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June 2013 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Robert Seale

Wonderful Childhood Memories

I couldn’t resist commenting on Suzanne Haberman’s story of her memories of her mom’s clothesline [“Hanging Out With Mom,” April 2013]. Almost everything she wrote took me back in time: from the steel pipes that I would swing on to the twisted galvanized wire line—only two lines for us, but they stretched the entire length of our backyard, which was bigger than our garden and which I would have sworn was the size of a football field—to the frozen clothes in the wintertime, doodlebugs, my mother’s bonnets, hanging shirts by the tails and using three clothespins instead of four. I, too, could entertain myself for great lengths of time in between the sheets.

What wonderful childhood memories. Thanks, Suzanne, for taking me back there once again.

Ruth Caskey | Bartlett EC

I sure enjoyed the memories that this article brought back about washday. For us, it was usually Monday. I was about 12, and my chore was hanging out the wash. I really enjoyed the wind blowing through the clothes and how fresh they were.

My job was to first empty the sawdust out of the cuffs of my daddy’s khaki pants (he was a carpenter). Then, with a wet rag, I would run down the clotheslines, wiping them clean to be sure none of the laundry got dirty. The “unmentionables” were always hung between two rows of sheets, for modesty. The coveralls and jeans were hung inside out to dry better.

Jeanie Pimpler | Bartlett EC

Bringing tears to my eyes, “Hanging Out With Mom” described the ol’ clothesline of my childhood to a tee.

You forgot to mention the old long board we used to hoist the line up higher to really catch the breeze.

Helen Rogers | San Bernard EC

But If You Have a Dryer …

An additional suggestion for composting [“Backyard Paydirt,” April 2013] is how to make your own barrel. Years ago I had an old clothes dryer that was destined for the trash. I salvaged the drum, set it on a supporting stand and used it as a composting drum. It’s still working great after a dozen years of use.

Tex Norton | Pedernales EC

I was taught a couple years back another easy way to get compost for the garden. Turn an empty five-gallon plastic bucket over in your garden after breaking out about a six-inch-diameter hole in the bottom. Add kitchen scraps and shredded newspaper regularly through the hole, watering as needed to keep moist.

Voila! How could composting be any easier?

About once a month, move the bucket to a new location. Turn the existing pile into your soil with your shovel—it shouldn’t take more than two or three turns of the shovel—or, even simpler, just cover with a few sheets of newspaper and keep it moist enough to not blow away.

Lou Storm | HILCO EC

Memorable Burton Visit

We visited the Burton Farmers Gin [Hit the Road, April 2013] in February 2013, and impressed is an understatement. Jerry Moore is a fantastic tour guide. He was very passionate about the cotton gin. Everyone has to make the pilgrimage to Burton a top priority.

Robert and Joann Sloane | Wood County EC

This Is Messed Up

I bonded with Kevin Hargis’ “Don’t Mess With My Bit of Texas” [March 2013] and hope that there are more than just he, my brother and I who leave the house with a dog and three Kroger’s bags and return with more trash.

I try to keep my Dallas block clean five days a week and walk our county road near Winnsboro on weekends. Somehow city trash makes a wee bit of sense, but I’ll never understand how those living in the country are OK with lining their roads through the East Texas trees with garbage.

Aluminum cans net me $30 every three months at the Sulfur Springs recycle plant. If only glass bottles and fast food bags had value, I could retire early.

Scott Powrie | Wood County EC

I appreciated Hargis’ Observations on litter and his approach to the problem, and it would be great to see others take similar action.

We have neighbors in the Berryville area who pick up the trash around our airpark, and it is very frustrating for them to similarly see beer cans, fast food wrappers, cigarette packs, etc., appear just as fast as they can pick them up.

We have dubbed the Anderson County back road to Frankston “trash alley” as it is disgusting with piles of litter. How can we change this behavior? Do the offenders ever get ticketed?

Corrine Olson | Trinity Valley


My husband and I just finished eating a delicious lunch straight out of the latest issue. I fixed the Mango, Chicken and Chorizo Quesadillas [April 2013], and they were absolutely delicious. This is definitely a keeper.

Carmen B. Sanchez | United Cooperative Services

Thanks for having more vegan/vegetarian meal ideas [“The Veggie Experience,” March 2013]. I have hundreds of vegan/vegetarian cookbooks, but many of your vegan recipes are new to me.

Jennifer DeVillez | Medina EC

Having been a vegetarian since 1970, I found your veggie recipes a nice surprise and fun to try. I feel people should eat what makes them healthy and happy, whatever their choice may be.

(P.S. True vegetarians DO NOT eat chicken and fish, as your article said—not even in Texas.)

Kathryn Shaw | Jackson Electric

I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for the awesome vegan/vegetarian recipes. It’s so great to see recipes included for us nonmeat eaters.

Stephanie Steelman | Farmers EC

More on the VP

I enjoyed your story about Vice President John Nance Garner [“Meet the Colorful Cactus Jack,” March 2013] since I grew up near Uvalde. I think it also should be mentioned that Garner was very instrumental in the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [FDIC ] in 1932, which still protects all participating bank accountholders up to $250,000 per account, and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Bill Armstrong | Bandera EC

I want to thank you for your story on “Tex Garner,” as his uncle called him. Dr. Garner was my American history professor in college. To detour Dr. Garner from his lesson plan, all one had to do was mention Tex (Cactus Jack) and we could have the rest of the hour free from any serious study.

I appreciated Brittany Lamas’ article. I wish we had more people like him in office today. We wouldn’t see the wishy-washy, flippant lack of stance on issues—moral and otherwise.

Pat Bozeman | Jasper-Newton EC

Vocational Schooling

What a great idea [“Honing Their Futures,” March 2013].

This country was built by tradesmen: carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, welders, butchers, mechanics, farmers, loggers and truck drivers, just to name a few.

There is nothing wrong with making a living with your hands. Not everyone can sit behind a desk and look at a computer screen.

An air-conditioning service technician is a welcome sight on a hot Texas day when the AC quits.

I hope more schools follow this lead.

Bill Snow | Rusk County EC

I’m a big fan of vocational education and found this article to be extremely informative and well-written.

But I’ve been wondering why, for the past 10 years or so, I’ve been unable to get what I would call a “grown-up” haircut—something feminine and soft without a lot of goop involved. And your article clued me in: Cosmetology students are getting A’s for dying people’s hair orange and lacquering it into a heart shape. Goody!

Also, while your cover picture of the girl with her hair full of foil was certainly attention-getting, I think it’s sad that we are teaching our high school students that their natural, God-given coloring is ugly and that they must cover it up with hair dye.

Karen Caldwell | Farmers EC

Don’t Forget the Women

In “Feel the Madness” [March 2013] you write: “The only Texas team to come close to winning the tournament since then [Texas Western in 1966] was the University of Houston in 1983 and 1984.”

This is true, and to be sure, your article notes only the men’s side of the NCAA Tournament. But what about the NCAA national championships won by the women from Texas—Baylor (2012 and 2005), A&M (2011), Texas Tech (1993) and UT (1986)? Surely you don’t mean to gloss over the pride of Texas in its female athletes, who have won more than considerable national fame.

Brad Toben | Heart of Texas EC

American Pride

The backlash against your magazine [“Flag Flap,” March 2013] for how you displayed the U.S. flag reveals the misplaced pride in most Americans. The flag represents our Constitution, which all military members and politicians must swear allegiance to. However, most of our God-given rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights have been infringed upon greatly.

Perhaps we should concentrate on how to rebuild this nation rather than lambasting a magazine for incorrectly displaying our flag.

Ian Greenfield | Bluebonnet EC

Roman Eyes

Foreign Accents” [March 2013] mentions Athens as the “city built on seven hills.” The city that has been holding that distinction forever, in my eyes, is Rome.

Adi Obersteller | Pedernales EC

Stopping for Gas

I was wondering how many, if any, encounters Maurice Jackson [“Gas with Class,” January 2013] has had with celebrities. I believe everybody’s favorite cowboy, the late Dan Blocker of “Gunsmoke,” lived in O’Donnell as a boy.

The next time we pass nearby on our yearly trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, we will make a stop to say hello.

Thanks for the article—brings back some very fond memories of when I was a kid and the world was at a lot slower pace.

Brad Peeples | San Patricio EC


I read your article on Bill Pickett [“A Cowboy’s Unusual Dental Work,” April 2013] with interest. However, the person shown in the photograph is not Bill Pickett; it’s his brother. Don’t feel bad. The U.S. Postal Service made the same error a few years ago and had to recall a printing of their stamps.

Bob Coffelt | United Cooperative Services