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Every Man Dies, Not Every Man Lives

Every Man Dies, Not Every Man Lives

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Every Man Dies, Not Every Man Lives

358 pagine
5 ore
Dec 27, 2010


Jack R. Stonelawyer, banker, rancher, big game hunter, and former chairman of the powerful Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissionshares the humorous, informative, and sometimes dangerous events of his life. In Every Man Dies, Not Every Man Lives, he tells war stories from his law practice, dwelling on the sometimes humorous and sometimes enlightening aspects of the law. Stones banking experiences, although detailing both the entertaining and the mundane, also include stories of memorable irate customers and bank robbers pointing a gun in his face and threatening his life.

He also shares stories of his political friends, including President Lyndon Johnson; Congressman Charlie Wilson, the main character of the movie Charlie Wilsons War; and other notable statesmen. Stones respect and close relationship with the game wardens and their enforcement of the law played an integral part of his life. An avid sportsman, Stone has had a lifelong interesting in hunting and fishing, notably participating in trophy hunts in Africa. He also supported and continues to support worthwhile conservation and environmental projects.

Indomitable and larger then life, Jack Stone has maintained his sense of humor and lust for life. Learn about his fascinating history in Every Man Dies, Not Every Man Lives.
Dec 27, 2010

Informazioni sull'autore

Now eighty, Jack R. Stone has had a lifetime of enlightening and humorous experiences. As former chairman and member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, his friends have included President Lyndon Johnson and many other statesmen. Stone and his wife, Sara, have residences in both Montana and Texas.

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Every Man Dies, Not Every Man Lives - Jack R. Stone

Every Man Dies, Not

Every Man Lives

Jack R. Stone

iUniverse, Inc.


Copyright © 2011 by Jack R. Stone

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

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Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any Web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-8264-2 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4502-8265-9 (hc))

ISBN: 978-1-4502-8266-6 (ebook)

Printed in the United States of America

Library of Congress Control Number: 2010919222

iUniverse rev. date: 12/22/2011


Any writer has many people to thank when, after months, a book finally reaches completion. I am especially grateful to my wife, Sara, who modified my affirmative attitude with her conservative approach to bring forth a good book.

I also appreciate Marie Whitehead and her daughter, Terrie W. Gonzales, editors of the state of Texas’s oldest weekly newspaper, The Cherokeean Herald, for their encouragement in my endeavor.

My secretary, Barb Dubois, is due a hearty thanks for typing and retyping chapter after chapter to see that my book was a worthy project.


September 3, 2010

Dear Jack,

Congratulations on this historic occasion—writing your own autobiography. And certainly, nobody knows your memories as well as you do. We have known you for more than half a century, and we can’t hold a candle to your knowledge of your life. Having known you so long, though, we really can’t remember when Jack Stone was not a part of our lives.

You are a living legend, that’s what. You have accomplished more in each decade than many folks in a lifetime. We stand in awe.

And it would be hard for us to pick and choose from your many successes and say, This is the most important. All of your service to others has been exceptional.

Your contributions to the area of conservation for everything that is Planet Earth is quite remarkable. You found, early on, that our environment is fragile, worthy of preserving and all the forms of life contained thereon.

Because of our personal involvement in good government, we have appreciated so much your service. And because of your role in state government, you made an indelible impression on the resurrection of the Texas State Railroad. In fact, without you, the train would not be today. Yes, you had the help of others in this project, but without you, the other two could not have succeeded.

To see the Iron Horse born again, resuscitated, given a new life, has been the miracle of our time. Your life has not only been a work of art in service to others but surely pleasing to you and our Creator.

Just when we wonder what else you can do that benefits mankind, here is the record of your life, set in stone for the world to see. It is about you. But it is also about the entire world we knew and shared during this special half century of life. Your words will become a new historical documentary—entertaining and educating—led and enacted by Jack Stone, a man who never stopped trying to make the world a better place, because he came this way.

Your book will be a treasure—our personal pride and joy. To know the writer, to have shared these great years with you and so many of the leaders of that era, striving to bring even more from God’s plan for a good Earth to fruition, well, what more can we wish for in one lifetime? It has been a wonderful journey through—life with you, dear friend—and I look forward with you to the completion of this publication. You have truly captured the essence of the way we were, and you have done it in grand style, keeping us laughing all the way through the tears and the smiles.

If our loved one, your dear friend, we here to add his thoughts to ours, Emmett would want you to know, Well done, our good and faithful friend. You have put the icing on the cake. We were a team that got it done.

When Emmett and I moved to Rusk on June 1, 1950, it didn’t take too long to meet you and join forces in the formation of some wonderful organizations. We learned, soon, that together people become a force to be reckoned with when they are in agreement, in pursuit of good goals. It has been our privilege and pleasure to work with you and to call you our friend. Best wishes for a speedy publication of your book, which we look forward to announcing when it arrives.

Always your friends,

Marie Whitehead    & Terrie W. Gonzalez

Editors of Texas’s oldest weekly newspaper, The Cherokeean Herald


To all my friends, those living and those in greener pastures.






Chapter 1

The Early Years

Chapter 2


Chapter 3

Texas National Guard

Chapter 4

Banking And That Ain’t All

Chapter 5

Community Service

Chapter 6

Farming And Ranching

Chapter 7

Texas Parks And Wildlife Commission

Chapter 8

Politics and Friends

Chapter 9

Mustang Island State Park and Sea Rim State Park

Chapter 10

Stocking and Restocking Wildlife

Chapter 11

Texas State Railroad

Chapter 12

Why Nacogdoches, Texas, Did Not Get The Oil Springs State Park

Chapter 13

Fight With The United States Forest Service

Chapter 14

Proposed Audie Murphy

Birthplace State Park

Chapter 15

Game Warden Training School

Chapter 16

Game Wardens

Chapter 17

Law School At Age Fifty-Seven

Chapter 18

Legal Clinic

Chapter 19

Practice Of Law

Chapter 20

Hunting And Fishing

In Texas

Chapter 21

Hunting and Fishing In

Montana And Etc.

Chapter 22

Hunting and Fishing In Alaska

Chapter 23

Hunting in Tanzania

Chapter 24


Chapter 25



In 1999, I had surgery for recurrent squamous-cell carcinoma on the left cheek and malar region. The prognosis was bleak—in that the cancer could penetrate into my head. I discussed the situation with one of the surgical doctors, Brian Pelczar, MD.

I advised Dr. Pelczar that should the cancer make it into my head, I’d had a full and successful life, and radiation and chemotherapy were not any options to me. In other words, I was not going to alter my quality of life, however short, by those two means.

I had made the statement that I’d had a full and successful life, and after some serious thinking, I decided to put that life under the scrutiny of a book. Hopefully, my experiences will be enlightening and humorous.

There were four people who boarded a train: an old maid, a good-looking blonde, a colonel, and a PFC. As the train progressed, it passed through a tunnel, and there was darkness within the train. During this time, you could hear the sound of a kiss and the sound of a slap. When the train emerged from the tunnel, the facts were the following: The old maid did not know any of the facts. The good-looking blonde knew who had been kissed but didn’t know who had been slapped. The colonel knew who had been slapped but didn’t know who had been kissed. The PFC knew all the facts, because the first time he saw the good-looking blonde, he wanted to kiss her, and all his military life, he wanted to slap the hell out of a colonel.

I trust this book will give you all the facts.

Chapter 1

The Early Years

I Made It through Them

I was born during the Depression in Nacogdoches, Texas, on September 8, 1930. My parents, Marshall Stone and Jewell Sowell Stone, were hardworking and ran a Mom and Pop café for thirty years. They made sure that my sister, Marguerite, my brother, J. M., and I received a college education. My parents were good churchgoing Christians.

My dad and all his brothers were avid hunters and fishermen. All of them were good carpenters, and it was often said that while they were putting a roof on a church, one of the brothers said, I believe the fish are biting. They immediately deferred the progress of the roofing and went fishing.

I was younger than my brother, and he and his friends would not let me go hunting and fishing with them, claiming I was too little. This was actually a blessing in disguise. I learned to hunt and fish by myself. When I was old enough to carry it, I was given a Daisy Air Rifle. The birds were at my mercy. My neighbors had a wild cherry tree in their yard. The birds would feast on the cherries, become drunk, and make for easy targets.

In our yard, we had a number of crepe myrtle bushes. These bushes had a dual purpose—their beauty and an unending supply of switches. When I misbehaved, I was ordered to get a switch, after which I would be administered a good thrashing. I actually deserved each and every one of the whippings. However, under the present laws, I feel like my parents would now be in violation of the codes enforced by Child Protective Services.

My brother and his friends had a tremendous grasp of the cussing language, and I learned to administer the words quite well. One day, I slipped up and said a few choice words in front of my dad. I wasn’t too worried about getting whipped, because I had this little gesture, whereby I would hold my breath until I turned blue, and the emphasis would shift from the punishment to concern for me. However, it did not work in this present situation. My dad began giving me some hard licks, and I began to hold my breath, thus turning blue. To my dismay, the licks became harder, and he then held my head under the water hydrant. Suddenly, I was cured of holding my breath, and my language became as clean as a hound’s tooth.

When I was five years old, my brother and C. D. Thomas, Jr., arranged for me to box C. D.’s brother, Richard. The boxing match was the start of a lifelong friendship. Incidentally, I won the match; however, to this day, Richard thinks he was the victor.

One of my favorite meals was fried chicken and candied yams. During my visits to see Richard, Mrs. Thomas always pampered me with these favorites. I visited Mrs. Thomas when she was a hundred years old, and she said, Jack, all the times you and Richard were slipping in to fish in Mr. Saunder’s pond, I knew all about it.

Richard and I had many good times hunting and fishing. Richard learned how to drive long before I did. However, he was a little guy, and he would have to get a stack of pillows to sit on in order to reach the steering wheel. One day, we went to the Angelina River to fish. The day passed quickly, and the night caught up with us. Lo and behold, the lights of the car would not work. Richard was very innovative, as he had me sit on the hood with a flashlight and we made it home. Those were the days.

My family belonged to the Fredonia Hill Baptist Church. The Sunday school had a grading system for each Sunday school class. The system allowed percentage points for attendance, offerings, reading your lesson, and staying for church. I simply did not like staying for church, and I devised a plan to get out of this percentage factor. I convinced my mother that I should go visit Grandma Stone during this designated time. I would walk about one mile to her home each Sunday. My grandma was happy to see me, but my Sunday school class was furious, because my visits to Grandma lowered the class’s grade.

Times were hard during the Depression, but we always had plenty to eat. There was an advantage to my parents being in the café business. The fish we caught in the Angelina River were a Sunday delight. (When I moved to Montana in 1982, I later purchased a house located on a Blue Ribbon Trout stream. The catch-and-release system was the coming thing for a fly fisherman, and I was determined to be a gentleman fly fisherman. I caught three nice trout and released them. I have not gotten over this event to this date.)

Our café was located next to the Nacogdoches Fire and Police Station. Bud Feazell and Delbert Teatsch were the fire chiefs. Tom Drewery was the chief of police, while M. C. Roebuck was basically the night chief of police. Although the fire station had a number of full-time employees, the majority of the firefighters were volunteers. Some of the Stephen F. Austin University and Nacogdoches High School football players made the fire station their home.

A room upstairs in the station was the recreation room. Dominos were king. The fire station volunteers and other Nacogdoches County residents strived to be the best domino players in the United States. My dad participated and was an excellent player.

As a youngster, I was a regular visitor to the recreation room, where I kept my mouth shut and just listened. Oh, how I listened. I probably had more access to what was going on in Nacogdoches than the local paper. I learned who the good guys and the bad guys were. I was made aware of the tough people who would fight at the drop of a hat. I found out who the good lawyers and the shysters were. I was young then, but I had a good memory. The information I obtained has since helped me throughout my life.

Nacogdoches had excellent schools. The teachers were second to none. They knew what and how to teach. In the third grade, a teacher asked me a question, and I answered by saying, Okay. I was severely reprimanded. To this day, I now say, Yes, ma’am, No, ma’am, Yes, sir, or No, sir. This was a southern tradition, and I think it is as proper today as it was back then.

I went to the cowboy movies every weekend. The more shooting that was in them, the more I liked them. My favorite cowboy was Tim McCoy. At that time, he was the only cowboy who wore two pistols. Tim traveled with a circus, and he was as good a shot in real life as he was on the screen. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry did too much singing and not enough shooting to keep my attention.

Sometimes, if I had my school lessons prepared, I would get to go to the movies during the week. One of the café cooks was named W. G. Howard. W. G. was a black man and a good cook, but above all, he was my friend. He was very intelligent, and he helped me prepare my lessons. Thus, I usually made it to the show during the week. W. G. served in the US Army during World War II, and we corresponded during that time. After the war, he stayed in the service. He was a true friend.

I was born a premature baby, and I was a small skinny kid. My parents wanted me to eat what I wanted at any time of the day. My favorite meal was a hamburger with a piece of pie. One of our café cooks, who went by the name of Mr. Bentley, cooked the best chocolate and coconut pies. These pies complimented the hamburger. Thus, the best meal in town was created.

The Nacogdoches County Courthouse was another place for my frequent visits. I enjoyed listening to the trials and noting the skills of the old-time lawyers. The courthouse building was a beautiful structure. In later years, the building was torn down and replaced with a supposedly Spanish-type building, which I do not think has ever been accepted by the people of Nacogdoches County. Every time I drive by the new courthouse building, I think, What a shame that the old courthouse is now gone. It should have been renovated. Nacogdoches was the oldest town in Texas, and its landmarks should have always remained.

Nacogdoches still has its brick streets, and I trust that they will always remain the same. The old post office building is now a visitor’s center. I visited the center, and the people in charge were doing an excellent job. They were then putting together a good collection of artifacts, and I was impressed with their knowledge.

I made it through elementary school with only a few fights, and I usually won most of them. My brother and his friends taught me to charge my opponent and hit him as hard and fast as I could. This tactic worked most of the time, until I ran into an old boy who was as solid as a brick wall. Oh, well, you can’t win ’em all. All the time during elementary school, my number one interest was hunting and fishing, and when I got into high school, this interest intensified.

I knew the best fishing holes in the Angelina and Attoyac rivers. You could also throw in the Morale Creek. I utilized these waters to the utmost and caught plenty of fish.

My attendance record in school was excellent. There were times that I convinced some of my teachers that it would not hurt anyone if I missed a day or part of a day spent fishing. They liked me and went along with my request. I did not abuse this concession.

I had a cur dog named Blackie. We would walk for miles to hunt fox squirrels. My first shotgun was a Stevens double-barrel, and I got my share of the squirrels. Sometimes, I would take Old Jack, a hunting dog that belonged to L. O. Lindsey, one of my brother’s friends. L. O. was a good football player, and the highlight of his football career was in a football game between Nacogdoches and Lufkin. The rivalry between Nacogdoches and Lufkin was recognized throughout Texas. L. O., on the first play of the game, hit the star of the Lufkin team so hard that the star player sat out for the rest of the game. Nacogdoches won the game 7–6. My first cousin, Howard Stone, who was like a brother to me, had the number one coon-hunting dog named Ring. At times, with Howard’s permission, I would take Ring hunting. There was no doubt that I was getting in my share of hunting and fishing. I was too small to play football, and I was a substitute on the basketball team. In other words, I would not get to play unless the other players contracted the bubonic plague.

My high school teachers were the best, as evidenced by me entering college and graduating with honors. Civics and agriculture were my favorite high school subjects. I had taken two years of agriculture, but I thought I had to take a course in physics to graduate. I did not take to physics at all. Then a ray of light came forth. It was revealed that you could take an additional course in agriculture in the place of physics. Physics then became history.

The Future Farmers of America was a major part of the agricultural courses. I ran for and was elected secretary of the Nacogdoches High School Future Farmers of America. Alton Driggers, Nolan Alders, and I won the State Leadership Award in the State FFA contests. Nolan later became the Nacogdoches agriculture teacher for many years.

I was also active in the Nacogdoches High School Sportsman’s Club, which placed its emphasis on hunting and fishing. Hunting and fishing were part of my life. The fact that I wanted to be a lawyer kept surfacing, too.

When a teacher had to leave class for a period of time, he or she would appoint a monitor to take charge of the class until she returned. On one occasion, I was appointed monitor to see that no infractions occurred. There was an old boy who broke the rule by making some unnecessary noise and causing confusion. The rules of being a monitor required that the culprit be reported to the teacher. The accused said that he was not guilty. I thought that this was a good time for me to get some trial experience. Therefore, I designated the class into courtroom personnel. We had a court trial, and the accused was found guilty. My class received notoriety throughout high school. My teacher was not as impressed as I was. The next time I would get to have a trial was when I was practicing law as an intern at Gonzaga School of Law.

I was active in the Boy Scouts, and I credit them with teaching me much needed knowledge of the outdoors. I credit the Boy Scouts for teaching me how to swim. Before I learned the art of swimming, I liked to have drowned. I was at Reid’s Lake, which is no longer in existence, playing in the water with friends. I went out into deep water on a board. Because I thought I was still in shallow water, I got off the board and went down into the deep water two times. To this day, I can still see those little fish swimming in the water. Wesley Pybus, one of my friends, helped me get to where I could touch bottom. Actually, I almost drowned him. I wasn’t going to tell my parents about the incident, but my brother was fishing on the other side of the lake, and by the time I got home, my parents were well informed. I honestly believe that I drank more water while I went under twice than I ever had in my life. Going under the third time would have been the end of me.

In my early years, as throughout my life, my sister, Marguerite, has been a steadfast supporter of mine. She would actually fight anybody who crossed me. She is now married to a college friend of mine, James Akery. They have two children, Gregg and Becky. My first cousin, Virginia Stone Copeland, has been a staunch advocate for the Stones, and today, I enjoy visiting her and going over the past.

Old age has taken its toll on my classmates, and far too many have died. We have just observed our sixty-second class reunion. At our fiftieth class reunion, I was expecting to see the young students with whom I had gone to school. I was surprised to see a lot of older people, but after I took inventory of my condition and looks, I decided that the ex-students didn’t look that bad. One of the ex-students I met and talked with at the fiftieth class reunion was Ralph Gay, MD. Ralph was a well-liked student who got along with everybody. He told me of the importance of not ever retiring and always staying busy. He said that if you quit work, you would only live about a year, and at the most, you would live two years. I was asked at a retiring judge’s party when I was going to have a retirement party. I told them that I was not ever going to retire and if they wanted a celebration concerning me, it would have to be at my wake.

I made it through the early years, and I looked forward to entering college. I wanted to complete college as soon as possible and start on the road to my goal of being successful.

Sister Marguerite Stone Akery and Brother Jack Stone enjoying a Montana winter.

Chapter 2


I’m On My Way

I entered Stephen F. Austin State College (now Stephen F. Austin State University) in the summer of 1948, and I graduated with honors in the spring of 1951. At the time I was attending the university, the enrollment was 1,700, compared to the fifty students in 1923, the year the university was founded. I majored in history. Reviewing the past was a great help in taking the right steps in the future.

I became a member of the Alpha Chi, a national honor society whose purpose was to promote and recognize scholarship. The chapter on the university campus was named the A. W. Birdwell, which was a chapter in honor of Dr. A. W. Birdwell. Since its founding on the campus, the chapter has stood as a goal for upperclassmen who have shown scholastic excellence, and it acted as an incentive to the underclassmen in their pursuit of knowledge. The fact that I was a member of the Alpha Chi would explain the reason I received an invitation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to apply for a position with them upon my graduation from the university. I appreciated the honor, but I had other plans.

I was a proud member of

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