Sunday, October 22, 2017

East Texas Historical Association Fall Meeting

The East Texas Historical Association held its annual Fall Meeting in Galveston at the luxurious Moody Gardens Hotel and Resort. We met on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, October 12-14, and a crowd of 200 was in attendance.

Chris Gill, the lovely and highly efficient Secretary/Treasurer of the ETHA

Charles Nugent, Adult Education Programs Manager of the TSHA
With Steve Cure, Chief Operating Officer of the TSHA
There were nearly 30 sessions, including joint sessions with the Central Texas Historical Association, the Texas Folklore Society, the South Texas Historical Association, and the West Texas Historical Association. Several graduate students presented papers during various sessions. Four ladies from the Galveston County Historical Commission provided an excellent session on their historic county.
Dan Utley and Milton Jordan
Barbara Holt of the Galveston County Historical Commission
Caroline Castilla Crimm glancing at the camera
On Thursday evening the ETHA was treated to a Welcome Reception at the Bryan History Museum, which is housed in a handsome nineteenth-century structure that was built as an orphanage. J.P. Bryan restored the building and provided 70,000 items  from his superb collection. Bryan's collection especially features artifacts of Stephen F. Austin, as well as wonderful pieces of Western and Texas art. The ETHA presented Bryan the Lucille Terry Historical Preservation Award, and he offered a gracious response. Our visit to the Bryan History Museum was a memorable highlight of the Fall Meeting.

The magnificent Bryan History Museum

Debbie Liles and J.P. Bryan

Friday evening featured the Fellows of the Association Reception, which included the introduction of three new ETHA Fellows: Light Cummins, former State Historian of Texas; James Maroney; and Milton Jordan. The Fellows Reception was followed by the Presidential Address Banquet. The address was delivered by ETHA President George Cooper, who has doubled this past year as President of the South Texas Historical Association.

ETHA Executive Director Scott Sosebee at the Fellows Reception

Fellows Reception crowd
During the weekend I took the opportunity to ride the resort's paddleboat, the Colonel. I love boat rides, and I had a fine time touring our inlet on the comfortable, brightly-appointed Colonel.
The Colonel of the Moody Gardens Resort

On Saturday morning I participated in the West Texas Historical Association Session, along with fellow presenters Leland Turner of Midwestern State University, and Tai Kreidler, Executive Director of the WTHA. My presentation was "Tascosa, Gunfighter Capital of the Panhandle," and the entire session was lively and colorful.
With fellow presenters Tai Kreidler and Leland Turner at the WTHA Session

The Fall Meeting concluded Saturday with the Association Awards and Business Meeting Luncheon. As chairman of the Ottis Lock Awards Committee, I was privileged to present the Best Book Award to editors and contributors Debbie Liles and Anji Boswell for Women in Civil War Texas, a publication of the University of the University of North Texas Press. Jeffrey Littlejohn of Sam Houston State University earned the Higher Education Educator of the Year Award, while Alicia Young of Wylie High School won the Joe Atkins Public School Educator of the Year Award. Research Grants of $500 each were awarded to Richard Orton, Lindsey Drane, and Scot McFarlane.

Awards and Business Luncheon

President George Cooper
James Maroney received the Ralph W. Steen Award from Michael Botson
President Heather Wooten swinging a mean gavel
Michael Botson presented the Ralph Steen Award to James Maroney, while ETHA Executive Director Scott Sosebee presented the Archie McDonald Student Scholarship to Alondra Morillon, an undergraduate at UHD. The Business Meeting featured acceptance of a new slate of officers, headed by Heather Wooten as President. After announcing that next year's Fall Meeting will return to the Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches, President Wooten adjourned the meeting with a vigorous swing of the gavel. We all agreed that the Fall Meeting of 2017 was an exceptional event.   

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