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TITLE
Jim Love - Trip to Texas, 1976
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_JIMLOVE_13
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Jim Love
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1733
KEYWORDS
audios

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Jim Love (1943 - 2006) was one of the Highlands' most respected journalists. He joined the 'Inverness Courier' in 1988, becoming editor in 2003. He had previously been an Inverness-based reporter with the 'Press and Journal'. One of Jim's passions was jazz music but he also played a major part in the blossoming of the traditional music scene in the Highlands in the 1990s and 2000s.

In this audio extract from the radio programme 'Moray Firth People' Jim talks to Helen MacPherson about his trip to Texas in 1976.

I was a year in Dundee and then I got moved up to Inverness with the 'People's Journal' but having worked for a year on a daily newspaper, I was keen to get back into the hurly burly of daily newspapers. So, after a year of the 'People's Journal' in Inverness, which was a very happy time I must admit, with the late Alex Mackenzie, who was the 'People's Journal' in Inverness for many years, cameraman and reporter, I left and joined the 'Press and Journal' and I was with the 'Press and Journal' for just about, just over twenty years and worked on a wide variety of news stories there.

But I think the highlight of the 'Press and Journal' has got to be the trip to Texas in 1976. At that time north sea oil was just happening in the Highlands and the Highland Board thought it would be a good idea if they could prepare people for the developments that might take place by taking a party of journalists across to Houston and showing them the oil refineries, the petrol chemical complexes, the rig building yards and things like that. So, there was a gang of us from Orkney, Shetland, all over, went across to Houston in '76 and, of course, great excitement, having been a western movie fan all my life and going to Texas. So we duly arrived in Houston and made sure that our official business program didn't interfere too seriously with our enjoyment of seeing the sights and catching some music and generally enjoying ourselves.

And one of the people we met was a traveller for Grouse whisky and coincidentally he also represented an American whisky company whose emblem was a game bird, a wild turkey. And I got rather partial to this wild turkey and while we were in Houston he took us out to a steakhouse in the outskirts and we also attended a rodeo. And I rather fancied this, so when one of the American journalists invited us to go riding I jumped at the chance. Now I've never been on a horse in my life but Alan Scott, who was a press officer from the Highland Board at the time, he came with us and this guy took us out onto the range and his son had got these three horses. And there was this little black one, and this sort of rather solid looking sandy coloured horse, and then this really fiery looking Palomino stallion. And I thought well, a million bucks you'll no get me on that one!

So Alan Scott go onto the little black one first, and he had never been on a horse either, so the guy said, 'When you want it to stop just pull on the reigns.' And Alan said 'Like this?' and, as he did so, the horse reared and Alan fell off. So I thought, 'Right, 'I'm not going on this horse', so when they gave me the sandy coloured one I thought, 'Well, that's better. It's a bit more my size and it looks a lot more docile than that little black one.' But what I didn't realise was this horse had been cooped up in a stable all night and as soon as it got out, it was determined to get some exercise. So it broke into a trot as soon as I got on and I drifted past the others and needing no resistance from me, this horse then broke into a canter and again getting no resistance decided it would go for a gallop.

So the next thing I knew was I shot past these people on the second circuit and they were really startled. My hat went flying, I was done up in the whole bit with the blue jeans and the checked shirt and the cowboy hat, the hat went flying and this horse was thundering across the plains heading for this huge, well it looked huge to me, five bar fence and I thought, 'This horse is gonna jump this. I cannot cope with this.' So I thought, 'What am I gonna do?' So I thought, 'I've got to get off this horse; there's no way I'm gonna pull on the reins cause this is gonna rear up and I'm going to fall off!'

So, I decided there was nothing for it but just to bail out. So I sort of employed the old Navajo Indian trick of sliding onto one stirrup and then dropping off, and I sort of fortunately landed in this huge puddle, did a back somersault, got up absolutely covered from head to foot in mud. Our journalist friend's son was sitting on the top rail was startled to see this rider-less horse gallop past. Panic stations! Everybody dashing to see if I was okay. And I sort of picked myself up in the mud and amazingly I was unhurt.

And I got back to the hotel that night and I was lying in bed and everything flashed before my eyes that could have gone wrong: my foot could have got caught on the stirrup; I could have been dragged along helplessly behind this horse; I could have landed on a rock and broken my neck; I could have killed myself! And I thought, 'My God, I'm never going on a horse again.' And I've never been on a horse again and every time I hear Lacey J Dalton sing 'Wild Turkey' I think of the whisky, and I think of Texas, and I think of that horse.

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Jim Love - Trip to Texas, 1976

1990s

audios

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Jim Love

Jim Love (1943 - 2006) was one of the Highlands' most respected journalists. He joined the 'Inverness Courier' in 1988, becoming editor in 2003. He had previously been an Inverness-based reporter with the 'Press and Journal'. One of Jim's passions was jazz music but he also played a major part in the blossoming of the traditional music scene in the Highlands in the 1990s and 2000s.<br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the radio programme 'Moray Firth People' Jim talks to Helen MacPherson about his trip to Texas in 1976.<br /> <br /> I was a year in Dundee and then I got moved up to Inverness with the 'People's Journal' but having worked for a year on a daily newspaper, I was keen to get back into the hurly burly of daily newspapers. So, after a year of the 'People's Journal' in Inverness, which was a very happy time I must admit, with the late Alex Mackenzie, who was the 'People's Journal' in Inverness for many years, cameraman and reporter, I left and joined the 'Press and Journal' and I was with the 'Press and Journal' for just about, just over twenty years and worked on a wide variety of news stories there.<br /> <br /> But I think the highlight of the 'Press and Journal' has got to be the trip to Texas in 1976. At that time north sea oil was just happening in the Highlands and the Highland Board thought it would be a good idea if they could prepare people for the developments that might take place by taking a party of journalists across to Houston and showing them the oil refineries, the petrol chemical complexes, the rig building yards and things like that. So, there was a gang of us from Orkney, Shetland, all over, went across to Houston in '76 and, of course, great excitement, having been a western movie fan all my life and going to Texas. So we duly arrived in Houston and made sure that our official business program didn't interfere too seriously with our enjoyment of seeing the sights and catching some music and generally enjoying ourselves. <br /> <br /> And one of the people we met was a traveller for Grouse whisky and coincidentally he also represented an American whisky company whose emblem was a game bird, a wild turkey. And I got rather partial to this wild turkey and while we were in Houston he took us out to a steakhouse in the outskirts and we also attended a rodeo. And I rather fancied this, so when one of the American journalists invited us to go riding I jumped at the chance. Now I've never been on a horse in my life but Alan Scott, who was a press officer from the Highland Board at the time, he came with us and this guy took us out onto the range and his son had got these three horses. And there was this little black one, and this sort of rather solid looking sandy coloured horse, and then this really fiery looking Palomino stallion. And I thought well, a million bucks you'll no get me on that one! <br /> <br /> So Alan Scott go onto the little black one first, and he had never been on a horse either, so the guy said, 'When you want it to stop just pull on the reigns.' And Alan said 'Like this?' and, as he did so, the horse reared and Alan fell off. So I thought, 'Right, 'I'm not going on this horse', so when they gave me the sandy coloured one I thought, 'Well, that's better. It's a bit more my size and it looks a lot more docile than that little black one.' But what I didn't realise was this horse had been cooped up in a stable all night and as soon as it got out, it was determined to get some exercise. So it broke into a trot as soon as I got on and I drifted past the others and needing no resistance from me, this horse then broke into a canter and again getting no resistance decided it would go for a gallop. <br /> <br /> So the next thing I knew was I shot past these people on the second circuit and they were really startled. My hat went flying, I was done up in the whole bit with the blue jeans and the checked shirt and the cowboy hat, the hat went flying and this horse was thundering across the plains heading for this huge, well it looked huge to me, five bar fence and I thought, 'This horse is gonna jump this. I cannot cope with this.' So I thought, 'What am I gonna do?' So I thought, 'I've got to get off this horse; there's no way I'm gonna pull on the reins cause this is gonna rear up and I'm going to fall off!'<br /> <br /> So, I decided there was nothing for it but just to bail out. So I sort of employed the old Navajo Indian trick of sliding onto one stirrup and then dropping off, and I sort of fortunately landed in this huge puddle, did a back somersault, got up absolutely covered from head to foot in mud. Our journalist friend's son was sitting on the top rail was startled to see this rider-less horse gallop past. Panic stations! Everybody dashing to see if I was okay. And I sort of picked myself up in the mud and amazingly I was unhurt. <br /> <br /> And I got back to the hotel that night and I was lying in bed and everything flashed before my eyes that could have gone wrong: my foot could have got caught on the stirrup; I could have been dragged along helplessly behind this horse; I could have landed on a rock and broken my neck; I could have killed myself! And I thought, 'My God, I'm never going on a horse again.' And I've never been on a horse again and every time I hear Lacey J Dalton sing 'Wild Turkey' I think of the whisky, and I think of Texas, and I think of that horse.