My kids have a store!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Link Pack

From a brochure celebrating the Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital.
Click to enlarge.

I wish some of you would give this to your grandparents (or your parents) this Christmas -- their stories are so easily lost.

Sad to read this obituary in the New York Times.  I loved that show, and Sach's character was a big part of the charm.

What do you think?  Should they teach social media in high school?

One of the craziest videos I've seen in a long time, about a family that takes in rescue animals of all kinds.

Seth Godin writes an amazing blog, especially if you're interested in communicating ideas with people.

Just ran across this website about Texas history.  Like the idea of the campfire stories.

Monday, November 28, 2016

That first Thanksgiving feast

Having now passed the safe harbor of Thanksgiving, a holiday which makes so few demands upon its celebrants, we now face the frenzied weeks as Christmas approaches. Sure, some stores have had Christmas decorations up since September, and the pile of mail-order catalogs already delivered to each home weighs the same as a small vehicle -- but it's not until after our Thanksgiving dinners that the holiday tempo shifts into high gear.
It was not always this way, though few today would believe it.
That first Thanksgiving, in 1621, was quite different than the event just concluded. The original Thanksgiving menu was fowl and venison, roasted in the yard on spits; pottages made by cooking corn (and possibly wheat) in a broth of stewed meat; fish, eels, and shellfish; and plenty of beer. They all drank plenty of beer (including the children) that first Thanksgiving, because they felt the water was not safe. (It probably was not safe to drink the water.)
I looked in the “Joy of Cooking” but didn’t find a good recipe for eel, although there was one for squirrel. Perhaps you can substitute eel for the squirrel.
At that first Thanksgving, everyone would have used spoons, pointed sharp knives and their fingers; the first Pilgrims probably had no forks.
After their feast, original festivities would have included footraces and shooting contests. The first Thanksgiving celebrants “amongst other Recreations, exercised [their] arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst therest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninety men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted,” wrote Edward Winslow on the 11th of December, 1621.
The Pilgrims had much for which to give thanks.
"You shall understand, that in this little time, that a few of us have been here, we have built seven dwelling-houses, and four for the use of the plantation, and have made preparation for divers others. We set the last spring some twenty acres of Indian corn, and sowed some six acres of barley and peas, and according to the manner of the Indians, we manured our ground with herrings or rather shads, which we have in great abundance, and take with great ease at our doors. Our corn did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown, they came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom; our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors."
The success of their crops meant they had a chance to survive the coming winter.
Massasoyt and his men "went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
Winslow listed the bounty for which they were thankful: "I never in my life remember a more seasonable year, than we have here enjoyed: and if we have once but kine, horses, and sheep, I make no question, but men might live as contented here as in any part of the world. For fish and fowl, we have great abundance, fresh cod in the summer is but coarse meat with us, our bay is full of lobsters all the summer, and affordeth variety of other fish; in September we can take a hogshead of eels in a night, with small labor, and can dig them out of their beds, all the winter we have mussels and othus at our doors: oysters we have none near, but we can have them brought by the Indians when we will; all the springtime the earth sendeth forth naturally very good sallet herbs: here are grapes, white and red, and very sweet and strong also. Strawberries, gooseberries, raspas, etc. Plums of three sorts, with black and red, being almost as good as a damson: abundance of roses, white, red, and damask: single, but very sweet indeed; the country wanteth only industrious men to employ."
Today we have much to be thankful for, as well. Even with the troubles facing our nation, "men might live as contented here as in any part of the world," and it my hope we will. As Winslow concluded his letter: "Resting in Him."
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who wishes his sweet daughter Elizabeth a very happy 30th birthday. This column was originally published in the Kerrville Daily Times November 26, 2016.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Link Pack

Aerial view of Kerrville, 1950s, looking from Guadalupe River
up Sidney Baker Street.
It still surprises me how many Kerrville historical items are for sale on Amazon, and I have no idea who the sellers are.  Here's a photo by Kerrville's Starr Bryden.

Here's another item.

It's not too late to take the Kerr County Museum survey.  It takes about 3 minutes to complete. Here's  a report on the results of the first 100 responses.

Not sure how I missed hearing about this artist.  Hermann Lungkwitz is credited with some of the earliest images of the Texas Hill Country.  This print, published in 1859, sold for $12,000 at auction. Everyone check their closets to make sure you don't have one rolled up in there.

Read this week that exercise might help with symptoms of depression.  Interesting.

This guy is my age and he runs up and down hills for fun.  Perhaps I need to be more active.

I've been thinking a lot about museums, lately, and how they can engage their audience better.  This story offered an idea on how to do just that.

Looking for a Christmas gift for someone who misses Kerrville?  May I humbly suggest my Kerrville Stories history book? Shipping is free to U.S. addresses, or you can stop by the print shop (615 Water Street) to pick up your order.  My friends at Wolfmueller's Books also have copies available.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Columnversary!

My first column in the
Kerrville Daily Times, November 13, 1994.
Click to enlarge.
On November 13, 1994, this column made its first appearance on these pages, and in the 22 years since, save that one year where I took some time off, this newspaper has been kind enough to publish a few paragraphs of mine each Saturday.
Let's do the math: so far this newspaper has published about 1092 of my columns, or a little over 700,000 words. Most of those columns were submitted on time, though a few were hastily written after a patient editor called to remind me that, yes, I write a column. A weekly column. For which the deadline has past.
Surprisingly, many of the most hastily-written columns read quite well; I suppose there's nothing like a missed deadline to focus one's attention. My personal record for writing one of those "oops" columns is eight minutes.
In these years I've made some glaring errors, mostly grammatical errors, but occasionally factual errors. I've tried to correct the factual errors, of course. I'm still working on grammar.
In the earliest years of this column several of my former English teachers, both from high school and junior high school, would occasionally drop by the print shop with a copy of my column. "I taught you better," they'd insist, kindly. The printed column they handed me would have my mistakes circled in red pencil; fortunately none of the teachers graded my work. Honestly, though, I was thankful for their help, and also thankful they were reading my column.
And I've had more than a few people point out factual errors I've made. I'm thankful for them, too.
I believe Neice Bell is the fifth publisher for which I've worked; Lisa Treiber-Walter is about the tenth managing editor. (We three have something in common: we each previously worked at the Kerrville Mountain Sun.)
There are few on the current Kerrville Daily Times staff who worked at the newspaper when I started my column. I think there is only one person, actually: Jeanette Nash, the assistant managing editor. Ms. Nash has been kind enough to call me when I forget I write a column each week, to remind me about my deadline. She has had to do this many times.
In the first months of the column I would visit the newspaper office and type my column there. Later, I could use my own computer to write the column, save the work to a floppy disk, drive to the newspaper office, and use a computer there to finish up. The next step was email, which meant I could work on my column and send it in as an email attachment. That is how the column arrives at the newspaper office today.
Research for the column has changed, too. In the earliest days, if I wanted to research a part of our community's history, I'd need a book, or an old newspaper, or the files of newspapers on microfiche at the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library. In those cases I'd need to know exactly what I was looking for, on what page it appeared, and when it was published. Translation: I went through a lot of haystacks to find any needles.
Today, thankfully, I can use the Internet to search newspaper archives, and I can search those archives by keyword. If I want to find a news story about Tivy Football in 1935, I can do so quickly and easily.
If you want to search my columns (and my collection of historical Kerr County photographs), you can visit my website, There is a search box on that site, so you can enter "Florence Butt" and see everything about the founder of the H-E-B grocery company which I've published online. The website is free, of course.
I'm thankful to the Kerrville Daily Times for its support over these decades. I'm also thankful to the kind readers of this column, and for those readers who help me make it better (and more accurate). I'm thankful to my family, and especially Ms. Carolyn, for their support of my hobby, and for their patience as I explore odd and hidden places around our community.
It's been fun so far.
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who signed off his first column "Like a diary, I’ll make my weekly marks on paper, with the hope that the sum of the marks is a bit of clarity. I’ll need your help along the way. It should be fun."  This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times November 19, 2016.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Link Pack

700 Block of Water Street, Kerrville, mid-1950s
I'm often surprised how many historical items from Kerr County end up in online markets.  

Here's another one

Glad to see this business up and running.  Ms. Carolyn is a customer.  The owners are a Tally family.

Have you taken the survey about the possible Kerr County Museum?   It only takes a few minutes.

Here's a good column about Gwen Ifell, the journalist who died this week.

And, in closing, how about this whimsical garden building?

Enjoy your weekend! Stay warm. 



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