Bringing Home A Hero

Last week, November 19th, Hico, Texas said farewell to hometown hero lance corporal Shawn P. Hefner.  He died Nov. 13 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was scheduled to return to his home base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., within a week. Hefner who was a 2006 graduate of Hico High School enlisted in the Marines in 2008.

Heffener’s flagged draped coffin was returned to Waco, TX on Thursday November 19th.   The Patriot Guard Riders of North and Central Texas led the procession from Waco to Hico. As the procession wound its way along Texas 6 through Valley Mills, Clifton, Meridian and Iredell citizens lined the highway many waving American flags as a sign of respect. The entire town of Hico, all 1300, lined the streets to welcome home their hero.  According to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram Hico School Superintendent Rod Townsend even had all of the students from 3rd through 12th grades bused downtown.

“I wanted the children to see how important he was for this nation,” Townsend said. “I wanted them to have a lump in their throat, just like I did. Some things you can’t teach without seeing it. And you know what? You could have heard a pin drop in this town when those police lights came over that hill.”

This video tribute by shows the return of a fallen hero LCpl Shawn P. Hefner. It is about 10 minutes long but worth the time to watch.

Update: The Stephenville Empire-Tribune posted a video of the actual procession entering Hico.

Note: Cross-Posted on Gazetteer of Hamilton County

Texas Top 10 in Honor of San Jacinto Day

I have wanted to post something today in honor of San Jacinto Day. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to come up with something that tops last years. I kind of over did it last year. So, I thought about doing a Texas Top 10 but unfortunately already used most of my ideas in another post. Then I thought a tribute to Dr Pepper or barbecue but I’ve already done that as well. I have also already reposted a comedy routine about Texas attributed to Jeff Foxworthy.

San Jacinto Monument For the non-Texans a brief overview of San Jacinto. 21 April 1836 the Texican forces under the command of General Sam Houston defeated the Mexican troops led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. The short but decisive battle took place near Buffalo Bayou (Houston). While the Mexican forces were taking a nap, Houston launched an attack on the Mexican camp. By the time the Mexican forces woke and figured out what was happening it was all over but the shouting. The entire battle lasted 18 minutes, making it one of the shortest battles in military history. You read more about  San Jacinto Day here. Please do not leave comments about how the Texas Revolution was really a plot by United States to steal Texas.  When my family first moved to Texas they became Mexican Citizens.

In honor of San Jacinto Day I am sharing some well know contributions from Texas.

#10: Corny Dogs:  Introduced by Neil and Carl Fletcher in the 1942 Texas State fair.

#9: Waco Suspension Bridge was the first suspension bridge in the United States.

#8: The Astrodome was the first domed stadium.

#7: Texas is the nations’ leading producer of oil.

#6: Newsman Dan Rather got his big break covering Hurricane Carla for Houston’s CBS affiliate in 1961.

#5: Dell Computers started by Michael Dell in his dorm room at the University of Texas.

#4: Raised in California Sci-Fi genius Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas.

#3: Former Supreme Court Justice and Cowgirl Hall of Fame member Sandra Day O’ Connor was born in El Paso. She was raised on her family’s cattle ranch in Arizona.

#2: Blue Bell Ice Cream. In my opinion the most important product of the Post Oak Belt.  I could really use a bowl of Blue Bell Banana Pudding right now.

#1: Dr. Pepper created in 1885 by Charles Alderton in the Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas, it is the oldest major soft drink in the United States.

The Trials and Tribulations of a Dr Pepper Fanatic in a Alien Land

Or I Said Dr Pepper not that other stuff…

My beverage of choice is Dr Pepper, preferably the kind bottled in Dublin, TX. That is Dr Pepper not Pibb, Pibb extra, Root Beer or Wild Cherry Pepsi. It is the soft drink I grew up drinking and life was good until a few years ago when we moved to the east coast. We miss many of the simple things we took for granted like being able to order a Dr Pepper and have the wait staff know what you are talking about. Here is quick guide to some Dr Pepper basics.

First of all Dr Pepper isn’t a Pepsi product. In some areas it is distributed by Pepsi. It isn’t owned by Pepsi or Coke. Yes, it is possible to sell both Coke and Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper isn’t a cola. So please do not offer me Wild Cherry Pepsi. It does not taste like a cola. Nor does it taste anything like a root beer. So, please do not offer me any of those when I ask for a Dr Pepper. After all it is a unique blend of 23 flavors. Watch the commercial. (Go to the Entertainment section).

Yes, there is a difference between Dr Pepper and Pibb. Do not attempt to serve me an imposter as a Dr Pepper. I can tell the difference and I know the difference even if you don’t. If you must offer me a Pibb do so appropriately. If you only have Pibb this is a fact that causes much pain and suffering. Do not cheerfully offer me that other stuff. Instead either say it very quietly or act remorseful. After all you do not have that unique nectar of the gods but rather an imitation.

Why Dr Pepper only? Well, I’m from Texas and Dr Pepper is a Texas institution. Created in 1885 Dr Pepper is the oldest of the major soft drinks in the U.S.. It was created by Charles Alderton in the Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, TX. To learn more about the history of Dr Pepper check out the video below from the Dr. Pepper Museum.

What is so special about Dr Pepper from Dublin, Texas? Well, the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company has been bottling the sweet elixir since 1891. It is the original and oldest Dr Pepper bottling plant. They still use Imperial Pure Cane Sugar and not corn syrup. It tastes better than the other stuff.

So, next time you want a soft drink try an ice cold Dr Pepper instead of a cola or that other stuff.

Remember “Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2, and 4.? What is that? That is an old Dr Pepper advertising slogan from the 1920s.