Monthly Archives: April 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015 – A Bucket List Item Checked Off

Thursday, April 30, 2015 – Farewell to the First Lady of Aggieland

From Reveille VIII’s retirement party – April 29, 2015.Rev VIII n me (800x600)

Bucket list item – photograph with Reveille VIII – check.

Miss Rev will pass on her title of first lady of Aggie to Reveille IX at Final Review on May 9 and retire to the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center. She is the first Reveille to do so. Her predecessors retired to the homes of A&M alumni or veterinarians.

New bucket list items – photograph with Reveille IX and NCAA National Football Championship trophy.

Happy Birthday, Willie Nelson

Texas Wall 2 (800x592)

Now here is a Texas treasure.  Happy Birthday, Willie Nelson.

From the Texas corner in my office – Bucket list items – checked off  – kissed Willie Nelson and played golf on his golf course in the Texas Hill Country.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – Two MUST See Museums in Texas

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – Two MUST See Museums in Texas

Two must see museums that exist are in the vast plains of the Texas Panhandle.  One is the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.


  • Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 063 (800x600)

It is billed as the Smithsonian of Texas. I agree. Here is a very short walk among a few of the countless exhibits.

First there was the land and the ancients that lived there millions of years ago.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 100 (800x600)Dinasaur (800x600)

But there were people who lived there first.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 131 (800x600)Tale a close look at this beautiful sculpture. You can see my reflection taking the photo graph creating a sort of mask.  I think it is nice that I am reflected in this Native American artwork.

But then other people wanted the land and they came to settle driving off the other people who were there first.  We all know this sad story.

The XIT Wagon (800x600)

The Windmill (800x587)But they harnessed the wind to make the area livable. Change livable to habitable. I do not think I want to live there.

Cars (800x600)

And then people more came.

Oil (800x589)Because those dinosaur relatives in the dinosaur exhibit left fossil fuels – OIL, that is. Black gold. Texas tea.

Some stayed on their way to California and others moved on down Route 66. Who remembers Burma Shave signs?  My mother referred to places to stay along the road as tourist courts.  I doubt she would have stayed in one with a grasshopper  as the symbol.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 087 (600x800)Burma Shave (600x800)Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 086 (800x600)

The Panhandle-Plains Museum is dedicated to The Pioneers – extraordinary brave people who took risks to live their dreams. Two of three top ten tourist sites in Texas are in Canyon.  I hiked the Palo Duro Canyon walking where ancient creatures, civilizations and cultures walked And I visited The Panhandle-Plains Museum that tells their story.

Then second must see museum is The Frontier Texas in Adeline.

This is small, but dynamic, very interactive museum and should be on a Texan’s bucket list.

I did not take many photographs at this museum.  Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-22 017 (800x600)

It tells a more detailed, intense story of how the how the people came and lived and died. The holograms telling the story are so life-like you want to reach out and touch them.  The story is told from all who settled, were settled and then resettled again in the country known as the plains of Texas.  There were Native Americans, cowboys, settlers, pioneers, ranchers, business people and all kinds of people. There were men and women of all different colors and genders.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-22 013 (800x600)Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-22 014 (598x800)

The story of the destruction and progress of cultures is not pretty, but it marks a point in history and tells all of us who are native Texas who we are and makes of us both proud and ashamed of our country.

OK – it is a state, but it is a state of mind and the state is mine.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-22 015 (800x599) Seems as though a tooth brush salesman would have made a fortune in the frontier.

God Bless Texas!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 – Amarillo by Morning…

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 – Amarillo by Morning…

“Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone; everything that I got, is just what I got on…”

That Texas classic is sung by whom? If you do not know this one, you should be ashamed to call yourself a Texan. OK – how about this one?  “And you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around; that’s what it’s all about.”

Amarillo is about meat. And when in Amarillo, one should visit the famous steak house on Route 66 called The World Famous Big Texas Steak House.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-21 025 (800x600) Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-21 028 (800x594)Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-21 026 (600x800)

Of course the steak house is hokey, but hey it’s Texas.  Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-21 027 (800x600)

No, I did not even try to eat the giant steak that weighs 72 oz.   I doubt I eat that much red meat in one week, let alone at one sitting.  The previous record for consuming the 72 oz. hunk of meat, which resembles a roast, was held by a competitive eater named Molly Schuyler, who ate TWO of the hunks of beef.  Do the math – 144 ounces in twenty minutes.

But then the Sunday, April 19, 2015, before we ate there on Tuesday, April 21, Molly broke her own record and ate THREE (3) of the 72 oz. steaks – or 216 ounces in 20 minutes.

But I just had an ordinary steak and took hokey pictures.

History of the 72 ounce steak –

Oh yes, “Amarillo by morning…, – George Strait. You knew that didn’t you?

Monday, April 27, 2015 – I’ve Been to the Cadillac Ranch

Monday, April 27, 2015 – I’ve Been to the Cadillac Ranch

I came. I saw. I graffited – also known a spray painted. Granted, spray painting graffiti on the downturned Cadillac shells at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo was on the bucket list, but not a high priority, but hey, when in Amarillo…

Cads in the ground(800x600)A line of CaddiesGraffitti ArtistDRDDRD2


Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, U.S. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. It consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of mid twentieth century Cadillacs; the tailfins) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

Cadillac Ranch is currently located at

35°11′14″N 101°59′13.4″W / 35.18722°N 101.987056°W / 35.18722; -101.987056. It was originally located at 35°11′6.6″N 101°56′58.6″W / 35.185167°N 101.949611°W / 35.185167; -101.949611 in a wheat field, but in 1997 the installation was quietly moved by a local contractor to a location two miles (three kilometers) to the west, to a cow pasture along Interstate 40, in order to place it farther from the limits of the growing city. Both sites belonged to the local millionaire Stanley Marsh 3, the patron of the project.[6] Marsh was well known in the city for his longtime patronage of artistic endeavors including the “Cadillac Ranch”, Floating Mesa, “Amarillo Ramp” a work of well-known land artist Robert Smithson, and a series of fake traffic signs throughout the city known collectively as the “Dynamite Museum”.  As of 2013, Stanley Marsh 3 did not own the Cadillac Ranch; ownership appears to have been transferred to a family trust some time before his June 2014 death.

Cadillac Ranch is visible from the highway, and though located on private land, visiting it (by driving along a frontage road and entering the pasture by walking through an unlocked gate) is tacitly encouraged. In addition, writing graffiti on or otherwise spray-painting the vehicles is now encouraged, and the vehicles, which have long since lost their original colors, are wildly decorated. The cars are periodically repainted various colors (once white for the filming of a television commercial, another time pink in honor of Stanley’s wife Wendy’s birthday, and yet another time all 10 cars were painted flat black to mark the passing of Ant Farm artist Doug Michels, or simply to provide a fresh canvas for future visitors. In 2012 they were painted rainbow colors to commemorate gay pride day. The cars were briefly “restored” to their original colors by the motel chain Hampton Inn in a public relations-sponsored series of Route 66 landmark restoration projects. The new paint jobs and even the plaque commemorating the project lasted less than 24hours without fresh graffiti.

Saturday, April 25, 2015 – The Lighthouse at Palo Duro Canyon

Saturday, April 25, 2015 – The Lighthouse at Palo Duro Canyon

On everyone’s bucket list should be experiences to view the wonders of God and the works of nature created by Him.

On Monday, April 20, 2015, BFF Luddite and I hiked The Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon. Palo Duro Canyon, at 120 miles long and 800 feet deep, is the second largest canyon in the United States and is referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Palo Duro is Spanish for hard wood with reference to the Rocky Mountain juniper trees found in the canyon.

The Lighthouse Trail leads to the Lighthouse formation created by erosion of winds and waters. The Lighthouse is 310 feet high and has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. The trail is considered moderate in difficulty and with a total roundtrip of 5.75 miles.  Note: this does not include the last 600+ yards of climb.

Ready? Here we go. FYI – Click on a photo to enlarge. Then use the back arrow to go back to the blog.

Start We’re off. Staring time about 9:30 am

Trail StartMost of the trail is flat.

Distance        Look closely in the center of the photo. This is the first site of the Lighthouse. We’re about two miles away.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-19 064 (800x600) With the telephoto lens.Why you need poles

Why trekking poles are good to have.  Trail 1 As one approaches the Lighthouse the trail narrows and becomes more rocky. This is taken looking backwards. Poles are good.

Trail Up 1 From a plateau. Almost there, but you can see we still have a climb.

Trail Up 2Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 025 (600x800)But we made it.

Palo Duro Canyon Trip 4.15 2015-04-20 027 (800x600)The Canyon from The LighthousePalo Duro Canyon from the Lighthouse formation.Looking back Looking back, you can see the trail.

But what goes up, must come down. If you look closely, you can see a dark streak.  This is where I slid down on my feet, guided by my trekking poles and my butt never touched the dirt. Thank you KQ for such strength and agility.

Coming downCactus Flowers Cactus flowers growing from the side of the canyon.

We arrived at the starting point about 2:30 PM. What a great day.


Friday, April 24, 2015 – Who Pissed Off the Cow?

Friday, April 24, 2015 – Who Pissed Off the Cow?

Here’s what I’m thinking – Somebody has pissed off the singing Blue Bell cow. Therefore she gave some unpasteurized milk which has resulted in listeria and hysteria. Belle, the cow, is singing some sour notes. So I am convinced some outlaw cattle rustler made her mad.

So let’s all hope that Belle is feeling much better soon and all those worries go away.  If Blue Bell is not up and running soon, I think we will have to cancel the Fourth of July in Texas. Or at least put an asterisk by the date noting – the year there was no Blue Bell.

Belle The Singing Cow

Mr. Longmire, how much is that half gallon of vanilla from your freezer going for on EBay today?

God Speed the cleaning of the Blue Bell plant.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 – Throw Back Thursday to 1966

Thursday, April 23, 2015 – Throw Back Thursday to 1966

How’s this for a Throw Back Thursday?


Astrodome 1966 (800x599)astrodome April 1966 (800x600) On April 23, the Houston Astros had an open date.

Note: Did you see that The Houston Post was the newspaper.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 – Shooting Star Ranch & Retreat

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 – Shooting Star Ranch & Retreat

Just when you think the world has become a mass of concrete, construction zones and orange plastic cones, you find a place like The Shooting Star Ranch and Retreat. It is in North Ellis County, 25 miles from Dallas.   As soon as one turns into the drive way, the “peaceful, easy feeling” (The Eagles) swallows you like a glove and all anxieties fly away.  One knows immediately that this place is special.  The energy levels are very high and very positive.

It was a perfect place to get away with sorority sisters.  Since we all graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University, I would say or (rather sing) “…Neath Texas pines, we have found peaceful shrines, where every month is May,” but there was so much more than Texas pines at The Shooting Star. Is that still the school song?

The proprietor of this tranquil place is my lovely and talented sorority sister, Debbye Wallace – formerly known “on the wing” as Scott.  For some odd reason several of us were called by our last name – like Kittrell or Duffey or Knotts or Freburg.  I am giving Debbye free advertising in hopes of coming back soon and because Shooting Star would be a great writers and nature photographers retreat.  Hint. Hint.

Shooting Star  (800x524) Log House

Bear Creek (800x448) Bear Creek

And my favorite of this trip

Charlie (800x598)

Charlie Horse. “I’m getting my picture made.” I really do think he is smiling for the camera, don’t you?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Softly Call The Muster…

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Softly Call The Muster…

‘If there is an A&M man in one-hundred miles of you, you are expected to get together, eat a little, and live over the days you spent at the A&M College of Texas.”

“Greater than sadness is the celebration of what they have meant to us

and why we answer ‘here’.”

– M.L. Cashion ’53