Monday, May 20, 2024

A decade of knowledge

Ramay-Macatee series celebrates 10 years with multiple speaker event Nov. 7


After years of educating residents about Texas history, the Ramay-Macatee Speaker Series will officially celebrate its 10th anniversary at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at Granbury Live, 110 N. Crockett St.

Hosted by the Bridge Street History Center, the Ramay-Macatee Speaker Series was first established in 2014 to bring some of the finest historians and authors to Hood County.

“The Bridge Street History Center brings in someone who's well-known throughout the state,” Cody Martin, Bridge Street History Center board member, previously told the Hood County News. “Typically, it's an author who's written a book about Texas, but we try to bring in someone who has a regional or statewide appeal. Normally we're focused on local history, but once a year, we host the Ramay-Macatee Speaker Series to talk about a topic related to Texas history.”

From American historian Dr. Steven Woodworth to The Alamo historian and curator Dr. Bruce Winters, the Bridge Street History Center has welcomed several prominent figures into its Ramay-Macatee series.

But this event will feature speakers like never before.

In a roundtable discussion, former speakers of the Ramay-Macatee Speaker Series S.C. Gwynne and Stephen Harrigan will be interviewed by Justice Ken Wise — last year’s speaker for the series.

“This year, we're gonna do a roundtable kind of discussion, question and answer,” Bridge Street History Center President Maurice Walton told the Hood County News. “Steve Harrigan and S.C Gwynn are gonna be questioned by Justice Wise. He is very knowledgeable in Texas history, and just an unbelievable kind of guy. He does a podcast on Texas history and he's interviewed both of them before, so it's really an opportunity for him to interview these two guys that he has separately interviewed, and to have them on one stage here in Granbury is really a big deal for us.”

Gwynne is an award-winning journalist who worked for both Time and Texas Monthly. He is also an author of three celebrated books about American history, including “Empire of the Summer Moon,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist about the rise and fall of the fierce Comanche Indians.

Harrigan is an American novelist, journalist and screenwriter. He is best known as the author of the bestselling “The Gates of the Alamo,” and for his magazine work in Texas Monthly.

Wise, who will serve as moderator for the event, has published numerous historical articles and hosts the award-winning — and cleverly-named — podcast "Wise About Texas,” where he provides listeners with an enlightening exploration of Texas history. In addition to his podcasting prowess, Justice Wise serves on the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston and has shared his expertise as a professor at both the University of Houston Law Center and Houston Baptist University.

Walton said in his mind, this three-guest event essentially “kicks up” the speaker series in a special milestone celebration.

"I think this kind of gives us just another angle or another approach to the speaker series event, so that going forward, we can make the event even bigger,” he said. "If you just look over the past few years on what we've been able to do, who we've been able to have here, and the quality of those authors, we have really developed this event to another level.”

The idea for the roundtable discussion, Walton said, originally stemmed from an older YouTube video where both Harrigan and Gwynne were interviewed at the LBJ Presidential Library located in Austin.

"They were at LBJ Library, so if they were good enough together to be at LBJ Library, if we can have them, then we've really done something,” he said. “We give people an opportunity to see a caliber of author that they won't have the opportunity to see every day.”

The Ramay-Macatee Speaker Series was originally named after Georgia Ramay and Vircy Macatee — both of whom played an integral part in creating the Bridge Street History Center.

“Georgia and Vircy were early supporters of our organization,” Walton said. “And when we did our first event back in 2014, Vircy and Georgia were both there, and they both supported the whole idea of doing an event with a speaker, and that's when we named the event after them.”

Walton said even today, both ladies would be pretty excited about the event’s growth over the years.

“The Bridge Street History Center’s mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the life stories of people in Granbury and Hood County; that's our mission," he said. “And I remember talking with Georgia and Vircy back then about how it fits into our mission. Local history is what it's all about. But if you can do something to show the community that you're involved in broader issues and bringing them opportunities that they might not have readily available to them, then your name is out there.”

The event will kick off with a 5:45 p.m. reception for sponsors to meet the speakers. Sponsors will also receive a bookmark, a poster and the opportunity to have their books autographed by Gwynne and Harrigan.

Tickets will go on sale beginning Wednesday, April 17. VIP seats are $100 while prime tickets are $75.

Walton added that Ramay-Macatee Speakers Series will only improve over time, adding that the quality of the series adds dimension to what Granbury already offers.

“10 years is a milestone,” he said. “In my mind, and the days to come, the Ramay-Macatee Speaker Series is only going to get better from here.”

For more information on the speaker series or to follow updates regarding ticket announcements, visit online.