Until recently I could not have imagined myself paying homage to the Southern Baptist church. I had experienced its judgmental fire-and-brimstone approach to religion when I was a small child and I was having none of that. It was the church of Confederate slave owners, and while it did issue a formal apology to African Americans in 1995, I hardly could have anticipated their March 2015 "race summit" that called for reconciliation between white and black.
It had been years since I gave even a passing thought to American cowboy humorist Will Rogers. He died 4 years before I was born, but growing up in Texas I remember there was a constant reference to Rogers and every year the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show and Rodeo was held at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in my home town of Ft. Worth, Texas. At the end of 2014, I again came across his name, in a slightly different context.
Growing up in Texas, the land of the tall tales, I often heard stories about James Stephen "Big Jim" Hogg, who served as 20th Governor (1891-1895) and was the father of two daughters, Ima and Ura Hogg. It was years later before I learned that there was no "Ura" Hogg – that was a joke, a satirical poke at Hogg's poor taste in naming his only daughter "Ima," given the unfortunate combination of first-and-family name.