True history IS interesting
History, the true version, is interesting, even spellbinding above the very best novels, certainly far superior to the sanitized, politically-correct accounts circulated, at least partially, throughout academia and from out of the mouths of Media’s Talking Heads on the Nightly News.
But true history is so rare, even to the point of being shunned, unbelieved and avoided by the great unwashed public, being especially unpopular with the crowd seemingly hanging onto every word put forth by The Establishment and its "news" outlets, by Politicos and by ‘snake oil’ salesmen wishing to make a quick buck at the expense of these Willingly Ignorant. Not by any of my readers, of course.
Don’t get me wrong, novels and fiction skillfully written are much to be desired and found in abundance at every bookstore or library. One of my favorite authors of fiction, of the humorous type, is one Patrick McManus of last-page fame from such publications as Field and Stream and, currently, Outdoor Life.
Here’s a sampling from one of Pat’s books, this one entitled ‘They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?" and published by Holt Paperbacks. The paragraph is from a chapter called ‘Reading Sign’ and may be familiar from out of many of our very own life experiences.
"One frosty November morn Buck had dragged me out deer hunting with him. I wasn’t old enough yet to carry a rifle, but Buck needed someone along to brag to about how he could read sign. We were cruising down a back road in Buck’s old car, listening to Gene Autry on the radio and looking for deer. (Buck believed the way to hunt deer was to drive up and down roads; that’s the sort of woodsman he was.) For breakfast I had brought along some chocolate-covered peanuts in my jacket pocket and ever so often I’d sneak one into my mouth so Buck wouldn’t see it and demand a share.
There was some fool notion in those days that if someone saw you with something good to eat, all he had to do was yell "divvies" at you and then you had to share with him. If you didn’t share with somebody when he yelled "divvies" at you, he got to beat you up and take it all—but only if he was bigger than you were. If he was smaller, he could yell "divvies" till the sun went down and you didn’t have to share with him. In that way, I suppose, it was an equitable system…"
Later on in their drive looking for deer sign, Buck did spot deer tracks as they sped along, which Pat thought should be classified as fossils, they were so old, but you get the drift of the humorous type of fiction I prefer. McManus can still be found in book stores and in Outdoor Life magazine.
Tidbits from history is another of my preferred-reading habits. While visiting the Star of the Republic gift shop at Washington-on-the-Brazos with a friend recently, I spotted a pamphlet entitled "Ring-Tailed Panthers and Cornstalk Lawyers." Being a fan of panthers, especially of the ring-tailed genus and since Cornstalk Lawyers are also interesting-sounding, I purchased the publication. Here’s an excerpt from true history involving our county’s namesake:
"After declaring their independence and knowing that a vast Mexican army under Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was advancing to restore Mexican sovereignty in Texas and crush the rebellion, these brave individuals remained at Washington to write a constitution, establish a government, and elect officials. On March 15, news of the fall of the Alamo "spread like fire in high grass" and caused "complete panic." According to signer James Collinsworth, upon hearing the news, Convention President Richard Ellis rose in his seat, pulled a small pistol from his pocket, and proposed adjourning to Bradshaw’s near the Neches River as "the enemy would be upon us before morning." Cooler heads prevailed and the delegates remained, but the next day, signer Charles Stewart noted: "Our situation is very bad; today we finish the Constitution, hurry through the rest of the business, and prepare for desperate efforts." At midnight on March 16, a constitution was adopted, followed by an ordinance organizing a provisional government."
True history IS interesting, is it not? The part about the Ring-Tailed Panthers and Cornstalk Lawyers will have to wait another day.
May God bless.