Red’s Random Texas Photo of the Day

Alamo Land: Freakin' Bozo

Captain Gus of KENS-TV – Channel 5 in San Antonio.  Captain Gus was the host of an afternoon children’s TV show that ran from 1953 to 1979 – an amazing run for the format.  Gus hosted a live audience of children with some cornball gags, interviews with the kids and prize drawings from his Wishing Well and featured Popeye cartoons.

Under the crazy red wig and handlebar moustache was pioneer broadcaster Joe Alston, a World War II veteran who had been chief announcer at KTRH-AM radio in Houston before joining KENS as an announcer in 1953. Alston also appeared in several movies including “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “T-Men” and “West Point of the Air” (about Randolph AFB’s pilot-training program).

As a child, Red did not fully appreciate the nihilistic world view presented in Popeye cartoons – the eternal and ultimately unwinnable struggle against oppressive enemies, the male-domination of the species, the all consuming importance of brute force,  the insatiable appetites (Wimpy) driving all human endeavor and the consummate self interest of all mankind.

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Today in Texas History – April 20

From the Annals of Deutschland –  In 1842, the Adelsverein (officially named the Verein zum Schutze deutscher Einwanderer in Texas or Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas) was provisionally organized by German noblemen at Biebrich on the Rhine.  The society was intended to promote German emigration to Texas and is credited with having arranged for more than 7,000 Germans to settle in Texas.  Other than arranging for the initial resettlement of Germans the Society was largely a failure as a business venture.

Joseph of Boos-Waldeck and Victor August of Leiningen-Westerburg-Alt-Leiningen were the first to come to Texas to investigate.  After declining an offer from Pres. Sam Houston for a colony west of Austin, Boos-Waldeck purchased a league of land (4,428 acres) near Industry in current day Fayette County. He named it Nassau Farm in honor of Duke Adolf of Nassau, the patron of the society.  It served as a base for future German immigrants.

He’s Still Lyin’ Ted – He’s just lyin’ for Trump now

Calling Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Tex) a spineless weasel is truly an insult to spineless weasels in general.  Lyin’ Ted has proven that he will say anything to anyone if he thinks it will result in the greater glorification of all things Ted Cruz.  His latest attempt to curry favor with the Trumpian wing of the GOP is to write a hagiographic testament to Trump in the Time magazine’s new feature on the 100 most influential people of 2018.  Ted practically falls over himself in praising Trump as a great leader.  That same great leader that Ted called “utterly amoral’, a “pathological liar” and a “narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen.”

Red defers to Lyin’ Ted’s expertise on narcissism. Oh hell, Red defers to Ted on the pathology of lying as well.  Apparently, Ted was asked by Time to do the piece.  He could have declined and no one would have been the wiser.  But given a chance to suck up and boost his sagging popularity, Ted chose to praise the man who said his wife was purt near ugly as store-bought sin and his Daddy might have helped kill JFK.  It takes an utterly broken moral compass to make the switch from righteous indignation to moral bankruptcy.  And apologies to spineless weasels everywhere.

Today in Texas History – April 17

Image result for west texas explosion

From the Annals of Industrial Explosions – In 2013, the West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility in West, Texas exploded.  The explosion occurred after local firefighters arrived on the scene to battle a fire.  The enormous blast killed 15 including 10 first responders and 2 civilians who volunteered to help fight the blaze.  An additional 160 people were injured.  A local school and apartment complex were almost completely destroyed and a nursing home facility was severely damaged.

The initial investigation was unable to determine the source of the fire, but on May 11, 2016, the  Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms announced that the fire that led to the explosion was intentionally set.

 On April 22, 2014, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board released preliminary findings concluding that company officials failed to safely store the chemicals and that federal, state and local regulations regarding such hazardous materials were wholly inadequate.  The board’s chair, Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, stated:

“The fire and explosion at West Fertilizer was preventable. It should never have occurred. It resulted from the failure of a company to take the necessary steps to avert a preventable fire and explosion and from the inability of federal, state and local regulatory agencies to identify a serious hazard and correct it.”

Some have disputed the conclusion that the fire was intentionally set.  To date no one has been charged in connection with the horrific explosion.

Today in Texas History – April 16

The Longest Shutout By Innings In Major League History

From the Annals of MLB – In 1968, the Houston Astros and New York Mets finished the longest night game in Major League history.  The game lasted 24 innings and clocked in at six hours six minutes.  The game had started on April 15 but did not finish until 1:37 a.m. the next day.

In the bottom of the 24th inning, the Astros loaded the bases.  Bob Aspromonte hit a routine grounder to utility infielder Al Weis who was filling in at shortstop because Bud Harrelson had a sore arm.  The ball went through his legs to score Norm Miller and end the game with a 1-0 Astros victory. The game was also notable because it was the longest scoreless contest in baseball history.