I was delighted at the opportunity to participate in such a special March occasion. I had met with each of these chapters at past meetings, including a joint session at Traditions Restaurant within the past year. So when I arrived in Tyler on March 2 I was greeted by several old friends, including chapter presidents Johnnie McWilliams and Sam Hopkins, and my benefactor Mary Frances Payne Murphy. David Hanover, who served as President General of the SRT from 2012-2014, brought several flags of the Texas Revolution, as well as framed facsimile copies of the Texas Declaration of Independence and of William Barrett Travis's letter of appeal from the Alamo. During my program he graciously helped display these items as they were needed.
Debbie Crenshaw, DRT Chaplain, offered the invocation (along with the benediction at meeting's end). After pledging allegiance to the United States and Lone Star flags, we followed song leader Betty Stokes in enthusiastic renditions of "Deep in the Heart of Texas" (I was better at clapping than at singing) and "Texas Our Texas."
Among the crowd was DRT Member - and State Historian Sponsor - Mary Frances Payne Murphy (standing second from left)
I was introduced by Johnnie McWilliams. In addition to David Hanover's excellent props, I had brought several items of my own, so the program was well-illustrated. I'm always excited about talking to an audience (or a class) about the Alamo, and my enthusiasm usually is obvious for this dramatic, iconic Texas story.
DRT Chapter President Johnnie McWilliams provided my intro
When talking about Davy Crockett, I held my coonskin cap while wearing my skunkskin (Sunday-go-to-meeting) cap.
A little over two weeks later, on March 21, I drove to Center for a meeting of the Shelby County Historical Society. I've visited with this dedicated group of history buffs on numerous occasions, and I was highly pleased when they requested a program on the Alamo. I packed my props, eager as always to present this memorable Texas story. There had been newspaper and radio publicity, and there was a good crowd which included former students of mine at Panola College. And this time they would enjoy my lecture without having to take notes!
With David Hanover, recent President General of the SRT
With members of the Shelby County Historical Society