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An entire generation of Santa Anna natives knows Hawkshaw. Merriam-Webster says that a hawkshaw is a detective or a private eye, but that’s not what it is for us. For those of us a certain age, Hawkshaw was B. A. Parker. I can’t find anyone who remembers why people started calling B. A. Parker Hawkshaw, but there was this cartoon character in the funny papers: Hawkshaw the Detective. Between 1913 and 1922 and again from 1931 to 1952 Hawkshaw the Detective was a popular cartoon. Maybe people thought Aubrey Parker resembled him. Who knows? But everyone knew Hawkshaw — or just Hawk—Parker. Either way was good.

The February 25, 1938 edition of the Santa Anna News shows an advertisement announcing the purchase of part interest in the Ragsdale Filling Station by B. A. Parker. This is the first mention I find of Hawkshaw by the News. It seems that Hawk was working at the station for Mr. Ragsdale and became partners with him in the business. Gary Patterson says the station was somewhere along where the Mountaineer Car Wash is today. After he took full ownership, Parker moved across the street and began selling automotive supplies and “recapping” tires—putting new tread on old tires. This all took place in the building presently home to The Body Shop Gym owned by Sarah Worsham.

After World War II, Hawkshaw began to expand his business into areas other than automotive. He started selling that new-fangled notion called a television. For people around Santa Anna, that was a BI-I-IG deal, even if there was only one television station broadcasting. KRBC in Abilene or KTVT in San Angelo were the only stations on the dial (what does that mean?), and where you lived relative to the mountain dictated which station you could point your antenna to (what does that mean?) and receive. Hawkshaw put a television set in the front big window on main street and people would watch from outside. I don’t recall if there was sound, but if it was a “rasslin’ match”, it really didn’t matter about the sound.