Living Witness in News-Journal.com

This story first appeared in the Waco Tribune-Herald, created by Editor and Publisher, Donnis Baggett:

‘Living Witness’

Leaving the lone prairie behind, there’s “Living Witness — Historic Trees of Texas” by Ralph Yznaga.

One pays tribute to trees in Texas that shaded some of the most interesting events in Texas history. The trees are still standing, and perhaps not surprisingly, most are oaks.

The book is beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs of each historic tree, directions to where it stands and a summary of what happened beneath its branches. If you like to knock around the highways and byways of the Lone Star State reading historical markers, it would be a nice reference to keep in the console of the SUV.

Here’s the text on the famous “Kissing Oak” at San Marcos:

“Along the west bank of the San Marcos River is a small stone cabin. When Sam Houston was campaigning for the governorship of the State of Texas in 1857, he stood under the limbs of this huge oak and spoke to the crowd gathered there. Some of the admiring women present had sewn a Texas flag for him, and he thanked each of them with a kiss. The tree, naturally enough, was soon dubbed the Kissing Oak.”

Apparently Sam‘s smooches didn’t help him much politically. He lost that election to Hardin R. Runnels.

“Living Witness” is available through Texas A&M University Press for $29.95.

Here’s to a summer full of great reading. See you at the bookstore.

— Donnis Baggett is editor and publisher of the Waco Tribune-Herald, where this first appeared. For the full review of this and

Old Evrgreen Tree, Living Witness

The Old Evergreen Tree, Lincoln, Texas

other books about Texas, go here.