Archive: » 2019 » October

Chasing Autumn in the Blue Ridge Mountains

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – My Beautiful Mystery Companion and I took off last week and chased autumn, which has been slow to arrive in East Texas. We drove nearly 14 hours over two days to hike and drive through the stunning fall foliage that can be found this time of year along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was worth every mile and minute of the journey, which took us through Arkansas to bisect Tennessee – entering at Memphis and heading into North Carolina after exiting Knoxville, nearly 400 miles later. The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles through the Blue Ridge Mountains from Virginia...

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Franklin’s Autobiography Is A Gem

A friend gave me The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin for my birthday. I have been reading it slowly, savoring each clever turn of phrase. Franklin has been an object of fascination since I was a child. Decades ago, my mom gave me a decanter that once held McCormick bourbon, which she bought at a garage sale. The decanter is a full-color statue of Franklin, quite nicely done. His head was attached by a removable cork stopper. The decanter was empty, but ol’ Ben has occupied a proud spot in the many houses in which I have lived. While I have read several biographies over the decades,...

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Teaching Photography For the First Time

The fall semester is halfway over, the weather has finally cooled to tolerable temps, leaves are starting to turn, and, thus far, I have survived my first foray into teaching an Introduction to Digital Photography course at LeTourneau University. Having a full classroom of bright, eager-to-learn students certainly helps, as I navigate through building a course from scratch. Next semester will be easier; this semester’s students were forewarned that they were the guinea pigs. To the best of memory no one has ever taught photography at LETU. Photography is how I managed to climb up the next...

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The Great Sun Storm of 1859

I was perusing old newspapers online the other day and learned about the Great Sun Storm of 1859. The newspapers.com site was marking the 160th anniversary of the event. Here is what happened: The night sky of August 28th, 1859, in much of the United States, was cloudless with a new moon just forming. In Vermont, eyewitnesses at 7:30 P.M. reported “a large fire behind the mountain.” Soon spires of green shot up from the behind the same mountain, which coincidentally is part of the Green Mountains range. The Vermont Chronicle in Bellows Fall reported, “the heavens were lighted up with a display...

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