Category Archives: Native Texan

Friday, June 7, 2019 – Do You Ever Wonder?

Friday, June 7, 2019 – Do You Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder what the crime lab team would say if they had to come into your house if you had an accident while you were away?

Here’s what I’m thinking they might say upon entering my house.

  • Ooh, PHEW! She has a cat!
  • Not much of a house keeper, was she?
  • Did she have a date or is she just lazy and doesn’t pick her clothes up off of the floor? (I think we all know the answer to this one.)
  • Help, me! I’m stuck in the kitchen. To the floor!
  • Well, she did make her bed!

Stay cool this weekend. In Texas the weekend weather forecasts just post pictures of the hinges of Hell. Then again, God gave the Devil the choice of where to live – Hell or Texas in the summer. Heat index could be 107 degrees.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 – “An Uncommon Ability to Inspire Men and Lead Them to Exceptional Achievement”

Wednesday, June 05, 2019 – “An Uncommon Ability to Inspire Men and Lead Them to Exceptional Achievement.”

Watch the news and see those WWII soldiers who stormed the Beaches of Normandy. They are now in their 90’s and return to the beaches where many gave the greatest sacrifice. You will see them tear up as they remember that day. They were 18 and 19 years old. They saw their friends and buddys blown away in front of their eyes. They took bullets. They will tell you they were scared, but doing what had to be done.

We owe these brave men our gratitude, our respect and most of all our freedom. He is the story of one.

James Earl Rudder

May 6, 1910–March 23, 1970

The German army considered Pointe du Hoc a perfect spot for defending the coast of France from Allied forces during World War II. From atop its hundred-foot cliffs, German guns could reach both Omaha Beach and Utah Beach. The Germans thought their position was secure. And it was—until June 1944, when Texan James Earl Rudder and his Second Ranger Battalion began to climb those cliffs.

Rudder graduated from Texas A&M University in 1932 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves. He taught high school and college and coached football until he was called to active duty in 1941. He trained U.S. Army Rangers for one of D-Day’s most dangerous operations: taking Pointe du Hoc.

During the assault, over half of Rudder’s men were killed or wounded, and Rudder himself was shot in the leg. But the high ground was seized, and the German guns were silenced.

After the war, Rudder continued to take on tough challenges. As president of Texas A&M, he supported optional membership in the Corps of Cadets and helped open the university to women, despite great opposition.

When he died in 1970, Rudder was celebrated for his courageous leadership in both war and peace. An inscription on Rudder Tower, located on the A&M campus, remembers Rudder’s “uncommon ability to inspire men and lead them to exceptional achievement.”

For More about James Earl Rudder

In June 2011, Humanities Texas published an excerpt from Thomas M. Hatfield’s 2011 book Rudder: From Leader to Legend in our monthly e-newsletter. The excerpt details the Second Ranger Battalion’s first night on Pointe du Hoc.

The James Earl Rudder Collection, 1918–2001, is held by Texas A&M University’s Cushing Library. The collection includes materials from Rudder’s time in the service during World War II, clippings from newspapers, posters, magazine issues, memorabilia, and Rudder’s awards.

In recognition of the significance of Rudder’s tenure as president of Texas A&M University, the university erected a sculpture of Rudder in 1993. The statue, which was designed by Lawrence M. Ludtke, was originally located in front of Bizzell Hall, but was moved in 2009 to stand at the south end of Military Walk.

https://www.humanitiestexas.org/programs/tx-originals/list/james-earl-rudder

James Earl Rudder’s Legacy Was Born 75 Years Ago At D-Day

June 3, 2019 – WOW! Thank You and Crazy People in the South

June 3, 2019 – WOW! Thank You and Crazy People in the South

Well, dang! I think every friend I have on Facebook left an emotion or a comment on my Van Gogh postings. I had no idea ya’ll is as cultured as I is. Of course, none of my family bothered as usual to read. Between those who do not do FB and those who have probably unfriended or unfollowed me, that leaves only one and she has some very important things going on in her life so she is excused for the moment. Oh well, we must love them as they are and vice versa.

For cousin, R. Faraldo, we were wondering when you said you climbed the walls of the asylum like Van Gogh, were you climbing in or out? Of course, I am from the same gene pool so I imagine it could have been either way. Given the stories told and the alleged stunts our families did, we all should have been in Pineville at some point. Of course they are from Louisiana. Thank God, I was born in Texas and we have crazy people too – they just carry guns.  For the record like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, “I am not crazy. My mother had me tested.”  I have a unique sense of humor.

I do hope my family sits me in the living room because as Julia Sugarbaker says about Crazy People in the South…

https://youtu.be/Bb4eVbmHcbg

 

Thursday, May 16, 2019 – All Good Things Must Come to and End

Thursday, May 16, 2019 – All Good Things Must Come to an End

“…Math, science, history unraveling the mystery; it all started with a big bang.”

Tonight we bid a fond farewell to Dr. Cooper, Dr. Hofstader, Dr. Koothrapoli and MR. Wolowitz and all of the other fabulous cast members as The Big Bang Theory has its series finale. It is my favorite program. I hope it ends with a big bang. Thank goodness for syndication.

One of my many favorite episodes is The Shiny Trinket Maneuver. “Ohhh! It’s tiara! Put it on me! Put it on me!”

I am so Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler.

Do you have a favorite episode? If so, sing Soft Kitty.

 

Tuesday, May 14,2019 – Three – RIP

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – Three – RIP

https://youtu.be/H7c5DlIwlMI

https://youtu.be/xZbKHDPPrrc

https://youtu.be/7cUZhHS0PMM

 

 

Friday, May 10, 2019 – Why in The Devil Did You …

Friday, May 10, 2019 – Why in The Devil Did You…

The great Marsha Ball sings a song based on a hand written question posed in the margin of an old church hymnal. Why in the devil did you tell Louella everything you know?

Someday, someone is going to wonder the same thing about this hymnal.

Broadman Hymnal – copyright, 1940, by The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

Why in the devil did your write your name in the Baptist song book?

I needed it to play hymns. There were few piano players in Magnolia, so even bad ones like me had to step in on occasion.

In the hymnal written in nice penmanship is Alethia Baptist Church, Magnolia, Texas. Below is a stamp that reads ALETHIA BAPTIST CHURCH, MAGNOLIA, TEXAS

Below the stamp, in a different, handwriting is the message – Please leave this book in the church. Granted, all of the penned messages are written in cursive so it is doubtful many in the future will be able to read them.

I wrote my name on the inside page and obviously the book taken from the church is in my possession. This means I stole something from the church or somebody did and now I have it. Still means I’m going to Hell, Level 1 for stealing from the church or owning stolen property.

On page 477 is Hallelujah Chorus by George Frederick Handel. There seems like there should be a “The” before Hallelujah, but here is the page.

There are six pages of Hallelujah Chorus. I cannot imagine any members of Alethia Baptist Church singing something as difficult as HC and I do not remember any members of the First Baptist Church in Magnolia doing such a concert. Who could play the piano? I feel confident that today the First Baptist Church of Magnolia could definitely do a fine rendition of this masterpiece. The old Methodist Cokesbury Worship Hymnal Book didn’t have anything as audacious as Hallelujah Chorus.

Well, it ain’t Hallelujah Chorus, but it does kinda make want you to say “Amen” or “Hallelujah when Miss Marsha Ball sits at the keyboard, crosses her legs and plays Louella. Happy Friday.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 – In Honor of Standardized Testing or STARR This Post

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 – In Honor of Standardized Testing or STARR This Post

In honor of standardized tests, let’s do a math word problem.

How much does it cost to score one assessment in one content area in Texas?

Let’s pretend the content area is English Language/Arts, Grade Five.

You will need to know how many fifth graders across Texas took the test. Call somebody at TEA and find an answer you like or Google it and figure a reasonable sum. Or just use 80,000. That is the current number possibly held back this year due to performance. Now that deserves an F-bomb!

Proceeding onward with the number of scorers. Remember, you are only looking at costs for scoring one content area for one grade level. Ready?

At one assessment site, there are two shifts of scorers.

1st shift clocks in at 8:00 am and clocks out at 4:30 pm. This shift makes $11.50 per hour.

2nd shift clocks in at 5:00 pm and clocks out at 10:30 pm. This shift makes $12.50 per hour.

Both shifts receive a non-paid 30-minute lunch and two non-paid 15-minute breaks.

If you are unable to meet your scoring daily and/or weekly quota, you are dismissed. If you miss more than three days during the testing period, you are dismissed.

There are five rooms of scorers, plus a number of supervisors and other ancillary people. Each room has 150 Dell Computers.

A standard scoring period is about six weeks – Monday through Saturday. One is not required to work on Saturdays so factor about 75 scorers for Saturdays. Saturday scorers make $12.50 per hour.

The amount you come up with reflects the amount paid to score one grade level, one content area, for six weeks. You can either show your work or just give an F-bomb to the world of assessment.

For extra credit calculate the costs for other content areas and grade levels being scored.

Keep your voter registration card current!

Wednesday, May 01, 2019 – I Am Afraid

Wednesday, May 01, 2019 – I Am Afraid

I am afraid and here is why. Last week I visited Magnolia High School. Of course, this is not the same facility from which I graduated many years ago.

Near the entrance were six really big photographs of outstanding graduates from MHS. There was Mr. Lester Goodson standing with a group, Mrs. Celeste Graves, riding a camel, Buddy Dial from his Pittsburg Steeler Days, a 1960 graduate whose name I forgot, but in his judge’s robe, Jerry Yelverton, riding a bucking bronco, and Dr. Cecil Groves throwing a shot put.

Congratulations to all of these trailblazers and graduates of Magnolia High School. Thank you to all of the outstanding teachers and coaches we had during those years. I hope we made you proud.

I am not sure how the selections were made, but I have been told “You are next.” Here is why I am afraid. They will use this photograph from my sophomore year at Magnolia High School. If you do, my Mother will come down from Heaven and make you do retakes, just like she made me back in 1965!

 

 

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.