Columns/Opinions

Wed
24
Sep

Greatest football pain not injury, but making a mistake

Few would dispute the claim that, in Texas high school sports, football is king.  
That’s changed some over the years but that head-butting game is still dominant. Friday night frenzy is adequate testimony to that claim.
I don’t know everything that runs through players’ minds today but “don’t fumble,” “don’t miss a tackle” and “man-up” are probably in the top five.
Injury or physical harm never worried me when I played. If it had, neither I nor anyone else would be likely to go

 

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Wed
17
Sep

Life is often about how one responds to hard times

Most people face some kind of adversity every day.
A recent article in the Houston Chronicle described a young man’s determination to get his college degree.
He was living in his car and working while attending college - doing that expected American thing of seeking to better his lot in life.
Admirable. And, it is an oft-repeated story of overcoming hardships while trying to climb the success ladder.
Over the years, I have had the good fortune to watch this story repeated

 

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Wed
10
Sep

John Sharp is a true down-to-earth public servant

John Sharp is one of those people to whom you take an instant liking. ‘
He is down-to-earth but brilliant and is truly devoted to public service.
Two opportunities to view the Texas A&M University System chancellor revealed a man who seems to always be relaxed and at ease talking to anyone.  
My first introduction to Sharp came in Lockhart in 1982.
An energetic state representative, Sharp was running for the Texas Senate and, of course, did so successfully.
That intro made me a Sharp fan and I have remained an admirer

 

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Wed
03
Sep

Aluminum walking cane is high school football ‘trophy’

“You’ve got to be a football hero to get along with the beautiful girls…” Song written in 1933
For someone who started out (at age 14) wanting to be a sterling high school football player at 135 pounds (growing to a “hefty” 150 by age 17), I didn’t want to hear about the potential for crippling injuries.
Maybe I should’ve listened to my mother and the other detractors about the dangers on the gridiron.
Peer pressure being what it has always been — do the popular, accepted thing — has led many of us

 

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Wed
27
Aug

Country and Western actually ‘divorced’ years ago

Occasionally, you still hear someone say Country & Western in reference to a music type.
And, in a broad sense, that’s probably true.
Well past the 1960s and 1970s, it was common to hear C&W applied to a genre that was mostly performed with stringed instruments.
Realistically, the split and attempts at distinction began sometime in the 1950s.
Rock-n-Roll had a lot to do with that. There were some segments of C&W that sought to meld part of the R&R sound into country.
Pure Western music aficionados balked at that, opting for the true

 

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Wed
20
Aug

Kiln heat, aluminum cuts and gasoline fumes

“Honest sweat and skinned knuckles never hurt anyone.” “Boy, don’t ever let me hear of you backing up to get a paycheck.” — quotes from L. Ray Webb, circa 1940s-50s
Dad was right. A lot.
Much more than he ever got credit for from me.
On occasion in more than 55 years of writing this sort of missive, I have quoted my dad, L. Ray “Son” Webb.
As a matter of fact, the second quote, about a paycheck, has led this column before.
Physically hard, tough work is good medicine. It will make you

 

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Wed
13
Aug

Canadian canoe trip taught 14-year-old not to gripe

There are obviously lots of ways to teach youngsters not to whine and gripe but kids usually “take care” of gripey teens or at least that was my experience.
Some re-application may be required for septuagenarians like me.
There’ve been many blessings in my life. Being chosen as one of 26 Boy Scouts and two adult leaders to make a wilderness canoe trip in Canada was a real treat…of sorts.
Most guys on the trip were older and bigger. I was 14 and weighed maybe

 

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Wed
06
Aug

James Garner embarrassed me in a public setting

One of my favorite actor-entertainers of all time, James Garner, died recently but I had already forgiven him for embarrassing me in a public setting.
Alright, you guessed it, there’s a story behind this and it goes back more than a half century.
Garner first came to my attention, as he did just about everyone’s, as the sometime hero, occasional heel in Maverick, a tongue-in-cheek

 

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Wed
30
Jul

Drive-in movie theaters disappearing from landscape

Every time I see a news story about movie theaters in a newspaper, it resurrects memories. Small town theaters in particular evoke tales of yesteryear.
For a period of time, the theater business was a sideline and a source of income in those younger years when I tried to blend love, marriage, a career and a desperate need for enough money to support the mix.
While newspapering has always been a seven-day-a-week

 

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Wed
23
Jul

Three math whizzes are enough for one family

Three out of four isn’t bad, huh?
As written here before, I’m the eldest of four sons in the Webb family.
Our parents came up during the Great Depression and, want to or not, they didn’t have easy opportunities to further their education.
Both were humble people, shy to a fault, in their demeanor around people.
Neither had it in them to

 

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