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Of Pigs and Pigskins

Some of the topics we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

Bacon Bash Texas invites you to pig out and help out a couple of good causes. Jerry Jones, king of the Dallas Cowboys, turns 75 this month.

Let Bacon Be Your Beacon

You’ll need a map—and maybe Siri—to find the self-proclaimed nation’s largest bacon cook-off. Bacon Bash Texas, October 21, is in cranfills gap. Even the event’s website concedes, “We have to be honest. Cranfills Gap, Texas, is out in the middle of nowhere!”

About 55 miles northwest of Waco, in United Cooperative Services’ territory, pork, music and charitable causes have taken over the town of 265 for one day every year since 2012.

Bacon Bash, which includes an auction and other fundraisers, benefits Niki Warms the Cold and children with Type 1 diabetes. Niki Warms the Cold distributes coats and blankets to those in need across Texas.

Pederson’s Natural Farms, a member of Hamilton County Electric Cooperative, donates more than 750 pounds of bacon for the cook-off. The winning team gets featured on Pederson’s bacon packages distributed nationwide.

Now the Owner of 75 Candles

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, turns 75 on October 13. He was a relatively unknown but brash 46-year-old when he purchased the team February 25, 1989. He immediately changed the landscape for the franchise and its fans when he fired legendary Coach Tom Landry and that same day hired Jimmy Johnson of the University of Miami to replace him.

Jones’ Cowboys have won three Super Bowls and finished first in the NFC East 10 times. Jones also replaced Texas Stadium, the iconic venue with a hole in the roof “so God can watch his favorite team,” with a $1.15 billion football palace in 2009.


The night before Jones bought the Cowboys, he and Johnson dined at Mia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant in Dallas. That it was a favorite of Landry’s added to the ignominy of the beloved coach’s firing.

Land Sakes!

The oldest state agency in Texas, the General Land Office, opened October 1, 1837, in Houston. John P. Borden had the herculean task of compiling and preserving the Spanish and Mexican land titles issued before the republic. With no funds or employees, he acquired documents from all over Texas by the end of 1837. In 1839, he hauled almost 2½ tons of documents by wagon and moved the GLO to Austin.

Today the GLO manages state lands, provides veterans benefits, helps Texans recovering from natural disasters and manages the vast Texas coast. Its website,, offers information for disaster relief, road conditions and other Hurricane Harvey recovery resources.

By the Numbers: 415 Million

The Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant, also called the Longhorn Ordnance Works, at Caddo Lake, began producing munitions 75 years ago. From October 18, 1942, to August 14, 1945, when Japan formally surrendered, effectively ending World War II, the plant produced 414,805,500 pounds of TNT. It played a role in defense production during the Cold War and was where the first U.S. missiles were destroyed in 1988 as the U.S. and Soviet Union agreed to end the nuclear arms race.

Here a Chick, There a Chick

Counting your chickens before they hatch is frowned upon. After that, though, it can be quite lucrative.

Luke Robitaille, from the Fort Worth suburb of Euless, found that out at the Raytheon Mathcounts National Competition in May. Robitaille, a home-schooled seventh-grader, answered the final question in less than a second to win a $20,000 scholarship and a trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

The question: In a barn, 100 chicks sit peacefully in a circle. Suddenly, each chick pecks the chick immediately to its left or right. What is the expected number of unpecked chicks?

The answer: 25