High Points| from El Camino Real

by Chris Davis

Its is hard to imagine that I have been sitting down at a keyboard every Sunday night for the past 22 years writing this column. It all started because there wasn’t anyone to report the Alto news for the paper. Marie Whitehead started looking for someone and my name popped up.
I told Marie that I would do it until they found someone else. In the past 22 years all the people I knew at the paper have either died or moved on, so I don’t guess there is anyone left that even knows to look for someone else. That means you are stuck with me until I run out of something to write or you quit reading the paper. When I started this column it only cost two bits or 25 cents. In the United States, the bit is equal to one eighth of a dollar or 12 ½ cents.
In our country the bit as a designation for money dates back to the colonial period, when the most common money was the Spanish Dollar, also known as a piece of eight. One eighth of a dollar or one silver real was one “bit”. Twenty two years later this paper is costing you six bits. I guess I’m kind of happy about that. I was tired of people saying there goes that guy that writes for that two bit paper. Two bits is not always a good thing and sometimes six bits isn’t either. It’s kind of like a slot machine at the boats, you never know what you are going to come up with when you put your quarters in.
My Dad came by this afternoon and told me not to write anything about hogs, that people were tired of hearing about that. I’m tired of hogs too, so I’ll try and think of something else to complain about. I wish somebody in Alto knew somebody from Russia, so I could write about Russian collusion. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Russian, and I bet there is a lot of other people around here that haven’t met one either.
Maybe we could get one of them to come to Alto sometime and we could all go look at them. I have heard of Russian boars, but that is a hog and I’m not supposed to talk about them. Our Alto school Superintendent, Kelly West, ran over a big hog with her car last week. I saw it laying on the side of the road, but I couldn’t tell whether it was a Russian boar or not. If it was, I guess that would have been a Russian collision, rather than Russian collusion.
I guess a collision is better than a collusion, you can fix a car but if you ever have a collusion you can never get over it.
My neighbor down the road in the Cold Springs Community, Dan Cates is celebrating his 84th birthday this month. Be sure and wish Dan a Happy Birthday if you see him around town or better yet give him a call. He is in the book.
My friend Geraldine Jones is having a birthday on March 17. Her granddaughter Jennifer Ranniger Johnson is having a birthday on March 13, and her great-granddaughter Avery is going to be three on the 16 of March.
Sometimes its nice to have all the birthdays close together, but sometimes it just wears you out. Happy Birthday to all of these good folks.
A few months back they had an article in the paper about a man named Robert Fults collecting old bottles, at that time he was looking for a New Birmingham Texas bottle. Somebody gave me a flyer at church saying that the man was looking for an Alto Bottling Works bottle. During the years of prohibition Alto was the place where just about everybody came looking for a bottle.
They didn’t give a hoot what the bottle looked like, they were just interested in what was inside and I imagine there were more jugs and fruit jars sold than bottles. If you have any old bottles that have the name of an East Texas town embossed on the side, he might be interested. His website is www.fults.org or his phone number is (409) 658-4539. After 22 years of trying to keep up with all the goings on around here, I’m about ready to start collecting corks that have never been pulled.
Daylight savings time has come again and left us all in a big mess. If you were use to getting your work around the house done in the morning before you went to work, now you have to start doing it in the afternoon when you get home. So if you were use to eating supper at six o’clock, you will still be working outside when supper is ready.
I usually have this column finished way before bedtime and now its time for bed and I’m still typing away. We better all be glad its spring break or you’d be spending half of your morning trying to get kids out of the bed and your teacher wives off to work.
A big thanks to all the people who have sent me news and given me words of encouragement over the past 22 years. I hope in some way I am helping to record the history of our area so that future generations can have some idea of what we were thinking about when they start digging for their roots.
I just wish that people were as interested in their roots as the wild hogs are.
I’ll see ya next week! And remember, Open your arms for change, but don’t let go of your values.