Celebrating 100 Years of the Texas Folklore Society, 1909-2009
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of North Texas Press
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The Texas Folklore Society celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2009, so it wasnât hard to decide on a theme for this yearâs publication. I didnât want to write Volume IV of the history of the TFS, an undertaking F. E. Abernethy began with the first three volumes that cover the Societyâs origin...
I. Whatâs the Point: Why the Folk Come in the First Place
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âHooked on Texasâ
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Being a proud native Texan born in 1949 not far from the confluence of the Brazos and Bosque Rivers, (and raised in east Waco), a survivor of the devastating tornado of May 11, 1953, and a lover of Dr. Pepper and Moon Pie, I remain hooked...
âBeware of Folklore Addictionâ
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Texas. Texan. Mentioning either of these words engenders strong reactions regardless of where they might be heard. Throughout the world many people will recall some of our great Texas history from the era of western movies. Many a self-professed civilized urban dweller might stick his nose up in the...
âMcDade and Meâ
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The first time I attended a meeting of the Texas Folklore Society, it brought back vivid memories of my hometown. As I sat listening to others talk about different folklore from around the state, I remembered the coolness of Aunt Stellâs...
âMother Lodes of Mexican Loreâ
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I became acquainted with J. Frank Dobie, Wilson M. Hudson, and Mody Boatright when I worked for James M. Day as a work-study student my first year at Texas Western College. It was James who taught me the tools for historical research. My introduction to the Texas Folklore Society came as I typed...
âDobieâs Disciples and the Choctaw Fiveâ
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Buck Wade died on Christmas Eve 2008, yesterday. So instead of enjoying a peaceful evening at home on Christmas night, I packed a suitcase and loaded my dog Duke and my best friend Doc onto a mini-van, drove a few hundred miles, and am now staying at a small motel in Hillsboro with a...
âThe Texas Folklore Society Was Part of My Life, Long Before I Knew Itâ
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I didnât join the Texas Folklore Society until 1990, but I now realize some of its members were part of my life before I ever even knew about the organization. The first person I knew of from the Texas Folklore Society was J. Frank Dobie, though I never met him in person. I remember reading...
âThe Family Nature of the Texas Folklore Societyâ
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The first paper I ever presented at an academic conference was at a meeting of the Popular Culture Association. The second was at the 79th annual meeting of the Texas Folklore Society in Fort Worth in 1995. I have since given conference papers for numerous academic organizations, at the state, regional, and even...
II. Books, Papers, and Presentations: Texas Folklore Scholarship
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âCollecting and Reading Folkloreâ
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At the forty-first meeting of the Texas Folklore Society in Nacogdoches in 1967, John Q. Anderson, a past-president of the organization, read a paper titled âMagical Transference of Disease in Texas Folk Medicine.â What Anderson presented was a series of remedies he had collected. At the evening...
âBooks of the TFSâ
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Books drew me to the Texas Folklore Society. I began to read TFS books in high school without paying attention to the publisher, being drawn to them by the editor and frequent contributor, J. Frank Dobie. A ranch-oriented small-town boy in the 1940s...
âTexas Booklore: If It Ainât Folklore, Then What the He(ck) Is It?â
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Or maybe a more descriptive subtitle might have been âAn Idiosyncratic Reminiscence of Book People I Have Known In and Out of the Texas Folklore Society.â On Good Friday 1967, in Nacogdochesâ Fredonia Hotel, I presented my first paper to the Society. Its title was âCharlie Coombes...
âHow I Came to Be a Publisher of Texas Folklore Society Publicationsâ
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E-Heart Press, named after our fatherâs old family cattle brand, was founded by my brother, J. P. Brannen, and myself when our father died and we ended up with a little cash from the sale of his cattle. We had also rediscovered his memoirs from World War I, written many years before, and decided they...
âAn Enduring Relationship: The Texas Folklore Society and Folk Musicâ
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A commitment to the preservation, analysis, and enjoyment of folk music underlay the 1909 creation of the Texas Folklore Society. As it was in the beginning, so it remains. Over its century-long existence, the Society has been a nurturing home for collectors and interpreters such as John A. Lomax, William...
âAfrican Americans and Texas Folkloreâ
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One Sunday in early fall, 1932, in a well known and often referenced tale, a young, emerging black Texas folklorist called the office of Texas Folklore Society secretary-editor and University of Texas English professor, J. Frank Dobie. The black folklorist received an encouraging and welcoming...
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Through minimum effort on my part I became a provider for a horde of hummingbirds in the season just past. Details of how and why Poverty Sink became a smorgasbord for these tiny avian creaturesâ and how Chihuahuas worked their magic on meâis of scant interest to you most likely, so the trigger for...
âPecos Bill and His Pedigreeâ
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Upon this anniversary of the Texas Folklore Society, like other long-time members, I have been moved to wander back down the lane of memories and tellings, especially ones that relate to my alma mater, The University of Texas. I have newly examined the early volumes of the Publications of the Texas...
âFunerals and Folklore: A Snapshot from 1909â
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Funeral customs and burial rites have been important issues in the lives of the folk at least as far back as the Neanderthals, and thus are frequent topics in history, anthropology, and folklore. A cursory review of the titles of papers presented at annual meetings of the Texas Folklore Society over the past...
III. The Folk: Who We Are and What Weâve Done
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âHow the TFS Has Influenced Me as a Writer, But More Importantly, What It Has Meant to Me as a Listenerâ
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The Texas Folklore Society meetings have long been a highlight of my year, in small part because I pick up inspirations for my fiction writing, but in much larger part because I simply enjoy the people, the stories they tell, and the songs they...
âWomen in the Texas Folklore Societyâ
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From the beginning, women have been instrumental in the development of the Texas Folklore Society (TFS) and remain integral and important contributors to the Society today. The roles played have been as varied as required to keep the organization functioning. For instance, women have been...
âBetween a Rock and a Hard Place: Reflections on the TFS and a Writing Lifeâ
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It will come as no surprise that Iâm not a well-known author and there isnât time left to become one. One among us is considered, arguably, the greatest and best known Western novelist of all timesâElmer Kelton. Every person in the Texas Folklore Society who calls himself or herself a writer stands...
âBack in the Ought âSixtiesâ
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I (an English teacher whose academic field was Renaissance drama) became a folklorist in the 1960s, and I am going to tell you about a few of those dear souls who stood in loco parentis and showed...
âThe Alford Homeplace: Deconstructing a Dogtrotâ
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When I got back from Hemphill with the barbeque sandwiches from Fat Fredâs Grocery, husband Tom and cousin Troy Pfleider had already stopped work and were sitting on what was left of the front porch. Tomâs camo T-shirt blended to the same...
âMexican and Mexican-American Folk Healers: Continuing to Nourish Our Sense of Humanity into the Twenty-First Centuryâ
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Traditional holistic healers guide their lives by four principles: faith, compassion, respect, and reciprocity. According to folklorist John O. West, these same values are embedded in all aspects of folklore and folk life. Yet, because many people in our society are suffering from sustos, these concepts are disappearing...
IV. Meetings, Memories, and More
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âKeeping the Flames Burning and Passing Them On: Hoots at TFS Meetingsâ
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Probably long before recorded history our ancestors gathered on various occasions for communal singing about various eventsâ significant or insignificant. Near the turn of the twentieth century, Professor Francis Barton Gummere of Harvard hypothesized...
âThe Texas Folklore Society: Getting There Is Half the Funâ
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One of the things that I have always liked about being a member of the Texas Folklore Society is the fact that the annual meetings are always in a different place within the state each year. Ever since our familyâs first meeting in 1982 in Fredericksburg, we have...
âFolklore Society Memoriesâ
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My dilemma is that I have never known precisely what folklore is. I have attended a bunch of meetings of the Texas Folklore Society, and its program chairs have been kind enough to allow me to make presentations on a number of occasions. Even the American...
âConfessions of a Folklore Junkieâ
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I donât rightly recall just when it was that I became aware of the entity named the Texas Folklore Society, but, looking back, I realize that J. Frank Dobie began influencing my life when I began reading his works in high school. By that time, Mr. Dobie had âdiscovered his callingâto transmute all the richness...
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In 1987, at the Texas/Southwest Popular Culture Association meeting, I shared ideas for possible future papers with my former Texas Tech professor, Dr. Kenneth Davis. He told me the paper topics I had in mind would be better suited for the Texas...
â1968: One Familyâs Folklore Odysseyâ
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In the spring of 1968, I saw a small item on a Dallas Morning News book page saying that the Texas Folklore Society planned its spring meeting for April 12â13 in Alpine and the Big Bend. A bus had been chartered to make the trip from Austin to Alpine. I was only vaguely aware of the Folklore Society then, but as...
âMy First TFS Meetingâ
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It was the fall of 1982. I was an undergraduate Aggie looking at my chemistry grades and slowly coming to the realization that veterinary medicine was probably not my career path. I was good at English, I loved history, and the Boy Scout in me had...
âLooking Back with the Hansonsâ
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The Texas Folklore Society has a rich history, with some larger-than- life folks birthing the Society into existence and guiding its earliest years of infancy and beyond. There have also been those who contributed monumental amounts of time, sweat, ink, and tears before they left us. There have been many...
âUnder the Influenceâ
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In myriad ways, both directly and peripherally, my life has been immeasurably enriched and informed by my long association with the Texas Folklore Society (TFS) and its diverse members. At North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) as an undergraduate, I had taken the Life and Literature...
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Page Count: 432
Illustrations: 80 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2009
Series Title: Publications of the Texas Folklore Society