What's in a Name?
Gambler, cowboy, racehorse owner, gold miner, entrepreneur, outlaw--Sam Bass was many things. No one ever accused him of civic mindedness, however. Yet, Sam Bass Road, Sam Bass Youth Baseball, Sam Bass Community Theatre, and the Annual Frontier Days re-enactment of his final shootout attest to our fascination with his career. How is it that the calculating bank robber and killer morphed into a colorful local legend? Are we sentimental about his death on his 27th birthday? No matter--the city of Round Rock has gained a bit of western glamour by association with Mr. Bass. In a way, he has given back to the community from which he intended to take quite a lot.
Speaking of names that figure prominently in Round Rock geography and architecture: haven't you wondered about the McConicos of McConico Building fame? How about the Carlins? They're everywhere and have been for about five generations, and the same is true of the Mercers. Joanne Land, who served as city secretary for over 30 years, is the daughter of Williamson County sheriff Henry Matysek, commemorated by a portrait bust on the courthouse grounds.
The first time I navigated out to La Frontera by way of Hester's Crossing, I knew there must be a story behind that street name. Hank Hester knows it, and he'll be on hand at Round Rock in Her Own Words Thursday, April 17 at Round Rock Public Library. Other panelists with history to share include Patsy McConico Anderson, Delfino Bryan, David Carlin, Jesse Mercer Carson, Robert Organ, and Joanne Land. Come at 7:00 for the ice cream social (with free Blue Bell ice cream!), then enjoy the presenters and an open mic for the audience, which will include descendants of Swedish settlers. Take an opportunity to meet and chat with Tweed Scott, author of this year's Round Rock Reads! selection, Texas in Her Own Words.
Dale Ricklefs, Round Rock Public Library director, and Chris Dyer, Williamson County Historical Museum director, will facilitate this evening of Round Rock memories and answers to those "I always wondered..." questions that occur to you as you drive around the city. Round Rock in Her Own Words will be video and audio recorded, but you'll want to experience this event in person.