Memorial Day Weekend Thread

Battleship-Texas-Historical

USS Texas

Battleship Texas is the last remaining battleship that participated in both World War I and World War II. Over her service life, the Navy repeatedly outfitted the ship with cutting edge technology. Fate spared Battleship Texas as she fought in two wars.

This appears to be the Brooklyn Navy Yard on the East River across from Manhattan looking north towards the Williamsburg Bridge.  It is not easy to tell, but the cars on the dock are 1920s vintage so I would estimate the period to be 1923 to 1927.

The First Map…….Weekend Comments

1_1PUkWJfmEGYDo-xFcWHC-QSince its completion in 1837, the Connected Map has endured years of use as an official document and then nearly a century of rolled storage. After considerable expense to rehabilitate and conserve it, the Connected Map of Austin’s Colony is finally being seen by the public as a work of art through the lens of history.

History of Texas’ oldest official map.

How do you transport a 180 year-old map?

Friday Memories Open Comments

I saw something that took me down memory lane. What are your favorite memories of raising your children? Some of mine:

Pillow fights were quite common in our household. We had several a week, it seemed. While they were toddlers I had to be quite gentle, of course, and allow them to get some hits in on their Mommy. That is supposing they could lift the pillows adequately to swing one….

Shopping. I was known to toss cans in the aisle (if other shoppers were there I had to hold off) and the kids would catch the cans and put them in the basket for me.

Singing in the car.

There was a dip in a local road. I’d speed up so there’d be a small “zero g” moment. The kids loved that. Hands in the air and all.

Swerving the car. If I was alone in the road, I’d test the car’s stability and make the kids bump into each other in the back seat.

GARAGE SALE!

Talk radio. When I took them to and from school, talk radio was on and we’d listen and/or discuss. I was so proud when my 7 year old son – with his comprehension and language issues – demanded I turn the radio down during a discussion of the election campaign of Lee P. Brown and said: “Don’t they understand?! You vote for the PERSON, not the COLOR!” /beaming with pride

Decorating the Christmas tree.

Telling my daughter princess stories that I’d make up for her. Sometimes she’d ask me to repeat them, so I had to work hard at remembering the details.

Watching my daughter help Hubby wash his work truck. Those little circles she made were so cute.

Hubby wrestling with Handsome Son. That stopped one night when Hubby came out of the bedroom, red faced and breathing hard, admitting that Handsome was getting pretty strong. Hubby almost lost. The wrestling stopped after that! 😉

Vacations. I have two pictures that I love. The first is Hubby ever so gently cuddling Handsome Son, holding his bottle as Handsome fell asleep. The other is Hubby teaching Lovely Daughter how to ride a unicycle. She only had the one lesson…

On one vacation we rented a boat. I have a picture of Handsome, probably about 3 or 4 at the time, dead asleep in his life jacket. Hubby was holding him in his lap, and despite the wind in his face and the excitement of being in a boat on the water, the sandman got the upper hand.

One of my favorite memories is Lovely Daughter and I sitting on our front steps and having one of those mother/daughter moments, enjoying the gusty winds as a storm front made its way towards us.

Dancing in the front yard in a soft summer rain with my kids.

Walking into Handsome’s bedroom and seeing him in bed cuddling the teddy bear that was bigger than he was. Alternatively, there was the time I caught him sleeping with his hiney up in the air, knees tucked under him.

Lovely Daughter and I returned home from a trip one night, and found Hubby and Handsome totally passed out in the master bedroom. Handsome, a pre-teen, was sprawled across the bed, while Hubby was sitting on the floor with his head on the bed. Neither of them woke up as we came in and took pictures. Obviously, they wore each other out. This was pre-“stop wrestling,” obviously.

Comforting a sick child.

Baby cuddles. Baby kisses. Baby conversations.

Bunny jammies. Lovely had the cutest little bunny nose on her butt.

Of course, the cat story. I’ll never forget that poor cat and her panic… 😀

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What are your favorite memories?

Guy Clark

Music has always been a big part of my life.  I credit my father for exposing me to many different kinds of music.  Country, Blues, Bluegrass, Rock & Roll, Gospel.  I was a lucky boy.

My introduction to Guy Clark was by way of a Jerry Jeff Walker album I purchased about 1975 as he transitioned from a New York folkie to a Texas Troubadour.  The album was simply titled Jerry Jeff Walker.  In the liner notes he wrote a commentary on each song.  One of the songs was L.A. Freeway.  He said:

Both L.A. Freeway and Old Time Feelin’ were written by Guy Clark.  Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Gary White and myself go way back seven or eight years to Houston, Texas.  Guy was making guitars then.  I lived for a while on Guy & Gary’s couch on Fannin Street.  Recently I had the chance to do so again in Nashville, where Guy is trying to get people to hear his songs.  He told me once, “You know, I used to hear you & Townes play a new song every couple of days, but it never dawned on me that I could just write one of my own.”  O.K. Sleepy John, it never dawned on me to build my own guitar, either.

Eager to hear new music, I went down to the local Head Shop which also had a record store in the back and bought Old No. 1.  There wasn’t a bad song on the album.  Perhaps my favorite was Texas – 1947:

A lot of musicians from my youth have passed on over the years.  Some from self-inflicted wounds.  Some from accidental tragedy.  Some from old age.  Guy Clark was one of those artists I “discovered” on my own and turned many other people on to over the years.  We won’t hear about him constantly over the next months.  Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Beyonce won’t be singing his songs in tribute, to a national audience.  There won’t be any MTV documentaries on his life.  But he was, in my opinion, one of the great songwriters of our time.  With his passing I officially feel old now.  Rest easy, Sleepy John.

Mark

The first Guy Clark song I heard was LA Freeway by Jerry Jeff on a Houston radio station shortly after I stepped off a plane at IAH making my own escape from Los Angeles in the early 1970s.  The song so resonated with my life at that moment, I went straight to buy the album.  When I saw who wrote the song, I started to look for places he might play or other work he might have done.

Songwriters have a special place in my heart and they’re often ignored and unrecognized.  The 1970s and early 1980s was a period of unparalleled creativity in Texas’ nascent music scene, but Guy was the dean of songwriters and no one challenged his seat.   Though we had mutual friends and Susanna Clark was a close friend of my girlfriend in those days, I never met Clark personally.  I drove around Texas to his gigs and sat in the summer heat in downtown Houston at the Old Quarter to hear him play.  Susanna came by my house and gave us a painting one day before driving back to Nashville and we never saw her again.

Guy Clark even spoke lyrically…

… a wave of scrappy expatriate Texans overtaking Nashville that included Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and most notably, Van Zandt, whose lifelong friendships with both Clarks remain inextricable from the couple’s relationship.

Those days feel impossibly far away in the quiet of Clark’s house as he draws slowly on his cigarette.

“If you want good friends, they’re gonna cost you,” he notes as he exhales a thin line of smoke.

Ain’t that the truth.

The dynamic power of Clark’s poetic talent was revealed when Vince Gill went into the studio to record The Randall Knife, a song about Guy and his father, and broke down and bawled in the middle of the session.

Finally, I’m going to dedicate this song this Guy,  Live Forever, as the penultimate songwriters’ ode to immortality, by the inimitable colleague and friend of Clark’s, Billy Joe Shaver.

Texpat