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Tag: xmas

Historic Cemetery Symbols: Why Are These Men Chained Together in Death?

Strange and unusual historic grave in Jefferson, Texas Here’s a grave marker that is quite strange and unique. In fact, I’ve never come across a similar arrangement! The following is an adapted excerpt from my book of historic cemetery tales called 6 Feet Under Texas.  (And to learn more about Understanding Cemetery Symbols, check out my book.) East Texas Frenemies Although they lived roughly 80 years before the word was coined, it’s hard to think of a better example for the word “frenemy” than the lives of Jesse Robinson and Bill Rose. The two men lived in the east Texas town…

How The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber Inspired East Texas University! #texas #crime #history

Remember that magician I met through my books? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may recall that I made friends with a reader last year who not only lives overseas, but gave my books their first reviews on Amazon UK. Here’s a post I wrote about how Owen Lean (aka The Bachelor of Magic) and I became pen pals through my books: How I Became a Fan of My Fan! Owen is a fascinating guy; which is why Teal Gray and I interviewed him on our radio show a few weeks ago (check out the replay…

Historic Cemetery Symbols: What do Pine Needles & Pine Cones Represent?

  Historic Cemetery Symbols While it’s common for evergreen trees to be planted in historic graveyards, pine needles and pine cones are not symbols I see engraved on headstones as often as other trees – such as the oak tree. Pine trees: Immortality While it’s true that many coffins have been made from pine, this had more to do with practicality than symbolism. Where pine trees were widely available, they were often used to make coffins. However, as a symbol (much like other evergreens, including holly, ivy, and yew) pine trees are associated with immortality and eternal life. Rather than lose…

5 Quirky Facts about Santa Claus – from Terrorism Plots to Bank Robbery

Big Santa is watching… You’ve probably been aware of Santa Claus since you were a toddler. Simply knowing a big, bearded guy at the North Pole has the OCD super power ability to not only see your every move, but to determine whether your collective annual activities should be labeled “bad” or “good,” probably even influenced your behavior from time to time. For instance, once when my nephews were 3 and 5-years-old, I overheard them squabbling in their bedroom. I was just about to step in when the older one said, “We’d better quit fighting.” “Why?” “Because Santa is watching.” Needless…

Merry TeXmas


I expected a lot of nationalism when I moved to Texas, y’know, plenty of flags a-waving, and those culturally myopic “God Bless America” bumper stickers, as though the supreme universal deity cares only for my country. (Hey, I love America, too, but if God plays favorites, I’m gonna tell his mom.) Anyway, patriotism, I understand.

What I did not expect was the Tex-centricness of this particular state. In retrospect, the amount of Texas-shaped things I saw within moments of getting off the plane should have clued me in. On the way to baggage claim, I saw everything from belt buckles, cookies, tattoos, gold pendants, even a dachsund – no, not a Texan-shaped dachsund – but one wearing a sweater with a Texan star proudly stitched on the side.

Yes, it’s pretty hard to forget you are in Texas when you are in Texas; even with a severe head injury, I’ll wager you could figure that one out.

So the other day at Sam’s Club, I came across these Tex-Centric books and laughed. Wait, no, I guffawed (it sounds more Texan to guffaw, doesn’t it?) At any rate, I knew that I must quickly snap some pix to share with those of you who – gasp – live elsewhere.