Manliness is not a four-letter word
There is just something disturbing about a grown man ordering a “soy vanilla latte, with three pumps.” It is right up there with tugging on Superman’s cape and spitting into the wind.
I know this because I ordered one, and for the rest of the day I had an almost overwhelming urge to talk about my feelings. And I thought for the rest of the day about every guy I met, “He knows.”
My wife talked me into it. For quite a while, she ordered one every day – until Keto came along (whoever he is). I have a soft spot for my wife’s advice, but not everything she suggests is as rock solid as, “You need to drop a few pounds.” She’s never been a man, so she could not have known what ordering a soy latte could do to a man’s soul.
It was an innocent mistake on my wife’s part. The fault was mine. It is very important that a man not lose sight of the specific things that will embarrass him. Otherwise, bad judgment and the passage of time will produce a man who has lost his ability to be embarrassed about anything.
And that is what is wrong with the world these days (one of the things). We seem to have produced a whole generation of men who appear to have lost any sense of embarrassment.
We use words in public we would have been humiliated to use in private in the not too distant past. We talk about our feelings so much we seem to have lost all ability to make decisions based on reason. On this note, I reached a point a while back when enough was enough. I simply couldn’t handle another television news reporter asking his interviewee, “How did that make you feel?”
So, I gave up on the “news” and decided to read more 19th century fiction. It is closer to reality these days and, besides, if I want to know how I should feel about something (other than embarrassment), I can always ask my wife.
I am not trying to offend men who like soy vanilla lattes (in private), or who like to talk about their feelings. I am just saying it’s not natural. It is learned behavior and I am not sure what men are learning from today’s culture is all that healthy.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing inherently wrong with soy vanilla lattes or our feelings. I’m just saying that there is such a thing as “manliness.” I know it’s not popular to say that these days, but it is true.
And God Bless the Panhandle and the Panhandle Plains. Any place where folks still know how to put a horny toad to sleep, is a place where folks still know there is such a thing as “manliness.”
But, beware, it is a trait that can be purged out of a man and, apparently, a whole generation of men. And once it is gone, families, and society itself, are set adrift.
I am not exalting disordered machismo. I am just stating the obvious.
A man is hardwired with a distinctive nature (as is a woman). When he truly acts according to that nature, he flourishes and so do those for whom he is responsible. And if he doesn’t act according to his nature, he ought to be embarrassed – like when he walks up to a counter in the local coffeeshop and orders a soy vanilla latte, with three pumps.
I wish I could say my worst embarrassment was that latte. It’s actually a small thing among the embarrassments I wish I had saved myself from. But I have learned along the way. In the interest of truth and a good education, I include below a few things I have learned about manliness (modified a bit from our strictly enforced West Texas man trip rules).
Men don’t make excuses, but mansplaining about politics, sports and how to fix things is perfectly okay.
Men should avoid social media, and they should never, never wear a blue tooth device in their ear or a cell phone holster—unless they are also wearing plaid shorts, black knee-high socks and sandals. And if they are going to dress like that, they should probably not go out in public.
Men should never use the word “closure,” or talk about getting in touch with their feelings.
Confessing to another guy is okay, as long as it’s not a confession about body piercing or watching a movie on the Lifetime or Hallmark channels. No other man wants to hear that nonsense.
Finally, in the words of Robert E. Lee, “. . . truth and manliness are two qualities that will carry you through this world much better than policy or tact of expediency or other words that were devised to conceal a deviation from a straight line.”
Manliness is about living the straight line. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love is a four-legged word
My maternal grandmother, Betty, was an animal lover. She kept every dog and cat that crossed her path. Sometimes, even the neighbors’ animals.
My grandparents lived in the country and when the Moore’s moved down the road from them, grandma took it upon herself to recruit their two dogs into her ever-growing pack of strays. She technically didn’t steal the neighbors’ dogs; they just chose to stay down at her house because she fed them like kings.
In her collective army of strays was a one-eared, Calico cat named Patches, a Border Collie she bought for $2.00 at a rummage sale named Rummy, a dumped Border Collie named Woofy, a stray, shaggy, white mutt named Toto, and the two neighbors’ dogs (a golden retriever/mutt and a rat terrier) that she renamed Brownie and Toby.
And those are just the animals I remember, there had been plenty more before me.
Much like her, I find myself taking in every stray that I find.
All our animals have been courtesy of neglectful owners. They just appear at our front door much like a baby dropped off by a stork.
If we haven’t had room for them, I often try to con someone else into taking them. My paternal grandmother, Kay, has been a victim of this tactic. That’s how she got her chihuahua, Maggie May, who she dotes over. I had been sneaking ham out of our refrigerator for weeks for Maggie who had been residing in our garage until she decided to take her in.
I myself have been suckered in to taking in animals as well. In fact, that’s how I got my cat Nami.
My friend, Mirka, had found him as a kitten under the hood of her father’s truck. They kept him for a series of months until her mother decided that she no longer wanted him because he was digging up her flowers and causing trouble. I had only met the cat a handful of times but, because of my animal loving nature, immediately decided to take him in.
Her mom was right, he’s a handful, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s taught me patience, responsibility and, most importantly, unconditional love.
Nami has been the first pet that we’ve had that’s been mine. Every other animal of ours that I’ve tried to claim as my own, mom has stolen away. It seems as if my grandmother’s art of befriending other people’s animals is genetic.
It happened with our dog Bentley. Bentley, just like all our other dogs, had showed up on our front porch. She looked like a bobble head figurine with her small body and oversized head. The first thing she had done was pee on my shoe and I joked that she was marking her territory and had chosen me as her person. However, within a few weeks, my mother had Bentley wrapped around her finger and she was wrapped around Bentley’s fuzzy paw. It was ironic being that the consensus from my mother had originally been that we would keep her only until we found her a new home. However, it’s five years later and they are practically inseparable. Wherever mom goes, Bentley is riding shotgun.
In conclusion, our pets are family. They are our secret keepers, biggest supporters and best friends all wrapped into one fuzzy, cute package. I don’t remember what life was like without Nami even though its barely been over a year of having him. I’m sure the living room chair wasn’t a scratching post and my black clothes weren’t covered in cat hair, but I’m also sure that life was a lot lonelier. Afterall, love is a four-legged word.
70 Years Ago: “Post Day” was to be celebrated at the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth. 125 Garza Countians were expected to attend and help at the show. Zoe Sims, Jean Sims, Billy Meeks, Billy Taylor, R. E. Josey, Jack Kirkpatrick, Jackie Meeks, Carter White, Roy Josey, Leon Miller, Donald Jones, Giles Dalby, Jimmy Moore and Alan Davis were all anticipated to be present as well as the Post School Band that was scheduled to perform a concert at the event.
The final shipment of materials for Post’s new streetlights had arrived and installation was set to begin soon. The project included 11 mercury vapor lights for Main Street. The lights would each cover approximately 400 feet and give Main Street a night lighting comparable to daylight.
Collier Drug was getting ready for Valentine’s Day. In a January 26, 1950 edition of The Post Dispatch, Collier Drug advertised Valentine candy for 40 cents to $6.00 and Valentines for $1.00.
60 Years Ago: An Oldsmobile automobile owned by A. C. Osborne was destroyed by fire. On a Wednesday night, the automobile caught fire around 9:00 p.m. and was extinguished without much damage to the car. Around midnight, the vehicle caught flames again. The cause of the fire was undeterminable.
Tower Theater announced a two-feature riot. On January 29 and 30, Tower planned to show both The Three Stooges and The Little Rascals for a night full of laughs. Admission was priced at 60 cents for adults and 35 cents for children.
Double Dollar Days began. It was the first big city-wide bargain promotion in years. The 1960 Double Dollar Days were to be held on the Friday and Saturday before the first Monday of the month. Twenty-seven Post merchants agreed to participate in the event. All eight of the clothing stores were included in the promotion as well as six of the town’s grocery and food markets. All 27 merchants advertised the promotion in the newspaper.
40 Years Ago: The 14th Annual Garza County Junior Livestock Show announced the date for the 1980 show and fair. The event was to be held on February 20, 21, 22, and 23 in the new stock show barn and facilities on the Lubbock Highway.
Garza County’s 1979 cotton crop broke records. With 40,563 bales ginned, the cotton crop went down in history as the biggest ever for Garza County. With an additional two weeks of ginning, it was estimated that the crop would be at 43,779 bales which was 5,276 bales over the previous record of 38,503 bales harvest in 1973.
Post and Garza County received a “surprise” snowstorm. Although the forecast had not predicted snow, five to six inches of snow was reported to have fallen. Weather Observer Nick Vukad could only estimate the total amount of snow because it melted rapidly after falling with the temperature climbing to 35 degrees in the afternoon.
Post Elementary students got to participate in dances they learned while studying a unit on Mexico. They enjoyed a day of Mexican dishes and dances to end the study.
20 Years Ago: Curtis Human was honored by the Post Rotary Club and Rotary International. On January 18, Hudman was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. The honor, which is named for the founder of Rotary International, is given to individuals whose longtime service demonstrates a commitment to Rotary’s humanitarian and educational programs. Beginning with Tom Bouchier in 1975, the Post Rotary Club had only honored eight men prior to Hudman during its 74-year existence.
Breanna Melford wrote a letter of thanks into The Post Dispatch. Her letter read: “I would like to say thanks again to Danny and Jerry who got my car started on December 21, 1999 in front of Wes-T-Go. Post should be proud of these two young men.”
In the 2000 Annual Garza County Junior Livestock Show, a total of 84 hogs, 27 goats, 25 lambs, and 24 steers were accounted for. The 160 animals were to be exhibited by 28 4-H members, 20 Post FFA members, and 21 Southland FFA members.
By Elizabeth Tanner
Super Bowl LIV is right around the corner. Soon, family and friends will be gathering for watch parties. Instead of the regular chips and dip, give them something exciting to snack on this year.
In this edition, I will talk about sweet Super Bowl Sunday snacks to surprise your guests with. However, if you enjoy something a little less sweet, make sure to read next week’s article where I will be highlighting some of my favorite savory appetizers.
All three of the following recipes are no-bake, easy to do and can be made in advance so that you can watch the game too.
Ingredients: 9 cups of Rice Chex, 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, ½ cup of peanut butter, ¼ cup of butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
Directions: Into a large bowl, measure out cereal and set aside. (Tip: Although the recipe calls for Rice Chex, you can use Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, Chocolate Chex or a combination of all the above for a fun twist.) In a 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour cereal into a 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread out on wax paper to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Brownie Batter Dip
Ingredients: 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 8 ounces of cool whip, 18-ounce box of brownie mix (dry), 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 cup of mini chocolate chips.
Directions: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a handheld mixer until smooth. Mix in the cool whip until smooth. Add in the dry brownie mix and milk. Mix until smooth and fold in the chocolate chips. Serve immediately or wrap the bowl in saran wrap and store in the fridge for up to one day ahead.
Monkey bread is a great party snack because guests can just pull pieces right off as desired, no need for a slicing knife.
Ingredients: ½ cup of brown sugar, 2 sticks of butter, 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, 3 cans of buttermilk biscuits, 1 cup of sugar
Directions: Open the cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters. Combine the regular sugar and cinnamon into a 1-gallon Ziplock bag. Add pieces of biscuits into the bag and shake to mix evenly. Spread the biscuits evenly into a Bundt pan. Melt the two sticks of butter together with the brown sugar. Stir together over medium heat. Pour combined butter and brown sugar over the biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until the crust is a deep brown on top. Allow it to cool before turning it over onto a plate.
Sneaky Signs of Unhealthy Diets
If you have been following this column the last 2 weeks then you know that the Dash, Mediterranean and Weight Watcher diets top the list of healthiest diets for 2020 and Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 ranked at the bottom of the list of 35 diets. Why would diets that are considered good at helping drop weight quickly be ranked so badly overall?
“The fastest way to lose weight is not always the best,” said Katz, president of the True Health Initiative. “Many things that are truly bad for health can cause short-term weight loss,” Katz said.
Quick weight loss diets usually emphasize a drastic cut in nutrients or the elimination of an entire food group that can’t be maintained over time. When the diet stops, the weight comes back, which leads to “yo-yo” dieting.
“Grown-ups don’t generally expect to ‘get rich fast;’ they understand the need to work, over time,” Katz continued. “But everyone thinks there is some magic formula they haven’t tried yet for rapid weight loss.” The consensus of the U.S. News judges of the best and worst diets is a resounding rebuke of that silly idea.
The Cleveland Clinic has identified seven ‘sneaky’ signs of unhealthy diets.
Your hair is like straw.
Studies show diets low in protein, essential fatty acids, and nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc and iron are associated with hair loss or hair thinning. Aim for lean sources of protein like eggs and grilled salmon, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and seeds and nuts for healthy hair.
Your skin is aging prematurely.
A diet rich in vitamins A, C, D and E has beneficial effects on skin by consuming five or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables.
You have disastrous oral health.
For improved oral health, you can boost vitamin C with foods such as strawberries, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables and potatoes.
Your brain feels drained.
To get plenty of omega-3 in your diet, choose foods such as walnuts, flax seed, fish oil and wild salmon.
You have digestive discomfort.
Americans fall short of the recommendations for fiber intake — 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Try bumping up your fiber intake by eating more whole grains such as brown rice and oats, in addition to nuts, seeds, and fresh or frozen produce.
You don’t heal properly.
Studies have shown that sufficient intake of calories, protein and nutrients is essential for proper wound healing.
You get sick easily.
Choose foods high in vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, selenium, iron and folic acid. Start by increasing your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains—specifically citrus fruits, leafy greens, popcorn and brown rice.
These signs don’t typically surface overnight, so watch for them over time. One final note: A 2019 study showed it’s generally best to get your vitamins and minerals through food, so don’t rely on supplements to try to compensate for poor food choices.
It’s a cold, rainy, winter day, and I am at home. I will get to live a dream I had many times during the last year of work at the prison. I can set in my chair covered with a blanket and read a good book ALL DAY LONG! Then I got to thinking how blessed we are to have such an excellent library in Post.
The library we have is due to a lot of hard work and dedication of many people in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In 1966 the city owned about 1600 books that was housed in the Post High School library. On March 21, 1966 Mr. Willliam Shiver, the superintendent reported to the school board that these books needed to be removed from the school library. The librarian Mrs. Lillian McRee was retiring, and the school didn’t need the new librarian to have to take care of these books. Also, the shelves were needed for high school books. He thought the city needed to have their own library, maybe hiring Mrs. McRee to run it.
Mayor Harold Lucas and Dr. Harry Tubbs began the organization of starting a public library. They attended a Governor’s Conference on Libraries in Austin, and the “Friends of Texas Libraries, Garza County Chapter was formed. The chairman of this chapter was Tom Gamblin, a local attorney. A membership was $1.00 per year and the group grew rapidly. Soon it totaled over 100 members and was the largest membership of any group Post ever had.
The city council agreed to remodel the space adjacent to the city hall for the new library. A library board was formed with Jim Cornish as president, Patty Kirkpatrick, Ruth Young, David Newby and Mrs. Tom Gamblin as members. The Honor Roll of Volunteers was started with members; Dr. Tubbs, Ruth Ann Newby, Lonnie Duke, Kay Pace, Zoe Kirkpatrick, Minnie Williams, Mrs. Edgar Graham, Jr., Dave Sanford, Jim and Helen Cornish, J. B. Potts, Katharine Trammell, Rosemary Chapman, Rev. George Miller, Pee Wee Pierce, Jeri Lott, Maury Shiver, Mattie Collier, Caroline Hopkins, Louise McCrary, Sue Shytles, Marilyn Miller, Estelle Davis, Mary McCrary and Carl Aycock.
These volunteers had to catalog books, build shelves and count all the denotations that were coming in regularly. Books were coming in from many people and places. Marjorie Post sent books several times, plus other area libraries donated books. The Garza County chapter of Friends of Texas Libraries grew each day.
Dr. A.C. Surman was the first to apply for a library card, on June 23, 1966 when the library opened. Rosemary Chapman was appointed the head volunteer librarian, and by February 1967 she started writing a weekly column in the paper centered on the growth and happenings of the library. It was like everyone wanted to know how they could help build the library.
The library board started having Book Fairs once or twice a year. There were all sorts of booths and all the proceeds went to the library. The funds grew and books and supplies were purchased. The total books grew each year.
By June 1968 the volunteers and hours of the library was set. Monday 9am – 12 pm Ruth Ann Newby ran the library, 2-4pm was Henrietta Nichols and 4-6pm was Mary McCrary. Tuesday the library was only opened in the evening from 7-9pm by Rosemary Chapman. Wednesday 9am -12pm was Estelle Davis, 2-4pm Barbara McKeowa and 4-6pm Joy Parker. Thursday was another evening with Pee Wee Pierce volunteering. Friday 9am – 12pm Bobbie Moore with Billy Criswell helping. Saturday morning was Louise McCrary’s turn. Five and a half years after the library opened, they hired Pee Wee Pierce as a full-time paid librarian.
In 1970 the library was out growing the space. The board started a building fund. There was an original group of thirty-nine that paid $100 each to start the fund. There was a twenty-foot lot between the city hall and the Tower Theater that was owned by M. J. Malouf. In August of 1972 the Malouf family donated this lot to the library board in the memory of their son and brother Tommy. Construction began with David Newby being the designer and supervisor. There were state and federal funds available for helping with the building, as well as the city and county. But the board raised over $30,000 for their part.
On February 24, 1974 the library as we know today had their open house. Pee Wee sent invitations to every library in the state, all the state library group and all state officials. The editor of the Texas State Library Group wrote a letter back declining his attendance due to the lack of gasoline available at that time.
The following city council meeting the board handed the key to the library to Mayor Giles McCrary, giving the library to the City of Post. Pee Wee became a city employee at that time. I can’t say enough about what a wonderful person Pee Wee was and how much she loved the library.
There have only been four librarians as of today. After Pee Wee, Jeanette Bell, Virginia Babb and now Peggy Ashley. All these ladies have done a wonderful job.
The state library system disbanded around 2010. Post has been a member of the West Texas Library Group since it was formed in 2015. This helps with location of books as well as a support group for Peggy. There is no financial help with this group.
The Franklin-McCrary Trust Fund supplies a generous donation every year to help purchase reading material, and Post Endowment Fund contributes the funds for the summer youth reading program. Memorials from groups and individuals help with other programs and supplies for the library.
The day of the open house in 1974, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal titled an article, “Love Built Library for Post Readers”. This describes the hard work the entire town had for all those years. We still love the library and all the hard work Peggy and Julia do to keep the library going. Let’s all do our help to keep our library open.
By Post Public Library Staff—
Did you know you can use your library card to check out eBooks for free using the SimplyE app?
To get started install the SimplyE app from your device’s app store. The app is free to download. (If you see the New York Public Library, that’s the right one! NPL first developed the app.)
Once installed, go to the menu and then settings. Click the Plus in the upper right corner. Scroll down to find Post Public Library.
Select Post Public Library again. Input your library card number. Your pin is your phone number (just the seven numbers for 806 number, all ten number for other area codes.)
Now browse back to Catalog. You should see a wide selection of popular books, bestsellers and classics to check out!
Q: Can I use SimplyE for audiobooks?
A: Not currently. Continue to use Overdrive or the Libby app to check out digital audiobooks.
Q: Can I use SimplyE with my Kindle device?
Unfortunately, no. This is a choice Amazon has made, to partner only with Overdrive for library lending with Kindles. If you find this ridiculous, please reach out to Amazon and let them know!
Q: Why should I use SimplyE app over Libby or Overdrive?
A: Simple answer – Use of SimplyE to search both Post Public Library’s Overdrive eBooks (6,000+) and the Texas State Library’s collection (1,500+) at the same time!
Longer answer: SimplyE is the first step in combing rural libraries statewide purchasing power to have a strong voice in polices and pricing. Currently, many publishers charge libraries 3 times the price that you see on Amazon…and often these books expire in a year or two! We hope this partnership will give Texas libraries a unified voice with publishers, without a for-profit hosting platform as an intermediary.
If you don’t have a library card, come in a sign up – and start your reading adventure with us.
Don’t forget the Winter Book Sale continues – all books on the sale tables are 25-cents.
The dangers of technology
My family decided to play Family Feud as part of our Christmas celebration. One of the questions was where are the top 5 places kids spend their time at. My parents, aunts, and uncles wanted to say things like movies, roller arena, dance halls because those are the places they grew up hanging out at. But times have changed. The answers for today’s kids is in their rooms, on their phones, as well as school and sports which haven’t changed.
Innovation has always propelled America. However, technology has often moved faster than our chance to predict and protect from negative consequences. Often, we’re left trying to repair and pick up the pieces after the impact of something new has done its damage. In this instance the internet, social media, and smartphones are still greatly hurting our society. The internet is full of inappropriate and dangerous things, especially for children. Social media is full of people either trying to look like their life is perfect or people spewing hate at others with differing opinions. Smartphones keep us distracted and isolated from truly connecting with each other.
The sum negative consequence of social media, smartphones, and the internet is a loss of community. Community obviously is the backbone of society and our nation as a whole. Isolation is not healthy for anyone and it breeds a host of mental illnesses. Recently, in the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in public shootings especially teens in schools. Most of these teens were loners who had online history of violence and disturbed thoughts.
The building block of community is families. Families are not doing so well in America as well. How much technology has to do with that is unclear? But I suspect that the availability of porn and potential alternative partners on the internet does not help. Your phone is very powerful and also very easy to keep things private from partners, more than in any century before now. Marriages also thrive when they have family, friends, and social/spiritual community around to support them. Now that community is breaking down marriages are not supported as well and are failing more often which then affect how well community is doing. There is a circular ecosystem effect.
In conclusion, technology has many benefits for culture, but there are pitfalls we need to think about as well. As we continue in the innovation age we would be wise to think ahead and prepare for potential negative impacts of future inventions/developments. I think in order to help improve community we need to lessen our consumption of technology (TV, internet, phone, social media, etc.) and work to create significant relationships. If we do not do this I fear for our future and the future of our children.
As numbers go, I like big fat zeroes. They make me feel skinny. A toast to 2020!
As for those two 2’s, I like them too. Compared to them, I’ve got good posture.
There you have it. That’s my attempt to write about the new year without mentioning New Year’s resolutions. Even so, you might guess (you’d be correct) that I’d like to lose weight. I threw posture into the mix because I couldn’t think of anything else to say about those curvy 2’s. Who doesn’t need to stand up straighter? When it comes to years, I’d most like to look like 1111 – skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny.
What happened in 1111 anyway? I don’t remember.
Not much. Pope Paschal II crowned Henry V. And it wasn’t even the Henry V who ruled England and beat the French at Agincourt in the Hundred Years War. It was Henry V of Germany. Let’s look him up.
ANOTHER GOOGLE PAUSE.
At the top of the list, I can pay for the truth about “Henry Germany,” arrest records included. Then I can get fast and free shipping on “Germany Germany” from Ebay. Sounds like doubletalk in honor of 2020. Maybe we are seeing the start of a new fad? Hopefully not not.
Amazon? They’re selling “Henry V in DVDs.” For some reason I’m picturing Henry V in BVDs, ready to whip the French at Agincourt even in his underwear.
Alibris is selling books on Henry V (probably the wrong Henry), and Sheet Music Plus wants me to pay $225 for the suite from the movie. There was a movie? Or I can pay just $39.60 for a picture of Henry Cooper relaxing before his bout with Muhammed Ali when Ali was still Cassius Clay. I’m guessing Henry lost.
COOPER-CLAY RESEARCH PAUSE.
Yep, Henry Cooper lost, but my cursory research tells me he got in one good blow with his fabulous left hook.
Then finally, after all those chances to spend money, Wikipedia is offering me the story of Henry V of Germany. Thank you, Wikipedia.
PAUSE TO READ ABOUT HENRY V.
Now I remember why I didn’t major in history. It was one battle after another for Holy Roman Emperor (1111-1125) Henry V. I’d rather go back to Ebay’s “Germany Germany.”
But that’s history for you – all about wars and greed for power. I prefer plain old greed – the kind that propels ordinary people like me to amass possessions by capturing deals on Ebay.
What about the ordinary people of 1111? They’d have appreciated a good Ebay deal if they’d had Ebay. Right? Or were they too poor to worry about more than the next meal? I’ll bet nobody was selling diet and exercise books in 1111. What kind of New Year’s resolutions did they make anyway?
I’d almost pay for a one-day-with-the-peasantry-of-1111 experience. Almost.
Instead, all I can find online is a learn-to-live-like-Grandma blog. I checked it out. I’d have to quit paying for lattes.
Sounds like a good resolution for 2021.
A new beginning in the last best place
If you’re reading this, you likely already know there is a new owner of The Post Dispatch and its sister papers. The LK Media Group, LLC purchased Blackburn Media Group the first week of December.
And I, as the president of LK Media, am pleased to be the new publisher of these fine newspapers. During the acquisition process, I worked extensively with the outgoing owners Chris and Sharon Blackburn.
Not only were they great to work with; they leave big shoes to fill in the local newspaper business. I know they will do well in their next chapter of life, and I wish them the best.
By way of a little background, LK Media is part of a hodgepodge of companies involved in construction, commercial and residential real estate, outdoor advertising, hospitality and newspaper and online media. Believe it or not, there is an interesting connection between these assorted companies.
They were all the brainchild of Mark Hicks, who never saw a backroad he didn’t like, who can’t sit still unless he’s driving on one of those backroads and who loves small downtowns in Texas.
I know these things because I have covered many miles of backroads with this man who thinks John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is the world’s greatest opera. I have followed him around and looked inside countless boarded up buildings with a flashlight and listened to him talk in glowing terms of the rebirth of downtowns none but him can see.
When he is not driving Texas backroads, he creates companies dedicated to the business of revitalizing and promoting the historic downtowns he falls in love with. That’s how LK Media made its way to the Panhandle and Panhandle Plains of Texas.
Mark introduced me to the beauty of this region. He explained his vision for the area and his attraction to the people. I, too, was captivated on my first trip to Childress and Paducah (who wouldn’t be?). Upon our return home, Mark asked me to write a short piece for Facebook to introduce a couple of renovation projects in the area.
Here is the first paragraph of that piece: “The stars at night shine remarkably bright under the clear skies of the Texas Panhandle Plains. And, whether it’s pioneer history or the famous ranches of Old Texas, there is more history in and near the small towns of the Panhandle than one can adequately explore in a lifetime. But, perhaps best of all are the Panhandle Plains people, —who still want their schools to refrain from assigning homework on Wednesdays, who know the pledge to the Texas flag by heart, and who may be the only people left on earth who still know how to put a horny toad to sleep. The Panhandle Plains may just be the Last Best Place in Texas.”
So when the opportunity to purchase Blackburn Media Group arose, it was what is known in the Hicks business world as “a no-brainer.” Not only do we get to spend more time in the small towns of our adopted Panhandle and Panhandle Plains region, we get to write about the places, the events and, best of all, the people. I intend to do that routinely in the paragraphs of this column that I am calling “Between the Lines.”
But I need your help. I need our readers to send me all the information they find interesting about the area, the towns and the history. I am interested in names, locations and stories. I am also interested in hearing about your family and your current events – past, present and future.
If your granddaughter is marrying, or married, a freckle-faced young man who works on a ranch in Cottle County, I want to know the details – the date, place and names of all the family members who drove in from Amarillo. If you recently attended a family reunion, tell us where and when. Tell us if the family printed matching T-shirts commemorating the event and, if so, what was written on the shirt.
I think you get the idea. At our newspapers – actually, your newspapers – we are interested in reporting on real events and real people in perhaps the Last Best Place in Texas. We aren’t unconcerned about people and events on K St. or Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C. (at least a few of us aren’t). It is just that people who know how to put a horny toad to sleep are just a heck of a lot more interesting.
We’ll leave world diplomacy, impeachment and cocktail parties to those who have more time on their hands; we want to know the name of your grandson, who is graduating from college, and what is happening all over the Last Best Place in Texas. I am looking forward to hearing from you at email@example.com.