Sunday Speaker Series program to be held at 2 p.m. on May 11, 2014
The Museum of South Texas History welcomes back popular local author Joseph E. Chance, Ph.D., as he presents “The Best of History by Chance” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 11. In honor of Mother’s Day, Sweet & Tasty Bakery of McAllen is pleased to support this program by providing their signature cookies. A former columnist in Harlingen’s Valley Morning Star (The Star), Dr. Chance developed his latest book as volume one of a two-part series showcasing his collection of stories from The Star. Attendees will be able to meet the author during a book signing where copies of “The Best of History by Chance” will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Between the years of 2000 and 2002 a weekly column appeared in The Star, “History by Chance,” written by Dr. Chance. The title of the column was inspired by a favorite high school teacher. The teacher attended the football games and was amused by the announcer’s play-by-play comment, “Tackle by Chance.” She thought that it added a probabilistic flavor to the game. The unorthodox writings of this author caused the column to be aptly named. While dealing primarily with Rio Grande Valley (Valley) history, it was not restrained to that topic. The subjects included an analysis of the famous cowboy song “The Ballad of Sam Bass,” sung by cowboys herding longhorn cattle from South Texas to the Canadian border. And not to forget, Dr. Chance’s thoughts on women, including those from Afghanistan to the lovely ladies of South Texas and Northern Mexico. The author displays the tender heart of a poet as he declaims the virtues of the women.
During the process of research for several of his books and articles, Dr. Chance came upon interesting tidbits of history that were often buried within the pages of musty tomes deserving to be resurrected for the pleasure and education of contemporary readers. An intriguing story is found about the wartime experiences of Sam Houston, Jr., who over the protests of his famous father, shouldered his musket and marched off to do his part in the struggle for Southern Independence. A special feature of this collection is the series “Rogues of the Rio Grande,” which highlights several of the villains that came to settle on the border.
“The Best of History by Chance” is an entertaining collection of stories that were so acclaimed by the readers of “History by Chance” that many requested the stories be reprinted. To them this book is dedicated. MOSTHistory invites these readers, new Dr. Chance fans, those interested in Valley history – and all moms – to enjoy a Sweet & Tasty treat and entertaining storytelling, all by Chance. This Sunday Speaker Series presentation by Dr. Chance is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.
About Dr. Joseph E. Chance
Dr. Joseph E. Chance is an author of several published books on history, newspaper columns and essays. A fifth generation Texan, Dr. Chance was raised in Austin before making the Valley his home. Now a resident of Edinburg, Dr. Chance is married with three daughters. His published works include “My Life in the Old Army: The Reminiscences of Abner Doubleday,” “Murder in Mathis” and his most recent book, “The Best of History by Chance.” When Dr. Chance is not writing, chances are you may see him driving around the RGV in his Chevy S10 pickup, gaining inspiration for the plot of his next book.