Weatherford Democrat

Columns

June 9, 2013

Now Hear This

A changing in Parker County

BY LARRY M. JONES

While I’m really not qualified to be referred to as “elderly,” I’m certainly no “spring chicken.”  In thinking back over the sixty plus years that I can actually recall from a teenager or adult perspective, it is startling to note the changes I’ve seen in both our nation and Parker County.

Down on the “pore farm,” my parents built the home that they would live in for their entire lives in 1938.  They didn’t do it the way young couples do today by taking on a large mortgage payment often for the rest of their lives.  Instead, they made a good crop that year and, despite a depressed economy due to the Great Depression, they actually made enough money to build it themselves for cash.  With the help of my Grandfather Thomas, a bricklayer for Acme Brick, my father, along with help from a few cousins and brothers, built the entire “mansion” for $400.  It had no electricity, no running water, no bathroom, and no mortgage.  It was a dream come true.

Although incredibly humble by today’s standards, the old home wasn’t particularly out of place during that era.  No one lived in shining mansions on the hill in those days.  Most everyone in this rural farming community had to scrape hard for every dime they had and homes were often old wooden frame houses or those like we had, houses built by the owner’s own hands.  We didn’t have splendid horse farms with stables and outbuildings fit for royalty.  Yet, these early farms actually produced agricultural goods that were marketed to provide food and fiber for America.  Today our farms primarily produce only huge piles of an equestrian by-product. 

The transition of rural Parker County from a collection of small farming communities with crop and livestock production being the basis for the economy to a bedroom community of the Metro-Mess has been a gradual process.  This transition has been a result of many factors.  First, this area has never been well suited for extensive agricultural production.  Eastern Parker County was an excellent region for the large ranches and livestock operations that flourished in the area; however, being closest to the large cities, they were first to feel the effects of urban encroachment.  It breaks my heart to see large tracts like the Walsh Ranch converted to rooftops and asphalt.  The lighter soils of the Brazos watershed on the west were more suited to subsistence farming rather than large scale agricultural operations.  

Text Only
Columns
  • The triumph of tarp

    One of our favorite political stories took place during Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964. A friend was standing outside a Goldwater rally when a woman burst from the room, tears streaming down her face.

    March 4, 2014

  • Yes, we want it; no, we don’t?

    Maybe our media will finally start filtering the noise. 

    March 4, 2014

  • The good news you likely haven't heard

    Do you like surprises? I have two surprises for you: At least 19 states already in 2014, nearly half, are posting budget surpluses. Yes, surpluses. The other surprise: Since Obama took office, the national deficit has been reduced by one-half. 

    February 11, 2014

  • The hand over the lens

    The top Super Bowl highlight was not Peyton Manning struggling or Renee Fleming singing or even that adorable puppy nuzzling a horse in the Budweiser commercial. It was Bill O’Reilly grilling Barack Obama.

    February 11, 2014

  • U.S. mayors forced to innovate

    I recently came across more proof that lawmakers blocking progress are weakening the institution of Congress: 

    Mayors from across the nation met in Washington, D.C., for three days last week to discuss a host of issues and possible solutions against a backdrop of congressional inaction. This came as President Obama stated his plans to use “a pen and a phone” to “make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need.” And further, voters are recognizing that the problem in Congress starts at the state level -- and many hope their legislatures will do something about it. 

    January 28, 2014

  • The Village Idiot — Class, but not least

    For Steve’s birthday, it was decided that no one could give him a gift that cost over a dollar. Not that we don’t like Steve, or that he isn’t worth more than a dollar, or that we’re extremely cheap (well, it could be that). It’s just that as grown-ups, who needs more stuff?

    November 29, 2013

  • Black Friday on Thanksgiving?

    Thanksgiving is a time set apart to thank God for all His blessings. It now appears that stores are trying to get a jump on Christmas shopping by beginning “Black Friday” on Thanksgiving Day! Our culture continues to push a secular agenda on all of us. Now the press of shopping is crowding out a time of personal reflection on the goodness of God.

    November 28, 2013

  • BYRON YORK: Obama, Dems kept mum about health plan

    The journalist Jonathan Cohn, an ardent supporter of Obamacare, recently wrote in The New Republic that problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act should be “an opportunity to have a serious conversation about the law’s trade-offs — the one that should have happened a while ago.”

    November 26, 2013

  • DONNA BRAZILE: A gift of practical idealism

    I was only 3 when President John F. Kennedy died, but I’ll never forget what happened that day as my grandmother and others cried. You see, we were Catholics living down in the then-segregated Deep South. Kennedy was our hope for a better tomorrow.

    November 26, 2013

  • The way we were

    I can hear in my mind’s ear Barbra Streisand’s beautifully haunting song “The Way We Were.” It was a nostalgic, wistful song in a movie of the same name. But sometimes, like now, it reminds me of how far we’ve come.

    November 19, 2013

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents