Saturday, July 18, 2020

Episode 16: The Slocum Massacre


On July 29, 1910, angry white mobs descended on Slocum, Texas and murdered 200-300 residents of the successful Black community. This massacre is virtually unknown to Texans as it is not taught in history classes and efforts are still being made to silence this story. I interview Constance Jawaid, a descendant of survivor, Jack Holley. She has worked for years, carrying the torch in her family of decades of research and efforts to both recover the bodies in mass graves and to have Texas officially recognize this moment in history. Listen as she tells how the racism that started these murders continues in the form of silencing history and being refused access to the remains of lost family members. 




Hollie-Jawaid also helped ER Bills with information for his book,

The 1910 Slocum Massacre: An Act of Genocide in East Texas, which is available here:


Constance Jawaid and her daughter, Imani Nia Ramirez


Dedication of historical marker that bears the significant historical inaccuracy of only 8 victims.
Jack Holley, survivor and great-great grandfather of Constance Jawaid

The following links are additional articles on the Slocum Massacre:




Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Episode 15: Lynchings in Texas - Interview with ER Bills



Stories of lynchings are often glossed over in Texas history, and the brutal nature of the burnings that happened here are never discussed at all. I interview ER Bills about his book, "Black Holocaust: The Paris Horror and a Legacy of Texas Terror," that details the horrifying history of these burnings and why it is relevant today.





Henry Smith, a man burned without trial in Texas in front of a crowd of thousands.

Burning of Henry Smith. They burned and tortured him for over 40 minutes. Notice the size of the crowd.


Courthouse burns down


Click image for link to purchase


Author and Historian ER Bills

Monday, May 18, 2020

Episode 14: The Strange Grave of Sandra West


Beneath a tiny stone rectangle in a San Antonio cemetery, lies the remains of a Beverly Hills socialite and heiress...buried in her Ferrari...wearing her favorite lace nightgown. In this episode, I tell her story and how the her strange burial came to pass.

I also announce the opening of my online bookshop to help both my podcast and independent bookstores nationwide! Any book you buy using my link: https://bookshop.org/shop/talesfromthemoontower will help cover the costs of the podcast, support the authors and support independent bookstores nationwide!

Don't forget to leave a review for Tales from the Moon Tower wherever you tune in.





The crate enclosing Sandra West and her Ferrari are lowered into the burial plot next to her husband, Ike West, on May 19, 1977 at
 the San Antonio Alamo Masonic Cemetery
Spectators watch as cement is poured over the crate to deter thieves from stealing her car.



Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Episode 13: Felix Longoria: Civil Rights Legacy of a Fallen Soldier


Felix Longoria never knew the part he played in the civil rights movement. When his widow was denied access to the funeral home in Three Rivers because "the whites wouldn't like it," Dr. Hector P. Garcia intervened and recruited the help of LBJ. As a result, Longoria was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. But his story doesn't end there. Bitter racial tensions continue to divide the town and the battle over Longoria's legacy persists to this day.
Listen as I interview Jennifer Gonzalez, history teacher and Three Rivers native, about the monumental civil rights movement this launched and the bitter divide that remains in the wake of the diginified burial of a fallen soldier.




Jennifer Gonzalez was also kind enough to share a list of reliable resources on this topic. The following is her list of recommended reading and viewing.

Felix Longoria's Wake: Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican American Activism (History, Culture, and Society Series) by Patrick Carroll
https://bookshop.org/a/7164/9780292712492



Making of Chicano Militant by Jose Angel Gutierrez
https://bookshop.org/a/7164/9780299159849

Article: Three Rivers eager to whitewash civil rights watershed


NPR 10 minute Lesson on Tell Me More

Longoria Affair PBS

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Episode 12: Tonkawa Cannibalism: Fact vs. Fiction - Interview with Blane Conklin






I interview Blane Conklin with the Round Rock Historical Preservation Commission. We talk about his role in getting the Tonkawa honored as an official Local Legend in the city of Round Rock after decades of sensationalized misinformation about cannibalism prevented acknowledgement of their rightful place in Texas history.
If you want to learn more about what the Tonkawa Tribe are currently doing, you can follow them on their website. http://www.tonkawatribe.com/

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Episode 11: Suzanna Dickinson - Her History and Museum






Listen as I interview Emily Collins from the Suzanna Dickinson Museum about her place in Texas history and what you can learn when you visit her charming house nestled in the middle of downtown Austin. If you want to visit her house (that is now a museum), you can find out more information here.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Episode 10: Austin Cemetery Special





Today I sit down with with Dale Flatt from Save Austin Cemeteries, a non-profit organization that works with Austin Parks and Recreation to preserve and maintain five of Austin’s historical cemeteries. I also interview Jennifer Chenoweth, the Museum site coordinator for Oakwood Cemetery, Austin’s oldest historic cemetery. They tell us some history of Austin's oldest cemeteries and talk about the programs they offer and what help they need from volunteers. You can find more information in the following websites: 

https://www.sachome.org/  - Save Austin Cemeteries

http://www.austintexas.gov/oakwoodchapel

You can also find both on Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Night of Texas Ghost Stories


What a great night we had at Lark and Owl Booksellers! The Night of Texas Ghost Stories was a hit. I loved the audience questions and I felt pretty special when they laughed in all the right places. :) Stay tuned for more events! Seems like people can't get enough strange tales of Texas history so more events are coming for sure. Thank you to Lark and Owl Booksellers for hosting this event and thanks to all the wonderful people that came out! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Night of Texas Ghost Stories


Hey guys! If you want a fun night of Texas Ghost Stories, come out to Lark and Owl Booksellers in Georgetown where I will do a couple of fan favorites from the show as well as something new! Enjoy the books, bistro and bar while you're there!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Episode 8: Mysteries of Shoal Creek


Hey guys! Been busy with ghost tours and Nerd Nite, but I've been putting together the research for the next episode (and I ordered a new mic! Hurrah!) In the meantime, listen to Episode 8 on the Mysteries of Shoal Creek if you haven't already! Shoal Creek has so many stories, both with verifiable records and other things are the stuff of legend. Verifiable records include bodies that were buried along the banks, most of which were dug up and placed in proper cemeteries...but not were found. Other stories are from the famous writer, O.Henry, who went on a treasure hunt looking for gold buried at Shoal Creek. These stories and others keep the mystery alive around this lovely trail, especially when you walk after dark (at your own risk, of course!) 
Be back soon with new mic and new story!