Patricia Sharpe’s article on her favorite dishes under $10 really brought home the truth in the cliché “Time changes everything” [“How to Eat Well in Hard Times,” April 2009]. When my wife and I were first married and attending Sul Ross State College, our weekly grocery budget was $8. I’m living proof that we survived.
Chuck Reed
Rawlins, Wyoming

Battle Cries

I was particularly interested in your coverage of the Second Battle of Adobe Walls [“Ghosts of War,” April 2009]. The town in which I have lived for fifty years—Friendswood—was founded in 1895 by one of the survivors of that battle, a Quaker by the name of Frank J. Brown.

Brown’s daughter, Edith, published a book of her father’s stories called The Promised Land. Several chapters describe the Adobe Walls fight as her father had told it to her. He mentions the ridgepole-breaking incident at James Hanrahan’s saloon, his hiding under the carcass of a newly shot buffalo to escape a hailstorm, a fistfight with Bat Masterson. Guess who won? It wasn’t Bat who told the tale in this book.

Some of us Friendswoodians of the historical persuasion have considered taking a drive to see the Adobe Walls site, where our founder spent some interesting time. Shooting buffalo and fighting Indians do not sound very “Quaker-like.” Perhaps that is the reason he heard a message from God, in the midst of such shenanigans, telling him to lay plans for a settlement for his Quaker friends and family who were back in Kansas. In following those orders, our town found its beginning.

Your article made me realize that we may have to do our homework in locating what sounds to be a “lightly” marked location. We can use your clues as a helpful guide.
Margaret McDonald

Please continue publishing articles like this one. The more that Tejano descendants learn of their lost history and the key role of their ancestors in building this great place we call Texas, the higher their self-esteem and pride will be. Likewise, the more that Anglo Texans and other non-Tejanos learn about pre-1836 Texas history, the more they’ll see that Texas history without Tejanos is like a story with no beginning.
José Antonio Lopez
Universal City

Tip of the Hat

A reader in the April 2009 issue asked if he should call his property a farm or a ranch [Reporter, The Texanist]. This is easy to settle: If he wears a John Deere cap, he should call the property a farm. If he prefers a Stetson, he can call it a ranch.
Bill Bridges

Don’t Rock the Vote

My party affiliation has become slightly blurred over the years, but when I read “Manic Suppression,” the Republican in me came out [Behind the Lines, April 2009].

When we transferred one of our daughters to public school many years ago, we had to have a certified copy of her birth certificate and proof that we lived in the school’s district, which for us was a copy of our utility bill.

We opened student checking accounts for our daughters. In order for them to write checks, we had to get picture IDs from the Texas Department of Public Safety. In order to get the picture IDs, we had to have a certified copy of their birth certificates, their Social Security cards, and proof of enrollment.

When my oldest daughter went to get her instructional permit for driving, we again had to have a certified copy of her birth certificate, her Social Security card, and a verification of enrollment from her high school.

If I sat here long enough, I could come up with half a dozen other times we have had to show additional proof of who we are. So what is the big deal about asking a person—a United States citizen—for another form of ID in order to cast his or her ballot in an election?

I don’t see this as a party-line issue. However, since y’all have decided to make it one, I am here to say, “Wha!” Your article is just another example of the Democrats’ feeling the need to cater to those who might be offended, turned off, or made to feel as if their rights are being violated because they need to show a little extra proof of who they are!
Holly H. Waligura

So because Texas had “just” 30 indictments and 22 prosecutions for voter fraud so far there is no reason for voter ID? What numbers would establish a need for voter ID? The 201 that Landslide Lyndon got? And who determines that number? You, Paul Burka? If the number is 1 or greater, then we have voter fraud and voter ID is needed.
Rex Freriks

It takes only one fraudulent vote to cancel my legitimate vote, and that’s one too many. We need voter ID—it’s just common sense.
Jessica Maisano

There are always rules to be followed when something is worthwhile. Even at McDonald’s there are rules to follow if you want to be served (no shoes, no shirt, no service). The least we can expect is that potential voters are able to be reasonably identified as voters.
Bob Guerin

Great editorial, Mr. Burka. But I suggest you take it a few steps forward. You should really impress upon people how committed you are to this idea by shredding your driver’s license and burning your passport and Social Security card. Anyone requesting proof of identification is obviously trying to infringe on your rights as an American, a Texan, and yes, a human being. That policeman who stops you for speeding should take you at your word on who you are and that you are a legal driver with up-to-date insurance. You also bring up a great point about poor minorities not having driver’s licenses to prove who they are. I mean, it’s not like they have to prove who they are to collect on any social program, right?

Please, Mr. Burka, there are millions of idiots out there who are blindly handing over ID whenever they are asked. Prove to them there is a better way! A way of life based on trust and not skepticism. Do we really want to live in a country in which people have to prove they are who they claim to be? A country where even dead people can’t cast their vote?
Colleen Owens
Richmond, Virginia

Leave it to Paul Burka and Texas Monthly to be against anything that might prevent an illegal alien from his God-given right to vote for a Democrat.
Russ Patterson