Monday, September 3, 2012

Two new items in my Kerr County collection

I'm thankful for the generosity of so many people and organizations as I work to build an amazing collection of Kerrville and Kerr County historical items. Two new printed pieces were brought in over the last few days and they're both quite remarkable.
The first, a full set of the first volume of the Tivy Tatler, in a nice hard cover binder, came courtesy of ReRuns Resale Shop, which is located in the 500 block of Hays Street. I was thankful for the shop thinking of me. ReRuns is owned by Hill Country CARES (formerly known as the Hill Country Crisis Council), and helps fund that organization's mission.
The Tivy Tatler, the student newspaper of Tivy High School, started in October, 1924. Its first editor was Charles Coppock.
The very first issue begins: "We present this, our first copy of the Tatler, to our dear friend, the public, with a sense of fearful, almost daring hopefulness."
Hopefulness, indeed, runs through the early issues, though in its second number the lead story is entitled "The Modern Girl," which I can only assume encouraged a lot of discussion among the students at the time.
"We hear a great deal of her; we read from men and women who profess to know, who have studied her from every angle -- her ideals, her ambitions, her moods, her lackings, her mistakes. But is she explained?  Will she ever be understood?"
Remember your history, Gentle Reader: women only gained the right to vote in this country in 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment was finally ratified. It's understandable, then, that the role of women and 'The Modern Girl' would be the subject of discussion even in a rural high school's student newspaper.
Also it's quaint to consider, even for a moment, that men will ever understand women.
"She is no longer a creature to be defended and petted like her eternal predecessors. She has taken responsibilities, she longs to be useful as well as ornamental, to hold -- in her mind -- a more definite place in the great scheme of things...She thinks largely of marriage as something far-off, indefinite, still somehow inevitable, yet almost to be dreaded...."
The little article ends on a quite judgmental note, which I won't repeat, but let me suggest the ideas in the little article are quite articulate and represent an editorial skill which would be very rare in a high school newspaper today.
The times have changed, of course, and not always for the best. I wish high school students could see these early Tatlers to learn how well their great-grandparents here wrote, and to see the depth of their writing. (I made photocopies of the first year's issues which I understood would be given to the high school and the school district.)
Thanks again to ReRuns Resale Shop for helping preserve this interesting piece of history.

* * *

My long-time friend Rod Kennedy, the founder of the Kerrville Folk Festival, brought by a very interesting book that I'm looking forward to reading: "Long Days and Short Nights: a century of Texas ranching on the YO, 1880-1980," by Neal Barrett Jr.
It's a first edition copy which boasts the signature of the author plus Charles Schreiner III, his four sons, and Mary Helen Schreiner.
I've seen copies around for many years and always meant to read the story, and now, thanks to Mr. Kennedy, I'll have a chance to.
As I learn more about the YO, I'll be sure to share stories about it here.

* * *

As I told a friend this week, I'm just a temporary caretaker for these Kerrville items. I am thankful to so many of you for trusting me with these heirlooms, these bits of history that make up an incredible mosaic about this bend in the river we call home.
I continue to work to find a permanent home for these items -- heaven knows my sweet Ms. Carolyn doesn't want them at our house -- and will report here from time to time any progress I make in this mission. I would like a safe place where the collection can be preserved, but also one where the items can be viewed by the public, and made available to those interested in researching our community's history. (Alright, I'll say it. Kerrville needs a museum.)
Until next week, all the best.
This column originaly appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times September 1, 2012.


  1. I agree; Kerrville needs a museum!!

  2. Before comments can be posted, two words must be typed at the bottom of the article (to prove that the post was not made by a robot).

    Over time, it seems that the system has become much more difficult to "please" when trying to type the words correctly.

    This is very frustrating.

    Is there a method for adjusting the sensitivity of the system that checks the words?

  3. Sorry, but I don't have any control over the captcha system.

  4. Joe, I'm very sorry to learn of your father's passing. He was a nice man. I'll put you and your family in my prayers.


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