The Albany News (Albany, Tex.), Vol. 119, No. 3, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 23, 1994 Page: 4 of 18
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Thursday, June 23, 1994
The Albany News
The Albany News
Oldest Journalistic venture west of the Brazos
Editor / Publisher Donnie A. Lucas
Melinda L. Lucas
Advertising & Business Manager Betty Vlertel
Betty Ball lew
Unlessyou have been in hidingyou know that
Albany is in the midst of Fandangle season.
With three successful shows under their belt,
the cast and crew are preparing for the final
three-day run of the show which starts tonight
at the Prairie Theater.
It is a good show, filled with humor, song,
dance and excitement.
In fact,there was a little too much excitement
during last. Friday night's performance when
the last two riders in the flag parade collided.
Rider Billy Estridge was seriously hurt with his
leg broken in two places, broken ribs and a
Billy came home from the hospital on Tues-
day, but will probably require surgery on both
his leg and shoulder, and our thoughts and
prayers for a speedy recovery are with him.
This year's show is being directed by Betsy
Parsons, who has served for several years as
assistant director. This is her maiden attempt at
directing 'he show on her own and she has done
an outstanding job. • ,
New to many Fandangle visitors will be some
of the old songs and narration taken from shows
done in the early 1950s. There is a whole gen-
eration (hat hasn't heard some of the numbers
being used this year, and they are good ones.
Of course, none of those who knew Marge
Bray, who directed the showfor thelast20 years
before succumbing to cancer in January, will
ever forget her or her unique way of directing the
But just'as Marge was .there to ca :*y on after
Fandangle founder Robert Nail died in 1968,the
torch has been passed to'Bet.sy. She is carrying
on in the grand tradition of Fandangle.
The best story Fandangle teaches may not be
the settling of this part of Texas. It rriay be the
lesson that all of us are capable of doing ex-
traordinary things - things we never dreamed
we we-e capable of doing until faced with the
challenge and then encouraged to succeed.
That may well be the legacy that Robert Nail,
Marge Bray and others have left with us — not
just telling a story, but learning how to pull
togethe r as a community even during adversity
and commit to working toward a common goal.
See you at the Fandangle!
It is a great show and well deserving of sup-
port and praise.
THE ALBANY NEWS
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, j ' ■ — —
s by Pat
By Pat Lidia Jones
Hey, how about them Cowboys? And
Indians? And dancers? And singers?
With the first week of Fandangle
safely tucked under our belts, I. am
bursting with pride and affection and
respect for Betsy Parsons, the cast, the
crew, all the many people who do their
separate tasks to tie the show together.
Doing the Fandangle this year, and
doing it well, was the most important
time since the revival of the show after
its creator, Robert E. Nail, died.
Most people thought there could be no
Fandangle without Bobby. Sure, his
death was a body blow, but when we'd
dried our tears, we knew there would no
tribute to Bobby better than keeping his
brain child alive and kicking.
The same holds true for the much-
loved Marge Bray, who died earlier this
year. She had been at the helm of our
show for many years.
Betsy Parsons was tapped to step up
and take over. Certainly Betsy is no,
novice to the show; she has been Marge's
right hand for a long time. Still, having
the name and the game is an awesome
task. I'm sure Betsy wondered in the
dark, still hours, "Can I do it?"
If there was a question, it was an-
swered on the stage last week.
Albany is a unique place. We are not
like most small towns, and we take pride
in the difference. One ofthe main things
that makes us rise above the crowd is
our show, the town's show, the Fan-
One has only to go downtown on a
show day. There is a palpable excitement.
The windows of the shops are decorated,
visitors are in and out, browsing and
buying. They sit on the benches and
enjoy the small town bustle; They have
a cold drink or an ice cream cone.
Theygoto Albany's other best feature,
the Old Jail Art Center. They go to the
historical sights around town. They lis
ten to beautiful music in the Presbyte-
Always, they are drawn to our old
courthouse. They watch barbecue
preparations. In the evening, they flock
to eat; that great. Joe Allen meal.
. Cars, vans, and charter buses jockey
for parking places. Old friefidjs greet one
another. Hugs and hellos abound.
iL's great fun. It's our town showing
off, Albany at its best.
The show itself is solid, fast-moving.
There have been gl itches, there always
are. There are sometimes injuries. That
is heart-stopping, especially for the cast
and crew, and the local people in the
audience who know the person who's
Steve Waller put it best, lie is one of
the many fine young men who direct
parking, who stand in the heat and dust
for hours, and who still smile and cluit
with the crowd.
Steve saifl. "We can hear the music,
and so we know what's going on, on
stage When the organ music for the
Flag Parade stopped suddenly, I knew
something awful had happened."
And it had. Two horses collided at a
gallop, and Billy Estridge was badly
The men who ride in the Flag Parade
are good riders, but the criss-crossing at
full-speed is dangerous, when horses
are figured into it. One flicker, one ani-
mal a half-second too slow or too fast to
respond, can be life-endangering.
The audience, most of whom have
never even been on a horse, love it. I do
too, but I don't really breath until it's
over, and horses and riders are okay.
I was delighted to see a good many
small boys in authentic pioneer children's
costumes, and not dressed as miniature
cowboys. I hope that will continue to be
carried out in the early scenes; it's not as
important in the latter part.
I loved the river. It's the first new
thing we've had in the Indian sequence
in years. The costumes are good; the
wigs vastly improved.
All through the show, 1 saw vintage
Bobby Nail touches and words and songs.
It was a thrill.
I have never seen a better Huppi Hi
line-up. Not.in my memory have we had
so many fresh-faced pretty young girls
and handsome boys. My first year in the
Huppi Hi line with my "steady" was the"
1947 show. That's 47 years of improve-
The Can-Can dancers were more in
number and merriment than everbefore.
Their costumes, flirtatious smiles, and
skirt-flipping dances were very, very
I have only one real criticism, and I'll
go ahead andget it out ofthe way. I'd like
to see the Young Riders written out of
the show. I know those kids enjoy
themselves, but the potential for injury
is there, and it's not worth it. If grown
men and women want to risk danger to
ride, that's an adult decision, but please,
please, let's keep little children off ofbig
Having said that and incurred the
wrath of all connected with the Young
Riders, I'll go on and name the out-
standing parts of the 1994 show, to me.
Everyone has different favorites.
These are mine:
•The Longhorns -— first, last and al-
ways. I've been to shows, plays, musicals,
dramas, indoor and out, all over the
world. I've never seen anything like the
hush that goes over the crowd at the
entry of those animals.
•Cowboy's Prayer—'this song, done
so well by Lanham Martin, was written
by James Ball especially for the Long-
horn scene, and it is perfect.
•Days of November — James Ball
wrote many of the most beautiful songs
in our show. This is the most beautiful,
to me. And when I go to my reward, I
hope Harold wiil sing it at my funeral.
•Never Did See Before — or Cabbage
Head, as I call it. K.C., Kara Stapp and
Gary Fambro make this ordinary nong
into a comedy act that is a crowd-pleaser.
•Hot Summer Nights/Gully Washer
— I've seen this "number done when we
all sat huddled in coats with mud up to
our ankles, but never has it been so
great as when the Rain Maker, Eddie
Eddingjxm, performs his tricks. And the
thunder and rain cloud — Oh, Glen
Bartee! I love it.
•The Flag Parade — Scary as it is,
this is the most exciting flag parade
anywhere - a heart stopper.
•The Snake and Mike Parsons
make me laugh. The only snake I've ever
seen I like
• Peach Tree The crowd loves this,
and children crotv with laughter when
they see the peach tree "grow" along
with the pioneer family. One of the big-
gest laughs of the show is when the
narrator says, "I'm going to have to do
something about that danged peach
•Officers Ball — I love this and the
dancers. Tom Caldwell, a real officer,
looks very authentic. And Debbe Hud-
man sings beautifully.
•Genuine Lady — We always call
them the Pink Ladies. They're beautiful,
and Sara I lead is a pleasure to listen to
and to watch.
Individuals I love to watch:
•Jim Law — anytime he's 'on the
stage. I fall out at his "Intoxicated Rat."
•Etna Pate — Her expression getting
off the stagecoach is worth the ticket
price, all by itself.
•Chance Mitchell — has stage pres-
ence, whether cavorting as a red devil or
dancing as the groom with his lovely
bride, Holly Harvick.
•Jessica Esfandiary — as the mean
•Haily Owen —This tiny girl is an
Indian and a pioneer child. Watch her as
she dances. Darling. (Of course, I've loved
her since she first appeared on
•Frank Leone — This harmonica act
was new, and the audience clapped in
time to it.
•Randall Palmore — anything he
sings, but especially accompanied by
prairie flowers and little, birdies.
Special compliments to the narrators,
Connie and Quay Parker.
To the seen and unseen people who
play such major roles without being on
stage, we appreciate you.
Louann, kisses andkudos toyou. What
would a musical show be without the
And Betsy, what can I say? You made
one of the toughest jobs I can think of
You have done a great show, and I
DRUGS CAN PUT
Sponsored by Albany Task Force
on Drug and Alcohol Abuse
The Albany News
state capital highlights
By Lyndell Williams
& Ed Sterling
The new chairman of the Texas Re-
publican Party says reaching out to
Hispanics is going to become a high
priority ofthe party under his leadership.
"We're going to try to expand our
efforts to reach out to the Hispanic
community, whose values are Republi-
can values," Tom Pauken, a Dallas
lawyer, said. "For too long, our party has
ignored the Hispanic-community, and
that day has ended."
Pauken was elected during the state
Republican convention in Fort Worth in
'a victory for conservatives, who repre-
sented the overwhelming majority of
As many as 70 percent of the 12,000
delegates and alternates who attended
were believed to be affiliated with the
Congressman Joe Barton of Ennis
and Houston businesswoman . Dolly
Madison McKenna bowed out ofthe race
for the chairmanship.
Pauken said the party already has
made strides toward including more
Hispanics, noting that Rita Davis, a San
Antonio Hispanic, is on the state Re^
publican Executive Committee.
Last week, GOP gubernatorial
nominee George W. Bush announced he
was appointing a director of Hispanic
relations for his campaign.
Abel Guerra, an executive for the U.S.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, "will
focus his expertise and energy on
reaching out to the Hispanic community
of Texas, one of the keys to victory in
November," Bush said.
Bush also named Karen Hughes,
outgoing GOP executive director, to be
director of communications for his 1994
Clinton's Welfare Plan Hit
Meanwhile, Pauken assailed Presi-
dent Clinton's $9.3 billion welfare reform
package, which the White House un-
veiled last week.
It is just going to "add more people to
the rolls and government jobs," Pauken
said. "We've got to unravel this welfare
system that has had a terrible effect on
Pauken said states should run their
own welfare programs.
"I want to get back to decentralization,
limited government, local control. We
were moving toward that in the early
'80s,-now we're moving in the opposite
direction," he said.
Oklahoma to Pay for Texas
Oklahoma is dreaming of routing
Texas traffic through it on a new corri-
dor and is willing to spend $ 10 million to
build roads in Texas that would improve
the flow of traffic between the two states.
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
wants to connect a toll road that ends in
Lawton with an improved road covering
the 144-mile stretch between Wichita
Falls and Abilene that would someday
go all the way to Laredo.
Wichita Falls and Abilene officials
like the plan, although $10 million
amounts to little more than an induce-
ment for Texas to do the job itself, because
Oklahoma's Offer would buy less than
three miles offour-lane, divided highway.
Judge Halts Tax Abatement
State District Judge Scott McCown
on June 14 issued a temporary re-
straining order preventing a wealthy
school district from extending current
property tax abatements to a corporation
in a move that would have circumvented
the 1993 Texas school finance law.
Calhoun County had been workingon
a tax break that would have saved
Formosa Plastics Corp. an estimated
$54 million over the next three years in
exchange for donations of "millions of
dollars" to the school district, according
to a Dallas Morning News report.
Rich Gray, a lawyer representing
property-poor school districts in'the on-
going school finance case, said other
property-rich school districts are looking
into tax abatement plans, which he said
could "take millions, if not hundreds of
millions of dollars off the tax rolls "
About $8.7 billion worth of tax
abatements were in effect during the
1993-94 school year, which amounts to
about 1.4 percent of the total school
property tax base of $637.4 billion, the
JUNE 23 Community Action program - Depot, 10 am-3 pm
Nutrition Program Meal - Youth Center, 11:30 am
Lions Club - Lone Star Eatery, 12 noon
Fandangle postal cancellation - Depot, 4-8 pm
Fandangle Parade - Downtown, 6 pm
Fandangle - Prairie Theater, 8:45 p.m.
JUNE 24 Chamber luncheon - Ft. Griffin, 12 noon
Fandangle - Prairie Theater, 8:45 pm
JUNE 25 Fandangle - Prairie Theater, 8:45 pm
Fandangle 5000 run - Courthouse, 8 am
JUNE 27 . Commissioners court - Courthouse, 9 am
JUNE 27-JULY 1 Vacation Bible School - Lutheran Church,
JUNE 28 School board - Supt's office, 7:30 pm
Nutrition program meal - Youth Center, 11:30 am
JUNE 29 Nutrition program meal - Youth Center, 11:30 am
Kiwanis Club meeting - Ft. Griffin, 12 noon
Noah Project Outreach - Courthouse, 1:30-4 pm
JUNE 30 Steer validation - Show Barn, 7:30 pm
Christian Reading Program program -
Methodist church library, 3-4:30 pm
JULY 2-3 Golf scramble'- Albany golf course
"A PEOPLE'S HERITAGE CENTER" - American Legion Hall
Open each weekday morning when "Open Flag" is flying - 9:30 to 11:30 am
Albany I Breckinridge
• sfffi rv
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Lucas, Donnie A. The Albany News (Albany, Tex.), Vol. 119, No. 3, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 23, 1994, newspaper, June 23, 1994; Albany, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth413733/m1/4/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Old Jail Art Center.