"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.
|Lunch at Tommy Bahama's|
|Introduction by Donna Smith Burns|
Over a period of several days there was a flurry of varied events for the State Historian On October 23 there was a program at Lone Star College in Montgomery, arranged by Donna Smith Burns for the Academy of Lifelong Learning. Before the afternoon event, however, I was treated to lunch at exotic Tommy Bahama's by a charming lady, Nancy Caldwell, and her pastor, Dr. D. Green, who is an enthusiastic history buff. The lunch came about as part of a college fundraiser: the State Historian was auctioned off as a lunch partner, while Tommy Bahama's contributed the meal.
After lunch I was welcomed on campus by by the genial and efficient Donna Smith Burns. My program was presented in a large arena-style lecture room, which was filled by Lifelong Learning participants, as well as by the history students of Dr. Craig Livingston. There had been considerable publicity, and the audience warmly received my program on "Gunfighterology." After an hour there was a refreshment break, after which I was asked to inform the crowd about the role and activities of the State Historian.
|With Pastor Charkey Marquis|
|The Lone Star Cowboy Church Band|
|Introduction by Trey Powers, TMRA Executive Director|
|With Linda Pitzer, DAR Regent|
|Introduction by Dorothy Bates|
|Addressing the DAR|
At the end of the week, on Saturday morning, I assisted with the re-dedication of the Gary Family Cemetery south of Carthage The Gary clan began farming in Panola County during the 1840s, and an acre of land was dedicated for a private family cemetery. Bro. E.J. Adams, the subject of a previous blog, supervised the reclamation of the overgrown cemetery - the 22nd pioneer cemetery he has reclaimed in Panola County After family members gathered, Bro. Adams made introductory remarks and I provided historical background. Rev. Dale Reed, a longtime friend of the Gary family, made a brief consecration address, then offered a closing prayer. Although the morning temperature was chilly, the consecration ceremony provided warmth to all of us.
|Bill, Bro. E.J. Adams, Rev. Dale Reed|