Brenda Cannon Henley

Charlie Goodnight

In recent weeks, I have written about a very famous Texan, Larry McMurtry of Archer City. I was privileged to visit the small Texas town, meet many of its residents, shop in its old stores in the downtown area, and eat several times in the local Dairy Queen, made ultra famous in The Last Picture Show.

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Woodrow F. Call  (Tommy Lee Jones) and Augustus McCrae (Robert Duvall)

It has been said and written that once you leave home, you can really never go back. Larry McMurtry, renowned Texas writer, proved that not only can you go home again, but also that you can take much of the world with you. Readers and followers of his books and screenplays feel as comfortable talking about “Lonesome Dove,” a fictitious Texas town, as some folks do Fort Worth or Dallas. The characters are real and have taken up residence in the hearts and minds of the faithful. Everyone has a favorite.

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If you read this column on a regular basis, you may think this article is a contradiction compared to the one I wrote recently urging our readers not to quit. That writing had to do with not giving up, not letting go, trying one more time, and hanging in there. This week, I am urging us to quit some things. Life is a complex mixture of hanging in there and being wise enough to know when to let go of things that hold us back, and in some cases, people who hinder our progress and happiness.

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“Don’t wait to do the things in life that you have always wanted to do. Life is short. Live every day.”

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One of the questions I get most often has to do with judging others for their actions, or lack thereof. Some people enjoy judging and really could make a good living out of it if they chose to do so in the legal field, but that would take more education, more discipline and more hard work. It is far easier to just sit back in a recliner or rocker and take on the world and let everyone who will listen know what others should do about their sorry lives. I am amazed at what ticks some folks off and how little it takes to get them ranting and raving for days.

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Brenda Cannon Henley, Senio  Correspondent to The Examiner

I have a dear friend (well, actually, more than one) who sometimes loses his objectivity and becomes downright mean to those around him. More often than not, he will be mean, excessively so, to one person for a week or two, and then completely switch his allegiance and turn on someone new within his circle. And believe me, after watching this trait demonstrated on several occasions, I can find no fault with the one that is chosen for that particular week. He or she will not have done anything demonstrating ill will, unkindness, or evil toward this person.

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I sat on the deck here in Kemah and looked out over the Dickinson Bayou, a scenic part of Galveston Bay. The water was peaceful and smooth, the sky was blue, and the fish were jumping. Truly my kind of day. My attention was drawn to the next-door neighbor’s boat slip. The family had a beautiful boat, perfect for riding over the water or fishing with the family. A truck I didn’t recognize was in the yard, and a man I had never seen before was walking down the long pier.

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I have often, over the years, written about the power of words — both those that hurt and wound and those that help and heal. The Book of James teaches about the tongue and how powerful it is when used in anger or insult. I read Chapter 3 three times this week because I wanted to understand it as best I could.

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Consider this column a Public Service Announcement. I have been in the newspaper world for many years now and have written my fair share of articles about fraud, theft, criminal activity, and those who live to take from those who work hard to pay their just and honest debts. In the past few years, I have interviewed bankers, loan officers, members of law enforcement, and individuals affected by crime, and have learned a lot.

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I have heard all of my days that in life, we will meet two main types of people — the givers and the takers. It is a fairly simple truth. Think about it and I would be willing to bet my best Texas boots that you can form a list of names in your mind, with some in each category. Now, we are not going to ask you to do that or to share those names with others. That would put us on the ugly side of life, and we don’t want that.

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