Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 13, 2013     Hays Free Press
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February 13, 2013

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Page 2C NEIGHBORS Hays Free Press February 13, 2013 + PHOTO BY DAVID WHITE Kyle city employees were seen Monday afternoon witching for water lines, and marking the locations prior to constructing a new marquis at Old Kyie City Hall. The employees were using divining rods (a.k.a. water dowsing rods or witching rods). This method may seem a little archaic in these modern times, but the rods hit their mark right on. Ricky Cisneros (right) explains how the two copper rods they use can detect magnetic forces created by the flow of water beneath the earth. Joe Solansky of Capitol Monument Company also regularly uses dowsing rods for finding grave sites, and according to Solansky, "any time there is displace- ment of large amounts of dirt - a trench, ditch or grave - it creates a magnetic field that can last for cen- turies." He says he uses brass rods for best results. When asked about the effectiveness of old-fashioned methods, like using a y-shaped tree branch, he said he can't be certain. He's not scientist, he said, but that's how his dad used to do it. Montage Continued from pg. 1C furry family members. But, on any other day or night, it's not expected. If you or your kids are users, please take heart and only shoot on NewYear's Eve and Independence Day. And, pet owners, even a pet that has never been scared by fireworks can be spooked. The "never frightened by fireworks or thunder" dog of a friend was lost on NewYear's Eve, when he jumped from a balcony. 18 days later, through a Craigslist ad, Chance was located 2.5 miles away. Soon the priceless inexpen- sive card will be hidden away- until 2003. Looks like there's still room for about 25 more years on front of the envelope. Then, there's ahgays the back. Now, eleven mark-through's later, it has increased with ever- more-the-preciousness. Guys, lest you think of trying this alone at home, be advised: it takes a fewyears for the tradition to become valuable. By itself, last year's card will not pull your sweetie's heartstrings. Just as she did the several years, Amy Hilton reminds everyone, "This is the week to pick up one or more items to share with our local PAWS Shelter and Humane Society as we put a little love in our lives this Valentines. A collection box is available (until Feb. 17) in front of the old city hall." Just as always, I love to get tidbits for "Montage." Call (512) 268-5678 or ptom5678@ This is the week we'll cel- ebrate Valentine's Day. Down on my end of Live Oak Drive, a tattered and tornValentine will be taken from a secret hiding place and presented. Here's how I shared with you in 2002: On Saturday. for the 3P' time, RonTom gave me the same silly, "Hone~ How lucky can you get?You've got me!" card, with popping- open eyes on two love-struck cats. The plain brown enve- lope he moved itto in 1980 is tattered and worn, with Magic Marker'd years x'd out and faded. Now, it has gone missing. It'll pop up again next Valentine's Day. Yes, he gave me the tom and tattered and taped plain brown envelope containing the valentine he first gave to me in 1978. "To MyValenfine" written in blue marker is fading; the just-added "2002" is bright and crisp. All the previous years are marked through. The years have filled the bottom of the envelope and are now edging their way up the right hand side. It' Thyme FREE LECTURE WITH EXPERT FARMER KEVIN CALLAWAY SUNDAY, FEB 24 AT 2 P.M. "ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GROWING TOMATOES" LEARN ABOUT SOIL PREP, COMPOST, ORGANIC FERTILIZERS, AND BENEFICIAL BACTERIA. (~VIN WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER QOESTIONS AT THE NURSERY ON SAT., FEB 2"3 AND i 11726 Manchaca in, TX 7"8748 (O Rd.) 512-280-1192 Email + ,,r was Convinced he had been cheated out of a pot on Feb. 18, 1872, an angry poker player started shooting at the owner of Fort Griffin's first saloon. The military outpost was established five years earlier on a bluff high above the Clear Fork of the Brazos Riv- er northeast of present-day Abilene. To deter raids by the tribes in the Indian Territory, an all too common occur- rence during the Civil War, the fort was well-stocked with cavalry ready to ride at a moment's notice. The tum- ble-down vil- lage that slow- ly came to life on the plain down below borrowed the name of the frontier guardian, but most people called it "The Flat." For the next seven years, the small commu- nity was sur- prisingly free of the vice and violence that one day would earn it the reputation as "the tough- est town in Texas." Their Feb- ruary 1872 run-in was the second act of a feud involv- ing saloon- keeper Joe Bowers and a perpetually unhappy cus- tomer named I.B. Cockrell. In the rela- tively minor opening act, Bowers shot Cockrell's horse while he was in the saddle. The next episode escalated into a full-scale battle as the badly wounded Cockrell and his friends filled the saloon full of holes without hitting their target. By the time Cockrell re- covered, "The Flat" had two new watering holes. Since he no longer had to set foot on his nemesis' premises, that should have kept Cockrell out of trouble. But a few drinks too many on a May afternoon resulted in a third confrontation, and Bowers ended the unpleasantness with a shotgun. Before the murder vic- tim's body was cold, the commanding officer at Fort WEEK IN Griffin took severe measures to restore the peace. He put "The Flat" under military law and ordered all the booze peddlers, gamblers and prostitutes to clear out, which they did in record time. "The Flat" was a model, if somewhat dull, town "It looked for two years. Then in 1874 to me like a coupleof things hap- pened to set all the bad the stage for its overnight characters transforma- tion: first, the from buffalo hunt- ers moved their base of everywhere operations from Kansas to Fort Griffin were and, second, the army swarming relinquished control to around newly orga- nized Shackl- got eford County. there, It "It looked to me like all so tough I the bad char- acters from was afraid everywhere were swarm- ' ing around to ride there," apio- neer settler down the recalled many year~ later. "It got so tough I street." was afraid to ride down the -Pioneer Settler street." In the twinkling of an eye, "The Flat" became a magnet for the worst of the Old West along with those colorful individuals busy making household names for themselves. "The Flats" was, of course, where Wyatt Earp met Doc Holliday and "Big Nose" Kate, if Earp's less than reliable memory is to be believed. It also was where a lady gambler from the Deep South cemented her claim to the title "best card player in Texas." Born into a wealthy Kentucky family in 1844, Carlotta ]. Thompkins spent much of her youth traveling with her father, a racehorse breeder and inveterate gambler who taught his old- est daughter how to win at cards. After dad died early in the war with the North, her widowed mother sent the attractive teenager and chaperone Mary Poindexter, her seven-foot slave nanny, to Detroit to find a proper husband. Instead of shopping for a rich mate, Carlotta hooked up with a no-account jockey who had once ridden for her dead father. Infuriated by her bad taste in men, her mother cut the purse strings and legally disowned her. Carlotta managed just fine on her own. She sup- ported not only herself and Mary but the leech Golden, as well, with her steamboat winnings on the Ohio and Mississippi. The couple parted in 1863 with plans for a San Antonio reunion. Carlotta arrived in the Alamo City sometime in 1865 and took a job as a "house gambler" at the Uni- versity Club. When her boy- friend failed to show, she felt free to follow her heart and did so right into the arms of Frank Thurmond, son of her employers. Golden finally appeared insisting the "Angel of San Antonio," as Carlotta was known, was his lawfully wedded wife. His unwanted intrusion coincided with Thurmond's hasty departure after a fatal shooting. Warn- ing Golden not to follow, Carlotta skipped town too, on the trail of her true love. With Thurmond living in the shadows under an alias, Car- lotta worked her way across West Texas adding to her legend at each stop. When she reached Fort Griffin, everyone knew her as the unbeatable "Lottie Deno," and she soon proved it by cleaning out Doc Holliday in a head-to-head game. In May 1877, jilted Johnny Golden tracked her down. The same day he stepped off the stage, he was arrested by the sheriff and shot to death on the way to jail for alleg- edly trying to escape. Lottie Deno paid for the coffin and suit of clothes Golden was buried in but did not hang around for the funeral. She left Texas for good, married Frank Thur- mond, gave up gambling and lived her last 52 years in Deming, New Mexico, as a respected though mysterious pillar of the community. Bartee Haile welcomes your comments, questions and suggestions at PO. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549 or haile@pdq, net. Reserve your space no later than Friday, February 22nd