Archive | December, 2011

Arts History Update for early January 2012

30 Dec

Arts History Update for early January 2012 by David Cummins


Washington Crossing the Delaware? Got that image in mind? Now we know that the German-American artist Emanuel Leutze, painting in his studio in Germany, was mistaken in 1851 in depicting an actual event that occurred on December 25, 1776 in the evening hours, preparatory to the following day’s battle by Revolutionary Forces against the Hessian mercenaries hired by the British in the Battle of Trenton New Jersey December 26, 1776. Winning that battle boosted colonial morale and made the Revolution seem possible although still improbable.


We know now that Washington and his forces didn’t cross the Delaware River in daylight but in evening hours, The flag carried in the boat wasn’t the depicted Stars and Stripes because it wasn’t invented until the following year 1777. It was a stormy evening and Washington wasn’t standing up in a rowboat, a foolish thing to do, but was standing on a flat-bottom ferry that used cables for stability and carried men, a cannon, and horses to pull the cannon carriage.


Mort Kunstler, an artist in Oyster Bay Long Island, just painted a new image closer to reality. Washington’s Crossing: McKonkey’s Ferry December 25, 1776 (2011) on display at New York Historical Society Museum beginning December 26, 2011. That museum is at 77th Street and Central Park West. Across Central Park and up at 90th Street and 5th Avenue is the Metropolitan Museum of Art where Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) is undergoing restoration and will be rehung on January 16.


Then you can compare the iconic painting and the new more realistic painting. For me, both scenes are dramatic and exciting, and the courage and heroism of those who performed in those armed forces are forever imprinted in my heart. I will not choose between these images. I want to see both of them.




Woody Guthrie 1912 – 1967 may finally find peace in his birthplace Okemah Oklahoma, a small town southwest of Tulsa. The social radical poet and balladeer has been widely scorned by conservative capitalist Oklahomans. That is now changing since The George Kaiser Family Foundation announced its purchase of the Guthrie archive from his children, and started renovation of The Tulsa Paper Company building in downtown Tulsa to refit it as the Woody Guthrie Exhibition and Study Center. The kickoff celebration is March 10, 2012 with a conference and concert featuring son Arlo Guthrie and friends performing. Patrica Cohen, Bound for Local Glory at Last, The New York Times, Dec. 27, 2011


In the last decade Okemah began staging an annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival and unveiled a handsome statuary. is the statuary is the mural In 2006 Woody entered the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Here are some videos of Woody Guthrie performing To listen to some of his tunes Woody could not read or make musical notation, so his lyrics are written and recordings of his songs are copied and transcribed into musical notation.


As a young adult Woody moved to Pampa Texas and worked at the Harris Drug Store where Arlo Guthrie will appear on March 11, 2012 to kick off the centennial celebration of Woody’s life. Pampa is proud of its Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center and annual festival. July 27-28, 2012 is this year’s festival if you’re setting up a calendar.


Will Kaufman, Woody Guthrie, American Radical (University of Illinois Press 2011) Texas Tech Library ML410.G978 K38


The Life Music and Thought of Woody Guthrie: A Critical Appraisal (ed. John S. Partington, Ashgate 2011) Tech Library ML410.G978 P37


Prior to its sale to The George Kaiser Family Foundation the archives have been in Mount Kisco New York at the Woody Guthrie Foundation, and will be delivered to Tulsa in 2013 upon completion of the Tulsa Exhibition and Study Center.






Shades of the Cadillac Ranch west of Amarillo ………… near Conway Texas on Interstate 40 about twenty miles east of Amarillo at exit 96 there is VW Slug Bug Ranch which has five Volkswagen Beetles buried nose down in the Panhandle dirt. You are encouraged to bring spray paint and add your graffiti. Conway is a wide spot in the road; the 2000 census says there are twenty people resident. Another source says it’s a ghost town and no one lives there.


East of Conway outside of Groom is a huge Cross and religious statuary on the ground, all freely accessible.


If this bit of history and culture is enjoyable keep traveling east to Shamrock and drop into the Tower Conoco Gas Station built in 1935 and lovingly restored in the last decade. It no longer sells gas or food but houses the Shamrock Chamber of Commerce.


Just a bit northwest of Shamrock is Old Mobeetie [Hidetown in 1874 when it supplied buffalo hunters and their tanning activities] and even more history. Mobeetie was referred to as The Mother City of the Panhandle. The old Wheeler County Jail is now a museum. Nearby Fort Elliott closed in 1890. the railroad passed by north of the town in 1887 and made the fort obsolete. is an essay by Wes Phillips in 2001 on historic trade and life in the Panhandle.




How is your community doing with respect to cultural vitality? The Urban Institute in Washington DC created an Arts and Culture Indicators in Communities Project that came up with a definition of cultural vitality and tools for how to measure it. Uniformly applied, each community in America can see how it is doing and how it compares with other communities. the November 2006 handbook of indicators is a 104 page pdf file downloadable from this website free. A summary follows: the following is a summary of Maria Rosario Jackson et al., Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists is also available online as a free pdf download.


Greg Richards and Robert Palmer, Eventful Cities: Cultural Management and Urban Revitalization (Butterworth-Heinemann 2010) paperback at $49.95


The Anthropology of Art: A Reader (Blackwell Anthologies in Social and Cultural Anthropology) (eds. Howard Morphy and Morgan Perkins, Wiley-Blackwell 2006) paperback at $42.40




Here is a painting of the Lieber Code being signed by President Lincoln:


Mort Kunstler, General Order No. 100 Lincoln and the Lieber Code April 24, 1863 (2011) which was commissioned by The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville Virginia on the campus of the University of Virginia. Prints are available from the artist’s website. The Lieber Code is also known as Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field. It is the first formal codification of behaviour for the Army of the United States when in the field. It was prepared by Francis Lieber, a Columbia University international law professor and political philosopher. It dealt with four areas: martial law, military jurisdiction, punishment of spies and deserters, and treatment of prisoners of war. It became a resource for later international treaties, the Hague Convention of 1907 Laws of War (Hague IV) October 18, 1907, and the Geneva Accords of 1954. Kunstler is an artist with experience in painting Civil War scenes and he had previoulsy painted Lincoln’s office, so this scene is accurate with regard to wallpaper, floor covering, gas lamp, table with books leaning against the table legs, garments worn by attendees, and facial images of those attendees.


Who are the people in the painting? Seated, left to right: Gideon Welles (Secretary of Navy, age 61 and slightly infirm), Francis Lieber (with pencil and paper taking notes, age 63), and President Abraham Lincoln, age 54; standing, left to right: William H. Seward (Secretary of State who ordered the creation of a board or commission to prepare a code, age 61), Salmon P. Chase (Secretary of Treasury who leans on the table and will answer the expected question of how much will it cost to publish and enforce this code, age 55), Joseph Holt (a Brigadier General not in uniform who is Judge Advocate General of the Army, and points toward a provision in the code document, age 56), Edwin Stanton (Secretary of War with his left hand at his coat collar, age 48), Ethan Allen Hitchcock (Major General in uniform who chaired the commission to draft the code, holding documents in his left hand, age 65 but appears younger in the painting), Edward Bates (Attorney General of the United States, the top legal officer in the administration, reading a document, age 69), Brigadier General Lorenzo Thomas (in uniform holding a book, Adjutant General of the Army, age 58), and Major General Henry Halleck (general in chief of the Army and also a lawyer, who identified professor Lieber as a person who should be consulted when considering a code of this nature, age 48).




Tet Vietnamese Celebration is Thursday Janaury 19, 2012 on campus at the International Cultural Center in the Hall of Nations 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. the food, cultural stories and activities are provided by the Vietnamese Student Association at Texas Tech. It’s free and exposes us to a southeast Asia culture we might know little about. Tet looks forward to the January 23, 2012 New Year which in 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, most auspicious indeed. For more information call 742-3742.








Arts History Update for late December 2011

25 Dec

Arts History Update for late December 2011 by David Cummins


On Friday November 18, 2011 the Clyfford Still Museum opened in Denver Colorado adjacent to the Denver Art Museum. It contains a large collection of work retained by his widow and estate, awaiting a museum built to commemorate his life 1904 – 1980 and his art. At a cost of $29 million the abstract expressionist will be influential indefinitely. Some of these works haven’t been seen by the public in thirty years.


Images of paintings follow: compare this Still painting with this photograph of Tower Falls in Yellowstone National Park in sub-freezing wintertime March 24, 2007 and you realize what Still and the photographer Steve Durbin saw in their minds and each captured as a moment in time within his art. Now we have both as visual images.


Clyfford Still, Row of Elevators (1928-1929) is an example of early work when he was a representational expressionist, but a decade later in Untitled No. 1 (1938) he was an abstract expressionist, and still later Indian Red and Black (1946) he is in full control as an abstract expressionist. The first and third of these paintings are in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the second painting is in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.




In this frantic season, who doesn’t need:


Patricia Monaghan & Eleanor Viereck, Meditation – The Complete Guide: Techniques from East and West to Calm the Mind, Heal the Body, and Enrich the Spirit (rev. ed. New World Library Nov. 1, 2011) $12.21 paperback at




For viewers of KTXT-TV channel 5 South Plains Public Television and listeners to KOHM-FM public radio, a formal merger is taking place now and the call letters will align effective January 15, 2012 as KTTZ-TV/FM. We are advised that the channel location and FM bandwidth location 89.1 will remain the same. Further, we are advised that PBS video programming and NPR radio programming will remain the same.


Is this what they call a new “handle”?




February 7, 2012 is the release date for an [as yet untitled] album of music by Paul McCartney and Diana Krall, singing covers of famous American tunes that inspired the former Beatle. We have no doubts about Krall but can Sir Paul still do it? This is one that requires listening online to two minutes of a tune before investing in the CD.



White is a contrast color like no other. Candy for your eyes is present in these twenty-five dazzling snow scenes on the Budget Travel magazine website:,8136/ Bryce Canyon Utah is such a majestic scene in any season, that white just adds to the effect.





Acclaim for an artist, however late, is always appreciated. Karin Lipson,BelatedAcclaim for an Artist with a Restless Sensibility, The New York Times, Dec. 16, 2011 tells us that Rafael Ferrer at age 78 is enjoying attention previously not accorded.


Retrospective exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, New York City June 8 – August 22, 2010


Current exhibition Rafael Ferrer: Contrabando at Guild Hall in East Hampton Long Island through January 16, 2012


Lancaster Museum of Art exhibition next Spring 2012 of works on paper


Monograph on the artist by Deborah Cullen to be published by UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press in 2012


The artist lives in the Village of Greenport New York on eastern Long Island and works from his back yard studio.





Update on the Comanches …………..


Pekka Hamalainen, The Comanche Empire (Yale Univ. Press 2008) Tech Library Reserve Collection E99.C85 H27 [translation of Reserve: you get to peruse it for two hours and then return it]


Comanche Ethnography: Field Notes of E. Adamson Hoebel, Waldo R. Wedel, Gustav G. Carlson, and Robert H. Lowie (compiled and edited by Thomas Kavanagh, Univ. of Nebraska Press 2008) Tech Library E99.C85 C473


Thomas W. Kavanagh, Comanche Political History: An Ethnohistorical Perspective, 1706 – 1875 (Univ of Nebraska Press 1996) Tech Library E99.C85 K39


Brian DeLay, War of a Thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the U.S. – Mexican War (Yale Univ. Press 2008) Tech Library F800.D45


S.C. Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History (Scribner 2010) Tech Library E99.C85 P3835 Lubbock Public Library Adult Non-Fiction 978.00497 GWYN Forty-three minute video interview of Samuel C. Gwynne at 2010 Texas Book Festival is


A more complex and historically accurate perspective on Comanches is revealed by the first four works, while journalist Samuel Gwynne focuses more on the bellicose barbarism of Comanches in general and Quanah Parker in particular, the grain of the popular mill respecting those Indians who stood in the way of Anglo expansion into Central and West Texas. Roger Hodge, Hunter-Capitalists, London Review of Books, Dec. 15, 2011 at pp 28-30 places the Comanches into a broader context of native peoples and their culture and environment. Comanche Nation of Oklahoma is the tribal website perspective. Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center is located at 701 NW Ferris Avenue Lawton Oklahoma. is a 1905 photograph of Quanah Parker with three of his wives, a son, and a baby on a cradleboard


A more narrow view is revealed by popular movies:


Last of the Comanches (1953), The Searchers (1956) based on a novel by Alan Le May in which Natalie Wood portrays Cynthia Ann Parker as an adult and her younger sister Lana Wood portrays her as a youngster, while John Wayne plays Uncle Parker who searched comancheria lands for his abducted niece, The Comancheros (1961), Comanche Moon (2008) television series screenplay by Diana Ossana based on the 1997 novel by Larry McMurtry within the Lonesome Dove Saga, Comanche Station (1960), Gunfight at Comanche Creek (1963), Rio Hondo (1968) a/k/a White Comanche, A Thunder of Drums (1961), Two Rode Together (1961) synopsis: The U.S. Army is under pressure from the desperate relatives of white prisoners of the Comanches to secure their return, reminding us of the fate of Cynthia Ann Parker abducted from Parker’s Fort east of modern Waco in 1836 just months after Houston’s defeat of Mexican General Santa Anna and the birth of the Texas Republic. Linda Cristal played the role of Elena de la Madriaga who said:


Elena de la Madriaga: Ladies and gentleman, it seems like if the only embarrassment here tonight is my presence, if the truth will quiet your unspoken questions, I give it gladly. For five years, I was the woman of the Comanche Stone Calf. He treated me like a wife. The work was hard, the scoldings frequent. And occasionally he beat me. I did not bear him any children. I know that many of you regard me as a degraded woman. Degraded by the touch of a savage Comanche, by having had to live as one of them. You said, why did I not kill myself. I did not. Why, I, I can’t.


Marshal Guthrie McCabe, played by James Stewart, said: Well I as hell can. She didn’t kill herself because her religion forbids it. You know sometimes it takes a lot more courage to live than it does to die.


Frank S. Nugent wrote the screenplay including the above conversation.


Novels abound:


Lucia St Clair Robson, Ride the Wind: the Story of Cynthia Ann Parker and the Last Days of the Comanche (Ballantine Books 1982) Southwest Collection Library TEX 33 P238 R667


Arthur Japin, De Overgrave (The Surrender in English) (De Arbeiderspers 2007) a historical novel not yet translated from the Dutch about the Parker family settlement at Fort Parker and its being overrun by Comanche in 1836


Douglas C. Jones, Season of Yellow Leaf (Henry Holt & Co 1983) another story about Cynthia Ann Parker Tech Library PS3560.O478 S4.


First person accounts are moving:


Caroline Harris, History of the Captivity and providential release therefrom of Mrs. Caroline Harris, wife of the late Mr. Richard Harris, of Franklin County New York who with Mrs. Clarissa Plummer, wife of Mr. James Plummer were in the Spring of 1835 (with their unfortunate husbands) taken prisoners by the Comanche Tribe of Indians while emigrating from said Franklin County to Texas (Perry and Cooke 1838) Ohio Historical Society Vault – Corral Use Only, OCLC No. ocm27803635


Rachael Parker Plummer, Narrative of the capture and subsequent sufferings of Mrs. Rachael Plummer during a captivity of twenty-one months among the Comanche Indians; with a sketch of their manners, customs, laws and with a short description of the country over which she traveled whilst with the Indians (1838) (republished Texan Press 1968) a pregnant Mrs. Plummer was captured at Parker’s Fort in 1836 along with Cynthia Ann Parker. Mrs. Plummer died in 1839 shortly after relating her story.


Herman Lehmann, Nine Years Among the Indians, 1870-1879: The Story of the Captivity and Life of a Texan Among the Indians (ed. J. Marvin Hunter, Von Boeckmann-Jones 1927) (A New Look by Garland Perry and Kitti Focke, Lebco Graphics 1985) Tech Southwest Collection 45.1L523N714


Scott Zesch, The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier (St Martin’s Press 2004) Tech Library E87.K76 Z47


At an earlier time we assumed the history was told accurately by:


Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel, The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains (Univ of Oklahoma Press 1952) Tech Library E99.C85 W3


T.R. Fehrenbach, Comanches: The Destruction of a People (Knopf 1974) Tech Southwest Collection 28.3C728F296 republished as Comanches: The History of a People (Anchor Books 2003)


William T. Hagan, Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief (Univ of Oklahoma Press 1993) Tech Southwest Collection TEX 33 P242 H114 Q1


Bill Neeley, Quanah Parker and His People (Brazos Press 1986) Tech Southwest Collection TEX 33 P242 N379


Bill Neeley, The Last Comanche Chief: the life and times of Quanah Parker (John Wiley 1995) (republished 2009) Tech Library E99.C85 P385




The tale of the Comanches is meaningful in part by reason of the Anglo debt to their predecessors on the land that was once Comancheria. William A. Owens, This Stubborn Soil (Scribner 1966) [actually completed in 1947 but thought to be unpublishable until the writer became better known] told the story of blackland prairie cotton farming settlements in northeast rural Texas. As a boy “my toys were the dirt, and a stick to dig the dirt. No one could live closer to the earth than I did. I dug the sand, I rolled in it, I covered myself with it. Before my first year had passed I had eaten the peck of dirt everyone is entitled to. I had learned the feel, the smell, the taste of earth.” Tech Library F392.L36 O9. Owens continued the story with A Season of Weathering (Scribner 1973) Southwest Collection TEX 33 O97 S439 a spiritual autobiography without religiosity, the topic being the human spirit or a humanistic imagination yoked to the land. Such people stood as tall as the Comanche and became worthy successors.



Arts History Update for just past mid December 2011

18 Dec

Arts History Update for just past mid December 2011 by David Cummins


Want to hear an hour’s worth of Christmas style jazz, really cool jazz? National Public Radio has it online for you from its December 13, 2010 show Listen Now: A Jazz Piano Christmas recorded from a live concert at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC.




The wheels of justice sometimes grind exceedingly slowly, but Yugoslavia seems to be an extreme sluggard. The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, created by the UN Security Council does not want to see any more cases of an indicted person dying in the detention unit awaiting trial and either acquittal or conviction. That’s what happened to Slobodan Milosevic who had a heart attack and died in 2006 during one of the many recesses in his trial.


Ratko Mladic, former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, is accused of genocide and a variety of crimes against Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats, and other non-Serbian Bosnians and Herzegovinans from May 1992 to late 1995. He was in hiding for some years but then lived openly under the protection of the government in Serbia. Finally, that ended in May 2011 when the newest Serbian leadership decided to be cooperative with other nations on the planet. It arrested Mladic and turned him over to ICTY on May 31, 2011 which placed him into the UN Detention Unit in The Hague. He sternly refused to be questioned and refused to respond to formal accusations. That all changed Thursday December 8, 2011 when he pled not guilty in an arraignment proceeding. The court set the case for trial to begin on March 27, 2012, and set pre-trial conference proceedings for just before that date. Already defense counsel has advised that they cannot meet such early deadlines for preparation of a defense, so the court is on notice that the defense will later move for deferral of trial.


Many observers think that a trial for genocide could take many months, possibly years, and delays could stretch a long trial into an unending trial. No one wins then.


What will life in the detention unit be like? Since it’s confinement, not incarceration after a conviction, it’s relatively comfortable with many privileges for a confined person. But it is a separate unit within a Dutch penitentiary. Many confined persons have asked for release into the civilian sector in The Netherlands, but that isn’t likely to be granted to Mladic who hid out and evaded arrest for years.




Keeping track of current cultural entrapments of our emotions, St. Louis Cardinal baseball player Albert Pujols followed the money to the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim for a ten year $254 million deal. In baseball’s value system he’s worth every penny, but what about art? This means the ten foot high bronze statuary by Harry Weber installed just a month ago out front of Pujols 5 Grill in the West Port Plaza district of St Louis. Here’s an image of the dedication of the statuary with the honoree at the podium. Pujols spent eleven years playing baseball in St Louis and was three times National League Most Valuable Player and led the Cardinals to World Series appearances and two crowns. Some say thousands of babies born in St Louis in the last decade bear the name Albert in his honor. The restaurant operators set up a security guard outside to avoid desecration of the statuary by disappointed fans with adolescent “acting out” proclivities.


The statuary bronze is owned by Pujols Family Foundation which has a 24 inch maquette in bronze available for purchase at $7,500. Prints of the sketch as basis for the statuary have been sold out once at $250, but another printing will soon appear. Non-fans may wonder about the 5 in Pujols 5 Grill, and not realize that Albert’s uniform bore that number which likely will be retired as a number for Cardinal uniforms in the future. Non-fans may ask why his arms are raised to the sky, but this was his stance as he left home plate watching his struck ball fly out of the playing field for a home run. Pujols is a heavy-hitting first baseman.


If baseball is still our National Pastime we need to know what makes us cry out in happiness and shed tears of regret, especially when we lose a member of our sports family. The bronze Pujols will remain in the vicinage where it was earned and it’s an excellent work of art. Drop by if you’re in The Gateway to the West city. Gateway Arch is the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial commemorating his commission of the Meriwether Lewis and William Clark expedition that kicked off at St Louis and returned there 1804 -1806. The Corps of Discovery expedition was preceded by President Jefferson’s guiding through the U.S. Senate of his grand plan The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 a National Archives account.

Note bene: National Archives is of course located in Washington DC but it has associated and publicly usable branches strategically located around the United States, in our case in Fort Worth Texas at 2600 West 7th Street, Suite 162 for microfilm research and at 1400 John Burgess Drive for textual research and for federal records center perusal


—————- is Princeton University Press’s new book The First Pop Age: Painting and Subjectivity in the Art of Hamilton, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Richter, and Ruscha by Hal Foster. It looks wonderful. Texas Tech Library ND196.P64 F67 here’s an essay by Foster on the topic to give you an idea of what’s in the book or perhaps just read the essay and skip the book.





Here’s another new book: Richard Polsky, The Art Prophets: The Artists, Dealers, and Tastemakers Who Shook the Art World (Random House 2011) the perspective is on late twentieth century people. Texas Tech Library New Books Area N5201.P65




On December 12, 2011 John Russell Thomasson showed a dozen of his latest paintings at a soiree in the Texas Tech Club. He painted a view of Jones AT&T Stadium with the campus in the background, just as one views it from the Club, and donated it to the Club. It hangs near the fourth floor entrance. J.R. Thomasson & Associates Special Effects Art is located at 5531 Woodrow Road Lubbock 79424 scroll through the gallery and recall that you’ve been to Caprock Cafe on 34th Street and sat nearby the 3D Crop Duster mural and Indian Ping Pong mural. And you’ve been to the International Cultural Center and viewed the Peoples of the World mural in the entrance way to the Hall of Nations. John Russell is a 1971 graduate of Texas Tech and enjoys depicting the special ebullience of all things Red Raider. In the illustration category the website gallery shows us Chancellor Kent Hance dragging along the Good Ship Texas Tech in a Gilbert & Sullivan style.





As of December 15, 2011 the War in Iraq is over. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared in Baghdad and a formal ceremony took place “casing” the flag of the United States of America and the flag of United States Forces – Iraq. The March 2003 invasion “to protect against weapons of mass destruction being used against the USA or its treaty allies”, was followed by a series of new and revised mission statements of Bush Administration intentions, purposes, and goals. There was so much political rhetoric that an objective description of why the Iraq War was started and maintained for nearly nine years, rests with historians who will over time interpret facts, and multiple understandings and realities.


Even the cost of the war, personal economic and political can’t be objectivley stated since the reports of dead, wounded, and expenditures have shifted and are internally inconsistent. One of the saddest casualties in this War is the inability of Americans to believe our own government’s reports to the public to whom it is supposedly accountable.


One thing is certain. Members of our Armed Forces performed admirably and heroically under very difficult circumstances. As a retired member I am so very proud of them and their service and will continue to demand of our government the active support of our veterans, especially those who suffer physical or psychological disabilities but want to live undisabled lives.





“All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost.” — John Ronald Reuel Tolkein 1892 -1973




Jennidawn Fox and Courtney Roper, local artists, co-founded Third Thursday Art Show at The Buzz Coffee & Wine Bar 606 West Loop 289 on the frontage road heading south, an intimate bistro venue for viewing art and meeting artists while enjoying a libation or delicacy. To support this concept, the next show is Thursday January 19, 2012 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Jennidawn is a Slaton wire, beads, fabric and clay artist. They welcome additional artists to join their small group of artists committed to showing at this venue.


Tiffany and Tony Rubio are owners of this new venue email contact and the art show contact is




I just read A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman (1973) a short story by Margaret Drabble, the title story in A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2011). By age 72, she has written so much and so well that she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire CBE in 1980 and promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire DBE in 2008. In 1982 she married Sir Michael Holroyd so Dame Margaret may also be addressed as Lady Holroyd. Drabble was editor of the fifth edition 1985 and sixth edition 2000 of The Oxford Companion to English Literature.


Her younger sister is the art historian Helen Langdon who is an author of works on masterpiece painters. Her older sister is Antonia Susan Byatt, more commonly known as the writer, biographer and critic A.S. Byatt Charles Rayner Byatt was Antonia’s first husband, and she kept his surname although she is married to Peter John Duffy and known locally as Antonia Susan Duffy. A.S. Byatt won the Man Booker Prize for Possession. She was made CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.


The three Drabble sisters’ brother is Richard Drabble, Queen’s Counsel. Talent abounds with these siblings. Their father was a Queen’s Counsel.














Arts History Update for mid December 2011

9 Dec

Arts History Update for mid December 2011 by David Cummins


One of the largest figures in Western occultism is Aleister Crowley 1875-1947 Born into a wealthy family and receiving a first class education at Cambridge, he became a linguist, poet, mountaineer, foreign traveler extraordinaire, chess master, spy for British Intelligence, experimenter with drugs including opium, cocaine, hashish, cannabis, and peyote/mescaline, but he was best known for his esoteric mysticism and performance of magic which he called magick. He founded or extended numerous organizations devoted to the occult. He named himself The Great Beast 666, referring to the biblical Book of Revelation, and when he was said by the press to be the “wickedest man in the world” he wore that phrase and repeated it as a badge of honor or sobriquet. He loved being a libertine and flounting it “do what thou wilt” was his credo, for public notice and abhorrence. He published numerous books including The Book of the Law which he said he “received” from a Guardian Angel and all he did was to receive the dictation and write it down as an exercise in “automatic writing” in 1904. It formed the basis for his new religious and spiritual philosophy of Thelema which he introduced in 1907. You may read many of his works at


Crowley must have been Timothy Leary’s model at Harvard but Leary is small peanuts relative to Crowley who is said by British pollsters to still be the third most well-known illustrious figure in the minds of Britons. He seemed to do and say everything and the British press’s following of him would fill many warehouses.


I think the English pot as black as the German kettle, and I am still willing to die in defense of that pot. Mine is the loyalty of Bill Syke’s dog … the fact that he starves me and beats me doesn’t alter the fact that I am his dog, and I love him” Confessions, page 10 referring to his pre-WWII spy activity and the risks he took to gain information for the Admiralty.


He liked to use initials as a form of code so that insiders would know what was being referenced, and outsiders would be irritated. A.’ A.’ was really the Argentum Astrum of the Silver Star, an organization he founded as a successor order to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. words can be unfamiliar to us and so they capture our imagination as something esoteric and beyond our reality. It needn’t be so. Argentum in chemistry is the Latin term for silver and its symbol is Ag. It is basically an obsolete term for silver. Astrum refers to the location of observable celestial bodies, so argentum astrum is another way of saying silver star, so Argentum Astrum of the Silver Star is a repetitive phrase.


O.T.O. was Ordo Templi Orientis [order of the temple of the east] of which Crowley was the Templi Magister [master of the temple or chief officer]. It is a fraternal and religious organization used for spreading the principles of Thelema. The Eclesia Gnostica Catholica [Gnostic Catholic Church] became the ecclesiastical arm of the Order and its central rite was the Gnostic Mass. Crowley had composed a version of the Gnostic Mass while in Moscow Russia in 1913. Crowley adopted organizations, used them for his purposes, and went on. This is an example. O.T.O was founded by an Austrian, adopted by Crowley, and he later went on. The Gnostic Catholic Church in the United States bears little resemblance to anything Crowley was involved with. Contemporary O.T.O. United States Grand Lodge may be found at See its own statement of its history at Crowley’s legacy is within but these organizations have gone on beyond his activities just as he went on beyond them.


Richard Spence, Special Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult (Feral House 2008) Texas Tech Library UB271.G72 C76


Richard Kaczynski, Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley – the Definitive Biography of the Founder of Modern Magick (North Atlantic Books 2011) in 1898 Crowley was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and in that ceremony he took the motto and name of Frater [brother] Perdurabo meaning “I shall endure to the end”.


Colin Wilson, Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast (1987) reissued (Aquarian Press 1993) reissued (Aeon Books 2007)


Sandy Robertson, Aleister Crowley Scrapbook (Samuel Weiser Books 1998)


Israel Regardie, Eye in the Triangle (New Falcon Pub. 1993)


Gerald Suster, The Legacy of the Beast: The Life, Work, and Influence of Aleister Crowley (Red Wheel / Weiser 1989)


John Symonds, King of the Shadow Realm: Aleister Crowley His Life and Magic (Ducksworth Pub. 1989)


John Symonds, The Great Beast: The Life of Aleister Crowley (Rider Press 1951)


Aleister Crowley: The Beast 666 (2007) documentary film by director Donna Zucherbrot


Masters of Darkness: Aleister Crowley – The Wickedest Man in the World (2002) documentary film by director Neil Rawles


Chemical Wedding (2008) movie directed by Julian Doyle, plot is reincarnation of Aleister Crowley


Crowley (1987) directed by Ricardo Islas, a Uruguayan film in Spanish


Abbey of Thelema (2007) movie based on the the short-lived Thelemic commune in Cefalu Sicily near Palermo from 1920 -1923, directed by J. Grimm and Vincent Jennings


Crowley’s writings have been made into movies; e.g. The Rite of Mercury: A Rock Opera (2010); The Rite of Venus: A Rock Opera (2008); and The Rite of Luna: A Rock Opera (2006)


An easy way to access the mind of this unusual individual is to read his short fiction; to-wit: Aleister Crowley, The Drug and Other Short Stories (Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural) (Wordsworth Editions 2010) $7.99 at There are 49 stories within the 624 pages, nineteen of which were never published in his lifetime. Downloadable free online at is The Stratagem and Other Stories (Mandrake Press 1929).


You can tell an author is significant if his work is being published more than a half century after he died. A great many people will not want to delve into this area of thought, but if you do want to explore, it might as well be with a master who is emulated and imitated.




Saint-Germain-des-Pres is an area within the sixth arrondisement of Paris France. The oldest church in Paris is the St-Germain-des-Pres built by a Merovingian king in 542 and rebuilt in the 11th century and 19th century and again in the 1990s. It contains the burial remains of Merovingian nobility. After WWII this area was for a time the city’s intellectual capital frequented by Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Juliette Greco, Albert Camus and Boris Vian inter alia.


Boris Vian 1920 – 1959 was a writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. A retrospective exhibiiton of his life work is ongoing through January 15, 2012 at the National Library of France Vian adopted an authorial psuedonym Vernon Sullivan casting the author as an American Black writer, and the content of four novels was set in the United States although Vian never had set foot there. I Shall Spit on Your Graves, The Dead All Have the Same Skin, And One Shall Kill All the Dreadful Ones, and They Do Not Realize. French authorities were not fooled, and since French literary publication standards were violated Vian was fined and censured. Few of his works were translated into English but five were. One of those is Foam of the Daze (transl. Brian Harper, TamTamBooks 2003) which is elsewhere referred to as Foam of the Days, Froth on the Daydream, and Mood Indigo. The French title is L’Ecume des jours. Another is Heartsnatcher (transl. Stanley Chapman, Dalkey Archive Press 2003). You can read it online at


His songs were artfully written and covered by many artists. He wrote reviews of jazz performances in Le Jazz Hot, and in Paris Jazz. He was the Paris liaison for visiting jazz artists like Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. His anti-war song Le Deserteur (The Deserter) (1954) was very popular but it was written and performed during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu so French authorities censured him and prohibited publication and performance of it until lifting the ban in 1962. It was picked up and performed in the United States by Joan Baez during the Vietnam War.




Some of you have noticed that I’m referencing books a great deal, and by now you know that I mostly read parts of books rather than the entire book, since I’m an information or item hunter reading as a research exercise to get at the kernel of something. It’s a holdover from law professoring and lawyering where one wants to know things on a need to know basis, skipping the larger tome and grand design while capturing the currently useful smaller item. “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” Samuel Clemens, pen name Mark Twain. He also said: “the man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them”. There’s a good and bad way to interpret that, and I prefer the good, exhorting us to be opportunistic and use our skills and talents rather than letting them atrophy. He might approve, since he also said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowliness. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”




With an amazingly late Fall this year, and exhaustion all around from the long hot extended Summer and drought, we enjoy this time ……. the ingathering of fallen leaves. Whether for use as composting or immediate mulching, or for disposal, the process encourages our reflection on nature and cycles. Leaning into the task I felt guilty for already anticipating frondescence. It is a sweet anticipation and I often call the arborist after leaves are taken care of so that he can prune and trim and set up for deep feeding my valued mature trees, especially the ones who like myself are well past sell-by date.


Texans may not realize that in northern climes there is no putting forth of leaves and blossoms in late February or even March, one awaits April at the earliest. The mythical Lake Wobegon is still frozen, and talk of cherry blossom festivals only raises hackles and irritation at the delicateness of people living elsewhere not by choice surely but of necessity, unable to endure in our northern task-ridden societies. Then we stop the angst when we realize the Inuit [Eskimo or first nation people] above us, much above us, are the real hardy warriors and we ourselves are delicate by comparison. Northern people seem unable to accept more than a moment of undeserved superiority. Then it’s right back to hardiness and survival, never to be taken lightly or foolishly deferred.


As a recent arrival in Texas I smile when the wind changes from prevailing southwesterly to northerly straight off the front range in Colorado, sweeping down into the Texas Panhandle. The ‘blue norther” seems to me like normal life in north Idaho, not that I want to return and refocus on survival. We thrive at our latitude especially west of the 100th meridian so as to avoid the DFW Metroplex and its legion of frantic souls. I am retired and enjoying desuetude in a civilized place that accepts a slower pace. I am the burnished brown leaf still affixed on the branch. The frondescence are future generations.




Texas State Historical Association tells us that Blackwater Draw and Yellow House Draw merge at Mackenzie Park in Lubbock, forming the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River, and the mouth of Yellow House Canyon extending to the southeast. At that point and farther to the southeast at Buffalo Springs, Lake Ransom Canyon, and the widening area north of Slaton it is acknowledged and referred to by most people as Yellow House Canyon.


Lubbock Lake Landmark is situated in Yellow House Draw which rises in Bailey County south of Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge and passes through Cochran County, Hockley County, the cities of Anton and Shallowater, and Lubbock County before it merges with Blackwater Draw. is Yellow House Draw Watershed mapped by Environmental Protection Agency showing that it extends from eastern New Mexico southwest of Portales.


Blackwater Draw rises in Curry County New Mexico and passes through Bailey County, the city of Muleshoe, Lamb County, southwest Hale County, and Lubbock County before it merges with Yellow House Draw at Mackenzie Park. It is Running Water draw that passes through the city of Plainview, not Blackwater Draw. The Blackwater Draw Museum is on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University at Portales and documents and records the Clovis Man pleistocene culture of some 11,000 years ago. Blackwater Draw Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History at Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The Jim Bertram Lake System Regional Park, commonly known as Canyon Lakes, is comprised of six lakes, the first two are sited in Yellow House Draw and the last four in Yellow House Canyon on the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. Lake # 1 is Buddy Holly Recreation Area Lake west of North University Avenue, Lake # 2 is Llano Estacado Lake east of North University Avenue and Cesar Chavez Drive, Lakes # 3 – 5 are water features in Mackenzie Park, and Lake # 6 is Dunbar Historical Lake east of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Proposed lake # 7 would have been west of Buffalo Springs and proposed lake # 8 would have been east of Buffalo Springs, but they were skotched in 2007 – 2009. Most people refer to the entire area as Canyon Lakes and do not mention Jim Bertram, a retired visionary city employee and director of planning who resides on the lake at Ransom Canyon. Neither do people normally differentiate between the two draws with no surface water. When they see water they give it a name North Fork of Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River and when they see a dam and reservoir they call it a lake.


The main stream of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River rises southeast of Tahoka in Lynn County where there is a break in the Caprock Escarpment known as Double Mountain Canyon, and the Fork flows southeasterly joining up with the North Fork near Clairemont, and the Double Mountain Fork and Salt Fork merge near Aspermont to form the Brazos River that commences its 840 mile passage through Texas into the Gulf of Mexico. Walking the Brazos River watershed will take you across many fences and deep into trespass status looking down the barrel of shotguns, so it’s not recommended. It is fun near one of the towns to step into Yellow House Draw or Blackwater Draw and let your imagination soar. These draws long long ago were surface streams with all the habitat and activity that suggests.


High Plains drainage down draws, small canyons at the gentle breaks in the Caprock Escarpment, canyons at the 300 foot breaks to depart the Caprock Escarpment and enter the Rolling Plains, yielding a major river flowing onward through the Grand Prairie Hill Region and finally meandering through the Coastal Region …… the story of the Brazos tells much of the story of Texas.







Alva Noe, Art and the Limits of Neuroscience, New York Times, Dec. 4, 2011 is a fascinating article. Noe is a philosopher at City University of New York Graduate Center arriving in Fall 2011 from a professorship at University of California at Berkeley, and the author of Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness (Hill and Wang 2009) paperback in 2010 is $10.09 at Texas Tech Library QP411.N599


Medical and scientific research are routinely conducted on live human brains, and much has and will be learned to assist people who suffer from neurological phenomena that reduces the quality of their lives. We are learning what happens inside the brain while we are busy living our lives, and distinguishing brain activity depending upon and relative to what stimulates the brain. At Texas Tech University Professor Yi-Yuan Tang has just been named Director of a new Neuroimaging Institute and awarded a Presidential Endowed Chair in Neuroscience. He performs functional MRIs to examine brain connectivity in cognitive tasks.


The beat generation and their psycho-active drug usage created consciousness responses but those were never able to be replicated or managed so as to gain positive affectation after the drug wore off …. just wilfull self-delusion and justification for radicalization by continuing drug usage if for no other reason than that society prohibited it and did not experience consciousness recognition on demand.


For conservative folk like myself, drug usage at such a newbie level is dangerous and has yielded horrible psychological and physical consequences down the road for some users. Noe reminds us that while our brains are constructed in ways that are similar for all humans, and its receptors can be stimulated at will, the consciousness responses are not similar for groups of humans. We are not our brains, we are our persona. We could also say we are not any of our organs, we are our persona. Consciousness-rising can occur without use of psycho-active drugs; e.g. by meditation, and we would all do well and wisely not to engage in recreational brain stimulation either electronically or pharmaceutically. Let’s save our brains for future usage, and especially encourage youth to do so since they have so much more future ahead of them.


The brain is one of our organs. Our mind is something else entirely, part of our persona. What we are each conscious of, and not conscious of, differs widely. Improving or expanding our consciousness is salutary but doing it slowly by reflection and aesthetic recognition is risk-free and does not endanger any organ of our body. That is the sort of stimulation I would encourage for you and me, amateurs when it comes to our protoplasms.




Francis Haines, Appaloosa: the Spotted Horse in Art and History (Caballus Publishers 1963 for the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art republished by University of Texas Press) Texas Tech Southwest Collection 26.3 H817 H153

History: The Appaloosa breed was originally bred in the inland northwest of America by the Nez Perce Indians. Before the horse had been introduced to them, the Nez Perce were sedentary fishermen.

The horses changed The Nez Perce’s culture forever. The horses enabled them to hunt buffalo easily, and the Nez Perce soon became known throughout the Northwest for their hunting skills and craftsmanship. These new found skills allowed the Nez Perce to trade for goods and services. 

The Nez Perce became excellent horsemen as well as the only Native Americans known to selectively breed their horses. The horses were bred to be strong, fast, sure footed, and intelligent mounts. A short mane and tail was bred into the horses so that they could not easily be caught in brush.

Meriwether Lewis wrote the following of the Nez Perce’s horses, in his diary on Feb. 15, 1806 : “Their horses appear to be of an excellent race; they are lofty, eligantly [sic] formed, active and durable…some of these horses are pided [sic] with large spots of white irregularly scattered andintermixed with black, brown, bey [sic] or some other dark color.”  A pied horse is a horse having patches of two or more colors.

In the mid-1800s, settlers came to Nez Perce lands. The Treaty of 1863 was broken by settlers and the U.S. Government almost to the day of its making. The Nez Perce War of 1877 began when some of the Nez Perce rebelled against successor treaties imposed by the settlers to justify their self-aggrandizement.

When Chief Joseph surrendered in Montana in 1877, the Army confiscated most of the horses. The horses were then indiscriminately bred, and many of their unique traits were lost or severely diluted.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, because of their use in round ups and rodeos, people became more interested in the Appaloosa breed.

The Appaloosa horse club was established in 1938 by a wheat farmer named Claude Thompson, who realized the importance of preserving the Appaloosa Breed. The Appaloosa Horse club has since grown into one of the leading equine breed registries. There are currently over 600,000 Appaloosa horses registered with the ApHC.

The Nez Perce never referred to their horses as ‘Appaloosas’. The name Appaloosa comes either from the Palouse River, along which the horses were abundant, or from the Palouse tribe, whose main village was on the Palouse River. The Palouse River flows through eastern Washington and north Idaho.

Settlers first referred to the horses as ‘A Palouse Horse,’ which was soon shortened to ‘Appalousey.’ The name Appaloosa was made official in 1938.

On March 25, 1975, the Appaloosa was named Idaho’s State horse.

Colors: The Appaloosa Horse Club describes five basic coat patterns: Leopard — Large dark spots completely covering a white body, Snowflake — a dark body with light spots or speckles, Marble — A light coat covered in small dark speckles, Frost– A dark coat covered in small light speckles, and Blanket — White on hips and/or loins. Darker spots may or may not appear on the white blanket. However, some appaloosa’s are ‘solid,’meaning that they do not have any coat pattern. 

Height: 14.2hh upwards

Uses: Appaloosas are a light breed used for showing and riding. Today they are used in a wide variety of sports, from rodeo and trail riding, to jumping, showing, and endurance riding.el

The above Reply ForwardSpamMovePri

The above comes from The Utimate Horse Site click on horse breeds, then click on The Appaloosa Horse Breed.


I have trekked around Nez Perce lands, battle sites, locations where they interacted with settlers such as the Henry Harmon Spalding site where Lapwai Creek runs into the Clearwater River. It was at that location where the first Anglo child Eliza Spalding was born in Idaho on November 15, 1837. Cornelius James Brosnan, History of the State of Idaho (Charles Scribner’s Sons 1918) at p. 74. You can read it online at Today the Nez Perce National Historical Park is located a few hundred yards from the Spalding site and one can picnic on the grounds while the Clearwater River flows by. The museum [Visitor Center] is excellent. I’ve also spent time on the nearby Lapwai Reservation once operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and more recently and currently by the Nez Perce Tribe


The Appaloosa Museum is located in Moscow Idaho forty-five miles north in the heart of Palouse country. It is thought that the Pueblo Revolt in 1680 in the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico, New Spain led to Spaniards fleeing and Pueblo Indians took over sheep and other Spanish property but immediately traded the un-needed horses to Plains Indians. Horses were traded onward to Shoshone Indians in southern Idaho who traded them to Nez Perce in northern Idaho in the early 18th century. By 1750 the Nez Perce were skilled horsemen.


Bill Holm, Nez Perce Scout (1951) is a painting depicting a scout sitting on an Appaloosa horse.


Today the University of Idaho Extension Program and the Nez Perce Tribe cooperate in operating a horsemanship program based at Lapwai Idaho to insure that the skills of the current tribe rise to the level of their forbears.




I’ve spent quality time in Sligo Ireland and recommend it highly. The Model is its contemporary arts centre and the current exhibit December 10 – February 12, 2012 is Isabelle Nolan: A hole into the future. This piece is titled A Better Life (2009) multi-media sculpture, balsa, jesmonite, toughened glass, and paint. Nolan is an Irish sculptor from Dublin and rising fast in international art circles. Another piece is Colourhole (2011) comprised of steel, cotton, wool, embroidery yarn and thread. Both are gorgeous.


One doesn’t travel in Sligo more than a block without being reminded that this is Yeats Country. John Butler Yeats had six children, but two are irrevocably associated with Sligo, Mrs. Yeats’ [nee Susan Pollexfen] family home at which all the children spent Summers and Jack Butler Yeats, the artist, grew up cared for by his maternal grandparents. see his art works Yeats Society Sligo was founded in 1958 to commemorate and honor the memory of William Butler Yeats, Jack’s older brother. Drop into the Yeats Memorial Building overlooking the River Garavogue It is home to Yeats Society Sligo and the Yeats Art Gallery.


Just a few miles east of town is Lough Gill [in English Lake of Light] in which there is an islet Innisfree that William Butler Yeats made famous by his poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree (1888). The Ursuline Sisters at St. Angela’s College on the lake kindly allowed me to take out one of its rowboats to row to the islet and read [aloud] to myself and to clouds overhead The Lake Isle of Innisfree. It was a transformative event in this meanderer’s life.


St Columba’s Anglican Church in Drumcliffe just outside Sligo, where his great uncle was once rector, is the site of W. B. Yeats’s grave and standing stone inscribed: “Cast a cold eye on Life, on Death. Horseman pass by. W.B. Yeats” Columba founded a monastery in Drumcliffe in the year 574 CE. Portions of the ancient High Cross and Round Tower remain as admired ruins adjacent to the church. Yes, I visited here also.




Quanah Parker Trail in West Texas. Dedication of three more [out of eleven so far] giant arrow sculptures, commemorating sites in West Texas associated with the life and larger than life legend of Quanah Parker, take place on Wednesday December 14 at Seagraves 9:30 a.m. Denver City 10:30 a.m. and Seminole at noon. The sculptor is Charles Smith of New Home. Descendants of Quanah Parker have participated in some of the dedications so these are intercultural events and the artistry of the arrows is a cultural marker. This is functional art and an entry into the lives of Native Americans in the land we call home, at an earlier time when they called it home. Some still call it home and share it with us.





Arts History Update for just before mid December 2011

3 Dec

Arts History Update for just before mid December 2011 by David Cummins


Thieves are among us at our culture points. Penguin Publishing in Britain just announced that its availability of digital titles for lending at public and private libraries will cease, and it advised that distributors of Penguin e Books had been contractually required to keep their lending items behind firewalls but were not doing so. What this means is that hackers, not reading folks with a library card, were accessing and downloading the titles, selling them off and pocketing 100% of the proceeds; to-wit: stealing.


From an intellectual property perspective, authors publishers and booksellers want to get paid for what they do. The set up allows for a small quantity of e Books to be available for lending, and each actually borrowed item is reflected to the author and publisher as a mini-sale yielding a mini-royalty return to the author. Readership by lenders helps to stoke the purchasing market and keep the book alive in that market. It’s a question of balance. That’s why you may have noticed that when you went to check out an e Book from a public library, that you sometimes have to wait until other people’s borrowings have expired. That system maintains the balance and the quantity of lend-able items is at the agreed level at any given moment in time.


What has happened recently in Britain is that many more of the digital books have gone missing and aren’t accounted for. They’ve reappeared in the secondary market as sale items, bypassing the author publisher and commercial bookseller who are all irritated. When the publishers and e Book distributors have this sorted out and better security and controls are in place, it’s likely that Penguin will reintroduce borrowable e Books.


In the United States the largest distributor of borrowable digital items through libraries is OverDrive. You can bet that it’s working overtime at the moment to track each of the digital items it’s received from all its cooperating publishers and to ramp up its security system so that everyone is assured that no digital items have gone or will go missing. If slippage has occurred, stop the leak and protect against future leakage.




Who do writers and artists befriend? Other writers and artists, of course. The Company They Kept, Volume Two: Writers on Unforgettable Friendships (ed. Robert B. Silvers, New York Review of Books Collections Series Nov. 15, 2011) is available for $ 17.21 twenty-seven accounts of relationships by the participants. The first volume The Company They Kept: Writers on Unforgettable Friendships (eds. Robert B. Silvers & Barbara Epstein, New York Review of Books Collections Series Sept. 1, 2009) $14.96 we can be a fly on the wall to stimulating, inspiring and sometimes vexing relationships, perhaps even encouraging us to create some. Silvers is age 86 and Epstein was deceased at age 78, so assembling these recollections by singular writers was a way of writing the editors’ autobiographical stellar moments of enjoyment. They share with us.




Texas defeated Texas A&M 27-25 on November 24, 2011and miffed conference-switching Aggie leaders have refused to commit to future Thanksgiving Day traditional cross-state football games with the Longhorns, proving that the game isn’t about the fans and the players but about disjointed noses in board rooms. Septoplasties all around guys.



Want to audit a Landscape Architecture class in Spring Semester 2012? Here’s an opportunity. “The Llano Estacado: Cultural Landscapes, Climate Change, and Critical Regionalism” LARC 4001-002 Mondays and Wednesdays 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. English/Philosophy Building Room 164. Two assistant professors conduct the class; viz., Patricia Westbrook and Larry Sullivan but you may expect guest lecturers. This class is available for non-majors in landscape architecture so that is a clue that the class will not be beyond the grasp of an auditor


Here are the rules scalped from a Texas Tech website: Enrollment Without Credit. Persons who wish to audit a course for no grade must obtain written permission from the dean of the college in which the course is offered. Those who audit a course do so for the purpose of hearing or seeing only; they do not have the privilege of participating in class discussions or laboratory or field work, of turning in papers, or of receiving a grade or credit in the course. Students who audit a course will not be listed on the class roll, and no notation of the audit will be made on the student’s transcript.

Students enrolled for fewer than 12 semester credit hours in a semester (6 hours in summer) must pay a $10 per semester credit hour fee for the privilege of auditing a course. Written permission from the dean of the college in which the course is being taught and from the course instructor is required. No charge is assessed for enrollment of 12 or more semester credit hours.

(Senior citizens 65 years of age and older are exempt from payment of this fee regardless of the number of semester credit hours.)

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources dean’s office is Room 108 Goddard Building on the south side of 15th Street east of Rawls College of Business Administration and west of Landscape Architecture Pavilion. Ask for written permission to audit this course. When that is in hand, submit it to professor Westbrook or Sullivan and ask one to sign. Take the completed form to the Bursar’s office in Drane Hall and pay the $30 fee [three credit hour course at $10 per credit hour] if you are younger than age 65. Attend class. Be sure to purchase the assigned book[s] and other reading material so you are prepared for each class. The Barnes & Noble campus bookstore is in the Student Union Building basement level. Spring Semester is January 19 through May 8, 2012 with Spring Break March 10-18.


I have audited a class at Texas Tech and can vouch for it as a stimulating exercise.




Still don’t have a cell phone, and want a simple to operate inexpensive phone and rate plan, without the smartphone higher technology applications and cost? The phone is made by Samsung so you know it’s quality, the brand is Jitterbug, the wireless telephone service provider is Verizon so it’s one of the top two in the nation. Through November 27 there is a half-price sale on phones $49.50. Through December 31, 2011 there is a double minute rate plan 200 minutes per month with 60 day rollover on unused minutes for $20 per month. You’ll want voice mail which is an additional $3 per month. There’s a one-time initial connection fee of $35. There is no service contract so you can cancel at any time without a penalty or any money changing hands.


The current model Jitterbug phone allows one to send and receive text messages and has a safety feature of pressing and holding a single digit to make a 911 call. GPS can track your location so help is on the way. Caller ID allows you to know the caller’s number and if you think it’s a salesman’s call you can close the phone and ignore the call, retaining minutes on your plan. No hassles please. If a caller’s number is blocked, that’s a tip that salesmen are making robo-calls and you can close the phone and ignore the call. Do register your phone number with the no commercial calling national and state registries but they don’t protect you from all nuisance calling.


For frequent callers you can create a directory on your phone and make one digit calls to friends and family. The phone is sturdy and can be tossed into a pocket or purse, but if you want to wear it on a belt or attach it to a purse exterior, there is a leather carrying case for $20. The telephone of the future is not a stationary landline at home or office, but a cell phone that travels with you wherever you are.


For the risk averse, Jitterbug offers a free no questions asked return within 30 days of purchase and receive a refund for the cost of the phone and the connection fee, if for any reason or no reason you get the phone and don’t cotton to it.


The one hassle for cell phone usage is that you must be polite, realize that you are carrying around technology, and remember to turn it to silent or turn it off when conducting important person to person conversations or attending chamber concerts or theatre productions. Later, when you’re free, you can check your missed calls and voice mail and return calls at your leisure.


Don’t feel tethered [or worse, chained] to a cell phone. I refuse to answer when I’m busy doing something or just thinking great thoughts and don’t wish to be distracted, assume that people will leave a message or text if it’s important to them, and I will get back to them at my convenience. Being connected at any given moment is an option for our use, not an enslavement. You can tell that I’m retired and independent, because if a boss provides you with a cell phone and tells you to answer by the third ring, you are tethered if you care about the monthly paycheck. Some enslavement is negotiable.


A note to the well-connected smartphone users. Many smartphones have a built in camera. Download and install the free Skype application and make free domestic video calls on your phone. Even better, add a third person and make three way video calls on your phone. If you do this often, for a small charge you can ramp up the multi-person video calls so it’s like a business conference call with video and you can record it digitally so it goes into the business file for future access and confirmation of agreements and assignments. This is one way people conduct business while shucking, moving and jiving.




Promised yourself that you would read some classics [again], but “haven’t got round to it”? Treat yourself in a manner less daunting than holding the traditional tome in your hand, and struggling. Classic Reader


Let’s say Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain is your choice. And let’s say you have selected chapter 11 The River Rises. Notice your alternatives as a [free] member at Classic Reader. You can write and keep notes on any passage by clicking on “show annotation controls”. You can have those retained notes emailed to yourself, for use in something you are writing. You can print out any part or all of chapter 11. You can mark and keep an archive of books you have read. You can select shorter and less well-known pieces by famous writers. Walden by Henry David Thoreau is popular. But try Walking by that author.


You can set up search paradigms by author, title, fiction, non-fiction, short stories, etc.


There are other websites and ways to access the classics in small manageable chunks. Princeton University Press just broke out Princeton Shorts in electronic format Within Walden by Thoreau is his essay On Reading which is now a Princeton Short in electronic format that you can purchase for $0.99 and download to your PC, laptop, or other digital device for reading. These extracts from larger works are exact portions of previous print publications, not like Kindle eBook Singles to which additional content has been added.

The Heart of Haiku single for $0.99 is an example Sometimes wants you to know about current events and so it makes a Kindle Single free. Suppose you are aware that hydraulic fracturing has re-opened some oil or gas wells on the South Plains. How does that work exactly? Abraham Lustgarten, Hydrofracked? One Man’s Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling (ProPublica 2011) is a free Kindle Single.


Beware of values in downloading eBooks that are too good to be true. One such scam is The Reading Site which offers a $50 lifetime of unlimited downloading of eBooks and magazines, but won’t provide a catalogue so you can see what’s available before you join. You purchase the membership blind, and then discover what it was that you purchased. Such a business model is a scam. Some people have paid but not been able to download anything so that’s fraud in addition to scam. Please avoid The Reading Site and its clones.


Google ebookstore is not a scam. This is the first of three pages of free classic works. The Secret Garden musical theatre was recently performed at Texas Tech’s Student Union Building Allen Theatre. You could have downloaded and read without cost The Secret Garden (1911) by Frances Hodgson Burnett 1849 – 1924. My favorite from that list is Bleak House (1853) by Charles Dickens, a novel satirizing the ineffectual British Chancery courts.


Project Gutenberg has The Secret Garden and Bleak House as free downloads or you can read online. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain chapter 11 The River Rises can be read online or downloaded free at read freely but notice that you are invited to make donations to keep the project going.


Now if your idea of classics is the ancient Greek and Latin literature, you’ll be wanting to focus on the quality of the original source and the competence and quality of the translation. Forget free. For only $24 per volume you can purchase from the Harvard University Press Loeb Classical Library and be assured that you are accessing the best Greek and Latin literature presented in a sensible manner. For example Lucian 120 -190 wrote Zeus Catechized, Zeus Rants, The Dream, and Philosophies for Sale here translated by A.M. Harmon in 1915. The latter piece offers witty caricatures of philosophical schools and high-spirited satire. When Zeus and Hermes preside over the sale of a Pythagorean, a Cynic, a Heraclitean, a Platonist, a Stoic, and a Skeptic, comic portrayals emerge. In Zeus Catechized Zeus is interviewed on the concepts of predestination and free will. This theme is elaborated on in Zeus Rants. The Dream is in essence a Cynic sermon in praise of poverty cast in the form of a dialogue between a cobbler and a cock, the latter being a reincarnated Pythagorean. Lucian volume two of eight volumes contains these four items, and more.




Bob Blevins, Icebreaker Morro Bay (2008) is a painting in the social realism category depicting an actual U.S. Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Morro Bay (WTGB-106) that is a 140 foot bay-class vessel that is regularly deployed for ice breaking duties in the northeastern United States and Great Lakes waters. Here it is depicted leading a tugboat which is towing a tanker freighter upstream on an occasionally ice-bound Hudson River in New York state. Assisting commercial shipping during wintertime is a regular duty of USCG, a service within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Those of us with memories stretching back to World War II know that USCG has been a U.S. Department of Defense activity and one of the Armed Forces of the United States. During a future wartime we can expect that it will be repositioned as such. The Morro Bay has its home port in New London Connecticut. following are photos of the Morro Bay


Recently we regularly notice that USCG is active in maritime rescues when a disaster is happening. That is reflected, if a bit dramatically, in this painting Just in Time (2007) by Tom Taffe. When recreational seafarers are operating we notice smaller craft like USCG Response Boats;_ylt=A2KJkIc3zdNOVmgAgkeJzbkF?p=uscg+response+boats&fr=my-myy&ei=utf-8&n=30&x=wrt&tab=organic&y=Search either preventing disasters by closing waters for recreation or leading recreational craft into safer waters.


What I admire so much about the USCG is their cooperative and collaborative skills with helicopters and other flight and ship operations of U.S. Navy USN, U.S. Air Force USAF and U.S. Marine Corps USMC in combined operations activities. They also cooperate with civilian Port and Seaway Authorities, both governmental and commercial.


We’ve all noticed that some Somalians, desperate for employment and entry into the middle class, have taken to piracy off the coast in the Arabian Sea near where it enters the Persian Gulf. An international force has taken to patrolling those waters to interdict Somalian pirates. The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit USMC deployed in November 2011 to Arabian Sea waters for just this purpose. In October the unit completed its training off the coast of San Diego California, a typical exercise being to board a cargo vessel ATLS to retake control of the vessel from simulated pirates. It launched four skid-landing helicopters, two AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, and two UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters that deployed from USS Makin Island (LHD-8) [amphibious assault ship] and small unit attack craft from USS New Orleans [amphibious transport dock] and USS Pearl Harbor [dock landing ship]. The Marines searched the ship, apprehended actors portraying pirates, seized automatic weapons, and returned control of the vessel to its owners/operators.


This is a reminder that heroism isn’t singular and serendipitous but a group-trained and prepared for response by those who commit their bodies and lives to accomplishment of a mission in the service of our nation. Heroism is all in a day’s work for members of our valiant military.




Just drank a Krombacher Pils beer. It was wonderful, and a good example of German brewing of fine pilsner lagers. The original pilsner lager beer was brewed in Pilsn [Pilsen] in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic southwest of Prague. Pilsner Urquell is the contemporary brewery that is the successor of the original brewery. But my point in bringing this up is that on the back of the imported bottle the fine print says this is an ale. Whoa!!! A lager is not an ale, and an ale is not a lager. What’s going on? Pinkie’s sales slip calls the item Krombacher Pilsner. discusses the history of brewing in this German town.


Life is confusing enough in its extra-dimensional complexity without my mind getting messed around by labeling on beer bottles. But then what I am learning, beside the fact that drafters of labels are not purists, is that I have become an old, fastidious, persnickety wordsmith of the crochety old fart variety. Best I should find a corner table in the back and drink with gusto, trying to forget the words that match up with the malted beverage.




Texas Tech School of Music concerts and other events at Hemmle Recital Hall on campus are now regularly webcast streaming live. It’s audio only, not video for now, but you can listen to a live concert by using your computer and going to the Music School performance calendar and clicking on the red symbol WEB once the concert has begun. If the speakers on your computer are good, you’ll get the concert experience at your home or wherever you and your laptop, notebook or tablet computer might be located.




Here are some cultural arts websites on which information specific to Texas is found An insightful pep talk follows





Melissa Grimes and Paul Johnson are presenting a series of House Concerts at their homes. Melissa will present the Derek Teague Band on Saturday January 14, 2012 at 7:15 p.m. arrive and get settled around 7:00 p.m. bring your own BOB or soft drink, snacks will be provided at intermission. $20 per person and all of it goes to the entertainer. Reservations are required since space at a home is limited. 806-441-9128. Not heard of the Derek Teague Band? That’s the point. Lubbock area singers, songwriters and bands are available for you to listen to and watch at local venues on a regular basis. Melissa and Paul search for traveling entertainers who will play house concerts out in the “way beyond” a/k/a Lubbock.


But you can learn about the booked entertainer before making a reservation. You don’t have to trust Melissa or Paul to match your taste. Try and you will discover that it is a three person male band from San Angelo. Four songs are online and can be listened to free. Sample the music before you buy a ticket from Melissa.


Type the entertainer’s name into a Google or other search engine and you will quickly access either a web site or a myspace or similar page where you learn about the entertainer.


House Concerts are an informal low key opportunity to get up close and personal with previously unknown entertainers who are touring. I’ve been to both houses, Melissa’s and Paul’s and recommend both. Paul’s concerts are shown online at Melissa Grimes concerts are shown online at The intimacy of a house concert is a welcome addition to the music scene in Lubbock, thanks to Melissa and Paul.