radio Its self-description is "Texas is a big state with a growing, diverse population and as the population grows, the issues and challenges facing its residents multiply.  Texas Matters is a locally produced news show that spends half an hour each week looking at the issues, newsmakers and culture of Texas.
The locally produced program features co-hosts David Martin Davies and Yvette Benavides.  The husband and wife team talk directly with policymakers and newsmakers in a lively discussion designed to shed light on issues too often overlooked by other media.
About the Hosts
David Martin Davies, Texas Public Radio's news director, is a veteran journalist with almost 20 years experience covering Texas, the border and Mexico.  In 2008, he won three regional Murrow Awards for stories that aired on Texas Matters.  He was named the 2007 Radio Journalist of the Year by the Houston Press Club and was awarded a 2007 Lone Star Award for his feature reporting. He co-produces "Texas Matters" with Yvette Benavides which was named the Best Radio Talk Show and Best Pubic Affairs Program by the Houston Press Club. Texas Matters is carried weekly by 10 radio stations in Texas. Davies was also recognized by the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters for his coverage of the U.S.-Mexico border.  Davies has filed radio reports for NPR's Morning Edition, APM's Marketplace and BBC's The World.  He is also a weekly columnist for the San Antonio Express-News.
Yvette Benavides is co-host and co-producer of Texas Matters.  She is also an English professor at Our Lady of the Lake University, where she teaches creative writing and Mexican-American literature.  Yvette has had her poetry published in journals such as The Americas Review, Texas Observer and Mothering magazine, among others.  Her articles have appeared in the San Antonio Express-News and Latina magazine.  She is also a regular book critic for the San Antonio Express-News.  Benavides has been a frequent contributor for NPR's Latino USA." 

Early Hispanic Settlers

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter brings an article on "Lineage Society for Descendants of Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants"

The following announcement was written by the Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants:
HOUSTON, TEXAS - Organizers announced today the formation of a lineage society for Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants (ESSMLG). This is the first national lineage society that recognizes and preserves the contributions of the Spanish / Latino culture in the early settlement of the United States. Even before Jamestowne was founded and the Pilgrims landed, Texas and the southwestern U.S. were being explored. By the 1600s there was a rich Spanish culture in place. The early settlers of the southwestern U.S. included such diverse groups as Spaniards, Canary Islanders, French, Irish, English, Scots, Jewish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, and Native Americans from both sides of the present day U.S.-Mexico border. Much of the early history of this area is barely taught in schools where the curriculum emphasizes the early English settlement of the eastern U.S.
The mission of ESSMLG is to research, preserve, and promote the lost history, heritage, and culture of the early settlers on Spanish and Mexican grants in land now part of the United States of America. It is the first national lineage society formed:
- to recognize the important contributions of those early settlers from whom our Spanish-speaking culture evolved,
- with a board-certified genealogist confirming all member applications meet accepted genealogical standards,
- with a DNA component for ground-breaking scholarly research and to link family groups,
- and with an all-digital research library.
The official launch of ESSMLG will be at the 29th Annual Texas State Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference in Nacogdoches, Texas on 28-31 August 2008."

Texas Revolution Bibliography

Quesia lists over 200 books on the Texas Revolution

Lone Star Sleuths, Mystery, and Detective Bibliography

A Bibliography of Texas-based Mystery/Detective Fiction

Be sure to check out the new anthology, Lone Star Sleuths, available from the University of Texas Press as part of its Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series.
Introduction: "Reflecting the remarkable diversity of the state, Texas-based mysteries extend from the Guadalupe Mountains in the west to the Piney Woods of East Texas. This annotated bibliography, arranged according to different regions of the state, helps map out some reading trails for mystery fans.
We sought to provide a comprehensive list of mystery authors, although not every title published by each author is included. This list is not intended to provide an exhaustive listing of each book published by each author. Instead, it is intended to simply point the way towards further exploration by readers.
This bibliography was originally compiled for an exhibit at the Southwestern Writers Collection, Texas State University, in 2003-2004. It was prepared by Steve Davis, Assistant Curator of the Southwestern Writers Collection, and by Dr. Rollo K. Newsom, Professor Emeritus at Texas State. Along with Bill Cunningham, Davis and Newsom are co-editors of Lone Star Sleuths.
This bibliography is not currently being updated, but the compilers do welcome corrections, additions, elaborations, and other feedback. The bibliography may be updated as time permits. Please send comments to Steve Davis."
Wiith subdivisions:

Texas Sculpture Garden in Frisco

Just barely north of Dallas in Frisco, you'll find the Texas Sculpture Garden
They declare that it is "Open to the public, this significant and unique collection celebrates the work of 41 prominent Texas artists. The collection is located within the Hall Office Park, the signature development of Hall Financial Group.
Recognized as the largest private collection of contemporary Texas sculpture ever assembled and made available to the public, the Texas Sculpture Garden was created to benefit the Texas community by honoring the talent of homegrown artists and making their work accessible to everyone.
Visitors to the park enjoy both the art and its remarkable setting. Winding walking trails, lush landscaping, lakes and fountains have been specially designed to complement the art and provide a fitting backdrop for the work.
Art featured in the Texas Sculpture Garden can also be explored and enjoyed here. Designed to educate, inspire and even facilitate connections with the artists themselves, this comprehensive website takes the experience of the Texas Sculpture Garden to a whole new level."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sheriff's Assocation of Texas Memorial

The SAT   in Austin memorializes: "The Lost Lawman Memorial, located at the Sheriffs' Association of Texas headquarters at 1601 South IH-35 in Austin, was first dedicated on May 15, 1994.  In 1993, the Sheriffs' Association of Texas began research efforts to identify, confirm and compile the names of all Sheriffs, Chief Deputies, Jailers and Deputies who have died in the line of duty throughout Texas' history."

Dos Gatos Press

The Dos Gatos Press offers some objects of poetical interest.

A Stellar Star Party Event

Join us for the 2009 Texas Star Party
April 19thru 26th near Fort Davis,  

"The 31st Annual Texas Star Party will be hosted on the magnificent Prude Ranch, a 3500 acre mile-high ranch located six miles northwest of Fort Davis on Highway 118... 12 miles on the same road from McDonald Observatory...
Darkest Skies! 
All over America, the search for dark skies is becoming a subject of great interest and concern for amateur astronomers. In many places when amateurs get together to observe the stars, they compare their skies to those they once saw on a remote Texas ranch ... Little wonder! The skies in the Davis Mountains of West Texas are the darkest found anywhere in North America."

Rising Star Trading Co.

The Rising Star Trading Company (The Woodlands, Texas) does not trade in Katherine Porter, but rather art prints.  They describe themselves as
"Rising Star Trading Company, LLC, was formed in October, 2006, to market giclees, and other media, of certain contemporary western impressionistic images created by artist Malcolm Furlow. The first such image is "Texas Star", an iconic ode to the Texas Longhorn and the Lone Star Flag of Texas, combined into one space. The second image is "Mary's Longhorn" and was commissioned for a 2004 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. The third image is "Boulder Bison", an American buffalo, stampeding directly toward the observer. Other images will follow.
Giclee: a giclee is a computer controlled, fine art print making process on canvas. Similar to the look of a serigraph but no screens are used. It uses a very fine spray of ink, 15 microns in size, and about 4 times smaller than a human hair. The microscopic jet-stream is controlled by a crystal frequency. The print is then coated with up to 15 layers of a waterproof U.V. varnishes."
They've got rather nice images.
Rising Star Trading Company 

Dromgoole's Texas Star Trading Co.

 Glenn Dromgoole and Carol, his better half, operate the Texas Star Trading Co., an Abilene store of Texana books and such.
Glenn has been spent decades in Texana and his stock is worth considering.  Online they explain: "We opened our store in downtown Abilene, Texas, in 2004. We fly our Texas flag every day (Monday-Saturday!) and welcome you to stop by whenever you are in town. But if you can't get to Abilene, we hope you'll enjoy shopping in our virtual store. / We have tried to put together an interesting selection of books by and about Texans. / We don't have the largest selection, but we have taken great care to assemble what we feel is a good assortment of books for you to choose from.  / Our music includes variety of styles -- from country and bluegrass to gospel and Cajun. Many of the CDs are instrumentals. We have traveled the state far and wide to find the perfect mix of gifts. We believe you'll find some gifts that you haven't seen other places. Our store has many more items to choose from, so please stop in and visit us in Abilene sometime soon.   Thanks for visiting."
They offer: Shop our Great Selection of Texas Music, Texas Books, Texas Gifts and Texas Gourmet

TIL award categories for publication year of 2007

TIL AWARDS FOR 2008 for the Publication Year of 2007
From this OLD press release, folks can generally expect the same categories for the current year's crop of books.  At this url you can find the folks who are on the various committees for the just past judging year, and the new deadline would of course be in January 2009 for the coming year's awards.  Please consult TIL for current information for books in the publication year of 2008.
The press release for the past year read:
The Texas Institute of Letters has issued its call for entries for the best works published in 2007 in twelve categories. Prizes totaling $22,000 will be awarded by the organization at its 2008 annual meeting.
Deadline for entries is January 16, 2008.
Entries must be sent directly to the judges at the addresses listed below. Entries must be accompanied by a statement of the entrant's eligibility: birth in Texas or two years consecutive residence in the state at some time. A work whose subject matter substantially concerns Texas is also eligible.
Categories and judges are as follows:
Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of Nonfiction ($5,000):
Felix Almaraz, chair, 323 Inspiration Dr., San Antonio, TX 78228
Kerry Grombacker, 812 N. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA 70119
Robert Weddle, 1181 County Road 1535, Bonham, TX 75418.
Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction ($6,000) and Steven Turner Award for Best
Work of First Fiction ($1,000):
Robert Flynn, chair, 101 Cliffside Dr., San Antonio, TX 78231
David Searcy, 5606 Boca Raton Dr., Dallas, TX 75230
Cindy Bonner, 1802 N. Vine St., Victoria, TX 78746.
TIL Award for Most Significant Scholarly Book ($2,500):
Andres Tijerina, chair, Austin Community College, Pinnacle Campus, 7748 Hwy. 290 W., Austin, TX 78736-3202
Ron Tyler, 5536 Collinwood Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107.
Pete Gunter, 225 Jagoe, Denton, TX 76201
Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry ($1,000):
Wendy Barker, chair, 302 Fawn Dr., San Antonio, TX 78231-1519
Willard Spigelman, English Dept., Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275
Chris Ellery, 2661 Yale Ave, San Angelo, TX 76904.
Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book ($1,000): This award will not be given until 2009 for books published in 2007 and 2008.
Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story ($750):
Neal Barret Jr., 2102 Toulouse Dr., Austin, TX 78748
Kate Lehrer, 3556 Macomb NW, Washington, D.C. 20016
Charles (Chip) Dameron, 4853 Lakeway Dr., Brownsville, TX 78520.
O. Henry Award for Best Work of Magazine Journalism ($1,000):
Mike Cox, chair, 3301 Big Bend Dr., Austin, TX 78731
A.W. (Bill) Gray, 9654 Fallbrook Dr., Dallas, TX 75243
Bill Sloan, 3603 Urban Ave, Dallas, TX 75227.
Friends of the Austin Public Library Award for Best Children's Book ($500) and for Best
Young Adult Book ($500):
Prudence Mackintosh, chair, 3312 Beverly Dr., Dallas, TX 75205
Paula Marks, 104 Vireo Dr., Buda, TX 78610
Tim Tingle, 4417 Morningside Way, Canyon Lake, TX 78133.
Fred Whitehead Award for Best Design of a Trade Book ($750):
Carol Dawson, chair, 4010 Crescent Dr., Austin, TX 78722
Tom Dodge, 302 Stiles Dr., Midlothian, TX 76065
Jim Hornfischer, 2528 Tanglewood Tr., Austin, TX 78703
John Bloom Humor Award for the Funniest Texas Book ($1,000) (for books published in 2006
and 2007):
Tom Pilkington, chair, Tarleton State University, P.O. Box T-0300, Stephenville, TX 76402
John Taliaferro, 1113 Elm St., Austin, TX 78703
Fritz Lanham, P.O. Box 801182, Houston, TX 77280.
Stanley Walker Award for Best Work of Newspaper Journalism Appearing in Newspaper or
Sunday Supplement ($1,000):
Dick J. Reavis, chair, 3606 Clark Ave., Raleigh, NC 27607
Kent Biffle, 511 Carriage Trail, Rockwall, TX 75087
Glenn Dromgoole, 1833 S. 11th St., Abilene, TX 79602.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TCU Center fro Texas Studies


"The Center for Texas Studies at TCU is designed to celebrate all that makes Texas distinctive. It is housed in AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences, where various disciplines and programs can act in concert to foster and nurture the essence of Texas. History is, of course, central, but Texas literature, anthropology, ethnography, politics, religions, philosophy and design and textiles all represent elements that are a part of the incredible mosaic of Texas.
Texas carries a rich heritage, unmatched elsewhere in the United States. The historic, cultural, geological and linguistic diversity that derives from the earliest Native American inhabitants, through the Spanish, French, Mexican and Republic eras and into the twenty-first century marks Texas not only as unique, but also as a model of how to celebrate the past, the present and the future. This abundance that makes Texas distinctive and Texans proud must be carefully preserved, shared and commemorated. Come join us as the Center for Texas Studies at Texas Christian University aims to do all three."
Gene A. Smith, Ph.D. Director, Center for Texas Studies, Professor, Department of History, Texas Christian University

By Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson has written or sorta written a few books.  If you're a fan try these: 
Willie: An Autobiography (1988)  
The Facts of Life: And Other Dirty Jokes (2002)
The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart (2006)
A Tale Out of Luck, a novel (due September 2008) co-written with Mike Blakely

Two Magazines

Texas Mags
Texas Magazine is new.   Country Lifestyle has a few issues under its belt.

How many titles

Barnes and Noble has loosened a press release announcing a new store planned for San Antonio.  It notes that the story will contain 200,000 titles of books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines.
   IF    a person got 20 titles per shelf, that'd be 10,000 shelves, stacked 5 high, that'd be 2,000 stacks, at 5 stacks per typical household wall, that'd be 400 walls, at 4 walls per room, that's 100 rooms.
Leonra at B&N says that 200,000 is now about average for new stores.

Mike Merschal Exposes Bad Writing

Merschal, in his DMN Texas Pages Blog, reveals the Texas who suffered calumny at the recent Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest featuring "purple prose" and "vile puns" - and for good reason - their stuff stank.  READ MORE MIKE AT
Our sedate settings, droll plot lines and boring characters of Texas are surely the reason we do not win the B-L FC.  If only somebody could imagine an outsize story to stimulate the imagination, say the combination of a fairy and a chupacabra, then we could stretch our imaginations.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Judy Alter on Texas University Presses

Experienced author, teacher, editor, and director of the Texas Christian University Press, Judy Alter shares via the Dallas Morning News comments on "Just What is a University Press?"
An extract is " University presses are academic publishers, ranging in size from small to very large. In Texas, we have at least 12 such presses – UT Press at Austin is probably the biggest, followed by Texas A&M University Press. TCU Press, for whom I work, is one of the smallest in the nation.
The joke used to be that university presses published academic works that sold six copies of any one book – to the author's mother. It's not true anymore. Scholarly presses have their eye on the general reading public. Economic necessity has dictated that most presses have to straddle that line between trade books for popular stores and academic books for a more limited audience." ....  READ MORE AT

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cooling the Ethnic Jets

For folks who are puzzled, anxious, bordering on animosity, filled with hatred or revenge - from any of the several different quarters of ethnicity, consider the state of Texas in 50 in light of Linda Chavez article at Town Hall

Friday, August 15, 2008

THC and Preservation Planning VIP

The Texas Historical Commission can occasionally be invited into a community to help the community plan its preservation goals.  The "Visionaries in Preservation" program is that program.  Folks in Corsicana recently had such a visit.  The Daily Sun reports on it.  The article begins:
VIP 101: Planning for preservation
Heritage group continues workshop on preserving local history
By Bob Belcher
"Corsicana's "Visionaries in Preservation" program got some nuts and bolts instruction Tuesday in moving forward with its plans to develop a heritage preservation program for the city.

"VIP" is the community planning program of the Texas Historical Commission (THC). VIP asks residents how they want their community to look and feel, and provides the necessary tools to help a city retain its identity and sense of place as it grows and changes. The state had gone through this process with 23 other communities, and three are in the process this year, including Corsicana. The city received a grant to participate in the program, providing technical assistance and organizational meetings to facilitate the process."   READ MORE OF THE DAILY SUN ARTICLE AT 

Neal Douglass Photo Exhibit

Austin History Center of the Austin Public Library
August 20, 2008 – January 20, 2009
[Release begins] "The Austin History Center will open a new exhibit on August 20 called "Austin Americana: The Neal Douglass Photography Collection." This exhibit will explore the life and career of photojournalist Neal Douglass, the first staff photographer for the Austin Statesman.
Mr. Douglass and Mrs. BroadmixNeal Douglass was born on April 14, 1900, in Snyder, Texas. From an early age, Neal was exposed to the journalism world as his family owned and operated the Roaring Springs Echo. At the age of 19, Neal began his own career in journalism, serving as a writer and editor for the Lubbock Avalanche, San Angelo Standard, Texarkana Press, McAllen Monitor, before ending up at the Austin Statesman in 1934. A year later, the Statesman sent Douglass to a 6-week crash course in photography at the University of Texas and asked him to head up their new photography department."  READ MORE AT

Battle of Medina Archeology

The "Battle of Medina " Archeological Survey.
On Sunday August 24, 2008 volunteers will depart at 7:30 A.M. from the Shell-McDonalds station at the N.West corner of Hi 281 South at 1604 south of San Antonio .  From there we will be escorted to a ranch which could be the possible location of this historical event. The team will be led by Joe Alvarez, Rick Reyes and Dan Arellano, Author and Historian. Amateur and professional historians and archeologists are invited to participate. 
It is an isolated location and volunteers are asked to bring their own lunch and water. Bring your metal detectors and shovels.  This is not a finder's keeper's event; all artifacts will be cataloged and photographed. 
The "Battle of Medina," was the biggest and bloodiest battle ever fought on Texas soil. Over a thousand Tejanos sacrificed their lives for freedom that to this day remain unknown and unrecognized for their ultimate sacrifice.
For more information contact: Dan Arellano 512-826-7569

DRT Library Needs Cataloger

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo needs a cataloger. 
"Major duties and responsibilities (list is not all inclusive):
Cataloging and Automation Duties: Creates original catalog records (including classification numbers, cutter numbers, access points and tracings) and updates existing records. Performs general library technical services. Develops, implements, and instructs library staff in approved procedures. Maintains the DRT Library manual of standard operating procedures in cataloging. Initiates projects to enhance patron access to the collections. Assists in the selection and implementation of computer hardware and software. Maintains library's web site.
Public service duties: Assists in the evaluation and development of library collections and electronic information resources. Assists in public service work including general reference services. Promotes awareness and use of library resources; provides instruction in the use of the library catalog and finding aids. Maintains quality control over bibliographies to collections of print and non-print materials.
Other duties: Uses appropriate computer hardware and software to accomplish tasks. Shares responsibility for the security of the collection. Performs simple preservation tasks. Participates in activities to enhance professional growth. Represents the library at meetings of affiliated historical and professional organizations. May be asked to perform special assignments outside of the routine work area."
The full job description can be found at

Digitization Grants from Texas State Library

The Texas State Library announces winners of TexTreasures digitization grants for oral history, imagery, newspapers, and primary material at
1. "Houston Oral History Project" ($17,474) – The Houston Public Library is partnering with Mayor Bill White to preserve and make the video-recordings of significant Houstonians available on the web.
2. "Early Texas Newspapers: 1829-1861" ($24,637) - The University of North Texas Libraries and the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin will partner to microfilm, digitize, and provide free public access to the earliest Texas newspapers held by the Center for American History.
3. "The Witliff Collections" ($20,000) - The project creates an online exhibit accessing the primary source materials of researcher Dick J. Reavis held by the Southwestern Writers Collection at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University about the siege of the Branch Davidians at Mount Carmel outside of Waco in 1993.
4. "Austin History Center Glass Plate Negatives" ($12,889) - The Austin History Center, a division of the Austin Public Library, will digitize the complete Hubert Jones collection of 471 glass plate negatives containing subjects local to Austin and Texas.
5. "Tejano Voices Project" ($20,000) – The University of Texas at Arlington Library will digitize and describe 60 of the 174 oral history interviews with notable Tejanos and Tejanas from across Texas conducted in 1992-2003 by Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez, associate professor of political science at UT Arlington."
In general "The TexTreasures grants are a component of the TexShare Program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. TexShare emphasizes the benefits of statewide library resource sharing so that Texans can acquire the widest possible range of information regardless of the type of library used. Other components of TexShare include online research databases, a library card that allows for statewide borrowing of materials, and a courier service that affords quick delivery between libraries."

Observe the Sensitive Issues at TEA

Will's blogs and Monthly generally avoid fueling controversy by taking sides, and such is still the case.  However,  without taking sidea, we've discovered a list of issues that TEA staff is sensitive and apparently prohibited from discussing.  The list comes from TEA paperwork in a lawsuit regarding the alleged forced resignation of a TEA employee regarding the teaching of evolution which is consequently another item to be on the list.  The list includes
"Whether schools should teach "whole language" or "phonics" in English Language Arts; Whether schools should have grammar as a separate section of the English curriculum or embedded in the overall curriculum;
How schools should present the treatment of minorities in U.S. or Texas history;
Whether schools should have required reading lists in English or other subjects (and if so what books should be included on them);
Whether schools should emphasize scientific processes or content;
Whether schools should require laboratory instruction in science courses;
How schools should integrate the Spanish-language grammar or decoding skills into English TEKS for students with limited English proficiency (LEP);
Whether to include instruction on contraceptives along with abstinence, in the presentation of human sexuality in health education."

Dignity of Work - Teacher's Guide

Dignity of Work
August 11, 2008   The Dignity of Work Teacher's Guide
[The posting begins:]  "The dignity of hard work was and still is a part of the Texas mentality. It is prevalent in the history of Texas, the culture of Texans, and the art that represents the people of Texas. Many works of early Texas art preserve the lives and the daily activities of the people they represent. These works record details of the clothing, daily chores, and special events in their lives. Work is important not only as a contribution to both family and community, but also as a form of self-worth and a source of self-esteem. This unit uses the theme of work to explore the role of hard work in settling the Texas frontier, and the value of work in the Great Depression."
This project was created by the North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts (NTIEVA).    

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dead Mules in Texas

The Southern side of Texas literature can be explored, and we point you for starters toward the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, a website of several deep facets.  Granted this particular site doesn't get into Texana very often, the DMSSL does represent some legitimate strands to be found in East Texas scribblers.  One of the DMSSL rare references to rough ruffles in Texas is noted their blog at
Linger and read other material there however.  A renaissance of the Southern strands is verging in Texana as the memoir genre advances.  Through the memoirs, personal observations are occuring that would have been socially unacceptable only short decades ago.  As it does, our own dead mules beside the road ought to revive - and walk across the land surprizing our children with their crisp brays.
Over a century ago, the vigorous cow pony captured the Texan's and the public's imagination leaving the mule drawing flies in the ditch.  But the mule's remains have enriched the surrounding soil.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Davis Retires from Institute of Texan Cultures

John L. Davis Retires From Institute Of Texan Cultures
By James Benavides - Public Affairs Specialist

The newsrelease begins:
"(Aug. 11, 2008)--The man who for more than 40 years helped craft the nation’s view of Texas, John L. Davis, will retire August 15 from The University of Texas at San Antonio's museum, The Institute of Texan Cultures.
Davis joined the museum team as a researcher in 1967, two years after then Texas Governor John Connally commissioned the Institute to develop the Texas Pavilion for the 1968 World's Fair in San Antonio. Davis would help present and preserve the stories, histories and traditions of the numerous cultural groups of Texas and would continue to act as a steward of the institute after the fair, as the Texas Pavilion became a permanent museum.

Davis completed his doctorate in humanities at the University of Texas at Austin, while working as a researcher for the institute. After HemisFair, Davis remained with the museum until the mid 1980s. In 1986, he was a part-time professor at UTSA and San Antonio College, often serving as a consultant to the ITC and working with Jo Ann Andera, director of the Texas Folklife Festival.

During his tenure at UTSA, Davis served in various capacities: lecturer, teaching associate, director of research, associate executive director of research and interim executive director. ...." READ MORE AT

UT Tower Killings Heroes Memorialized

"Austin facility names heroes of UT rampage"
By Denise Gamino - The Austin American-Statesman - Gamino's article on the site begins:
"AUSTIN — The people who risked their lives to stop Charles Whitman's killing marathon from the University of Texas Tower on Aug. 1, 1966, finally are getting permanent recognition for their bravery.
But the new memorial is 12 miles from the UT Tower.
A Travis County building in Oak Hill will be named the Tower Heroes Building today at the unveiling of a black-and-silver metal historical plaque that lists the names of 10 law officers and four civilians who braved Whitman's heavy gunfire to try to end the 96-minute massacre that turned the UT campus and surrounding area into a killing field. ..." READ MORE AT

National Historic Trails

U.S. House Resolution 2849 is said to be the Chisholm and Great Western Cattle Trails Act. The bill from last summer proposes to add the Chisholm and Great Western Trails to the National Historic Trails.

Railroad Symposium in Commerce

From the Greenville Herald Banner we find a article
"Annual Cotton Belt Symposium scheduled" By BRAD KELLAR Herald-Banner Staff
Kellar's article begins"
"COMMERCE — Railroad enthusiasts from across North Texas are expected to gather here this weekend, to participate in the Second Annual Cotton Belt Symposium.
Organizers are hoping they will want to share their memories and stories of the glory days of the railroad industry.
The free, public event, focusing on “Railroad Legacy and Lore”, is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the James G. Gee Library on the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus. Organizers are inviting all former and current railroad employees, family members and anyone else interested in the topic to attend. ..." READ MORE at

Your Blogger Blathering Bibliographically

ED BLACKBURN at TEXANA REVIEW, a podcasting blog of note, cornered me a couple of times over the last year regarding "Just what are you doing?"  Ed's from the "Blackburns of Houston," a family known for their Texas publications (his dad, Ed, Sr., recently went to jail, err, actually went to many jails across Texas to collect information on his book about jails of Texas), and his mother Sadie, well, Sadie, keeps most of us in line. 
Anyway, Ed found me with his an inquiring mind and a tape recorder in hand, first at the Buffalo Grill and then at St. Paul's UMC.  He said he reduced our two hours to 20 minutes, a testament to his editorial dedication and skills.  If what I say makes sense, it's because of Ed's editing. Listen to Ed and me at:
"Will Howard: becoming a less well-kept secret on Texana"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Houston Chronicle Suggests Move Battleship to Better Location

Out of place: State should consider moving the Battleship Texas / Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle / Aug. 9, 2008, 9:28AM

With low attendance and surrounded by refineries, the Battleship Texas can't support itself as other battleship memorials do. A better location could change all that."  READ MORE AT

West Kerr Current Sesquicentennial Series

The 130th installment of articles on Kerr County's sesquicentennial is about Elmer Kelton, and Kelton reveals much of his family history.  CLICK AND READ IT HERE

First Hispanic Studies Ph.D. Graduate at TAMU

( brings a news release) -
"Juan Carlos Ureña, a professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, is the first Hispanic Studies Ph.D. graduate at Texas A&M.
Unlike traditional Spanish programs that focus solely in language and literature, the Hispanic Studies Ph.D. program at Texas A&M allows students to take courses in related disciplines such as history, sociology and philosophy.
Ureña, a Costa Rican performer, composer and songwriter, did his dissertation on the link between poetry and music in Latin American songs.  He completed his master's work in music composition at Stephen F. Austin and, in addition to traveling to many countries performing in concerts and music festivals, he has recorded 10 albums of original music and has contributed songs to numerous music collections in the United States, Latin America and Europe."

Writers Institute at UT-Pan Am

FESTIVA: The Writer's Edition, August 7, 2008

The Monitor informs of a writing seminar in South Texas.  The article begins:
"For three weeks this summer students at the Summer Creative Writing Institute put pen to paper.
South Texas researcher and writer Rob Johnson guided students through the process of researching local history as part of the University of Texas Pan-American program, which is now in its sixth year.  They received tips on conducting archival research and oral history interviews and learned about the craft of writing non-fiction.
Then students put their new skills to work by producing an essay, memoir, biography."  READ MORE ABOUT UT- Pan American's multi-disciplinary approach AT

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Grace Museum, Texas Art Scene, Special Presentation

Carl McQueary with the Grace Museum (Abilene) presents a special view of Texas art, 1909-1959, with a view of developing modernism. Video in several parts.
The work is introduced as "In 2009, the building that is home and namesake to The Grace Museum will celebrate its 100th anniversary. To honor the building and the century of Texas history it has witnessed, The Grace is curating an original exhibition of Texas art during the period 1909-1959 to be exhibited in all four main galleries simultaneously. The exhibition will be organized primarily from private and public collections across Texas, exhibiting a great deal of little-shown and infrequently published Texas art. The core of the exhibit, however, will center on ten significant pieces of early Texas art from The Grace's permanent collection. This online guide includes The Grace's artworks as the core of the project, supplemented with loan objects, text, and video interviews."

Will Howard 12618 Ashcroft, Houston Tx 77035 Cell:832-633-0595 Home:713-728-1981
Publisher, Wills Texana Monthly, subscribe at
Host, Texas Parlor, a blog at
Host, Texas Bookshelf, a blog at
Host, Young Texas Reader, a blog at
Who is Will Howard?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Highland Park Literary Festival

The 9th annual Highland Park Literary Festival will be well composed, and the keynote speaker this February 11 and 12, 2009 will be U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.

Willie Nelson - Book of the Week

Up at the University of Wisconsin - Steven's Point - knows about important things.  They made the new biography of Willie Nelson by Patoski as their "Book of the Week."  Somebody oughta check to see if there's a dustjacket of the year award, that photo of Willie is a classic.

New DRT Library Librarian and Archivist

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo announce some personnel transitions.  Elaine Burns, a wonderful person and librarian, is retiring from her ten years as Library Director, and Leslie Stapleton is promoted to that position.  Caitlin Donnelly has been appointed as archivist.  See the stories at

O'Connell's Online Memoir and Short Stories Classes

Joe O'Connell's tending to public appearances for his patchwork novel Evacuation isn't his only occupation.  He also teaches for Austin Community College.  Joe sends this information:

"This fall I'll be teaching two very interesting online classes, and I want to pass the word. They are inexpensive and you don't have to live in Austin to take them.

The first is an online memoir class. Students will complete a series of weekly exercises leading up to the creation of three memoir pieces and interact in online discussion boards. For more information on how to sign up, contact Mary Rincon in the ACC Creative Writing Department at .

The second is an online Composition II honors course highlighting short stories by Texas authors. Ever had the urge to read and learn from the greats of Texas literature? This is the perfect opportunity. For more information on how to enroll, contact the ACC Honors Program at

Classes begin Aug. 25 and both are limited to 15 students. Be warned that you will have to fill out some ACC paperwork before joining the class, so it's best not to wait until the last minute. Contact me directly if this is all totally confusing:"

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

J'ville Musical Heritage

In the Jacksonville Daily Progress we find  "Organizers adding history to the Jam"
By Kelly Young  [The article begins:] 
"Event organizers have always intended for East Texas' musical heritage to play an important role in the J'ville Music Jam, but have lacked the time and resources needed to focus on the historical aspect of the festival. This year they hope Jacksonville's musical past will play a much more prominent role in the JMJ.

After rocking the event in 2007, Grant Cook has agreed to headline the Jam again this year. Adding an historic element to his set, Cook will spend part of his stage time playing music by many of East Texas' early music legends — like Johnny Horton and Al Dexter."
READ MORE ABOUT IT from the pine hills of East Texas.

Historic Preservation Course in Fort Worth

Mary Saltarelli at Historic Fort Worth imforms us of a historic presevation course being offered August 15th to REAL ESTATE AGENTS.  Yes, folks, historic presevation turns a good penny.

Baker & Jares: Historic-preservation course offered for real estate agents

    Why Do Kids Hate School?

    Two Texans answer the question and their book is reviewed in the Wall Street Journal.  The review begins "On weekday mornings during the academic year, dual-income families usually think of the juggle as parents heading off to work and kids heading off to the very different pursuit of school. But is school these days too much like employment, poisoning children against what's supposed to be the joy of learning and development?
    That's the argument of two University of Texas at Arlington sociologists, Ben Agger and Beth Anne Shelton, in a forthcoming book, "I Hate School: Why American Kids Are Turned Off Learning." According to a news release from the university, the researchers contend that "by the time American students are in junior high and high school, they hate school and cannot wait to finish an acceptable terminal level of education and establish careers and families, mimicking the suburban lifestyles of their parents."  READ, if you dare, MORE AT

    Sunday, August 03, 2008

    Macondo Writers Workshop & Residency - San Antonio

    Years ago Sandra Cisneros, now a fixture among Texas and national writers and required on some schools summer reading lists, started helping others write better at her kitchen table at a house on Mango Street.
    Today, the project is full grown, as a place for poets, novelists, journalists, performance artists and creative writers of all genres whose work is socially engaged and some writers are short-term residents
    Other mature writers close to Macondo include Denise Chavez, John Phillip Santos, Luis Rodriguez, Dorothy Allison, Joy Harjo and Carmen Tafolla.

    Texas Historical Commission Historical Marker Workshop in Galveston

    The Texas Historical Commission, the state government unit that governs all those thousands of historical markers in the state, occassionally drops into a county to assist the local county historical commission explain how a historical marker may be conceived, researched, written, and documented in order to pass THC's approval process.  Of course, the first thing you'd want to do to contact your county historical commission (there's one in each county, it's a law).  Alecya Gallaway chairs the Galveston County Historical Commission and will lead the workshop.  Other Galveston County Historical Commission members will be a part
    WHEN: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Aug. 27
    WHERE: Galveston County Historical Museum, 2219 Market St., in Galveston
    COST: Free, but preregistration is required
    Contact Jodi Wright-Gidley, 409-766-2340 or visit the Galveston County Historical Museum 

    Bob Bowman's Books in East Texas

    Welcome to Bob Bowman's place.  His got several books on East Texas.  He describes himself and his operation in this fashion:
    "A Texas historian once called Bob Bowman "the people's historian" because his writings reflect down-to-earth East Texas history--forgotten towns, good ol' boy expressions, historic murders, unusual cemetery markers, home remedies and other subjects beloved by East Texans.

    Born at Hickory Grove in Anderson County and reared in logging and sawmill towns, Bob wrote for newspapers at Diboll, Tyler, Lufkin and Houston before embarking on a successful public relations and marketing career at Lufkin.

    Bob and his wife Doris have written almost 40 books, won
    numerous awards, and are among the most popular speakers in East Texas. They also own Best of East Texas Publishers of Lufkin, which publishes books for authors throughout Texas.

    Bob is a member of the Texas Historical Commission, former president of the East Texas Historical Association, and served on the Texas Sesquicentennial Commission and the Texas Capitol Centennial Commission.  He and Doris have served as chairs of Humanities Texas."

    , a blog at
    Who is Will Howard?

    Saturday, August 02, 2008

    Where to Move the Battleship Texas

    The Battleship Texas will be moved. To where is the question.
    It rests in a slip of salt water in or margining the northern portion of the 1836 Texans' Army Camp from which the Battle of San Jacinto started.
    Only the more unusual conversations now do not accept that the Battleship Texas must be "DRYDOCKED" or "DRYBERTHED" to be saved for the future. That's been concluded if not acted upon by relevant authorities.  Floating in salt water, the corrosion is eating its hull, the same as salt water eats your automobile's metal parts.  So the drydocking or dryberthing will happen.  The question becomes to where. 
    Will it be temporarily raised or removed and replanted in its exact same location upon the Texan's Army Camp, will it be moved to a location virtually adjacent and still hovering at the Army Camp, will it be moved 30 to 100 yards away on the same coastline but beyond the immediate locale of the Army Camp, or will it be moved a few miles to Galveston?  But it will move. 
    The discussion regarding where to move the vaunted 1912 Battleship Texas, flagship of U.S. W.W. II Naval Pacific forces, now moored in the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto Texas Army campsite is continuing.   Three groups now favor a move to Galveston.  The Texas Navy Association , the Galveston City Council (if it's going to move far, move it here), and the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground Association  
    An organization that has recently spoken against the Galveston site are the Battleship Texas Foundation  
    The discussion has moved to the Legislature, probably the ultimate decision-maker in this case.
    While tradition, self-interest, mis-information, personal favoritism, tourist dollars lost or gained, better funding across the years for preservation, greater or lesser visitor attendance, historical interpretation options, and general propriety all have their verses in this chorale, but those all are reduced to what is the proper place for it and will it be permanently, properly funded there (we're talking really big money).

    Friday, August 01, 2008

    Bill Crider Burns Toast at Austin SciFi

    Well, actually, Bill's the TOASTMASTER at the August 15-17 ArmadilloCom for 2008, in the weird world of Austin, naturally.  If anybody objects to his burnt toast, Bill has been deputized by Sheriff Dan Rhodes.  See
    "ArmadilloCon is a literary science fiction convention held annually in Austin, with several hundred attendees. The primary focus of ArmadilloCon is literary science fiction, but that's not all we do -- we also pay attention to art, animation, science, media, and gaming. Every year, dozens of professional writers, artists and editors attend the convention. Sometimes they come to make deals, but more often they come to have fun!
    ArmadilloCon is sponsored by The Fandom Association of Central Texas, Inc. (FACT), a nonprofit literary organization based in Austin. Each of ArmadilloCon's chairs or co-chairs is required to be a member of FACT. Many of the other people who work on the convention are members of FACT, but that is not a requirement. Most of the convention workers live in the greater Austin area, but there are also several workers from San Antonio, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, and sometimes even from out of state."