Tag Archives: Texas

Thursday, July 19, 2018 – Radio Lamps – This Little Light of Mine

Thursday, July 19, 2018  – Radio Lamps – This Little Light of Mine

First – it is a misnomer when I say “I make these lamps.” I just find an old piece of junk that can no longer be used for its original purpose. The great talent goes to Amber and Bruce and the others at D and W Lighting in Austin, Texas. http://www.dandwlighting.com/welcome.html

Second – for those of you that are fortunate to own one of the lamps these wonderful folks and I put together – This is one is NOT for sale. At least not at this time.

Here’s the story. On a wonderful trip to Stephenville last summer I found this old radio in an antique store for $20. It still had the old vacuum tubes. Internet research revealed it was an Atwater Kent Radio with Cabinet by Helmers Furniture Company. It is a table top model from about the 1930’s.

Here are the before pictures:

Original dust. Multiple holes where dials once were.

And here are the after. The exterior and interior was restored.

A three-way lighting fixture was placed on the exterior. A small light was added to the interior and the holes were plugged with various colorful materials.

Then it was placed on an exquisite hand tooled base and Atwater was moved to the front.


Then it was topped off (no pun intended) by a beautiful lamp shade and a round, wooden finial.

One can turn on just the interior light for a lovely night light glow or just the exterior light. And with a third turn of the light switch both interior and exterior are illuminated.

These people are amazing!

I keep waiting to hear FDR, Sister Aimee or Edward R. Murrow come through the radio air waves. I’ll let you know if I hear any of them.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 – Rust is a Color – Attention Old Hippies

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 – Rust is a Color – Attention Old Hippies

If you have been following Here’s What I’m Thinking, you know that Ms. Navasota and I channeled our inner Joan Baez on Saturday. We returned to the thrilling days of yesteryear when we once walked in our bell bottoms and carried signs that said “hooray for our side.” Music aficionados from the 1960’s actually know that “hooray for our side” is a Buffalo Springfield song and not Joan Baez.

Here we are leaving for the protest march.

Note the Elvis Presley (The King) hood ornament

I am riding shotgun


Here we are stopping on the side of the road on the way to the protest of guns in schools. Love those back roads of Texas. Also love those unplanned shots that allow one to add the constant of their choice to read however they choose. Duck and repair will work.

Even though we our protests were rusty, nevertheless we persisted. It did take us back to a time when the world was in chaos. Believe it or not we were once 18 and 19 year olds and even high school students just like students today who want to make the world a safer place. It brought make many memories

“But we both know what memories can bring. They bring diamonds and rust. And if you’re offering me diamonds and rust, I’ve already paid.”

And that is Joan Baez.

Monday, January 22, 2017 – Handy Guide to Friday’s HWIT regarding a Top 10 List of Songs about Texas

Monday, January 22, 2017 – Handy Guide to Friday’s HWIT regarding a Top 10 List of Songs about Texas

Friday’s post was from a website listing the top 10 songs about Texas. May I suggest you get your device, get a Shiner beer, sit on the porch and listen to all of the songs and watch all of the videos? There is great footage of our great state.

But if you do not have time, let me help. Here is a list of Top 10 songs about Texas from last Friday’s HWIT and of course what I am thinking about each one and three videos that are a must see.

  • Coming in at number 10, from 1975, with Asleep at the Wheel, is The Charlie Daniel’s Band singing Texas. Good song
  • At nine – Girls from Texas with Pat Green and Lyle Lovett. Good song, but there are better songs about how good looking we Texas women are. I suggest replace with Bob Wills San Antonio Rose.
  • Eight – Waltz Across Texas – Earnest Tubb. You ain’t lived until a cowboy waltzes you across a dance floor in a Texas honkytonk – even if the song is playing on the juke box. (Millennials, Google “juke box.”)

    I have no idea where this place is, nor how good the barbeque sandwiches are or how cold the beer. However, I shall ask some of my friends if they are familiar. LOL.

  • Seven My Texas by Josh Abbott Band. I’m old and was not familiar with this song. But it became an instant favorite with opening lines about climbing Enchanted Rock, drinking a Shiner in Luckenbach and being in love along The River Walk. If you have not done the things listed in the song, then like Josh Abbott sings, then you ain’t met my Texas yet.

Just to name a few mentions from the song I have done – Cooper’s in Llano; kolaches in West, seen a Hill Country, Abeline and El Paso sunset; had my hair blown by the wind in Lubbock and been to the Houston Rodeo.

I have not hiked Big Bend, but it might be this year! Maybe stop in Marfa and see the lights, which I have done.

Six When I Die I may Not Go to Texas – Tanya Tucker. No explanation needed. I think this song needs to move higher on the list.

Five – God Bless Texas – Little Texas. Great song. That is how Texas was populated as “God sent Angels from The Promise Land.

Four – Luckenbach, Texas – Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Again, no explanation needed.

Three – Galveston – Glenn Campbell. Another, no explanation needed. You either get it or you don’.

Two – Deep in the Heart of Texas – Gene Autry and Smiley Burnett. The video is a Saturday morning TV show from childhood or the afternoon matinee at the movies if you are really old. When is the last time you heard ALL of the words to this great song? This will make your hands clap.


And the number one song about Texas is Amarillo by Morning – George Strait.


There is something about those opening fiddle strains that causes all of the feelings described in the song to rush forward and surface as memories, good ones and those you thought you were forgotten.

From those of us who have watched this video, we believe it to be Strait’s first performance at the 1984 Houston Rodeo. I think I was there. Eddie Rabbit was supposed to perform, but became ill. Allegedly some high level rodeo official said “hey this guy named George Strait is playing in Beaumont; see if he can take Rabbit’s spot.” And as they say “the rest is history.”

But wait! There’s more! Strait was doing the college tour. For a “congratulations you defended your dissertation present,” I saw George Strait at Sam Houston State University the week before. Also, Melba, don’t watch. It was the bull ride that jogged my memory before George Strait. FYI – the rider was ok.

Until later, Happy trails to you.

Friday, January 19, 2018 – Friday Night – Boots, Beer and Texas

Hey Ya’ll! It’s Friday! I fixin to write this here, blog. Have I mentioned I am a native born Texan?

When I die, I may not go to Heaven, I don’t know if they let cowboys in; if they don’t, just let me go to Texas; cause Texas is as close as I’ve been. FYI – You are a true Texan if you know who sang this song first. The hit though is song # 6 on the list below.

Here is a link to 10 of the best songs about Texas. Get your beer, sing along, scoot your boots and get your Yee Haw on. Cause the stars at night are big and bright … Song # 2 on the list.


Friday, November 10, 2017 – No Snark; Just A Thankful Salute to the Veterans.

Friday, November 10, 2017 – No Snark; Just A Thankful Salute to the Veterans.

From the Halls of Montezuma…

It is the opening line of The Marine’s Hymn. It comes from the Battle of Chapultepec during the United States Mexican War. As we Texans sometimes refer to it as “the war when the United States really got Texas.”

On September 13, 1847 in an effort to disrupt the Mexican Army, General Winfield Scott ordered his troops (the Marines) to storm the palace of the capital city of Mexico. The palace was called “The Halls of Montezuma.” After two days of battle, the Marines were given the honor to raise the Stars and Stripes declaring victory. The rest, as they say, is history. (History Nerd, Humor)

The most recent addition to Veterans Park in College Station is the sculpture of a Marine scaling the wall of The Halls of Montezuma. The work was done by the talented artist, J. Payne Lara of Navasota, Texas. The detail of his work is incredible. See the tear on the Marine’s left leg?

Today we thank every person who took the oath, wore the uniform and sacrificed for our freedoms.

So from The Halls of Montezuma to wherever you are today, we appreciate you, Veterans and the differences you make in making the world a free and safe place.


Friday, September 1,2017 – Snarky Friday is Coming, but First

Friday, September 1,2017 – Snarky Friday is Coming, but First

I am going to reduce my Facebook posts and shares regarding Hurricane Harvey and the devastating aftermath. I am on Devastation Overload.

The Uglies (and I am one of them) are beginning to appear in others’ replies, posts and shares.

With any loss we as humans go through five identified stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/ The stages do not proceed along a linear time line and each individual’s reaction is different.

As many of us enter the Anger phase it tends to polarize us based on experiences, values, circumstances, lack of knowledge and understanding and all of the components that make us who we are. There are always three sides to every story –My side; your side and the truth. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I fell in love with the song Light One Candle by Peter, Paul and Mary the first time I heard it – back when we were all young and thin. So as we as Texans and the rest of nation cope with the losses, let us remember to not let the candle of hope burn out. Let us sing that we never become our own foe and not let anger tear us apart. Let us sing as the light shines through the love and tears. Let us sing with peace as a song in our hearts.

Monday, August 7, 2017 – RIP Mark White

Monday, August 7, 2017 – RIP Mark White

Here’s to former Texas Governor, Mark White who passed away over the weekend. RIP.

Here’s to Mark White, one of the last Governors of Texas who put Texas public school education as the Legislature’s top priority and reformed the system. It was all about educating the boys and girls of Texas and providing an “equal and adequate education” to all. Note: “equal and adequate education” is the phrase from the laws establishing education in Texas.

Here’s to the current Governor of Texas, it’s time for a reform. How about another Blue Ribbon Committee?

How about financing the best possible education for the boys and girls of Texas instead of financing “where to go to the bathroom?”

Keep your voter registration card current.


Friday, December 24, 2017 – The Assist. BA, Curtyce Knox and Still Magnolias.

Friday, February 24, 2017 – The Assist. BA, Curtyce Knox and Still Magnolias.

1.1 seconds left in the game; Tigers behind by one. BA inbounds the ball to Petey; HE SHOOTS; HE SCORES! TIGERS WIN! TIGERS WIN! Their first bi-district championship in ten years. Petey is mobbed by his teammates in victory.

Few people remember “the assist.” It is like life. People only remember the virtuoso piano player and not the piano tuner. Petey scored the winning basket, but it was the perfect inbounds pass that allowed Petey to win the game for the team. It is about the assists in life that matter.

This is Curtyce Knox, point guard of the Texas Aggie Women’s Basketball team.


Last night she set a record for all time assists in women’s basketball at Texas A&M. She currently leads the SEC in assists per game with 9.5. She also leads the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball teams in assists per game. And currently there are only three NBA players who have more assists per game. She is a finalist for the Lieberman Award for best point guard in women’s basketball.

Like many of us, Curtyce could be living a very different life had it not been for assists along the way to help her stay on course, achieve her goals and dreams and become the graduate of Texas A&M she is today. Curtyce is currently in graduate school. You can read more about Curtyce at: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/aggies/article/Curtyce-Knox-and-daughter-a-welcome-sight-at-10952286.php

And this brings us to Still Magnolias. There are many students in today’s high schools like Petey and Curtyce. The BAs in school have opportunities and the assistance to take advantage of them. The Petey’s and Curtyce’s are fragile. Opportunities are sometimes limited at best. A social upheaval of any kind can take those away in an instance.

Unless someone can step in to assist. That is what Still Magnolias is all about. Funds to the Magnolia Education Foundation to Still Magnolias provide assistance that can provide opportunities for students at Magnolia High School to stay on target to achieve their goals.

If you graduated from Magnolia High School, you are a Still Magnolia. Please consider helping with ideas, suggestions, and of course dollars. It all goes to assist a future Still Magnolia.

The BA is Baylor bound gnephew # 3. WTG BA.

Curtyce is bound for the WNBA or overseas basketball ball and then a career of whatever she wants to do.

Petey – we’ll see.

Still Magnolias – you can help in many ways. Let us hear from you.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 – Get a Cause Because. Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton!

Thursday, January 19, 2017 – Get a Cause Because. Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton!

Here’s what I’m thinking today. You should get a cause and support it in the best ways you can. Two of my causes are We Back Pat and Still Magnolias.

Thank you Algers, for being in Tennessee the day it after Coach Summitt's announcement and buying me this shirt.

Thank you Algers, for being in Tennessee the day it after Coach Summitt’s announcement and buying me this shirt.

We Back Pat honors the legendary Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt. This week SEC women’s basketball teams honor Coach Summitt with all teams wearing We Back Pat shirts. This week also announces the opening of the Pat Summitt Foundation. Please join me in this cause to find treatment and more importantly a cure for Alzheimers. http://patsummitt.org/

If you can’t find a cause you like, then start one you do like. Let’s hear for the Still Magnolias!!! It all starts with an idea. The Still Magnolias started with “wouldn’t it be nice if we could do something for our high school and 50th year of graduation?”

Because of your faith in us and your generosity and with the help of the Magnolia Independent School District and the Magnolia Education Foundation, The Still Magnolias were able to award two academic scholarships to Magnolia High School graduating seniors AND to start a program at MHS to provide assistance to current students. We named the program The Molly Memorial although the name could have been any classmate. This year we want to do more to help make the world a better place for those MHS students who now walk the hallways with the same Bulldog tenacity and spirit we once did. It is a chance to honor and/or remember someone who made a difference in your life in Magnolia, Texas by influencing others.

There are many ways you can get involved. When scholarship applications arrive this spring, we will need reviewers. Last year Still Magnolias were the only group who also awarded T-shirts to the kids’ chosen college. They loved it! We are always looking for ideas, directions, thoughts and most of all prayers.

Of course the bottom line always comes down to money. If you have a few spare dollars or that change in the jar, please consider donating to The Molly Memorial. Message me for submission and tax deductible forms.

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Ann Richards Inauguration – Frank Erwin Center – Austin, Texas – date: long ago when Texas was Blue. Photo by me.

Happy Birthday Dolly Parton! Them girls from Tennessee are tough ain’t they?


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.