Tejas Festival will bring tons of talent to town
February 25, 2010
The Tejas Art and Book Festival committee started meeting a month after last year’s book
festival to plan and execute the entertainment lined up for the festivities next week.
It all began with a list of over 50 names that were compiled and debated on by
representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, City of Rockdale, RISD, Milam County
Historical Society, Downtown Association, Rockdale Historical Society, Lucy Hill
Patterson Memorial Library, Friends of the Library, Thursday Reading Club and the Kay
These hardworking women and men compiled an impressive lineup of people for the Fourth
Annual Tejas Art and Book Festival in downtown Rockdale Friday and Saturday, March 5 and
6. From the former Agricultural Commissioner and now populist commentator Jim Hightower
to the award winning African American illustrator/author Don Tate.
What’s more is that many of these personalities will be visiting RISD campuses to talk
and inspire our children.
And after 55 authors/writers/lecturers/historians/commentators were contacted the list
was whittled down to the 20-plus personalities that Rockdalians will see next week. The
list mentioned above doesn’t even count the artists who will be in town or the car show
This year’s festival is a virtual who’s who of history, literature, art, politics and
Some people may remember Hightower from his days on the campaign trail and his stint as
Lt. Governor of Texas, but others may know him as the Populist radio host from Austin.
He’ll be at the depot next Saturday commentating and hawking his book, “Swim Against the
Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow.”
Barnes & Noble and Texas A&M Press will be in the library selling books like Paul C.
Rogers’ paperback about baseball. In it Rogers captured many old ballplayers stories for
posterity in his book “The Whiz Kids and the 1950s Pennant.”
Mimi Wolverton, who writes about leadership in her books, “Women at the Top” and
“Answering the Call” will have her books for sale as well.
Diana Lopez, who has become a regular at the book festival, will be reading from her new
young adult novel “Confetti Girl” and talking to RISD junior high schoolers about
Lila Guzman is scheduled to talk to the intermediate school about her book series,
“Lorenzo and the Pirate,” which focuses on the Spanish contribution to America’s quest
for freedom during the American Revolution through the eyes of a 15-year old boy.
Historian, Stephen L. Moore, will regale pre-teens with stories of Texas history from
his books “Savage Nation” and “Eighteen Minutes,” while Susanne Starling will stage a
reenactment of the pioneer surveying party to highlight her book “Land is Cry! A
biography of Warren A. Ferris.”
Children’s book illustrator, Tate from Austin will be in town on Friday talking to
elementary and intermediate school children about drawing, illustration and books.
Then there are those authors, who are practically local, Garna Christian, who wrote the
first book by local son George Sessions Perry, and our very own Kathy Whitehead, with a
new children’s book “Art from Her Heart” will be in town as well.
Milam County Historical Commission members and history buffs alike can enjoy the words
of Jeff Williams, who will be talking about the history of the old Trail across Texas,
the archaeology of the Trail, and the modern satellite mapping that he’s been doing for
the past several years. Historical presentations
from the likes of E. Joe Deering, Jim Sayles, Dan K. Utley and Charlotte Brummett will
round out the day at the library.
For Christian book lovers John Claeys will read from his book “Apocalypse 2012: The
ticking of the End Time Clock: What Does the Bible Say?” in the library and the master
gardener in my house won’t miss Judy Barrett who publishes a bimonthly magazine
Homegrown and has published several books on gardening and
Then there are numerous local and regional artists and craftspeople who will be
displaying and selling their wares under the black top, or, uh, I should say, white top
at Wolf Park: DK Nichols, Bernice Coleman, Sharla Wilson, and Kennedy Cooke-Garza.
Jewelry makers in town will be: Denise Wallace/Jan Shafer, Gail Kincaid, Meredith Ott
and Diana/Denise Steinhagen. Painters and crafts people Roger Felps,L. Jeaniece Vater,
Mike Grafa, Sherry McCartney, Jami Bevans and Rita Kirkman will show off their talents.
Across the street at the depot, food fun and historical displays abound. Then there is
the much talked about car show that brings in people from all over Texas and beyond.
I didn’t even mention everything that the schools have planned like art shows,
historical skits, essays contests, choir performances and food booths.
You can read all about it next week in the Tejas Festival special section.
Just nine more days to go but I’ve already “caught the spirit.”
christinegranados @ gmail . com
I am writing to ask if you have any information about the Lucas Cotton Gin that was
located in Rockdale, perhaps back in the 40s, 50s, and maybe the 60s.
Family members have talked about it for years but all I have is stories, and not many of
them. I'm trying to track down any facts about it that might be available.
mkselucas @ hotmail. com
Historical Society plans men’s clothing exhibit
The Rockdale Historical Society wants to get some clothes off Rockdale men.
Let’s put it another way. The society is planning a Historical Men’s Clothing Exhibit
for this summer at the I&GN Historical Depot and needs to borrow some clothing.
“We’re interested in clothing before about 1950,” Mary Phillips, society volunteer,
“We’re also interested in displaying sporting goods, tools, items like that,” she said.
The depot currently houses a display of women’s historical clothing.
“We plan to take donations of loaned clothing the month of April, then have the exhibit
from May through July,” Phillips said.
More information can be obtained from Phillips at 446-7118 or Joyce Dalley, 446-5717.
Rockdale Reporter, March 25, 2010
San Gabriel missions expert dies at 95
The woman who solved the mystery of where French explorer LaSalle built his fort, and
Thursday in Dallas at 95.
Dr. Kathleen Gilmore had visited the Milam mission sites northwest of Rockdale many
times, conducting the only major archeolgial dig in the area in 1967.
She last visited the sites in March, 2009, during an effort by the Texas Historical
Commission to pinpoint the location of an 18th Cenury Spanish fort.
Dr. Gilmore died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Family members said
she was working on the title page of her never-completed book on a Spanish army captain
in the hospital’s emergency room.
Funeral services were held Tuesday in Dallas.
Dr. Gilmore grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, married an oil company consulting firm executive
and moved to Dallas. Her first career was geology, with archeology as a side interest.
It was to become a passion. At age 58 she earned a doctorate in anthropology and
embarked on a second career.
The 1967 Milam County dig firmly established the sites of three Spanish missions near
the San Gabriel River.
It was Dr. Gilmore who proved the long-sought LaSalle fort on the Texas Gulf Coast was
actually the same as the long-known site of a Spanish fort. The Spanish had simply built
on top of the French fort. An archeological dig confirmed her theory.
Her final book was to have been the story of a Spanish captain who lived at Presidio San
Rockdale Reporter - March 25, 2010
PIONEER - Retired Rockdale businessman Jim Currey has donated $100 to become one of the
first “Pioneer” members of the El Camino Real National Historic Trail Association.
Steven Gonzales, association executive director, welcomed Currey into the group.
Rockdale Reporter - March 25, 2010