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Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx

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Offline marufo

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Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:23:06 PM »
I just recently came across a reference to this book and ordered a copy. (Out of print, but relatively inexpensive online.) I enjoyed it thoroughly but to be honest, if as I think is the case for most folks on this forum, your primary interest is the national park, there might not be enough in the book specifically about the park to make it worthwhile for you. On the other hand, if you're interested in the Big Bend more broadly speaking, what Alpine was like in the 40's, and/or especially, small town commercial radio at a time when "it took four hundred pounds of remote broadcasting equipment and at least two men to broadcast from a remote hook-up" and "sports were broadcast from the hood of a car, a tree, or anyplace else that could be found" you might check it out. There are lots of good stories that I may pass on in further posts, but this is one about Lady Bird Johnson's visit to the national park in 1966 that you might enjoy:

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Mrs. Johnson and the large contingent of women reporters had to leave Big Bend Park fairly early Monday morning because Mrs. Johnson was slated to dedicate Fort Davis National Historic Site about mid-morning. The group's advance planner didn't tell the ladies no restroom existed between the park basin and Alpine, well over one hundred miles. As a matter of record, not even a decent size bush to hide behind exists along most of the route of Highway 118.

The ladies were pretty well loaded up with coffee when they left the park and by the time they had traveled fifty miles, nature was taking its course. Suddenly a secret service car followed by other security vehicles pulled out of the caravan and raced down the highway into Alpine. They surrounded Jack Roach's Exxon Station at the intersection of Highways 90 and 118. After cordoning off the area they inspected the restrooms, including the toilet paper, then locked the restrooms and the storeroom. When Lady Bird's vehicle arrived she was the first in and the first out. I don't know how may of the other ladies used those facilities, but for awhile there, old Jack didn't peddle much gasoline.

(And yes, I'm old enough to know that it would have been an Enco station since the trade name Exxon wasn't introduced until 1971...)

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 01:53:56 PM »
http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php/Trails_Through_Texas

Lady Bird's visit to Big Bend and other west Texas places you speak of are documented in this video.
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline GaryF

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 07:04:18 PM »
I watched the video, and thought about HMOD during the scene where the rafts were slamming into the canyon walls.  :sorry: 
 
Marufo, sounds interesting, I go mostly for the park, but very interested in the history of the area.

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Offline Keepa

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 07:19:39 PM »
Watching this, It is odd how it feels different but looks the same!

The last time I was at Big Bend was in November, 2016. Watching this makes me REALLY want to be there now!

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Offline Flash

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 07:48:13 PM »
Marufo, thanks for tip on an interesting sounding read. Found a copy for $14. It will get added to my stack of books!  :great:

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 08:26:42 PM »
I watched the video, and thought about HMOD during the scene where the rafts were slamming into the canyon walls.

And only one person wearing a life vest, lol

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Offline marufo

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 08:29:50 AM »
Great video and resource, Homer67.  :great: There are also other good videos on that site. Is this the ore tramway (at 6:45)? http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php?title=The_Big_Bend_Country,_no._2

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 03:31:29 PM »
http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php/Trails_Through_Texas

Lady Bird's visit to Big Bend and other west Texas places you speak of are documented in this video.

Holy cow, talking about Throwback Thursday!  Those were definitely not professional rafters.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline rocketman

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 06:54:58 PM »
Anyone know if the pinon tree she ceremoniously planted in the basin is still there?
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline marufo

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 07:08:51 PM »
I was always told that it was the one just off the lodge patio, but I don't know that to be a fact.


(Not my photo, just one I grabbed off the internet)

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Offline rocketman

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2018, 08:51:12 PM »
That would be a likely location based on the video background. It appears to show the location of the current visitor center from the front of the lodge - nearly where the above photo was taken from. Perhaps the shack is the old visitors center? It's at 22:35 in the video Homer67 posted.
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline badknees

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Re: Voice of the Last Frontier by Gene Hendryx
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2018, 07:34:29 AM »
http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php/Trails_Through_Texas

Lady Bird's visit to Big Bend and other west Texas places you speak of are documented in this video.

Holy cow, talking about Throwback Thursday!  Those were definitely not professional rafters.

Wow....Lots of goofy people in 1966!!! Glad I wasn't born then :icon_wink:
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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