Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wrap up

We saw Mary off last Wednesday as she flew home to Hawaii.  I left yesterday for a few weeks of visiting friends and family in other parts of Texas.  I expect to be back in Aledo by the end of Sept. to attend a family wedding.
I have truly been in the heart of what is 'Pure Texas'.  I have had two meals of chicken fried steak (both times I ordered the small steak and it completely filled a dinner plate), lots of fried okra, barbecue and pecan pie. 
While attending one of the art galleries I noted there were a lot of people on the street carrying guns of all shapes and sizes.  I soon learned there was a gun show next door to the gallery--and a good many more people were attending that event than going to the art show! And gun shows occur somewhere in town every single weekend!
There have been at least 65 days of more than 100 degrees and each day with a soupy humidity.  And no rain in sight!  I thought it was cute when someone asked me how I could stand the heat in Tucson.   
And there is something about the expressions here that makes you stop and think a bit...
Aunt Louise received a phone call from an elderly friend one day who needed a ride somewhere.  I asked, "Is she not able to drive anymore?"  
The somewhat deadpan reply, "Oh, no, she can drive--she just can't stop!"   

Mr Hutton

Mr. Hutton is a good, good friend of Aunt Louise's. Sister Mary, Aunt Louise and I took him to lunch to say "Thank you" for keeping an eye on our aunt (no small job by the way). Mr. Hutton regularly picks up her mail and delivers it to her kitchen table. He also tends to her very large yard when she is not up to mowing it plus he keeps her informed as to all the goings-on in the town of Aledo, Texas.  Listening to the two of them talk I kept wishing for a tape recorder--between the two of them they know every family and its lineage, their picadillos and a few scandals and secrets.  They could write their own "Greater Tuna".
Once again, Thank you, Mr Hutton for being there for her.

Pork Chopper

One last piece of art....This is a very large painting called "Pork Chopper" and done by another local artist. I failed to get his name but I thought it was fun.

Rebecca Low

"Ella Fonte" by Rebecca Low
My friend Hilary would like this one.

A wonderful--and slightly rude--creation made from found objects by Rebecca Low.
(Rebecca is standing on the right--and she is not rude
Rebecca's gallery and sculpture garden is in Fort Worth and well worth a visit.
She creates her pieces from found objects and her enthusiasm for trash is admirable--and
contagious. It's a good thing my RV is too small to carry tractor parts.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Fort Worth Art Scene

Since arriving in Fort Worth Aunt Louise has taken us to The Amon Carter art museum, The Kimbell Art Museum, The FW Modern Art Museum, The Fort Worth Contemportary Art Museum, the Botanical Research Institute, The Botanical Gardens, the Japanese Garden at the Botanical Gardens and The Omni theatre to see "The Hubble Telescope". And she is still ready to go some more--while all I can think about is how much I would like a nap.

I am very impressed with the amount of culture this 'cowtown' has to offer. And how accessible it is. The museums are easy to get to and there is convenient parking--a real plus for a 90 year old aunt and in 100+ temperatures.

'The Honorable Clare Stuart Wortley'--1923
By John Singer Sargent

'Diana of the Tower'--1891
by Augustus Saint-Gaudens
"Church of God" by Jacob Lawrence--1943
"Red Cannas" by Georgia O'keefe--1927

"The Sargeant" by Frederick Remington--1904

'Diana of the Tower'--1891
by Augustus Saint-Gaudens

"Church of God" by Jacob Lawrence--1943

"Red Cannas" by Georgia O'keefe--1927

"The Sargeant" by Frederick Remington--1904
'L'Air'--1938 by Aristides Maillol

Aunt Louise studying 'The Etruscan" by Michelangelo Pistoletto--1976

Japanese Garden

Sunday, August 28, 2011

While leaving the airport I spotted this.....Memories!
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It's another cousin! Sharon Weeks is the twin sister to Andre and she works in a shoe store in Mt Pleasant. We took the opportunity to meet this lovely lady and hope to get the chance to meet all of them again.
(Sister Mary, Sharon, Aunt Louise and me).
By the way--Happy Birthday to Sharon and Andre!
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Glenda and Andre Brogoitti in Mt Pleasant, Texas. Andre is a retired pilot who very graciously gave us a tour of the local airport including this private plane that belongs to the founder of Pilgrim's Pride chickens--See what selling chicken nuggets will get you.
Glenda is a master gardener (she specializes in daffodils), potter and gourmet cook. She prepared a wonderful lunch for us then gave us a tour of her greenhouse and studio.
It was a wonderful afternoon and really fun to meet cousins that we had heard about over the years but never met.
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We arrived at the home of Andre and Glenda Brogoitti, cousins of Aunt Louise and cousins-several-times-removed from Mary and myself.
They live on many beautiful acres outside of Mt Pleasant and the above gravestone is at the entrance to the ranch and from the grave of great grandmother, Ella Brogoitti.
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On the spice can is written: "In 1956 Wilda Marie Fontenot Walker gave birth to the creator of this award winning seasoning blend. Every time she uses it , she receives a loving slap on the back and a kiss on the cheek, thanking her for another great tasting Cajun Dish."
I can tell you--it will make smoke come out of your ears but it sure is good. Wilda Walker is from Ville Platte, La.--a town I have added to my list of stops.
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Mary, Aunt Louise and I took a Monday to drive to Mt. Pleasant to visit some cousins. On the way we passed a barbecue restaurant and stopped to buy some of the local gourmet delights--we could tell by the mascot above (that was floating around in the parking lot in front of the restaurant) that this was a gastronomical event we shouldn't miss. We were disappointed to discover that their barbecue was only served on weekends. We did, however, find some treats--Apple butter and the remarkable spice shown above.
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Aunt Louise and Mary Frances Stidham on the way to Weatherford. Another great friend of Aunt Louise.
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Another Artist

This is Vivian Coles, a good friend of Aunt Louise, standing in front of one her paintings. Vivian also makes great oatmeal muffins. She's another 'artiste extraordinaire'!
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"Greater Tuna"

Aunt Louise and the star of "Greater Tuna"
     in Texas it is the perfect time to experience "Greater Tuna"--the play about life in a small town in Texas named Tuna. 

    We drove to Weatherford to a small church that was converted to a theatre and we all sat on pews.  Every person that entered the door knew two or three others in the room and the play was slow getting started, due in part to the constant greetings, cheek kissings and  back slappings.

        The play opened with the radio commentator telling about the death of a notable male citizen whose body was found in a compromising situation while dressed in an Esther Williams one-piece bathing suit.  I laughed and laughed then noticed that not everyone in the room thought it was as funny as I did.  Anyway, those writers surely came from a town not much different than Weatherford.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fort Worth, Texas

Finally, on Thurs the 18th we reached Fort Worth and family. Uncle Julio's Mexican Restaurant is a favorite and we spent the better part of the afternoon there with cousin Jerry Putman and his wife Kathy, me, Aunt Louise and sister, Mary. If you ever want to know anything about anything--Texas, politics,  stock market, space travel or JFK assassination conspiracies see Jerry.
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Palo Duro Canyon

Just south of Amarillo is the Palo Duro Canyon which is the second largest canyon in the US. Who knew? My pictures were not that good but check it out with Google--I was so amazed to see such spectacular scenery suddenly appear in an otherwise very flat and monotonous landscape. Both Mary and I were glad we made the effort to find it and drove to the bottom of the canyon to have lunch.

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Amarillo, Texas

As we approached the city of Amarillo we could see lots of cars on the side of the road and looking across the fields we spied this unusual sight. They are old Cadillacs, planted in the ground and spray painted by visitors to the sight. Is this art too?
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