Old Rip Gets Older

On this date, exactly 75 years ago, a tiny Texas legend was born. After his 31-year entombment in an Eastland courthouse cornerstone, Old Rip the horned lizard was discovered alive and kicking.

Although today, Feb. 18, is actually the anniversary, the Eastland commemoration will be held on Monday the 24th. Event organizer Bette "The Toad Lady" Armstrong has arranged for Bill Wood, grandson of Ernest Wood, to be in attendance. Ernest Wood was the county clerk who originally placed Old Rip in the cornerstone in 1928.

In an effort to pass on the town's history to posterity, Bette has arranged for local schoolchildren to play a major part in the celebration. Everyone, however, is encouraged to attend and to take the Old Rip Oath, in which participants vow to pass on the horny toad's legend.

So, call in sick to work on Monday and help to celebrate Old Rip's semisesquicentennial (half of one-and-a-half of a century) or sesquisemicentennial (one-and-a-half of half a century), however you want to abuse your Latin.

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