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History buffs convene at Flying L

By Bev Barr BCC Editor

Hot on the heels of the National Day of the American Cowboy, the South Texas Chapter of the Great Western Cattle Trail Association will host the association's national convention, Aug. 3 – 6, at the Flying L Hill Country Resort.
The Great Western Cattle Trail originated in northern Mexico and ran all the way up to the Canadian border. More than seven million heads of cattle were driven up the trail from ranches in South Texas to markets in the north.
In order to preserve the history of a cattle trail that quite literally fed a nation, David Burell (who died at the end of 2016) helped establish the Great Western Cattle Trail Association. Burell was inducted into the Frontier Times Museum Texas Heroes Hall of Honor last weekend during the National Day of the Cowboy celebration, in large part because of his remarkable contributions to the GWCTA.
Last year, Burell persuaded the association to hold their 2017 national meeting in Bandera. This year, the convention will be in his honor.
Dr. Frank Norris will deliver the keynote speech at lunch (11:30 am), Friday, Aug. 4, at the Flying L Hill Country Resort. Norris is a nationally known historian with the U.S. Department of the Interior, in the National Park Service.
Bruce Shackelford will lead a break-out session at 1:30 pm about cattle entrepreneurs.
Sylvia Gan Mahoney will lead a session called “Finding the Great Western Cattle Trail" at 3 pm. Mahoney will tell the story of finding the trail and marking it, and each community’s effort to uncover the trail.
On Friday evening at 6 pm, the dinner speaker will be Dr. Stuart Rosebrook, the senior editor for True West magazine.
The cost is $25 per person for the lunch or dinner keynote speakers. All other sessions are free and open to the public, thanks to the generous donations of several local sponsors.
For more information and details about the convention visit the Bandera County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 126 State Highway 16 South, in Bandera, or call 830-796-3045; or call Ray Carter, president of the South Texas Great Western Cattle Trail Association, at 361-564-6794.