It appears that a lot of folks in the area have really been warming up to the spring weather we’ve been enjoying , off and on, the past 10 days or so. Unless you are a tourist, you are well aware of what it means when I said "off and on". It’s sort of like the ol’ saying they have in our State of the Lone Star: "if you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait ‘til tomorrow."
I’ve met a lot of folks that write, either for a living or fun, over the forty some-odd years that I have had the opportunity to pen columns for a couple of "dailies" and several weekly papers, due to my work in Brown, Coryell, Brazos, Zavala, Kerr, & San Saba Counties. Some of the writers that I have had the experience of association for the longest period wrote at one time for the San Angelo Standard Times, included Elmer Kelton, Jerry Lackey, and Ross McSwain. McSwain is semi-retired, but still pens a column for the "big" Paper, now & again. His being from Brady might have made us a bit closer, but I never told him my true feelings for most folks from Brady. Anyhow, he was outlining several aspects of the advent of the spring season, and sort of held on to the presence of the ol’ Mesquite tree as being the true test of spring really having arrived. That would have to be more applicable to west Texas, but most folks around here prefer the bud break o f the Pecan. That is understandable, but the sheer number of different varieties of Pecan preclude it as being very reliable. All of the producers can attest to the freeze damage in-curred on our precious Pecans last year.Hopefully, that won’t happen to us again this season.
Ross has also recently authored and published a novel of historic value, SEE NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL, which chronicles the history of mob violence in the Texas Heartland, from 1869 until 1904. Ranger Boyd was very gracious in lending me his personal copy of the book, and though I’ve had some trouble getting into the novel, I have had the opportunity to peruse the pages of the Foreword by Elmer Kelton. Surely there will be several mentions of San Saba as the major activity of the mob was centered around San Saba County. There might even be some mention of the "Who Do" War down around Mason. Guess I’ll have to sit down and get to it.
Back to the spring time activities; I got to attend Sunday services with son, Will, out at Sloan-New Hope Presbyterian this past Sabbath and visited with most of the local inhabitants. That magnificent monument to Worship, nestled in the upper valley of Rock Shoals, has changed very little over the past 50 years that I have been blessed with being able to attend out there. There were a couple of things that I considered worthy of comment, as well as the message the Minister brought relating to "Good Friday", as well as several other days of significance leading up to Easter. There were 16 Easter Lillies adorning the sills of the stained glass windows from all the area families memorializing and honoring their family member that have passed. Quite a gesture and tradition that also adds a lot to the presence of that storied Church, past and present.
I also went on up the Ditch to visit with John Byrd in the ol’ Byrd Bottom following the Service. As we were standing by the pickups down in the Bottom, J. Byrd pointed out the first sighting of a Scissor-tail Flycatcher perched in one of the Pecan trees. That has always been one of the local signs of spring around our parts of the County. I recall Momma always saying that spring had arrived when we saw the 1st Scissor-tail out at Algerita. If we don’t have a hard late freeze, it will also bring on a banner crop of Algerita berries, Wild or Mexican Plums, and of course our blessed Bluebonnets are beginning to show color. I realize that many of you will be busy visiting with family and friends over this worthy Holiday and will probably be enjoying traditional feasting meals. Whether it be ham, chicken & dressing, barbecue, whatever you like most, take time to recall the true reason for the season. I might imagine the Mayor , yrs. truly, an son, Will most probably will find some Lamb out around—————Harkeyville!!!!!!!!!!!