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Tales from the San’tone River Bottom

A Cultural History

Volume Two: Historic Times

By Louise S. O’Connor

Here in the new millennium, it gives me pause to realize that more than one of my colleagues in historical preservation were born in the late nineteenth century. The need to preserve what things they have seen and the stories they have heard, becomes ever more critical with each passing decade. This Texas Coastal Bend Series now covers lives and stories that have seen three centuries of western civilization and history in the New World. Some things change and others remain always the same, especially where human nature is concerned.

These same people have seen life from a horse and buggy as well as pictures of our planet taken from the moon where man has walked. The resulting stories are fascinating and thought provoking. Can you imagine what it must have been like to see your first plane fly over or hear the voice of a faraway loved one coming out of a black box?

These people have had those experiences, and their stories are historical treasures-a true step back in time. Through their voices we are able to see the events they experienced and the changes they saw. They were many and they were profound. We see them adjust and adapt to the rapidly changing world around them and also see them manage to maintain their equilibrium, values, and humor.

The greatest concentration of change that mankind has ever witnessed occurred in the twentieth century. Most of the people with whom I have worked on this series have seen the events of this century unfold in front of their eyes. It has been a seemingly endless parade of change and happenings that have profoundly affected mankind forever. Some of this has been for the betterment of the human race and some has not.

During the twentieth century these people of the Texas Coastal Bend were there. They saw, they lived, they processed it, and then they told it to me with their usual clarity. Some of it is sad, some of it is funny, and all is a profound insight into the changes, influences, events and reactions to events experienced by the men, women and children of the Texas Coastal Bend.