Category Archives: Native Texan

Monday, April 22, 2019 – Softly Call the Muster – Here

Monday, April 22, 2019 – Softly Call the Muster – Here

Over the weekend Texas Aggies across the world celebrated the camaraderie of the school by attending a Muster in their area. At each Muster ceremony around the world, a speaker addresses the crowd before the “Roll Call for the Absent.” Names are of those who died will be read, and as each name is called a family member or friend will answer “Here” to show that Aggie is present in spirit. Then, a candle is lit.

The Campus Roll Call in Reed Arena is the largest Muster in the world. Tonight President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush will be recognized this year. After all of the names are called, a rifle volley is fired and then a special arrangement of Taps is played.

For it’s The Spirit can ne’r be told; It’s the Spirit of Aggieland.

 

Monday, April 15, 2019 – Pick Seven for Literacy

Monday, April 15, 2019 – Pick Seven for Literacy

Here’s what I’m thinking about last week. Today is a summary of last week. First, I want to thank my friend, Shirley Crooks for challenging me to list the covers of seven of my favorite books. No reviews; no comments – just the covers. Then I challenged seven people to list their seven favorites.

The comments made by various people made me happy. For example, the number of

  • former students and people who said To Kill a Mockingbird was one of their all-time favorites,
  • the number of people who took up the challenge,
  • the people who said they went out and bought a book listed to read or reread it,
  • new books I learned about.

Listed below are titles of the book covers I posted on Facebook. But now I comment. These are a few of the books that I can remember where I was when I laughed out loud and cried softly – sometimes both in the same novel and maybe on the same page.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – greatest  novel EVER!
  2. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner – my favorite author of all time. Every August (As in a Light in August) I read a Faulkner novel.
  3. Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole – a Pulitzer Prize winning novel of New Orleans. Sadly, Mr. Toole took his life before seeing this greatness achieved.
  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston – a must read novel by a strong, Black women. The novel was poorly received initially, partly because it was written by a strong, Black woman in 1937. However, it is now one of the great works African-American and women’s literature.
  5. Looking for Alaska – John Green – every high school teacher should read because we taught them all through their teenage angst and they taught us through ours.
  6. Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger – needs to be read and reread at different stages of life.
  7. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – Nobody does tragedy better than the Brontes.

As many of those I tagged said, it is difficult to limit your favorites to just seven. In my top seven, there is a theme throughout the list. The theme is the one who does not fit in or is unable to find them self.

With the exception of Catcher in the Rye and Jane Eyre, there is also a theme among the other five. I do love Grit Lit! I love to read about the old South from the antebellum stages to the Depression Era South. Looking for Alaska is a bit of a stretch, but hey Alabama is Alabama.

Those books that almost made it and should be on a must read or reread list:

Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell – do I really need say anything about this book? I was 10 years old the first time I read it. It was also the first time I saw the movie at the Winona Theatre in Tomball, Texas.

Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling – Of course, name it after Harry, when the strong, highly intelligent Hermione does all the work. I am so Hermione!

Death Comes for the Archbishop – or anything by Willa Cather. She is one of the reasons New Mexico is enchanted.

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut – all of his books, but especially SHF. The first time I read it I found Billy Pilgrim to be a funny, eccentric character. The second time I realized Vonnegut described PTSD long before it was diagnosed.

The Hand Maiden’s Tale – Margaret Atwood. Great social science fiction author.

From non-fiction shelf

Rising Tide – John M. Barry – an account of changing the course of the Mississippi River and the lives that were forgotten. If you have ever been to South Louisiana and traveled along the Mississippi, this is a must read.

Alaska and Texas by James A. Michener – long, heavy book, and always starts with the dinosaurs, but so worth the history the books contain. PS – I also read Poland.

The Devil in the White City – Eric Larson or any novel by him. His books are considered a new genre called hybrid history. This novel details two historical events that intersected in time.

I could go on and on just like all of us bibliophiles , but then I do not have time read. So READ ON! Spread the literacy.

Monday, April 01, 2019 – The Green Final Four

Monday, April 01, 2019 – The Green Final Four

Do you know why you are so tired today? You have just completed at 31 day March.

What a March of madness it was if you are a basketball fan. First on the men’s side of NCAA Division I. I am sure my Alabama buddies are as thrilled about Auburn reaching the final four as I am about Texas Tech reaching it. So let’s go Virginia Cavaliers. Beat the Tiger with the auburn fur. Let’s us remember that I picked Michigan State to win it all. Puffy Spartan! Please do not let me down. And finally, PLEASE anybody but Tech.

Now to the women’s side of NCAA Division I. Does anyone know the words to the Stanford fight song? Tonight Stanford will play the Girls of Muffetry – AKA Notre Dame at 8:00 on ESPN2. I wonder if Muffet will wear the lime green boa around her neck. Did you see those lime green stilettos she had?

Speaking of green colors. Baylor plays Iowa at 6:00 on ESPN2 tonight.

Speaking of even more green colors. The Oregon Ducks will wait for the winner of Baylor and Iowa State. Yesterday, against Mississippi State their uniforms looked like two of the colors in the Crayola Box escaped. It could be a semi-final of various shades of greens and yellows.

And not wearing green. The UConn Huskies will play the winner of Notre Dame and Stanford.

I am not wearing green to watch any of the games. I do not have any green pajamas. Sic ‘Em Bears! And what every the Dancing Tree of Stanford Cardinal (like the color, not the bird) says. Are we for certain really smart people go to Stanford?

If Baylor does not win, I will offer the following quote by one of my favorite, and so articulate heroines, Hermione Granger.

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 – Poems of Spring

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 – Poems of Spring

Happy first day of spring to us all. To celebrate let’s write some poetic words of the season.

Let us open our books to Chapter One – How to Write a Poem of Spring.

  • When writing a poem of spring, select something that makes the season special.
  • Make it sound old. Use words that no one uses any more in ordinary language. For example, use words like “hark” or “Ye pilgrim.”
  • Always put a “th” after verbs.
  • Make it sound biblical, religious or spiritual. Use words like thee and thou.
  • Make it mysterious. Write about something few people even know what you are writing about and even fewer care.

Here is an example of spring poem utilizing all of the above suggestions.

Oh Ye Pilgrim Baller

Hark! My bracket doth already bursteth

Because I picketh Prairie View A&M,

Hence, I have selecteth the upset

And picketh the Spartans to win!

If you insist on writing about flowers, try this one.

Use Care in Where Thou Butt Doth Go

Doth not sit thou buttocks in bluebonnets

A rattler awaits thy nether region,

Hasten thy run through the fire ants for fun

To celebrate the spring season.

You have the rest of the class time to work on your spring poems.

The picture of Her Cuteness on a rabbit has nothing to do with the post. I just thought it was funny. Yes, that is Papa Ned.

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 – Monday, Monday. Can’t Trust that Day

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 – Monday, Monday. Can’t Trust that Day

Here’s what I’m thinking about yesterday.

Every party needs a pooper that’s why we invited you, ESPN U Suck! ESPN U Suck!

In case you missed it or do not follow sporting events, ESPNU of the ESPN family released the NCAA Division I Women’s basketball bracket on TV two hours before its scheduled time. The announcement parties on campuses were scheduled for six o’clock central standard time. The announcement on TV was at four. It was like unwrapping your Christmas present to see what it was two hours before it was time and then trying to act surprised during the actual Christmas tree. ESPNU took away the element of surprise.

While this may not seem to be at the top of the world falling apart events, it was disappointing to all teams, coaches and fans. Your premature bracket release meant that teams were denied the opportunity to be with their fans when their team’s names were called. This is special to fans and teams. Teams that have never been to the tournament were denied the opportunity to be recognized.

Because of your blunder, the program at six o’clock was pieced together (and you could tell it was). You never even showed the teams from the Chicago Region where Texas A&M is the number 4 seed. Wait, you seemed to have enough footage of Notre Dame and Muffet McGraw.

I hope the persons responsible received a good ass chewing and perhaps the opportunity to seek employment elsewhere. This was a major SNAFU for women’s’ sports. Party pooper ESPNU! RL, I hope this was not your brother.

In other news I had an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor yesterday for my knee. It, like the rest of me, is 70 years old and falling apart. I am sure you know the feeling.

But while waiting for the doctor I had plenty of time read this sign on the wall.

I found three errors. Maybe the Grammarians will find others.

Even though the sign does seem to suggest I am their only patient, it did not inspire confidence in my experience at the doctor’s office,  Neither did the doctor when he said “orthoscopic surgery is the first step to a knee replacement.” I replied “Not on this knee. Thank you for the cortisone shot. I’ll get back to you. Good-bye.”

Since all things come in threes, I returned home to find a jury summons in my mail box. Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day.

But today is Tuesday. The sun is shining. So make today a good one.

Peace out.

Friday, March 8, 2019 – International Women’s Day

Friday, March 8, 2019 – International Women’s Day

Here’s to every Bad Ass women on earth!

And especially to the Fighting Texas Aggie Women’s basketball team as the play their first game in the SEC Tournament tonight.

Yell it with me, Tide!  BTHO Auburn

Now, sing along Sisters and celebrate with these two Bad Ass Women!

Aretha Franklin and Anne Lennox

Monday, March 4, 2019 – Its National Grammer Day

Monday, March 4, 2019 – Its National Grammer Day

WOW; Wondering today if your going to like todays’ post. Today its national grammer day It’s the day to respectfully honor the infinatives that split, the gerunds that end in ‘ings’, and the participles that dangle. Their is going to be a lot to write about to.

Designated in 2008, the National Grammar Day was established by Martha Brockenbrough author of “Things that Make us [Sic]” (2008) and founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.

So Happy Grammar Day!

Here’s to the nine common parts of speech. They are are nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections.

Here’s to the three sometimes parts of speech. They are numeral, article, or determiner.

Here’s to the 14 punctuation marks. They are the period, question mark, exclamation point, comma, semicolon, colon, dash, hyphen, parentheses, brackets, braces, apostrophes, quotation marks, and ellipsis.

Here’s to the great high school English and grammar teachers and college professors who taught us grammar.

Here’s to the specialists and the word nerds who know the ways, means and reasons why of grammar, syntax and linguistics.

Your assignment. Write at least three sentences using each part of speech at least once. For extra credit, write a paragraph using at least seven of the punctuation marks. For each additional correct use of parentheses, apostrophes and quotation marks, you get one point extra. For each correct use of brackets, braces and ellipsis you get five extra points. Does everyone understand? I’ll wait…

After you have finished, diagram each of your sentences.

By now. Let’s eat kids!

Monday, February 18, 2019 – Head ‘Em Up! Move ‘Em Out!

Monday, February 18, 2019 – Head ‘Em Up! Move ‘Em Out!

It is trail riding time in Texas. If you, as Lyle Lovett sings,
“are not from Texas” then let me attempt an explanation. When the rodeo comes to town, everybody is fixin to be a cowboy or cowgirl. It is just a Texas thang!

To celebrate our cattle heritage and cattle drives, there are trail rides to recall when real cowboys rode the range and herded the longhorns. The granddaddy of all the rides is The Salt Grass Trail Ride. It started when some Texans got stranded in Florida due to bad weather after the 1952 Orange Bowl Football Game. Sidebars: The game was between Baylor and Georgia Tech. It was Baylor’s first bowl game and the co-champions of the SEC. (GT was in the SEC?) The Yellow Jackets won.

But back to the story. Being stranded in Florida, one Texan said “I’ll never go anywhere again without my horse” and so began the Salt Grass Trail Ride. It began as a promotion for the then called Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. Trivia for Native Texans and Houstonians – where was the event held? Answer at the end.

https://saltgrasstrailride.com/

From the website:

Riding through the rich salt grass pastures, the journey begins in Cat Spring, Texas, in mid-February and winds through the countryside for 103 miles toward Houston. Participants range in age from 2 to 90, stretched out single file for the distance of a mile or so, always present a colorful picture as they go down the trail. The early Texans who pioneered our great cattle industry, despite almost overwhelming hardships, have not been forgotten. They live on in the Salt Grass Trail Ride.

What this really means for the Houston and surrounding areas is this. The weather is going to be sunny, warm, hot, cold, rainy, and miserable with as much as 40 degrees temperature ranges. It could be 85 degrees day and 45 degrees the next day. Sometimes, within the next hour of reaching a record high of 85. But that’s only one of the reasons we love Texas.

Unlike the cowboys you see in the following video, these cowpokes and their horses stop at the end of a hard day’s ride and relax in their cozy RVs and with their horses in heated horse trailers. While Willie sings “Cowboys ain’t easy to love” he also knows they ain’t stupid either.

Here’s to all the trail riders on all the rides. Be safe. God Bless you and God Bless Texas!

So head ‘em up! Move ‘em out! Who is that cute, Rowdy second cowboy in the credits? Stay for the credits if for no other reason to hear the song. You are welcome because I know you will be hearing and singing this the remainder of the day.

Answer: The Houston Fat Stock Show was held at the Sam Houston Coliseum.

https://youtu.be/3_rHrLHIeyI

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 – Protect Your Birds

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 – Protect Your Birds

Yesterday I purchased a new skillet. When I turned it over to see how to season it, I saw this in the instructions. I did not believe it at first either.

If you are having difficulty reading the before you use instructions, the sentence reads:

CAUTION: Please keep pet birds out of the kitchen. Birds’ respiratory systems are sensitive to many fumes, including the fumes of extremely overheated nonstick pans.

It immediately made me question “How was this determined?” Was there a lab experiment to determine which animals might be injured and the birds won? I have no answers. I noticed it said “Pet Birds.” So I assume that means you own multiples and that wild birds in your kitchen are okay.

I also wondered, “What about my respiratory system? What about Peach’s respiratory system?”

I apologize for the brevity of today. I am cooking chicken in my new skillet and must go tend to it.

Friday, February 8, 2019 – As God Is My Witness

Friday, February 8, 2019 – As God Is My Witness

Stop now if you think this is going to have a religious tint. I’m just paraphrasing Scarlett O for the introduction.

As God is my witness I have never done blackface. Even years ago we knew it was wrong. However, there was that one time when I applied black shoe polish to my face.

I was 12 and my Halloween costume was blue jeans, a horizontally striped black and white t-shirt, a black velvet beret, and bongo drums. Where in the confines of Magnolia, Texas I found bongo drums I do not recall. I applied a generous amount of black Kiwi Shoe Polish to create – ala resembles – a goatee set of facial hair. I am certain I created an interesting site since I was still wearing bronze looking, cat-eye glasses (with sequins.)

I recall being with another person who had on a similar costume – sans faux facial hair. It was probably Mollie H., but could have been Karen No Facebook. Here are some questions you should be asking yourselves.

• What in the world were you dressed as? We had to explain with every opening door. When the door opened one of us would say “You rang?” or “We are beatniks!” Then I would beat on the bongos a few times and one of us would say “Can you dig it? The other would say “We are cool cats.” Most people just looked at us in a mild state of confusion, but we still got candy. Then we’d leave with a “Thanks Daddy-O.”

• Bonus question for Colfax, Louisiana readers – Where did you get a black velvet beret? From one of Myrtle’s boxes. Remember those?

• How did two 12 year old girls in Magnolia, Texas even know what a beatnik was? You got me. Probably same place I borrowed the bongos.

• Your mothers let you go out like that? Yep. In fact one of them probably drove us Trick or Treating.

• What year was this? 1961 – The upside down year.

• Was this your last year to dress like a beatnik and go Trick or Treating? Yes. And after my first year in college I had moved to a full-fledged, tie-dyed, bell-bottom wearing hippie. Ya’ll should have seen that coming when I was 12. Groovy, huh? Peace out!