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These are some of the stories my grandmother, Margaret Donley, told me and her other grandchildren. Most of the stories are about her childhood in rural Texas -- mostly Montague County and Wellington -- before and during the Great Depression. Among the people she references often are her parents, her grandparents, and her siblings, Mary Jo, Muriel, Kathleen, Ben, and Snooks. These stories were collected by my mother prior to my grandmother's 95th birthday; they are told in a close approximation of my grandmother's storytelling style. 

Read Part 2.


Quicksand - June 9, 1920

On Ben's thirteenth birthday, we all went berry picking. Only Mama didn't go, and I can't remember Mary Jo being there. We had no conveyance, so we walked about two to three miles northwest of Whitesboro. We were looking along the creek, and Muriel…

After the American Revolution and the establishment of the United States, the new country was weak and divided. Its settlements were huddled sparsely against the Atlantic coast, it had no standing army or navy, and its economy was still stuck in a quasi-colonial relationship with Europe. The British refused to vacate forts around the Great Lakes in territory which they had technically ceded to the new state, Native Americans harassed the frontier (not without cause) and the Spanish were still in…

In finance, spoofing is a form of market manipulation, illegal in the United States since 2010, in which a trader (the "spoofer") places unreasonably large fake buy or sell orders in an effort to trick the market into driving the price in one direction or the other. If it works, the spoofer then takes the other side of the trade, cancels the original order, and then profits as the market bounces back to its original equilibrium.

For example, lets say the bid price on one "widget" is $100…