2019

Big Papi Comes Home to Fenway

It looks like the Boston Red Sox are not going to make the playoffs this year. Last year’s World Series champions, for the fourth time in 15 years, suffered this season from erratic pitching and a disastrous eight-game losing streak in August. It isn’t mathematically impossible for them to grab a wild card slot, but nearly so. The team this week fired its club president, a certain sign it is time to regroup and rebuild. I don’t mourn the team’s fall from the elite, not wanting to be greedy. I’ll definitely be rooting for the Houston Astros when they likely play the Yankees for the American...

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Coming Home to The Critters

I have switched to working a night shift at the Estes Library at LeTourneau University two days a week, getting off at 10 p.m. This frees me up to teach an Introduction to Photography course on Tuesday and Thursday. It is the first time in anyo ne’s memory such a course has been offered at LETU, so I am starting from scratch building the course with a full class of 20 students. It has been fun so far as we finish our second week. More on that in the weeks to come. By the time I get home, take out the dogs, shower and plop down in the easy chair to watch a bit of television, it is usually...

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Newspaper Carrier Day Is Fast Approaching

The nation next week will largely ignore National Newspaper Carrier Day, which takes place on Sept. 4. As print circulation of newspapers plummet, the number of hardworking folks who get up at 2 a.m. to make sure the remaining loyal subscribers to a daily newspaper have a copy lying in the driveway, when they arise, is also decreasing. I still subscribe to the local newspaper and have an excellent carrier. She places our paper on top of the brick mailbox each morning to make sure it doesn’t get wet when the sprinklers come on, or an early morning thunderstorm sweeps through. Bless her. The...

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When I’m 64… Sheesh

I could be handy, mending a fuse When your lights have gone You can knit a sweater by the fireside Sunday mornings, go for a ride Doing the garden, digging the weeds Who could ask for more? Will you still need me, will you still feed me When I'm sixty-four? When I’m Sixty-Four — The Beatles, from “Magical Mystery Tour   I have long anticipated poaching those lyrics on this day, though I haven’t been in a hurry to arrive here. No sense rushing matters. But today, Aug. 23, I turn 64. To continue lyrical larceny, what a long strange trip it’s been. Sixty-four. Jeez....

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A Beautiful Day on the Rio Costilla

RIO COSTILLA, NEW MEXICO — This 10,000-acre park near the Colorado border is filled with lush pasture through which the Rio Costilla — Spanish for “rib” — meanders its way down from the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, eventually joining with the Rio Grande del Norte. The park is a portion of what originally was a much larger Spanish land grant in what is now northern Taos County. It is part of an 80,000-acre tract owned since 1942 by the Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association. Fat black Angus cattle graze alongside the banks, while anglers cast lines into the swift-flowing...

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Go Outside and Do Things

RIO GRANDE del NORTE NATIONAL MONUMENT, EMBUDO, NEW MEXICO — The river that forms part of the boundary between Texas and Mexico begins its nearly 2,000-mile journey into the Gulf of Mexico in south-central Colorado. As it enters northern New Mexico, the raging river cuts through 800-foot gorges. Those gorges are located on nearly a quarter-million acres of public lands in Taos County that were proclaimed a national monument in 2013 by President Obama. We have arrived on a Sunday afternoon to hike from the rim of the gorge to the confluence of the Red River and the Rio Grande del Norte. This...

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Spending My Saturdays at the Compost Site

In the past three-plus months, I have made numerous trips to the city’s Compost Site. At first, it was to carry off tree branches and brush sheared off during the May 8 storm. The tree-cutting crews cut and hauled off the heavy stuff, but I opted to save money by loading up Big Red, our 1965 Ford F100 (still for sale), and making the trip cross-town. There is no charge to city residents, though commercial crews must pay. After the storm, mountains of tree debris appeared at the site, brought in by dozens of tree removal crews and private citizens. As I unloaded a pickup bed of branches, invariably,...

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Bringing The Apology Table Back to Life

Nearly three months after a fierce straight-line windstorm swept through North Longview, damaging hundreds of homes – including ours – repair work continues. We were luckier than many. Our roof sustained minor damage, plus some smashed gutters. The biggest project has been having our deck rebuilt, and that is nearly completed. One victim of the storm was the Apology Table. It is a 30-inch square cedar outdoor table. The top consists of diagonal slats with gaps between each board to allow rain to fall through. The table gets its name because I built it as an apology gift for my Beautiful...

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The Moonwalk and Remembering Alan Shepard

The world this week marked the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon in 1969 and Neil Armstrong taking those first steps on its dusty surface. At the time, I worked after school as a paperboy for the Longview Daily News, peddling the afternoon edition to patrons of downtown businesses along Methvin, Tyler and Cotton streets, then heading down Green Street to Highway 80. The paper cost a dime, and I got to keep a nickel. A bit of salesmanship was required, since folks decided each day whether to invest that dime – especially since many had already read the Morning Journal. Most days,...

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Another DIve Into the Archives

As the summer sun beats down outside, I am spending a fair amount of time comfortably tucked inside the Estes Library, getting paid to go through boxes of documents contained in the R.G. LeTourneau Industries archives. Four of us are working to put at least some of the boxes into some sensible order, as I have mentioned before. This is a long-term project. Here are some interesting pieces I have found over the past several weeks: • One file folder contained a series of letters between the company and the United States Department of Agriculture. In December 1958, a research agricultural...

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