Heritage, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 1988 Page: 25
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Enough of these interlopers. A native
Texan, Peter Nichols, born in Wichita
Falls (through no fault of his own) and
reared in Canyon and Austin, submits the
The Dictionary of Texas Misinformation
by Anne Dingus (Texas Monthly Press,
$4.50) is one of the better commode books
of the year. It presents lots of Texas trivia in
short doses, and since it has no story or plot
line, it can be abandoned easily.
Dingus covers everything from the
black bean episode to Texaco; from fajitas
to mules. The explanations of these many
popular misconceptions are generally presented
in an interesting and concise manner.
However, Dingus does perpetuate
some misinformation of her own. Her discussion
of mescal is fine as long as she sticks
with the drink. But mescal, a cactus in
northern Mexico, properly refers to Agave
americana, which was baked in earth ovens
and widely eaten in the Southwest. It is
from this plant that the Mescalero Apache
take their name. This is not peyote, which
is Lophophora williamsii, and not a cactus
but a succulent.
Dingus claims to be a native Texan
herself, but sometimes you have to wonder.
Her discussion of the War of Northern
Aggression is not even listed as the War
Between the States, which most historians
politely agree to call it. She calls it the Civil
War. There was nothing slightly civil
about it. The worst thing, which is completely
inexcusable, is her statement that
"Lyndon Johnson had a particularly bad
accent." As any good Central Texan
knows, Lyndon Johnson was the only
President we ever had that didn't have an
Reviews by John Peterson, Book Review Editor,
- THE GAME OF FAMILY HISTORY
telland imagination, develops communication lets
and imagination, reinforces U.S. and family history and even lets
pre-schoolers contribute to the fun. Search through seven regions of the U.S. for
the birthplaces of fictitious family members, their names, and career or
lifestyles. A game may cover one ancestor or as many as five generations.
Check your local retail outlet or order below:
GENERATIONS Game(s) ............................ $ 24.95 x = $
Texas residents - add sales tax ........................$ 1.75 x _____ = $
Postage and handling ...................................... $ 3.50 x ____ = $
(Enclose check or money order) Total Enclosed $
Mail to: Genealogy for Fun, Inc.; P.O. Box 2182; Lubbock, TX 79408
Generations: A Genealogy Game. 1986,
Published by Genealogy for Fun, Inc., P. O.
Box 850061, Richardson, Texas 75085.
Few individuals can claim a famous relative
on the family tree such as Stephen F.
Austin or David G. Bumet, yet everyone is
linked to the past through his or her ancestry.
My father once claimed direct lineage
to a man who came to this country aboard
the Mayflower. This was a popular subject
between my brother, sister and I until a
family reunion one year when a distant
cousin pulled me aside. He had information
that the ancestor we had boasted
about had come across the Atlantic for one
reason only-he was a criminal! You can
imagine my reaction.
My siblings and I were not daunted by
this new rumor, however, and began to
invent new characters to portray the real
ancestors we saw in old family photograph
albums. Many of these relatives looked too
mean or stern in the albumen prints to be
our ancestors we believed! Our ideas about
their personalities and professions changed
constantly, and so our childish genealogies
evolved. For instance, great-great-grandfather
Nathan Stewart had actually built the
house that we lived in. He was a master
carpenter. We pretended that he had built
the house with slave labor for his (three)
wives and (20) children.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 1988, periodical, Spring 1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45435/m1/25/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.