"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.
|Bill with Monica Hightower|
"Cowboys of the American West developed a `Cowboy Culture' of their own with values and traditions such as self-dependence, individualism, work ethic, personal honesty and a brand of western chivalry," explains Monica Hightower, the lovely and efficient boss wrangler of the National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration. Hightower has served for eight years as executive director of the Symposium, and she emphasizes what the public expects. "Passing along the cultural traditions, values, and history of yesterday, and keeping the modern culture alive are what make this unique event an important part of today's `Cowboy Culture.'"
|Billy Huckaby, Western book publisher|
This year's Symposium opened Thursday evening, September 5, with a banquet featuring American Cowboy Culture Awards presentations. There was an attractive variety of programs throughout Friday and Saturday, as well as evening concerts starring Waddie Mitchell, Mary Kaye, R.W. Hampton, Larry Maurice, and other western performers. On Saturday morning "The Parade of the Horse" featured handsomely mounted riders, miniature horses, carriages, wagons - and the Texas Tech Masked Raider! Following an action-packed Friday and Saturday, on Sunday morning there was a chuck wagon breakfast, followed by a Cowboy Devotional Service.
|Western authors Jan Devereaux and Bob Alexander|
|Tai Kreidler, Symposium advisory board; Bill;|
and authors Norman Brown and Chuck Parsons
The Silver Anniversary of the National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration was great fun. It is an event not to be missed, and next year it will be held September 5-8 in Lubbock.
For more information: www.cowboy.org
|Part of the audience at my presentation|