Monthly Archives: January 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017 – Dr. Martin Luther King Day

Monday, January 16, 2017 – Dr. Martin Luther King Day

“…not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.”

Lincoln Memorial Washington D.C. June 2013 Photo: Copyright Delia R.  Duffey

Lincoln Memorial Washington D.C. June 2013
Photo: Copyright Delia R. Duffey

Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Get Your Thank You Notes Out Promptly! Our Mama Raised Us Right!

Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Get Your Thank You Notes Out Promptly! Our Mama Raised Us Right!

On behalf of the Duffey Girls (both Miss Magnolia High School, 1954 and 1967 respectively) thank you so much for such wonderful birthday wishes. The cards, phone calls, emails, texts, tweets and all those comments on FB were most appreciated. As we say in our family – “Love you heaps!” I am not certain what standard of measure a “heap” is, but it is a whole bunch. We are indeed blessed to have so many family and friends.

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Facebook was indeed going crazy yesterday. I do not know if it was because so many of you were wishing me and Dale birthday greetings or the Russians. I got lost in the FB maze too. If you think you posted something, you probably did.

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Title of Artwork: D & D with Christmas Tree Growing from Shoulders. Photo by Somebody at Betty’s Christmas Party.

One more techno update – Dale’s email at her apartment is not working. If you sent her an email birthday wish she did not receive it. Message me and I will send you her phone number. She likes to text and has time to do phone visits.

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Title of artwork: Dale with Fish and Hippy Dippy Sister. Note: Shirt purchased at Grateful Dead show – Mountain View, California. It was kinda of a religious experience.

Nevermind, here is her phone number 1-800-555-8080!

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Title of Artwork: Look What I Got for MY Birthday 68 Years Ago! Photo by: ?, but taken at Sarah and Cecil’s House in Magnolia.

Friday, January 13, 201 7 – Birthday Math – How to Compute Your Age on Your Birthday.

Friday, January 13, 201 7 – Birthday Math – How to Compute Your Age on Your Birthday.

Good Morning, Boys and Girls,

Today’s objective is how to compute your age using John Wax Math. Don’t forget to show your work.

Step one – write down the year you were born

Step two – subtract the current year

Step three – add the date of your birth

Step four – multiply by the square root of pi r squared

Step five – divide by pi r not square, pi r round

Step six – multiple by cosine divided by theta over minus 12

Step seven – add the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle – Hint: Use the Pythagoras Theory of A squared + B squared = C squared

Step eight – If you were born on the 13th of the month, add 13. If you were not born on the 13th add whatever number you think of first.

Step nine – add some symbols that look like this { } or [ ] or ( )

Step ten – multiply the entire mess by the number of letters you remember in a quadratic equation. Use zero if you do not even remember the term quadratic equation.

Everybody get 40 years of age? That’s how one does Birthday Math!

Class dismissed.

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Thank you, Mick! 1.13.2017 – Gold’s Gym Bryan, Texas

It’s just one more candle and a trip around the sun!

Meet me in Margaritaville!

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Hell yeah, they are real! Wouldn’t you show them off if you had biceps like that? Thank you Micky and Krystal!

Thursday, January 12, 2017 – Good Golly, Miss Molly! Still Magnolias. Help Make the World a Better Place.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 – Good Golly, Miss Molly! Still Magnolias. Help Make the World a Better Place.

Happy Birthday to Molly Elane Harper Fowler! Remember how excited you and I used to be when it was our birthdays?

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Look at those cute hair do’s on me and Molly. Thank you Barber Clark at the sawmill.

We should have had a huge January birthday party to celebrate all of the January birthdays. There are/were so many of us in high school with birthdays just on these two days in January. Expand to the first two weeks of January and it adds to more birthdays than attendees. There must have been something in the water nine months earlier.me molly - Copy (698x699)

The last memory of my birthday school party celebrations was with the Magnolia High School Class of 1967. It was Friday, January 13, 1967. Family had already moved to Conroe. All I recall is opening the front door at 6:30 in the evening to find almost my entire class on the front steps with Sonny Calvert grinning and saying “Surprise!” My next thought was “I have on my pajamas in front of my entire class.”

Such good times. Such good memories. We graduated from Magnolia High School (MHS) in Magnolia, Texas in a time that will never come again. To quote one of the many MHS military Veterans and Heroes, TH, “We were the last of the small classes at Magnolia High School.”

The graduating classes of Magnolia High School in the decades of the 1950’s and 1960’s are unique, not only in their class sizes, but the closeness. There are reasons we remember each other’s birthdays, middle names, each other’s siblings names, spouses’ names (all of them in some cases) – it was like a family reunion every day of school.

The world changed around us quite drastically during those years. But we also changed the world. We are The Still Magnolias and we are setting out again on Molly’s birthday to once again change the world and help make it a better place! So step off on your left foot and join the band. Thank you Mr. Jeter and Mr. Ayers and the band directors before you.

Every MHS class had a “Molly.” He or she was the classmate we forgot about. This is the one you kept saying, “I need to call …” but you do not until, well, you know.

If you graduated from Magnolia High School (in any year) you are officially a Still Magnolia. This is an opportunity to remember and honor those who made a difference as we grew up. These are the people who influenced us and ensured we stayed on course to achieve our dreams. These are the people we need to remember and honor now. We can do this by paying it forward to influence a young person’s life today and keep them on course and their dreams alive.

The Still Magnolias created a project named The Molly Memorial and Scholarship Fund. The long-term goal is to create a foundation within the Magnolia Education Foundation to meet the needs of current high school students and award scholarships to graduating seniors. However, it was your generosity that allowed short-term goals to be achieved immediately.

Last spring the Still Magnolias awarded two academic scholarships to graduating seniors of Magnolia High School – both first generation to attend college. This year we would like to do more – increase the amount and/or number of academic scholarships and award funds for the graduate with plans to attend a technical/vocational school.

So who are the Still Magnolias and how many are there? Of course The Queen of the Still Magnolias is Ms. Celeste Graves and then everybody that Celeste knows. You do the math.

There are so many ways you can help grow this project for Magnolia High School (Notice: Not Magnolia ISD). Of course financial contributions allow more plans to go into place sooner, but there are other ways you can help and make the world a better place. We need your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, comments and of course prayers.

The two academic scholarships for 2017 are to honor Celeste Graves and in Memory of Howard Davenport. How many MHS graduates did these two influence during those changing decades? Who else influenced you?

If you read this far, you might think of those teachers who taught you to do so. Or how about joining some Still Magnolias on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at The Farmhouse Café in Huntsville, Texas? Her Royal Highness, Queen Celeste of the Still Magnolias will there. There will be cake.

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Happy Birthday, Molly. RIP.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – Golf, Gary and the 2011 National Championship

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – Golf, Gary and the 2011 National Championship

Yu So Yung showed up to play golf today. While my team did not win the scramble, we played well. With 35 mile per hour wind gusts it was definitely hit and hope. FYI – JP, Homecoming Queen 1 – I am loving the new putter I got from you. Next margarita is on me.

In 2011 the Texas Aggie Women’s Basketball team won the NCAA National Championship. So far, it is the biggest win in basketball history at Texas A&M University. I believe the previous game was the “clock controversy” game sending Texas A&M into the championship game and sending Baylor Coach Mulkey into fits of rage and the bus back to Waco. What team did Texas A&M beat for the National Title?

The coach of the 2011 team and the current Aggies women’s basketball team is Gary Blair – GB as the team calls him. In his new book A Coaching Life, he gives us some favorite memories with his beautiful wit, grace and humility.

Yesterday when he was signing my book “To Delia, Gig ‘Em and thanks for the support of the Class of ’85” I told him, “You could have named the book, It’s a Long Way from South Oak Cliff in Dallas or from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches.” He looked at me and said “What great learning experiences. Loved them both.”

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Reed Arena, 1.10.2017 Cool Hair, huh? Photo by Linda

Those of us who play or have played sports realize it parallels life. There are wins. There are losses. But each time one must be open to what both have to teach us.

Thank you Coach Blair for signing my book and signing a book for Niece #1. He was even nice enough to put “Sic ‘Em Bears” on the page. Then of course he wrote “Gig ‘Em Aggies” beneath it. I supposed he has forgotten about the clock incident. Nevertheless I do not think I will place his signed book next to my signed copy of Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey’s book – Never Back Down. I do not think she has forgotten the clock.

Oh who did the Texas Aggies beat to win the 2011 Women’s National Championship? Same team Baylor women beat to win the 2012 Women’s National Championship – Notre Dame and Miss Muffet.

Since then the women’s national championship has been won by some team in New England with an Italian as the coach and dog as the mascot.

A Coaching Life by Gary Blair with Rusty Burson is available from Texas A&M University Press and available in the book store in the Memorial Student Center. It will soon be available on Amazon.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017 – Tide Out. Birthday Wishes and the 85th Texas Legislature

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 – Tide Out. Tigers In. Birthday Wishes and the 85th Texas Legislature

Here’s to Clemson and Alabama for an outstanding college football National Championship game. Congrats to Dabo and the Tigers.

Happy Birthday to RL. So happy the government decided to convene on the celebration of your birth.

At noon today the 85th Texas Legislature gavels in for 140 days of fun, fellowship and fighting. Here’s to the public servants who will spend long hours funneling spreadsheets of data to their bosses and preparing persuasive speeches in hopes of passing statutes to promote the state of Texas.

Given that the Lt. Governor’s top priority seems to be which potty to use, I would like to offer Dan Patrick some personal data and thoughts.

I am a female and on Friday will turn 68 years young. This means I have peed for 68 years. Granted, I do pee more frequently than in recent years, but who doesn’t?

I have gone to the bathroom at rest stops (Buckee’s, etc.), gas stations, concerts, sporting events, fancy hotels, school campuses, and other public buildings. I have used the bathroom in the state capitol. I have always used the room marked Ladies, Women, Female, or some other gender noted sign. I am quite experienced at this bodily function. Not once have I have encountered a man in the bathroom.

I frequently (like always) wear jeans or shorts, tennis shoes, t-shirts and a baseball cap and from the back am often mistaken for a male. Am I going to need to carry gender papers? My native Texan birth certificate just says “daughter.” Is that close enough for government work? Texas Wall 2 (800x592)

Is this part of the creation of jobs plan? The need for Potty Police? I am experienced with that phase of bathroom patrol too. Please see my standardized test proctoring resume.

Oh Danny Boy! Is this where you want to spend your energy? Why don’t you just bring back pay toilets? Flush it!

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Monday, January 9, 2017 – Dixie’s Football Pride

Monday, January 9, 2017 – Dixie’s Football Pride

Friday, January 6, 2017 – Snarky Friday, Roosters and Other Duties as Assigned

Friday, January 6, 2017 – Snarky Friday, Roosters and Other Duties as Assigned

I saw on the Internet so I know it is true – that on January 4, 2007, The University of Alabama hired a guy named Nick Sabin to coach the football team. It seems to have worked out pretty well for all involved, don’t you think? Is this a state holiday? I am going with Alabama, but am not putting any money on it.

Go Jalen! Make Texas proud! I understand there is going to be an offense that it will actually be coordinated. I hope that takes away the deer in the head lights look in your eyes from last week, but I think we all know why that happened. Or did I miss the bus to Florida?

Of course, I would look so good in one of those cute hounds tooth hats like The Bear wore. Perhaps someone can pick up one for me at a Wal-Mart when the crystal football national championship trophy goes on tour. Roll Tide! SEC! SEC! SEC!

But on to the roosters. They, whoever “they” are, say one should often step outside of their comfort zone. I am certain stepping outside tomorrow in 23 degree temperatures will be totally out of my comfort zone, but there’s more. I am going to a chicken show on the campus of Texas A&M University.

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Louis Pearce Pavilion. If you reach the George H. W. Bush Library you’ve gone too far.

One of the most interesting people from Magnolia, Texas is Howard Davenport or to those of us from Magnolia he is known as HowardWayne – all one name. He could make that beer commercial about the most interesting man in the world or at least the most interesting man at Henry’s Hideaway.

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He now shows prize winning roosters. No chicken jokes, please. Since being Facebook and IRL friends, I have learned more about hens and roosters than I ever thought about learning. This, of course is a direct result of girls not be allowed to take agriculture courses in high school.

Tomorrow is the Bluebonnet Poultry Show. It is one of the biggest shows of its kind in Texas. When I found out HW was showing roosters (and winning lots of ribbons and trophies) and this show was in College Station I told him I wanted to come do a photo shoot. Of course this was back in July when it was 101 degrees outside.

I am very excited, however. I am not sure how it works. Is it like Project Runway where the chickens strut down a runway in awkward positions like models? Maybe it is more like a dog show where handlers in ugly shoes run around a ring while judges slowly turn to observe?

I am very confident I can handle the photography portion of the day. It is those “other duties as assigned” I am concerned about. In the intense learning curve of show poultry I learned that the model (aka rooster) must be impeccably groomed with baths and pedicures and butt washings at all times.

My previous experience with chicken’s dates back to Grandfather Poppy Faust’s in Coldwater, Louisiana some 60 odd years ago. Chickens scratch and poop. I mean, it is not like they can wipe their butt, but I am certain even without the benefit of agriculture classes I know one does not want to have a poopy butt when being judged for a prize that might involve a crown.

Other than that my only other experience with chickens is winning First Prize in the Stephen F. Austin Greek Fall Festival Chicken Calling Contest. I have many sorority sisters who were there and can vouch for it. It is also chronicled in the AXO minutes of a meeting in 1969.

So to get to the end, in spite of limited chicken experience, I promised HW I would wash the rooster’s butt at the show tomorrow. Notice HW – singular, not plural roosters or butts.

I guess I will be watching where I step out of my comfort zone tomorrow. I don’t think that shit freezes, does it?

How much money do I need for chicken shit Bingo? I suppose I should not wear a feather boa in case a hen screams “It’s Aunt Josephine” and faints.

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – I Like Books. I Like to Read. Go For It, Bibliophiles.

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – I Like Books. I Like to Read. Go For It, Bibliophiles.

For Christmas I received these two books in the same gift – Hugs – Daily Devotionals for Women and The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm. Maybe my family knows me better than I think they do. My sister only received the one about hugs. She then stated regarding the second title, “Why did you get the other one? You certainly don’t need a book to be sarcastic.”

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I started keeping this book list in June.

Fiction

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. We learn so many behind the scenes, resistance and sacrifices made during WWII. Viva la France!

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen – From the opening pages when you determine why the book is so titled you will not stop laughing. Florida and Hiaasen at their best.

Adding to my Grit Lit Syllabus

William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom. Each year I read a work of Faulkner. While Absalom, Absalom is considered to be one of Faulkner’s greatest works, it took me three months to read the 300 page novel about The South during the 1930’s during a time of poverty, illiteracy, race, mixed races, rape, incest; War Between the States memories; honor, greed, family secrets, grave yards, hooped skirts; half breeds, former slaves still tied to their masters; the old South refusing to die; and sentences like this one that trail off into who knows where, forcing the reader to become lost and forgetting who the characters are or what we are even talking about and then there is that one sentence that is supposed to be 1118 words long that continues for pages. The previous paragraph was 114 words for comparison. But what a story of The South! And no one writes it better than Faulkner.

Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell. OMG! I cannot believe this was on my high school reading list at McC. I really should have read it before putting it on the reading list. Just think how TW parents reacted to The Chocolate Wars! Thank goodness only Bert Cohn read it and was mature and smart enough to understand it, but then he was in the Sons of the Confederacy. Think Faulkner with shorter sentences and more direct sentences about The South and rape, race, incest, poverty and illiteracy.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. While listed under fiction, I so wish this was a tale of fiction, but history tells us it is not. Every school child when he or she first learns of The Underground Railroad thinks it is a train that run beneath the earth. We later learn it was a path to freedom. This book tells of the horror and the kindness witnessed when the train makes stops headed north. A must read for history lovers. Have tissues close by.

Hillbilly Elegy. A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance. This was one of the most influential books of 2016. Faith, Appalachia, poverty, family love and a Yale Law School graduate. Educators need to look at a First Generation college graduate and prestigious law school grad and the norms and mores he still carries. It also examines what that background and upbringing reveals about Trump, The Rust Belt and America.

The Whistler by John Grisham. I forgot the plot and this one did have a plot unlike his last. Hey, it’s Grisham – some lawyers, some bad people, some good people and this one takes place in Florida. Fun read.

The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg. This is the kind of book that keeps a smile on your face with every word. When you get to the last page, you want to start it all over again. Worth the hardback because you feel so good at the end.

Non/Fiction History

Gone at 3:17 – The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History by David M. Brown and Michael Wereschagin. One needs only to grow up in Texas and exam the nine pages of In Memoriam listing the names and grave sites to understand the magnitude of the horror that occurred in New London, Texas on March 18, 1937 when the school exploded taking the lives of an entire generation.

Currently Reading

What Hath God Wrought – The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe. This Pulitzer Prize winner for history is not for the faint of heart, (or the weak of arms) but the lover of history. This 850+ page monstrosity examines a time in United States history that is remarkably similar to today. It starts with a dying generation of white men from The Colonial Era moving into a time frame when a seemingly unqualified man was elected President of the United States, whose cabinet was infamous for infighting over the morals of their wives and other issues; a First Lady who was vilified in public, a campaign to remove an entire race and culture of people, and brand new technology called the telegraph that told the entire world about it all. There is also the other technology of the time period – The railroad. Like President Elect Trump, Andrew Jackson had bad hair too.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne. Speaking of the extermination of a race and culture, this Austin, Texas author tells the story of Quanah Parker, the Comanches and the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. This is an easy, but powerful read with lots of Texas history that the Daughters of the Texas Revolution probably do not want one to know about. For example, the POTUS of the time, Andrew Jackson had a plan called The Indian Removal – just move them somewhere (See Oklahoma). The second President of the Texas Republic, Mirabeau Lamar’s was known as The Indian Exterminator – kill them. If one follows the same logic today about removing statues of individuals during a time of slavery, then there would not be an elementary school in the state of Texas named after The Father of Texas Education.

Keep reading!

Tuesday, January 4, 2017 – A Jar of Blessings and Happiness. What’s in Your Jar?

Tuesday, January 4, 2017 – A Jar of Blessings and Happiness. What’s in Your Jar?

Sometimes it is the last minute gifts that turn out to be the best ones. Before leaving for family functions on December 23 I ran by the Goodwill Store and bought five large jars and/or vases.

Then I stopped at Walgreens and purchased several multicolored Post-It Notes and some markers. It was the index card tied around the jar with a red ribbon that pulled it together. On the card I wrote: A 2017 Blessings and Happiness Jar. When something good happens to you or when you feel blessed during this year, jot it down and put it in your jar. Next New Year’s Eve take out the notes and see just how blessed you were.

Here is my jar. I front loaded it with a bunch of “I got out of bed and made it through the day” notes.

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As you can see, while still retaining its function and practicality, my jar lacks a certain artistic and esthetically pleasing element, as did those that were gifted. I hope some of my artistic friends will be inspired to decorate theirs in a more pleasing manner.

On Jan 1, I wrote “I took a shower.” I do hope I remember to add other notes of personal hygiene less one think that was the only time. Personal hygiene may just be TMI. Today, (so far) I have “Warm inside with a good book!” What’s in your jar?