Heritage, Summer 2005 Page: 27
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" _1W ' Being asked to write
about what it means to
be a Texan, after spending 25 years of
my young adult life in another state,
has given me a unique opportunity for
reflection. Whether I wanted the distinction
of being a Texas native or not,
it was difficult not to be reminded of
the fact that I was, by bumper stickers
which read, "If God had wanted Texans
to ski, He would have made bull----
white." Such was life in a Colorado ski
resort in the mid-1970s.
Now, back in my home state of Texas
for approximately 10 years, no longer
are there summer night temperatures
of 40 and 50 degrees. But, there is the
heritage and legacy of this great state
to which I feel so much of a connection.
Blessed to have been born into a
family with strong ranching traditions
and ties to the land, I see the remaining
third of my life dedicated to the
preservation of that history--it's a love
and respect for place and tradition that
I owe squarely to my parents.
Working to preserve that history
(both the individuals who lived it and
the architecture they created) is, for
me, found neatly wrapped into one
ideal package-the establishment of
the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in
Cuero. Ideally located between Gonzales
to the north, Goliad to the south,
and inland from the now-extinct port of
Indianola-Cuero claims an important
role in Texas' rich ranching history and
to the contributions that the state
made to the cattle industry after the
Civil War. Indeed, ranching and cattle
have long been synonymous with this
part of Texas; in fact, the meaning of
Cuero translates from Spanish as
"cowhide" or "rawhide."
To me, the modern Texas reflects a
continuing pioneer spirit, but one that
BY ROBERT OLIVER
is not bound by weights of the past.
Instead, Texas' history serves as a firm
foundation that fosters an attitude that
welcomes the future. We have a state
legislature that has generously funded
historic preservation projects and a
superb state preservation agency, the
Texas Historical Commission, which
works to wisely administer those funds
and provide support in other ways.
Additionally, there are many other
foundations that could be added to
the list of invaluable resources that
contribute to the future task of preserving
While there is a plethora of supportive
state organizations, there is still so
much work to be accomplished and so
much to preserve. I think we best "saddle
Robert Oliver is chairman of Cuero's
Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum.
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HERITAGE W SUMMER 2005
PRE5ERVING THE PA5T
FOR THE FUTURE
o ~ssocias, 0
Excavations at San Felipe Spring, '
Val Verde County, 1998
Excavating Confederate Veterans,
Texas State Cemetery, Travis County, 1995
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2005, periodical, Summer 2005; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45369/m1/27/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.