The Making of an American Legend

On June 18, 2015, in Books, Culture, History, Literature, Movies, Texas, by Derrick G. Jeter

“That’ll be the day!” is one of the most iconic lines John Wayne ever uttered on screen. It comes from John Ford’s classic western, The Searchers—the 1955 film based on Alan LeMay’s novel of the same title. Shot in Monument Valley, one of the most unlikely representations of Texas one could find, the film is stunning […]

“Empire of the Summer Moon”: A Book Review

On April 24, 2015, in America, Books, Heroes, History, Texas, by Derrick G. Jeter

When civilizations clash conflict and death often ensue. Such was the case with the collision between white settlers and the aborigines of the central plains of North America. The American Indian wars was the stuff of legend—George Custer, the 7th Calvary, Sitting Bull, and the Little Big Horn; George Crook, Tom Horn, and the Apache […]

“The Last Kind Words Saloon”: A Book Review

On May 25, 2014, in Books, Literature, Texas, by Derrick G. Jeter

Reading Larry McMurtry’s The Last Kind Words Saloon is a bit like looking at a Jackson Pollack painting. You’re fascinated by what you see, but you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking at. As one critic called McMurtry’s novel: “[It] is a dark postmodernist modernist comedy”—whatever that means. In interviews, McMurtry said the book is […]

“The Blood of Heroes”: A Book Review

On March 20, 2014, in Alamo, America, Books, Heroes, History, Texas, Texas Independence, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Legend and myth shroud the thirteen day standoff at Mission San Antonio de Valero, better known as the Alamo. For many popular historians and movie makers the famous line from John Ford’s 1962 movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, serves as a guiding light when it comes to the Alamo: “When the legend becomes […]

The Alamo and Her Defenders

On March 6, 2014, in Alamo, Freedom, Heroes, History, Liberty, Patriotism, Texas, Texas Independence, by Derrick G. Jeter

The predawn morning of March 6, 1836, was quite—strangely so. For twelve days some two hundred men, along with a smattering of women, children, and slaves, hold up in the Mission San Antonio de Valero had endured an almost ceaseless cannonade from some two thousand Mexican soldados surrounding the mission’s adobe walls. For twelve days […]

Remember the Alamo

On March 6, 2013, in Alamo, America, Courage, Freedom, Heroes, History, Liberty, Patriotism, Soldiers, Texas, Texas Independence, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

In the spring and summer of 1835, Congressman David Crockett (no one every called him Davy) was campaigning for reelection. He had served Tennessee in the House of Representatives for three years, but he had accomplished nothing major as a politician. His opponents put up an able and likable candidate, the peg-legged Adam Huntsman. During […]

Speeches that Made History: Barbara Jordan Celebrates Texas Independence

On March 2, 2011, in Courage, Freedom, Heroes, History, Patriotism, Texas, Texas Independence, by Derrick G. Jeter

Barbara Jordan, had a voice like the rubbling of the sea. It was gravelly, melodious, and soothing—always stout, but never shrill. With a bit of a Boston brogue—an accent she picked up from her rhetoric and debate teacher at college—mixed with her Texas twang, the voice produced within her wide diaphragm was deep and distinctive. […]