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The return of Reveille Retreat

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Weeklong songwriting retreat for veterans to host first in-person event since pandemic By BOBBY HORECKA , Managing Editor,  Lavacian: Lavaca County Farm & Home , Fall 2022 Published in Hallettsville, Texas, USA, Nov. 1, 2022 We lined up the vehicles getting ready for war just like we’d done 1,000 times before we talked about the mission and what could go wrong no matter what would happen we would stay Army strong…   Staff Sgt. Bobby Henline, in country in Afghanistan Bobby Henline has a knack for making people laugh, though you’d hardly expect it, just to look at him. Mainly because the retired Staff Sergeant always had such a serious look about him, even before the U.S. Army got ahold of him. It continues to be one of his most disarming features, a look he’s mastered as he makes his rounds on stages the world over. Not long before he left the Army, Henline was challenged by a friend to try his hand at comedy. He signed up for an open-mic night, and later, kept at his craft near w

O, say can you see: The not-so-well-known history behind our nation’s anthem

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Ask folks where our national anthem got its start, and most are quick to point at a man named Francis Scott Key, a lawyer by trade. Not just any ol’ lawyer, either. He became the federal prosecutor for Washington, D.C., a prestigious post, indeed. Came complete with a Presidential nomination and everything. That Andrew Jackson was a longtime friend mattered little because he’d earned his chops the old-fashioned way, case by case. He was good, too. Quite the grizzly in the courtroom, by all accounts. He built a reputation for not only accepting some of the toughest cases around but usually landing the most favorable outcomes for his clients. Still, no matter how impressive he might be at an argument, Key wouldn’t be most folks first choice as songwriter. Not for something as grand in scale as a nation’s anthem, anyway. Apart from legal briefs, he wasn’t a writer of any real merit. He might’ve dallied some with verse, but poet laureate he was not. Nor was he a composer of grand musical s

There’s a word for that — well, almost…

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Surfing the state and national headlines last weekend I happened upon a word I’d never seen before, applied to squirrels, of all things, all over Texas. Curious, I clicked the headline, which carried me to a story, written originally for the San Antonio Express News but republished in the Houston Chronicle, about how in this miserable oven setting otherwise known as “today’s temperature” – a weather anomaly that’s been with us for half of 2022 now – even the squirrels were employing an all-new method of beating the heat. They called it “splooting” and because I’ve never a big fan of squirrels (tree rats, mostly) and this sounded something like a child might tell Mom after she hears a loud boom from some back corner of the house (as in “I didn’t do nuthin: It just sploded, all by itself”), I eagerly clicked ahead to the image gallery. To my disappointment, none involved any rodents spontaneously combusting (though that would’ve been kinda cool, you gotta admit). Rather, it showed

6 words even dictionaries don't want anymore

Hearing about all the words that get added to a language has become almost commonplace in our world of social media, Wikipedia and mile upon mile of online apps and spellcheckers that make things like a big, fat, well-worn dictionary almost a thing of the past. Which is sad, really. I’ll probably be buried with mine (to make I sure something heavy keeps me from wandering off, no doubt). Because along with helping you know when to use role vs. roll and provide handy definitions, there’s truly no end to many uses a good dictionary comes in handy with. Like leveling a sofa, perhaps, one that’s missing one of those footie jobbers underneath, or chucking at varmints that always seem to wind up in places they shouldn’t. They’re make swell booster seats/step stools for toddlers. And I can’t think of a better tool to employ when waking that snoozing student who’s about to miss the best part of your lecture. What’s far less common then even dictionary users are the lists of words that nob

A fine time had by all...

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Had a great time visiting with the folks today and, tomorrow, it my bride's. O, Tannenbaum time. Ho-ho-here comes the Claus, man. Tis' the season and whatnot. Gotta love it!  That spirit was plenty alive a couple weeks back, too, when one of my Chambers of Commrce hosted an event dubbed the Hallettsville Wine Walk, where our local museum invited me and a few other writers to join them for a booksigning event that went well into the evening. Had a great time visiting with fellow authors from the town we all call home, and it inspired more that a few moments creative these last few days. Look forward to more opportunities like those in the coming year. Here are a few pictures from the event, all forwarded along to me last week.  Thanks so much to the folks at the Lavaca Historical Museum, as well as to Doug Kubicek and his bride for keeping me entertained with great conversation throughout the evening. I know I enjoyed it plenty. 

Dad says he was so much more than a memory...

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'HE WAS MY HERO' Abel Moreno left out early Sunday, Oct. 3, from his Billings, Mont., home so that he’d have plenty of time to cover the many long miles ahead. He needed to make Moulton by Tuesday afternoon, where Abel said he’d promised the local police chief he’d lead up the evenings special National Night Out parade with a showpiece car he’s spent the last few months working on in tribute to his son, Lavaca County Sheriff’s Deputy Dakota Moreno, who was killed in an off-duty traffic accident last year, just three days before Christmas. He was just 24. “I’d love to wake up one day and realize that all this was just some bad dream,” Abel told us Tuesday, hanging back from the crowd seemed to form wherever he parked that car. But some nightmares just stick with you, it seems, no matter how many times you wake. It seems like only moments ago, his dad said, that Dakota was right here, just as healthy, happy and full of life as anyone. “And It feels like about a million years have

Shiner Market Days keep getting bigger and better

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You won’t have to be the new kid in town, some outlaw man desperado or the girl from yesterday to notice that there’s a lot going on in Shiner this weekend, not least of which is  Shiner Downtown Market Days , now held every third Saturday each month. First off, for those who realized I just incorporated four song titles by the Eagles into that opening sentence, thank you, my man, because it’s nice to know such efforts truly aren’t wasted time. I send you all the best of my love. No doubt, too, you’re probably wondering why, exactly, I might do such a thing. (That's three more, for those keeping count.) Before we deal with that, however, I need to say a few words to—well, you know—that "other" crowd, those who have no notion of what I speak: Take it easy. It'll be OK. But move on along, if you don't mind. Nothing to see here, folks. It’s already gone. Takes a certain kind of fool, I guess. (Thrice more. YES!) And in answer to the big WHY , here goes: When the orga