The Stonewall Courier (Aspermont, Tex.), Vol. 26, No. 20, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 20, 2013 Page: 4 of 8
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4 THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2013 | THE STONEWALL COURIER
The 501 Guest Column
William Shakespeare, grain dealer?
hakespeare eludes me. One of these
days, given enough days, maybe I’ll
Kj revisit the bard and take a carefree
approach to understanding his work.
Heretofore, I’ve taken him seriously.
We’ve yet to connect.
Oh sure, I know a few quotes. “Out, out
damn spot” comes to mind a racy thing
to say when I was in high school. I didn’t
say it. Or maybe I did. Also memorable
is “Double, bubble, toil and trouble; fire
burn and caldron bubble.” Something like
that. Gripping prose.
My favorite goes something like this:
“To thine own self be true, and it
follows as night upon day, thou canst
not be false to any man.” It’s the kind
of quotation you can tell yourself you
understand. But when I ponder it,
honestly, I’m not sure what it means.
Maybe that’s the point. If I admit I
don’t understand what he was saying, I
find myself being honest with you too.
If I’ve lost you, I don’t blame you.
Shakespeare has that effect on me too,
unless sung by Elvis. Remember “Are You
Lonesome Tonight?” Elvis is crooning;
then comes the monologue:
“You know someone said that the
world’s a stage and each must play a part.”
It’s not Shakespeare verbatim, but it
paraphrases lines from “As You Like It.”
“All the world’s a stage, and all men and
women merely players: They have their
exits and their entrances; And one man in
his time plays many parts.”
Sounds good, but, as long as we’re being
honest, I have theological issues with the
Allow me to paraphrase Shakespeare to
fit my own philosophy.
“All the world’s a laboratory, and
all men and women are overseers of
experiments. They finish them and start
them. And one man or woman in his or
her time performs many experiments.”
Shakespeare no doubt based his views
on his own experiences. Don’t we all? If
you’ve ever tried farming, you share my
The experiment this week was guar
planting. If you’ve never heard of guar,
don’t worry about it. The stuff grows
mainly in India and likes dry weather. It’s
a bean much smaller than an English pea.
Guar is a key ingredient in ice cream and
drilling mud, among other things. Hence
Guar can be planted with a grain drill.
If you have a really old worn-out drill, the
whole process can turn into borrowing
from Shakespeare a Comedy of Errors,
especially if you attempt to modify the
drill with duct tape and pieces of Coke
Did Shakespeare know anything about
In his Stratford life, Shakespeare was a
grain seller! In a drawing of his original
funerary monument in his hometown
church, he appears to be holding a sack of
grain. Over time, the sack has become a
tasseled cushion, and he’s acquired a quill
People who don’t even believe
Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare would say
he was primarily a grain dealer.
Maybe he and I can connect after all.
Hanaba Munn Welch is a columnist and
contributor for Blackburn Media Group
Y TT TThen I was a kid I worked out-
\/\f side on the ranch from sunup
T T until sundown. When my girls
were old enough, they did the same thing.
Working right alongside them was a hand-
ful of migrant workers who helped us with
the hard and physical labor of running a
successful cow-calf op-
These migrant work-
ers weren’t just faceless
workers. They were fam-
ily. They spent their days
working to support their
families back home, and
at Thanksgiving and
Christmas they would sit
down at the dinner table
with the rest of us.
program doesn’t allow
these workers to come here legally. Instead
most of them travel here illegally, and in
doing so they risk their lives to work and
ultimately provide for their family. And
employers who desperately need a labor
force face charges and steep fines if they
employee these workers.
This is a problem that must be fixed.
Washington is finally working toward
reforming this country’s broken immigra-
tion system. I am glad to see that in both
chambers of Congress, a true fix to our
country’s guest-worker program is being
considered. However, I worry the skewed
notion that a practical guest-worker pro-
gram implies blanket amnesty might set
back any progress.
Let’s be clear, ranchers don’t support
blanket amnesty. Amnesty and citizen-
ship should be a separate debate. Let’s
also be clear these workers aren’t taking
away American jobs. At our ranch in Falls
County — a county with a high unemploy-
ment rate — we can’t find U.S. citizens
who will do the hard work of ranching.
We go through five or 10 U.S. employees
a year because, when we do find someone,
they typically quit within a few weeks.
Migrant workers are simply doing the jobs
that most Americans refuse to do.
The livestock industry needs a steady,
year-round workforce. This is why Texas
ranchers support a plan that allows im-
migrants who want to work in the United
States an opportunity to do so.
Both the Senate and the House have
different ideas on how to accomplish this.
The Senate has taken an all-or-nothing
approach to comprehensive immigration
reform and, as part of that, has included a
guest-worker program. The House is bit-
ing off the immigration overhaul in small
chunks by introducing smaller, stand-alone
bills, including the Agriculture Guest-
worker Act, introduced by House Judiciary
Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
I don’t know which approach Congress
will take to fix the issue, but I do know we
must have a practical program where will-
ing workers can come to the United States
on a work visa and stay for at least three
to five years before they’re required to re-
turn home. Once they’ve returned home,
they should be able to re-apply for their
visa and return to their job. This provides
stability to an industry that simply can’t
afford to continuously turn over new em-
A program that allows these folks to
work here legally also allows them to be
accounted for and take part in the econo-
my by paying taxes.
Border security is crucial to any immigra-
tion reform, particularly in Texas. While a
practical and effective guest-worker pro-
gram isn’t the single cure to securing our
border, it will help reduce the flood of il-
legal immigrants crossing the border. This
relief will allow authorities to focus on
controlling people crossing illegally.
Whether Congress reforms our entire
immigration program or not, they must
come up with an effective fix to help pro-
vide Texas ranchers with a reliable work-
force. This is the right thing to do for our
country and those migrant workers want-
ing to make a better living for their fam-
Pete Bonds, first vice president of the Texas and
Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, is a
lifelong rancher. He and his family operate the
Bonds Ranch in Saginaw.
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The Idle American
agged: To be or not to be
Y TT TThen push came to shove
\/\f during the Great Depres-
T T sion, the masses were
unable to shove back. Instead, they
relied on creativity to “make do.”
Thanks to patterned sacks con-
taining livestock feed — as well as
kitchen flour —
women turned out
the “make do” gar-
worn by adults and
DON children alike.
NEWBURY There were shirts
_. and dresses — and
— including un-
derclothing. Yes, for guys the seam-
stresses turned out what were com-
monly called “flour sack drawers.”
Please don’t equate such to com-
promised hygiene — except during
cotton-picking season. Then, the
practice of Saturday baths — usually
in No. 3 washtubs — was suspended,
but not without ritual.
On a farm nearby, a dozen chil-
dren — all farm workers — were
parentally advised that sweaty cot-
ton-picking temperatures rendered
“We’re going to have changes
of underwear, though,” the farmer
instructed. “John, you change with
Robert; Mary, you change with Mar-
tha,” and so on.
I occasionally wished for “store-
bought” items. In retrospect, I
should have been grateful for a
talented and committed mom who
never saw a flour sack she didn’t en-
vision on a cutting board. (She also
cut my hair — as well as the manes
of many other male relatives — with
hand clippers. I was in college before
experiencing my first “shop-bought”
My wife remembers her first pur-
chased dress, worn proudly to her
eighth-grade honors program.
We were legion, “make do” folks
proud to let labels hang out, happy
to offer proof that some of our ap-
parel wasn’t homemade.
With this in mind, I find it curi-
ous that Hanes, a major company
that turns out men’s undergarments,
has launched an ad campaign pro-
moting its “tagless underwear.”
The Federal Trade Commission
has decreed — with many chapters
and verses — that most manufac-
tured garments must be “tagged” or
otherwise labeled with detailed in-
formation. If tagless shorts don’t get
the feds’ attention, Hanes may get
rid of imprinting next. What’ll the
FTC do? Maybe join the Internal
Revenue Service in a duet of teeth -
Who knows? Mattresses and pil-
lows may be next. Imagine sleeping
through the night without any fear
of being hauled off to jail for our re-
laxed repose on a tagless mattress.
Hanes’ campaign is indeed subtle.
It suggests the dawning of a bright
new day. We may be chafed —
rubbed wrong in many of life’s cir-
cuitous circumstances — but, thanks
to Hanes, irritations will be reduced
Ads stress that men now have no
worries about irritation by abrasive
tags on shorts.
Do you feel like igniting any Ro-
man candles yet? I don’t either.
At the risk of providing too much
information, I’ve worn such “store
bought” items for more than seven
decades. I think they came soon
after diaper wear. I was so adorned
soon after diapers, about the time
“union suits” came along. No, these
suits had nothing to do with the
I recall no irritations by abrasive
tags. In fact, I’ve always considered
such tags helpful, particularly when
they were universally sewn in back.
This guided me in getting drawers
on “front-erds,” a common term at
I’ve also accepted shorts with
labels in front, or on sides, and in
some cases, on the outside. Remem-
bering which companies use tags
which ways is challenging, however.
Mostly, I believe a vast majority
of men simply seek comfort. Manu-
facturers enjoy fruitful profits in
turning out garments of all shapes
and sizes that conform to men of all
shapes and sizes.
And Godspeed to Hanes, if the
company’s intent is to start a journey
to eventually challenge the FTC.
That cog in government’s big
machine probably deserves the kind
of spotlight now shining on various
My Uncle Mort, 101 this summer,
claims to wear homemade shorts to
this very day. Aunt Maude confirms
that she’s turned them out by the
hundreds, from an electric sewing
machine the past 40 years.
“They’re roomy and comfy,” Mort
bragged, adding a poem he claims
provides “words to live by”:
It’s easy to grin, when your ship
comes in, if it’s just a small boat
or a yacht. But one that’s worth-
while is one who can smile
when his shorts creep up in a
Don Newbury, former chancellor of How-
ard Payne University in Brownwood, is
an author, humorist and motivational
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Hodgin, Wayne. The Stonewall Courier (Aspermont, Tex.), Vol. 26, No. 20, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 20, 2013, newspaper, June 20, 2013; Childress, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth741219/m1/4/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Stonewall County Library.