Get jonbryan.com via email!
Show tagged entries
Sunday, January 31. 2010
During my life I have met many interesting people, and recently, after a several hour visit with a WW II American flyer that was shot down and spent 18 months in a German prison camp, I started thinking back to some of the people that really stand out in my memory.
I have met a former President of The United States; a past Secretary of State; numerous other politicians; Medal Of Honor winners; a Jewish man who was held in Dachau by the Germans and had his prisoner number tattooed on his right forearm; a victim of the Batan Death March who was a Jap POW for three years, and not met, but watched, numerous German Afrika Corps Troopers behind the wire at an American POW camp in Temple, Texas.
Once, in Las Vegas, as I was walking into Caesarsâ€™ Palace, over my shoulder, I was watching Batman and Robin.Â Head turned, going in one door, Jimmy Hofffa was coming out the same door.Â There was a crash between us, his bodyguards stepped in, but both of us smiled, offered excuses and I chose another door! Where is he now?
When I was four years old going on five, my Dad made sure that I spent a lot of time with his family on their farm outside of Marlin, Falls County, Texas. At that time, prior to and during WW II, rural farmers and ranchers in Texas did not have electricity, propane or butane, strictly kerosene lamps and wood stoves. The Rural Electrification Agency and electricity didnâ€™t get to Falls County until after the war.
Now, what really sticks out in my memory was meeting two very remarkable people. Uncle Tom and Aunt Betty, Tom and Betty Norwood, who owned a farm across Rock Dam road from my Grandma Bryan. Both had graduated from college, both were retired teachers. Uncle Tom was in his 90â€™s, tall, straight as a ramrod, silver hair and still farming. When I was 7, his watermelon patch was the scene of my first â€œcrimeâ€.
Aunt Betty, short and smiling, a master quilt maker, helped my Grandma around her house. When I was visiting, Aunt Betty immediately took me over. She made sure I had plenty of cookies and lemonade, guarded over me like a mother hen and made me feel that I was â€œspecialâ€.
Tom Norwood was a former slave! Betty Norwood was a child of former slaves! They were great people and, in spite of their color, had risen from nothing to property owners and respected members of the community. Some of my most cherished memories are of those two special people!Â
Posted by Jon Bryan in Random Thoughts at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, January 29. 2010
In 1993, after ten years of putting up with the whims of various ranchers over the terms and restrictions on our hunting leases, Layla and I decided to purchase our own ranch.Â We did and have sixteen years of enjoyment to show for it.
Now, both retired, we have expanded our interests.Â One of mine is gardening.Â Between church, my Grandchildrenâ€™s sports, my writing and blogging and playing Senior Softball, I find it very relaxing playing in the dirt!
Last year, except for onions, wild garlic and spinach, the tremendous amount of rain we experienced during the spring and summer, for all practical purposes, ruined the garden!Â However, hope prevails, and this year, I got an earlier start than before.
Last Monday, I pruned the 3, peach trees and then, on Wednesday, I got real busy and planted 82, Texas 1015â€™s and 40 Bermuda onions.Â
After planting the onions, I tilled both the large and small gardens and right on schedule, it started raining Thursday morning and Fridayâ€™s forecast is for snow!Â Spinach and turnips are next to plant.
Speaking about snow, this would be our third this winter.Â Â Remember, we live in central Texas, not Montana.Â
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, January 27. 2010
Some more great pictures from my friends!
Randy Pfaff sent me this one of a nice mulie buck.Â He said he didnâ€™t have the heart to shoot it since it was drinking out of his birdbath.
He added one of a bear eating a doe that was hung up outside overnight.Â The bear had a good meal, but the hunters should have hung the doe out of the bears reach!
Religiously, for the past four months, Ev Sims and his son have been bating their hog trap, with no results.Â Finally, their persistence paid off with these two porkers.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Pictures at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, January 25. 2010
Trying to keep up with some of the best â€œlinesâ€ that I have posted, Iâ€™ve researched them and come up with, not the best, or the funniest, but different categories that very from profound to confounded.
Sometimes I write profound statements:
The most important thing is thanking God every day for his blessings; His Grace, our family, our jobs our health, our friends and our wonderful Country!
One thing remains a constant, our countryâ€™s freedom is more important than politics or political correctness!
I believe every star in our hemisphere was out too!Today, our country is on a very, slippery slope!Â When are all of us going to wake up, or is it too late?
Nothings better than a Son getting a deer on his first hunt!
Sometimes itâ€™s about the weather:
Four degrees wind chill, along with snow, was almost too much for me!
About this snow, this is central Texas, not Iowa. Am I going to have to get me a snow shovel?
Sometimes I try to be funny:
â€œThat makes 4 deer and one buzzard youâ€™ve hit.Â This Suburban qualifies for â€˜Aceâ€™!
We ate the pheasant that night, Houston continued its sprawl, and now, this once prime hunting area is a golf course!Â At least itâ€™s not a shopping center!
Laughing, we told Jake, â€œThat rearing horse looked like Roy Rogers and Trigger!Â Ride â€˜em cowboy!â€Â And, off he galloped into the darkness back towards Scottsdale Road.
A thankless job was cleaning out the outhouse!Â I donâ€™t remember ever doing that chore.
Sometimes itâ€™s about sports or exercise:
At least walking works up a good sweat!
It would be something if each mornings walk would be this exciting!
Who knows what will happen when you play with a round ball and a round bat on a square field?
Our next tournament will be in Pensacola on May 15, if it rains we can still load up on the fried mullet!
Sometimes itâ€™s indecision:
Once, we jumped a black bear, did not offer chase, or try to â€œcount coupâ€ on him and the dogs also showed no inclination to give chase.Itâ€™s always unnerving to run into a rattler, and this was no exception, so we called a break and headed to town for an early lunch!
Someone once said, â€œThe best deer blind is your back porch!â€
Sometimes I just get confounded:
I never thought about taking a picture of the calf in the hog trap!
The boys and I â€œsnuckâ€ back in once but we felt very awkward carrying our shotguns through our neighborâ€™s backyards.
Having put all of this together, now I can go back to the football game!
Saturday, January 23. 2010
When I retired my kids asked me to record some of the wild adventures that I have taken part in.Â Little did I know that this would lead me to blogging, get me very involved in genealogy and best, get me a book published!
Over the past nine months I have been involved in one of the most rewarding projects that I have ever tackled - having a book published!Â It became a full time job.Â Where do you find the time to be active in your church?Â Where do you find the time to take part in your Grandchildrenâ€™s sports?Â Where do you find time to hunt and fish?Â Where do you find time to play Senior Softball?Â Where do you find the time to do all the chores around the ranch?
When I was working, I had assistants that took care of my calendar management.Â I handled my time management and it never crossed my mind that these things would be so important after I retired.Â Somehow it all worked out and today, on my blog, Randy, my Son, and I put up all of the â€œaboutâ€ information, the necessary links to RoseDog Books, the publisher and set me up on Twitter and Facebook.Â On the left side of the page, click on the book, â€œThe End Of The Lineâ€, to find out a little about the book, the author and how to acquire it.It has been a fun thing!Â Managing and balancing everything was a challenge.Â But now, seeing my name on the cover, re-reading some of the stories and holding the book in my hands, it was all worth it!
Iâ€™ve got more in the works; an unnamed book about my familyâ€™s history from way back to the present; another unnamed one about the storms, tornadoes and miscellaneous violent weather that I have encountered over the years, and one that is almost ready for publishing, â€œWhy It Is Called Huntingâ€.
How enjoyable this has been and I donâ€™t have a job to get into the way!
Thursday, January 21. 2010
Last Sunday, one of our friends, SFC Tim Albee, put an end to the 2009/10 deer season.Â This past seasonâ€™s total was four does and one spike. Â
Summarizing, Sean, a Grandson, kicked it off with his first deer, a spike, bagged during the youth season. Â
Mickey Donahoo then shot two does that we gave to a friend.Â One is pictured here.
Not to be outdone, I chipped in with this big, bobcat.
Overall, no big bucks, but wait â€˜till next year!Â Next up is varmint hunting, then around April 1st, itâ€™s turkey time!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, January 19. 2010
Buck Barry, my 2G Uncle, came to Texas in 1845 and this past Saturday, in Walnut Springs, Texas, I attended a presentation, "Character In Action" about Col. Buck Barry and Capt. Jack Cureton.Â Cureton, like Buck, was also a Texas Ranger and fought Indians, rustlers and thieves with him.Â Both men made their homes in Bosque County, in what later became Walnut Springs.Â Much more had been written about Buck so most of the presentation was about him.
Bryan Sowell, author of 'TEXAS CENTRAL HEADQUARTERS, Walnut Springs", gave the talk and spoke about what it is that makes one manâ€™s life endure and another forgotten?Â What makes us cherish Buckâ€™s memory; his courage, character, compassion, rugged individualism, the common good or his love of democracy?
This picture, a Daguerroetype, was made in Corsicana in 1853.Â Itâ€™s probably not the first of this type made in Texas, but it may be the oldest surviving one.
He cited quotes that highlighted these characteristics.Â A few of these quotes follow.
From the Meridian Tribune on April 9, 1909, a Walnut Springs pioneer, R.W. Aycock described Buck as â€œOne of the best men that ever lived when treated right, but if a man didnâ€™t want to do the right thing, or wanted to pick a scrap, he could get it out of Buck any time!â€
According to Dr. James Greer, his biographer and long time family friend, â€œAs a Ranger with Hays, he met the Mexicans; as a sheriff, he encountered outlaws; as a frontiersman, he fought Indians; as a ranchman in Bosque County, he was the nemesis of horse thieves and experienced the annoyance of fence cutting; as a Texan and Southerner during the Civil War, he saw four years of the most grueling and the most undesirable type of military service protecting the Texas frontier from Indians.â€
According to Buck, in an article he wrote titled, â€œWhy Do Christians Believe and Atheists Disbelieve In The Bibleâ€?Â He writes, â€œGod being a spirit without body or form, yet possessing the greatest power known to man; possessing the power of all the elements that are necessary to create; possessing all the power of an infinite and perfect being.â€
His biographer sums up Buck Barry very well, â€œNo writer of western stories has created better fiction of adventure that this quite, early settler lived.â€
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 08:05 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, January 17. 2010
â€œWebsterâ€™s Dictionaryâ€ says a trustee is, â€œA person, usually one of a body of persons or group, appointed to administer the affairs of a company, administration, etc.â€ In Texas, a Prison Trustee is an inmate that performs certain functions outside of the inmates normal prison duties. A definite position of trust!
In January 1951, my Dad, John H. Bryan, went on, it turned out, an unusual quail hunt, on some very private property. The property in question was owned by the State of Texas, and on it was a State Prison Farm. My Dadâ€™s Brother-in law, and my Uncle, was Rehabilitation Director for the prison system and he had arranged for my Dad to hunt birds there.
Another unusual item was that the Stateâ€™s bloodhounds would hunt quail, and wouldnâ€™t you know it, the Warden of the prison farm assigned a â€œspecialâ€ Trustee, along with two dogs to accompany my Dad. The Trustee in question, the Wardenâ€™s favorite, was in for robbery and would soon be paroled.Â His prison job was training the dogs to track escapees and, for visiting dignitaries, he had also trained them to track quail.
Returning from the hunt with a nice mess of birds, my Dad said, â€œWe had a great time today!â€ I questioned him, â€œWhatâ€™s this â€œweâ€ business? You went hunting by yourself.â€ He grinned and said, â€œMe and the Trustee. His dogs did such a good job that I let him shoot a couple of birds.â€ My Mom was horrified. She exclaimed, â€œBryan, thatâ€™s the stupidest thing I ever heard. He could have shot you and been half way to Dallas before they missed him or you!â€ He grinned again and said, â€œAw Honey, heâ€™s getting out in three months, was really a nice young man and Iâ€™m sure he wouldnâ€™t want to mess up his parole.â€
The incident passed, but two weeks later the hunt was brought vividly back to our minds. The headlines of the afternoon newspaper, â€œThe Houston Chronicleâ€, blared, â€œTrustee Escapes From Prison Farm.â€ Wouldnâ€™t you know it, the dog trainer Trustee was the escapee. My Dad called the Warden of the prison farm, who was just as surprised as my Dad was by the event.
The Warden told my Dad the story (which wasnâ€™t in the paper) of how the dog trainer Trustee just walked off and when the officers sent the dogs after him, he just told them to â€œkennel upâ€ and they went back to their kennels. Three times the dogs were sent out and three times they returned. By then the officers figured he was long gone and he was!
Years later I asked my Uncle whatever happened to the dog trainer Trustee. He laughed and said that he was never found.
Maybe the State of Texas didnâ€™t look for him too hard?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
(Page 1 of 2, totaling 16 entries) » next page
Original content in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
SEO and Website Development by tekRESCUE