Arts History Update for late November 2012

19 Nov

Arts History Update for late November 2012 by David Cummins

You never listen” is not just the complaint of a problematic relationship, it has also become an epidemic in a world that is exchanging convenience for content, speed for meaning. The richness of life doesn’t reside in the loudness and the beat, but in the timbres and the variations that we can discern if we simply pay attention.

We hear and see a great deal, we let much of it go appearing to shuck it off but actually it invades our psyche and is deposited with us. Much of that is marketing or propaganda by the speaker or the manipulator of the image, and very little is taken in critically by our best thinking.

In my home a few years ago, I made a rational decision about Newsweek Magazine and Time Magazine, having been a subscriber for many years. I had noticed that over time I read less and less of each. Those are magazines that get much of their message across by images and are filled with sleek advertising. I had also noticed how few images still interested me. Had the magazines changed? Probably not, to any large degree. What I found that I was doing, was that I was critically assessing the content of what I was reading, discerning it as unhelpful or uninteresting and in some cases specious or mendacious. I am not the only resident in the household so those magazines still arrive but I do not even glance at Newsweek and read less in Time than I do in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal daily newspaper. There is pure joy in upgrading the content that infiltrates my mind.

Readers of this Update already know the kind of content to which I am paying attention, so that is not news, but you may not know how enervating and liberating it is to shuck off contemporary journalism’s crass commercial manipulation. I didn’t like the dumbing down qualities of repeated manipulation and concentration on the over-lacquered mundane in the guise of news.

Taking charge of what we allow to occupy our time and attention, in the din of contemporary life, is encouraged. When that accentuates our critical thinking, it’s an improvement in our lives.


Sometimes our cultural opportunities require travel. Be aware that Southwest Airlines acquisition of AirTran and gradual incorporation of routes expands our opportunities on a reliable service for customers-oriented airline. Service from Lubbock to Key West Florida began this month, added to five other Florida destinations. Southwest service to Branson Missouri begins March 9, 2013, and on April 14, 2013 service begins to Charlotte North Carolina, Flint Michigan, Portland Maine, Rochester New York, and San Juan Puerto Rico. These are all connecting flights for Southwest. The only non-stop routes from Lubbock are Las Vegas Nevada, Dallas, and Austin. Here’s an interactive route map

In addition you can patch flights to locations; e.g. non-stop from Lubbock to Las Vegas Nevada on Southwest and non-stop onward on AirTran to Los Cabos Mexico on the southern tip of Baja California.


Am planning a trip to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River where Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight first brought central and north Texas cattle to the west bank of the Pecos and then northward up that western bank past Fort Sumner New Mexico Territory and then on to Colorado, initially Granada then Pueblo and later Denver on what would be called the Goodnight-Loving Cattle Trail. Some books of interest are:

J. Evetts Haley, Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman (Houghton Mifflin 1936) (paperback reprint University of Oklahoma Press 1981) Texas Tech Library F596.G66

The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and J. Evetts Haley History Center is located at 1805 West Indiana Avenue, Midland Texas 79701 and see and

Sybil J. O’Rear, Charles Goodnight: Pioneer Cowman (Eakin Press 1990) 69 pages juvenile non-fiction Tech Library Southwest Collection G653 O66

William Thomas Hagan, Charles Goodnight: Father of the Texas Panhandle (Unversity of Oklahoma Press 2007) Tech Library F391.G66 H34

Ralph Compton, The Goodnight Trail (St. Martin’s Press 1992) historical novel and accurate depiction of a trail drive

Deborah Hedstrom-Page, From Ranch to Railhead with Charles Goodnight (illus. Sergo Martinez, B&H Publishing Group 2007) 89 pages juvenile history Texas Tech Southwest Collection 92 H456 F931

E. C. “Teddy Blue” Abbott & Helena Huntington Smith, We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher (Farrar & Rinehart 1939) at Tech Southwest Collection Library 45.3 A131 (University of Oklahoma Press reprint 1955) Tech Library F596.A22 chronicle of driving Texas cattle to new Montana ranches

Richmond P. Hobson, Grass Beyond the Mountains: Discovering the Last Great Cattle Frontier on the North American Continent (McClelland & Stewart 1972) opening ranches in northern British Columbia

Charles Goodnight 1836 – 1929 Oliver Loving 1812 – 1867.

Loving had driven a 1,000 head herd from north Texas to Denver in 1860 and was there jailed for being a Southerner and secessionist. Kit Carson interceded and Loving was allowed to ride back to Texas in 1861 where he fed beeves to the Confederacy until war’s end. In 1866 he teamed with Goodnight to head west below the main Comanche-controlled area, cross the Pecos River and head north for Denver. They herded 2,000 head into history opening the Goodnight-Loving Cattle Trail that was used for decades. It was on their second drive in 1867 that Loving and another man were out ahead of the herd and ran into Comanche. A wounded Loving was found and rescued by Goodnight, and a Fort Sumner New Mexico Territory surgeon cut off his arm to avoid gangrene poisoning but three weeks later Loving died. His last words were a request to Goodnight that the younger man take Loving’s body back to Texas for burial. Goodnight did that, and Larry McMurtry wrote it into Lonesome Dove and literary and film classics.

Lewis Nordyke, Cattle Empire, The Fabulous Story of the 3,000,000 Acre XIT (William Morrow & Co, 1949) Tech Library F391.N85

Leland Kent Turner, C.E.O. on the Range: Murdo Mackenzie and the Matador Ranch in an age of reform, 1891 – 1911 (Thesis 2004) Tech Library AC805.T3 no. 183

John Lincoln, Rich Grass and Sweet Water: Ranch Life with Koch Matador Cattle Company (Texas A&M University Press 1989) Tech Library SF196.U5 L56

Pauline Durrett Robertson & R. L. Robertson, Panhandle Pilgrimage: Illustrated Tales Tracing History in the Texas Panhandle (Staked Plains Press 1976) Southwest Collection Library TEX 36 P191 R651


Association of American University Presses just held national university press week November 12 – 16, 2012 and Texas Tech University Press celebrated by having a week long Open House in its new quarters, the ninth floor of the former Rawls College of Business Administriation Building now renamed and re-purposed as Media and Communication Building being the new home for the College of Media and Communication, formerly Mass Communications. TTU Press books are on sale for the event. A couple of books might be of interest in the western history area.

Jesse Wallace Williams, The Big Ranch Country: Tales and Trails of Twentieth Century Texas Ranches (Terry Brothers 1954 hardcover reissued in paperback TTU Press 1999) $15.16 on sale Tech Library F596.W58

Richard Lowitt, American Outback: The Oklahoma Panhandle in the Twentieth Century (TTU Press 2006) $17.56 on sale. the area was known for years as “no man’s land”, since New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas eschewed the strip of land 35 miles wide north to south and 165 miles long east to west, and Texas, a slave state since 1845, could not legally claim it, so prior to statehood for Oklahoma in 1907, it was not a part of any state and was not part of either Oklahoma Territory or Indian Territory, so it seemed to so many to be lawless and un-governed. It was called Cimarron Territory. Larry McMurtry wrote a novel about that, too Telegraph Days: A Novel (Simon & Schuster 2006) setting his female protagonist in the fictional town of Rita Blanca [Little White River] in “no man’s land”. Yes, today you can find the Rita Blanca National Grassland in Cimarron County Oklahoma and Dallam County Texas the area that you will have learned about when reading in Telegraph Days. If you’re motoring drive U.S. Highways 56 and 64 between Clayton New Mexico and Boise City Oklahoma through the Grassland.

From 1850 to 1890 it was known as Cimarron Territory and then attached to Oklahoma Territory. Here are some great pictures of the Panhandle including the landmark Black Mesa. The North Canadian River is named Beaver River as it runs easterly through the Panhandle. The Cimarron River enters the Panhandle from New Mexico and then flows into southern Kansas and back into the Panhandle before joining the Arkansas River near Tulsa.

Yes, you may recall Edna Ferber 1885 – 1968 writing a novel Cimarron (Grossett & Dunlap 1929) that was made into a film Cimarron (1931) that won an Academy Award Oscar for Best Picture. It was based on Oklahoma Panhandle development following the 1889 and 1893 Oklahoma Land Rushes. A film remake occurred in 1960 with substantial revisions. A television series Cimarron Strip (1967-1968 twenty-two episodes) depicted the tough job of a marshall in no man’s land in the 1880s.


The facts about the General David Petraeus affair are becoming known. He retired from the Army in 2011 and became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in September 2011. His affair with Lieutenant Colonel Paula Broadwell, Army Reserve officer who is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, began in November 2011 and ended in July 2012. She was acting as a civilian writer when she was interviewing General Petraeus and traveling to his duty sites as she was gathering material with her co-author Vernon Loeb to write the book All In: The Education of General David Petraeus (Penguin Press HC January 24, 2012) $19.17 hardcover $ 11.56 paperback $14.99 Kindle at Texas Tech Library E897.4.P48 B76

When the FBI contacted CIA Director Petraeus to advise him about the information the Bureau had learned and how it had learned it, the Bureau also advised other intelligence officers, and it was James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, who learned this information on November 6 and that same day contacted Petraeus and urged him to resign. Clapper is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General.

Isn’t it wonderful to learn that this matter is unrelated to politics, politicians, their cadre, national elections and media commentators exercising sophistry. They think everything is about them or concerns them or is or should be shaped by them, when most of life is just life.

Eventually we may learn that no security or intelligence of any kind was ever compromised, that Petraeus’s quick exit saved the office and agency from having to deny anything or cover up anything “to look better” momentarily. A half-year affair occurred and Mrs. Holly Petraeus and Mr. Scott Broadwell will deal with it privately in their own ways.


Dr. Edwin Barnhart will speak on the Texas Tech campus in the Student Union Building Allen Theatre on Thursday November 29 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available through Select A Seat Upcoming Events for $10 General Admission. He is a Mezoamerican archaeologist / anthropologist who spent time in Belize and Chiapas studying the Mayan culture and civilization. He is currently sought after as a speaker because the press advises us that a Mayan calendar predicts the end of the planet due to a catastrophic event in 2012. There is not much time left for that prediction, itself an interpretation, to come true. Here is the Internet page set up to entice us to arrive and listen to Dr. Barnhart Here is his own website titled Maya Exploration Project. He spoke at University of Texas in 2011 with the title The Mayan Calendar and the 2012 Craze, so that provides a clue as to his approach.

The Center for STEM Education at University of Texas at Austin operates a Chautauqua short courses program in which Dr. Barnhart will be teaching during 2013.


A Celebration of the Vaquero, the Mexican cowman, is now a Plaza in Fort Worth Texas at which the sculpture Vaquero de Fort Worth (2012) was dedicated Saturday November 17, 2012. The sculptors are David Newton and Tomas Bustos . It is now part of the Fort Worth Public Art inventory.


William Turnbull, sculptor, died November 16, 2012 at age 90. Here’s a 1949

piece At Chatsworth House, Derbyshire there will be an exhibition of Turnbull’s work from March 10 – June 30, 2013 and at Yorkshire Sculpture Park there is a current exhibit Turnbull was born in Dundee Scotland, flew airplanes for the Royal Air Force in World War II, but was an artist from his time as a young boy when he drew from magazine illustrations. His official website is


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: