Growing Up in Midland

Written by Harry Miller

Things I remember growing up in Midland Tx!!
Goat heads and sticker burrs
Dugout forts , in vacant lots, covered with plywood and then dirt.
Christmas tree forts from thrown out Christmas trees after Christmas 
Catching toads after rains. 
Catching tadpoles ,tadpole shrimp and ferry shrimp in rain filled pounds. 
Clod fights
Actually going out onto the tarmac to get on a commercial plane or to great your friends after a plane landed. 
They were prop planes then.
Wearing a suit and tie to travel by plane and having to use the barf bags in rough weather. 
TTA Trans Texas Airlines

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Robert Meadows (RIP)-The Last Hunting Trip

As told by Harry Miller:

The Last Hunting Trip with Robert Meadows (RIP), OB Jackson, Andrew Jackson, Richard Wood, Harry Miller and John Meadows

John Meadows had an annual camping event on the Baker’s River in Pandale, Texas. The event included a dove hunt. This particular year, Harry called OB Jackson and asked if the dove hunting in the area was any good.  OB says that for the past 3 years, no one has shot a thing. This gave Harry a very good idea, and with that information he decided to have a little fun!

At the time, Harry was the Owner and Director of Westgate Pet & Bird Hospital, Austin, Texas. The City would pick up dead animals at Harry’s office.  Unless the animal was being buried, they would store them in the freezer. So, the night before the annual camping event, Harry went to the freezer and proceeded to pull out some frozen birds, a large 4-foot Tegu lizard and a squirrel. He placed them all in his satchel and headed to the ranch.  The next morning, all the men were sitting around the campfire drinking beer.  Harry looks at Robert Meadows and says, “Let’s go get some doves.”  They both grab their guns and satchels and head out.  By this time, the frozen carnage in Harry’s satchel/bag was defrosted, and looked fresh as if it has just died.  

As they head out, Harry let’s Robert in on the prank and tells him he has all of these frozen/defrosted birds in his bag. Harry tells Robert to make it appear they are out shooting and finding lots of game. They proceed to fire the guns into the air high and to the left. They both holler every once in a while, for added effect. Meanwhile, Harry and Robert were really just looking around and searching for arrowheads. They probably looked around for close to an hour.  

They returned to the campfire, and eight people were sitting around drinking beer. They all were eager and curious to hear all about the hunting excursion. They all talked about all the shots they heard, and wanted to know how many they got.   Harry says “Yeah, we got 3 white winged doves” and reaches into his bag, grabs 3 cockatiels. The men around the fire sit up and say, “those aren’t white winged doves, look at those orange cheeks?”  They ask, “Did you get anything else?” So, Harry reaches in the bag, grabs a parakeet and throws it on the ground. Everyone looked in amazement. “What else did you get?” Harry proceeds to throw down 4-5 “chicksicles” and says see that farmhouse over the fence, well these were running around, and well, I didn’t know.. so I shot em” 

Everyone was still looking puzzled, when Harry proceeds to throw down the lizard. Everyone yells “Is that a Gila Monster?” Harry says, “I dunno… it was crossing the road, so I shot it.”

Next, he throws down a squirrel. Boys say, “There’s no trees out there” Harry responds, “He ran across the road, too, so I sot him.”

Harry reaches in the bag throws down a medium sized red head parrot and a double yellow head  cockatoo. By this time, everyone is scared and said “Those are parrots!!!” We are on the Texas/Mexican Fly Zone!”

Lastly, Harry pulls out a Blue and Gold McCaw. Everyone is speechless. “Why would you shoot THAT bird?  Harry says “he was only 50 feet in the air and yelling You can’t catch me; you can’t catch me. So I shot him”

Harry and Robert break out laughing hysterically and the group finally figured out they had been fooled the whole time!

“Hide Behind” and Semour.

Written by: Harry Miller

Harry Miller had a “Hide Behind”

A hide behind is a creature that no one has ever seen an lived to talk about. Sometimes  called a “Worser”, cause nothing is worser than it. It’s a good thing to tell the young kids about to get them in at dark. They’re everywhere. When you walk through the woods and hear something snap a stick or make a noise behind you, and you turn around quickly but see nothing… that’s a “Hide Behind”! You can tell if one is around when you hear an owl hoot. They are warning you. When it got dark out at my ranch in Mills County TX my kids loved exploring, but as it got dark would be back in camp without me having to holler out or go look for them thanks to the owls.

Harry Miller had a “Hide Behind”
The head of a “hide behind” is an upside down deer butt with the tail turning into a beard , the anus into a mouth with teeth and then given glass eyes.

Semour…the real story…

A close buddy of mine wanted to mess around with some friends. He borrowed the “Hide Behind” put ice in a 150 quart ice chest then stuck four severed legs from a deer he killed along with the hide behind head in the ice so that it looked like a whole complete animal was under the ice except the legs and head poking out… And then splashed deer blood over the top of the ice to be more convincing. He goes into the local bar and proceeds to tell people at the bar that he had been out hunting that day. As he’s telling the story, friends are buying him beers.  He explains that while out hunting, several doe came up and look at the feeder. They seem anxious and jittery so the hunter thinks there must be a Buck close behind. He waits patiently and suddenly this “THING” jumps out. He asks all the locals in the bar if there is a nuclear plant anywhere nearby? Everyone denies  a nuclear plant, and are more and more intrigued about the story the hunter in telling. They continue to buy him more beers. The hunter says, “I’ve never seen anything like this before. It was a big monkey kangaroo looking thing. Are you sure there is no nuclear plant?” All the locals  in the bar are asking to see this “creature.” So, the hunter proceeds to take them out to the car to take a look. As more and more people start gathering around, he opens the cooler.  They scream, “DIABLO”- you shot the devil and some run frantically and call the Game Warden. 

The local paper wrote a disturbing article about hunters that had discovered a very bizarre and dangerous animal.  Adults and children alike were warned to not walk alone, stay indoors after dark, and to take extreme precaution as this animal appeared dangerous. In addition, it was suspected that there may be more than one! While we do not have the original article, here is the follow up article once the town figured out they had been snookered.

Glory Days


 Great time wish we could do it again!

This is the trip that Bill Sallee spiked Joe Hurley‘s drink. Joe immediately or shortly there after disappeared.

WG and John McElligott were ordered to catch crabs and make crab cakes. There were no crabs to catch, so they went and bought some at the store. They told everyone that they were out fishing all day and caught the crabs. They have never told the gang that the crab cakes were made with store-bought crabs. All of the fishing team raved about the crab cakes and Billy Godwin and John McElligott just sat back and laughed and of course drank more tequila.

John Franklin was there and for the first time ever we noticed that he was losing his mobility and hearing. Harry Miller was asked to check him out but Harry was deaf and febrile, too, so it didn’t work out.

Anyway everyone at the fishing extravaganza can now fill in the blanks of what turned out to be a very low level catch if the memory is correct. But, a lot of fun.