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James R. Stout

Blog posts April 2019

Dirt Claude and The 7th Sounds

              The end of my 7th grade year couldn’t come quick enough for me. It had been a horrid year. It still is my least favorite year of my 12 years in grade school. In fact, no other year comes close. There may have been small parts of other years that were bad, but those didn’t …

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You Say It's Your Birthday?

            There are some of my birthdays that I simply have no recollection of at all. Examples would be my 11th, 14th, 26th, 34th, and most of my 40’s and 50’s. I remember what was going in my life during the general time of those, but no specific memories are there. On the other hand,…

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The Trail of Life

           As a historian I have had a great interest in certain periods of time in history. One of those is the American pioneer days. I love to find journals and diaries of people who were part of that time period. I also love to explore the published accounts of that day from that day. Here of la…

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The Click-Click-Click Side

            I was a month shy of turning 18 the first time that I rode a rollercoaster. That probably sounds like I was a late bloomer or something. I had been to the original Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas in the summer of 1968, but did not ride a rollercoaster on that visit. It was incre…

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Barney Fife and The Watusi

            There’s a highway overpass that crosses over some railroad tracks not too far from where I live. When I was growing-up it was the other way around. The train tracks were on a bridge over the highway, but sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s the railroad bridge was torn down and the hi…

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The Old Cottonwood

            In 1950 my grandfather purchased the last part of his farm. He paid $22 an acre for the adjoining 100 acres to the rest of his farm. I sure wish I could buy land like this for $22 acre today! When he purchased the land about 30 acres of it was already cleared by the previous owner. Grand…

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The Valley of Indecision

              In late 1980, John Lennon along with Yoko Ono, released their “Double Fantasy” album. There is a Lennon song on that album that I very much liked called “I’m Losing You”. I always thought it was musically in the same vein as his 1971 recording, “How Do You Sleep?” There’s just a feel t…

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Evil Meets Jerry, Karl, and Jimmy

            It was the first week of summer vacation 1971. I was 15-years-old and I was looking forward to a great summer. My oldest sister invited me to come and stay with her and her husband in Huntsville, Texas that week. I knew that starting the second week of June I would be taking driver’s edu…

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A Different World

            It was in the spring of 1946. My Dad was footloose and had three weeks to kill before his new job began. He was only 23-years-old, yet he had already seen service in the U.S. Marines during WW2, and it was a time when boys were men by that age. A friend of his was going out to live with …

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Artifacts and Ownership

            One thing that most people don’t ever really grasp is the fact that while we may “own” something, the reality is our ownership is temporary. Some things are temporary by nature and only exist for a short period of time. I wore a very wide leather watchband that was much in style at the t…

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The Last Ride of the Thomas, Pounders, and Stout Gang

            It was early 1966 and as John T. Booker said in “The Shootist” it was a period of false spring. Warmer than usual temperatures had given the leaves a jumpstart and most of the trees were already budding out. It also meant that baseball could be played. So, one Saturday afternoon my mothe…

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The Time The Flash and I Rode Out the Storm Together

            Recently I went to a “fair on the square” in a small town in East Texas. There were many booths with vendors selling their many wares. Arts and crafts of all kinds, homemade jewelry, photography and frames, tools all of all kinds, cookware, knick-knacks, antiques of all sizes, and then t…

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White Dog Road

            In the mid-80’s I started writing a book. I got as far as a first draft, but you have to understand a couple of things to know why the book never got completed. First, it was during a time when I was going through a significant rough financial stretch. So, I had to work up to 12-hour day…

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Annie's Song and Imagery

            In the fall of 1974 John Denver released what some people believe to be his best song. To tell the truth, up until the album that it was on came out, I could take or leave John Denver’s music. I liked some of it and some of it wasn’t that interesting to me. But with the release of his al…

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