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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Peggy McCracken

Squarely Pegged

By Peggy McCracken

Ode to attorney
In second career

Dick Slack may be the oldest county attorney on record. I am using my sisterís ode to the Oldest Texas Ranger in the world as a pattern for my own composition about him.

Leo Hickman was 65 when Gail Trent wrote a poem about him, then set it to music. He served a few more years before retiring.

ďThereís Leo Hickman turning gray, with only one good eye; A member of the most elite beneath the Lone Star Sky; at 65, the oldest Texas Ranger in the land. But the pearly handle of his Colt still feels a steady hand.

ďOne riot, one ranger is the norm, Iíve been told. He wonít sell allegiance for silver or gold. Corruption of lawmen Leo canít abide. If ever in trouble, I want him on my side.

ďHe doesnít need a week old beard to mark a macho style. Brain power rather than pure brawn is better by a mile. He bucked the system when the question of his age was hurled. And now he is the oldest Texas Ranger in the world.Ē

Is Slack the oldest county attorney in the world?

Thereís Richard Slack, nearly bald, with only one good ear. A member of the legal team, he serves the Lone Star bar; at 90, he may be the oldest county attorney in the land. But the fact search on Westlaw still feels a steady hand.

One trial, one prosecutor is the norm, Iím told. The perp is bound for jail if he steals silver or gold. Criminals Dick Slack canít abide, and broken ethics he wonít let slide.

Dick doesnít need a paralegal to work up a case in style; His girls will be beside him when he needs a file. He stepped up to the podium when the challenge was hurled; now is he the oldest county attorney in the world? The End

Reeves County has had a series of young attorneys serving as prosecutor, probably because more experienced guys donít want the job, and a lawyer fresh out of college needs help to get started.

Since Dick is 25 years over the normal retirement age, perhaps he is starting a new career. He told me he plans to live to at least 100, so it wouldnít surprise me if he is still arguing cases before Walter Holcombe 10 years from now.

ďThe man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.Ē Proverbs 10:9, NIV

EDITORíS NOTE: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager. Contact her at

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