A REALLY BIG ISSUE!
Airplanes, Temple's newspaper history, the latest special session and a ton of events. Plus, the Delta variant prompts BSW hospital to postpone elective procedures.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON, AUGUST 5, 2021
TEMPLE WAS AN AVIATION CENTER…ALMOST
Trains and planes … in that order
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Just over 140 years ago, a dispute between two coastal cities directly led to the creation of a new railroad company and a new city.
The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway was building a new line from Galveston all the way to Fort Worth and needed a place along the way to provide services for railroad workers and equipment, according to Craig Ordner, a railroad archivist with Temple’s Railroad & Heritage Museum.
The line likely would not have been built if it weren’t for a commercial rivalry between Galveston and Houston.
“In the late 1860s there was one line between Galveston and Houston,” Ordner said. “Galveston was the richest city in Texas and the port of entry for the entire state.”
Yellow fever epidemics were common in the 1800s and breakouts would occur every few years. An especially bad breakout occurred in Galveston in 1867.
“State law gave counties the right to quarantine people and goods traveling from infected areas,” Ordner said. “Houston used this tactic to bar Galvestonians and their freight from passing through.”
“Whenever it was rumored that the fever had reappeared, Houston merchants would promptly have a quarantine declared on all passenger and freight traffic from Galveston,” he said.
Houston’s actions further isolated the island city and prevented Galveston merchants from selling their goods around the state — giving Bayou City merchants a tremendous benefit.
“This treatment caused a great deal of resentment, especially during cotton season,” Ordner said.
Galveston business leaders decided to build their own railroad and bypass Houston to reach the lucrative markets of Fort Worth and beyond. During a meeting in 1873, town leaders invested in a new company called the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway — named for its point of origin and intended destinations, Ordner said.
Progress was slow, but eventually the line reached the heart of Texas, and the city was created June 29, 1881.
Temple is definitely a product of railroad companies, but it’s much more than a bunch of steel rails running through town.
The city and surrounding area also is strong in medicine, agriculture and manufacturing. And, it was almost a major aviation center.
Engineers and innovators such as the Williams brothers — George and E.K. — as well as George Carroll and Roy Sanderford, had Temple residents looking skyward as early as 1908.
The men started with simple, experimental aircraft, and by 1910 they were slicing through the sky in Temple-made aircraft built in Texas’ first airplane factory. The factory was located near the present-day intersection of H.K. Dodgen Loop and I-35 across from Cracker Barrel.
The area around the plant was known as Woodlawn Field, and it was a popular stop for aviators flying between Dallas and Fort Worth areas and San Antonio. Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh were among the many pilots to make stops at Woodlawn.
The business endeavor evolved into Texas Aero Corporation — a leader in airmail and freight. It closed as a result of the Great Depression and the death of George Williams in an August 1930 training crash.
OUR TOWN IS LATEST IN LINE OF ‘NEWSPAPERS’
HERE’S BREAKING FRONT-PAGE NEWS! In 1899, a place called the Mississippi Store sold packages of 8 oz duck for a nickel. Oddly enough, downtown Temple also had a Texas Store.
Colorful nameplates delivered Temple’s news over the years
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Getting local news has definitely become an easier task during the past month.
Gone are the days of going outside and searching through the bushes, or putting on shoes and driving to 7-Eleven for a Sunday paper.
Nope, today’s savvy Temple readers simply open their email on their phone, tablet or computer. With Our Town Temple, it’s that easy.
But, way back in the old days — like in June — things were different. Until now, newspapers were, well, paper. And over the years in Temple, there have been many.
Here’s a look at how Temple got to where it is today:
A lot of us grew up reading the Temple Daily Telegram and it has been around for 114 years, but most folks don’t know it was the last-paper-standing in a long line of local newspapers.
The first edition of the Telegram was published on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 1907, and it was preceded by a series of weeklies, semi-weeklies and dailies in the 1800s. But, most of these papers disappeared about as quickly as they were launched.
Temple-area residents turned to such colorful nameplates as The Haymaker, The Temple Bee and the Bell County Pulverizer as their source for local news.
Temple's first newspaper appeared in 1881, the same year the city was founded. The population was just over 500 when W.D. Cox brought “a shirttail full of type, a Washington hand press which could print two six-column pages at a time, a Monumental lever press and jack-knife for a paper cutter” to establish The Temple Times.
Owned, edited and published by Cox and J.S. Thompson, The Times was created in a two-room building behind a drug store. The three-reporter paper bragged that it contained “the news most beneficial to farmers.” The Times was published weekly and sold for a nickel.
The Temple Bee, sometimes referred to as Temple's most personal newspaper, was started in 1886. It became somewhat unpopular after printing statements such as: 'If a certain citizen seen coming out of a certain place the other night doesn't be more careful, we will publish names.'
The Times' toughest competitor in the tight Temple newspaper market was the Temple Herald, a paper that seemed to take the opposite stance from the Times on any subject. For example, during the prohibition fight of 1887 the Times opposed a statewide dry-law amendment. The Herald came out in favor of a dry state, starting a war of words between the two newspapers. The Herald ceased publication in 1889 and the Times was later absorbed by the Telegram.
There were many other nameplates that followed, but Cox, who had sold the Times in the late 1880s and moved to Bryan, returned in 1894 to start the Temple Tribune. The Tribune had a modern plant and an aggressive staff. It consolidated with the Temple Daily Telegram in 1910.
The Temple Mirror, which was formed in 1896, was Temple's longest-lived newspaper until it ceased publication in July 1923. The Telegram's last competitor in the city was the short-lived Temple Morning News, which debuted in June 1933. It lasted 14 months and was bought out by the Telegram.
ABBOTT: SPECIAL SESSION STARTS SATURDAY
Governor: 17 items are on agenda
By PATRICK SVITEK, The Texas Tribune
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the second special legislative session will begin at noon Saturday — and with an expanded agenda.
The 17-item agenda still includes well-known Abbott priorities like the election bill that caused House Democrats to flee the state at the start of the first special session, which ends Friday. But it also features six additions, including the spending of federal COVID-19 relief funds and potentially changing the legislative rules regarding quorums.
There is also a new item on public education during the pandemic, an increasingly salient issue as parents prepare to send their kids back to school with the virus on the rise again in Texas.
None of the proposals, however, can reach Abbott's desk unless the Democrats return from Washington, D.C., and they have not revealed their plan for after Friday. Abbott has vowed to call special session after special session until they come back and complete his agenda, which he reiterated in a statement Thursday.
"Passing these Special Session agenda items will chart a course towards a stronger and brighter future for the Lone Star State," Abbott said.
With Thursday's announcement, Abbott is following through on a statement he made toward the start of the quorum break saying he would make sure the second special began the day after the first one ends. For the second special session, lawmakers will have to start over on every item, including filings bills and holding committee hearings.
Democrats and Republicans remain at a stalemate over the elections bill, which would restrict local voting options and place new statewide rules on early voting and mail ballots. GOP leaders have suggested they are not in the mood to further tweak the bill, while House Democrats have abandoned hope for meaningful negotiations while using their time in the nation's capital to advocate for federal voting rights legislation.
The start of the second special session is approaching amid continued uncertainty over the fate of paychecks for over 2,100 legislative staffers. Abbott vetoed their pay after House Democrats staged a walkout over the elections bill in the regular session that ended in May, and the funding was set to start Sept. 1.
The reinstatement of that funding remains on the agenda for the second special session.
The new items on the call also include legislation to protect Texans from radioactive waste and to change the timeline for the 2022 primary elections. The latter item is likely a nod to the fact that the primaries will have to be pushed back due to delays in the redistricting process.
The item on changing the rules around quorums came after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called on Abbott to add something like it to the agenda for the second special session. The lieutenant governor wants to lower the threshold for each chamber to conduct business from two-thirds of members to a simple majority. That would require a state constitutional amendment and thus a two-thirds vote in each chamber.
As for education during the pandemic, Abbott is asking lawmakers to pass legislation that "in-person learning is available for any student whose parent wants it." He also wants legislation that ensures that masks and vaccinations are not mandatory in schools, which he has already ordered through executive action.
Lawmakers had long been preparing for a special session including the disbursement of the COVID-19 funds, though it was unclear if Abbott would add the item to the special session or another one later in the year when redistricting is expected to be addressed.
‘DELTA VARIANT IS MOST DANGEROUS WE’VE SEEN’
BSW postpones elective surgeries
Our Town Temple and The Texas Tribune
According to public health experts, getting more Texans vaccinated is the best and fastest way to end the COVID-19 pandemic, but more than 14 million people across the state have not had the shots.
Many of those unvaccinated are children who are ineligible to receive the shots — around 5 million Texans are under 12. But still, 83 percent of Texas’ residents — 24 million people — are eligible for the vaccine. That means 9 million are eligible but not vaccinated.
This places the state’s vaccination rate at 36th in the country and has helped drive a troubling wave in the pandemic. COVID hospitalizations in Texas quadrupled in July.
Deke Jones, a spokesperson for Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, said hospital officials are closely monitoring the number COVID cases and are adjusting policies and procedures accordingly.
“The Delta variant is the most dangerous strain we have seen yet and it’s leading to rapidly increasing rates of severe illness and hospitalization,” Jones said.
While most patients at the Temple hospital are receiving care not related to COVID, the hospital is postponing elective surgeries and procedures, Jones said.
“Our teams are contacting patients directly,” he said. “This is a change that may vary day-to-day to preserve hospital capacity and to protect the health and well-being of our patients and colleagues.”
Jones said many of the patients being treated for COVID in Temple are not vaccinated.
“Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are still the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones,” he said.
TAILGATING FUN WANTED FOR SPECIAL REPORT
It’s still summer and football isn’t far away. Share your best summer party and football tailgate recipes — barbecue, tacos, burgers, sides…it’s all good. Desserts and appetizers are yummy as well, and vegan dishes are welcome, too. Share please! Send your recipes, and a photo if possible, to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Our TAILGATING ISSUE is August 13, deadline is August 11.
What’s Happening, Temple? A lot.
August 6, Friday - First Friday in Downtown Temple. The first Friday every month, downtown is the place for late night shopping. 5 p.m.
August 6, Friday - Tony Siegl Live at J.Kowboy Wine Bar. 6 p.m.
August 6, Friday - Lilly Milford of Lilly & The Implements joins Bryon White of The Damn Quails for a special performance. O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
August 6, Friday - Family Night at Summer Fun Water Park, Belton, 7 p.m.
August 6, Friday - Branded Heart, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 8 p.m.
August 6, Friday - F-R-I-E-N-D-S Trivia Night at Fire Base Brewing Co. Who will walk away with the Gellar Cup? 7:30 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Dave Jorgenson, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 9 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Wine & Wrinkles. Botox & Filler party with Stacie and Natalie. Corky’s. 3 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Bell County Comic Con is a family friendly event for those interested in comics, pop culture, wrestling, gaming, movies and fantasy. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Dig It! Family Day. Will include a sand pit for unearthing treasures. Learn what it’s like to be an archeologist or a paleontologist and the difference between the two fields of science. Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. 10 a.m.
August 7, Saturday - American Bucking Bull, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 8, Sunday - Bell County Comic Con is a family friendly event for those interested in comics, pop culture, wrestling, gaming, movies and fantasy. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
August 9, Monday - Great Books Club at Temple Public Library. 6 p.m.
August 10, Tuesday - Czech Film Night at The Beltonian Theatre. Free! Second Tuesday of each month. 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
August 10, Tuesday - Family Night at Mexiko Cafe. Taco Tuesday and Loteria, a Mexican version of Bingo. 6 p.m.
August 13, Friday - SmokinMaxx Carter live at Fire Base Brewing Co. 6:30 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Love Connection Matchmaking at Corky’s. 7:30 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Broken Time & Midnight Tradesmen at O’Briens. Two hot Bell County Bands! 9 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 13, Friday - Hyway Traveler, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 8 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Cutting Horse Show, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 14, Saturday - Downtown Temple Farmer’s Market. 2 N. Main Street. 8 a.m.
August 14, Saturday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 14, Saturday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 14, Saturday - Name That Tune Bingo at Fire Base Brewing Co. Featuring mixtapes of the 1980s and 90s. 7:30 p.m.
August 14, Saturday - The Damn Moore Boys & Co. at O’Briens. 9 p.m.
August 14, Saturday - Broken Arrow at Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 9 p.m.
August 15, Sunday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 15, Sunday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 16, Monday - Short Story Reading Group at Temple Public Library. 6 p.m.
August 17, Tuesday - An evening with winemaker Tom Parmeson of Parmeson Wines. Four-course wine dinner at Pignetti’s. 6:45 p.m.
August 17, Tuesday - Taroks Card Party and Lessons at Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center. Learn and play the 1400’s European card game brought to Texas by Czechs in the 1800s.7 p.m.
September 11, Saturday - Pink Fishing’s Reeling in the Cure, 6th annual bass tournament. Proceeds benefit breast cancer patients and cancer research. Cedar Ridge Park. 6 a.m. Call (254) 681-0102 for details.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.
Our Town Classifieds
REMODELING KITCHEN AND MUST SELL KItchenAid Dishwasher. It is in great shape. $100. (254) 913-8309.
HAVING A GARAGE SALE? Let your friends know with an Our Town classified.
FOR SALE: 2006 Nissan Murano 118K miles, White in color, new tires, AC works great. Asking 6,000. Email @ email@example.com if interested.
LIFE SPAN TREADMILL DESK: Great condition. Desk and treadmill come as set. $500. Call/Text 254-654-0548 if interested. Can send pictures.
HEY, REAL ESTATE AGENTS — Here’s a perfect place for your newest listing!
LARGE DESK WITH CHAIR: Great condition. $250. Dark brown in color. Approx 55 inches long, 35.5 inches wide, 35 inches tall. Sides of desk act as bookshelves. Call/Text 254-654-0548 if interested. Can send pictures.
SELLING YOUR CAR? Post it right here!
BIG MEDICINE BALL — 40-pound soft-sided Rage Fitness medicine ball. Great for Atlas drills. Like new. $40. (254) 624-4010
MAKE GREAT SMOOTHIES — Vitamin. Great condition. Comes with two pitchers. Also great for salsas. $200. (254) 624-4010
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING? HAVE SOMETHING TO SELL? List it here!
PLYO BOX: Soft-sided, 20x24x30 plyometric box. Great condition. $40. (254) 624-4010
Subscribers get FREE classifieds up to 25 words. Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com
Our Town Deals
FREE COFFEE WITH PURCHASE OF ANY BREAKFAST ITEM — Easy As Pie, 1217 S 1st St A, Temple.
To list your business in Our Town Deals, call (254) 624-4010
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 86 Degrees; 0.58 feet high. Black bass are fair on plastic worms, football jigs and crankbaits. White Bass are good on the main lake points, flats and humps using swimbaits and slabs. Hybrid stripers are fair with live bait and swimbaits in the main lake along the channel edges where bait is present. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in brush piles and timber in water depths 14-25 feet. Catfish are good on chicken liver, live and cut bait.
Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 88 degrees; 0.75 feet high. Black bass are good on drop shots, shad like crankbaits and Carolina rigged plastic craws working vegetation, grass lines and hydrilla beds early in the day, then deeper water and timber with football jigs and drop shots. Smallmouth bass are fair with plastic grubs and small crankbaits near rocky shorelines, rock ledges and drop-offs. Crappie are good on minnows in brush piles and timber. White bass are good on slabs and live bait off main lake points, humps and drop-offs. Channel catfish are good with live bait and punch bait. Blue catfish are fair with fresh-cut bait and live bait.
This weekly fishing report was provided by Texas Parks & Wildlife
OMG! SOMEONE BROKE INTO THE OUR TOWN OFFICE AND STOLE THE BI-LINE OFF JENNIFER’S BANANA BREAD STORY. OK, THEY DIDN’T. I CONFESS — I’M A GOOF AND LEFT IT OFF. SORRY JEN! HERE IT IS AGAIN, IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
Here’s an Appeeling Story!
By JENNIFER WILSON, Our Town Temple exclusive
Do you know what the most searched bread recipe is?
According to the King Arthur Baking Company (they’ve been around since 1790, so I figured they’d know) it is banana bread. That really shouldn’t surprise anyone — let’s be honest, eating a slice of delicious banana bread is more akin to eating cake than anything else. But, hey, it’s made out of bananas and we do need our potassium!
Bananas aren’t native to most of North America, so they didn’t really become a staple here until the advent of refrigeration at the turn of the 20th century. Banana bread didn’t come into play until 30 years later, when two momentous events came together at just the right time — one would bankrupt the country and one would play a part in making us the fattest nation in the world.
Nowadays, most of us wouldn’t think twice about throwing out an overripe banana, but during the Great Depression? Not so much. Ironically, chemical leaveners (baking powder/baking soda) were mass produced during this time allowing prudent bakers to use “unusable” fruit as the main ingredient in a quick bread (because yeast is not used as the leavening agent, the dough needs no time to rise). Banana bread recipes became ubiquitous in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the best recipe came to light.
In the small town of Brownsville, Tenn., Anna Roberts Wallace, my grandmother, was reading the Memphis Press-Scimitar and happened upon a banana bread recipe that she thought worth saving. She was right. Even her daughter loved the bread, and Julia was not a huge fan of bananas.
With a personal tweak here and there, that recipe of banana bread is the only one my family has ever made. Oh, we’ve sampled other recipes—gifts from friends, colleagues, bakeries — but nothing else can compare. What can I say? My family has become banana bread snobs. We would not deign to acknowledge the presence of another recipe in our kitchens.
Yes, I may be a bread snob, but I am not unkind. I am excited to share this recipe with you, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Oh, when mom heard I was writing an article about our banana bread she baked a loaf for me, after all, we needed one for the picture. It’s a hard job…
My mom makes the best banana bread. That is not a statement of braggadocio or pride, merely of fact.