Sunday, September 14, 2014

Classroom and Club

"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce. 


Office of the State Historian at Panola College
On Monday morning, September 8, I entered the Panola College classroom of a former student of mine, Brenda Watson Giles. Brenda came to Panola from Tenaha,where her father was superintendent of schools. Her mother was an excellent teacher, and Brenda proved to be an outstanding student, smart and enthusiastic and hard-working. Soon she brought these same qualities to her own classroom. Brenda later joined the Carthage ISD as a teacher of Gifted and Talented students on the elementary level. She specialized in social studies, and she made the past come alive with imaginative and innovative techniques. 

With Brenda Watson Giles
Brenda now is president of the local Retired Teachers chapter, while continuing to teach as an adjunct instructor at Panola College. A few days ago she asked me to visit with freshmen students in her “Panola College Success 101” class. Of course, I told them what a superb student their teacher had been when she was a Panola College freshman from a small high school. I described a complex, difficult – and highly enjoyable – U.S. History project she had put together, one that was so exceptional I had all of my classes see it. I talked to her students about how I came to be State Historian of Texas, and I eagerly met students who were residents of “my” dormitory, Bill O’Neal Hall. And I was most pleased to see that these young college students may benefit from such a capable and experienced teacher. 

My daughter and son-in-law, Drew and Berri
Gormley, generously provided this handsome
bench  for the Panola campus. Berri knows that
my favorite president is Theodore Roosevelt.
Three days later I drove to Longview to address the first meeting of 2014-2015 of the History Club of East Texas. The club is more than a quarter century old, and while a few members are professional historians, most are men and women who share a love of history. But age and illness have taken a toll on the membership. Attendance lagged last year and there was talk of disbanding. Indeed, longtime president Richard Ash passed away just last month. 
Demonstrating a German Mauser rifle

Reporter Alex Byrd
But a number of members were determined to continue this organization that so many of us enjoy. Ed Russ assumed the presidency, and energetically worked to encourage attendance for the first meeting of the new year. It was my privilege to provide the program, and I arrived at Jason’s Deli early last night to greet old friends and visit with new ones. More than 50 club members attended the meeting, a crowd that gratified and excited us. Alex Byrd, a reporter from the Longview News-Record was on hand to cover our meeting, and she interviewed a number of us. There were door prizes, and my program addressed the 70th anniversary of D-Day, with due attention to the Texas connections. This group of history buffs clearly enjoyed the presentation, and we all enjoyed the company of kindred spirits. The History Club of East Texas is off to a thriving start for 2014-15! 







Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Cowboy Symposium

"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce. 

During the first weekend of September I was in Lubbock to participate in the 26th Annual National Cowboy Symposium. I’ve attended this event from time to time since the 1990s, and it always has been a deeply meaningful pleasure. The cowboy is a Texas icon, and the purpose of the Symposium is to celebrate, preserve, and pass along our cowboy culture.  The event features more than 100 performers and presenters – including the State Historian of Texas – and there are activities for the entire family. Indeed, visitors are drawn from across the United States as well as from other nations.

Visitors are constantly entertained by Western musicians and singers, cowboy – and cowgirl – poets, Native American dancers, and storytellers. A popular activity is shopping, and the vast Lubbock Memorial Civic Center is filled with exhibitors of Western art, books, jewelry, clothing, boots, hats, and leather goods. There is an annual Horse Parade, and this year Chance O’Neal of the Four Sixes Ranch performed astounding horse handling exhibitions.

Featured entertainer Pipp Gillette

A major attraction every year is the National Championship Chuck Wagon Cook-off. Chuck wagons are parked in the large open area north of the Civic Center, and each wagon camp includes tents – or tipis. Each wagon provides a meal (meal tickets are available to the public) featuring chicken fried steak, pinto beans, potatoes, fruit cobbler, and cornbread, sour dough biscuits or yeast rolls. Judges’ scores are compiled to award winners in each of five divisions: Bread, Meat, Potatoes, Beans, Dessert, as well Overall High Food Points. Wagons are also judged on the camp and wagon authenticity, with prizes awarded in the Ranch Wagon and Trail Wagon divisions. Wagon crews compete for trophy buckles, cash awards, and prizes totaling more than $14,000.


The lovely and efficient boss wrangler of the Symposium is Executive Director Monica Hightower. Last year she scheduled throughout the weekend programs on Texas Range Wars and Blood Feuds. She invited me to present a program on the last old-fashioned blood feud in Texas, the Johnson-Sims Feud, a conflict between two ranching families that took place in Snyder, Post, Sweetwater, Clairemont, and the surrounding countryside. There was considerable interest in the feud presentations, and Monica decided to utilize this feature throughout this year’s program.
Linda Puckett, Curator of the Garza County Museum

In response to Monica’s kind invitation for 2014, I suggested the Horrell-Higgins Feud in Lampasas County during the 1870s. I researched and wrote about this conflict in magazine articles and in my biography, The Bloody Legacy of Pink Higgins, A Half Century of Violence in Texas (Austin: Eakin Press, 1999). Higgins was a product of the Texas frontier who grew up battling Comanche raiders, livestock rustlers, and personal enemies. The Horrell brothers were hard-drinking, quick-triggered lawbreakers who were magnets for trouble. The Horrell-Higgins Feud involved  cattle theft, pioneer Texas ranchers, saloon shootouts, ambushes, a street battle, running fights in the countryside, lynchings, Texas Rangers, and murderous vendettas by night riders. The Horrell-Higgins Feud was cow country drama, and a large and receptive audience was on hand to hear about it. Immediately following my Horrell-Higgins presentation, I participated in a Western Authors Panel, chaired by Dusty Richards, immediate past president of the Western Writers of America.  Norman Brown, non-fiction writer, and I were the other panelists, and we also are members of the WWA.
The Texas Folklore Society booth was manned by
Paul Carlson and Clint Chambers, who also are key
members of the West Texas Historical Assn.

Billy and Ronna Huckaby at their
Cowboy Bookworm booth
Holding an enlarged photo of Pink
(seated far right) and a trail driving crew,
which includes my great-grandfather
(seated second from left)
As I drove into Lubbock on Friday morning, I received a phone call from the genial Gaby Fuentes, Deputy Director of Governmental Appoints, Office of the Governor. I became acquainted with Gaby two years ago, when she handled many details leading up to my investiture as State Historian at the State Capitol, a ceremony administered by Governor Rick Perry. About two months ago I received a phone call from Larry McNeill, chairman of the State Historian Selection Committee, inquiring if I would be willing to accept a second term. Of course I was elated and grateful for the opportunity. Gaby’s call last Friday was to announce the publicity release from the Governor’s Office about my reappointment. The second-term ceremony will be held on the campus of Panola College, which provides funding for my travels and where my office as State Historian is located. The event will be open to the public, and I will post details as arrangements are made. As I parked at the Lubbock Cowboy Symposium, I was grinning ear to ear at the prospect of another two years as statewide ambassador for Texas history!

For more information: http://www.cowboy.org/
Fellow panelists Norm Brown (left) and Dusty Richards

Saturday, August 30, 2014

XIT Ranch

"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce. 

General office of the XIT in Channing
In mid-summer my wife and I drove through XIT country in the northwest Panhandle. We spent the night in Dalhart, home of the XIT Museum. In Channing we stopped at the one-story brick XIT office, built in 1898 and restored a century later by Dr. W.P. Kirkeminde. We drove through each of the original seven divisions, and on previous trips we have visited all of the division headquarters sites.

Vault in the general office


In 1879, following legislative groundwork laid in previous years, the Texas Legislature passed a law appropriating 3,050,000 acres of Panhandle rangeland to finance a splendid new state capitol in Austin. From this legislation emerged the Capitol Syndicate Ranch, better known in western ranching circles as the XIT. The magnificent state house was built from 1885 to 1888 by a Chicago firm designated the Capitol Syndicate. As construction progressed the company received title to their Panhandle lands. The Capitol Syndicate assumed $3,224.593.45 in construction costs, making the price of their land $1.07 per acre, about twice the going rate for well-watered Panhandle rangelands.
The magnificent State Capitol was built by the Capitol Syndicate in return for 3,000,000 acres of rangeland.
The much-photographed Empty Saddle
monument in Dalhart.

The XIT Ranch extended from the northwest corner of the Texas Panhandle south for more than 200 miles along the New Mexico border, covering parts of 10 counties across the sparsely settled Staked Plains. Fencing operations began in 1884, and 300 carloads of materials were purchased at a cost of $181,000. During the next decade the ranch was divided into 94 pastures requiring about 1,500 miles of fence. Some 6,000 miles of wire were used, along with 100,000 cedar posts, five carloads of wire staves, one carload of staples, and an entire carload of hinges for the hundreds of gates. Line riders maintained a constant check on the fencing, and some divisions kept fence wagons in operation at all times. 

Immense herds began to be purchased and turned onto the vast rangelands in 1885. Because of unfavorable weather conditions during the mid-1880s many cattlemen were anxious to sell, and the XIT provided an important outlet, while benefiting from favorable prices during a buyer’s market. After 1887 there were no further major purchases of longhorn herds by the XIT, although a great many Hereford, Durham, and Polled Angus bulls were brought in from eastern states to improve beef quality. During its heyday the XIT maintained herds of 125,000-150,000 cattle.

Las Escarbadas Division bunkhouse, now at the
Ranch Heritage Center in Lubbock.
During the 1890s approximately $500,000 was spent on water facilities, including 335 windmills and 100 dams. Earthen water tanks were dug, and several 200-pound sacks of salt were spread along the bottom of each newly-completed tank. After cattle and horses had crowded in to eat all of the salt, the tank was well-packed and ready to hold water. Each division employed one or two “windmillers” to drive their wagons with the necessary maintenance.

The Hotel Rivers stood beside the General Office building.
At each of the XIT divisions, residences were erected, along with barns, bunkhouses, storerooms, and corrals. When the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad laid tracks across the XIT in 1888, general headquarters was established at Channing, a townsite laid out by the ranch alongside the railroad. A two-story frame hotel, the Hotel Rivers, was erected beside the brick headquarters building. Each Christmas and New Year’s XIT cowboys hosted all-night dances at the Hotel Rivers, providing turkey, deer, antelope and, of course, beef.
Las Escarbadas Division headquarters
North to south the divisions were Buffalo Springs, Middle Water, Ojo Bravo, Rita Blanca, Escarbada, Spring Lake, and Yellow House. The XIT was the nation’s largest ranch under fence, but the long-range financial goal of the Syndicate was to sell the enormous ranges in parcels to settlers as they moved into the region. Alongside the 50 miles of railroad right-of-way across XIT lands, ranch employees planted millet, sorghum, and vegetables, so that travelers could see the farming potential. Toward this end a several-hundred-acre farm was maintained at the Rita Blanca Division.

The Yellow House Division headquarters now form
HQ for the Yellow House Ranch.
When farmers and developers began clambering for land in the Panhandle, the XIT opened a land office and sold off most of its range by 1912. By that time cattle, horses, and equipment had been disposed of, and the remaining 350,000 acres were leased – and eventually sold – to farmers and ranchers. The heyday of the XIT was a scant two decades, but the vast ranch lasted long enough to earn a permanent place in western lore.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Battle of Medina

"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce. 

On Saturday, August 16, I had the pleasure and distinct privilege of attending and participating in the 201st anniversary of the Battle of Medina. On August 18, 1813, more than 3,200 participants battled for four hours in the sandy oak forest terrain around the Medina River about 20 miles south of San Antonio. Over 800 men were killed, with hundreds of others wounded. The Battle of Medina thus was the bloodiest battle ever fought on Texas soil. 

The Battle of Medina was the lethal climax of the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition of 1812-13. After nearly three centuries of Spanish control, Mexico began a revolution in 1810. Revolutionary leader Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara traveled to Washington, D.C., hoping to enlist United States governmental support for an invasion of the sparsely settled frontier province of Texas. Although the U.S. government made no serious commitments, many Americans – especially frontier adventurers – volunteered for an expedition. Volunteers and supplies were gathered at Natchitoches, Louisiana, and organized into a military force under Lt. Augustus Magee, who left the U.S. Army to become a colonel under Gutierrez’s Republic Army of the North.

Gutierrez and Colonel Magee led their growing army into Texas in August 1812. Flying the Green Flag, Magee and his men captured Nacogdoches, regrouped, and marched to occupy the vacant stone presidio at La Bahia. There they were besieged for four months by Spanish soldados led by Governor Santisima Trinidad de Salcedo. There were skirmishes, bombardments, and large-scale engagements. During the siege Colonel Magee died, and was succeeded by Samuel Kemper. Only days after Magee’s death, Kemper led his men to victories on February 10 and 13, and Salcedo retreated back to San Antonio.

Emcee Tom Green



















A month later, Kemper led 800 men  – norteamericanos, Tejanos, Indians, and Spanish deserters – toward San Antonio. On March 29 in the Battle of Rosillo, Kemper defeated a Royalist force of 1,200 men commanded by Gen. Simon de Herrera, and Governor Salcedo surrendered San Antonio unconditionally. A few days later Gutierrez permitted the execution by decapitation of Salcedo, Herrera, and 12 other Spanish officers. Disgusted, Kemper and 100 norteamericanos left for Louisiana. In San Antonio, on April 6, 1813, Texas independence was declared.

Rudy Rodriguez, a descendant of the
alcalde of the old mission communities
of Concepcion and San Jose.
But Royalist forces were on the march to Texas. Col. Ignacio Elisando besieged San Antonio with 900 men, but on June 20, 1813, Henry Perry routed Elisando with a dawn attack. Elisando gathered 700 survivors and retreated toward the advancing column of Gen. Jose Arredondo (whose men included Lt. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna).  Meanwhile, political intrigues resulted in the usurpation of Gutierrez by Jose Alvarez de Toledo. Early in August Arrendondo and Elisando approached San Antonio from the south with a combined force of more than 1,800 men. Toledo led 1,400 men out of town to meet the Royalist army.

Arrendondo set an ambush and Toledo warned his men to retreat. But the norteamericanos fought back with effective rifle fire and rapid arms-handling. When ammunition ran low, Arrendondo’s men swept the field. Only 100 of Toledo’s men managed to escape, while 55 Spanish soldados died of their wounds. For several years the bleached bones of 800 of Toledo’s men lay where they fell.

More than a decade ago the first celebration of the Battle of Medina was held on the approximate site of the battlefield. As State Historian I was invited to participate in this year’s event, and I worked up a program about the course of Manifest Destiny in Texas from the 1790s until the 1830s, with  focus upon the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition and the Battle of Medina.

With Dr. Frank de la Teja, the first State Historian
Being introduced by Tom Green
On Saturday morning I was part of a large crowd at the remote site of the battlefield (where I was guided by Joe Cox, who invited me to the occasion). There was an impressive contingent of re-enactors in uniforms and costumes of the early nineteenth century. The famous Green Flag flew proudly among other period flags. The genial Tom Green, a Knight of San Jacinto and member of numerous other historical organizations, served as Master of Ceremonies. We pledged allegiance to the flags of the United States and Texas, heard from descendants of participants in the battle, and viewed a trio of volleys by the re-enactors.

We drove into Pleasanton for lunch, and regrouped at the fellowship hall of the Church of Christ for program presentations. Dr. Frank de la Teja, the first State Historian and a distinguished scholar of the Spanish colonial period in Texas, was scheduled to speak, along with Dr. Caroline Crimm, an outstanding author/teacher of Texas history at Sam Houston State University. There were other programs as well, and I was proud to be part of such a fine lineup.
With Karon, niece Shelley James, Karon's mother
Louise Ashby, and Matt James. (Shelley and Matt
live in Pleasanton and came to my program.)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce. 

The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opened in 1998 with the induction of Tex Ritter, Jim Reeves, Willie Nelson, Gene Autry, Cindy Walker, and Joe Allison. There have been gifted Texans in every genre of music, but Country Music and Country and Western Music have been dominated by Texans. During the 1990s the director of the Panola County Chamber of Commerce, Tommie Ritter Smith, decided to open a museum to her kinsman, Tex Ritter. A beloved member of Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, Tex was a native of Panola County. His family – widow Dorothy and sons Tom and John Ritter – turned over a treasure trove of memorabilia to Tommie for the Tex Ritter Museum. Tommie housed the museum in the second floor of the Chamber of Commerce building, and it became a popular tourist destination. Tommie asked me to write a biography of Tex for the museum gift shop, and she provided most of the primary materials I needed.
The Saturday morning crowd at the TCMHOF enjoyed
talent show performers from the previous night.

Another famed Country artist, Gentleman Jim Reeves, was a Panola County farm boy who is buried in a handsome park a few miles east of Carthage. With the realization that Panola County is the only county in the United States with two members of Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, Tommie Ritter Smith secured a charter from the state for the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Annual inductions quickly became a major tourist event and a strong attraction for Nashville stars. I was privileged to become a charter board member.
Brian Allison, son of charter TCMHOF member Joe
Allison, in the new wing of the museum

The TCMHOF rapidly outgrew the second floor of the Chamber of Commerce building, and in 2002 a new, state-of-the-art structure welcomed attendees of the Sixth Annual Induction Ceremony. Since 2002 visitors to the TCMHOF have included guests from each of the 50 states and from 42 foreign countries. As the years passed, however, the display area became so crowded that even a closet was incorporated – for the radio studio of Jim Reeves.
Tom Ritter with a cousin

But the City of Carthage and the Carthage Improvement Commission voted to expand the town’s premier tourist attraction. For this year’s induction a $1.5 million, 3,000 square foot addition was near enough to completion to be shown to the public. Later in the year the new wing will be celebrated with a Grand Opening.
With Tommie Ritter Smith at the induction

The stage band was outstanding.
On Friday night before the Saturday night induction, the John Ritter Showcase Annual Talent Contest was held before a large crowd. The emcee is the talented and vivacious Linda Davis. A Grammy-winner and member of the TCMHOF, Linda is a graduate of Carthage High School, where she was a school mate of my wife, Karon. For a year before pursuing her musical career, Linda attended Panola Collage, where she starred as a member of our singing and dancing performance group, the Panola Pipers. In my history class, students staged a cowboy event around a campfire, and Linda sang the classic cowboy ballad, “Little Joe the Wrangler.” Of course, she made an A Plus! Late in the induction ceremony, Linda sat beside Karon and me.

Seated in front of us were Tom Ritter and Les Leverett, who both were of great help to me when I wrote the biography of Tex Ritter. Les is a legendary photographer for the Grand Ole Opry. I asked Les to photograph Linda, Karon, and the State Historian, so the image in this blog was taken by Country Music’s greatest photographer.

An audience of nearly 1,800 assembled at the Carthage Civic Center on Saturday night to see a performance that featured the internationally famous Oak Ridge Boys. Clay Cooper, from Wylie, Texas, and now a star in Branson, was the emcee, and later he performed with Linda Davis. Performers during the evening included the lovely Bailey Wesberry, winner of Friday night’s John Ritter Showcase.
Bailey Wesberry, winner of the 2014 John Ritter Showcase
The highlight of the evening was the Oak Ridge Boys, who entertained everyone with hit after hit, including “Y’All Come Saloon,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Fancy Free,” “American Made,” and “You’re the One.” Lead singer Duane Allen, who joined the group - then a gospel quartet - in 1965, is a native Texan and the 46th artist inducted into the TCMHOF. Duane was raised on a cotton farm south of Paris in Lamer County. He earned a music degree from East Texas State College, which later named him a Distinguished Alumni.
Emcee Clay Cooper from Wylie, Texas
With the Oak Ridge Boys he teamed with tenor Joe Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden, and bass Richard Sterban. After the group changed their focus to Country Music, there was an eight-year period in which the Oaks had 25 consecutive Top Ten singles, including 13 Number One hits. The Oak Ridge Boys scored their biggest hit in 1981 with “Elvira,” Number One in both Country and Pop charts.

Linda Davis
Near the end of the Oaks’ TCMHOF convert, State Representative Chris Paddie came onstage to present plaques from Governor Rick Perry to Bonsall, Golden, and Sterban naming them Honorary Texans. Duane Allen was given a plaque designating him an Admiral of the Texas Navy. Next Duane was presented his star as the newest member of the TCMHOF. He spoke to the audience and pointed out the large family group that was present in his support.
Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, Richard Sterban

State Representative Chris Paddie presenting
Honorary Texan plaques to the Oaks
Following Allen’s induction, the Oak Ridge Boys closed the show – and brought down the house – with a rousing performance of “Elvira.” It was one of the most memorable evenings in the 17-year history of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.
With renowned Nashville photographer Les Leverett
After the show with Karon and Linda Davis
 - photo by Les Leverett