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December 2014 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Mary Pat Waldron

Speaking of Books

We really enjoyed the October 2014 issue. My husband loved “Tall Tales,” but I’m writing because of Juddi Morris’ Observations, “Making the Case for Happy Endings.” Good for her and her list of favorite books.

I would love to sit down with her and discuss my favorite books: “Mrs. Mike” by Benedict and Nancy Freedman (Coward-McCann & Geoghegan, 1947) and anything by Mary Stewart (mostly written in the ’60s). I loved her romantic mysteries set in foreign lands, but my daughter favored her later historical books about Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.

“Mrs. Mike” was not written for young people, but my sixth-graders loved it when I read it aloud to them back in the ’80s, especially after I told them they might not like it because it was written for adults. A favorite for middle school-aged kids was “To Yellowstone” (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1975) an obscure, out-of-print book by Robert Scott McKinnon.

Vanda Powers | Midland 
Fort Belknap EC

Another Tree of Note

Famous trees: In Waco, at Twin Rivers Golf Club, beside the 16th tee, is the largest, most beautiful live oak tree I have ever seen [“Tall Tales,” October 2014]. I don’t know how to estimate age, 500 years or 1,000 years, maybe.

Nelda Oswalt Grimm Emmert
Via Facebook

Oop and Our Family

The V.T. Hamlin story [“Comics Caveman,” October 2014] reminded me that my late father, a young Army Air Force second lieutenant, was hospitalized at a California Bay-area military hospital in September 1942. His ward was visited by the Alley Oop creator, who gave him an original daily comic strip drawing of the cave man, his girlfriend, Oola, and Dinny, the dinosaur.

It’s extraordinarily coincidental that my father later did petroleum property tax work in West Texas, including Iraan, where Alley and Dinny endure. That drawing hangs in our Highland Lakes home.

John De La Garza | Inks Lake
Central Texas EC

Texas’ Founding Fathers

I read and enjoy your magazine. I felt a need to send in this clarification after reading the September 2014 Currents item “The Star-Spangled Lawyer:” David Burnet was “appointed” as the first president of the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston was the first “elected” president of the Republic of Texas.

Richard Curtis | Bertram
Pedernales EC

Editor’s note: Burnet was elected interim president by delegates to the Convention of 1836. Later in 1836, Texans elected Houston president in a landslide.

Harming Butterflies

I was so happy to see in the September 2014 issue the well-written and timely article “Trouble in the Kingdom” about the declining population of the monarch butterfly.

However, I was shocked and saddened that the author made no mention of the role that pesticides and herbicides, especially Monsanto’s Roundup, have played in this unfolding tragedy. A simple Internet search (“monarch butterflies” and “Roundup”) will bring up pages of articles about studies conducted all over the country linking the main ingredient, glyphosate, with the demise of the butterflies.

Planting milkweed in your garden will do nothing to alleviate the problem if you are still dousing your plants with deadly chemicals. I urge your readers to do a bit of research on the topic and walk straight by those giant containers of Roundup or generically branded glyphosate.

You’ll be doing the butterflies AND yourself a big favor.

Anne Marie Sampietro | Centerville
Houston County EC

Making Headlines

I enjoyed the article on small-town newspapers [“Success Stories,” September 2014]. My great-grandfather, J.W. Graves, started a newspaper in Cleburne after the Civil War, about 1867.

He sold that newspaper to his brother and moved to Graham and started The Graham Leader in 1876. He owned that newspaper until 1903. I understand it is one of few papers with same name since organization in Texas.

My grandmother used to set type for him, and the original typesetting equipment is still on display in The Graham Leader front office. They have won many awards over the years.

Janice Ruyle | Dripping Springs
Pedernales EC