Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 84
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
plete without him. He wanted no banjo or second fiddle. His
charges were moderate, and if he had a new pair of boots, his
cup of joy was full. And if those boots had red tops and Arch
had his breeches in his boots, that cup of joy was slopping over.
Give him a chair in the corner, his breeches in his boots, and a
new E string (E strings were as scarce as fiddlers beyond the
Pearly Gates for a while), and Arch was ready to begin. In-
spired by Arch, Jim Heffington, who was born on South Bear
Creek, not far from Fort Worth, in 1852, practiced day and
night, till at the age of fourteen he was the unorganized staff of
Bozzell. In 1870 Pa Heffington decided to leave Parker County
because it was too crowded; a family had settled two miles above
him. Jim went with his father to the western part of Travis
County at the age of eighteen, and there he fiddled for thirty-two
years, till the day of his death. He met a Miss Enochs, who could
play a fiddle almost as well as Jim, and their home was always
a source of joy to all lovers of fiddling and good food. Heffing-
ton's reputation spread to the west; he was called upon to play
for dances and barbecues from Bee Caves to Loyal Valley in
Mason County. To his great delight, in Mason he met John
Lane, the only man he acknowledged could play the "Devil's
Dream" better than he. Coming to the Bear Creek neighbor-
hood just after the Civil War was Isaac Newton "Hawkins, owner
of a fine fiddle and the only man in those parts at the time who
could play by note.
Another Parker County musician, who has already been men-
tioned, was Hugh Hubbard.' When he was a small boy in
Georgia, he made himself a violin by sawing a gourd in two and
sticking an old fiddle neck in one end of it. He then dried a
squirrel skin, stretched it over the gourd, and cut a hole in the
skin. After fixing the strings and bow, he tinkered with the
results a few weeks, and then the young man began to teach
himself how to play. In a few months Hugh's father walked
upon his son in a chimney corner playing "Molly Put the Kettle
On" in no mean manner. The parent was well pleased and
gave his son a real violin. It was this instrument that he brought
'John Terry Hooks, "A Fiddle Instead of a Sixahooter," Dallas News, Sept.
26, 1926. The writer also has talked with one of Hugh Hubbard's ten sons
and two of his grandsons.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/92/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.