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Cowgirls and Armadillos

Energy, innovation, people, places and events in Texas

Road Killer?

You’ll never see this guy belly-up on the shoulder. Killer the armadillo, the creation of welding artist Marc Rankin, weighs in at 4 1/2 tons and measures more than 48 feet long. Killer and several other oversized sculptures hang out at Fall Creek Farms in Granbury, which makes for an uplifting experience for visitors, as it did for Maddie Crisp, 11, daughter of Fall Creek owner Cullen Crisp.

Celebrating a Hall of Fame Cowgirl

October 31 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dale Evans, born Frances Octavia Smith in Uvalde. She might be best known as the wife and co-star of singing cowboy Roy Rogers, but she had a fledgling career in show business long before she met him. Rogers was Evans’ fourth husband—she eloped at 14—and the two starred in four movies together before they married on New Year’s Eve 1947. Their seven-year run on “The Roy Rogers Show” made them one of the most popular husband-and-wife teams in American entertainment history. She wrote the show’s theme song, “Happy Trails.” Evans, who is in the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth and has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, died February 7, 2001. She is buried in Apple Valley, California.

Seeing the Light

Electric lighting was installed in the White House in 1891. President Benjamin Harrison and his wife refused to operate the switches because they feared being shocked and left the operation of the electric lights to domestic staff, according to William Seale’s book The President’s House (Harry N. Abrams, 1986). The Texas Governor’s Mansion got electricity about nine years later, when Gov. Joseph D. Sayers was in office.

By the Numbers

3,653: In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service targeted more than 3,000 post offices, mostly rural, for closure.

200: More than 200 of those were in Texas. Here and across the country, patrons of the targeted post offices objected.

13,000: In May, the agency amended its plan. Most of the post offices will stay open, but about 13,000 will have drastically reduced hours.