Archive: » 2020 » March

Notes While Sheltering in Place

Scenes from East Texas during the pandemic: • I reluctantly took advantage of the old folks’ early-bird special and showed up at Walmart at 6 a.m. Tuesday with a sanitizing wipe clutched in hand. My Beautiful Mystery Companion and I have sheltered in place for more than a week now. We needed some items, and the crowd is much thinner at that hour. Not empty, though. Older folks walked the aisles, some in scooters, some in masks and gloves — a few with all three. We all kept our social distance even if it meant making detours and awkward dances past the meat counters. Many of the shelves...

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Anup: A Gentle, Talented Soul Passes Away

In the midst of this pandemic that has upended all of our lives, many folks in Longview and East Texas mourned the passing of an extraordinary man who died too young and touched so many people — from the homeless to the wealthy, the well-connected to the disconnected. Anup Bandhari died on March 10, just days after he turned 40, and six months after he went into cardiac arrest and suffered an irreversible brain injury. So many lives were touched by this gentle, generous soul during his 20 years in East Texas. Anup came to America from Nepal in 2000 to study fine art, photography and the culinary...

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Sam Malone Sparked Fascination With Texas History

Recently, my Beautiful Mystery Companion asked about the time period when Texas was an independent nation – 1836 to 1845. I started spouting off key dates from memory: February 23, 1836: The siege of the Alamo begins. March 2, 1836: Texas declares independence from Mexico April 21, 1836: Texas defeats Mexican forces and captures Gen. Santa Anna in the Battle of San Jacinto. And so forth. My BMC asked, “How do you know all these dates without looking them up?” I shrugged. Beats me; I just do. There are far more useful mental skills worth possessing that I lack, too many to enumerate...

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Morse Code: What Hath God Wrought?

I recently watched The Spy, a Netflix show set in Syria and Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is embedded in Syria. Inside his apartment, he hunches over the telegraph key, tapping out messages in Morse Code that are eagerly received and transcribed at the other end. The transcribed message is quickly transported to his handlers in Israel. I’m a little hazy on the details of the series beyond that. Television shows tend to run together in my memory. So do novels. My faulty fiction memory baffles my Beautiful Mystery Companion since my recollection of historical...

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