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October 2015 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers


Yes, We Did Can

I remember my mother telling how the government sent people into Houston County during the Depression to teach others how to can with cans [“Yes, You Can!” July 2015]. Mother was still canning when she was in her 80s and 90s, but her choice for canning was glass jars.

She was canning pear preserves the morning of her heart attack at age 85. She lived to be 104. Mother was Verna Harrison Duren and was one of the first co-op members when it came through this area.

Virginia Duren Sherer | Belott
Houston County EC

Windmill History

I found your article on the past and present use of windmills in Texas very interesting [“Drawing Power From Thin Air,” June 2015]. I previously had only a very vague understanding as to the key purpose they played in the history of the state. The part of the article that addresses the recent resurgence of windmills for power generation also sparked my interest.

Sam Maguire | Austin

Who’s Your Granddaddy?

Your article, “Granddaddy of Them All” [July 2015], reminded me of how that oil discovery changed lives and communities. We cannot forget what it meant to our nation in wartime.

The “Big Inch” pipeline was created by the federal government to supply fuel for our armed services. My father worked on the pipeline at its very inception in Kilgore. The 24-inch pipeline ran more than 1,500 miles to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and on to New Jersey.

After the war, the Big Inch was sold to the highest bidder. Texas investors bought the pipeline to transport natural gas to the East. They called it “Texas Eastern,” and it is still in use today. And it all began in Kilgore.

Tom Terry
Cherokee County EC

Shaping Notes

“In Harmony and in Shape” [August 2015] described a cappella singing, in harmony, using shape notes. This is widely known as “sol-fa” and was the method used by Julie Andrews’ character to teach the Von Trapp children to sing in the 1960s film The Sound of Music.

My husband and I, and millions of other singers, learned to sing and read music in this fashion as children in church. At every service of the Church of Christ, the 12th-largest religious organization in the country, one can hear and participate in a cappella four-part harmony using a variety of hymn books, all written in shape notes and many published in the 21st century.

Sunny Stephens | Poteet
Karnes EC

Big Texas Skies

Loved the photo and story, “Texas Skies” [August 2015]. It reminded me of when my West Texas-raised daughter moved back home after a time in New Jersey and was joyful to be home. Her comment was, “Oh, I am addicted to the West Texas sky!”

Kay Smith | San Angelo and Paint Rock
Concho Valley EC

Right With the World?

The photograph on the cover of your August 2015 issue is a sad reminder of how adults teach children in Texas that using guns to kill nature’s creatures at will is trophy sport.

The story implies that as long as these people who kill are content with themselves, they care not about the creatures they kill.

Marty Jones | Allen
CoServ Electric

Thank you for publishing an excellent article, “Right With the World” [August 2015]. Generations have provided food, trained children and just enjoyed God’s blessings at camp.

I grinned from ear to ear when Mike Leggett wrote about Little Debbie breakfast pies, holding little ones’ hands in the dark and “things that go bump in the night.”

Unfortunately, we don’t hear enough about traditions like these anymore, and it’s really too bad.

David Hulslander | Lucas
Grayson-Collin EC