Monday, May 23, 2022

Bonnie and Clyde

(Wikipedia) Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) and Clyde Chestnut Barrow a.k.a. Clyde Champion Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934) were American criminals who traveled the central United States with their gang during the Great Depression, robbing people and killing when cornered or confronted.
At times, the gang included his older brother Buck Barrow and his wife Blanche, Raymond Hamilton, W. D. Jones, Joe Palmer, Ralph Fults, and Henry Methvin.
Their exploits captured the attention of the American public during the "Public Enemy Era," between 1931 and 1935.
Though known today for their dozen-or-so bank robberies, the two preferred to rob small stores or rural gas stations. The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and several civilians. Continued

Sunday, May 22, 2022

T. Boone Pickens



... Pickens was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, the son of Grace (née Molonson) and Thomas Boone Pickens. His father worked as an oil and mineral landman (rights leaser). During World War II, his mother ran the local Office of Price Administration, rationing gasoline and other goods in three counties. Pickens was the first child born via Caesarean section in the history of Holdenville hospital.
At age 12, Pickens delivered newspapers. He quickly expanded his paper route from 28 papers to 156. Pickens later cited his boyhood job as an early introduction to "expanding quickly by acquisition", a business practice he favored later in life.
When the oil boom in Oklahoma ended in the late 1930s, Pickens' family moved to Amarillo, Texas. Continued

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Country Churches: Newkirk, NM

old stucco church along route 66
And the lowest hanging cloud I have ever photographed.

Harry Brown

Courtesy of The
475th Fighter Group
Historical Foundation

Harry Winston Brown (May 19, 1921 – October 7, 1991) was an Army Air Corps second lieutenant assigned to the 47th Pursuit Squadron at Wheeler Field on the island of Oahu during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. He was one of the five American pilots to score victories that day.
Brown was awarded a Silver Star for his actions, and was the first Texan decorated for valor in the war. By the war's end, he was a flying ace. Continued

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Sam Ketchum

(Geni.com) Sam Ketchum (18??-1899) - Hailing from San Saba County, Texas, Sam grew up to work along with his younger brother, Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum, as a cowboy on several ranches throughout west Texas and northern and eastern New Mexico.
However, by 1896, the pair had turned to a life of crime, robbing businesses, post offices and trains in New Mexico. The two soon formed the Ketchum Gang which included a number of other outlaws, including Will Carver, Elza Lay and Ben Kilpatrick, who also rode with Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. Continued

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Filmmaker may use Princess Theatre


(Quay County Sun) A filmmaker told the Tucumcari Lodgers Tax Advisory Board on Wednesday he is investigating the possibility of using the long-closed Princess Theatre in a movie that centers around the history of the Fender Telecaster electric guitar. Continued

Battle of Palmito Ranch

Photo Texas Time Travel Tours
(Wikipedia) The Battle of Palmito Ranch, also known as the Battle of Palmito Hill, is generally recognized as the final battle of the American Civil War. It was fought May 12 and 13, 1865, on the banks of the Rio Grande east of Brownsville, Texas and a few miles from the seaport of Los Brazos de Santiago, more than a month after Robert E. Lee had surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in the Eastern Theater.
Though the Battle of Appomattox Court House is identified as the last major battle of the war, Palmito Ranch was the last engagement between organized forces of the Union Army and Confederate States Army involving casualties. Continued

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The 1970 Lubbock Tornado

Painting by Thomas Hart Benton
(Wikipedia) The 1970 Lubbock tornado was a tornado event that occurred in Lubbock, Texas, on May 11, 1970. It was one of the worst tornadoes in Texas history, and occurred exactly 17 years to the day after the deadly Waco Tornado. It is also the most recent F5 tornado to have struck a central business district of a large city. Continued

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Victory at Palo Alto

(Library of Congress) On May 8, 1846, General Zachary Taylor defeated a detachment of the Mexican army in a two-day battle at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. This victory forced Mexican troops across the Rio Grande River to Matamoros, protecting the newly annexed state of Texas from invasion. Five days later, the United States declared war against Mexico. Continued

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

When the Hills Bled Blue in the Boom of ’92

(True West) ... The real turquoise boom began 125 years ago. In 1892, George F. Kunz, a geologist for New York-based Tiffany & Co., announced that turquoise of the “Tiffany Blue” color was now considered “gem quality.”
That same year, James P. McNulty arrived in Cerrillos and went to work for the American Turquoise Company, which would sell some $2 million worth of stones to Tiffany to be turned into jewelry. It helped that, for a while, one of the world’s oldest gemstones was thought to be found only in Persia, Egypt and New Mexico Territory. Indians sold turquoise long before Tiffany. Continued

Monday, May 2, 2022

Larry Gatlin

(Wikipedia) Larry Wayne Gatlin (born May 2, 1948) is an American country and Southern gospel singer and songwriter. As part of a trio with his younger brothers Steve and Rudy, he achieved considerable success within the country music genre, performing on thirty-three Top 40 singles (combining his solo recordings and those with his brothers). As their fame grew, the band became known as Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers.
... Gatlin was born in Seminole in Gaines County, Texas, next to the New Mexico border. His father was an oilfield worker, and the family lived in several locations while he was a youth, including Abilene and Odessa. Continued

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Celebrating Route 66

1598: Juan de Oñate makes a formal declaration of his Conquest of New Mexico

(Wikipedia) Juan de Oñate y Salazar (1550–1626) was a conquistador from New Spain, explorer, and colonial governor of the Santa Fe de Nuevo México province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. He led early Spanish expeditions to the Great Plains and Lower Colorado River Valley, encountering numerous indigenous tribes in their homelands there.
Oñate founded settlements in the province, now part of the present-day American Southwest. Continued

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Rock Island Line was a mighty fine line

Indeed, it may have been "the road to ride," but when hard times hit the railroads, some 40 odd years ago, the CRI&P found itself in real trouble. And unlike the Penn Central, it wasn't too big to fail, finally going belly up in one of the most convoluted bankruptcies in American history.
"The Rock" had two lines in New Mexico, one between Tucumcari and Dalhart, Texas, which still runs today, under the Union Pacific flag, and one that ran between Tucumcari and Glen Rio Texas (and points east), which was abandoned. 
You can get a nice look at the abandoned line on old Route 66 between San Jon and Glen Rio, though it's a bumpy ride. Pictured is the only remaining trestle on this portion of the old right of way. 
abandoned rock island railroad trestle quay county new mexico