Archive: » 2022 » July

I Could Drink a Case of Joni Mitchell

I bought my first Joni Mitchell album in 1971 from the Howard’s Discount Store on Mobberly Avenue in South Longview, across the street from what was then called LeTourneau College (now LeTourneau University). We lived on South Twelfth Street, right behind the college, so I cut through the campus, past the barracks and Speer Chapel on what was about a half-mile walk. Most of the money I earned working at the Longview newspaper — by then as a part-time photographer after starting as a paperboy — was spent on books, albums, and gas for the 1954 Dodge with its PowerGlide automatic transmission...

Read more...

Pancho’s Pond Becoming a Reality

Construction of what will be known as Pancho’s Pond is at last underway in the pasture where our donkey spends his days. The only good thing about this dratted drought is that it dried up the land to where Gaylond, our seasoned equipment operator, can actually move the dirt around. Gaylond started in late March, first by running drainage ditches across two pastures to dry out the land, which clearly has at least a couple of underground springs. That worked well, but he suggested we wait until later in the summer. Pushing mud around can get expensive. We’re more interested in it being done...

Read more...

Touring Three Pines in the Eastern Townships

EASTERN TOWNSHIP, QUEBEC — Christiane, the raconteur for our Three Pines Tour, arrives at exactly 8 a.m. at our auberge in Sutton, one of the towns in the Eastern Township, which starts about a dozen miles north of the Vermont-Canada. While French is the dominant language in Quebec, this area in large part was settled by Loyalists (as they were called) to Britain in the American Revolution, so English is also commonly spoken. Chris, as she prefers to be called, spent 35 years working for the Royal Mounted Canadian Police in their counter-terrorism division. After retiring, she ended up helping...

Read more...

A Perfect Night at Fenway Park

FENWAY PARK, BOSTON — We have returned to the shrine of my youth after a three-year hiatus caused by the pandemic and a move to the country in the middle of last summer that precluded any opportunities to travel. It was worth the wait. My Beautiful Mystery Companion and I are seated on the third base side, in prime foul-ball territory about 10 rows from the field. Several of the fans, both adults and children, have brought baseball gloves to the park in hopes of snagging a souvenir. If I somehow catch one, I’ll give it to the cute little boy behind us. (I didn’t.) The Red Sox uniforms...

Read more...

Lost in the Woods of Quebec

SOMEWHERE IN THE EASTERN TOWNSHIP, QUEBEC, CANADA — We left Boston after four days and headed north through New Hampshire and Vermont just barely into Canada, to a pleasant village called Sutton in what is known as the Eastern Township. It was settled in large part by colonists loyal to the British crown during the American Revolution. French remains the dominant language, however. I had decided to splurge and rent a BMW SUV. When I arrived at Logan Airport to pick it up, the rental clerk informed me no BMW SUVs were available and offered a Buick SUV. Really? A Buick and not a Beemer? As we talked,...

Read more...