SPORTATORIUM – JULY 9, 2015 by Eddie Trapp


A little history. Stepfather Thomas “Tookie” Peters (Our clan calls him Papa) recently told of going to

the Dallas Sportatorium sometime back in the Forties. That’s where Fritz von Eric and many other

wrestling greats performed. The show that night was not wrestling, but a concert by singing great, Eddy

Arnold. James Williams Peters, and his fiancée, Charlene, were along with Papa. James Williams was

Papa’s nephew although their ages more reflected them to be brothers. They ran around a lot together.

Their plans almost crashed when they started to pay the admission. It cost a quarter to park the car.

Charlene had left her purse at the house. Admission to the concert was also a quarter. For some strange

reason, maybe hard times, the only money they had left was fifty cents. Only enough for two to get in.

After a discussion they decided to go back to the parking lot and give the attendant a sad story. Luckily

he gave their quarter back and they moved the car to a side street somewhere nearby. Now for the

concert. Hank Thompson opened the show for Eddy Arnold and stood in the middle of the ring. No

band, just Hank and his guitar. After several songs it was time for Eddy Arnold, just him and a drummer

in the middle of that wrestling ring. You may remember probably his most popular song, Cattle Call,

where he does a lot of yodeling.

While on the history theme, how many of you know what a “turtle hull” is? It is part of a car that is

now called the trunk. Time changes everything Bob Wills said. When Mark Owen taught in Royse City his

students would really howl when he mentioned “britches.” Most young folks call them pants these days.

Last week I was telling about our 1987 vacation to Yellowstone. Here is some more. From my ledger.

Monday, June 29, 1987. Day 4 of the trip. Yellowstone is so large they have names for different areas. At

The Towers we filmed mostly chipmunks and black and gray Clark’s Nutcracker, probably named for the

Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Lots of elk near the Mammoth area where we walked on paths

and boardwalks beside the thermal pools. While visiting with a guy from England he told me Trapp was a

German name and it meant “trot” like a horse trotting. From Mammoth we passed through Norris and

West Gate to Old Faithful and filmed it performing twice. On to West Thumb and Fishing Bridge where

we saw pelicans. A woman pointed out a moose beside the river about a half mile away on the edge of

Yellowstone Lake. We drove back down the road and parked so we could get out and slip closer to film.

Left the park heading for Cody, Wyoming. Seems like the highway is downhill for ten miles as you leave

the park. At the bottom of the long descent we found the Shoshone National Forest Campground about

dark where we fried potatoes and spent the night beside signs warning of grizzlies in the area. Slow

drizzly rain all night.

Day 5. Tuesday, June 30, 1987. Up at 7:30 in fifty degree weather. I washed my face and brushed

teeth is a cold stream beside camp. Had to stop and let fingers warm up. On toward Cody and Cody

Lake. Went through a tunnel. In to Cody for breakfast. Everything up here is Buffalo Bill this and Buffalo

Bill that. Went to the Buffalo Bill Museum. On to Casper and spent night in Douglas. Back to 2015 now.

The rest of the Yellowstone trip was just traveling. After one more night on the trail at a campground

near Granby we drove about nonstop and got home almost exactly one week after we left. This was our

second of three trips to Yellowstone and we hope to someday make a fourth.

One of the early mountain men of the Yellowstone area was John Hoback who has a town and river

named after him. His ancestors came from the Frankfort, Germany area, arriving in Philadelphia in 1738.

Later John Hoback’s family was with Daniel Boone and settled the town of Frankfort, Kentucky. John was

a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition but branched off from the main party somewhere along the

way, finding a new pass which was later on the Oregon Trail’s route. About 1813, Hoback and two

friends built cabins a mile apart. A few more men moved in with them. One of John’s friends was

married to an Indian woman whose tribe lived nearby. The woman went to visit her family and heard

some of the young warriors planning an attack on the white men. She started home to warn the men

but was too late. All the men except one were dead at the first cabin. She rushed to the second cabin

where all were dead. In Hoback’s honor a river and town have been named after him. The 55 mile long

Hoback River is in Wyoming and joins the larger Snake River near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, not far from

the town of Hoback. Some hot summer if you are looking for cooler weather, visit the Yellowstone area.

For the record department: A few weeks ago lots of large flathead catfish were caught at the Cooper

Lake Spillway. Now, many limits of blue catfish are being caught. Channel and blue catfish must be

twelve inches long to be kept legally. Most of the stringers have blue cats from twelve to about eighteen

inches and occasionally larger. Trash continues to be a problem at the spillway. Lots of empty,

Styrofoam worm boxes, all kinds of plastic bottles, monofilament fishing line, and more.

Rodney Daingerfield no respect jokes: When I was a baby and took my first step my mama tripped

me. I was kidnapped and my parents got a letter saying we need $5000 dollars or you will see your son

again. My mama had morning sickness—after I was born.

[email protected]

Share This Post On