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DID YOU KNOW

| March 1, 2013
DID YOU KNOW

At least two movies have been filmed in the Cypress area — one in 1994, the other one in 1999. (Are there others? Let me know!) The 1994 movie was The Chase with Charlie Sheen and Kristy Swanson. It was filmed on the newly completed, unopened stretches of the Hardy Tollway and a stretch of […]

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Do You Remember, Grandma’s Lye Soap

| February 1, 2013
Do You Remember, Grandma’s Lye Soap

By Jane Ledbetter Trying to keep bodies and homes clean has been a problem through the ages.  History tells us that as far back as 2800 BC in ancient Babylon people were working hard to produce a soap to help with cleanliness. A soap formula consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil was written on […]

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Historically Cy-Fair – EARLY AMERICAN FICTION

| January 1, 2013
Historically Cy-Fair – EARLY AMERICAN FICTION

Owing to an increased literacy rate in America around the time of the Civil War, there was a great call for reading material among the general populace, particularly young, working-class audiences. Many writers and publishers rose to the challenge with a new genre called the “dime novel.” The term originated with a dime novel series […]

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Historically Cy-Fair – THE ONE-MAN BAND

| December 1, 2012
Historically Cy-Fair – THE ONE-MAN BAND

By Jane Ledbetter A one-man band? How can that be?  When we think of a band, we automatically think of a group of musicians playing different  instruments together on a stage or in a band hall. However, there is an instrument known as the “accordion” that is sometimes called a one-man band because it needs […]

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Historically Cy-Fair – MORE THOUGHTS ABOUT QUILTS AND QUILTING

| November 1, 2012
Historically Cy-Fair – MORE THOUGHTS ABOUT QUILTS AND QUILTING

By Jane Ledbetter Last month we began talking about quilts and quilting in American homes, particularly as labors of love and ways to express artistic yens and even patriotism. Although many quilts today are still made for practical purposes, many are also made because people love the craft itself. Oftentimes they also enjoy the friendship […]

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Historically Cy-Fair – RED, WHITE AND BLUE, DONKEYS AND ELEPHANTS, AND… QUILTS!

| October 1, 2012
Historically Cy-Fair – RED, WHITE AND BLUE, DONKEYS AND ELEPHANTS, AND… QUILTS!

By Jane Ledbetter Women in America have been quilting a long time. Their quilts have, through the years, added art and color in their homes whether they were humble, dark abodes or bright, cheery mansions. Quilts were, and still are, labors of love; the choice of colors and design give women an avenue to express […]

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Historically Cy-Fair ONE DAY IN FIRST GRADE, SEPTEMBER 1942

| September 1, 2012
Historically Cy-Fair ONE DAY IN FIRST GRADE, SEPTEMBER 1942

By Jane Ledbetter It was in the fall of 1942; school had been in session for a short while, having started the day after Labor Day. The children in Cypress Elementary School were just getting used to the school routine. My friend, Beverly (Smith) Schawe, a first grader at the time, remembers this particular day […]

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Historically Cy-Fair THE ORIGINAL “FAST FOOD”

| August 1, 2012
Historically Cy-Fair THE ORIGINAL “FAST FOOD”

In this day of fast food restaurants on nearly every street corner in Cypress, the question is sometimes asked, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?” For the people who grew up here before the 1950s, there was no such thing as “fast food” as we know it today. Most meals […]

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Historically Cy-Fair RODEO: A FAMILY AFFAIR

| July 1, 2012
Historically Cy-Fair RODEO: A FAMILY AFFAIR

By Jane Ledbetter Historically speaking, the job of schools in our society has always been to prepare children to live productive and happy lives as they look forward to better days through better ways.  As the Cypress-Fairbanks School District grew from the early one-room school buildings in the 1800s to more students, more faculty and […]

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WITH THIS RING I THEE WED…

| June 1, 2012
WITH THIS RING I THEE WED…

During the month of June many brides and grooms exchange rings in their wedding ceremonies as symbols of the love and devotion they feel for each other and the endlessness of their love.  An unknown author told a story many years ago about a king in a far away country who was married to a […]

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MEMORIES OF NEAL’S STORE IN CYPRESS

| May 1, 2012
MEMORIES OF NEAL’S STORE IN CYPRESS

By Jane Ledbetter My good friend, Beverly (Smith) Schawe, and I enjoy sharing memories of “the way Cypress was” when we were growing up. The memories written here are some of Bev’s recollections dating from around 1940. Bev’s mother worked in Neal’s Store in Cypress for several years. Bev was often with her mother in […]

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Here a Chick, There a Chick…

| April 1, 2012
Here a Chick, There a Chick…

By Jane Ledbetter The lives of Cypress settlers in the mid-to-late 1800s and early 1900s could be greatly enhanced by having a good-sized flock of chickens on the farm. Fried or scrambled eggs with bacon, sausage or ham was a real treat for breakfast; certainly a platter of fried chicken or chicken and dumplings would […]

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FOLK DANCING: A TRUE TEXAS ART FORM

| March 1, 2012
FOLK DANCING: A TRUE TEXAS ART FORM

By Jane Ledbetter In Texas in the middle to late 1800s, building churches and dance halls were often the first steps in settling the wide open frontiers. The Cypress Gun & Rifle Club (known more familiarly as Tin Hall) is an example of one of those early dance halls. Originally built in 1878, it was […]

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“ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE”

| February 1, 2012
“ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE”

By Jane Ledbetter Collecting autographs and small bits of verse, personal messages, and poems from one’s friends and classmates was popular as far back as the early 15th century in the Dutch and Germanic cultures. The collection books, known as autograph books, were sometimes very ornate; others simply contained loose sheets of paper bound together […]

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“CYPRESS GETS NEW PHONES”

| January 1, 2012
“CYPRESS GETS NEW PHONES”

By Jane Ledbetter This headline above, as seen in the December 27, 1953 edition of the Houston Chronicle newspaper, heralded the advent of a brand-new era in the field of communications for Cypress residents:  approximately 130 homes and businesses were about to get dial telephones. Up until this time, the few Cypress residents who had […]

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The Fifth Season Of The Year

| December 1, 2011
The Fifth Season Of The Year

By Jane Ledbetter It has always been said that there are four seasons in a year:  spring, summer, fall and winter. But for the cooks of yesteryear as well as today , there is another very important season: the Christmas baking season. One of the most recognizable flavors and scents emanating from the kitchen during […]

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Needlework and Early Cypress Women

| November 1, 2011
Needlework and Early Cypress Women

By Jane Ledbetter It seems that women, from even the earliest times, are born with creative instincts and love of beautiful things. No matter how meager or drab their immediate surroundings may be, women will find ways to create something pretty in them. It may be a few flowers growing outside the door, or perhaps […]

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You Shopped For What at the Feed Store?

| October 1, 2011
You Shopped For What at the Feed Store?

By Jane Ledbetter The virtues of thrift and ingenuity practiced by many Americans throughout their lives were greatly enhanced by the experiences of World War II. People quickly realized that it wasn’t how much they had that counted, but how well they used what they had. Through the rationing system and other deprivations endured to […]

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Wash Days in Cypress a Long Time Ago, Part 2

| September 1, 2011
Wash Days in Cypress a Long Time Ago, Part 2

By Jane Ledbetter Every batch of wash went through basically the same washing procedure:  soaking, boiling in the wash pot or washing in very hot water in the washing machine, rinsing and wringing as dry as possible. (Length of time in the hot water varied, depending on how dirty the particular batch of laundry was; […]

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