LOCAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE EDITION JANUARY 2015
Youth Tour Your Favorite Casseroles Caprock Canyons
CLASSROOM
EDUCATING OUTDOORS
IN Port Aransas
COASTAL
- Buildings that fit your lifestyle -
LAND OF OPPORTUNITY LAND OF OPPORTUNITY
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TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 3
Immersed in Learning The UT Marine Science
Institute puts sea life at youngsters’ fingertips
By Eileen Mattei | Photos by John Faulk
2015 Youth Tour Texas students take the trip of a
lifetime, from Austin to Washington, D.C.
By Charles Lohrmann
14
8
January 2015 Since 1944
FAVO R I T E S
20 Local Co-op News
Get the latest information plus
energy and safety tips from your
cooperative.
33 Texas History
Spanish Fort
By E.R. Bills
35 Recipes
Your Favorite Casseroles
39 Focus on Texas
Hats
40 Around Texas
List of Local Events
42 Hit the Road
Caprock Canyons
By E. Dan Klepper

ONLINE
TexasCoopPower.com
Find these stories online if they don’t
appear in your edition of the magazine.
Texas USA
Sandia Springs Wetlands
By Lonn Taylor
Observations
Casting Cash Away
By Mike Leggett
FEATURES
TEXAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Jerry B. Boze, Chair, Kaufman; David Marricle, Vice Chair, Muleshoe; Mark Tamplin, Secretary-Treasurer, Kirbyville; Debra A. Cole,
Itasca; Mike R. Hagy, Tipton, Oklahoma; Robert A. Loth III, Fredericksburg; Mark Rollans, Hondo • PRESIDENT/CEO: Mike Williams, Austin • COMMUNICATIONS & MEMBER SERVICES
COMMITTEE: Greg Henley, Tahoka; Bryan Lightfoot, Bartlett; Billy Marricle, Bellville; Mark McClain, Roby; Blaine Warzecha, Victoria; Jerry Williams, Paris; Kathy Wood, Marshall
MAGAZINE STAFF: Martin Bevins, Vice President, Communications & Member Services; Charles J. Lohrmann, Editor; Tom Widlowski, Associate Editor; Karen Nejtek, Production Manager;
Andy Doughty, Creative Manager; Grace Arsiaga, Print Production Specialist; Chris Carlson, Communications & Member Services Assistant; Anna Ginsberg, Food Editor; Suzanne Halko, Copy Editor;
Elizabeth John, Communications & Member Services Assistant; Jane Sharpe, Graphic Designer; Ellen Stader, Copy Editor; Shannon Oelrich, Proofreader
YOUTH TOUR: ANNIE MCGINNIS. BOY: © SIXDAYS | DOLLAR PHOTO CLUB
ON THE COVER Kids in the UT Summer Science program explore the plants and animals around Port Aransas. Photo by John Faulk
33
35 42
39
Students on the Governmentin-Action
Youth Tour visit many
historic sites in Washington, D.C.
Around Texas Students showcase their talents at the Travis County
Livestock Show and Youth Fair, January 15–17 in Austin, Page 40.
The U.S. Money Reserve Vault Facility today
announces what could be the fi nal release of U.S.
government-issued gold coins previously held in
The West Point Depository/U.S. Mint. For a limited
time, U.S. citizens will have the opportunity to
purchase these $5 government-issued gold coins for
the incredible at-cost price of only $128.00 per coin.
An amazing price because these U.S. governmentissued
gold coins are completely free of dealer
markup. That’s correct—our cost. This may be your
fi nal opportunity to buy U.S. government-issued
gold coins at this price. Gold, which is currently
around $1,160 per ounce, is predicted by experts to
have the explosive upside potential of reaching up to
$5,000 per ounce in the future. Please be advised:
Our U.S. government gold inventory will be priced
at $128.00 coin while supplies last or for up to 30
days. These coins may sell out. Call today! U.S.
Money Reserve will release these U.S. governmentissued
gold coins at cost on a fi rst-come, fi rst-served
basis. Orders that are not immediately received or
reserved with the order center could be subject to
cancellation and your checks returned uncashed.
Good luck. We hope that everyone will have a
chance to purchase this special U.S. governmentissued
gold at this price because it could be going
to $5,000 per ounce. Order immediately before our
vault sells out completely! Special arrangements
can be made for gold purchases over $50,000.
U.S. Gold Coins Authorized for Immediate Release
Authorized by Congress: Public Law 99-185
By Executive Order of Congress Public Law 99-
185, Americans can now buy new governmentissued
gold. Congressionally authorized United
States gold coins provide American citizens with
a way to add physical gold to their portfolios.
Gold American Eagles are made from solid gold
mined here in America, struck at the U.S. Mint
at West Point, and produced with a U.S. dollar
denomination, making them legal tender United
States gold coins. They are highly liquid, easily
transportable, and, unlike paper assets, Gold
American Eagles have a tangible value you can
feel each time you hold your own gold. Though no
one, including U.S. Money Reserve, can guarantee
a gold coin’s future value will go up or down,
numerous experts are predicting gold to reach
$5,000 per ounce. Now is the time to consider
converting part of your paper assets into gold. U.S.
Money Reserve has a limited supply and urges
you to make your vault reservations immediately.
Call a Senior Gold Specialist at 1-855-426-7168
to start your gold portfolio and begin protecting
your wealth today. If you’ve been waiting to
move your money into gold, the time is now.
Do Not Delay - Limited Supplies Available!
Government-Issued Gold Coin
1-855-426-7168 MASTERCARD • VISA • AMEX • DISCOVER
CHECK • BANK WIRE
Call Toll-Free 7 Days a Week:
VAULT CODE: TX15-128
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© 2014 U.S. Money Reserve
THE MARKETS FOR COINS ARE UNREGULATED. PRICES CAN RISE OR FALL AND CARRY
SOME RISKS. THE COMPANY IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND THE
U.S. MINT. PAST PERFORMANCE OF THE COIN OR THE MARKET CANNOT PREDICT FUTURE
PERFORMANCE. SPECIAL AT-COST OFFER IS STRICTLY LIMITED TO ONLY ONE LIFETIME
PURCHASE OF 10 AT-COST COINS (REGARDLESS OF PRICE PAID) PER HOUSEHOLD, PLUS
SHIPPING AND INSURANCE. PRICES MAY BE MORE OR LESS BASED ON CURRENT MARKET
CONDITIONS. PRICE NOT VALID FOR PRECIOUS METALS DEALERS. ALL CALLS RECORDED
FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE. OFFER VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. COIN DATES OUR CHOICE.
$
12800
EACH
ONLY
SHIPPING & INSURANCE $15-$35
PURE COST - NO DEALER MARKUP!
U.S. Government-Issued American Eagle Gold Coins Coins enlarged to show detail.
U.S. MONEY
RESERVE
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 5
MAILMAN: CHARLES POSTLEWATE. MADSTONE: MARSHA GREER
TEXAS CO-OP POWER VOLUME 71, NUMBER 7 (USPS 540-560). Texas Co-op Power is published monthly by Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC). Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, TX, and at additional offices. TEC is the
statewide association representing 76 electric cooperatives. Texas Co-op Power’s website is TexasCoopPower.com. Call (512) 454-0311 or email editor@TexasCoopPower.com. SUBSCRIPTION PRICE is $4.08 per year for
individual members of subscribing cooperatives. If you are not a member of a subscribing cooperative, you can purchase an annual subscription at the nonmember rate of $7.50. Individual copies and back issues are
available for $3 each. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas Co-op Power (USPS 540-560), 1122 Colorado St., 24th Floor, Austin, TX 78701. Please enclose label from this copy of Texas Co-op Power showing old
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in Texas Co-op Power are paid solicitations. The publisher neither endorses nor guarantees in any manner any product or company included in this publication. Product satisfaction and delivery responsibility lie solely with
the advertiser.
© Copyright 2015 Texas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. Reproduction of this issue or any portion of it is expressly prohibited without written permission.
Willie Wiredhand © Copyright 2015 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
I were married there in 1981.
Also, in Highland Village,
where I now live, are two of the
largest pecan trees recorded in all
of North Texas. They are beautiful;
hopefully they will continue on
with their long lives for many
years to come.
VIRGINIA MURPHY | HIGHLAND VILLAGE
COSERV ELECTRIC
A Family Heirloom Madstone
I enjoyed the article about madstones
[“Deer Camp Folk Medicine,”
November 2014]. I have a madstone
[below] that was passed to me by
my mother. A friend gave it to her
in 1963.
He told her the treasured madstone
had been in his family since
the mid-1800s. It is
shaped like an
egg, has a
tan background
color
with small round black spots all
over it.
On one side, it appears like
someone scraped off part of the
outside layer to reveal a porous
part of the stone. The stone is about
2 inches long and 1¼ inches wide.
Thanks to Gene Fowler for the
great story.
MARSHA GREER | TYLER
CHEROKEE COUNTY EC
My father, who was part Cherokee,
passed on to me a madstone that
he inherited. The story he told me
agreed with the one in your article
except he said madstones were
only found in the stomachs of
albino deer, thus they would be
quite rare.
Mine is about the size of a
peach pit, lightweight and porous.
Great story, thanks!
MARK RANDALL | MCKINNEY
GRAYSON COUNTY EC
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Letters may be edited for clarity and length.
Did It Sign the Declaration?
I enjoyed your article about famous
trees of Texas [“Tall Tales,” October
2014] and have another tale to
add. La Bahia Pecan tree on the
Washington-on-the-Brazos Historic
Site overlooks the ferry crossing
where the Navasota and Brazos
rivers meet. Tests by the Forest
Service confirm that this tree stood
in 1836 when delegates adopted
the Texas Declaration of Independence
and also revealed that its
nearest relatives are in Mexico.
That means that the tree’s
pecans traveled along La Bahia
Road as the settlement of Texas
spurred traffic through Texas.
Seedlings propagated from this
historic tree are now available,
thanks to Ellison’s Greenhouses,
the USDA, the Texas A&M Forest
Service, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative
and others. The nuts for the
seedlings were picked from the
tree using a bucket truck from
Bluebonnet Electric.
JIM KOLKHORST | WASHINGTON-ON-THE-BRAZOS
BLUEBONNET EC
Such a wonderful article. I was
born and raised in San Antonio,
and those cypress trees on the
River Walk are fond memories of
my growing up there.
There is a very important oak
tree in southeast Texas that should
be mentioned. A group of Polish
immigrants landed on the coast
of Texas in 1854. They headed west
and eventually stopped under this
giant oak tree on Christmas Eve
and celebrated Mass. Thus was
born the oldest Polish settlement
in the United States: Panna
Maria, Texas.
My great-great-grandparents
were part of that group. The oak
tree and the church they built
are still there. My husband and
Tell Us Another One
I always read my issue of Texas Co-op Power cover to
cover and enjoyed the short note in Energy News
[“Gnaw News is Good News,” November 2014]. It
reminded me of my father [right], who was a mailman
in downtown San Antonio from 1928 through 1960.
As he rose in seniority, he got some choice routes in
downtown San Antonio, including the top half of the
Milam Building, the first air-conditioned high-rise
in America, housing the offices of many wealthy
Texas oilmen. Before that, he had the route near the
downtown main Post Office, including the Alamo.
Just about anything anybody mentioned would elicit the statement, “That
reminds me of a joke.”
One was, “The man that can come up with a dog-food formula that tastes
like a postman’s leg will make a million dollars.” When he told this joke on
television one day, my mother heaved a sigh of relief. “I didn’t know he knew
any clean jokes,” she said.
Thanks for the memory.
CHARLES POSTLEWATE | GRANBURY | UNITED COOPERATIVE SERVICES
Texas Co-op Power Magazine
CURRENTS Letters, emails and posts from our readers
ENERGY NEWS
Six Easy
Ways Kids
Can Help
Save Energy
January 10 is National Cut Your
Energy Costs Day. Touchstone
Energy offers six tips that children
can use to help their parents
trim their electric bills:
1. Turn off all the lights every
time you leave the room.
2. Shut down the computer
when you are not using it.
(If you need help, ask Mom
and Dad.)
3. Unplug electronics like cellphones,
video games and TVs
when not in use.
4. Remind Mom and Dad to set
the thermostat at home to 78
degrees in the summer and 68
degrees in the winter.
5. Don’t hold the refrigerator
door open for long periods of
time.
6. Change the lightbulbs. Help
Mom and Dad replace their
older lightbulbs with CFLs
(compact fluorescent lamps) or
LEDs (light-emitting diodes).
6 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
CURRENTS Energy, innovation, people, places and events in Texas
DOMINOES: EDD PATTON. OUTLET: © JIMLARKIN | DOLLAR PHOTO CLUB
HAPPENINGS
Connect the Dots
At the end of a long day, January 25, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hallettsville,
champions are decided in the Texas State Championship Straight Domino Tournament.
The winning player’s names are added to a list that started in 1954, when
dominoes was more of a fixture on kitchen tables and in clubs around Texas.
“Back in the old days, it was a real common game around here,” says Glen Bludau,
a member of Fayette and Guadalupe Valley ECs who is in charge of the tournament.
“We have lots of rural people and country stores, and each one had a dominoes
table. And people played a lot at home.”
Modern entertainment options might have eroded the prevalence of domino
play, but Bludau says close to 180 players this year, some from out of
state, are determined to go down in history as Texas state champions.
INFO: kchall.com
University of Scranton research shows that just 8 percent of
people keep their New Year’s resolutions. One suggested
reason for failure is that we aim too high. Pledging to quit
smoking and lose weight at the same time, or keep a cleaner
home and give up wine is more than the willpower portion of
most human brains can handle. A year ago, yestotexas.com
listed this as its No. 1 New Year’s resolution for Texans: Learn
to control ourselves around chips and salsa. Yeah, right.
Find more
happenings all
across the state at
TexasCoopPower
.com
ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Energy Star Savings Reaches $300 Billion
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 7
EDD PATTON
ON THIS DATE
Plan of
San Diego
Uprising
As the Mexican Revolution raged
on 100 years ago, an influx of
refugees and radicals across the
border led to a movement called
the Plan of San Diego, intended to
violently liberate Texas, New Mexico,
Arizona, California and Colorado
from U.S. control.
The plan, supposedly written
and signed January 16, 1915, in the
South Texas town of San Diego,
called for an army of Mexicans,
Mexican-Americans, AfricanAmericans
and Japanese to execute
all white males over the age of
16 as part of the insurrection.
A series of raids connected to
the Plan of San Diego disrupted
transportation and communication
starting July 1915 in the lower Rio
Grande Valley. Texas Rangers and
U.S. troops stepped in to stop the
uprising. In all, about 30 raids from
July 1915 to July 1916 led to the
deaths of 21 Americans and more
than 100 Mexicans.
Astrodome: World’s
Largest Indoor Park?
One of the latest proposals for the abandoned Astrodome in Houston
comes from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. In August, he proposed turning
the former home of the Astros and Oilers—and the world’s first dome
stadium—into “the world's largest indoor park” and recreation area.
He envisions an air-conditioned facility that could host festivals and
other community gatherings, general exercise facilities, hike and bike
trails on the upper levels, an amphitheater, a pavilion for concerts and
other events, museums and special educational facilities for children,
according to the Houston Chronicle. The county-owned Dome also could
house sports facilities, such as an archery range or horseshoe pits, he said.
The Dome has seemed destined for demolition since November 2013,
when voters rejected a $217 million bond to turn it into a convention and
event center.
The Energy Star program, established by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency in 1992, has helped consumers and businesses
save an estimated $300 billion on utility bills by increasing energyefficiency
standards in more than 70 product categories.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Touchstone
Energy’s Together We Save website have focused on helping
electric cooperative members make easy improvements, such as
Energy Star appliances and compact fluorescents. A 2013 survey by
the Consortium for Energy Efficiency found that 87 percent of
households recognized the Energy Star label.
Since its creation, energy efficiencies spawned by the program
have mitigated 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions,
or the equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 420 million
cars, according to EPA. Energy Star-rated products deliver the
same or better performance as comparable models while using less
energy and saving money, the program says. 
TexasCoopPower.com
Immersed in
Aboard the research vessel Katy, 20 boys and girls
squat next to buckets holding croakers, crabs and marine animals
netted from Redfish Bay off Port Aransas. “What makes some
shrimp so big?” asks Annie Dabb, holding a twitching shrimp. A
transparent, shapeless comb jellyfish slides through the fingers
of Alexis Haynes, 11, who hopes to become a marine scientist.
She drops the palm-size jelly, a favorite turtle meal, into a portable
aquarium, noting, “It looks like snot.”
As the kids dip out needlefish, tiny flounder and squid, Dana
Sjostrom, the Katy’s onboard educator, poses questions to direct
their curiosity. “What do you notice about the body shape? The
color? The shape of the mouth?”
These youngsters are all taking part in one of the five-day
Summer Science programs at the University of Texas Marine
Science Institute at Port Aransas. The program is designed to
immerse students in grades five through eight in hands-on explorations
of science. The aim of the course is to ignite each students’
curiosity by exposing them to many facets of marine science and
by providing the opportunity to talk with scientists actually conducting
research. “This is not information transfer,” Sjostrom
explains, “It’s about making sense of what they’re seeing.”
Every morning, the kids observe plants and animals that live
in and around Port Aransas. In one session, they study tarpon
scales and algae and then dissect a shark. Another time, they
explore wetlands, jetty habitats and San José Island beach debris,
looking at birds and examining seaweed. Each outing combines
research with entertaining activities. The week ends for these
apprentice biologists onboard the Katy, a floating classroom where
the scientific facts intertwine to create a big picture of the environment,
revealing how all parts are meshed into the whole.
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 9
Learning
Summer programs at the University
of Texas Marine Science Institute
put sea life at youngsters’ fingertips
By Eileen Mattei | Photos by John Faulk
By land and by sea, platoons of summer campers scurry about Port
Aransas in search of nature’s secrets.
isten up,” says Katy Capt. Stan Dignum to the 20
students and their four guide-educators as they climb aboard
the 57-foot boat. “I’m Captain Stan. What I say goes. Your life
jackets stay zipped up.”
Sjostrom steps up to define the day’s mission. “Your job is to
be curious and get excited about seeing things you haven’t seen
before. It’s your job to ask questions about how things work.”
The kids are starting to understand the connections and similarities
in biological systems and among different creatures. For
example, they note a similarity between the growth patterns of
tree rings and the growth rings on tarpon scales and then apply
the same logic to the growth layers on clam shells. “If you have no
idea what you’re looking at, talk about it, draw it,” Sjostrom suggests.
“Does it have antennae? Don’t ask me to tell you the name of a fish
until you can tell me something about it.”
Sjostrom’s job during the four-hour cruise around the Intracoastal
Waterway and bay combines the tasks of science educator,
team captain, deckhand and role model for those considering a
career in marine science. Thanks to sessions with experts in
plankton, fish migration and ecosystem dynamics, the first four
days of Summer Science provide the students a perspective on
different habitats around Port Aransas. On the last day, Sjostrom
and her crew help the students realize how much more there is
to discover and study.
As the Katy surges past the jetty and south into the channel,
the students crowd into the bow and spot dolphins frolicking in
the water ahead of the boat. A handful of kids squeeze into the
pilothouse, seeking both shade and information,
fascinated first by the gadgets and
then by the job of boat captain. “What’s
that thing spinning on top?” asks one student.
“Radar,” Capt. Stan answers.
Questioned about the map screen, he
moves the cursor around, pointing out jetties
and points in the ship channel. “The red
line is our course. When I move the wheel,
it moves with us.” He explains the array of
instruments: the green radar screen that
shows everything protruding from the
water, GPS that shows speed and position,
VHF radio, chart plotter, compass and
weather station.
Capt. Stan studied marine biology but
preferred to work outside instead of spending
long hours in the lab. “The Katy gives me the best of both worlds,”
he says. Two of the boys say they want to become captains, but
Dominic Ford of Port Aransas wants to become a biologist, admitting
the job has other attractions: “I can go scuba diving and fishing.”
He participated in Summer Science the previous year, and that
experience convinced him to return. In fact, several of the students
have attended before, and a few signed on for a second session
because each week covers a different theme.
Six and one-half miles from the dock, Sjostrom cautions the
revved-up kids. “This is a working research vessel, and there
are ways to get hurt. No horsing around.”
Then she engages the winch to pull in a fine
mesh plankton net, which has been towed
along the water’s surface. “What do we
already know about plankton? Start brainstorming,”
she says, pouring the net’s contents
into a tub.
Adult guides Catalina Cuellar, Julie Findley
and Cathy Harshman give each child a
lavender, plastic, handheld microscope. A
water sample gets squirted onto each slide.
The children squint into the eyepieces.
“I see plankton!” one of the young scientists
shouts.
“Tell me about it. Is it moving? Draw it.”
Hunched over the microscopes balanced
on small dry-erase boards, the boys and girls use blue and green
pens to draw ovals with multiple short legs, squares with legs
and antennae, wiggling worm-like shapes, and something that
resembles the ridged edge of a coin as seen from the side.
“Do you see brown things that look like coins?” Cuellar asks.
“Those are diatoms. Copepods eat them. And who eats copepods?”
Several know the answer and call it out: “Small fish.”
Emery Jones, 11, who with the rest of the class pressed algae
onto paper earlier in the week, draws seaweed on her board and
copies it into her journal.
10 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
‘Your job is to be
curious and get
excited about seeing
things you haven’t
seen before.
It’s your job to ask
questions about how
things work.’
“
L
For better viewing, Cuellar guides them to the roofed wet lab
where slides under a gooseneck microscope show up on a wallmounted
monitor, magnified 40 to 100 times larger than life.
Surprising colors—blue, orange, green—characterize the odd
shapes. The crab larva looks like a little alien. “Oh, I see it now. It
has one eye in the middle.”
Cuellar, who is working toward a doctorate in marine ecology,
says Summer Science kids quiz her about the work she does.
“They tell me, ‘I’d like to be a scientist, but it sounds too hard.’
They think there’s a mystery about being a scientist or that it is
beyond them. Of course, some are intrigued by the idea of diving
for a living or fishing every day. The Summer Science program
gets them involved in real science.” Cuellar understands the lure
of the deep because scuba diving as a teenager got her involved
in marine biology and onto her career path. “You get exposed to
the marine environment, and you fall in love.”
In Redfish Bay, the winch hauls in a net filled with creatures
that live on and in the bottom mud. Sjostrom pours the mud
into boxes with screen bottoms. Three to four kids cluster around
each box, sorting through shell fragments and seaweed. “I’ve
got a worm on my leg,” announces a girl with blond braids. She
learns the wire-thin worms eat everything that falls into the
mud, processing nutrients in a process similar to that used by
earthworms.
A captivating brittle star waves five thin arms like streamers
in the wind. How does it do that? “They put water pressure inside
their arms to move them,” Sjostrom explains.
For a closer look, kids use tweezers to put creatures under
the gooseneck scope. On the big monitor, a bristly, orange, segmented
creature changes colors. “I wonder what that is,”
one boy says. “Is it eating the seaweed?” Around him, kids sketch
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 11
Experience the Marine Science Institute
For a self-guided coastal science program, walk the trail and boardwalk at
the University of Texas Marine Science Institute’s Wetlands Education Center
set on 3.5 acres between the Aransas Pass Ship Channel and the visitors
center. Informative signs describe the importance of the marsh here as a filter,
storm barrier and nursery for many marine creatures. Landscaped with
coastal vegetation (railroad vine can grow 10 inches per day!), the wetlands
introduce visitors to sand dunes, black mangroves and great blue herons
stalking mullet from the cattails. Docent-led tours are offered twice a week.
Inside, the new Estuary Explorium provides easy, interactive lessons on
marine animal migration and metamorphosis, sustainable fisheries, and the
effect of water temperature, salinity and seasonal changes on marine animals.
Hands-on activities for the youngest scientists include climbing inside a clear
dome representing a blue crab egg and “fishing” for keeper red drum.
For more information, visit utmsi.utexas.edu or call (361) 749-6711.
The program puts students in touch with scientists and Gulf specimens.
‘This is not information transfer,’ says educator Dana Sjostrom. ‘It’s about
making sense of what they’re seeing.’
WATER: © ALEXZAITSEV | DOLLAR PHOTO CLUB
The favorite finds
of the day include
the sea horse,
moonfish and
ribbonfish.
12 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
the enlarged images into their journals.
The mud sample shows that water doesn’t have to be clear
blue to support all kinds of life forms. “When you get a mouthful
of salt water, and it’s crunchy, you think it’s sand. It’s not,”
Sjostrom says. What’s crunching are tiny invertebrates.
With the thought of marine invertebrates, snack time brings
watermelon.
The third trawl of the net catches free-swimming animals.
Laughing gulls hover, hoping for a free meal as Sjostrom pours
croakers, anchovies, a flounder,
ribbon fish, squid, crabs and
shrimp into a large tub, scooping
them into smaller buckets and the
live well. “What I want you to do
is look at the fish closely. Open up
their mouths,” she says.
The kids grasp fish and shrimp
and drop them into handheld
circle aquariums, made of two
squares of Plexiglas that sandwich
a 2-inch slice of 6-inch PVC
pipe. A gray semi-rectangular
sponge is not wearing square
pants or squirting water. A boy
opens and closes an anchovy’s
mouth, demonstrating how the
wide gape helps it snatch plankton.
Cuellar and Sjostrom page
through the “Key to Common
Inshore Crabs of Texas,” trying to
identify a specimen.
The final trawl in the ship channel
brings up more shrimp and different
fish. Why? “Check it out,
guys,” Sjostrom says. “We have
some seaweed that’s pretty cool.”
Holding what looks like a mess of
transparent rice noodles, she identifies
it as a colonial animal.
Going back to the dock, the
kids continue to dip into the tanks,
examining shrimp and tossing dead anchovies to noisy gulls. The
junior scientists pay no attention to the water streaming from
the holding tank drain, washing over their sneakers or the bright
pink of a roseate spoonbill flying astern.
The favorite finds of the day include the sea horse, moonfish
and ribbonfish. The high point of the week, the kids agree, was
roaming around San José Island. “It’s all fun, even cutting up
the shark,” says Emery. “You have freedom to explore and ask
questions.”
Eileen Mattei, a member of Nueces and Magic Valley ECs, lives in Harlingen.
WEB EXTRAS at TexasCoopPower.com View a slideshow with more photos.
The research vessel Katy abounds with students experiencing firsthand
encounters with plankton, worms and larvae. 
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Young people should be at the forefront of global change
and innovation.” This advice comes from a former
United Nations secretary general, who adds, “Let us
ensure that all young people have every opportunity
to participate fully in the lives of their societies.”
This belief describes the motivation supporting the annual
Government-in-Action Youth Tour, which enables students to
visit Washington, D.C., and gain a perspective on our national
government. With the co-op-supported trip to the nation’s capital,
an immersion into American history becomes a memorable
reality for a group of more than 100 Texas students each year.
The long-term benefits are significant. The experience provides
a better understanding of the world and helps build each student’s
confidence. This purpose and mission, as well as an exploration
of history and government, outlines a personal framework on
which each student can build individual accomplishment.
“I was a country girl, so the entire experience was very impressive
to me,” says Kay Joffrion of Coleman, who made the long
bus trip to D.C. with the first Youth Tour in 1965. “President
Johnson hosted us in the Rose Garden of the White House, and
14 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
2014 Government-in-Action Youth Tour participants at the U.S. Capitol
it was so beautiful, and then we also toured the White House.”
In addition to her memories of the Smithsonian Institution
(the Hope Diamond and the first ladies’ gowns made the biggest
impressions), the Eternal Flame at President John F. Kennedy’s
grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Joffrion remembers
that the competition to win the trip provided valuable experience.
“Competing in the speaking contest was important to me,”
she says. “After that experience, I was always confident speaking
to a group of people. That really helped me in my career.” After
working in human resources with a health care company in Abilene
and a subsequent position with the Texas Department of
Transportation’s Brownwood District, Joffrion retired to Coleman,
where she serves as mayor.
Carrie Campbell, sponsored by Pedernales EC for the 1985
Youth Tour, remembers, “While all the other members of the
tour visited our nation’s Capitol, I walked across the street to
the Supreme Court. I was permitted to witness oral arguments.
I was in awe. My lasting impression of the Youth Tour is the
2015 YOUTH TOUR: 2015 YOUTH TOUR:
“
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 15
ANNIE MCGINNIS
openness of our government—how ordinary citizens can access
justice and impact decision-makers.”
Based on the responses of students taking part in the 2014
Youth Tour, the reviews continue to be enthusiastic after 50
years of the program. The Arlington National Cemetery and the
Smithsonian still amaze students. And there are new destinations.
Lacey Jesko, from Bailey County Electric Cooperative Association,
traveled with the 2014 group and was struck by the United
States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which was dedicated in
1993.
“I knew what the Holocaust was about, but I didn’t have a
sense of what those people went through and what they experienced,”
she says. “Now I feel like I do, and that makes me appreciate
this country even more.”
Responses confirm that travel on this mission with other
students enables and empowers youths to build a better understanding
of their electric co-op community and their country.
And make new friends along the way.
Charles Lohrmann, editor
A NEW DEPARTURE A NEW DEPARTURE
FROM CAPITOL TO CAPITOL
SHARE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE of the Government-in-Action Youth
Tour by sending an email to: youthtour@texas-ec.org.
2015 GOVERNMENT-INACTION
YOUTH TOUR
June 10–19
Departs from Austin
to Washington, D.C. 

Reported by J. Page
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King Solomon was one of the wealthiest rulers of the ancient world. His vast empire
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1 Clean every appliance in your house. Your refrigerator’s coils can get dusty and
clogged, which makes it work harder—and that’s an unnecessary waste of energy.
The inside of your microwave oven should be spotless; if it’s not, then the machine is
using energy to “cook” leftover food particles that nobody’s going to eat. Even your
dishwasher and washing machine need cleaning—inside and out—to prevent mold
and clogs.
2 Snake your clothes dryer vent. Do this at least twice a year to rid it of lint and
debris, which can catch on fire if it clogs the vent and prevents airflow. And be
sure to clean the lint screen after each use.
3 Clear the area around your water heater and your outdoor air-conditioning unit.
Appliances give off heat and take in air. If you’ve got boxes, suitcases, Christmas
decorations or plants stacked up against them, they can’t do their jobs efficiently.
4 Have your heating and air-conditioning systems checked out by an HVAC professional,
who can tell you if they need repairs. Ask the tech to check your filters and
change them if they’re clogged with dust.
5 Change the batteries in all of your home’s smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
If you don’t have those devices, move this item to the top of your list of resolutions
and install them today.
Five New Year’s
Resolutions for
Your Home
IF YOU’VE EVER TRIED to pull a splinter
from your finger, you know: The light that
comes through windows or from an overhead
bulb usually is not bright enough to
help you see what you’re doing. And it’s
not bright enough to make cooking,
reading or sewing tasks easier.
Think about what you do in each
room: Ever wish you could see better
while you’re doing it?
Add task lighting—extra lights
installed right where you focus your
attention—in each room: on the countertop
where you prepare food; in the bathroom
where you shave or apply makeup;
in the garage where you work with tools;
in your hobby room where you put
together scrapbook pages.
Here are the spots where shedding
more light can help:
In the kitchen: Install small LED lights
underneath cabinets to shine directly
onto countertops where you chop, blend
and arrange food.
In the bathroom: Replace the overthe-mirror
strip of lights with vertical wall
sconces so the light is focused on your
face rather than on the mirror.
In hallways and along staircases: A
common cause of falls at home? Not
enough light. Consider theater-style path
lighting that goes up every staircase and
stays lit 24/7.
In closets: Nonfluorescent lighting is
more flattering, especially in a roomy
closet where you dress and look in the
mirror.
In a hobby room: Consider whether
you sit or stand as you work on your
projects, and aim eye-level task lighting
right at your workspace.
More Lights,
More Comfort
Keeping appliances and light fixtures clean saves energy and reduces fire risk. Resolve to set
up a regular schedule to keep them all clean and bright year-round.
© ISTOCK.COM | CGNZNT144
© ISTOCK.COM | CRAFTVISION
20 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
CONSERVATION AND SAFETY INFORMATION
Electric Notes
IF YOU’RE DEALING with high utility bills
that started coming in once the mercury
dropped, blame your windows. Or better
yet, repair and upgrade them.
Windows cover up holes in your
home’s walls. If yours are made from just
a single pane of glass, they’re not going
do a great job of keeping winter outside.
Consider replacing your energyinefficient,
older-model windows with
new, double-pane versions that will work
twice as hard to keep the cold weather
from sneaking into your house.
A few tips as you shop:
a Choose windows with low-E glass.
The special coating helps reflect some of
the interior heat back into the home to
keep cold air out. A bonus: Some window
brands don’t charge extra for low-E
glass. Look for windows that offer the
coating as a standard feature.
a Ditch your single-pane windows.
The Department of Energy estimates that
you could save up to $500 a year on
your energy bills if you replace them with
Energy Star-rated, double-pane windows.
a When you get new windows, the
installers will seal all around the glass
and the window frames. Still, that caulking
won’t last forever. Whether your windows
are new or old, recaulk around
them every fall to keep the seal fresh.
a The same goes for doors. If yours
isn’t closing properly, or if you feel a cold
draft when you walk near it, seal it, too. If
it’s really bad, think about getting a new
one that isn’t cracked, warped or poorly
fitted. A snugly installed door also keeps
energy bills lower.
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 21
LAST YEAR SHOWED US HOW THE POLAR VORTEX can bring high winds, subzero temperatures
and ice to many parts of the country, even those that aren’t accustomed to
winter weather. This dangerous winter weather can cause hazardous road conditions,
downed power lines and extended power outages. Be sure to stay safe before,
during and after a winter storm hits.
If power lines go down because of a winter storm, you may be in for a prolonged
power outage as utility crews work to get the lights back on.
The National Weather Service tells us that winter storms are deceptive killers
because most deaths are indirectly related to storms. Many hazards can remain after
a winter storm is gone.
Follow these tips to stay safe and warm during a winter power outage:
Stay inside and dress warmly. Close off unneeded rooms and place draft blocks at
the bottom of doors to minimize cold air entering the house. Cover windows at night.
Be aware of the temperature
in your home. Infants
and elderly people are more
susceptible to the cold. You
may want to stay with
friends or relatives or go to a
shelter if you cannot keep
your home warm enough.
When the power is
restored, there will be a
power surge. To protect your
circuits and appliances,
switch off lights and unplug
appliances. Leave one light
switched on as a signal that
the power is restored.
Apart from the cold, there
are other dangers winter
storms can bring. Downed
power lines could be submerged
in snow and ice,
making them difficult to see. Therefore, you and your family should stay indoors
if possible.
If you must go outside, use caution and treat all downed and hanging lines as if
they are energized. Stay away, warn others to stay away, and immediately contact
your utility company if you see downed lines.
Be sure to have a storm preparedness kit ready before a storm strikes to help get
you and your family through a power outage. This kit includes: bottled water, nonperishable
food, blankets, warm clothing, a first aid kit/medicine, a flashlight, a radio,
extra batteries and toiletries.
If you are using an alternative heating source during a power outage, be sure that
you know how to use it safely and that you have already gathered all the supplies for
it. You should have enough supplies in your preparedness kit to last everyone in your
household three to seven days.
SafeElectricity.org
Stay Safe and Warm
During a Winter Storm
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22 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
Texas USA
In the fall of 2010, Ellen Weinacht
of Balmorhea went on a birding trip with
some friends to the Bosque del Apache
National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.
As she was watching hundreds of sandhill
cranes feeding in the wetlands along the
Rio Grande, she thought, “I want a place
like this at home.” Now she has one. It is
called the Sandia Springs Wetlands, and I
spent a day last week visiting it with
Weinacht and one of the people who helped
her create it, David Hedges of Fort Davis.
The Sandia Springs Wetlands is actually
a land restoration project. Four hundred
years ago Balmorhea was what the
Spanish called a cienega, a marsh. Antonio
de Espejo used that word to describe the
area when he camped there in 1583 on his
way back home from an expedition to
New Mexico. The cienega was fed by six
springs, now called Phantom Lake, San
Solomon, Giffen, Saragosa, and West and
East Sandia springs. These springs all rise
from a five-hundred-foot-thick layer of
Cretaceous limestone that underlies Balmorhea,
a layer of rock that is riddled with
fissures and caverns that hold water. The
largest of the springs, San Solomon, which
now empties into the swimming pool at
Balmorhea State Park, has historically
flowed at about twenty million gallons a
day. Phantom Lake spring, several miles
west of San Solomon, issues from a cave
in a limestone bluff and produces about
three million gallons a day. Add in the
other four springs, and that’s a lot of
water. When Espejo arrived he found the
Jumano Indians using it to irrigate fields
of corn and beans.
In the 1850s, Mexican settlers from
Chihuahua arrived and built irrigation
ditches leading from San Solomon spring
to their fields. They called their settlement,
which clustered around the base of
the little ridge that runs just east of present-day
Balmorhea, Indio. A large cross
on top of the end of that ridge, easily visible
from the Carrasco store across the
highway, marks the spot today. They probably
also gave San Solomon spring its
name, which is something of a mystery
since there is no San Solomon on the
Catholic calendar of saints. The name
probably comes from an Indian word that
sounded like “San Solomon” to those settlers.
In 1896 a post office was established
at Indio and the name was changed to Brogado,
supposedly in honor of Father Brocadus
Ecken, the Dutch Carmelite priest
at St. Joseph’s Church in Fort Davis who
held services in Indio. The name Balmorhea
did not appear on the map until
1906, when a town site by that name was
platted between Indio and San Solomon
spring by three land promoters named Balcum,
Morrow, and Rhea, thus Bal-mo-rhea.
In 1871, Fort Davis entrepreneur and
land speculator Daniel Murphy established
a farm near San Solomon spring and
dug a canal that diverted the water to his
vegetable crops, which he sold to the army
at Fort Davis. The adjacent landowners
objected, and a series of lawsuits that kept
the courts busy through most of the 1870s
and ’80s resulted in a ruling that Murphy
had to share the water with his neighbors.
Eventually a network of irrigation canals
and ditches grew up around all six springs,
Sandia Springs Wetlands
BY LONN TAYLOR
‘Texas People, Texas Places’ book excerpt: A project of pure,
uncluttered, non-bureaucratic private enterprise 
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 23
and by the time Lake Balmorhea was built
and the Reeves County Water Improvement
District Number One was created in
1915, the marshes had been drained and
turned into fields and pastures.
Weinacht and Hedges have taken a
small step toward reversing that process.
They have created three small ponds, fed
by the Sandia Canal, and are building a
fourth pond the size of the first three combined.
When completed, the wetlands will
cover about six acres and will provide a
habitat for migrating shorebirds. The
ponds are easily accessible to the public
from County Road 313, which runs south
from State Highway 17, just where the state
highway turns west after crossing under
Interstate 10. There are three inviting picnic
tables beside the ponds.
The morning that Hedges and Weinacht
and I were there was sunny and pleasantly
cool. There had been a severe hailstorm
the previous evening, and shredded leaves
from cottonwood trees covered the ground
around us. Shorebirds were already arriving.
As we sat at one of the picnic tables
and talked, a flight of half a dozen or so
western sandpipers skimmed over the
water and settled on the pond nearest us,
immediately standing up in the shallow
water and plucking organisms out of it
with their long bills. “They are on their
way to Alaska, where they nest in the
spring,” Hedges said. “I’m surprised that
they have any feathers left after last night,”
Weinacht said, adding that eight inches of
hail had fallen at Saragosa, just up the
road. We also saw several families of
northern shoveler ducks on the other side
of the pond, and as we walked between the
ponds, scared up a green-winged teal that
was resting in a clump of grass on the bank.
She flew off to join a cinnamon teal and a
blue-winged teal paddling on the water.
These birds, Hedges pointed out, were just
the beginning of the spring migration.
The remarkable thing about the Sandia
Springs Wetlands is that Ellen Weinacht
and her husband, Don, created it themselves,
on their own land, with absolutely
no aid from the federal, state, or local government,
and they have made it available
to the public. When they first got the idea
they consulted Hedges and Madge Lindsay
of Fort Davis, who are fellow birders
and naturalists. Hedges helped them pick
the site, using a soil map of Reeves County
to locate a patch of clayey soil that would
hold water. They have enlisted the Tierra
Grande chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists
to assist with the planning and
development, and the master naturalists
have created committees of volunteers to
help with water management, interpretation,
and plant species. But the project
is pure, uncluttered, non-bureaucratic
private enterprise, done in the straightforward
Texas way. The Weinachts had a
good idea and went ahead with it. As the
Gary P. Nunn songs says, “When a Texan
fancies he’ll take his chances, chances will
be taken.”
Excerpted from ‘Texas People, Texas Places:
More Musings of the Rambling Boy,’ TCU Press;
ELLEN WEINACHT
prs.tcu.edu. (Original column: April 26, 2012)
Sandia Springs Wetlands and the
nearby farmlands provide a haven for
snow geese that winter in the area.
24 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
Observations
Anytime we hear someone start a
sentence with, “When I was a kid … ” we
can expect a lament on the decline of
Western civilization and how kids today
just aren’t as tough as they should be.
Those among us who grew up eating dirt
for lunch—on the good days, we might get
a side of rocks—are accustomed to these
laments. It’s hard, after all, to see past an
HD screen on a thousand-dollar computer
to the hard times of past generations.
And somewhere along the way from
the fantastic ’50s of my youth to the “too
much is not enough” teens of today, we’ve
slowly acquired an attitude that if an item
costs more, it must be better. Perhaps
nowhere is that skewed mental state more
apparent than the world of hunting and
fishing, the world in which I’ve lived and
made my living for most of my adult life.
Here’s an example: I paid $1,100 for my
first bass boat. It was an olive green Terry,
14 feet long, with a MotorGuide electric
motor and a 20-horsepower Evinrude
engine—state of the art in the mid-1970s.
Actually, my first bass boat was a mangled
aluminum johnboat nobody else
wanted. I paddled that around lakes for
years until I actually got a job and decided
to splurge on new hardware.
My first rod and reel was a $12 gift my
dad bought mail-order from the Gadabout
Gaddis television show that was popular
in the 1950s. I loved that outfit. Later I
managed to scrape together enough
money to buy two rods and reels that collectively
might have cost $75. With that
gear, I put thousands of bass into my little
green boat.
I now have a rod and reel, a custom rod
fitted with a Shimano Calais reel, that
would exceed the cost of all of that 1970s
equipment. I actually won it in a casting bet
with my little brother, and I use it proudly
but cautiously lest I lose it overboard.
Folks who hunt and fish have foregone
the $100 deer lease and the rickety old
Jeep for $10,000 hunting estates. They
drive there in $60,000 trucks and shoot
$1,000 rifles fitted with $1,500 scopes.
They aim at quail with $3,000 shotguns,
firing shells that cost $15 a box at game
birds that may run to $20 each.
It’s insane. We’re insane. We tell ourselves
inflation strikes everywhere and
thus it’s fine to shell out a little more, and
then a little more after that. More is better
and better is best.
I keep telling myself this, pretending
not to be insane because of my pursuit of
new and better equipment. After all, a
caught fish and a dead dove are just as
caught or dead with a $100 reel or a $300
shotgun, but I’ve convinced myself it feels
better if I’ve paid more for my tools.
I try to stay in the mid range, but right
now there are at least a dozen rods and
reels in my equipment room. Average
price: $400. And that’s not counting maybe
10 fly rods of every weight and at every
price point.
Truth is, I never, ever use more than
three—the same three—on any fishing trip.
I tell myself I’m holding them for my
grandkids, but I only have seven of those,
so some will have to double up on equipment
when I shuffle off this earth.
Still, I think nowhere has the “never
Casting Cash Away
The outdoors experience can come with whopping
price tags, but it doesn’t have to be that way
BY MIKE LEGGETT
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 25
enough” chigger sunk his teeth into our
flesh more than in the field of food storage.
I’ll be glad to tell you how.
Some of the hardest times we had were
keeping food fresh and drinks cold. Try
doing that with a Styrofoam ice chest that
cost $6 and was as brittle as a dry cedar
twig. First, the lid blew off when you got
out on the highway, and a deer rib bone
was for sure going to poke a hole through
the side before you got home.
Most of us aspired to a Coleman or
Igloo hard-sided cooler. That’s what we
called them, “hard-sided,” to enhance our
cooler ownership status. You could throw
one onto a boat to carry drinks and sandwiches
or to keep fish from spoiling on a
stringer and get home with it intact.
But something has happened in the
cooler market in the past decade.
We are now in the age of the high-dollar
megacooler—heavy, tough, tested on grizzly
bears, hot- and cold-conveying behemoths
that my grandfather would have
looked at with wonder.
Take to the Internet, and you’ll find a
list of these coolers, an even more amazing
array than I thought existed. At least four
of these brands—Yeti, Brute, Pelican and
Icehole—have Texas ties. (Trying saying
“Icehole” five times fast.)
Others include K2, Irp, Orca, Grizzly,
Galaxy and Engel. There might be more,
but you’re going to run out of money long
before you strike the end of the list. They
all claim to keep ice longer, up to a week
in some cases.
Some models sell for close to $200; others
are well over $1,000. That’s what I said:
ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. You could
use that one as a coffin, I suppose, and
come out to the good.
Every manufacturer recommends you
chill the ice chest first, by putting it in a
cooler or filling it with ice, then adding
your load plus ice to keep it cold for several
days. Don’t open it or you’ll let in warm
air, and your ice will begin melting.
But what good is an ice chest you can’t
open without losing your cool? Don’t ask
me. And isn’t the freezing point of water
still 32 degrees? Beer is still cold whether
the ice chest costs $50 or $500.
Trust me. I have two of the expensive
ones—combined cost about $700—and a
$50 model in my pickup right now. The
ice has melted in every one of them.
Legendary outdoors writer Mike Leggett
lives in Burnet and is a member of Pedernales EC.
JONATHAN CARLSON
Read his blog at mikeleggettoutdoors.com.
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TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 33
Texas History
When you see the town of Spanish
Fort on a Texas map, it jumps out at you.
It’s tucked into a long bend of the Red
River, just north of Nocona.
You believe that the Spanish didn’t
have any forts that far north. You wonder
if the structure is still intact.
First, the fort, which included wooden
stockades, entrenchments and a moat, is
long gone. Only an historical marker stands
to mark its original location.
Second, “Spanish” fort is inaccurate.
The fortification was actually a French
structure built at the location of a Taovaya
Indian village in about 1719. The Taovayas
had just moved into the region when the
French ventured farther west along the
Red River. The French and Taovaya developed
a successful trading partnership.
Third, when the only major defense of
the fort was mounted in 1759, the attacking
forces were actually Spanish, and the fort
defenders included a French contingent
along with Taovaya, Wichita and Comanche.
When an early Anglo settler visited the
ruins 100 years later, he assumed the
inhabitants were Spanish. Hence the
name “Spanish Fort.”
And finally, the Native Americans’ rout
of the Spanish at the French/Taovaya
fortress marked Spain’s earliest defeat in
Texas, and this defeat helped limit Spanish
expansion.
The Spanish Fort played a role in the
broader history of 18th-century Texas.
That role had its origins about 250 miles
south where, in the mid-1750s, the Spanish
established Mission San Saba and Presidio
San Saba along the San Saba River to look
for silver and proselytize the Apache. Not
long after the two complexes were completed,
the Apaches boasted about their
mighty new partners.
When word of a new force in the region
reached the Comanches, they marshaled
some of their Wichita, Taovaya and Yojuane
allies and headed south. On the morning of
March 16, 1758, the Comanche and their
2,000-warrior confederacy attacked the
mission, massacred most of its inhabitants
and torched most of the buildings.
The scantily numbered Spanish garrisoned
at Presidio San Saba helplessly witnessed
the upstream smoke and gunfire.
When the Spanish sought revenge
months later, they discovered an old
fortification flying the French colors on
the Red River. It was protected by a tributary
moat and—to the Spaniards’ surprise—
manned by Taovaya, Wichita and Comanche
Indians armed with French muskets.
The attack on the fort failed. The Spanish
retreated hastily, leaving their supply
train and cannons behind. The disgraced
force traveled 18 days to Presidio San Saba.
The Comanche harassed them all the way,
and the Spanish never sought further military
redress, going so far as to abandon
the San Saba mission and presidio.
Within a decade, there was no European
influence left in the area of Spanish Fort.
In 1771, Spanish Louisiana normalized relations
with the Taovaya. The Taovayas were
decimated by smallpox in the early 1800s,
and survivors abandoned the area.
The Comanche remained a force on the
Texas Plains until the late 19th century,
but the ranks of the Taovaya shrank, and
they joined the Wichita.
Today, all that remains of the fort is a
historical marker mounted on an 8-foottall
shaft of red granite in the town square
and the Taovayas Indian Bridge across the
Red River, connecting Texas FM 677 with
Oklahoma State Highway 89.
E.R. Bills is a writer from Aledo.
For more information on Spanish Fort, consult
the Handbook of Texas online, The Southwestern
Historical Quarterly or the West Texas Historical
JOHN WILSON
Association.
Mystery of Spanish Fort
BY E.R. BILLS
French stronghold near the Red River was site of a decisive defeat of Spanish
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TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 35
Recipes
Crowning Touch
When it comes to casseroles, you
can count on Austin’s Crystal Cook [left
in inset] and Sandy Pollock for a recipe.
This entrepreneurial duo started a
business delivering casseroles while
wearing frilly aprons and heels, won a
spot on the Food Network show
“Throwdown With Bobby Flay” and
went on to write two cookbooks, “The
Casserole Queens Cookbook” and “The
Casserole Queens Make-A-Meal Cookbook.”
These days you can find them in
the pages of Woman’s Day magazine,
where they share casserole-inspired
recipes such as this lasagna.
ANNA GINSBERG, FOOD EDITOR
Zucchini Lasagna
2 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
 divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons salt
2 medium zucchini
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 (2 ounces)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large straight-sided skillet over
medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of
olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper
flakes and cook, stirring occasionally,
until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes.
Add the turkey and cook, breaking
up any large pieces with the back of a
spoon, until brown throughout, 3 to 4
minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring
the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat
to medium and simmer until it thickens,
about 20 minutes. Stir in the
oregano and salt. Let cool.
3. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into
thin strips about
⅛ inch thick. Place
5 or 6 zucchini slices, overlapping
slightly, into the bottom of an 8-by-8-
PHOTOS © CLARKSON POTTER
inch baking dish. Top with 1 cup of
36 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
Chicken and Spinach
Pasta Bake
8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pack frozen spinach (10 ounces),
 thawed and well-drained
3 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast
1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes
 (14 ounces), undrained
8 ounces chive-and-onion-flavored
 cream cheese
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
 (optional)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare rigatoni as directed on the
package. Apply cooking spray to an 11-
by- 7-inch baking pan. Lay the chopped
onion in the baking pan and bake for
Creamy Creole Turkey Bake
ALI ALLIE | COSERV ELECTRIC
⅔ cup chopped onion
⅔ cup chopped celery
⅓ cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
¼ pound mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1 can stewed tomatoes (8 ounces),
 drained
1 ½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
4 ounces fettuccine, cooked according
 to package directions
2 cups cooked, cubed turkey
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a medium nonstick skillet over
medium-high heat, sauté the onion,
celery, green pepper and garlic in butter
4–5 minutes or until the vegetables
are crisp-tender. Add the mushrooms
and sauté 2 minutes more. Remove
from heat.
3. In a large bowl, blend the cream
cheese, tomatoes and Creole seasoning.
Fold in the vegetable mixture, cooked
fettuccine and turkey.
4. Apply vegetable cooking spray to a
9-inch square baking dish and pour the
mixture into it. Sprinkle Parmesan
cheese over the top. Bake 30 minutes
or until bubbly.
Servings: 12. Serving size: 4 ounces. Per serving:
424 calories, 66.38 g protein, 11.46 g fat, 6.26 g
carbohydrates, 1.10 g dietary fiber, 1,421 mg sodium,
2.06 g sugars, 130 mg cholesterol
Cheeseburger-Allthe-Way
Casserole
CHUCK BURGESS | HEART OF TEXAS EC
“This dish is easily customized—add mushrooms,
use sweet pickles or a different
cheese, etc.—though my family insists:
‘Don’t change it!’ ”
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
½ cup diced onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups sliced baby spinach leaves
1 can baked potato with cheddar and
 bacon bits soup (18.8 ounces)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons mustard
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Recipes
15 minutes or just until tender.
2. Transfer cooked onion to large
bowl. Press the drained spinach dry
with paper towels to remove any
excess moisture. Add cooked rigatoni,
spinach, chicken, diced tomatoes,
cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes
and pepper to the bowl with the onion
and mix well. Spoon mixture into the
baking pan and sprinkle evenly with
shredded mozzarella cheese.
3. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake an additional
15 minutes.
COOK’S TIP This not only tastes delicious, it
is also a really pretty dish—especially if you
use multicolored rigatoni pasta.
Servings: 12. Serving size: 6 ounces. Per serving:
289 calories, 25.69 g protein, 5.28 g fat, 34.89 g
carbohydrates, 5.73 g dietary fiber, 886 mg
sodium, 13.26 g sugars, 54 mg cholesterol
Recipe Contest: Casseroles
THIS MONTH’S WINNING RECIPE
JENNIFER RIECK | MEDINA EC
Casseroles have always been the busy cook’s best friend, creatively
combining ingredients on hand into quick and tasty new dishes.
Sure enough, this month our readers showed us that when it comes
to casserole ingredients—from cheeseburgers to French toast—the
possibilities are endless … and delicious.
sauce. Dot with ¼ cup ricotta. Repeat
the layers twice, alternating the direction
of the zucchini. Top with remaining
zucchini and brush the top with the
remaining olive oil. Dot with the
remaining ¼ cup ricotta and season
with black pepper. Top with the Parmesan
cheese.
4. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until the
lasagna is bubbling and the top is brown.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Servings: 8. Serving size: 5 ounces. Per serving:
231 calories, 16.23 g protein, 14.46 g fat, 8.38 g
carbohydrates, 1.84 g dietary fiber, 883 mg sodium,
3.36 g sugars, 57 mg cholesterol
Reprinted from “The Casserole Queens Make-A-Meal
Cookbook” by Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Clarkson Potter,
a division of Penguin Random House.
$100 Recipe Contest
June’s recipe contest topic is Your Heritage Through Food. Whether you’re
a sixth-generation Texan or your kin got here as fast they could, it’s likely
that your ancestors brought their kitchen traditions with them. Share a
recipe that reflects your ethnic heritage. The deadline is January 10.
There are three ways to enter: ONLINE at TexasCoopPower.com/contests; MAIL to 1122 Colorado St., 24th
Floor, Austin, TX 78701; FAX to (512) 763-3401. Include your name, address and phone number, plus your
co-op and the name of the contest you are entering.
 SPONSORED BY THE TEXAS PEANUT PRODUCERS BOARD
IMAGE © SERG64, USED UNDER LICENSE FROM SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 37
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup beef broth
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup grated pepper jack cheese
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced dill pickles, drained
1 pie crust, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons sesame seeds
Cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a medium skillet over medium
heat, cook meat and onion in oil until
meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
Drain off liquid. Stir in spinach.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together soup,
cornstarch, mustard, salt, pepper, broth,
egg and cheeses until blended. Stir in the
meat mixture.
4. Pour half into an 8-by-10-inch ovenproof
baking dish. Place tomato slices
evenly over top. Spread pickle slices
evenly on top of tomato layer. Pour
remaining mixture on top and spread
evenly.
5. Place pie crust on top and shape
edges to fit baking dish. Flute edges and
cut 4 slits in crust. Lightly apply cooking
spray to crust and sprinkle with
sesame seeds. Cover edge of crust with
foil to prevent overbrowning.
6. Bake 25–30 minutes, removing foil
for the last 10 minutes. Turn on high
broil for the final 2 minutes until
lightly browned. Remove from oven
and serve hot.
Servings: 12. Serving size: 6 ounces. Per serving:
353 calories, 18.04 g protein, 19.55 g fat, 19.23 g
carbohydrates, 2.29 g dietary fiber, 884 mg sodium,
1.39 g sugars, 69 mg cholesterol
Crème Brûlée Texas Toast
STACY CHAPMAN | BLUEBONNET EC
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
10 slices Texas Toast
5 eggs
1 ½ cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
½ teaspoon salt
1. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In
a saucepan, combine corn syrup, butter
and brown sugar. Simmer until mixture
reaches a syrupy consistency, then pour
into baking pan. Cut bread in half diagonally
and lay slices on top.
2. Whisk eggs, half-and-half, vanilla,
orange liqueur and salt together. Pour over
bread, and cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. When you are ready to cook, preheat
oven to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes.
COOK’S TIP This can be made using a variety of
types of bread. Slices of French bread work well,
and so do torn pieces of focaccia bread.
Servings: 10. Serving size: 1 slice toast. Per serving:
256 calories, 4.34 g protein, 14.69 g fat, 25.57 g
carbohydrates, 0 g dietary fiber, 175 mg sodium,
22.32 g sugars, 130 mg cholesterol
WEB EXTRAS at TexasCoopPower.com
Find more casseroles in our online archive of
more than 500 recipes.
The Texas Department of Insurance can answer
your questions and help you resolve complaints
against insurance companies and agents.
Call our toll-free Consumer Help Line or visit
our website.
1-800-252-3439
www.tdi.texas.gov
Protect yourself from insurance fraud. Make
sure your company and agent are licensed.
To verify a company’s or agent’s license, call
our Consumer Help Line or use the Agent and
Company Lookup features on our website.
Need help with an
insurance question
or problem?
We are a state
agency.
We don’t sell
insurance.
Texas Department of
Insurance
cb108.1114
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Focus on Texas
Hats
There’s no need to pass the hat; your photo
contributions were plentiful. From furry to fabulous,
you threw your hats into the ring—and, man, did they
turn some heads! GRACE ARSIAGA
WEB EXTRAS at TexasCoopPower.com Want more? We’ve got
you covered on our website.
d DEBBIE GRIFFIN, Wood County EC:
Her oldest grandson, Johnny, makes
his first visit to the Alamo.
g RONNIE BAKER, Guadalupe
Valley EC: ‘Mama, don’t let your
puppies grow up to be cowdogs.’
UPCOMING CONTESTS
APRIL IN BLOOM DUE JAN 10
MAY HEROES DUE FEB 10
JUNE SLOW DOWN DUE MAR 10
All entries must include name, address, daytime phone and
co-op affiliation, plus the contest topic and a brief description
of your photo.
ONLINE: Submit highest-resolution digital images at Texas
CoopPower.com/contests. MAIL: Focus on Texas, 1122 Colorado
St., 24th Floor, Austin, TX 78701. A stamped, self-addressed
envelope must be included if you want your entry returned
(approximately six weeks). Please do not submit irreplaceable
photographs—send a copy or duplicate. We do not accept
entries via email. We regret that Texas Co-op Power cannot be
responsible for photos that are lost in the mail or not received
by the deadline.
d APRIL LISTER, Greenbelt EC: Her 14-yearold
Chihuahua, Chipper Roo, is in disguise.
o MARIA HERNANDEZ, Navarro County EC:
Liam Miguel, 4, is dressed in his charro
outfit for Halloween.
o HAROLD AND SHELLEEN STEELE, Karnes EC:
Rebecca Steele holds her dwarf Roborovski hamster,
Tulip, wearing an earbud as a French beret.
40 Texas Co-op Power January 2015 TexasCoopPower.com
Nacogdoches [15–18] Pulpwood Queens
Book Clubs’ Girlfriend Weekend,
(903) 601-2725, beautyandthebook.com
16
Kingsland [16–17] Quilt Show,
(325) 423-1934, barbsquilts.com
17
Emory Eagle Fest, (903) 473-3913,
rainscountychamberofcommerce.com
January
6
Bonham Sam Rayburn Day Open House,
(903) 583-5558, visitsamrayburnhouse.com
Cleburne [6–10] Johnson County Junior
Livestock Show & Youth Fair, (817) 790-0151,
jclaa.net
9
Fort Stockton [9–10] Pecos County
Livestock Show, (432) 336-2541
10
Bastrop [10–11] Chili Cook-Offs,
(512) 844-6668, bastropchamber.com
Brenham [10–11] Annual Antiques
& Collectibles Show, (979) 865-5618,
ruraltexasantiquesshows.com
15
Austin [15–17] Travis County Livestock Show
and Youth Fair, (512) 278-8498,
traviscountyyouthshow.org
ACCORDIAN: © TYLER OLSON | DREAMSTIME.COM. CHILI: © JOSHUA RESNICK | DOLLAR PHOTO CLUB
Pick of the Month
Czech Music Festival
Ennis [February 7]
(972) 875-7959, ennisczechmusicfestival.com
Five polka bands play all afternoon and late
into the night. Food and raffle drawings
accompany the dancing. Dress is casual, but
this would be a fine time to put on your kroj
(tradtitional Czech attire).
Around Texas Get Going> This is just a sampling of the events and festivals around
November 17
Johnson City
First Baptist Chili Cook-Off
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TexasCoopPower.com January 2015 Texas Co-op Power 41
28
Pearsall Writers’ League of Texas Program:
Texas Writes, (830) 334-2496,
writersleague.org
Longview [28–29, February 4, 5, 7]
JA SuperBowl, (903) 297-2202, jaeasttexas.org
Eastland [through March 16] Our Lives,
Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation,
(254) 965-6190, ctfac.com
31
Palacios Deutschburg Seafood Benefit,
(361) 920-1517
Johnson City First Baptist Church Chili CookOff,
(830) 868-7252, johnsoncity-texas.com
Wellington Collingsworth County Livestock
Show, (806) 447-2313
Victoria [17–18] Comic Con, (361) 485-3215,
victoriacomiccon.org
21
Fredericksburg [21–23] Texas Aquaculture
Association Conference & Trade Show,
(830) 377-5943, taaconference.com
22
Snyder Writers’ League of Texas Program:
Texas Writes, (325) 573-5572,
scurrycountylibrary.com
23
Navasota [23–25] Go Texan Days,
(936) 825-2843, navasotagrimeschamber.com
24
Perryton Josh Abbott Band Concert,
(806) 435-6575, ptnchamber.com
Presidio Big Bend Ranch State Park Star
Party, (432) 358-4444, tpwd.state.tx.us
February
6
Robstown [6–7] “Celebrate Coastal
Quilting” Quilt Show, (361) 387-9000,
corpuschristiquilters.com
Hondo [6–8] St. Valentine’s Day Motorcycle
Massacre, (210) 601-1932, massacrerally.com
Marble Falls [6–8] SparrowFest Retreat,
(512) 965-2473, sparrowfest.org
San Angelo [6–14] “Last of the Red Hot
Lovers,” (325) 949-4400, angelotheater.com
7
Washington [7–8] Light in the Dark,
(936) 878-2214, ext. 246, tpwd.state.tx.us
© LEEKRIS | DOLLAR PHOTO CLUB
Submit Your Event!
We pick events for the magazine directly from
TexasCoopPower.com. Submit your event for
March by January 10, and it just might be
featured in this calendar!
February 6
Robstown
“Celebrate Coastal Quilting”
Quilt Show
BE SHORE TO
TAKE TIME TO COAST.
MAKE PLANS TO MIGRATE HERE
FEBRUARY 19-22 2015
WHOOPING CRANE FESTIVAL
Texas. For a complete listing, please visit TexasCoopPower.com/events.
42 Texas Co-op Power January 2015
Like many rural communities across
the Panhandle, the town of TURKEY (population
410) still depends on an all-volunteer
fire department, the best food in town can
be found at a family-owned and -operated
café (Galvan’s), and a room at the local
hostelry (the Hotel Turkey, built in 1927)
can usually be secured at a moment’s notice.
Main Street, not surprisingly, is especially
quiet on Sundays, and fried catfish,
prepared by local volunteer groups such as
the Lions Club, often serves as proxy in the
town’s unofficial motto, “Love Turkey, Eat
Fish,” particularly on fundraising nights.
Turkey also is the boyhood haunt of
country swing king Bob Wills. The town’s
annual celebration, Bob Wills Day, attracts
diehard fans of western swing, the musical
style that once dominated charts and rural
radio stations throughout the 1930s. A
nostalgic sense of the ’30s still lingers in
Turkey, particularly along its edges. Here,
tidy streets end, plowed fields begin and
red dirt farm-to-market roads lead you
across the region’s agrarian backyard,
through the broken rangeland of caprock
country, and out of this century altogether.
A 10-minute drive east from Turkey
along Texas 86 takes you to QUITAQUE (pronounced
“kitty-kway” by some and “kitta-kway”
by others), a community established
in 1865 by Comanchero trader José Piedad
Tafoya. Tafoya built a trading post here to
exchange goods with the Comanches, and
transactions often swapped ammunition
for stolen livestock.
Quitaque is the gateway to Caprock
Canyon State Park (home to the official
Texas state bison herd) and the Caprock
Canyons Trailway, a 64-mile multiuse hiking,
biking and equestrian trail. The trailway,
composed of the remaining berm of
the abandoned Fort Worth and Denver
South Plains Railway Line, is divided into
six trail sections from 5 to 17 miles in
length. It hosts eight trailheads accessible
from farm-to-market roads and state highways,
crosses 46 bridges and rolls over
farms and brushy ranchlands before passing
through Clarity Tunnel (home to
migratory Mexican free-tailed bats), then
climbs up and over the caprock escarpment
on a 7 percent grade.
In addition to Turkey and Quitaque, the
region offers plenty of other day-tripping
destinations all within a few hours’ drive
from Lubbock, including the community
of MATADOR. Matador served as post office
location for the historic Matador Ranch
during the late 19th century and, today,
hosts the restored Matador Hotel.
Built in 1914 and officially opened a year
later as the Carter Hotel, this two-story
mash-up of Prairie and Spanish Colonial
Revival architecture occupies a small lot
and garden along Matador’s Main Street.
During its first decade, the hotel’s amenities
included laundry service, a bellhop, manicured
gardens and an ice cream parlor that
occupied the entire length of the lobby.
The hotel had 15 rooms but only one
bath with an oak-rimmed bathtub measuring
9 feet long (25 cents a bath). In the
1920s, the name was changed to Hotel
Matador, and several decades later, barber
Warren Clements bought the property,
replacing the ice cream parlor with a barbershop
featuring a tin ceiling and wallto-wall
beveled mirrors.
Today, it serves as an eight-room bedand-breakfast
with modern conveniences
such as private bathrooms and wireless
Internet. The hotel’s luxurious Circle
Cross Heritage Suite replaced the barbershop
but retains its wall-to-wall mirrors
and white tin ceiling. The suite is also the
former location of the oak-rimmed tub,
and in its place the owners have installed
a bathtub big enough for two.
Feel free to leave your hat on.
Photographer, author and artist E. Dan
Klepper lives and works in Marathon.
Hit the Road
Turkey Trottin’
A visit to the Caprock Canyons territory
BY E. DAN KLEPPER
E. DAN KLEPPER
IF YOU GO City of Turkey turkeytexas.net,
Bob Wills Day bobwillsday.com, Caprock
Canyons Trailway and Caprock Canyons
State Park tpwd.state.tx.us/caprockcanyons,
Quitaque Chamber of Commerce quitaque.org
WEB EXTRAS at TexasCoopPower.com
View a slideshow with more photos.
.
The Oxbow Trail is a 10-mile section of the
Caprock Canyons Trailway, a 64-mile multiuse
hiking, biking and equestrian path.
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