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James R. Stout

Blog posts : "General"

For What It's Worth

            Back in the spring of 1967 there was a hit record by a group called “Buffalo Springfield”. The song was entitled, “For What It’s Worth”. It has some great guitar playing, thought-provoking lyrics, and a very catchy line that goes “Hey, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s g…

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Information Overload

            Six years before I was born something new came to Houston, Texas. That something was a television station. There weren’t many stations operating in America at the time, but that would change swiftly over the next few years. By the time I can remember, let’s say about 1958 or 1959, televi…

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What's That Down In The Creek?

            There’s a bridge on one of the main county roads that I use in order to get to the highway that takes me to the four different towns that I must go to on a regular basis. The county road is made of dirt and rock while the current bridge over the large creek is made of wood, iron, and con…

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A Father's Love

            On February 2, 1956 my father was in a bad car accident. He was crippled for life due to the injuries that he received. To tell the truth, his crippling was probably as much due to the treatment he received as it was the injury itself. Let’s just say that if you think veterans get inferi…

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Plans and Reasons

            It was the morning of December 16, 1972. I was 17 at the time and like the song says, “It was a very good year”. I awoke early that morning, took a shower, fretted over the perfect outfit to wear much much the same as a male bird will groom himself to attract a mate, and I even used a ne…

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Dad Climbs a Mountain

            In June of 2001 Tropical Storm Allison left our house with a foot of water throughout. We had been planning a vacation out to West Texas for the last week of June and the vacation quickly became doubtful. The night that our house flooded was a Friday night and it was very frustrating to …

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The Red Eyes Have It

            There may be no dumber animal than a young and newly married husband. I should know. I once was one before I transcended that existence and eventually became what I am today - An old unmarried, but infinitely smarter man. But let’s you and I go back a few years. 41 years or so…

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The American Spirit

            When I was between the ages of about 8 and 11-years-old one of the highlights of the year was when I would spend a week during the summer at my grandparent’s farm. There were even a couple of years that I spent more than a week. I was finally at an age that I could be of some use to my g…

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            Between the evening hours of September 8, 1900 and the morning hours of September 9, 1900 what came to be known as the “Great Galveston Hurricane” made landfall. There was no radar warning available given radar had not been invented yet. It wasn’t reported on the radio or on television f…

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Magnets In Their Mouths

            I was recently speaking with a good friend about how things were when we were growing up. We talked about the candies we had then, the toys, television advertisements, cars, and a myriad of different things as they were during the late 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. One of the things that came up…

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Bo-Bo's Mom: Keeper of the Flame

            It was late 1964 and we had been living in our house for just over a year. We had become acquainted with the neighbors and the neighborhood cliques. On our street there were two families that were related. The fathers of each family were brothers. One of the fathers was an ambitious man,…

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Hurricane Hayley and The Rice War

            My daughter recently posted a picture on Facebook of my 10-month-old granddaughter covered in that evening’s dinner. She appeared to have shampooed her hair in avocados and I couldn’t quite make out the other smeared food on her face, neck, chest, and stomach. By the smile on her face it…

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Kids Stuff

            It’s interesting how you can suddenly recall silly insignificant things from your past. This happened to me earlier today. In 1971 a new toy came on the scene. It turned out to be fairly short-lived. But for a couple of months you just couldn’t avoid the things. It was near the end of my…

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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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