The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000

Monumental Myths

PAUL GERVAIS BELL JR.*
GOOD EVENING FRIENDS AND FELLOW HISTORIANS. I STAND BEFORE
you on this night because it has long since been the custom in our
learned society for the departing president to address those assembled
at our annual meeting. You have done me a great honor by allowing me
to be your president this year. It has a special significance for me be-
cause of a longtime family involvement in TSHA. Guy M. Bryan of
Quintana, my great-great-uncle was a charter member, fellow, and vice
president to O. M. Roberts. Other family members whose names are on
the original membership list are Beauregard Bryan of Brenham, Hally
Ballinger Bryan of Quintana, and Seth Shepard of Washington, D.C. My
cousins J. P. Bryan, Senior and Junior, are both past presidents of the
association.
I now want to introduce the head table. In the interest of time, please
withhold any tomatoes, applause, or catcalls until they are all intro-
duced. The only protocol for seating at this table is that it is nice to
have the officers. I agree with that, so I am pleased to introduce Nor-
man Brown who will soon be your president and his wife Betty. Al Low-
man, who is stag tonight will be your first vice president. The rest are
family members, my wife Sue, my daughter Susan Bell Boykin. My son
Stephen Austin Bell and his wife Tricia, and my cousin Stephen Cook,
who is a great-grandson of Guy M. Bryan. His wife, Allyson, is a member
of our council. Last but not least are my cousin J. P. Bryan Jr. and his
wife, Mary Jon.
As you may have noticed, the title of my talk is Monumental Myths. I
will be using some images, and promise not to give you anything too
heavy. Beyond that I have noticed that when the lights go out some of us
who may have had a few pops before supper tend to get heavy-lidded. I
do not intend to get overly serious but do hope that I can enlighten you
*Paul Gervals Bell Jr. is a retired Houston general contractor. He is president of the San
Jacinto Museum of History Association. He gave this speech at the 1999 TSHA annual meeting
in Dallas.

SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

JULY, 1999

VOL. CIII, NO. 1

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/. Accessed July 14, 2014.