IF SKIP HOLLANDSWORTH WAS GOING to write about Tio Kleberg’s “resignation,” the article should’ve been titled as such [“When We Were Kings,” August 1998]. The manner in which Tio’s leaving was handled was certainly questionable, but to imply that it is the end of the ranch’s heritage is, well, an insult. It is an insult to Tio, with regard to what he built and what he will continue to bring to the ranch. And it’s an insult to our entire family, who has held the incredible assets of the King Ranch together for more than 150 years.
The article’s complete “ignore”-ance, or naïveté, of the business challenges, tax issues, inheritance considerations, and most important, the intricate politics facing family-owned businesses was glaring.
The legend lives, trust me. It lives in the hearts of the one-hundred-plus family members, who year in and year out debate their differences but still vote as its number one priority to keep the ranch together. It lives in the heart of every Kineño descendant. To say that it doesn’t, well, heck, my friend, them’s fightin’ words.
Mike M. Reynolds
IT APPEARS THAT THE SPECTER OF corporate downsizing has reached even into Texas mythology. One irony is that Tio Kleberg’s passion for and devotion to the ranch did not save him any more than it saved the Kineños who were laid off a few years ago despite Captain King’s original, paternal compact that the vaqueros and their descendants would have a job with the family for life. In that respect, Tio Kleberg was the last Kineño; not an unworthy title.,br />
MANY OF US WHO LIVE IN Kingsville have a relation to el Rancho either by birth, marriage, or association. We have accepted the impact and enhancement the King Ranch has had on our lives and our culture. The entire philosophy of the ranch and the patrones was based on commitment to the families on the ranch, loyalty, integrity, and a common understanding, both of culture and of language—all of the true Kineño patrones were ßuent in the language and ways of their Mexican and Mexican American families.
Do you want to know why Jack Hunt does not look people straight in the eye like we do here in Texas and at el Rancho? He has made the same mistakes many people have made today: They have forgotten where they came from; they lack the school of hard knocks on a ranch that Tio had; they have a computer instead of a heart; they like the clinking noise of money like in Las Vegas.
Raul G. Garza
IT IS HEARTENING TO KNOW THAT the unßagging spirit of Garry Mauro continues unabated, as captured in Helen Thorpe’s fine article on the Democratic candidate for governor [“Less Is Mauro,” August 1998]. It has been many years since Mr. Mauro would drag himself into our dorm room at Texas A&M after a day of being ground into the turf on the football field. As a five-nine, 185-pound walk-on offensive guard, he was subjected to the most severe pounding imaginable, but he never failed to quote his most revered hero of those days, Gene Stallings: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Obviously that has become a tired cliché, but it seems Mr. Mauro still lives by that credo. He was the first real Texan this Yankee could ever call a friend.
Downers Grove, Illinois
“MORAL HICCUPS”? IS THAT what Helen Thorpe really thinks Texans believe of Mauro’s questionable judgment in hiring Ruben Johnson and his past use of state property to advance Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992? Do we just pass these things off? Isn’t that what’s wrong with politics today? We don’t even suffer the pretense that something might be wrong!
THAT WAS A NEAT TRICK YOU ALL did to the JA Ranch [“The Biggest Ranches,” August 1998]. I thought it was headquartered in Armstrong County. How did you get it moved out of the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon and into Gray County?
Willie Mae Ferguson
Editor’s note: Willie Mae Ferguson is correct, and we regret the error.
I WAS TOUCHED BY MICHAEL Geffner’s article about Coach Knoblauch [Sports: “The Coach’s Son,” August 1998]. I had the honor of playing ball at Bellaire between 1995 and 1997. Those were the best years of my life. I learned so much from Mr. Knoblauch. He was a role model for me and many others. I am saddened to hear that he has Alzheimer’s disease. I know what Chuck is going through because both of my parents have the disease. I wish the Knoblauchs well.
State of Grace
AS I WATCHED THE TERRIBLE EVENTS in Jasper unfold on television, from the first reports of the crime to the arrival of the publicity-seekers and the various “support” groups, I could only wonder what horrible fate awaited the town and its people [Behind the Lines: “Jewel of the Forest,” August 1998]. However, visions of riots and racial violence were soon replaced by pictures of the city’s leaders and residents, white