Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Miriam "Ma" Ferguson First Female Governor of Texas

Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, the first female governor of Texas was the wife of James "Pa" Ferguson.

Pa Ferguson began serving as the governor of Texas in 1915. He was impeached and removed from office in 1917, along with being banned for life from running for office in Texas.

Ma Ferguson won the governorship, serving a full term from 1925 til 1927. At that point in time Texas a governor served two year terms.

Ma Ferguson ran and won again, serving from 1933 til 1935.

In her first campaign for governor Ma Ferguson told voters she would follow the advice of her impeached husband, giving Texas "two governors for the price of one."

Among Ma Ferguson's campaign slogans was "Me for Ma, and I Ain't Got a Durned Thing Against Pa."

The Fergusons and their Ferguson brand of populism, to this day, are a controversial subject in Texas. "Fergusonism" was the popular term used to describe the Ferguson type of politicking.

Ma and Pa were Democrats,and thus sort of progressive. Ma and Pa did not drink, but Ma sided with the "Wets" in the fight to end Prohibition. Ma Ferguson strongly opposed the Ku Klux Klan. Ma Ferguson advocated a state sales tax and corporate income tax.

One of the more infamous quotes attributed to Ma Ferguson, regarding the issue of bilingualism is Texas schools, "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas.”

That goofy quote is something some Texas politicians might be heard saying in modern day Texas. Though Ma Ferguson is widely believed to have suggested Jesus spoke English, many scholarly sorts dispute this.

During Ma Ferguson's first term as governor she issued a lot of pardons, averaging over 100 a month. There were accusations that one could buy a pardon from Ma Ferguson. This lead to attempts to impeach her.

Another rumor persisted that Texas state highway contracts only went to those who advertised in Ma's newspaper, the Ferguson Forum. This rumor was investigated but no criminal charges resulted from the investigation.

Texas has had two females governors. Ma and Anne Richards. Wendy Davis would make number three.I don't think Wendy Davis will be as "colorful" a  governor as was Ma Ferguson.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Texas Legend Ima Hogg

Ima Hogg.

No, not me. The lady in the portrait is Ima Hogg.

This morning after I voted for Wendy Davis to be the next governor of Texas for some reason I thought of Ima Hogg. At that point in time I thought I remembered Ima Hogg was the first female governor of Texas.

Upon returning to my computer I quickly learned Ima Hogg was never governor of Texas, but she was known at "The First Lady of Texas" and that Ima Hogg was a well respected Texan for much of the 20th century.

Ima Hogg was born on July 20, 1882. Ima Hogg lived until August 19, 1975. Ima's dad was known as "Big Jim" Hogg.

Big Jim was the governor of Texas from 1891 til 1895. It was at Big Jim Hogg's instigation that the notorious Texas Railroad Commission was formed. Voters approved an amendment to the Texas constitution to create the Railroad Commission.

Big Jim Hogg died in 1906, at only 54 years old. Big Jim was a big landholder in East Texas, land Ima Hogg inherited. Early in the 20th century oil was discovered on the Hogg land, leaving Ima an extremely wealthy woman. Ima Hogg used her wealth to become a well known philanthropist and collector of the arts.

Ima Hogg was embarrassed by her name. If she was required to sign her name Ima would scribble her first name. On stationery Ima would have her name printed as Miss Hogg or I. Hogg.

I have long known of Ima Hogg. I always thought Ima had a sister named Ura, as in Ura Hogg. Turns out Ima Hogg having a sister named Ura Hogg is an urban myth.

Ima had 3 siblings, none of whom was a Ura. But they were all Hoggs.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The 48th Annual International Chili Championship in Terlingua Texas

The 48th Annual Terlingua International Chili Championship starts up November 1, with four nights of fun & music.

And chili.

Lots of chili.

And lots of chili-heads consuming lots of chili.

Way back in 1967 the Chili Championship Cook Off started up. A couple of classic Texans, H. Allen Smith and Wick Fowler, both known for their amusing characters and their chili got themselves into a chili battle with two chili festivals morphing into on big happy party with a lot of chili.

For more information about the 48th Annual Terlingua International Chili Championship click here to go to the official website.

For information about Terlingua click here to go to our Eyes on Texas webpage about Terlingua.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Halloween Hunting for Haunted Houses in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex

Does the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone have the world's highest per capita collection of Haunted Houses haunting people during the Halloween time of the year?

Fort Worth has a Haunted House called Cutting Edge, with the name having something to do with meat packing. Cutting Edge has a Guinness World Record in the Haunted House category due to being the biggest walk through Haunted House in the world.

Visiting one of the Dallas/Fort Worth Haunted Houses will cost you anywhere from $17 to $30 something.

Below is a list of most of the Dallas/Fort Worth Haunted Houses, along with their location, with the Haunted House name linked to their website so you can learn precise location, hours and how much it costs to get really scared....

Cutting Edge (Fort Worth)

Hangman's House of Horrors (Fort Worth)

Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus (Irving Mall)

Zombie Manor (Arlington)

Reindeer Manor (Red Oak)

Moxley Manor Haunted House (Bedford)

Dark Hour (Plano)

The Parker House (Denton)

Boneyard Haunted House (Arlington)

Thrillvania Haunted House (Terrell)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington

The first time I rode a ride in Six Flags Over Texas, in Arlington, was memorable to me not due to any ride I rode, but due to it being the day that John F. Kennedy, Jr. went missing and presumed dead due to his plane not arriving in Hyannis Port as expected.

The lines at Six Flags have TVs on overhead. So, that day the ongoing JFK, Jr. story dominated the line waits.

The first time I visited Six Flags that which you see on the left perplexed me. I wondered if it was supposed to be some sort of Texas version of the Eiffel Tower. I inquired as to what it was supposed to be to learn it was a viewing tower made to look like an oil derrick.

The view from the top looks all the way to the skyline of Dallas to the east. I don't remember if the skyline of Fort Worth can be seen from the observation deck.

You can go to my Eyes on Texas website's webpage about Six Flags Over Texas for photos of the view from the Derrick Tower observation deck, and other photos of Six Flags, plus oodles of Six Flags Over Texas information.

When I moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone I figured I'd be getting myself an annual pass to Six Flags. I figured wrong. I have been to Disneyland so many times I don't know how many. If I lived in the Los Angeles zone I know I would get a seasons pass to Disneyland, hence figuring the same for Six Flags.


I have been to Six Flags twice. Both times due to getting free passes. The first visit was so disappointing I never went again til years later when that second free pass arrived. Multiple things we not up to my Disneyland level expectation, most of which I mention on my Six Flags Over Texas webpage.

Six Flags Over Texas is located about six miles east of where I live.

If I got another free pass to Six Flags would I go again? Maybe. It has been at least 8 years since I've walked through the shabby entry. I am sure improvements have been made....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

White Rock Lake in Dallas

The pair of fishermen you are looking at here are on a dock on White Rock Lake. That would be the skyline of downtown Dallas to the west.

The State Fair of Texas takes place a few miles to the southwest of where these guys are fishing.

The first time I saw White Rock Lake it reminded me of Green Lake in Seattle. Only White Rock Lake is bigger, its amenities are more varied, its trail is longer and you are not allowed to swim in White Rock Lake.

I do not know why swimming is banned in White Rock Lake. Kayaking is allowed.

The paved trail around White Rock Lake is 9.3 miles long. There are multiple docks and piers of various sorts, and boat launch locations, as well as a marina. The Dallas Arboretum is located at the south end of the lake. There is a dog park at the northwest edge of White Rock Lake.

Go to my Eyes on Texas webpage about White Rock Lake for more pictures, information and directions.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dallas Farmers Market

That would be my mom appearing to be sucking on a bitter lemon. My mom found that bitter lemon in Dallas at the Dallas Farmers Market, a couple years ago.

When visitors visit me from the Pacific Northwest and want to see the tourist highlights in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone the Dallas Farmers Market is one of the places I take them.

And, invariably people from the Pacific Northwest will remark that the Dallas Farmers Market reminds them of Seattle's Pike Place Market.

Which is understandable because both markets sell a lot of produce of various sorts. The Dallas Farmers Market is a bit less scenic than Seattle's Pike Place Market though, what with no elevation changes, no overlooking a large body of saltwater, with mountain ranges in every direction and not being in the heart of the downtown zone with skyscrapers close by.

The Dallas Farmers Market is sprawling though. And you can find something you won't find in Seattle's Pike Place Market, as in acres of palm trees for sale.

The Dallas Farmers Market is easy to find, located directly north of I-30 on the southeast side of downtown Dallas, with the street address being 1010 South Pearl Street. The Dallas Farmers Market is open 7 days a week, from 8am til 6pm, all but three days of the year. I think those closed days are Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.

You can go to my Eyes on Texas webpage about the Dallas Farmers Market for more pictures of my mom, plus many more pictures of the Dallas Farmers Market and additional information.

The Sam Houston Statue by Huntsville Texas

Years ago, driving south to Houston on Interstate 45, a few minutes after being surprised to drive through the town of Huntsville to see a giant Texas prison on both sides of the freeway, I was perplexed at seeing something looming, big, tall, and glowing white ahead.

Eventually, as I passed that which was big, tall and glowing white I could see it was a statue of a man.

I exited the first exit I came to and headed back north to check out the big, tall and glowing white statue.

It did not take long to learn this 67 foot tall statue is a memorial to one of the founding fathers of Texas, Sam Houston

The Sam Houston Statue stands in a well done park  with a visitor's center where you can learn all you need to know about the statue and about Sam Houston.

Go to the webpage I made about the Sam Houston Statue to find more information and photos of Sam.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup

Way back in 2003 I visited the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup. Soon thereafter I made a Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup webpage and my first YouTube video.

Sweetwater takes a lot of flack for rounding up rattlesnakes. And killing most of those who get rounded up.

I don't know if it is still the case, but for years my webpage about the Sweetwater event Googled in the #1 spot. That has caused me many questions asking about rattlesnake products, like skins and rattles, that people assume I must sell.

Due to people thinking my webpage about the Rattlesnake Roundup is somehow officially associated with the event I get a lot of angry emails from anti-Rattlesnake Roundup activists. There have been 100s of comments relating to my Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup video on YouTube, many of them of the sort that generated the following in the Wikipedia article about YouTube....

Most videos enable users to leave comments, and these have attracted attention for the negative aspects of both their form and content. In 2006, Time praised Web 2.0 for enabling "community and collaboration on a scale never seen before", and added that YouTube "harnesses the stupidity of crowds as well as its wisdom. Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred". The Guardian in 2009 described users' comments on YouTube as: “Juvenile, aggressive, misspelled, sexist, homophobic, swinging from raging at the contents of a video to providing a pointlessly detailed description followed by a LOL, YouTube comments are a hotbed of infantile debate and unashamed ignorance – with the occasional burst of wit shining through.

Yeah, that about sums it up.

Since I started my Durango Texas blog, years ago, I have blogged multiple times about the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup. Below is a list  of most of those bloggings.

Rattlesnake Phobia

Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup

Sweetwater Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

The Sweetwater Texas Rattlesnake Roundup Anti-Venom

The 2009 Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup

Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup Comments

Alma's Mating Rattlesnakes & The Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup

Sweetwater Sucks & Other Dumb Comments

A Rattlesnake Bridge & The Sweetwater Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2010
YouTube Rattlesnakes, Australians, Americans, Texans & Nazis

The World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup Starts March 10 In Sweetwater Texas

We Need To Thin Down The Population Of Rattlesnakes At Our Ranch

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011
Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup Pageant Hopefuls Decapitate & Skin Snakes

Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup Weekend Kick Off Is Thursday March 8 With The Rattlesnake Review Parade

The 2nd Saturday Of March Dawns Cold Thinking About Rounding Up Rattlesnakes

Apparently Killing Sweetwater Rattlesnakes Is Senseless & Makes You Look Like A Moron

The Sweetwater Rattlesnakes Will Have Their Day

Apparently I Have A Big Rattlesnake Surprise Waiting For Me

Apparently Children Are Witnessing Rattlesnake Beheadings In Sweetwater Texas

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas Being Too Cautious About Ebola

I saw that which you see on the left on Facebook a few minutes ago via the marathon runner who calls himself Mr. Spivey.

There seems to be some over-reacting going on to America's first Ebola case being in Dallas.

Not just Texans and those of us who live in the Dallas vicinity are over-reacting. I have detected some over-reacting on Facebook from Facebookers located as far from Dallas as the state of Washington.

I know Big Tex has become a bit of a hypochondriac after he went up in flames during a previous State Fair of Texas, so I guess the big guy putting on a germ blocking mask makes sense to him. But I really think Big Tex is over-reacting.

I would think a bigger health danger at the State Fair of Texas is presented by the consumption of any of the 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists.

Fried Siracha Balls? Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet? Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil?

Which I believe was the Best Taste winner this year.

Deep Fried "Breakfast for Dinner"?

Which I read yesterday goes for 18 coupons. Coupons cost 50 cents each. Math is not a forte of mine, but I think that works out to being 9 bucks for a Deep Fried "Breakfast for Dinner".

I believe the cheapest of the Big Tex Choices is 17 coupons. I don't know if the Most Creative winner, Original State Fair Brew - Funnel Cake Ale is 17 or 18 coupons.

I also do not know why, for sure, so many events in Texas do not do straightforward transactions using American currency, but instead you have to turn American currency into coupons if you want to eat something fattening or get on a carnival ride.

I was told, years ago, that the reason for the coupons was that it was hard to find temporary fair help who could make change. But you could find help which could count coupons. At the time this made no sense to me. But, I have now been long enough in Texas to see why the coupon payment method simplifies matters sufficiently for just about anyone to master....