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First Timers and Old Timers

The Texas Folklore Society Fire Burns On

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt

The Texas Folklore Society has been alive and kicking for over one hundred years now, and I don’t really think there’s any mystery as to what keeps the organization going strong. The secret to our longevity is simply the constant replenishment of our body of contributors. We are especially fortunate in recent years to have had papers given at our annual meetings by new members—young members, many of whom are college or even high school students. These presentations are oftentimes given during sessions right alongside some of our oldest members. We’ve also had long-time members who’ve been around for years but had never yet given papers; thankfully, they finally took the opportunity to present their research, fulfilling the mission of the TFS: to collect, preserve, and present the lore of Texas and the Southwest. You’ll find in this book some of the best articles from those presentations. The first fruits of our youngest or newest members include Acayla Haile on the folklore of plants. Familiar and well-respected names like J. Rhett Rushing and Kenneth W. Davis discuss folklore about monsters and the classic “widow’s revenge” tale. These works—and the people who produced them—represent the secret behind the history of the Texas Folklore Society, as well as its future.

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Folklore

In All of Us, In All We Do

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt

Folklore is everywhere, whether you are aware of it or not. A culture’s traditional knowledge is used to remember the past and maintain traditions, to communicate with other members within a community, to learn, to celebrate, and to express creativity. It is what helps distinguish one culture from another. Although folklore is so much a part of our daily lives, we often lose sight of just how integral it is to everything we do. If we look for it, we can find folklore in places where we’d never think it existed. Folklore: In All of Us, In All We Do includes articles on a variety of topics. One chapter looks at how folklore and history complement one another; while historical records provide facts about dates, places and names, folklore brings those events and people to life by making them relevant to us. Several articles examine the cultural roles women fill. Other articles feature folklore of particular groups, including oil field workers, mail carriers, doctors, engineers, police officers, horse traders, and politicians. As a follow-up article to Inside the Classroom (and Out), which focused on folklore in education, there is also an article on how teachers can use writing in the classroom as a means of keeping alive the storytelling tradition. The Texas Folklore Society has been collecting and preserving folklore since its first publication in 1912. Since then, it has published or assisted in the publication of nearly one hundred books on Texas folklore.

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Folklore in Motion

Texas Travel Lore

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor

The adventurous spirit of Texans has led to much travel lore, from stories of how ancestors first came to the state to reflections of how technology has affected the customs, language, and stories of life “on the go.” This Publication of the Texas Folklore Society features articles from beloved storytellers like John O. West, Kenneth W. Davis, and F. E. Abernethy as well as new voices like Janet Simonds. Chapters contain traditional “Gone to Texas” accounts and articles about people or methods of travel from days gone by. Others are dedicated to trains and cars and the lore associated with two-wheeled machines, machines that fly, and machines that scream across the land at dangerous speeds. The volume concludes with articles that consider how we fuel our machines and ourselves, and the rituals we engage in when we’re on our way from here to there.

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Folktales from the Helotes Settlement

John Igo

The Texas Folklore Society has been publishing a regular volume of folklore research (our PTFS series) for the past several decades. Most of these books are what we call miscellanies, compilations of the works of multiple folklorists, and they feature articles on many types of lore. We’ve also published over twenty "Extra Books," which are single-author manuscripts that examine a more focused topic. Folktales from the Helotes Settlement by John Igo is Extra Book #25. It's a collection of personal memories from our longest active member, who first joined the Society over fifty years ago. Here we find legends, customs, and beliefs of the people of the Helotes Settlement near San Antonio. These stories capture the lore of a place similar to lots of other places--our places. They're familiar to us all because, when we get right down to it, the Helotes Settlement is not very different from wherever we're from.

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Forging the Star

The Official Modern History of the United States Marshals Service

David S. Turk

What do diverse events such as the integration of the University of Mississippi, the federal trials of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, the confrontation at Ruby Ridge, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have in common? The U.S. Marshals were instrumental in all of them. Whether pursuing dangerous felons in each of the 94 judicial districts or extraditing them from other countries; protecting federal judges, prosecutors, and witnesses from threats; transporting and maintaining prisoners and detainees; or administering the sale of assets obtained from criminal activity, the U.S. Marshals Service has adapted and overcome a mountain of barriers since their founding (on September 24, 1789) as the oldest federal law enforcement organization. In Forging the Star, historian David S. Turk lifts the fog around the agency’s complex modern period. From the inside, he allows a look within the storied organization. The research and writing of this singular account took over a decade, drawn from fresh primary source material with interviews from active or retired management, deputy U.S. marshals who witnessed major events, and the administrative personnel who supported them. Forging the Star is a comprehensive official history that will answer many questions about this legendary agency.

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Fort Worth Characters

Richard F. Selcer

Fort Worth history is far more than the handful of familiar names that every true-blue Fort Worther hears growing up: leaders such as Amon Carter, B. B. Paddock, J. Frank Norris, and William McDonald. Their names are indexed in the history books for ready reference. But the drama that is Fort Worth history contains other, less famous characters who played important roles, like Judge James Swayne, Madam Mary Porter, and Marshal Sam Farmer: well known enough in their day but since forgotten. Others, like Al Hayne, lived their lives in the shadows until one, spectacular moment of heroism. Then there are the lawmen, Jim Courtright, Jeff Daggett, and Thomas Finch. They wore badges, but did not always represent the best of law and order. These seven plus five others are gathered together between the covers of this book. Each has a story that deserves to be told. If they did not all make history, they certainly lived in historic times. The jury is still out on whether they shaped their times or merely reflected those times. Either way, their stories add new perspectives to the familiar Fort Worth story, revealing how the law worked in the old days and what life was like for persons of color and for women living in a man’s world. As the old TV show used to say, “There are a million stories in the ‘Naked City.’” There may not be quite as many stories in Cowtown, but there are plenty waiting to be told—enough for future volumes of Fort Worth Characters. But this is a good starting point.

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From Santa Anna to Selena

Notable Mexicanos and Tejanos in Texas History since 1821

Harriett Denise Joseph

Author Harriett Denise Joseph relates biographies of eleven notable Mexicanos and Tejanos, beginning with Santa Anna and the impact his actions had on Texas. She discusses the myriad contributions of Erasmo and Juan Seguín to Texas history, as well as the factors that led a hero of the Texas Revolution (Juan) to be viewed later as a traitor by his fellow Texans. Admired by many but despised by others, folk hero Juan Nepomuceno Cortina is one of the most controversial figures in the history of nineteenth-century South Texas. Preservationist and historian Adina De Zavala fought to save part of the Alamo site and other significant structures. Labor activist Emma Tenayuca’s youth, passion, courage, and sacrifice merit attention for her efforts to help the working class. Joseph reveals the individual and collective accomplishments of a powerhouse couple, bilingual educator Edmundo Mireles and folklorist-author Jovita González. She recognizes the military and personal battles of Medal of Honor recipient Raul “Roy” Benavidez. Irma Rangel, the first Latina to serve in the Texas House of Representatives, is known for the many “firsts” she achieved during her lifetime. Finally, we read about Selena’s life and career, as well as her tragic death and her continuing marketability.

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Fruit of the Orchard

Environmental Justice in East Texas

Photographs by Tammy Cromer-Campbell. Essays by Phyllis Glazer, Roy Flukinger, Eugene Hargrove, and Marvin Legator

In 1982, a toxic waste facility opened in the Piney Woods in Winona, Texas. The residents were told that the company would plant fruit trees on the land left over from its ostensible salt-water injection well. Soon after the plant opened, however, residents started noticing huge orange clouds rising from the facility and an increase in rates of cancer and birth defects in both humans and animals. The company dismissed their concerns, and confusion about what chemicals it accepted made investigations difficult. Outraged by what she saw, Phyllis Glazer founded Mothers Organized to Stop Environmental Sins (MOSES) and worked tirelessly to publicize the problems in Winona. The story was featured in People , the Houston Chronicle magazine, and The Dallas Observer . The plant finally closed in 1998, citing the negative publicity generated by the group. This book originated in 1994 when Cromer-Campbell was asked by Phyllis Glazer to produce a photograph for a poster about the campaign. She was so touched by the people in the town that she set out to document their stories. Using a plastic Holga camera, she created hauntingly distorted images that are both works of art and testaments to the damage inflicted on the people of a small Texas town by one company’s greed. In the accompanying essays, Phyllis Glazer describes the history of Winona and the fight against the facility; Roy Flukinger discusses Cromer-Campbell's striking photographic technique; Eugene Hargrove explores issues of environmental justice; and Marvin Legator elaborates on how industry and government discourage victims of chemical exposure from seeking or obtaining relief.

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Grace

A Novel

Jane Roberts Wood

In the east Texas town of Cold Springs in 1944, the community waits for the war to end. In this place where certain boundaries are not crossed and in a time when people reveal little about themselves, their problems, and their passions, Jane Roberts Wood exposes the heart of each of four families during the last year of World War II. Bound together by neighborhood and Southern customs, yet separated by class, money, and family, they are an unforgettable lot, vibrantly brought to life in this “delightfully perceptive and unabashedly romantic” novel (Sanford Herald). As the war grinds to an end, it becomes the catalyst that drives the inhabitants of Cold Springs across the boundaries that had once divided them, taking them to places both chaotic and astonishing. “A rare novel: intelligent, lyrical, devoid of coyness and manipulative plot turns—a book for old and young.”—Austin American-Statesman

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Graham Barnett

A Dangerous Man

James L. Coffey, Russell M. Drake, and John T. Barnett

James L. Coffey is a former education consultant who worked with school districts in West Texas and lives in San Angelo, Texas. Russell M. Drake is a newspaper man who worked in Texas and California and lives in Veribest, Texas. John T. Barnett is Graham Barnett’s grandson and lives in southern California.

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