Texas now and then

This week in the Hill Country


Central Market – North
4001 North Lamar Blvd.shark
June 29  – Jaws
July 13   – Napoleon Dynamite
July 27   – The Goonies
August 10 – School of Rock
Time: 8:30 PM
Price: FREE

Abendkonzert, Boerne

German band music, my kind of sound.

June 27, 7:30. Free.

402 E. Blanco, Boerne, TX 78006


Yesterday’s News

1810    François Jean Cantagrel, first director of the colony La Réunion, was born in Amboise, France. He went to Paris as a young man to study engineering and architecture but soon found that socialist theory interested him more. Due to his socialist activities while a member of the National Assembly, Cantagrel ran afoul of government authorities.To avoid exile to a penal colony in Algeria, he fled the country in 1849; then, sentenced to exile, he stopped in Belgium and England before settling in the United States in 1854. Cantagrel was an employee of the European American Society of Colonization and served as its main agent in America, with the responsibility of choosing a site in Texas for a utopian community. He bought land at the site of present-day Dallas and hired Americans to help put up the first buildings and plant the first crops in order to be ready to receive the new colonists. Cantagrel is claimed to have complained, “I am sent here to direct an agricultural colony and have no agriculturalists to direct.” The problems eventually wore out his enthusiasm, and he resigned from the directorship in 1856; he remained with the colony until 1857. Then he went to Belgium and, after being granted amnesty in 1859, to France.

1878    Roy Bedichek, writer and folklorist, was born in Cass County, Illinois. In 1884 the family moved to Falls County, Texas. In visiting schools over the state he formed the habit of camping out because suitable lodging was often unavailable. Camping stimulated his interest in wildlife, especially in birds. Urged by his close friends, J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb, he took a leave of absence for a year beginning in February 1946 and went into seclusion to write Adventures with a Texas Naturalist (1947). Bedichek liked to rise several hours before daybreak and study or write in a separate building beside his home. Every day he worked in his garden, swam, or walked. Without ever having been seriously ill, he died suddenly of heart failure on May 21, 1959. He was an excellent storyteller, a fine conversationalist, and a delightful correspondent.

anna-castle1956    The sometimes amusing author Anna Castle is born, not precisely in Texas, but her family moved (with her) to Houston by the end of that famous year. Stars shone, somewhere, perhaps portending the great event. She grew up, had a variety of interesting careers, and ended up in Austin writing novels. She counts herself luckier than poor François Jean Cantagrel, to say the least.


Categories: Texas series

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