COFFEE BREAK VARIETY
CHAPTER 56 VARIETY
ISSUE TOTAL SIZE
First Day of Issue
October 25, 2002
NY NY 10199
In choosing the subject matter for Texas, the pressure was on. Since it’s my home state, I felt obligated to highlight the best of the best in Texas. As we say in the Lone Star State, that’s a mighty tall order! Because I had so many wonderful options before me, I kept setting this one aside until now. One evening, while watching Texas Country Reporter (a show that features little known, but very interesting bits of trivia or out of the way places in Texas), I instantly knew what I would highlight for my state. The mystique that has surrounded the men who wear the badge, and the respect that they have garnered, is a story that I would love to narrate:
It was 1821, when Stephen F. Austin, known as the “Father of Texas,” upon the death of his father, became the empresario, or developer of settlements in the Mexican province of Texas. He was authorized to recruit settlers from the U.S. and Europe who would be given land, if they agreed to become Mexican citizens of that province. Austin’s colony would serve to reinforce Mexico’s claim to Texas and act as a buffer between hostile Comanche Indians and Hispanic settlements in San Antonio and Laredo. By 1823, the raids had become a serious problem. So Austin was authorized to form a militia to ward off the Indian raids, capture criminals and patrol against intruders. A company of men were assembled to protect the Texas coast. Austin then requested an additional 10 men to supplement the existing company. He called for “ten men...to act as rangers for the common defense...The wages I will give said ten men is fifteen dollars a month payable in property.” These men had multicultural roots; Anglos, Hispanics, and American Indians, serving in ranks from private to captain. These two companies are regarded as the ancestors of the modern Texas Rangers. The term “Texas Rangers” would not officially appear in legislation until 1874
Read the article in its entirety in the April 2015
Bevil newsletter, which accompanies the cover.
Take a trip
There's a few items I have never spotted on the roads, or when I'm out and about. I'm not saying I keep my eyes peeled. I will though, know when I see them, even while I'm not looking for them. An authentic white, with blue stripes vintage Mustange Shelby is one. I've never seen one in person I don't think. I've also taken note I have never spotted in person a true Texas Ranger. I'm not sure how many Shelbys exist in Texas, though I do know there's about 100 Rangers here in the Lonestar State. And because it's such a big state, my chances are slim I'll be checking this one off my bucket list anytime soon.
I must have reference to produce an ink drawing. I can't just make something up. Sometimes, especially if the subject goes pretty far back, I'll have a difficult time locating a good, detailed photograph. That's when I'll search for statues of the subject. In this case, thankfully a Texas artist and historian named Russell Cushman created this statue of Frank Hamer, which stands tall outside Navasota City Hall. Thanks Russell.