The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

Gregorio Cortez and his brother Romaldo were working as ranch hands at the W.A. Thulmeyer ranch in Karnes County one day when they saw County Sheriff W.T. Morris and his deputies riding toward them. It was June 12, 1901, and life for Cortez would never be the same. Within five minutes Cortez, 25, became a martyr, folk hero and central figure in a corrido (Hispanic folk ballad), one famous to this day. The sheriff and his deputies, John Trimmell and Boone Choate, were at the ranch searching for a horse thief. Sheriff Morris questioned the Cortez brothers and Choate acted […]

William Barrett Travis and his Critics

by Julia Robb   Texas has a problem. The wimps of this world hate courage. And because so many intellectuals are wimps, they pour contempt on Texas, on Texas heroes and our history. Small people tear down big ones, especially when the bigger souls are dead and can’t fight back. Faced with the Mexican army, those same wimps would run. I’m going to tell you about our Texas heroes in coming weeks, but this blog is about William Barrett Travis, commander of the Alamo when it fell on March 6, 1836. Travis was born in South Carolina in 1809 and […]

How the Old West Bad Men Did or Did Not Get to Midland, Texas

by Julia Robb I’m standing in the Midland County (Texas) public library basement staring down at six plaster of paris death masks. Jesse James, Butch Cassidy, Bill Dalton, Robert Ford, Wild Bill Hickok and Clay Allison lay in a waist–high glass display case, with their eyes closed. Bill Dalton’s tongue is stuck between his lips, Bob Ford is wearing a half smile, as if he’s not really happy at the company he’s keeping but wants to be polite. Butch Cassidy is sneering with swollen, cruel lips and broad, flaring nostrils, and Jesse James looks fast asleep. In case you don’t […]