FLASHBACK: Eagle-Indian Battle Looms as Toss-up

10 Years ago-

Much needed early morning showers threatened the Atascosa County Sesquicentennial parade, but the clouds held their moisture and provided an overcast sky for an enjoyable and comfortable morning.  The 115 parade entries became a part of history as they made their way into Jourdanton and around the Courthouse and ending at the Jourdanton City Park.  A ceremony to commemorate burying a time capsule was the highlight of the day with U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, Texas Representative Yvonne Gonzales Toureilles both giving speeches.  Jimmy Meyer of the Jourdanton Volunteer Fire Department reported they served over 675 plates of barbecue chicken.  The fire department provided a similar lunch 50 years ago at the Centennial celebration. Later that afternoon, pioneer families were presented certificates.  These are families who came to Atascosa County prior to 1900.  


20 Years ago-

United States Senatorial candidate Victor Morales will never forget his first National Democratic Convention.  On the one hand Morales was assessing the convention as a candidate for one of the most important offices in the land.  But, on the other hand, he also was judging the convention as a government teacher.  “It was an exciting experience for both the candidate and the teacher.  I’ve taught about the various parties and their respective conventions for years and frankly, it was a thrill to witness the process in person,” said Morales.  The Pleasanton native is challenging the powerful Republic United States Senator from Texas, Phil Gramm, for his office.  “It seems everybody had heard my story and about my truck and everywhere I went people wanted to talk about it.  The media from Spain, France and Norway were waiting to interview me for their newspapers and television viewers and they seemed to be fascinated that a common person, a school teacher no less, could challenge a powerful governmental figure for the office he now occupies. 


30 Years ago-

The idea for a different type of play area for the Atascosa River Park was not sudden.  It has been germinating for some time in the minds of two of the organizers of the newly-formed “Friends of the Park.”  Pam Peeler and Rachel Hurley had seen articles about Robert Leathers in various magazines and had also viewed a segment about him on Charles Kuralt’s “Sunday Morning.”  They first took their suggestions to the Chamber of Commerce Auxiliary since both are active in that organization.  Because the venture is designed for total community involvement, Chamber Auxiliary members decided that a separate organization should be formed.  Thus was born “Friends of the Park.”  One of the first organization, besides the Chamber of Commerce Auxiliary, to contribute to this cause is the Pleasanton High School Class of 1986.  Class members from last year’s graduating class have voted to donate the money remaining in their account to the park project.


40 Years ago-

Burglars peeled the safe at Matocha’s Valu-Rite Grocery in Jourdanton sometime early Monday morning and got away with about $2,500 in money and some $2,000 in food stamps.  Investigating the theft are Jourdanton Chief of Police Clifton Lott, Atascosa County Sheriff Ray Strickland, Deputy Sheriff Bob Benton, and Texas Ranger Bill Walk.  Deputy Sheriff Benton, Chief Lott, and Fred Matocha, Sr.,  said the burglars gained entry to the store through one of two holes sliced through the ceiling into the store proper.  Access to the roof came about by way of a smaller ladder, they surmise.  After cutting into the ceiling, burglars then dropped probably using the 10×18” hole cut into the office and went to work.  Authorities say the culprits chiseled the door of the antique safe with tools found on the scene.  At least half the food stamps stolen in the haul were invalidated by Matocha’s own stamp, authorities said.  


50 Years ago-

“You have to see it to believe it…” That’s what one onlooker said Friday as he watched the new 21-acre Optimist park take shape.  More than a dozen pieces of equipment-maintainers, bulldozers and a dirt buggy-swarmed over the acreage to do an incredible amount of leveling and dirt work.  County Judge David Davidson and county commissioners made county equipment available and furnished operators for this big park work-day.  Rio Paving Co. sent a dirt buggy and a truck or so.  “We really appreciate the help we’re getting,” said M. G. Sanders, one of the Optimist ramrods for the project.  About three months ago, the tract was a brush-tangled wilderness.  It includes three seven-acre blocks owned by the city.  Optimists approached the council for permission to convert the area into a park.  The council agreed. Since then, club members, guided by President David McKinney, Duncan Hirsch, past president, and Sanders have done an impressive amount of work.  “We’ve got to thank the city for a good deal of it,” Sanders said.  “The city let us use some of the employees who’re working under the Nelson plan and these men have taken a personal interest in this project.”  


60 Years ago-

Pleasanton and Jourdanton clash in their annual grid classic on Eagle field, Friday night-and don’t ask this reporter to name the score.  A year ago this correspondent opined that it might even rain if PHS defeated JHS, and then drew a parallel between the fact that Pleasanton hadn’t beaten the Indian’s since 1950, which was about the time that the drouth started.  It still hasn’t rained-much, and PHS still is looking for a victory over Jourdanton.  To top this off, the Express sports editor also allowed last year that the Redskins should be rated about a touchdown favorite.  This turned out to be an exceeding accurate but rather reckless prediction.  Irate Eagles declared in effect that your correspondent should be rated a “persona non grata,” which can be loosely translated to mean…”Get outta town, you bum.”  And Jourdanton calculated that we were intriguing against the Indians by trying to make them overconfident.  There will be no daring predictions on the outcome of this year’s battle except that it should be close.  JHS has a knack of being “up” for these encounters with Pleasanton.  In fact the Indians have offset PHS manpower with extra hustle and spirit on a couple of occasions.  Jourdanton lost their opener to Charlotte 20-14.  Pleasanton took a mauling from Pearsall 26-0.  JHS exploded in the last five minutes against Charlotte and looked like a team that might have found itself.


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