Archive: » 2019 » December

Sorry, It’s Not The End of a Decade

  As 2019 draws to a close, we are barraged with “Best of the Decade” lists. One of the New Yorker’s film critics published his favorite movies of the past 10 years. I have not seen any of them and have only heard of a couple. Variety did the same with music albums, presented by three critics. Of the 30 listed, I had actually heard of about half the artists and own the work of one on the list — Kacey Musgraves, an East Texas native. And on it goes. WalletHub ranked the least-caring cities of the decade, with Birmingham, Alabama taking the top (or low) spot on the list, edging...

Read more...

A Brief Piece of “Old” Austin

AUSTIN — As my Beautiful Mystery Companion and I trudged the Lady Bird Johnson Lake trail on an abnormally warm December afternoon, we approached the edge of Zilker Park. During the Christmas season, it is the site of the Trail of Lights, the city’s massive celebration attended by as many as 400,000 folks during its two-week run. Although the lights weren’t visible in the late afternoon, the song blaring from the speakers came through: I really can't stay, baby it's cold outside I've got to go away, baby it's cold outside   At the time, it was 81 degrees. A sheen of sweat coated...

Read more...

Studying Two Wars, Two Centuries Apart

I ain’t gonna study war no more. — Down By The Riverside The chorus of that old spiritual, which predates the Civil War, has been running through my head lately. It’s likely the result of the subject matter of books I recently finished, and the photography course I completed teaching earlier this week. Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, by Karl Marlantes, is the most gripping — and emotionally difficult to read — account of that conflict that I have read. Marlantes served as a Marine in Vietnam. The book jacket says he received the Navy Cross, Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation...

Read more...

The Adolphus Ghost & A Giant Eyeball

DALLAS – We wandered about the 19th floor of the Adolphus Hotel on Thanksgiving eve, not knowing at the time that the ghost of a jilted bride who hanged herself when her groom-to-be skipped out has allegedly haunted that floor since her death in the 1930s. We had the 19th floor to ourselves, since it consists primarily of meeting rooms, some fancy (I guess) suites, even a wheelchair lift since the floor is split-level. We didn’t see a ghost; we didn’t see anybody. My Beautiful Mystery Companion and I weren’t staying on the 19th floor, just wandering around this grand hotel. When it was built...

Read more...