Well I spent many of my sixty years livin near the Texas-Oklahoma border, on one side or the other. My fondest childhood memories are of the bigger-than-life characters I met growin up. I have always had a genuine affection for the country life and its people. I learned from them that humor, often times, is the only grease that will let you slide through the briars and brambles of life.
Important note: Yesterday, March 30, 2007 I found my little sister, Judy. We had been separated since infancy; she went to California and I went up towards the Red River with a different set of adoptive parents. She talks a little funny but I think I will keep her anyway… I also found a whole bunch of cousins living in the shadow of our nation’s Capitol, Austin, Texas. April brought good news and sad…I found my mother’s family but discovered she had passed away in 98…good news is I discovered a little brother, Herbert (not so little actually) and my mother’s husband of forty-eight years, Marvin…lots of cousins and two elderly aunts. Sept..wow what a month!!! Located another sister, JoAnn (this one was smart enough to stay in Texas)….and found my father, Dale Rowe. As the story goes my Mom, Martha Brown, was pretty crazy about Ol’ Dale when she was fifteen and he was ninteen…real crazy or else I wouldn’t be here to tell this story…nor would Judy….but alas..Dale wasn’t the “marryin kind” and his older brother paid an old cowboy, Ed Jordan ($300.00) to stand up at the altar in December of 1947. Too young and too poor to raise me, her sister Myrtle took me and placed me with the Brocketts December of 1948. They fabricated what in Texas is called a “delayed certificate of birth” and didn’t tell me about my biological family as I was growing up. Funny thing about records…I have two birth certificates and neither one has my real father’s name.
As I have met and visited with my new-found family I have learned alot about my family history. My maternal great grandfather was a full-blood Cherokee from the Illinois District of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. On my father’s side is a string of plantation owners, cowboys, lawmen, hired guns, and I am related to two of Austin’s original 300 families (Coopers and Breens) that settled Texas. My great, great Uncle Thomas Calton Smith was the man who organised the Texas Regulators and went into Wyoming to roust out the cattle rustlers in the late 1890’s for the established ranchers….hired guns and “invaders” as they are known to this day in Wyoming….I guess cattle rustlin was a favorite pass-time for the locals! There is even an “Invader’s Bar” to commemorate their exploits. Old Tom Smith’s daddy, Thomas Jefferson Smith, was one of the few survivors of the Goliad massacre by Santa Ana’s men during the fight to establish Texas Independence….seems like invading kinda ran in the family! I wouldn’t have this information on my father’s family history if it weren’t for my smarter but not as good looking brother-in-law C. B. Neitsch who spent many years compiling the Rowe history for my lovely little sister, JoAnn Rowe Neitsch.