Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

July 2019

July 29, 2019

Jury duty is something most people don’t look forward to.

I’m not most people.

Twice that I can recall have I been summoned to the courthouse to appear before a judge with my postcard in hand ready to serve.

The most recent occasion was this morning. This trip included 4.5 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show on the big screens of the jury room. Other than the required announcements by a presiding judge and the District Clerk, we sat and waited.

Finally, the judge whose court I was assigned to appeared and let us know all 18 cases in front of him were pleaded out.

That means the defendants and the prosecution reached agreements in their cases before us jurors were needed.

So, the duty was completed without fanfare. Andy Griffith was seen. I made $7.

Me with my temporary 54th District Court ID badge. The deputies wouldn’t let me take it home as a souvenir.


July 26, 2019

Mr. Silent has four shoe shine stands in town. This one happens to be at the events center that usually hosts livestock and horse shows. No AC, the smell of “nature,” and the aroma of shoe polish.

It’s always a pleasure to visit with him and watch him and pop that rag until there’s a two-bar high gloss shine.


July 24, 2019

It appears that this week has turned into a week of sharing movie trailers and music videos here on the Front Page.

Since there are not really any rules to what goes and what doesn’t in this space, I vote that we continue this short tradition today (Wednesday) by sharing this video.

This one is from a fellow I’d not heard of until his record was played on a radio station I was listening to somewhere. It might have been the station in New Braunfels, but I can’t remember. That doesn’t matter.

All that does matter is the song. It spoke to me. So without butchering the intro… here it is:


July 23, 2019

For the second day in a row, I’m sharing a movie trailer. But they’re all so good!


July 22, 2019

Yes, I’d like a ticket to the show, please.


July 20, 2019

When we were in Lukenbach the other day, we browsed the Post Office-Beer Joint gift shop. There were the Knick-knacks, doo-dads, and other space-takers known as “gifts.” You know, the T-shirts, belt buckles, books, and over in the corner was a pile of walking sticks.

Those long sticks appears solid and sturdy and my youngest boy wanted one badly. He claimed it would help him walk.

$25 for a walking stick. Nope.

That picture up above is my friend, Walter. I told Walter this story and he gladly showed me his walking stick. He bought his 15 years ago in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

For $3.

That’s three dollars.

Walter guesses that sticks are more plentiful in Muscle Shoals than they are in Lukenbach.


July 18, 2019

MUCH CAN BE SAID about the 18th of July. But I’ll yield the floor for more qualified voices to speak on that. Namely, my Mama & Daddy. They’re up in De Kalb (you know where that is, don’t you?) I think about them every day.

Where was I? Oh yes, the 18th of July. First off, it’s been a hell of a year. I think I might have said that already in this space on a previous day.

I’ll just leave this song here. The same song that I tend to play every year around this time. I think us Aggies call that a tradition. So fire up the Teletini, kick back, and enjoy these pictures and sounds that fly through the air and into your ears and upon your eyes, because as far as songs go; this is a good one.


July 17, 2019

In Hye, Texas, they won’t tow you. They’ll forklift you.


July 16, 2019

I snapped the image on the right looking south from the house around 7:30 p.m. yesterday. It looks a lot closer than 50 miles, doesn’t it?

The radar on the left shows the leading edge just over the Yarrelton community in northern Milam County. The rain in those clouds never reached us in Waco, but it was still a show in the sky.


July 15, 2019

On this day three years ago, I sent my staff a note telling them that I was headed out of Lake Charles and over to Waco for a new assignment as the News Director at the ABC affiliate here. It was a time of great unknown and sadness as we left friends and colleagues who grew so close to me in the previous 6 years there.

In a strange stroke of coincidence, on this day (today), I sent a similar note to the staff in Waco that I was headed out soon for a new assignment. Just like before, it’s a time of great unknown.

I read in some study somewhere (the RTDNA/Hofstra Newsroom Study from Bob Papper, I believe but can’t find it) that the average stay for someone in my job at one television station is somewhere around 2.75 years. I’m pulling that figure up from memory, so forgive me, Bob, if I’m off on that. Not bad numbers if we’re talking inside baseball… or inside a newsroom.

It’s been a hell of a year, hasn’t it?


July 13, 2019

South Louisiana is getting a soaking and windblown this weekend thanks to a tropical system christened Barry.

Since our departure from the coastal marsh and prairie three years ago, I’ve always watched those systems creep across the Gulf with more than my fill of wanderlust. After all, I’ve been in the rear with the gear for a while now as far as the news business goes. But the urge to track, cover, and help won’t ever go away. Jim Lehrer once said something about that when he talked about sirens.

“And I still hear the sirens. And as long as I hear the sirens, I’ll still be there to find out where the hell they’re going.”

That was a quote from Jim upon his retirement back in 2011.

Back here in Central Texas, the outer cloud bands continue to move from the north in a spinning motion. The long tentacles of a fairly weak storm by the standards of the people of Acadiana and Southwest Louisiana.

Even the old guys on the radio this morning in Lafayette were jovial and slightly misleading with their declarations of how beautiful of a day it is. Their humor wasn’t lost on me, nor was it for the untold number of Zydeco music fans listening in on KRVS.

Hoping for the best for the people down there… from a distance… and I do hope the hurricane parties and TV newsroom camps are as fun as they are stressful. Stay strong, folks.


July 9, 2019

The ninth of July…

I recall two birthdays from the hometown on this day…

Ashley Prather and Amanda Rogers

Ashley and I went to school together from the second grade all the way to high school graduation and even spent the same semester at Texas A&M. We always made light of the fact that she was nine days older than me.

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