Archive: » 2019 » February

Churchill Walked With Destiny

A framed poster of a famous portrait of Winston Churchill, photographed by Yousuf Karsh, hangs in our living room. I bought it from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1996, which hosted an exhibit of Karsh’s portraits that year. A cropped version of that portrait graces the cover of the latest biography of Churchill, published last year. Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking With Destiny came to the LeTourneau University campus earlier this week. There are 1,009 previous Churchill biographies. Despite that, Walking With Destiny has been hailed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal...

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An Added Bonus or a Passing Fad?

I read a piece by Benjamin Dreyer a few days ago in Medium, a website I recently discovered thanks to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, owner of the Washington Post, and richest human on the planet. Bezos, if one keeps up with sleazy current events, was outed by the National Enquirer after announcing he and his wife were divorcing. The Enquirer soon after published stories about the affair Bezos was having with another woman. Bezos fought back, not denying the affair but enlisting his famed security chief to investigate how the tabloid got hold of his text messages and reportedly some rather embarrassing...

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Embarking on a Sesquicentennial Project

A commemorative plate hangs in our house, from Longview’s centennial celebration in 1970. It features a half-dozen scenes from the city’s history, such as the Lathrop Discovery Well in 1931 that ushered in the East Texas oil boom, and the Dalton Gang bank robbery of 1894, which is reenacted on the brick streets of downtown Longview every spring. My dad was a 37-year-old commercial artist in 1970. We had moved to Longview 18 months earlier from New Hampshire to escape the harsh winters and sluggish economy. He quickly secured a job working as a sign painter for a company that held the contract...

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Sign Shortage Confounds At State Park

It was a perfect day for a hike, and my Beautiful Mystery Companion and I took full advantage. We arrived at Tyler State Park just past noon Sunday, paid $12 to an impossibly young park ranger, got a trails map and headed into the park to hike B Loop. The cloudless sky was a wintry shade of blue, but the temperature was perfect — 60 degrees with a steady breeze. We drove around the park a while, looking for B Loop’s trailhead without success. The back of the map described it as being 3.1 miles long with many elevation changes, “making it a challenging but beautiful trek through the park’s...

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