Studying history has never been so enjoyable. Roger Moore has sifted through decades of cartoons about Texas' rich and eccentric past, and came up with scores of hilarious drawings that are sure to elicit laughs. At 4.25''34;X5.5'', this stocking stuffer-sized book makes a nifty gift during the holidays or anytime. Roger Moore's new book Texas, My Texas (Great Texas Line Press $5.95), has taken some of the most notable -- and obscure but fascinating episodes, then adds a humorous twist to create off-the-wall cartoons. The cartoonist covers incredible ground, noting that two Hispanic rebel leaders signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, and that the Popeye comic strip first appeared in a 1929 issue of the Victoria Advocate. Then there s the 1882 opening of Judge Roy Bean s famous justice-dispensing, west of the Pecos saloon, the 1861 creation of the first Stetson cowboy hat, and the 1907 founding of Post, a planned community created by C.W. Post, inventor of Post Toasties cereal. There s more, including the first Thanksgiving held in Texas. The 1541 banquet was attended by 1,500 Spanish explorers and local tribe members in Palo Duro Canyon, eight decades before the one in Plymouth, Mass.. Then there s the San Antonio heiress who insisted on being buried in her Ferrari. Needless to say, few of these facts have ever been taught in a Texas classroom.
4.5 inches wide x 5.5 inches high
''Moore takes a fact or piece of trivia from Texas history and has a little fun with it.For example, on April 14, 1958, Texas pianist Van Cliburn won a major international piano competition in Russia. The cartoon has Cliburn announcing to the audience, 'For my encore, I d like to do Waltz Across Texas in B-flat.' On Aug. 2, 1973, the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel closed in LaGrange. The cartoon has a couple showing up and telling the madam, 'We've come for the close-out prices on them chickens.' In another entry, Moore notes that 'up to 200 Texas historical markers are added yearly, though not all applications are approved.' The cartoon has a wife s application being turned down for 'Texas Most Lazy Man Lives Here.' The book includes some interesting but not well known facts, such as: When the nine-banded armadillo the state's official small mammal gives birth, she always has four identical offspring. Here s another: The Popeye cartoon character got his start in Texas.'' --Bryan Eagle