Win the Weekend: Texas Historical Markers Turn Fifty

The Texas Historical Commission's markers are now eligible for their own plaque, Ron Paul and Sheila Jackson Lee are the Hill's best talkers, and the TCU drug bust was a bit pitiful. 
Sat March 3, 2012 1:34 am
Texas Historical Commission

Need something to talk about? Here are a few stories that will make you sound like you’re in the know.

Historical markers of Texas now eligible for a historical marker
It's the 50th anniversary of the Texas Historical Commission's roadside markers , which means the markers themselves are now historic, according to Steve Campbell of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  

"Before the commission's roadside program started in 1962, Texas had just a few thousand historical markers, most of them in cemeteries," Bob Brinkman, coordinator of the program, told Campbell.

Now, as Campbell reports, there are 15,740 markers in the state: Travis County has the most, with 440, followed by Harris with 433, Tarrant with 379, Dallas with 365, and Galveston with 298. 

What makes the program special, according to Tarleton State history professor T. Lindsay Baker, is that locals lobby for the historical recognition and raise the required $1000 for a plaque. "In most states, bureaucrats do it," Baker said. 

Want to see the markers in your county? Download the  iPhone app !

TCU drug bust a bust?
The headline-making arrests of TCU students  (including four members of the Horned Frogs' football team), for dealing drugs resulted in the confiscation of 2.7 pounds of marijuana, 1.5 ounces of prescription pills and controlled substances, nine weapons, and $46,243,  wrote Mitch Mitchell of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who also reported that the estimated street value of the drugs seized was $29,000.

To put that in perspective, Willie Nelson was arrested at the Sierra Blanca customs checkpoint in in late 2010 with 6.24 ounces of marijuana. So 33 suspected drug dealers (23 have been arrested, with "10 more to come," says Mitchell) had just seven times more weed than the state's most famous pot smoker. 

The relatively meager quantities shocked blogger Barry Green, a Wise County lawyer and former prosecutor. 

Wrote Green:

There's more dope on the premises of a Dallas club on a slow night.

But I was even more shocked by one thing. The police decided to seize, in hopes of being forfeited to it for its own use, the vehicles of those arrested.  This includes 15 private vehicles worth $253,890!!!! At least that settled one thing for me: I finally found something that sounds like a serious crime that was committed during the investigation. And that was by law enforcement.

Police spokeman Sergeant Pedro Criado told the the Star-Telegram's Mitchell that "cash, vehicles, weapons and other seized property will be used by the Police Department in accordance with drug seizure laws or will be sold or destroyed."

Sheila Jackson Lee and Ron Paul talk good
Emily Wilkins of the Houston Chronicle 's Texas on the Potomac blog  reports on a new study of Congress based on SAT words that found two Texans were the most grandiloquent and eloquent of all the non-stop talkers in the House.

Analytics expert Dan Kozikowski "found that Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat who attended Yale University and the University of Virginia law school, used more words found on the SAT, the dreaded pre-college test, than any other lawmaker — 1,178. She also used those words more often — 5,027 times in all last year." 

Wilkins noted that one reason for that is Lee also gave the second-most-speeches on the House floor, behind Texas Republican Ted Poe. 

The study also found that Paul had the highest "word diversity" ranking, which you'd have to say is impressive, given how many times he says "Fed." 

Bitchin'
It's a big week for Texas-based television. On Thursday, Burleson native Kyle Killen, who created of the quickly-canceled television show  Lone Star,  returned to prime time with Awake, and on Sunday, G.C.B., the Texas-set TV show formerly known as "Good Christian Bitches" (and then "Good Christian Belles"), will make its bid to be the next Desperate Housewives, debuting in that show's usual Sunday 9 p.m. ABC time slot. 

"In the spirit of 'Housewives,' 'Dallas' and a dozen other prime-time ensemble soaps, the cast here seems to have a swell old time creating these women," the New York Daily News ' David Hinckley wrote in a largely positive review. But TEXAS MONTHLY writer-at-large Christopher Kelly was not impressed :

Cartoonish, shiny, and self-consciously overheated,  G.C.B. could theoretically become a hit among  Desperate Housewives fans who don’t mind sitting through a chicken-fried retread. But the show turns out to be a romp through a field of clichés, from the Neiman Marcus–shopping socialites to the closeted cowboys to the Bible-thumping, Botoxed hypocrites.   

And ICYMI on the TM Daily Post
RIP to Edna Milton , the last madam at the real "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," Uchiko's Paul Qui wins Top Chef , Texas A&M is still not ready for a female yell leader , and an unemployed steer wrestler and camel-trainer from Hico turns to rhinoceros horn smuggling

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