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August 2010 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

These Guys Rock!

We really enjoy our Texas Co-op Power magazine. I even give a copy to my sister in Texas City. She enjoys the recipes most!

I’m mostly writing to recognize some of our Houston County Electric Cooperative guys. All we have met are courteous, helpful and nice. On Sunday, May 16, we had an outage and had to make that call for help. The guys were in Buffalo, but they finished there and came on to fix us—less than three hours.

Our guys rock!

Don and Frances Mannin, Houston County Electric Cooperative

Circus Queen of the Southwest

Mollie BaileyMartha Deeringer’s article about the Mollie Bailey Circus (June 2010) brought back memories of my wife’s dear cousin, Geraldine Hill Styles, who passed away in the mid-‘90s. After her death, we were carefully inventorying her large collection of books on Texana. Among the books was Mollie Bailey: The Circus Queen of the Southwest written by her daughter Olga Bailey, published in 1943. Carefully placed between the pages was a letter from Geraldine with the memories of her childhood in Mount Vernon, and especially the annual visit of the Mollie Bailey Circus. She wrote, “There was a lot that was set aside in town for the annual visit of Mollie Bailey’s Circus. The circus was a real event … I remember the antics of the clowns especially. Mount Vernon was a small town and could not expect visits from the big circuses. Mollie Bailey was always welcome.” Cousin Geraldine’s reminiscences of Mount Vernon in the early 20th century and the circus are lovingly preserved with the book.
Note: Around 1998 I was traveling on business through Nashville’s airport. There was an exhibit of old circus posters, and a Mollie Bailey Circus poster (reproduction) was among the artifacts on exhibit!

Patrick Brady
, Austin, Pedernales Electric Cooperative

Curing Mollie

I found the article on the Mollie Bailey Circus to be very interesting. My grandfather, Dr. J.F. Peek, was a country doctor in Rockwall County from 1887 to 1910. The story is told that when the Mollie Bailey Circus came to town, Mollie became very ill and was cared for by Dr. Peek. She was so pleased with his services that she never forgot him. Ever after, when the circus came to town, the whole family was given tickets. The Peek children, consequently, became very excited whenever posters were put up to advertise the coming of the circus.

Ben Peek
, Kerrville, Bandera Electric Cooperative

Mollie’s Calliope

I greatly enjoyed the piece on Mollie Bailey. In the early 1950s, I was managing editor of the Garland Daily News. In response to a loud noise, many of the old-time residents would say the sound was “louder than Mollie Bailey’s calliope.” I am a native Texan, but I had never heard that expression before, nor have I heard it since.

Thanks for reintroducing me to Mollie Bailey.

Hilton Hagan, Austin

P.S. It must have been some calliope.

Satisfied Customer

I really enjoy the magazine every month. I love the story of Mollie Bailey’s circus. I live in Donna, and Magic Valley Co-op is my electric company, and I am very satisfied to be part of it.

Verna Hoffman
, Magic Valley Electric Cooperative

Roller Rink Reverie

I really enjoyed the “Coming Full Circle” article on roller skating (June 2010). It brings back fond memories. I grew up in the Olmos community in Bee County but learned to skate in the 1940s when visiting cousins in Three Rivers. Every summer, a portable roller rink came to Three Rivers. I say I learned to skate but probably spent as much time on the floor as on my feet. I never got very far from the railing because whenever I did, boom, on the floor again.

While in high school in the early ’50s, there was a roller rink at Lake Corpus Christi State Park where we also skated. My wife, Jessie May, grew up in Refugio and could skate circles around me. She learned with the clamp-on shoe skates on the school sidewalks. Oh, to be young again!

I enjoy Texas Co-op Power magazine and read it cover to cover.

Edwin Wallek Jr., San Patricio Electric Cooperative

Skating Through Life

Your article about skating rinks brought back good memories. I met my husband at a “tent skating rink” in Killeen in May 1946. We have been married 63 years and have three children, who were also skaters. We lived in Decatur from 1967 until 1969 and skated at the Whispering Wheels rink there. On Saturday nights after the skating session was over, they had a sock-hop dance for teenagers.

Virginia Shope
, Moffat, Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative

Keep ’Em Rolling

The fine article by Carlton Stowers on skating rinks brought back fond memories of the upstairs rink at Lake Cisco’s huge swimming pool. Many a starting and ending romance were at that rink. I guess all cherished things must come to an end, but it is my hope that the wheels keep rolling on those old hardwood floors!

Carl W. Bailey
, Cisco, Comanche Electric Cooperative

Salad Days

I always enjoy Texas Co-op Power magazine. The article about skating brought back lots of memories of the ’50s when I had skated miles at the Silver Moon rink at Waterloo, Indiana. And I always enjoy the recipes each month. This month (June, 2010), I tried the “Texas Summer Salad.” It’s a great recipe—I can see that I will be making it a lot this summer. It’s a keeper in my favorite recipe box.  

Pat Walters
, Austin, Pedernales Electric Cooperative

Editor’s (online) response:

With our new website, just launched July 30, for the first time our readers have access to an online database of readers’ tasty (and staff-tested) recipes. Just go to the Recipes section and search by category, ingredient or keyword. Also, register for the site and you can use some of the simple tools to manage your experience. For example: You can rate recipes you’ve tried on a scale of one to five and save your keepers to your very own private “recipe box.” Look for the “favorites” link at the top of any recipe. FYI: While the favorite tool seems most handy for recipes, you can save ANY story found on our site to your favorites.
Charles Boisseau, associate editor

Devilish Hellgrammites on Devils River

In 1946, two of my brothers were home from World War II, and my third brother and his friend cooked up a trip to Devils River (re: “Not for the Faint of Heart: Devils River,” May 2010). I was lucky enough to be invited to come along even though I was just a teenager, and a girl at that. We loaded up all the camping gear, and the seven of us loaded into Dad’s bobtail truck with a tarp stretched over the top. We started out at bedtime with all but the driver and co-pilot driving and the rest of us on pallets sleeping in the back on that hard wooden floor.

We got there about sunup. The river was beautiful and hot. My sister-in-law and I were given the job of catching hellgrammites for bait. They looked like centipedes that had adapted to living in the water. My sister-in-law had on coveralls, and she put the tin can of the varmints in her hip pocket so she could use both hands to catch the wiggly creatures. All of a sudden, they decided to escape the tin can and began to navigate down through an open slit in those coveralls—with a yell, my sister-in-law came out of those coveralls, right there in the bright sunlight. It was OK, though, as all the fishermen were in another area, and we were the only ones fishing on the river anyway.

I was the only one to witness this impromptu stripping, but we had a lot of fun around the campfire that night describing the event. From then on, this was recounted at every reunion with much laughter from everyone, and not any of us could recall if we ever caught any fish. This event and the trip in that bobtail truck is the only thing I can remember about Devils River!

Betty Harlan, Muleshoe, Bailey County Electric Cooperative

Moses at Rest in Louisiana

The March 2010 story “Moses Rose Didn’t Budge” really got our attention. My wife lived on Grand Cane Creek in Logansport, Louisiana, years ago. When we married six years ago, she took me to Moses Rose’s gravesite. From U.S. 84 (it runs right through Logansport), head north on Highway 5 for 5.2 miles. You will cross two railed bridges. Immediately after the second bridge you will see a marker that says Moses Rose gravesite.

According to my odometer, it is exactly 2.8 miles. You will feel like you are lost back in the woods on a part gravel, part asphalt road, but do not turn off that road (I saw no name or highway number for that road). You will come to another sign that designates the gravesite. Walk up the concrete path to the site. It is so calm and peaceful back there in the woods. You can almost hear the gunfire and smell the smoke. (I experienced the same feeling when we visited Pea Ridge National Military Park in Arkansas.) Many thoughts ran through my mind while I was standing there taking pictures of the site. Thank you for taking us on a journey from the past. Three cheers for Footnotes in Texas History.

Red and Wilma Fuselier, Waskom, Panola-Harrison Electric Cooperative

To Switch or Not to Switch?

We have 40-year-old fluorescent lighting in our offices. Some employees think it is more efficient to turn the lights off when leaving the room for a few minutes. Others think it is just as efficient to leave the lights on all day whether anyone is in the room or not. Which is right?

Glenda Harder
, Point, Farmers Electric Cooperative

Editor’s note:

The U.S. Department of Energy says, in general, if you leave a room for more than 15 minutes, it is probably more cost-effective to turn a fluorescent light off. If you’ll be out of the room for 15 minutes or less, it will generally be more cost-effective to leave the light on. The operating life of a fluorescent bulb is more affected than an incandescent light by the number of times it is switched on and off. 
Carol Moczygemba, executive editor