Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 87
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HONOR THE FIDDLER!
George Booker was a famous fiddler in Nacogdoches, says
J. B. Cranfill. Jailed for killing a man, Booker pleaded with the
sheriff to let him fill a dance engagement that night, and the
sheriff finally agreed to chaperone him. Booker played well,
perhaps in the knowledge that this would be his last time to
fiddle in those parts; he went out on the porch about three
o'clock in the morning for a breath of fresh air and was never
seen again. His favorite tune, and likely his farewell selection-
"Fine Times at Our House," is now often played as "George
From the grove with the little blackjack trees over in Hop-
kins County, in East Texas, came the name for a fiddle tune
"Blackjack Grove" and likewise for a town that was well-known
in the 1870's. In another instance a fiddle tune is associated with
a Texas place name, "Hog-Eye" becoming attached to the old
Lytton place in Caldwell County."
Matt Brown, fiddler of the Texas Panhandle, composed a
tune during the infancy of the automobile, says J. B. Cranfill. He
had been left afoot some twenty-eight miles from Amarillo
and had started to hike in. Tired and weary after covering half
the distance, he sat down to wait for an automobile. Finally, one
came chugging by at a rapid speed, and Brown attempted to flag
a ride, but the driver ignored him. Brown jumped aside to escape
injury; then he resumed his place disconsolate beside the road
and composed a tune which he called "Done Gone." Maybe a
similar story would explain the name of the tune "Five Miles
H. H. Hubbard of Fort Worth says "Tom and Jerry" was
named for the yoke of fine oxen belonging to his grandfather,
but T. J. McClain of Houston and others play this tune, a fact
which does not help the oxen story but would not overrule a
suspicion that the tune might be named-at least indirectly-
for the alcoholic creation by the same name; perhaps both the
oxen and the tune were named for the drink.
Though it would be ever so much better to have the tunes
12A tune titled "George Booker" was printed as early as 1839 by George P.
Knauff, New York.
"J. Frank Dobie, "Stories in Texas Place Names," in Straight Texas, Publi-
cations XIII of Texas Folk-Lore Society, Austin, 1937, 43.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/95/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.