Day 3 of the Texas trip took me first to Hamilton, Texas (above), about an hour east of Cross Plains. Hamilton is the “big town” in Hamilton County, and the closest source of groceries for a little town called Aleman (pronounced Ale-man). Howard’s correspondent and onetime visitor Herbert Klatt lived in Aleman.
Besides a very few homes and ranches, there’s very little left in the town of Aleman (below), if there was ever much to begin with. The locals in Hamilton said there was nothing there, but I found a few items of interest.
In Post Oaks and Sand Roughs, Klatt is transformed into Hubert Grott, and he is witness to the shenanigans between Howard, Clyde Smith, and Truett Vinson at Smith’s uncle’s ranch. Besides Howard, Klatt corresponded with Smith, Vinson, and Harold Preece. He had a poem in one issue of Howard’s Right Hook, and was an assistant editor on Vinson’s Toreador.
In the last year of his life, Klatt became an assistant teacher at the Aleman Lutheran Church. He died in 1928 and is buried in the church’s cemetery.
After Aleman, I went back to Cross Plains and met up with the arriving Howard-heads, then went to Brownwood to take care of a couple of things. Then, at 5:00, everyone converged on Humphrey Pete’s for dinner. Afterwards, some folks visited Howard’s gravesite, others went back to Cross Plains. Speaking of which, I need to get out there.
Howard Days begins officially tomorrow, so don’t expect any more posts from me until Sunday. You know you wish you were here.