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HistNote888-Roswell Jazz

Jim Harris Roswell Jazz Festival: Great Live  Music Nearby             On Saturday, October 19, wife Mary and I drove two hours to Roswell for an event I had heard about for several years but never had experienced.             That Saturday was one day in the 14thAnnual Roswell Jazz Festival, a five-day celebration of a type of music I learned to appreciate when I was a high school student in Dallas.             I have heard quite a bit of live music this year, visiting…

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LastFrontier889—Lea Image

Jim Harris             Lea’s Image Isn’t Everything, but …             Back in the early 1990s, the Cannon camera company was running television ads with tennis star Andre Agassi hitting balls and saying, “Image is everything.”             It’s one of those annoying advertisements that just won’t leave the memory, no matter how hard you try to just forget it, although one of the reasons it stays with me is that about the same time the ads were running, wife Mary and I walked out…

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LastFront301—Rounders

Jim Harris Rounders, writers, and round-ballers             Over the last two weeks, I have found myself inadvertently reading and listening to rounders, writers, and roundballers who have a lot to say about the subject of history, which has occupied much of my thoughts over the last two decades.              On October 24, I was at the Governor's Mansion in Santa Fe to attend the 29thAnnual Rounders Awards presented by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.             Then the following Monday, I was in…

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Last Frontier300-Bozena on Fire

By Jim Harris Several years ago when I first met and spoke with Lea County artist Bozena Kaczan in Hobbs, I came away after only a few minutes thinking, “Here is a woman who is really animated and energized by ideas and objects of beauty.”             She is an artist who works in several media, from watercolors to pastels, and in the years since our first meeting, each time I have visited with her the initial impression of her ebullience and…

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LASTFRONTIER-GEOGRAPHY

JIM HARRIS What Geography Says About Our Coming Conflicts and Fate             Because I have become intoxicated with land and water, the smell, look, and sounds of the natural world, I have developed a hunger for the subject of geography.  I love to look at geographic maps to see what they might tell me about where in the world I am.             Five or six years ago, I bought two new books that I read quickly and casually, without much regard for making…

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HistNote862—Colombia

Jim Harris Seven Days in Colombia, A Beautiful Land With Beautiful People and A Rich History       All of my life has been filled with good luck, and just a couple of weeks ago I had the extremely good fortune to spend seven days in Colombia.       That’s the country of Colombia in South America.       My invigorating and enjoyable days in Colombia turned out to be one of the great journeys in a life of many trips and passings, even though my…

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HistNote871-IndianWarriors

Jim Harris Indian Military & Their Leaders             The movies I watched as a kid and enjoyed the most were “cowboy and Indian” films, and hearing or reading the names of the actors who played the cowboy protagonists or the names of the characters they played makes me have visual reveries of some of the great moments of entertainment in my life.             They were Wild Bill Elliot, Bob Livingston, Bob Steele, Tex Ritter, Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Buster Crabbe, Smiley…

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History Notebook 884

By Jim Harris Pioneer Roll Call:  Families of Early Lovington             In his Lovington centennial book, “Lovington: Survivor on the High Plains,” Lea County historian Gil Hinshaw gave an enjoyable and informative present to residents with a listing of 43 pioneer men and women involved in the development of the town.             In the last 24 pages of the book, in what he called a Biographical Supplement,” Hinshaw wrote several sentences about each of the individuals he thought of as being the…

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Last Frontier 296

By Jim Harris In the House of Being: Heidegger, Willie Nelson, and Time             I first read the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in an introduction to philosophy course at Stephen F. Austin State University in the early 1960s.  A young reader who was energized by the novels of Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, Heidegger’s books and essays seemed long and boring to me.             I first became aware of the country songs of Willie Nelson in the same decade.  A listener who believed the…

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In History of Lea, Words and Language Remain Keys to Personal and County Stories

History Notebook by Jim Harris. Originally published in the Lovington Daily Leader, Lovington, New Mexico on August 27, 2013 Listening to Texas country music icon Billy Joe Shaver talk and sing about his life made me go back and examine several Lea County historical narratives that have found their way into print and that have passed along the county story over the last century. Here’s what I found: Despite the proliferation of popular alternate histories, such as film, video, still…

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The Lipan Apaches: Southern Plains Indians in Eastern New Mexico And Texas

History Notebook by Jim Harris. Originally published in the Lovington Daily Leader, Lovington, New Mexico on September 10, 2013 In Bandera County Texas in 1866 a fourteen-year-old orphan named Frank Buckalew was captured by a band of Apache Indians raiding settlements in the rugged Hill Country south of Austin and west of San Antonio. As he was being taken northwest out of the Hill Country and into the plains of West Texas, young Frank must have wondered what was coming…

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Indians of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico

History Notebook by Jim Harris. Originally published in the Lovington Daily Leader, Lovington, New Mexico on September 17 My writing of last week’s History Notebook on the Lipan Apache Indians brought me to much more reading about the Native Americans of the American Southwest. From Sherry Robinson’s book “I Fought a Good Fight: A History of the Lipan Apaches,” I found myself looking at any book on Indians I have in my possession in the Lea County Museum and in…

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Insightful New Book of Lea and More “Max Evans Animal Stories: A Lifetime Collection”

History Notebook by Jim Harris. Originally published in the Lovington Daily Leader, Lovington, New Mexico on September 24, 2013 Last week I took a digital sabbath, retreating into a restful world I need more and more these days, a world far from smart phones, emails, the internet, conference calls, and satellite communications. The escape was into the world of the book, that document I need to have on my shelves, beside my bed, and in my hands to touch and…

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Lea County Loses A Historian Lea County History

The Last Frontier Series by Jim Harris. Originally published in the Hobbs News Sun, Hobbs, New Mexico on Sept. 8, 2013 With the recent death of Max Clampitt, Lea County lost not only a public servant dedicated to his community, but also a man who felt compelled to chronicle the history of the place that had been his home for most of his life. Over the last few years, and over cups of steaming black coffee, Max and I spent…

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Geography and History: Turning Points and Critical Junctures in Lea History

The Last Frontier Series by Jim Harris. Originally published in the Hobbs News Sun, Hobbs, New Mexico on Sept. 15, 2013 Southeast New Mexico, Territory, Summer, 1882. On a cloudy afternoon with rain threatening, George Causey trailed at the back of his herd of fifty cattle and over 100 mustangs when he and the few remaining members of his hunting crew drove his halfwild beeves and horses into New Mexico Territory. The buffalo were all gone. There’d be no more…

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New Mexico’s Lea and Colfax Counties: Historic Similarities and Striking Differences

The Last Frontier Series by Jim Harris. Originally published in the Hobbs News Sun, Hobbs, New Mexico on Sept. 22, 2013 Last week I drove through several small towns in Colfax County, New Mexico, located in the northeastern part of the state along the Colorado border. Colfax’s towns include Springer, Raton, Cimarron, Miami, and Maxwell. Roughly a five hour drive north of Lea, Colfax County has some of the most spectacular geographic sights in the state, filled as it is…

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Knowles: A Road and a Western Town in Transitional Times

The Last Frontier Series by Jim Harris. Originally published in the Hobbs News Sun, Hobbs, New Mexico on Sept. 30, 2013 Last weekend I took a 28-mile bicycle ride north out of Hobbs on Knowles Road to see if the recent growth in Hobbs had moved out that direction from the city. Knowles road September 2013 Knowles is one of the oldest of roads out of Hobbs because it was once the route to a prosperous little town, a town…

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