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I admit, I was ignorant when I began writing about our county’s state historical markers. I was unaware of the number and of their fascinating histories. Most were too interesting for me to simply relate the inscriptions. Today I finally finished with the last five. I admit, I’m a bit tired and therefore more concise. more
Lately I’ve focused on local historical markers and I’m continuing in that vein today. I’ve written about several of them before. I’m not skipping them now, because you may have missed the earlier pieces. more
This Musings covers two purposes. I think you’ll get my drift and be able to keep up. more
Last week’s Musings focused on some of the local historical markers, including the one commemorating the establishment of Madison County plus others recognizing historical cemeteries. This week I am writing about a local roadway that is recognized by more than one such marker and also not only locally. Call it OSR, The Old San Antonio Road, King’s Highway, or El Camino Real (pronounced “re-al”), its marble markers were probably the first historical marker many of us locals ever noticed. In places it is also marked with cast metal markers. They are not all inscribed the same, but the following is a typical inscription: more
The Madison County local Salvation Army has the following people that are actively involved with it. William C. “Bunkin” Bennett is the local unit Chairperson, Tammy Hoke is the local Treasurer and Becky Blair runs our Christmas Kettle bell ringing program. more
In these uncertain times, I like to dwell on permanence and history. Much of our area’s history is recorded in bronze on stone, as historical markers and of which Madison County has quite a few. The first marker named below honors the formation of our county, and the other nine give information for some of our older cemeteries. I did not keep repeating the word “marker”, but there is a Texas historical marker at each of the named cemeteries. more
Willie Mae Small’s history in Madison County is interesting yet not totally substantiated. She was born June 5, 1906, but, so far, we know not where. Neither do I know where or when she died. Between birth and when age crept up on her, she spent plenty of time in a kitchen. more
Though you are reading this in the Madisonville Meteor, it was not the first newspaper printed here. In 1888, a Baptist minister, J.B. Hall, established a publication called The Texas Watchman. According to local history, Madison County had some tough outlaws in those days. Perhaps The Texas Watchman was too threatening a name. Whatever the case, that first publication was short-lived. more
None of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 occurred in our area or even in our state, but as Americans it dealt us all a strong shock. Last week I asked some folks got their memories of that time. None hesitated, all remembered. It appears that many couldn’t bear to be alone with the news, and they felt compelled to contact someone else, someone to help bear the burden. I’m not explaining when for any of the below except the last. The others all occurred that fateful day. more
This piece is set in September 1965. I was mature enough in 1965 to now retain memories of it. As I took notes from those old Meteors, I thought “Of course she was homecoming queen, I knew that!” It seemed ordinary to me. I hope it’s not so ordinary to you. more
Let’s get this part out of the way: Nobody likes hurricanes. more
One of the precious few escapes from the soul-sucking stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has been bonding with our couches and sweatpants while watching scores of movies. more
It’s always hard for me to escape old newspaper ink, and I have not traveled far since last week. This week’s events occurred in September 1960. more
When I peruse old newspapers, it’s difficult for me to escape. The last couple of Musings were set in 1955. Now I have moved forward five years, to August 1960, or sixty years ago. more
Note: It’s confession time. After last week’s Meteor had already gone to print, I suddenly thought, “I should check what C.C. Springfield’s age was in 1955, when the Heath horse photo was taken.” I did and realized that he was only 16. I don’t think the Meteor then would have credited him with the photo. I asked his daughter, Jennifer, if he did photography, and she replied that he did not but his father did. “Our” local C.C. carried the same name as his father, Calvert Collier Springfield, (1909-1969) in Huntsville. Many local photos from the mid-20th century are credited to him. I’m sure this isn’t the first mistake my Musings have included, and I doubt it will be my last. more
French critic and journalist Alphonse Karr (1808-1890) famously said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I did not know his name until later, but his words came to mind while writing below. more
It will be a miracle if Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar and his team of financial prognosticators are right about the arc of the state’s economy over the next few months. more
There have been a lot of valuable lessons and reminders from the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief among these is the simple fact that urban and suburban America cannot survive without rural America. more
This is the second of two reprints of a Musings that first came out over four years ago, as I’ve taken some time off. It is not intended to tie into a neat package like I often attempt. Instead, I’ll call it a buffet piece, made of bits and pieces of local history. more
Karen Jo (Wells) Roberts, 62 of Normangee passed away July 20, 2020 at her home. A graveside memorial service will be held Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 10:00 am at Madisonville Cemetery, Madisonville, Texas. more
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