Letters to the Editor, Hood County News – February 12, 2000
When I saw that vivid picture of a rattlesnake on the front page of the Hood County News with a girl underneath who was a Tolar Rattler, I decided to write the story of how the name Tolar Rattlers began and continued to remain so all these many, many years.
I was born and raised in Hood County until I was 17 and married a Erath County man and left home. My dad and mom were John (J. W.) and Rosie (Burgess) Loftin. We lived on a small sandy land farm 3½ miles northwest of Tolar in a community named Antioch.
There were nine of us children—five boys, four girls. The boys were Marvin, Marshall, Morris, Melvin, and Marlin. The girls were Harper, Lilly, Adell, and myself, Floice. We had a good Christian home and were taught true values to carry us through life. Only three of us kids are left—Melvin Loftin, Adell Hickey and myself, Floice Bramlett.
Now here is the story…
My oldest brother Marvin was playing basketball for Tolar High School. There weren’t any cars in those days, so one Sunday afternoon, Marvin asked my dad if he and some of his ball team friends could use my dad’s wagon and team to drive around. This was before my day, but was told the story by my dad and brother over and over.
My dad agreed for him to take the wagon. They went by and picked up some of their girlfriends and were on their way. They went to my grandfather’s place six miles north of Antioch, which joined the Walter Jarvis Ranch in Starr Hollow Golf Course and lake being part of the Troy (J.T.) Burgess farm.
Along the way, they caught a rattlesnake and put it in a container and in the tool box built in the side of the wagon. The team tried to run away—you see, horses are deathly afraid of rattlesnakes.
They made sure they hid the rattlesnake from Marvin’s dad. Then, on Monday morning, they carried it to school. They preserved the rattler and from that day on the basketball team was named the first Tolar Rattlers.