The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
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2013-01-31

Best Christmas gift

Carolyn B. Edwards

Just before Christmas, I found one of those long yellow cards in my mailbox, signifying that I had a package! What was this, I wondered? I was pretty sure I had already collected all the items I had ordered on-line. Maybe someone had sent me a surprise gift!
Indeed, it was a gift of sorts. As a member of the Texas Folklore Society, I get a copy of the society's publication of the papers presented at their annual meeting.
The Texas Folklore Society is over 100 years old and takes as its mission to "collect, preserve, and present the lore of Texas and the Southwest."
The 2012 edition, entitled "First Timers and Old Timers: The Texas Folklore Society Fire Burns On," features articles by 30 people, including Bandera County's own Acayla Haile. She has been a member of TFS since the year she was born, 1988. Locals will remember her story-telling talents with which she entertained us for many years as a young girl.
Haile submitted a piece on the folklore of native plants that she learned about while rambling around her family's property in the Tarpley area with her dad, former BISD board member, Lee Haile.
These "gift" books make membership in the Folklore Society a terrific bargain and if you are at all interested in Texas history, become a member!
In this collection, I particularly enjoyed "Some Recollections of Defining Events" by Al Lowman.
Lowman said "a single episode in Granny's long life became the watershed event in the community's history. Everything in Staples happened either before or after she was gored by the old milk cow."
The incident occurred in 1911.
When volunteers arrived to help get Granny to the doctor, they found her "perfectly conscious, lying with her intestines strewn on the manure-covered ground beside her."
The volunteers carried her on a litter to the nearby doctor's office; one of them "carried her intestines in his hands."
The doctor later confessed to his daughter that he had no idea what to do, but figured it didn't make much difference anyway. "So I washed the cow manure off her guts as best I could, stuffed 'em back in place as best I could, and sewed her up as best I could. There was no use saying a prayer because she didn't have one."
He told the family standing by, "I haven't done a very good job here, but there's no way she could live anyway."
"Granny" was about 55 at the time, Lowman thinks. The nervous young doctor was in his early thirties.
Granny lived to be 105, surviving the doctor by 10 years!
I promise that the other selections in the book are not at all gory.
Copies of past editions of the TFS books are available at the Bandera County Library, and the newer editions are for sale at good bookstores.