Friday, November 19, 2010

Texas Tidbits Extra! Santa Elena Canyon by Bob Zeller

My good friend, Bob, over at Texas Tweeties, has posted one of the most amazing photos I have ever seen. Click on the following link then click on the photo Bob has posted to enlarge it. In the bottom left hand corner (at about 7 o'clock in the photo), you'll see a tiny dark figure. That's a full grown man! Bob has taken what could have been a good photo and made it an amazing work of art. Check it out and you'll see what I mean.

Texas Tidbits: A Look at the Other Side of the Battle of the Alamo

I have always held the Battle of the Alamo in the highest of regard. It was fought by Texicans who were trying to preserve the rights afforded them by the Constitution of Mexico of 1824. We all know the basic facts of the story, but few of us know many details about the battle. One of the best ways to learn about what went on at the Battle of the Alamo is to get the observations of the participants. I found some of these first hand accounts at an interesting web site,, that has all sorts of fascinating history about Texas. It's worth the time you spend there, so if you find Texas History interesting, you owe it to yourself to stop by the place.

Here's an excerpt from a letter written by a Mexican soldier who was a member of Santa Ana's army, "Mexican Soldier to brothers of the heart - San Antonio de Bexar: The attack was made in four columns, led by General Cos, General Morales, Duque de Estrada, and Romero. I marched under the immediate command of General Cos and tell you what I saw. The rest of the letter can be found here. I never really thought of the way the soldiers of the Mexican Army saw this battle in particular and the Texas Revolution as a whole, but I feel inspired to learn more about that perspective of the war. You'll be able to learn so much more about the Battle of the Alamo right here. There are many resources from which to choose. It's some great stuff.

While we can easily find first hand accounts of the battle from the Mexican side of things, getting an eyewitness account of the fight from the Texican side is a bit more problematic. However, I have a good place for you to start - at this link featuring letters from the Alamo. Incredible stuff there.

I'm sure as it gets closer to March, that I'll repost much of this information and a ton of new stuff as well. The Battle of the Alamo, as tragic as it was for Texas, it was equally important for Mexico. Both sides of the issue deserve a fair shake as to the way they perceived the battle and the war. And we'll do just that in the coming weeks and months.

Maine Minutiae: Toby Goes to School (Again)

Monkey Business in Second Grade
I am going to do something today that if you'd have told me I was going to do it a few years ago, I would have told you that you were nuts. I would have been wrong and you would not be nuts. This is momentous occasion, not only in my life, but in the life of my 8 year old daughter, Isabella. Dear Old Dad (that would be me), is going to Grant Avenue Elementary School this afternoon to read to Isabella's second grade class. For such a special event, Issy her own self, after much study and thought, has chosen for me to read Merry Christmas, Curious George. I was thinking more along the lines of a couple of articles from Bassmasters Magazine, but Issy failed to see the educational value of tying Palomar knots or working a spinner bait parallel to a weed bed. At any rate, Curious George beat out the Bassmasters. I've got to have a long talk with that kid about priorities. Sheesh.

So at 12:45pm EST, I will stand in front of Ms. Smith's second grade class and extol the virtues of Curious George and Christmas for a little while, I'll be coolest Dad in the whole dang second grade. It may not be my rendition of Merry Christmas, Curious George that wins the day with the class, but the chocolate fudge brownies I'm taking with me should earn me a couple of "cool Dad" points.

I have done this sort of thing before, many years ago when I was a radio DJ kinda guy, but oddly enough, I've never done it for one of my own kids' classes. I'm sure it'll be a load of fun.

Now, I've just got to figure out how to incorporate spinner baits and palomar knots into a story about Curious George and Christmas.

***Some names were changed to ensure privacy and safety***

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