An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Nine

Above, Proceedings of Investigation Committee, House of Representatives Thirty-Fifth Legislature: Charges Against Governor James E. Ferguson, Texas History Collection, Austin History Center via Portal to Texas History

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Eight

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, September 1917

“Farmer Jim declines to name his friends, as he calls his wealthy saviors who leapt forward to lend him more than $150,000 to bail him out of debt in the nick of time to rescue his pig farm. He says the people have no right to know details of his private business affairs. Hogwash.”

Fannie sniffs. “It smells as malodorous as that offensive pig farm down the road.”

“We doubt he was acquainted with any of these friends before he ran for governor. Upon repeated questioning by several senators, the closest thing to an answer he has given is: ‘It is perfectly simple if you knew all the facts, but I cannot tell you the facts.’ And he can’t tell them because he promised his friends he wouldn’t reveal their names.”

“I should think, Thomas, these so-called friends wouldn’t care if their names were made public if this transaction was above board.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Nine”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Seven

Above, “Still Coming,” Lute Pease, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Six

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, August 1916

“Our son Mitchell and I might as well have spent the past five months on the punitive expedition with General Pershing galloping around Mexico. General Pershing has enlisted motorized vehicles, even airplanes, yet his cavalry is no closer to ensnaring the elusive Pancho Villa than when they started. But we still would’ve accomplished more on that wild goose chase than we did on the campaign trail.”

“Thomas, that’s not true,” says Fannie. “Eight candidates splintered the vote. A pie can be cut only into so many pieces, and Doctor Brooks split the prohibition voters.”

“Even he received more votes than I.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Seven”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Two

Above, 1915 newspaper advertisement placed by Anheuser-Busch for Budweiser

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-One

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, September 1915

“‘Work is His answer to prayer. Work is reward for faithful work. Work His expression of care. Work is iron to human blood. Work, the crown of all mankind.’” Thomas folds the newspaper up so he can eat his eggs and bacon without having to read more of Pa Ferguson’s Labor Day speech.

“I can’t stand having that peanut politician in the governor’s mansion, Fannie. Not sure whether he tries to portray himself as a preacher or Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.”

“Well, his words lack the eloquence of ‘The Village Blacksmith,’ and he is a far cry from a blessing sent by God.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Two”