According to Martha

It is this I wish to dispute.




I would like to address Martha's remarks regarding the "Texas Giants" at the following URL: 

According to Martha, the giant's were 'not just under 8' tall'. It is this I wish to dispute.

 My name is Eric Hondo Burney, son of Pamela Jane Henderson (Burney): daughter of J.W. Henderson & Ruby Juanita Gay (Shields): daughter of Opal Turner (Shields).   

While I am admittedly proud of my Texas heritage, including "Uncle" Jack, Gus, Frank and Shade (Shay as he was known to us decades later);  I recall the vivid arguments against imaginary foes carried out by "Aunt Stella" and "Ruby Shields". And to a more mediating degree: 'Opal'.

Uncle Weldon remains a master lawn mower in my heart. He is a man who I reflect on in silence; a man who shapes me without the respect of the greatest man I know: Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Henderson. Weldon is me. I love him with an intensity that is ineffable. 
I can cite dozens of stories of the Texas Giants, including the descriptions by my maternal grandfather and his relatives. My grandfather's name was J.W. Henderson, and while he bore a particular dislike for Uncle Weldon (the origin of this remains a mystery), his memory of "Uncle Shay" remained lucid and simple.   

Shay wasn't a man, he was a giant. ......No?..He was ......bigger.....bigger than.....bigger than... A Man. I remember the stories of Shay, bent and old, wizened and weakened by the diminution that took all old a "Circus Men". I remember also the hushed description of enormity by those with no investment in their stature.  

These memories remain fragments of a hologram rose, but the genetics of "us" remain orthogonal. I have a nephew and a niece who exhibit such vastness of mind/body that their pediatricians bless their luck at having the honor of introducing the world to True Giants: children of such genetic character, both doctor's feel the need to exalt their careers on simple basis of having identified persons who suffer not the pains of Gigantism, but who will dwarf any NBA star, including the genetic equivalent of Charlemagne: Shaquille O'Neal.


Information added - March 05, 2008


As the great-grandson of Frank Shields I wanted to let you know I find you site a joy and appreciate the preservation of the memories.


I am grateful for mention of my father, Marcus Freiberger, and his accomplishment winning a Gold Medal in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games.  In the context of PT Barnum performers minor details may only obscure the show, but for the record I wanted to confirm the following to you….


Marcus Ross Freiberger height – 6’10” (however, some basketball programs exaggerated at 6’11”).   He was born November 28, 1928 and died June 29, 2005, as Martha accurately states.  Therefore his age at time of death was 76, not 79.




Jim Freiberger




Cabinet Card of Shields Brothers The Texas Giants - private collection


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