DALLAS COUNTY ANECDOTAL HISTORY LIVE 7:00 p.m. 22 June 1999
To learn, to attain knowledge to be wise, is a necessity for every truly noble soul; to teach, to communicate that knowledge, to share that wisdom with others is equally an impulse of a noble nature, and the worthiest work of man. ~ ALBERT PIKE, 33° (1809-1891)
Welcome and Pledge of Allegiance | John Vance, Worshipful Master
Let me have your attention, please. We’re running about 15 to 16 minutes late, so maybe nearly everyone that’s going to be here is here. I want to welcome you.
I don’t know whether this will be a one-time event or not; but if it is, I appreciate the opportunity to be here and I thank you for being here because I think you’re going to hear a lot of things today that you may have heard before and you didn’t believe. And now it will be corroborated.
Let me ask you to stand and join me in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
(Pledge of allegiance.)
JUDGE VANCE: I’ll ask David Scoggins to lead us in prayer, please.
Introduction of Lodge Officers 1998-1999 | John Vance, Worshipful Master
JUDGE VANCE: Let me — this event is on behalf of East Dallas Lodge Number 1200. And I’m the Worshipful Master of that lodge at this time, which will soon become Sheriff Bowles. Tom Cox, who is now standing, he’s the Senior Deacon as of this moment. Sheriff Bowles is the Senior Warden. I don’t see any other officers — well, David Scoggins is the chaplain — he’s a Past Master of this lodge. Larry Lamb is — I think he’s out front, but he’s the Secretary of the lodge at this time. I’m just looking for the Past Masters. Roger Jacobs, who’s a member of East Dallas, is also a Past Master. Sam Reese — I didn’t see you with the camera. I’m sorry, Sam. He’s a Past Master of the lodge. Bob Hurt is a Past Master of the lodge.
I’m sorry, Brother Hurt, I didn’t see you. And I didn’t hear you. So I didn’t think you were here.
Don Hilburn, who’s been helping with the preparations over there, he’s a Past Master of this lodge. Now, let me ask — and Doug Kowalski here at the head table, he’s a Past Master of the lodge.
Let me ask Sheriff Bowles, who’s the incoming master of the lodge, if he would like to introduce those people that are going to serve with him as officers of the lodge.
Introduction of Lodge Officers 1999-2000 | James C. Bowles, Senior Warden
SHERIFF BOWLES: Thank you, Judge. My Senior Warden will be Tom Cox. My Junior Warden will be James Smith. Hold your hand up, James. And Bubba King, where are you?
JUDGE KING: Right here.
SHERIFF BOWLES: Bubba King is going to take care of the downstairs, and Ed Mason is going to be our Senior Deacon. Is there any more of the lineup that are here? They’re the only ones I’ve seen. Okay. Thank you very kindly.
JUDGE VANCE: When you say “lineup” to me, it makes me a little nervous here.
SHERIFF BOWLES: Well, after the Stars win, we’ll have a better time on that.
JUDGE VANCE: All right. If we’ll — Ed Mason, do you want to come up, please?
Introduction of Speakers | Ed Mason, M.M.
MR. MASON: It’s my job to introduce the speakers. I’m just going to tell you who they are. Looking around here, I know everybody. I’m surprised. But you only get to know everyone if you’ve been around a while. This is my 30th year practicing law, and I’m sure, Mr. Todd, that doesn’t sound like a lot to you. How long have you been practicing, Mr. Todd?
MR. TODD: 60.
MR. MASON: 60 years. It’s my good fortune to be with Whit Sessions, a lawyer some of you might know. And I think Whitley practiced 58 years. Doug Kowalski is Assistant Chief of Police. Hugh Lucas, is that you, Hugh? And Ron Chapman, former district court judge, former assistant district attorney, former appellate judge, and now visiting judge. Bill Glaspy who has more fun practicing law than any man I ever met. Of course, Sheriff Bowles, Judge Vance, Charles Caperton who a lot of the stories are about. Mr. James Barklow who — the only time I ever knew of anybody trying to break out of prison to kill the prosecutors was a man named —— that Mr. Barklow and I prosecuted in Judge Zimmerman’s court one time. And he was so man at us that we prosecuted his brother and gave him a life sentence the next week. And then he did break out of federal prison. But he was, unfortunately, going to kill Judge Zimmerman before he got to us. And he got caught down in Houston trying to hire some FBI agent to do the dirty deed.
And my mentor at law, John Tolle. I met John in 1969 and was amazed the day I met him because he told me he was 39 years old and he looked like he was about 29. And I have to say that I don’t know how old you are, John, but you don’t look a day older now than you did then.
MAGISTRATE TOLLE: I wasn’t that old then either. You’re close.
MR. MASON: Kenneth Blassingame is a lawyer that I’ve known, tried cases with, tried cases against. And I imagine a lot of the stories we might tell tonight would be about Kenneth.
Judge Ellis has trained everybody. Everybody has Judge Ellis stories. I’m sure Judge Ellis has stories about everybody.
Mr. Weinberg is probably one of the most brilliant lawyers I’ve ever met in my life. He actually understands the opinions and can recall them ten minutes — more than ten minutes after he read them.
Mr. Tessmer has won at the United States Supreme Court and all the way down to the JP court and back, a great lawyer of his era and still a great lawyer.
And Mike McCollum and I started to work in the D.A.’s office on just about the same day, didn’t we, Bud?
MR. MASON: And he’s still a jarhead, but he wrote in my book.
I don’t know who’s going to speak first, and I think it will be up to Judge Vance.
JUDGE VANCE: Thank you. We’re not going to put any time restraints. You know, we could say 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15. The only way I know to stop in my 30-some-odd years of making talks is when I see my wife get up to leave. I know that if I want a ride home, I better shut it down because she’s on her way out. Now I don’t know what to do about that tonight. I will ask the speakers to remember that we have at least 16 speakers here right now. Others may show up. So I’ll ask you to come up here and give it your best shot and not take all night with it.
And the first speaker I want to ask is — to come up here is Retired Federal Magistrate John Tolle. And I’ll just say one thing about him while he’s on his way up here. I don’t know whether you’ve heard the term very much, but he was intellectually honest. And I really appreciated that, both when I was a prosecutor and when I was a district judge. Because Mr. Wade had some people working in the appellate section that would come down and quote cases to me, and they’d be complete misrepresentations of what the case said. But never, never that way with John Tolle. Come up, please.
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Closing Comments | John Vance, W.M.
[page 148, line 21]
Folks, you’ve been very patient. We appreciate it. We appreciate all the speakers being here.
We appreciate Donna Collins. That shows you how long it’s been since I’ve been a judge because I thought a reporter wanted to take about — a break about every hour and 15 minutes, and that’s why I was checking with you.
We had marked everyone present here with an ink pen, and I’ve called on everyone. And now I see that Judge Tate’s here. Do you have some remarks you want to make?
JUDGE TAITE: I think it’s late enough that I’ll pass.
JUDGE VANCE: All right. I want to thank David Scoggins who’s a Past Master of this lodge, and Mrs. Scoggins for all the work they’ve done on this. And I’m going to ask him if he has any remarks he’d like to make regarding this, and when he concludes those remarks to give the closing prayer if you will, David.
MR. SCOGGINS: Thank you. We’re done, and if you’ll stand, we’ll close with a prayer.
THE HISTORIANS SPEAK
- Judge Sarah Hughes and frozen chickens
- Judge Sarah Hughes and prominent lawyer
- Judge Sarah Hughes and carpet
- Ed Mason’s first encounter with Judge Sarah Hughes
- Judge Sarah Hughes and deputy sheriff abuse case
- Bob Wade
- Ken Blassingame and the jail matron
- Ken Blassingame and the hand without a thumb
- Morris Brothers
- Television sets and personal relationships
- Boxer sees a man run over his wife
- Clayton Fowler and umbrella
- Clayton Fowler and ex-convicts
- Judge Joe Brown and cigars and whiskey
- Stoffer and the wrecker
- Hugh Snodgrass and the moon
- Whitfield Davis and Bill Alexander’s voice
- Judge Bob Porter and Blassingame’s defense
- Shaking hands with jurors
- Herb Green and farmer
- Herb Green and Spanish surname
- August Kerns, friends and hugs
- Jimmy Mitchell and professional witness
- Chris Lingwall
- John Castle and expertise
- Blind district attorney and smoke rings
- Divorce and deception
- Vital organs
- Judge Thorpe rests his eyes
- Herb Green and George Milner
- Bill Alexander and defendant’s mother
- John Vance, burr with a brain
- Joe Kendall and water pitcher drip
- Rastafarians and dynamite
- Bill Alexander willing to throw a parade
- Embarrassing Henry Wade
- Press parties
- Practical joke about pistol
- Charles Carver and badge design
- Husband prosecuting wife for trying to kill him
- Herb Green and bad Spanish
- Herb Green and hills and valleys
- Herb Green and head of funeral home foundation
- Charles Tessmer and PTA
- Armed robbery of 7-eleven
- Mike Barclay and bus ticket
- Elizabeth Carp and Robert Guthrie
- Butch West and jail escapes
- Edgar Smith and foreclosure
- Judge Joe Brown and Dallas Morning News is wrong
- Deed to farm from insane woman
- Randy Taylor and policeman’s hat
- Jury and gin rummy
- Judge Richburg and divorce by phone
- Lucas and fake case file
- Holdup and mask
- Judge Ellis and objections
- Mother foxes
- Hannibal and visiting judge