Posted: Aug 27 2014
Everyone has heard of Davy Crockett or Jim Bowie. While such men are very much classic “Texas Legends”, it is the unsung men and women of modest stature that make Texas what it is today.
I grew up in the Hill Country on a beautiful "ranch" in what I liked to call the “middle of nowhere”. It was an idyllic childhood. We had miles between ourselves and the closest neighbors. One neighbor in particular, changed my idea of what a “Texas Legend” could be.
Ellen White was a real life cattle woman (only black angus would do) and prominent figure in town. She was a gracious, kind, god-fearing woman: an educator, leader and most of all Texas friendly. I have many memories of long exploratory bike rides through the back half of her property scouting new trails, searching for armadillos with our dog Belle, and peddling as fast as I could go to feel the wind in my hair. Ellen let my Dad take me fishing for catfish in her stock tank, and during the summers she would invite us down to swim in her pool while munching on wild mustang grapes.
When she left town for any reason my folks would look after her animals and cattle. Some of my favorite memories where feeding her chickens, collecting fresh eggs, and having the cattle chase after our truck as I threw out feed pellets for them.
In those moments I felt a strong connection to the legendary cattle history of Texas. As a girl there was something awe inspiring about watching a woman take on the role of such a male dominated lifestyle. She was tough, strong and yet still exuded the grace of a born lady. It is women like her that are “Texas Legends” for a girl like me.