Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

January 2019


January 25, 2019

My grandparents don’t have a computer.

Grandma has an iPhone but other than dialing numbers, she doesn’t really use the other features.

So that means it’s ok to announce there’s a party in the works to honor them.

70 years ago this week, they ran off to a preacher’s house and committed matrimony.

If you know Tank and Sucky Tidwell and you happen to be around De Kalb, Texas on Sunday, you’re invited to stop by the Family Life Center for cake and punch right after church.

Remember, this is a surprise. Don’t call them up and tell them you’re coming to the party. They won’t know what you’re talking about.

2014-07-13 15.33.37


January 19, 2019

SCENES FROM A TEMPLE, TEXAS ITALIAN RESTAURANT – I wish I could report its similar to the words from a Billy Joel song.


January 18, 2019

Overheard at the ice house…

“We came here from New York. Back there, Friday’s used to mean something. Here? Man, Friday in Waco is just another day.”


January 17, 2019

We’re already 17 days into 2019. Are you still writing “18” as the year when you have to write down the date?


Me too.


January 15, 2019

It’s true. As an old radio disc jockey, I can vouch for the accuracy. Willie Nelson and George Strait never sang a duet… until now.

Dan Solomon from the Texas Monthly reports the historic moment happened earlier this week in (gasp) Nashville.

The song? The appropriately titled “I never got to sing one with Willie.”

Somebody recorded it on their phone. Maybe we’ll wait for the special on the A&E network to get a better look.


January 14, 2019


January 13, 2019

I can’t find much on it, but it appears that Whitey Shafer has died.

You don’t know him, but you know his music.


January 12, 2019

Tom Copeland is not a well-known figure outside of film circles in Texas, but he’s as iconic as they come.

Barry Corbin is a well-known figure, of course. We got to meet them both today thanks to dear friend (and well-known Waxahachie figure) Amy Borders.


January 11, 2019

No, there’s no snow on the ground in Texas as far as I know.

But if there was, don’t you wish there was enough to make a firesnowman?



January 10, 2019

Have you ever been to Hico?

They have a photo opportunity where you get to be the “i” in Hico.


January 9, 2019

When a great picture of the childhood becomes a fridge magnet. It might be my favorite.


January 8, 2019

That image there is the house where I was raised. It was built sometime in the late 1800’s, though I don’t know the exact year. My parents and I moved into it in 1980. I left home in ’96.

Hard to believe I was only in that house for 16 years. I’m 40 now, so it’s not a majority of my life, though it is a majority of my life.

My 3rd cousin Kyle Barrett took this image at sundown recently.

There is so much more to the story of the house, my cousin, and me; but I have to go and pick up my daughter from dance class. Enjoy the view between Barney Fife, Mickey Mouse, and the Texas Capitol rotunda in the meantime.


January 7, 2019

If you read this space with any frequency, then you know I often quote Texas literary legend Leon Hale.

Today, I’m just going to lay out a full story Hale told to his Facebook friends this morning. Some stories are just that good. This is one of them. -ch


In all my time as a U.S. citizen I have been told many lies, but the best one I ever heard was told to me by my Cousin C.T. when he was maybe 12 years old. I was a birthday or two behind him then.

Probably I repeated this whopper in print at least once, back when I was doing the column, so you may have heard it years ago. Quality stories, true or false, have long lives.

Go with me now to the farm of C.T.’s family out west of Fort Worth, where I spent a lot of my early time. On this farm was a stock tank, a small body of water impounded by an earthen dam, much like the one we have on the Winedale place. Nearby was a country church where a traveling preacher sometimes showed up to hold a service. Afterward he would have five or six converts in need of baptizing. The nearest water deep enough for this purpose was the tank on the farm of C.T.’s family, so the preacher would bring his penitents there, lead them into the water to be baptized.

One Sunday afternoon C.T. and I were hiding in the loft of the barn, watching the baptizing. That’s when he told me the wonderful lie.

He said the water in that tank was working alive with sins. Because people had been coming there many years to be baptized and when they went under, all their sins were washed away and into the tank. Sins, C.T. said, never die. They’re still in the tank, swimming around, and if you wade out in the water you’ll feel them, nibbling at your skin. He said if I didn’t believe that, he would prove it to me the next day.

So on Monday we returned to the tank. C.T. told me to take off my shoes, and roll the legs of my overalls up above my knees, and wade out into the tank and stand perfectly still.

Which I did, and pretty soon here they came, sins by the dozens, nibbling at my skin. My toes. My ankles. My calves. My thighs. They felt hostile. I splashed out of there.

Sure, I knew what was doing all that nibbling. It was minnows, and water bugs, and tadpoles, and baby crawdads, and other curious creatures that live in a hole of water. All harmless.

But to this day, if I do any wading, no matter where, even in the Gulf of Mexico, I can feel the sins nibbling at my skin.


January 6, 2019


January 5, 2019

Meanwhile, on the job. Consider this a “before” image. It was taken over a year ago. The “after” image is coming soon in this space.


January 4, 2019

This 1910 photograph was made by Erwin Smith, who was born in Bonham but did most of his photo work in the Texas Panhandle. Someone put the color to it recently and posted on the Traces of Texas Facebook Page. The submitting party believes it was taken near Canadian, Texas.


January 3, 2019

From the department of oddities and things you can’t unsee…

A young man who took 4 pictures of himself every day for a year while singing the song “Kiss from a rose.”

The clip lasts 23 seconds.


January 2, 2019

ON this, the second day of the first month of the new year, it’s fitting to include a nice inspirational note from somewhere or another. I can’t remember if I heard it on the radio, saw it on television, or read it on the web.

This year has 365 opportunities. They’re known as days.

One has already passed.

It’s also a good time to bring up an old speech from Bear Bryant. Should we all be so disciplined to heed the advice.


January 1, 2019

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a bowling alley.

That’s where we found ourselves last night though.

If you haven’t been lately, you’ll be surprised to learn that you can watch TV while attempting to hit a strike or a spare. Actually you can watch a lot of TV. Each lane has its own screen above the pins. We watched the Texas Aggies beat UNC in the Gator Bowl.

As for today, I’m not as sore as I thought I might be when I woke up this morning. Swinging those heavy bowling balls made me think I’d need to make a resolution to see the chiropractor in the new year.

So far though, this new year appears to be prosperous. I can keep the money I might have spent to get an adjustment.


Posts from previous months

have been archived:

Posts from December 2018 are here

Read posts from November 2018 here

Read posts from October 2018 here 

Read posts from September 2018 here

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