Saturday, November 23, 2013

SPARKLING CITY OF CUERO POPPED LIKE THE 4TH OF JULY THIS WEEK-END



Cuero, Texas is the sparkling city by the Guadalupe River. In the summer, few towns can dare to compete with the 4th of July Celebration. The city awakens and watches a children's parade with children riding their flag draped bikes and pulling colorful wagons. It ends with people rushing to the Episcopal Church's 4th of July Celebration in the Cuero Park with cake walks, hamburger stands, silent auctions, and various children's games. At dark the sky lights up with the city's magnificent fireworks display that can be seen for miles around. Moreover, in the winter, no town in Texas is any better than Cuero with a Christmas Light Festival that draws thousands of winter visitors to see the sparkling lighted displays of Nativity Scenes, Fairy tale stories, and Disney characters that light up the city park. It's the best place to jump into the Christmas spirit, come Thanksgiving week-end.(See link http://www.christmasincuero.com/-  However, all during the year, for the past several years, the city has been surrounded for miles around by lights from nearby oil derricks that bring more sparkle up and down the highways and corridors, again, lighting up the sky for miles and miles. The activity of the wells has brought more wealth to our shiny city and a proud sense of citizenship.http://www.google.com/search?q=eagle+ford+shale+in+cuero&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=zYWRUvK4Mcer2gXmkoDIDg&ved=0CGgQsAQ&biw=1456&bih=777

If that doesn't convince you that Cuero shines, visitors should stop by the newly opened Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum that outshines many other museums in the state or nation. It opened this past week-end with a bang like the fireworks in July.  It is a state of the arts facility and institution that gives visitors a glimpse of the past cowboy life in Texas, on the range, and the trails. One can peep into the ranching culture of clothes, saddles, guns and other artifacts that was influenced by other southern pioneers and the Spainards, who brought ranching tools and the Spanish names for the equipment and ranch work that was most familiar in Spain for hundreds of years. The new museum is tastefully decorated and exhibits the most modern educational screens for children to interact with lessons about cowboy life. One room, shaped like a chuck wagon seats approximately a dozen people. It shows a fifteen minute movie of the history of life on the range and where it started near Cuero. <http://www.chisholmtrailmuseum.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Round-Up_Fall_2013.pdf

The gift shop is filled with tempting goodies of art, such as: framed western prints, southwest jewelry, coffee table books, cook books, etc. The first day, people were lined up with hands full of items waiting to be rung up.

The Grand Opening began Friday night with a celebration for the museum members at The Venue. The Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio entertained those attending with "Appalachian Spring Suite," composed by Aaron Copland.<https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201817234664354&set=a.1261009857154.109829.1586912905&type=1&theater The evening was topped off by tables of delicious foods and the social hour, where members mingled and visited, as they oohed and awed about their new cultural events in Cuero.

The next morning began with another Grand Opening event outside the museum in a huge tent, as there was standing room only. The temperatures had dropped with the recent Arctic cold spell, but it didn't stop hundreds of visitors from crowding around to hear speeches and congratulatory recognitions from dignitaries, such as Governor Mark White, Congressman Vela, County Judge Daryl Fowler, and Mayor Sara Meyer.

The beautiful museum was a grand effort by many people in several counties,  but was initiated by Robert Oliver, the president/chairman,  who returned to his hometown and kicked off his lofty vision over thirteen years ago. Through his diligence and hard work, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum is the newest bright star in Cuero that continues to keep Cuero shining.

If you get a chance stop by our sparkling city,  Cuero anytime, but especially during the holidays. There is plenty of entertainment for the family with the Christmas Lights In The Park,  antique shops for mom, and good restaurants for all the family. But particularly, don't miss our latest addition, our new Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum.

The following is a link to take you to the site of The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in Cuero, Texas for more information. Please come and see us sparkle and shine.
http://www.chisholmtrailmuseum.org/

Sunday, November 17, 2013

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN OUR PRESIDENT WAS SHOT?

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1963

Many of you no doubt were not alive when President Kennedy was shot. However, fifty years ago many of you were. It is one of those important times as a nation, we are so shocked by an event that we remember it quite vividly. I was sitting in front of the TV set, watching my favorite soap, As The World Turns, in Houston, Texas. There was an interruption in the broadcast and Walter Cronkite came on the screen and told of President Kennedy being shot in a parade in Dallas. He did not have much other information, but did say he was in a most critical condition.  But it wasn't long before he came back and said that he died at 1:00 PM Dallas time, as he took off his glasses and wiped his eyes in a moment in which he was visibly shaken, as most of the world was, when we heard the terrible news. I cried and just couldn't believe it. My husband was calling on a customer in his home in Houston and asked to use his telephone when he heard the news flash on his customer's TV. He called to share the grief that he knew I was experiencing, as well.

We were big admirers of John F. Kennedy. We had seen him twice in person, the past two years, when he came to Houston. One time, he spoke at the Rice University Stadium,  in 1962. I was big pregnant with my third child and it was a hot day, but I was determined I would see him. Another time he visited Houston, we went to Hobby Airport when he arrived in the city and saw him pass by in a open convertible, on a street, near where we parked. As he stood up in the car to greet the onlookers, I was impressed by his handsome looks. He had, what appeared to be, a golden suntan,  light sandy hair and light blue eyes. It's hard to believe I saw his light blue eyes at that time, but over the years of seeing his photos, I guess I filled  in the picture in my memory. But I do remember his youthful beauty. Before his presidency, we had old men, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. None of whom,  you could call dashing or good looking, not as John Kennedy was.

Kennedy was also considered one of our most intelligent presidents. I remember Kennedy's press conferences on TV. Kennedy sparred with the newspeople and always seemed to have a smile on his face. He created laughter among the newspeople as he answered their questions in a clever manner. But there were scary days with the failure of Bay of Pigs Invasion and when the Cuban Missile Crisis became a standoff with the Soviet President Krusheff, as the Soviet President was sending battleships to Cuba. After several days, the Soviet battleships turned around and headed back to the Soviet Union.  For about a  week, we were unsure whether the crisis would lead to a nuclear war. People in Cuero, where I stayed during part of my pregnancy, rushed to the grocery stores to obtain surplus food to fill up their pantries, in case such an event were to occur.  As if that were the logical thing to do. The show down with the Soviet president resulted in the Soviet's withdrawal and it seemed Kennedy won.

Kennedy's family appeared exceptional. His wife, Jacqueline,  was beautiful, educated,  and a cultured woman who appreciated the arts, history, and fine music. Her figure and dress were immaculate and her good taste led to the renovation of the White House, where she gave us a tour on TV. We heard her speak for the first time. It was a gentle voice, soft as a young child's. Their children, Caroline and John John were adorable.  The White House couple was not flawless, as we learned later, but to us they appeared to be. We soaked up every bit of news on them. It was an exciting time in history to see.

There were so many things to admire and learn about this Kennedy couple, who often met  with their extended family of siblings and spouses and their children.  The grown Kennedy siblings played football on the lawns of the White House and their homes at Martha's Vineyard. They were constantly going and doing exciting and interesting things.  They practiced their Catholic faith in a most open and loving manner. The parents had experienced an exciting life, as well,  with their nine children. Rose and Joe Kennedy themselves came from an interesting background. Rose Kennedy was reared in the Fitzgerald family, who were politically involved Irish Amercans, and  made a big success in their country. John Kennedy's father was an ambassador to Great Britain during Franklin Roosevelt's administration and had been an extremely rich man in his work and investments.

In the week that followed Kennedy's assassination, we sat glued to the TV and watch the filmed events first hand. The horrible events that took place in Dallas that beautiful autumn day on Friday, November 22, 1963, became a week I will never forget.

Ask your parents and grandparents for their reflections on where they were on that fateful day, if you weren't around or too young to remember. This is just a snippet about where I was and why I had these emotional feelings about a very sad day in history.

P.S. This morning I watched a few Sunday morning talk shows and saw my favorite historian, Robert Caro, being interviewed. He had some glowing adjectives to describe John Kennedy. So, I looked him up on Facebook and found that he is on an NBC show airing next Friday night at 8:00PM (Central Time), called, "Where Were You: The Day JFK Died?" I swear, I didn't get my title from his FB before I wrote this essay. Sometimes,  inquisitive minds have the same ideas. Please click on this link for a clip of Friday's show. http://nvcdn.nbcnews.com/_util/jfk50/#category-2

Sunday, September 8, 2013

MUCH OF MY PAST IS ON THE INTERNET!!




I love the internet for exploring my past.  Ten years ago, I would not have thought to do it. But today, I can find almost anything I want or need. Within reason,  of course.

I started writing my memoirs a little over a year ago. When writing one of my first, I  began to reflect on where I lived when I was in school for the first time. I googled Oklahoma City and was delighted to find an historian of my birth place, Doug Loudenbackhttp://dougdawg.blogspot.com/ After messaging back and forth, he provided information of landmarks with pictures he posted on his Facebook and  sent me. And alas, after finding the address which was on my sister's birth certificate, he provided today's pictures of a house we lived in when I was five years old.

My home in Oklahoma City at age five. 


He also had pictures of the amusement park I visited often and nearby movie houses and the old St. Anthony hospital where I was born. I have wonderful memories of Oklahoma City where I have not visited in many, many years. But I now have pictures of favorite places.

The most recent find is a connection to the years my husband and our children lived in Corpus Christi, Texas 45 years ago. On a Facebook site called, "We Grew Up in Corpus Christi," . https://www.facebook.com/groups/eddiemartin/I can bring up restaurants or read what others mentioned and exchange information about the wonderful food we ate,  as well as timely events, such as hurricanes that made indelible memories many of us shared. One of the longest posts on the blog is about "Ship Ahoy", which everyone agrees had the most delicious fried shrimp and salad dressing. We even discovered there exists still a recipe for the latter in the WGUICC Cook Book.That was most exciting. And Hurricane Celia brought up gobs of memories of frightening destruction,  in addition to pictures of its aftermath. Shortly before this I had contacted a family on Facebook that we had ridden out that terrible hurricane with and they said they had vivid memories of the six men in our two families holding up the front door to our house so that it would not blow open and expose us and the house to all the elements. Touching base with those we haven't seen or talked to in many years and sharing old experiences is a great bonus

If you have lived in other towns and cities you might want to recapture some of those images or you may want to renew old acquaintances. You too can try googling them or searching on Facebook  for those whom you knew long ago. Recently, Marion, a girlfriend from my junior high days,  found me on Facebook. That was such a surprise and we have enjoyed reconnecting. When I combine my memoirs for my book my descendants will someday know more about where I have been,  who I knew and see images from my past. Don't wait too long if you are interested in memoirs because you may find obituaries for some of the names you search, as I did, as well.But remember so much is available on the internet to explore our pasts.

Friday, August 23, 2013

D-DAY SURVIVOR REUBEN, THE TOUGH HOMBRE, OF THE 90TH DIVISION



                                             D-DAY SURVIVOR

                  REUBEN, THE TOUGH HOMBRE, OF THE 90TH DIVISION

The first hint that Reuben was a "Tough Hombre" was seen in his role as a  survivor from the sinking USS Susan B. Anthony, the day after D- Day, on June 7th, 1944,  during World War II.  The ship on which he rode to the shores of Omaha Beach near Normandy, France,  the USS Susan B. Anthony, won world recognition for having no fatalities when it sank close to the beach.  All 2,689 survived. In fact The Guinness Book of Records documented it as breaking all kinds of records, since it had the largest number rescued without loss of life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Susan_B._Anthony_(AP-72).  Reuben was one who escaped the burning ship and went ashore with no weapons. He was a Tough Hombre. Reuben was also a member of the 90th Division in World War II and moreover it was properly nicknamed, the Division of Tough Hombres.

"T O" was the original name given to the 90th division because it was made up of men from Texas
and Oklahoma. During World War I they had many dangerous missions and consequently many losses. During World War II the reputation of bravery followed the 90th Division and so much so, the famous General George Patton nick named them "Tough Hombres."
http://www.tough-ombres.com/main/history_en.html

After my father, Reuben Koether, arrived on Omaha Beach, he survived long enough to move inland, but I don't know where he went exactly or how long he remained in France. I don't think it was long. Eventually, he was hit by schrapnel that punctured one lung and shattered it. And later, was sent to England to a  hospital that was set up for the injuries of the June 6th D - Day and the battles that followed. He told us the story about his being triaged and left at the end of a hall in an old British hospital to be treated after the less serious were first treated. He said he waited for days and days before they finally operated on him. The main provisions given to the injured were GI cigarettes. They depressed their appetites and their state of boredom. At last, Reuben was operated on and most of his damaged right lung was removed. After convalescing for months in the hospital, he was then sent home to the United States with one lung in tact and only a piece of the other.  He was a Tough Hombre.

                                       D-DAY HOSPITAL, THE NETLEY HOSPITAL


The old British hospital, the Netley, was declared a military hospital during World War II. It provided care for the patients connected with the D-Day operations. It has an interesting history, but was not a positive memory for Reuben. http://www.qaranc.co.uk/netleyhospital.php However, he persevered because he was a Tough Hombre.

Reuben returned to his home after his long convalescence in the old British hospital. He returned to his work as a civil engineer and was city manager in Yoakum, Texas for 24 years. During that period of time he developed a city park with a swimming pool, golf course, and eventually an airport on the north side of the city, all for his love of Yoakum.

When Reuben was in his 60's he retired to his surveying full time and died in 1980 from lung cancer. It was probably connected with many years of smoking. The smoking of the cigarettes were what he had been taught to exist on while doing his duty in the army.  And the shattered other lung , as a result of war injuries, was no use to him.  For several years before his death while living with cancer, Reuben kept working in the south Texas heat, surveying and working cattle on his family ranch.  During this time he also applied for 100% VA disability from his military injuries because he had always felt that he deserved more than the VA gave him, which was only partial disability, rather than 100% disability. However, he was never able to convince the Veterans Administration that he was entitled to more disability because of his war experience. The VA always  answered that his present health problem with cancer was "not connected" to his war time injury because it was his other lung that had been ripped apart in France, not his cancerous lung.  In Reuben's heart, he knew it was related to his injury so he applied over and over and each time was rejected.

While dying in the hospital in Victoria, Texas, an attending doctor injected a medication into a hole that they had drilled in his back. When he asked the nurse what they had administered in the hole, she told him it was mustard gas. Of all the years I had known him, I never saw him so upset. He immediately associated the mustard gas with what he knew about the two world wars. And of course it was terrifying to him. He asked, "Why?" I told him I would find out. That evening I called the doctor at his residence and asked him. He answered, "Don't worry about it. I'm the doctor and I'm in charge." Needless to say, this made me very angry. I had seen enough of Phil Donahue shows which were similar to the later Oprah Winfrey shows that appeared years later on TV. They were famous for exposing the idea that doctors were not gods. And that patients had rights. Reuben seemed to give up after that experience and died about a week later. He had been tough, but the cancer won the final battle.

I promised my mother that I would try to help her receive the VA benefits that were rejected. I asked for the paper on which I needed to write a summary on why Reuben's World War II injury and his present cancer were service related. I had learned to write summaries and abstracts at UT. So, I proceeded to write in as few words as I could in the small amount of space provided. I simply stated that had Reuben not lost his one lung while serving his country in the war, he more than likely would have been able to depend upon that lung to serve him when cancer took away the other lung. We had his home doctor sign it and alas it finally was approved. I know that PaPa Reuben was happy and smiled down from Heaven when that occurred.  

Reuben was indeed a  Tough Hombre and I'm glad his government finally recognized his valor in defending his country with the only two lungs he had.














Friday, June 7, 2013

PaPa Survived The Landing At Omaha Beach Normandy, France Sixty-Nine Years Ago



         PAPA SURVIVED THE LANDING AT OMAHA BEACH NORMANDY
                                 FRANCE SIXTY-NINE YEARS AGO

     I wonder what was on PaPa Reuben's mind as the USS Susan B. Anthony cruised through the swept channel off Normandy, France, the morning of June 7th, 1944. It was the day after the initial invasion of June 6th, that secretly brought the Allied troops to a small section of beach where the Nazi Germans least expected them to invade during World War II.
                                            USS SUSAN B. ANTHONY
     Reuben was from the farm/ranch lands between the small towns of Shiner and Yoakum, in LaVaca County, Texas. After graduating from Yoakum High School, he attended The University of Texas. It was probably the first time he ever left home. Like his father, he too excelled in mathematical engineering and also helped his family farm and ranch. He made it until the age of 30 without traveling far away from his homeland and was still single when he joined the Army.
     At 8:00 AM on the 7th of June all Hell broke loose on the ship which had been converted into the military ship, The Susan B. Anthony. It was carrying almost 3,000 people to assist in the operation which had begun the day before at Omaha Beach. The battle was winding down some, but the beach was not yet secured. The noise and confusion must have been tremendous when the mine hit. The lights went out, there were a couple of explosions and fire broke loose and spread into the engine and fire rooms. The ship began to list to one side and the Captain ordered all occupants to move to the opposite side of the ship and it began to upright its position. But shortly he realized that the holes in the ship were taking in tons of water and the ship was sinking. There wasn't enough time to try and save the ship and he knew his first obligation was to save his passengers. He ordered all to evacuate the ship immediately. There was no time for the passengers to gather belongings or pick up weapons. They barely had time to slip on their life vests. There was no time, as well to bring out the rafts and small boats. The Captain's focus was to save as many lives as possible.
     He told his soldiers to survive by grabbing the weapons off the dead bodies lying on the beach and floating in the water and to move inland as fast as they could. Some of the passengers who could not swim clung to their life vests and were rescued by nearby mine sweepers. Others swam to the shoreline as well as they could, through the bloody waters and the dead floating from the battle the day before. By 10:00 AM, two hours after the ship was hit, it sunk.


                                           Dead Bodies on Omaha Beach
                                           

     My father Reuben made it to the beach and did as instructed, with some of his
buddies, and then traveled inland. One of his buddies later said that if it hadn’t been for Reuben with his keen engineering skills and knowledge of topography, they never would have made it as far as they did.  
     I’ve thought of Reuben all day and cried from time to time, thinking of the heroic
deeds that he had to perform. I am proud that he was part of “The Greatest Generation”who fought for our country so valiantly.
     Today, the USS Susan B. Anthony is buried in the water off the shores of Omaha near Normandy, France.
   
                      The Sunken USS Susan B. Anthony Near Normandy, France
  


Saturday, May 11, 2013

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO MY ROSIE THE RIVETER MOM

My mother was  Rosie the Riveter. During World War II she worked in a defense plant in Oklahoma  city. She had only one child at the time and I am her daughter. I did not ask mother a lot of questions about her job. What I learned was that she was a young wife and worked to help her country and provide some extra money for her little family. She told me she worked on a computer the size of a room. Of course that was before we had our personal computers that we could carry from place to place.

Mother's sacrifice was to leave me behind by taking me to a daycare center. Daycare centers were somewhat new then. I remember mother saying that when her mother was a flapper of the 1920's, she left mother with a neighbor who took care of several other children in addition to her own. It was in a home and not an institutionalized business. Nonetheless, mother always resented her mother who left her sometimes for days while she worked in a department store, selling silk hose during the day and taught sewing in the evenings. Sometimes she partied as flappers in the cities often did. My grandmother was a young divorced woman whose ex-husband traveled with an oil company and was gone so much of the time they grew apart, hence their separation that led to a divorce, which was not very common in the 1920's. Mother always resented her mother, who she felt abandoned her. So she felt guilty having to leave me and didn't want me to feel unwanted.

Mother worked all day and waited for my father to pick her up from work and then they drove to the daycare center to get me. I was around four years old and remember that I enjoyed the structure of the day care center with the toys and other children to play with. I liked the coloring in books and enjoyed smelling the different colors. I also was captured by the story book time. The stories we heard took us to magic places. The kitchen smells are what I remember most. It compares with a pot of soup cooking all day on my stove in recent times. The cooks who prepared our meals were two heavy black women with big white aprons tied around their necks and waist and I remember they were jovial and kind to me. I was horrified when some other children pointed to my black friends in the kitchen and laughed about the color of their skin. One day I ran into the kitchen and told these two women cooks that kids were making fun of them. I don't know what they thought about it. Needless to say they didn't like it because they came out of the kitchen and scolded the children and told them to act nice. I didn't have negative feelings about the day care center as my mother was afraid I would have. Looking back to that time, she apparently was the one who felt guilty because she had to leave me.

When my mother and I got home, she prepared meals for us and tended to household duties. Many evenings were busy for her and she was late getting to bed. But the next morning she would be up early and help me dress for day care. My father would dress, eat the breakfast mother cooked for him which was usually sausage and eggs from my grandfather's farm and then he retired to his company truck, our only vehicle and waited for us to join him so he could take us to our destinations of the defense plant, my day care center and then he would go to work at the  Oklahoma Natural Gas Company.

My father did not have to enlist in the service during World War II because he was considered a homeland security person. His job was to keep the home fires going, in a literal sense, while other men went off to war. I felt lucky to have a father at home while many other dads were gone overseas.

After working for over a year, my mother informed my father that she was going to rent out one of our two bedrooms. At first my father did not like that idea. She convinced him that I could sleep on a smaller bed in their bedroom and my bedroom would be rented to a young man who was still in high school and needed a room because his parents were moving and he chose not to leave his senior year. Mother finally persuaded my father because she said that it would provide an extra income when she was no longer employed at the defense plant. At the time, the War was winding down.  She told him she didn't know how much longer she would be able to keep a job and having a roomer would almost make up for her loss of income. Now when my mother worked all day at the defense plant, she came home and not only had her regular duties, but she had an extra person to cook for, clean for, and do his laundry. She kept up this pace for numerous months until the young man graduated and moved on. Simultaneous, to all of this I  discovered mom was pregnant with my sister Karen. My days at the day care center ended in May of 1944 and my sister was born on July 22, 1944.

My mother's defense plant job ended soon before Karen was born. Men were slowly beginning to come home, depending upon where they had been stationed during the War. Many factory jobs that Rosie the Riveters held were turned over automatically to the returning soldiers and many women lost their jobs and returned home. My German father with his old fashion ideas that believed a woman's place was in the home was delighted to have my mother back at home to tend to her household duties.

My mother, on the other hand, gained experience and self-confidence to chip in and add to the family income by later doing such things as baby-sitting for neighbors, giving bridge lessons and baking pies for neighbors on special occasions.

Mother was a young wife and mother, but when times became stressful because of my father's philandering ways,  she had the fortitude to sell most of her house hold belongings and move a state away to begin a new career and provide a new home for her daughters. I think she was able to do this because of the experience in her Rosie the Riveter work. Her job and other jobs like hers gave women an opportunity in the work place when it was not a common occurrence.  It was a historical opportunity for middle-class women to draw from their experiences, giving them confidence to make different choices than the previous generation might not have made. After she left my father she attended a floral school and learned to work with flowers and then worked in a flower shop for her mother.  It eventually became a week-end job because she needed more income.  She added another job and worked as a teller at a bank during the week to provide for her two daughters. She continued to do this until she met and married my step father two years later. Mother made sacrifices for us and I will always respect and love her for it. She knew she could make a better life for her girls and she did.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Motive For The Boston Marathon Bombing With Durkheim's Theory

I love to study sociology because it helps me to understand the social problems of our society. In the recent bombing in Boston that killed several people and injured hundreds, many people ask, what was the motive? When I reflect upon it, I think of the teachings and writings of the classical French sociologist, Emile Durkheim, of the nineteenth century. He questioned such crimes that can occur in modern societies when immigrants are involved. The norms of a different society can bring conflict into the lives of the immigrants who have a difficult time in assimilating.  

You can look at Wikipedia or pick up a book on Social Theory concerning the classical  sociologist, Emile Durkheim, and see what might be explained as being the motive  for the two immigrants in Boston, who allegedly bombed the people at the Boston Marathon.  He calls the problem, "anomie, an imbalance of societal norms."

"According to Durkheim, anomie reflects a sense of normlessness, the lack of any societal norms that spurs the tendency to act in a deviant way. In general terms, Durkheim’s theory of anomie proposes that because of industrialization and the need for cheap labor in this newly modern society, the influx of immigrants inherently brought with them their own sets of norms and values. Thus came a temporary imbalance of norms, anomie, which enhances individual’s propensity to commit crime in search for a stable environment. In turn, Durkheim puts forth not just a theory for the social origins of crime, but also he theorizes about the social origins of law and punishment." (Wikipedia)

This is not to excuse the crimes committed. But simply explains what is. Although, Durkheim looked at societies over a hundred years ago, many sociologists use his theories today. Perhaps the two brothers who immigrated from Russia or Chechnya were disturbed by the newer values and norms of their new home and had a difficult time adjusting and reacted eventually in a gross criminal way.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'M NO LONGER LOST AND I'M REPLENISHING MY WELL

Finally, I'm replenishing my well. I've been lost since before this new year. But because I have more desire and time, I'm looking for ways to reclaim my creativity. I've had problems picking up a pen or brush to write or paint. And because of this, I've not been as fulfilled and I want to recapture my feelings of excitement in creating my ideas.

I've pulled out many of my old magazines that have inspired me over the years.  I really enjoy the "Victoria" magazines I've saved since 1983. They are filled with large colorful pictures of beautiful art, home interiors, and luscious looking dishes of food with the recipes printed in the back of the magazine. I've perused them daily. I've surfed the net, as well,  looking at art that appeals to me.  I've discovered interesting blogs that artists publish with pictures I find most attractive. What really is fun is to look at Bohemian Art Design. That is new to me. This is an interesting blog: Blogs,<http://bohemianpages.blogspot.com/search/label/Home%20decor. After seeing pictures on this blog, I find it fun using my old furniture in new ways and accenting it. I'm thinking outside the same old boxes, which artists are told to do.

On Monday, we drove to Round Top, Texashttp://www.roundtoptexasantiques.com/ to see what was happening at the Antique shows. There were vendor tents up and down the road for twenty miles on both ends of Warrenton. There were so many old, scarred, and long forgotten objects sitting by the road and  in tents,  it was impossible to weed through it all. I love shabby chic so it was tempting to jump in the abyss. We laughed at a sign that read, "shabby shit". My husband said, "That's the truth." Although it was a beautiful sun shiny day, not too warm or not too cool, I didn't have the energy to even stop and look at much, so I chose to be very selective.

We drove on to Round Top and when we stopped at  Royers Round Top Cafe, http://www.royersroundtopcafe.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=113:hours&catid=3:schedule&Itemid=5we found it was closed.
 A lady at the front, said they are closed on Monday and since they are expecting "80,000 people" this week, we would have to make reservations on any other day. She recommended Royer's daughter's little place, "Pie Haven", down the street in the square. After eating a delicious slice of vegetable pie  I spotted a cute little house across the square with pictures of a woman outside. I told Walter Bert to hang up his handicap sign and I would be back shortly. When I got to the door, I left my yummy cool raspberry tea from my lunch on a table on the porch and walked in. What a treat, when I walked in to find paintings all over the small gallery house. The artist is a delightful lady, Beth Anderson,http://www.bethandersonart.com/image  with whom I spent forty-five minutes. I soaked in her adorable art and her pleasant arty news and exchange of information. She encouraged me to start painting again and said how important it is. I knew she was right because when I do paint I'm very content and look forward to getting back to my work every day.

I skimmed a few other shops, but knew I was satisfied with what I had found, already. So, I returned to my napping husband and said, "Okay, I think I've been stimulated enough. Let's go home so I can start painting. I looked down at his cool drink that he bought at the Pie Haven and said, "Oh no. I left my drink at Beth's." He said, "No problem, I'll drive you back and you can get it."

When he drove around the square to the side of the gallery, I said, "You better give me some money. I hate to go back and not buy anything." He pulled out a twenty dollar bill and as I sat there wondering what I could buy in the gallery for twenty bucks, Beth walked out to the porch and picked up my cool plastic glass of delicious raspberry tea, poured it on the flower bed and walked back into the gallery. I started laughing and laughing. If we had gotten there a few minutes earlier, I would have retrieved my tea and bought a piece of art or at least a post card. As it was, Walter Bert said, "Boy, that's luck, it saved me twenty bucks."

I answered, "Yes, but now you have to drive back to Pie Haven so I can buy another cool glass of raspberry tea and I'll save my money so I can return to Beth's some day and buy one of her darling pieces of art."I'm looking forward to it already.

For those who are interested in going to Round Top this week, check the Texas Monthly April 2013 issue and you will get a good idea of what to expect and advice on where to go. There is a great article, "Treasure This".

Friday, January 11, 2013

Help, I'm Behind and Lost.My First Post of 2013, January 11, 2013


I have not posted in a long time. Since December 1st, 2012. I read that Georgia O'Keefe could not be creative when she was surrounded by domestic affairs. That seems to be the case with me. My husband's surgery three days after my last post has definitely kept me preoccupied. Then preparing for Christmas. My adult grandchildren always look forward to coming to our house for the holidays. I admit I enjoy preparing for their visits.  Days afterwards, the tree needs to be dismantled and the house another going over, but I haven't felt like it. Nor have I felt like getting creative. I haven't read a book, written, or painted, since the first of December.  I dare say I do want to paint, but not in the mood to pull out the paints and to get after it. It is difficult to focus and concentrate.

My writing has suffered as of late. In "The New Beginning," the post I wrote on the first day of last year, I stated my goals. When I looked over them, I recognized I did write more on my blog throughout the year.  I wrote more memoirs than I believed I could or would. But, I did have more free time to reflect. And one resolution that I stated was to give more of myself to my loved ones. It was one I think I fulfilled. But, as a result, I am less creative during the difficult times of caring for my husband and listening to my other loved ones, who are in distress from time to time. Or is this just an excuse? Time will tell.

Sterling loves the Raphael paintings of the Renaissance period. I want to paint a portrait of Raphael for his birthday. Artists sometimes copy the art of the masters. This will give me a chance to do so, as well, when I can get my act together. Well, at least this is a start, now that I'm writing. Does anyone else have this problem?