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Born in Paris in 1906, Jerry Bywaters made a significant contribution to the world as an Artist, Curator, Critic, Professor and as the Director of the Dallas Museum of Art.
While his course of study at Southern Methodist University (SMU) was journalism, after graduating in 1926 he began to pursue his passion in art studying at the Art Institute in Dallas and abroad before finally ending up in New York to study at the famed Art Students League, which for over 130 years has produced notable artists such as Alexander Calder, Georgia O’Keefe and Jackson Pollock to name just a few.
Ultimately Bywaters returned to Dallas where he began to exhibit his works as well as write about the art scene of the day. By 1933 he had established himself as a leading young artist drawing his striking unique style from the surrounding Texas landscape. This movement became known as Lone Star Regionalism. His works drew the attention of Art Digest magazine and began to garner awards as well. During this time he also became and established art critic for the Dallas Morning News, a job he held until 1939.
His most productive period was from 1937 to 1942 and during this time he began to take an interest in print making. Success in this area was evidenced by his founding of Lone Star Printmakers who utilized this medium to produce Texas themed art work gaining national acceptance for this regional Texas style.
While Bywaters, the artist will most be remember for his works produced throughout the 1930s, his life and influence in the art world carried on for many more decades. Because of his prominence as an American printmaker and muralist, at the age of just 37, he was chosen as the Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, a position he would hold for over two decades. He also served as a faculty member at SMU for over 40 years.
Bywaters works are collected by numerous private collectors as well as being curated by The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, The Meadows Museum at SMU, The Hamons Art Library at SMU, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland to name a few.
You do not have to travel to Washington D.C. to see a Jerry Bywaters Mural, however. You can see his work right here in Paris and you can see them at no charge. The Paris Public Library boast of not one, but four mural by Jerry Bywaters donated by his family as a lasting testament to his interest in Paris. These murals depict John Chisum, Davy Crockett, and two murals of the Rebuilding of Paris after the Great Fire.
Jerry Bywaters, circa 1927 Photograph
Courtesy of Jerry Bywaters Collection of Art of the Southwest, Hamon Arts Library at SMU
Jerry Bywaters Collection of Art of the Southwest, Hamon Arts Library at SMU, JB.86.3
Every story about Raymond Emmett Berry (PHS Class of 1950) begins about the same. This guy had no business playing high school football much less in the NFL. He was slow, and thin, and he wore special shoes because one leg was shorter than the other. His own father, a local legend as the head coach of the Paris Wildcats wouldn’t even let him start until he was a senior. But that is the basis of what becomes one of the greatest stories ever in pro football.
Young Raymond Berry obsessively ran passing patterns on Wise Field by himself or whenever he could find someone to throw passes to him. He ran focus on running absolutely perfect passing patterns and find any way to get open which according to Berry, he ended up developing 88 different moves.
As a senior in high school, Berry finally got an opportunity to start as an offensive end, and the Wildcat’s undefeated season lead them to a district championship. Determined to further his football career, Berry became a Redshirt Freshman at SMU in 1951 and by the end of his sophomore year at SMU he had only accumulated 50 minutes of college playing time. Only dogged determination and dedication push Berry to finish out his collegiate football career at SMU.
Then the most unlikely event of all happened. In 1954 in the 20th round, the Baltimore Colts selected him. Ever obsessed with running passing patterns, he remained focus ed on running absolutely perfect passing patterns and find any way to get open which according to Berry, he ended up developing 88 different moves to get open. The hard work paid off when in 1956, Johnny Unitas was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers and picked up as the Colts . The rest is history.
Unitas and Berry became one of the deadliest quarterback/receiver combinations in the history of the NFL. The sure-handed Berry only fumble on football in his 13 year NFL career, and Berry to this minute still graces highlight films in the oclips of the 1958 NFL Championship Game at Yankee Stadium against the Giants in what is now referred to in the Greatest Game Ever Played where he caught 12 catches for 178 yards including a last minute tying touchdown to send the game into overtime.
The highlights include leading the NFL three different seasons in yardage and receptions. He also led the NFL in receptions. By his 10th season he became the all-time leading receiver in the NFL. He was selected to 6 different Pro Bowls and was a member of two world championship teams. In 1973, the very first year of eligibility, Raymond Emmett Barry was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame.
As an amazing footnote, from 1984-1989, Raymond Berry went to lead the New England Patriots as the Head Coach culminating in the first Super Bowl appearance for the New England Patriots.
The great cattle baron John Simpon Chisum was immortalized almost 85 years after his death by the 1970 movie Chisum! In which he was portrayed by John Wayne. But in life John Chisum was also legend, amassing land and owning over 100,000 head of cattle. Born in Tennessee in 1824, Chisum’s family moved to Texas where he became a building contractor and county clerk here in Lamar County.
In the mid-1850s Chisum became driving cattle to New Mexico providing beef for the westward expansion of the frontier. By 1866 Chisum partnered with two other now famous cattle barons Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving to herd massive amounts of cattle to supply beef for Colorado miners, the armies at Ft. Sumner and the still expanding frontiers of New Mexico. Chisum, Goodnight and Loving were three of the founders of early cattle drives that along with Jesse Chisolm (no relation) and others moved over 20 million head of cattle over the next two decades creating numerous “cow towns” along the way.
“In 1880, Chisum was involved in getting Pat Garrett elected as sheriff of Lincoln County. Garrett immediately attempted to deal with the problems being caused by Billy the Kid. In December 1880, Garrett shot dead two of the Kid’s gang, Tom O’Folliard and Charles Bowdre. Soon afterwards Billy the Kid, Dave Rudabaugh and Billy Wilson were captured by Garrett.”*
Upon his death in Eureka Springs in 1884, Chisum’s body was returned to Lamar County and buried on West Washington street where the magnificent grave market remains today.
In addition to having a John Wayne film made about him, Chisum was also portrayed by James Coburn in the 1990 film Young Guns II
Special thanks to Chronicles of the Old West for the use of the picture above.
The picture on the home page of Chisum is tar on plexiglass mounted to painted plywood by Canadian artist Neil Klassen. See his work on www.neilklassen.com. Thanks Neil!
Blake Neely (PHS Class of ’87) began playing the piano at age four and by high school he was playing rock and roll (and new wave) in garage bands. In all likelihood, Blake will never be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but with Blake you can’t rule that out either. Instead, at the University of Texas Blake sought to impress the world with his piano playing. Even though the music panel did not accept him into the school of music, he still impacted thousands of lives by teaching others to play piano when he wrote “Piano for Dummies”
Growing up, Blake played the guitar, drums, keyboard and French. His ever expanding repertoire of instrument led to his even more popular and acclaimed series of books called “FastTrack Music Instruction” which included books on how to play the guitar, drums, bass guitar and harmonica to name a few. With 25 books published in multiple different languages, Blake has essentially taught people all over the world how to play musical instruments.
While sharing his knowledge was great (and profitable), Blake became much more interested in orchestrating and composing. In 1996 he began orchestrating music for his mentor and friend, the late Michael Kamen who was an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winner. Kamen’s legendary musical scores include Mr. Holland’s Opus, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and 101 Dalmations just to name a few. The guidance lead to composer Vangelis hiring Blake in 2000 to orchestrate and conduct a huge piece called “Mythodea” that culminated in an enormous PBS Special concert at the Temple of Zues in Athens, Greece.
Click Below to Watch Blake Conducting Mythodea
From that moment on, Blake hit his stride working regularly with Hans Zimmer (of Pirates of the Caribbean, Lion King, the Dark Knight fame), composing film scores and even received an Emmy nomination for this the to television show “Everwood”.
“I’ve written music for the Queen of England, for the opening games of the Winter Olympics, and even for a shuttle to Mars. My work has taken me to some fantastic places around the world, including England, France, Greece, Korea, Japan, Russia and New Zealand. I’ve scored pirates, knights, presidents, astronauts, a giant ape, Samurai warriors, doctors, lawyers, nuns, superheroes, a mentalist and a mortician. I’ve even gotten Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Forest Whitaker to conduct with me. And once I conducted in front of a TV audience of one billion people (the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final Draw).” Blake writes.
Blake at work
With dozens of film and TV projects under his belt Blake, continues to make us proud of his accomplishments. Read more about Blake:
Thank you to Dan Glasserman at ScoringSessions.com. Check out his website to see more on Blake and other conductors/composers