Archive: » 2019 » November

The View From The Library Window

Outside the LeTourneau University library windows, at the front entrance, there is a canopy of oak trees. They have provided me hours of enjoyment during this vibrant fall foliage season. After the time change, by mid-afternoon, the sun had sunk low enough to filter through the leaves, heightening the intensity of the colors. Burnt orange is my favorite leaf color, of course. But I also enjoy the shades of red and yellow visible through the windows. While working my shifts at the front counter, I can simply swivel around and savor those autumn colors. I teach my photography class in the library’s...

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Miss Geneva Never Arrived Empty-Handed

Miss Geneva was laid to rest Saturday under a cloudless November sky, a steady breeze skittering leaves across the church grounds. Ebenezer Friendship Baptist, the modest country church she attended for a lifetime – 76 years — was full, as befitting someone who had attended thousands of services, weddings and funerals there. Miss Geneva cooked countless pies, casseroles and other culinary delights for church events. The preacher, who has held the pulpit just six years, wiped away tears while delivering the service. That doesn’t happen very often at funerals, at least in my experience. Too often...

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The First Photograph And Russell Lee

For my introduction to photography class, this week I prepared a lecture on the history of photography. Cramming nearly 200 years of photography into 75 minutes was a daunting task. I started with the earliest image known to exist — a “heliograph” created by French inventor Joseph Niépce in 1826. It took an eight-hour exposure to create the street scene using an asphalt-like emulsion coated on a pewter plate. The image, encased in a box and behind glass inside a dimly lit room, is on permanent display at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. The HRC boasts one of the largest...

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Travels Marked By Magnets And Stickers

I went to fetch a Topo Chico out of the refrigerator the other day. As the door opened, a refrigerator magnet fell to the floor after I accidentally nudged it while grabbing the handle. The magnet displays the silhouette of a moose on a background of red and black checks — like the flannel shirt hanging in my closet. The title: Vermont. I placed the magnet back on the fridge, where it keeps company with other souvenirs of our travels — from Big Bend to Boston, Taos to The Big Apple. Interspersed are magnets sent annually at Christmas by a lawyer friend. One of my favorites purports to quote...

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A Halloween Treat: Cold Weather Arrives

Fall waited until the morning of Halloween to make an appearance, but finally it is here behind the Pine Curtain. Temperatures dipped below freezing Friday morning. The leaves on the oak and sweetgum trees visible out my study window are turning brown and raining down, leaving a colorful carpet on the driveway. The yard guy shows up every other week to blow and bag them up, a job I once performed but wisely retired from. The DIY ethic only goes so far with me these days. There are certain rituals in our household to be followed as actual cold weather arrives. My Beautiful Mystery Companion is the keeper...

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