Friday, September 28, 2012

Mules 55, Alpine 14

Alpine came to town to help the Mules celebrate Homecoming in the rain.

Jr. Baca scores the first touchdown with 9:03 on the clock, and after Alpine has to punt on their possession, Baca and quarterback Caleb Wood do it again, only to have it called back. But Austin Ross and Wood manage to make up for it with 3:41 left in the first quarter, which ends with the score 14-0, Mules on top.

In the second quarter a 6-yd pass to Colten Harris followed by a 12-yd. pass to Ray Martinez leads to a touchdown but a failed 2-point attempt and the score is 20-0. And I think about this time is when it really started to rain  in earnest. The Mules force the Bucks to turn over the ball on their next possession, and the Mules drive for another touchdown run in by Wood, making the score 27-0. The Mules hold them, get the ball back with 42 seconds on the clock. Joel Regalado then runs  83 yards for another touchdown, the kick is good, and the half ends with the score 34-0.

After Samantha Ramirez is crowned homecoming queen during halftime, Alpine takes the kickoff and drives down to score, so the score is 34-7. The Mules recover Alpine’s onside kick, and after a penalty and three more plays Baca scores again, making the score 41-7 Alpine has some trouble with penalties and gives the ball back to the Mules, who score on a Matthew Barron catch, PAT good; score now 48-7. Then when Alpine gets the ball, the Mules take it away with an interception and turn it into another Martinez touchdown. The score is now 55-7.

The fourth quarter sees Muleshoe catch another interception and a change to Saul Sanchez as quarterback for the rest of the game. They don’t score on that possession, and  Alpine manages to drive in a touchdown of their own and the score is 55-14. Muleshoe takes the kickoff on the 17 yard line and uses up the clock to the end of the game. The final- Mules 55, Bucks 14.

Bless Alpine’s heart. Not fun to make such a long drive to get beat and then to have to drive all the way home again. And it is a long way. I hope they had a safe journey on the return trip on the wet roads.

Next week is Muleshoe’s open date, so tune in October 12 when the Mules travel to Friona for the district opener.

Lookin’ good, Mules.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Ranch Rodeo

The Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce hosted their second ranch rodeo last Saturday, September 22nd. I had to be out of town and missed it, but I still want to share it with you.


Allisen Welch, three year-old granddaughter of Della and Kelvin Welch, is anxious for things to get started at the Silver Sand Property Arena. where the rodeo was held. 

I have only recently heard about ranch rodeos and don’t know much about them. So I did what we all do in this day and age; I googled  it. I read that cowboys' work duties also became their leisure activities, and at round-ups when area ranches helped each other, the ranches often encouraged contests to see whose cowboy was the fastest roper, the best bronc rider, the most efficient steer wrestler, and whatever else was worth the wagering of  hard-earned pay, and rodeos as most of us know them were born.

Trip 2

And from that kind of activity, over time the concept of ranch rodeos also evolved, probably around the early part of the 1900s. I suspect many of the western states could lay claim to the birth of the ranch rodeo concept, but the Oklahoma Historical Society gives credit to ranches in the Sooner State for some of the early development of the sport. The original contests took place out in the open range where those cowboys would actually use their skills, whereas today most of them will be held inside an arena, which is where the Muleshoe event was held, Allen Scott’s Silver Sand arena, in this case, which is about three miles east of Muleshoe on highway 84.

Jared Lee 2

Muleshoe chose to begin the day’s activities with a ranch cutting contest, followed by a ranch horse show, culminating in the actual ranch rodeo events that evening. The ranch cutting is similar to AQHA cutting horse competition and is a judged event. The horse show is a judged contest of a horse’s working skills and is similar to reining in an AQHA horse show. Riders in the cutting and horse show are competing as individuals and may or may not be a member of a team.

judgeEd Farley, pictured here, judged various events along with Kenny Davis, Harvey Kidd, Randy Johnson, and Cory Contreras.

CarlosCarlos Contreras was the announcer for the day.


The events have obviously changed some since the early days, and may vary some from rodeo to rodeo,  but bronc riding, wild cow milking, doctoring, sorting (similar to cutting), branding (with powder or lime), and trailer loading were what the teams competed in this year. These are all timed events. The saddle bronc rider is judged but also has to stay on the horse the required eight seconds.

jim frank4

Each ranch enters a team of five cowboys, and the competitors this year were teams from these ranches: Wilson Ranch in Hereford, Texas; Angell Ranch in Lovington, New Mexico; Sandhill Cattle Company from Earth, Texas;  Track Ranch from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico; El Shabaz Ranch from Lazbuddie, Texas; Seaton Cattle Company from Lazbuddie, Texas; and Smith Ranch from the Lubbock area.


Belt buckles, money, bits, and spurs were awarded as prizes. First place in the ranch rodeo went to Wilson Ranch, followed by Angell Ranch and Sandhill Crane Ranch. The ranch cutting was won by Paul J. Smith of Friona  followed by Tripp Townsend of Earth,  and Jim Frank Richardson of San Jon. The ranch horse show was won by Tripp Townsend, Jim Frank Richardson, and Tyler Rice of Lazbuddie. A Top Hand award is also given and was won by Jessie Valdez of the Wilson Ranch. The Top Horse award went to the horse ridden by Jim Smith of the Smith Ranch.

Top hand

Top Hand winner Jessie Valdez receives his award from Gina Wilkerson.

Gina Wilkerson, president of the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce tells me they plan on sponsoring another ranch rodeo next year. I plan to be here and enjoy that one in person.

wild cow milkingSo cowboy up and come next year for a new rodeo experience.


Thanks to Gina Wilkerson for supplying information about the rodeo, Roger Williams for letting me bother her at work for details, and Terry Brewster for sharing pictures.

Everett, Dianna. “Ranch Rodeos.” Oklahoma Historical Society Encyclopedia of   Oklahoma History and Culture, copyright 2007.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mules 41, Roosevelt Eagles 16

The Mules traveled to Roosevelt to play the team of a former coach and won, 41-16.  Roosevelt coach and athletic director Greg Poynor was one of Coach Wood’s assistant coaches back when the Mules went to the semi-finals in 2001, so how do you prepare when the opposing coach knows all your plays? Well, for one thing, you dispense with the audibles and work from plays numbered and listed on cards given to each player.

That different dynamic of the game may have been why things were a little up and down for the Mules. This reminded me of ;the 1968 Cotton Bowl when Gene Stallings and the Texas Aggies beat Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide, a classic case of the student learning well from the master. Only in this case, Coach Wood was still the master. But I digress.

The Mules start out in typical fashion with a touchdown by quarterback Caleb Woods with 7:18 on the clock, and the score is 7-0. Roosevelt can’t move the ball and when we get it back, Austin Ross fumbles the punt, which they recover in the end zone for their own touchdown and tie the game. Roosevelt seems to have the momentum at this point. The ball changes hands a few times, Wood throws an interception, and the first quarter ends at 7-7.

The second quarter sees Roosevelt kick a field goal; we answer with a Joel Regalado touchdown run, and the score is 14-7. Roosevelt manages to score again, 14-16. The ball changes hands a couple of times, and by the end of the quarter on their last possession, Roosevelt runs down the play clock and calls three time-outs to try to keep us from getting possession, which we do anyway and Wood takes it down the field, throws a pass to Austin Ross, and we score. But not without controversy over the touchdown, the time on the clock and a Roosevelt coach earning an unsportsmanlike conduct call, and the half ends with the score 21-16.

In the second half the Mules start to play a more solid game, but not without a few mistakes as well. Ray Martinez runs in a TD, Baca runs in a TD, and the score at the end of the third quarter is 35-16 

The fourth quarter sees Joel Regalado run in another one, and Ignacio Elizalde kicks his only failed PAT of the night, and game ends Muleshoe 41, Roosevelt 16.

Next week is Homecoming against Alpine. It should be a good game, if Alpine is willing to travel so far to play us. Come early for the pre-game meal of barbecue brisket and watch the Mules win.

Go Mules!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Water For Elephants

water elephantsI missed the first few minutes of the movie Water for Elephants the other day. I looked away when the main character had to put a horse out of its pain. I muted the sound and looked away when the elephant was beaten. The denouement turned out right, but for me was bittersweet and  so sad.   I cried and cried. I saw that it was coming on again, so I watched it, this time from the very beginning. And again, II looked away, muted the sound, and cried.

The story is set in 1931 during the Depression and follows Jacob, played by Robert Pattinson, who is delivered by fate to a circus train after losing his parents, his inheritance, and devastated, not completing his finals in veterinary science at Cornell University. He finds work with the circus and falls in love with Marlena, played by Reese Witherspoon, the wife of the circus owner, August, played by Christoph Waltz. Jacob, innocent and unworldly, of course falls for Marlena, she for him, and August finally realizes it.

Why did this movie, with scenes of animals I wasn’t willing to watch, compel me to watch it a second time? This movie came out in April of 2011, and I remember thinking it was one I would like to see. But before I could get to a theater, it quietly disappeared. And now that I have seen it and had such a reaction to it, I couldn’t help but wonder why it had vanished from the big screen so abruptly. So I did a little investigating.


I read four reviews of the movie. Marshall Fine on the Huffington Post just hammered it and the intelligence of people who liked it or the Sara Gruen novel from which it came. He said he certainly wasn’t going to read the book and after having seen the movie, thought less of those who did read it. Ouch! Words he used to describe the movie included clich├ęd, sentimental, and predictable. He thought the music was sappy and that Robert Pattinson was not much of an actor, In fact, the whole thing was so stupid, he said, that he didn’t even bother to watch the end of the movie.

Really? Didn’t finish the movie but he can trash it without reservation? The only fair way to criticize or censor anything is to know what you are talking about, which means watching the whole movie or reading the whole book. He is certainly entitled to his opinion, but I think less of him for his less than professional approach.

Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter wasn’t that crazy about the movie, either, but his criticism was not so vitriolic. He said there was no spark between characters to make the drama more compelling, that the action lacked depression-era sexuality, vernacular, accents, and grit, as in “ Reese Witherspoon should have been more of a dame than a lady.”

People magazine’s review by Alynda Wheat said the film was too beautiful for the depression, the action was sluggish, there was no chemistry between Marlena and Jacob, the climax was not wild enough, and that Rosie, the elephant, stole the show.


Los Angeles Times reviewer Kenneth Turan felt like the romance of the carnival is what viewers would remember and that August was the most complicated and interesting personality rather than the two stars’ characters. And he also felt that Pattinson was the weak link of the movie, “[offering[ a lot to look at, just not enough to feel.”

Chris Bumbray on a website called JoBlo found  the film a pleasant surprise because it was a big budget film not full of explosions and computer generated images (which I also liked), had beautiful cinematography and music, but found Pattinson bland. He also said that Christoph Waltz just recycled his performance from Inglorious Basterds. which I have not seen. But he did recommend it as worth seeing.

And finally I found someone who saw the movie more like I did. Roger Ebert called it an “endearingly old-fashioned love story” with plausible sets and real people. He also noted that the screenplay by Richard LaGraveneses showed sympathy for the personalities of the animal characters, which I also appreciated in the movie.

water elephants 2

Interesting, isn’t it? We all watched the same movie, but we didn’t all see the same film. And what was it about this one that touched me so?  Well, animals are always a draw for me, and Rosie was no exception. She was so gentle and trusting, and as it turned out, the heroine who saves the day. I am not a circus person, but I thought it interesting to see the circus from an insider’s point of view. I suppose Marlena and Jacob could have shown more sizzle on the screen, but what they did show worked for me.  And August. Well, Waltz may have replayed his character from the other movie, I don’t know, but even if it did, it worked for me in this one. Yes, he was unpredictable, out of control, in need of a sympathetic friend, and I wished he could have made it all work without the cruelty. The music for me was  not sappy, but haunting and beautiful. Hal Holbrook as the old Jacob telling the story served as the bookends to tie the action together was a very important part of the movie and one of the more poignant elements of the story.  When the circus manager he is telling the story to agrees to hire him and says he will get him in the record books as the oldest man to run away to the circus, Holbrook smiles broadly and and brings my tears when he says, “ I’m not running away-I’m comin’ home!’ This lonely old man who lived a good life was still sad to me here at the end of that life.

I am one of those people who drive my family crazy when I stay and read the credits; you never know what you might learn from the credits. Movies on TV make it easy to read and re-read the credits all I want to. And I like to hear the rest of the music. I don’t know who was responsible for these credits, but after the human actors were listed along with the parts they played, all the animals, even down to the lowly hyena, were listed as well. How nice.

So as you can see, I thought this movie was much better than its box office receipts indicated. And perhaps age has something to do with it. I don’t know the ages of those who panned the movie; I do think Roger Ebert is closer to my age, and I suspect we bring a different perspective to the process. Movie critics, after all, make a living looking for details the rest of us don’t bother to consider.

My review!? Water for Elephants is a throwback to movies that entertain. .It was beautiful to watch, told a believable, interesting story, not cluttered with computer-generated scenes, save the one at the end with the animals all on the loose-that was probably CGI-had compelling characters, lovely music, and gave animals the attention and recognition they deserve.

Check it out; You could spend that two hours in much less satisfiying pursuits

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mules 41, Levelland 20

It was a perfect night for football, chilly but comfortable, with only a slight breeze and a good crowd to watch the Mules beat the Lobos 41-20.

The Mules kick off, and on the second play of the game when the Lobos made a run for the goal line, I was a bit concerned that this was not a good way to start a game against a larger, in this case 3A, team. But not to worry; the boys rose to the occasion and stopped the Lobos’ drive, got the ball back and with 6:35 on the clock, Junior Baca strikes first blood, followed by Nacho Elizalde’s point after,  and the score is 7-0. The Lobos answer on their next possession with a touchdown but the two-point conversion fails. Time: 4:59; score: 7-6. But with 4:15 on the clock, after quarterback Caleb Wood makes a good run, Joel Regalado takes it in for another touchdown, and with another good Elizalde kick, the score is now 14-6. Ray Martinez breaks up the Lobos’ next possession by intercepting a pass, which leads to a touchdown run by Austin Ross and another good kick, and the score stands at 21-6 with 1:46 left on the clock.

The second quarter was pretty much all Mules and lots of flags. Ray Martinez runs in another TD with 9:18 on the clock, and the PAT makes the score 28-6. After Saul Sanchez recovers a fumble, Austin Ross makes a good run, and Ray Martinez catches, perhaps traps,  a pass that is deemed incomplete, followed by another incomplete pass, and we punt for the first time in the game. Several called and uncalled penalties later, Martinez intercepts another ball, Ross catches a pass, Baca scores, the kick is good, and the score is 35-6. When Levelland gets the ball, we commit pass interference, they get called for blocking, Chris Cage deflects a pass, which Ross recovers. The defense saved the day, and the first half ends with the score of 35-7, Muleshoe ahead.

The third quarter begins with the Lobos kicking off and Martinez takes the ball in for the TD with 8:48 on the board. The attempted point-after kick hits the goal posts, so the score is now 41-6. The Lobos keep the ball for a while on this drive and make some yards. But the Mules put on a good goal-line stand and hold them at the 6- yard line when the quarter ends, and the score stays 41-6.

All that changes, however, in the fourth quarter when we have to punt, and with the clock showing 8:44 they score but lose the extra point, and the score is now 41-12. We make a quarterback change to Austin Ross, who throws an interception. But we manage to hold them on the 10-yard line but then can’t move the ball ourselves, and they get the ball again until Lupe Campos makes an interception, and everything is going fine. Until out of nowhere the Lobos intercept and run 60 yards for a touchdown. Then they manage to make the two-point conversion good, and suddenly the score jumps to 41-20 with 1:27 left in the game. After the kick-off, we let the final time run off the clock, and the Mules are victorious 41-20. 

Mule Mania is on the move next week, playing at Roosevelt. Go Mules!.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Football Season Is Also Pre-Game Meal Season

I don’t know how it is in your town, but in Muleshoe, pre-game meals before home football games is a long-standing tradition.


When we moved to Muleshoe in 1980, pre-game dinners were the order of the day, if the day was a Friday home football game day. When my kids were students at Muleshoe High School, as a parent, I helped with the preparation and clean-up of some of those meals. When I was  a teacher and class sponsor at high school,  I got to also prepare, serve, and/or clean up after those meals.Teachers and parents are old hands when it comes to these events. The school cafeteria ladies and janitors are a huge help with these meals as well. Everyone does their part. It just comes with the territory.

IMG_9019Junior class sponsor Staci Buie sold tickets for last Friday’s meal.

Now when I was in high school at Lamar when it was a 3A school and  Rosenberg was not nearly as big as it is now,  I don’t remember any pre-game meals. I don’t remember eating one, I don’t remember selling tickets to one, I don’t remember Mother having to work at one of those meals, so I wondered, what is the deal with Muleshoe and pre-game meals?

Service organizations like Rotary and Lions clubs have always seen and used the potential of sponsored dinners for fund-raisers. You know- feed them, and they will come. I asked around and discovered that in Muleshoe the service clubs had used meals to make money. At some point, the junior and senior classes at school figured out it would work for them as well and started having the dinners to raise money for things like the prom and graduation. Pretty soon the freshmen and sophomores figured they might as well get a head start and not wait until their junior year to make a little money for prom and graduation and whatever else they might need money for.

I tried to zero in on just how long these Friday night feasts had been the fundraisers of choice and was able to trace them all the way back to 1958. I suspect it was later, in the 70s perhaps, that the class-sponsored routine became established. Maybe later. But I know this pattern has been around for a long time.

Why are the meals so successful? And they are successful. Last Friday’s home game against Portales saw the first of two junior class-sponsored dinners for the season. Juniors get to have two dinners since they have the expense of the prom. The menu was grilled hamburgers, baked beans, chips, and chocolate cake. They sold 515 plates and could have sold more.

IMG_9021Junior parents Shonnee Geissler, Dana Rempe, and Kyle Whitaker worked the serving line at last Friday’s meal.

But I digress. Why are they successful?  Perhaps it is the social aspect of sharing a meal with others. I think that is typical hospitality of the South, and Texas counts as part of the South, but I know it is also typical of West Texas, where towns historically were few and far between. It was customary to offer a meal to strangers as well as far-flung neighbors, and it is now a part of the culture. I think the meals are successful because people have to eat, like to eat, and would rather spend money on a meal than an overpriced box of fundraiser candy or wrapping paper or whatever. Maybe it is just a small town thing. I can’t speak for the other towns who may host the meals, but the community of Muleshoe always supports the kids and their endeavors, and this is just one more way to show their support. And in small towns the center of attention and attendance usually centers on school activities, and in Texas that pretty much focuses on  football. But you already knew that, didn’t you? So what better way to draw a crowd and make some money while encouraging the team, the band, the cheerleaders, the students in the stands, everyone, than a meal before the football game? It’s a win-win situation. What a deal!

Just so you know, this coming Friday, September 14th, the Mules play Levelland here and the freshmen will be serving chilidogs. On September 28th Alpine makes a heck of a road trip to get here and the sophomores will have barbecue brisket sandwiches. October 26th is the Dimmitt game and the seniors will be having my personal favorite, Mexican pile-on. The last home game is November 9th against Littlefield, and the juniors will be serving their turkey dinner, historically one of the most popular meals of the series.

Moms are always asked to make pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing for the dessert to go with that turkey meal. I made pumpkin cake as a parent and a teacher for that meal, and I made two last year when Colten was a junior.  Well, when I was poking around trying to track down the history of the meals, I found out that the original recipe for that cake goes all the way back to Margaret Taylor, wife of Muleshoe principal and coach, Bill Taylor. I thought that was kind of neat that the same recipe is still used today. And the funny thing is that every mother is given the very same recipe, and no two cakes ever look or taste exactly the same!

So for the rest of the season when the game is at home, grab a coat, come early to eat, and then watch the game. It will be fun.

Thanks to Dana Rempe, Magann Rennels, Ronda Myers, Bobbie Nell Dunham, Gladys Black, Maureen Hooten, Gayla Gear, John Gulley, and Kerry Moore for their help with this article.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Mules 64, Portales 0

The sand and wind blew obnoxiously all day, and by the time the sun went down, everyone was hunkered down in the obnoxiously  cold wind. But the Mules persevered and had a much better showing than last week, beating the Portales Rams rather soundly, 64-0.

Right off the bat Joel Regalado scores with 9:16 on the clock and the two point conversion is good. The Mules lead 8-0. On the next play after the kickoff, Chris Cage intercepts a pass which is followed by a holding penalty against us which is followed by another penalty, followed by a touchdown by Saul Sanchez with 5:24 on the clock. The two point conversion fails and the score is 14-0, Muleshoe. Portales can’t move the ball on their possession, but we can, and Jr. Baca scores with 1:41 on the clock and we make the two point conversion; the score now is 22-0.

The second quarter is all Muleshoe: touchdowns by Wood, Barron, Baca, all with good  point-after-kicks by Nacho Elizalde, and the score is 50-0.

The third quarter is all Muleshoe again, with touchdowns by Regalado and Wood, PATs by Elizalde,  making the score 64-0.

By the fourth quarter  it looks like the Mules have the game well in hand, the cold wind is also winning, and the home stands are beginning to empty. Austin Ross replaces Wood as quarterback. Portales manages to make their only first downs, three, but it’s too little too late. Chris Cage intercepts a Portales Hail Mary pass, and that’s all she wrote. Final score: Mules 64, Portales 0.

Next week the Levelland Lobos come to town. The pre-game meal will be chilidogs. Come hungry and watch the Mules win.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

History in a Junk/Antique Store


Back in the day,my friend Nola and I spent many a happy afternoon shopping junk stores, looking for that waiting-to-be-discovered hidden treasure that we were sure we couldn’t live without. And in those days, the stores tended to be heavy on the junk; real antiques were few and far between in the stores we visited. But that didn’t mean the merchandise was any less appealing. It was just cheaper and matched our early-marriage budgets better. I’m sure big city bona-fide antique dealers cringe when they are lumped in the junk category, but face it, some old stuff is just junk. And it has been my experience that even if a dealer has true antiques, junk is also lurking around as well. And that’s not a bad thing.


The beauty of having both kinds of merchandise is that there is something for everyone, and along the way, the customer winds up with a history lesson for the day, disguised as shopping.


While in Kingsland the other day, I stopped at Southern Pickers, an antique store which also happened to have junk in the back.  I was told by Doug Chapman, dad of owner Mark Chapman, the store had been open about a year. As I looked around the front rooms of the building I was struck by how neat and orderly everything was arranged. Several beautiful hutches of the true antique variety displayed sets of older dishes; an old bed was dressed with an old handmade quilt, over which were scattered other linens, perhaps not as old, but still embellished with carefully hand-sewn embroidery patterns and tatting.  Along the shelves sat old-fashioned utensils and household items, all dusted and displayed for easy viewing. One small room was set aside for old military uniforms. I felt of the heavy wool material and marveled that soldiers could fight a war under the burden of those jackets. In some of the last rooms the furniture and items weren’t old enough to be true antiques but were certainly not modern.





IMG_8908These Mid-Week Pictorials, dated March 1918 are an example of the history that can be found in antique/junk stores.



As I opened the last door and walked into what was labeled the warehouse, I knew I had come to the junk part of the place. But wait… This was a large, open, high-ceilinged barn-type building, but where was all the junk? Where were the stacks and piles of old tools, magazines, dusty second-hand furniture, boxes of odds and ends, stuff  piled up and crammed into corners.? It was all right there, only it was just as neat and clean and orderly as the nice things up front. And it was a pleasure to take a trip back to the old days, way last century…


And that’s where the history lesson comes in. As I looked at all the discarded and no longer desired artifacts of life, some were familiar to me, others not so much. Many of the old and rusty tools and farm implements I had seen before. This store had the typical cast-offs you expect to see in a junk store: lots of glassware, old tools, records, books, signs, salt and pepper shakers, glass utility pole wire insulators, rusty tools like an old post-hole digger, kitchen utensils that have been replaced by modern day conveniences, on and on.


In the warehouse I had noticed a really nice wooden Indian and failed to take a picture of it as I was making my way through all the displays. When I went back to get the picture, it was gone! That quickly he had disappeared. Then I realized he was being wrapped and loaded into the bed of a pick-up that had pulled into the loading area. Luckily, another Indian was standing guard on the porch, so he was willing to pose for the picture.


When this stove was new, it was shiny and clean, but can you imagine trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner on one of these? And by the time one meal was over, it was time to start working on the next one; everything was made from scratch.


This wood lathe, above, and the farm press below are typical of the tools used generations ago. I fear today we don’t have a clue how to work with anything like them. We think we are so smart, but compare our tools to theirs, and compare the attention to detail and hands-on quality of what they were able to do without high-tech equipment.


We take our lives so for granted and all the things that make our lives so easy. Visiting a junk store should make us all  appreciate the debt we owe to the generations before us that lived successful and happy lives without all the time and labor-saving devices we think we couldn’t live without. And I always wonder what will show up in junk stores of the future, what people will deem important enough to save to show to future generations. I also wonder how much of it will actually last long enough to make it into a museum disguised as a junk store. We are such a throw-away society that I am not sure anything will be around to display.


So if you have never shopped  a junk store or an antique store, take the time to stop and visit the next one you see. You’ll be amazed at what what you may find and learn. And I suspect you will see something that brings back long lost memories and a smile. And if you are too young to have those memories, you might learn something about what you think is ancient history. Enjoy.


My thanks to Doug Chapman, manager of Southern Pickers, who graciously visited with me and allowed me to take pictures of the store. If you wish to visit a neat, clean store with items categorized for easy viewing, visit the store located at 2247 W. Ranch Rd. 1431, Kingsland, Texas, near Lake LBJ.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mules 40, Shallowater 56

I have put off writing about this first game of the season because it was not a happy game. It was the night of the blue moon, and something happened that, of late, only happens about once in a blue moon; Muleshoe lost a football game. Shallowater owned the night,

Shallowater made two quick touchdowns right off the bat. We score toward the end of the first quarter, but they answer with two more touchdowns. We manage another, but can’t manage one more right before the half, which hurts, and the score is 28-12 Shallowater at the half.

And it just goes downhill from there. The Mules, to their credit, didn’t give up, and they could have. It was one of those game where it seemed the opponent scored every time they had the ball. We had moments of inspiration followed by incomplete passes and one interception and were able to put 40 points on the board, but that wasn’t enough.

From my perspective, for whatever that’s worth, which I realize is nothing,  we were playing a 3-A team with more depth on the bench, our quarterback was gaining lots of varsity experience, our tackling was not quite up to par, the team perhaps let the pressure of pre-season expectations psych them out, our coaches have their work cut out for them, and we will do better in the next game.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Count this as one of those character-building experiences, learn from it, and move on.

Next week Portales comes to town. Be there. The Mules need that 12th Man in the stands.