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Texas Hill Country Feature Stories


THE TEXAS CHEROKEE
by IRA KENNEDY
Texas Cherokee, TucheeWoven into the fabric of personal history is the image of the American Indian. When I was a child my grandmother revealed to me, in a secretive voice, that I was of Cherokee-Irish descent; that my great-grandmother, Sarah Jane Kelly, was a full-blood Texas Cherokee. The revelation filled me with excitement and wonder. Only many years later did I realize that the secretive, almost conspiratorial tone, was shaped by generations of fear, for in Sarah Jane’s day, Indians were an undesirable element in Texas.

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AMERICAN INDIAN PROPHECIES
A Brief History on the Future of America

by IRA KENNEDY
American Indian Prophecies
is not about the end of the world but, rather, a change of worlds--the beginning of a new Earth cycle.   The prophecies of Black Elk, Wovoka, Rolling Thunder, Lame Deer, Sun Bear, and the Hopi are used to examine the differences between Western and Native American world views and their relationship to the future.

December 2012: The Mayan Calendar
by Ira Kennedy
"According to Mayan chronology, the present age started on 12 August 3114 BC and is to end on 21 December 2012. At that time the Earth as we know it is again to be destroyed by catastrophic earthquakes."  Reading that it’s easy for folks to fall into the notion that "The End is at Hand."  But wait. Before we start hunkering down lets take a look backward and review exactly what did happen around 3,000 BC.

LLANO MAN by IRA KENNEDY
Over thirty thousand years ago, while Cro-Magnon man carved sculptures in Europe, Llano Man was shaping the stone heads of Malakov right here in Texas.

Jupiter's Stair
by Cork Morris
It began in the late 1980s, when Kenneth Shoulders, with a million dollar grant from the Jupiter Toy Company, (huh? You ask. I’ll come back to tha
t)

THE HIDDEN HARVEST:
by Ira Kennedy
I first learned some of the Indian uses of native plants from my grandmother, Rosa Daniels. And Grandma Rosa learned what she knew from her full-blood Cherokee mother, Sarah Jane Kelly. I was late in learning that Grandma Rosa taught me more than a list of used for a specific plant. I found that a proper understanding of her knowledge gradually altered my relationship to nature, and through that, my view of the world.

The Misadventures of Later Billy
The links to Later Billy's sound files. Written and performed by Ira.

Later Billy Comes Home by Ira Kennedy
The regulars that sat at the bar gave Later Billy that look they always give each other when they bring their women into the place during the day. Most of them were supposed to be somewhere else. Like, maybe, working. At that moment there was a crack of lightning and thunder. Then the power all over town went down.

That Ain't a Word  by IRA KENNEDY
What happened when Later Billy tried his hand at the writing life,

Chicken Ranching by IRA KENNEDY
I'm not sure we'll ever see a single egg.

THE LAST WINTER COUNT
by Ira Kennedy
"If you want the gospel truth about them early days and my part in them you best get a good hold on that chair ‘cause my life was a wild ride commencing the moment the gate swung open." So begins the The Narrative of John Green Kelly...

From A Native Son by IRA KENNEDY
Commentary on the writer's delimma in Texas.

THERE'S (some) GOLD IN THEM THERE HILLS
b
y Ira Kennedy
Tales of lost mines are part of the Hill Country heritage.  The legends persist at least in part because there have been virtually continuous mining operations in the Centeral Mineral Region since the time of the Spanish arrival in the Hill Country.

HILL COUNTRY PEARLS
Born in Darkness, They Share Their Colors With The Stars

by Ira Kennedy
Wayne Casey emptied the contents of a brown paper bag. Thousands of pearls, carefully sorted in plastic bags according to size, color, and shape, covered the kitchen table. The white, pink, lavender, and purple gems, with an estimated value of $55,000, seemed to emit an inner light. They were the result of one summer's diving in lakes throughout the Hill Country.

HILL COUNTRY PARKS   The only way to deal with the Texas summer is to find water then wade, swim, tube, dive, or float. This is how, for 12,000 years, Texans managed to cool down in the hottest times.

VISITORS GUIDE TO THE CENTER OF THE WORLD
by IRA KENNEDY 
 A primer for your day trip to Enchanted Rock State Natural area with photographs. Here you'll find another panorama of Thomas Evan's mural. 

PANNING FOR TEXAS GOLD
by IRA KENNEDY
If you're going to search of gold in Texas, first you need to know where to look. Next you need to know how to get at the stuff. And last but not least you need to remember, in the words of Mark Twain, "A gold mine is a hole in the ground with a liar at the top."

ECLIPSE:  A look at contemporary cultural transformation through the lense of mythology.  

THE MUSES OF BULVERDE
On the Texas Frontier During the 1950s

by IRA KENNEDY
Pioneer Texas was alive and well in the early 1950’s. I know because I was living that life from time to time, in my 11th and the 12th year. My mother, Lucille, would take me from our home in Blanco to the home of the Muses on a 900-acre ranch near Bulverde. Aunt Mary and Uncle Henry Muse, and their son, who everybody called Uncle Bud, would take me in for a week or two at a stretch during the summers and on other occasions during the year.

BEDROCK METATES and METATE, MANO, and MYTHOLOGY
by Ira Kennedy: This page includes an article on the location of bedrock metates at Enchanted Rock, and the sacred nature of the grinding stones of Native Americans.

Legacy in Stone: A Primer on Texas Arrowheads
by Ira Kennedy
The human history of the Americas has its roots deep in  the soil of Texas. Lacking a written record it is not a history in the traditional sense of the word, but it is a cronological record none-the-less.  This documentation exists in the form of inobtrusive stone artifacts lost, buried, or abandoned by their creators.  Although the most abundant of these flint tools are scrapers, handaxes and other utilitarian artifacts, the "arrowheads" and "bird points" are the most commonly understood and sought after. Illustration by Ira Kennedy.

SISTERDALE by Ira Kennedy
Nestled in the Texas hills between Luckenbach and Boerne is an interesting wide spot in the road called Sisterdale.  Established in 1847 by a Latin community of Germans, it soon became the meeting place for the intellectuals, artists, and scientists on the Texas frontier. Today that heritage is carefully guarded and preserved by a mother and daughter. A four page article.

THE STORYTELLER
by Ira Kennedy
From a rock shelter halfway up the north face of the bald granite mountain the old Kiowa saw them as they rode in from the northwest. He determined they were four loud and careless young Comanche warriors. He had observed them for the better part of a day as they followed the Pinta Trail to a landmark called Cerro de Santiago, Hill of the Sacred One.

 

Texas our Texas

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Designer Coffee Mugs
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