Arts History Update for early May 2015

24 Apr

Arts History Update for early May 2015 by David Cummins

April 24, 2015

Dear Playa Landowners, Naturalists, Agency folks, and Interested Public:

Since the last Field Day back in October, the uplands around the Playa Classroom were covered in tall grass and giant kochia weeds, thanks to 20 inches of rainfall over last summer and fall. After the winter snows, it seemed best to remove all that biomass (or risk a wildfire) from a management standpoint, so on April 8th, those uplands were swathed and baled. The harvest yielded 38 round bales! Even better, the landscape is in amazingly good shape for the spring months.

I invite you to attend our Playa Management Field Day on Friday, May 15th from 8:45am-1:15pm in Nazareth, Texas (3 weeks from today). We will start out at the Home Mercantile Building, in downtown Nazareth, Texas (101 Second Street)…with coffee, refreshments, restrooms, and two short presentations. By 10am, we will drive ¾ of a mile south of the Hwy 86 and FM 168 intersection to the Ogallala Commons Playa Classroom. Next, there will be a walk-around in small groups to assess key indicators for playa ecosystem health, under the direction of Manuel DeLeon (a wetlands specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service). We will have another treat to wrap up the outdoors session: a presentation on playa amphibians (with live specimens: toads, salamanders, frogs, etc.) by Robert Martin from Santa Fe, NM.

Back at the Home Mercantile, we will enjoy a home-cooked meal of German sausage and garden greens with dessert. We will also have a presentation on playa ecosystem management at Muleshoe, Buffalo Lake, and Grulla National Wildlife Refuges by Melanie Hartman, USFWS, from Happy, TX.

There is $10 fee for lunch and refreshments. Anyone attending this Playa Management Day needs to contact Darryl Birkenfeld at 806-945-2255 (or to insure an accurate lunch count.

The Field Day is sponsored by Ogallala Commons and the Dixon Water Foundation. Those attending are asked to wear appropriate clothing, footwear, and a hat.

After we adjourn at 1:15pm, anyone is invited to come over to our house for a tour of the rainwater harvesting, raised-bed gardening, etc., until 2pm. Please share this invitation and the agenda on the next page with others who might want to attend.

Our next Playa Management Day will be on Thursday, June 25th, 9am-1pm, just southwest of Edmonson, TX (Hale County), at Mark Hilliard’s playa.

Best regards,

Darryl Birkenfeld, Ph.D.,
Director, Ogallala Commons

Playa Management Day

Friday, May 15, 2015

Home Mercantile Building & OC Playa Classroom Nazareth, Texas

8:45am – 1:30pm

8:45am Registration and Light refreshments at Home Mercantile Building

(corner of Second & Leo Streets, located between Holy Family Church and Nazareth Schools)

9:00am Welcome & Overview of Past & Current Conditions at the Playa

Darryl Birkenfeld, Director, Ogallala Commons, and playa landowner

9:20am Assessing Playa Watersheds: What are Key Indicators?

Manuel DeLeon, Wetlands Specialist, USDA-NRCS, Lubbock, TX

9:40am Select Teams (small groups) and Assignments

10am Arrive at OC Playa Classroom (3.4 miles south of Nazareth on FM 168) Group Walks to conduct assignments

10:40am Group Reports & Discussion (Playa Classroom)

Darryl Birkenfeld

11:00am Building Soil Health & Drought Resilience in Playa Wetlands

Manuel DeLeon

11:30pm Playa Amphibians in Southern High Plains Playas (with live specimens)

Robert Martin, OC New Mexico Coordinator, Santa Fe, NM

12:10 Return to Home Mercantile

12:20pm Home-Cooked Lunch: German sausage, vegetables, and dessert

12:45pm Playa Ecosystem Management at Buffalo Lake, Muleshoe & Grulla NWR

Melanie Hartman, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Happy, TX

1:15pm Adjourn

A mini-playa exists in Lubbock on Texas Tech University land northeast corner of 4th street and Quaker Avenue under lock and key, and I toured it several years ago with a Texas Tech faculty member, but real estate development nearby has so encroached that it is not a fully functional playa like the one south of Nazareth in the invitation above. Please consider registering and attending this active tour of a fully functional playa on May 15. All the former playas in the Lubbock area are now just depressions with standing water at times, since so much of the playa habitat has been devoted to real estate development and farms.

Of course visiting and exploring an active playa with expert guides is the main thing, but folks, if you get an invitation to to eat home-prepared German sausage in Nazareth Texas and you recall the German-Americans who settled there with those recipes from the old country, strap on your stompin shoes and get to Nazareth for some pleasurable vittles.


Where does a political campaign begin? We know it ends with massive staged rallies broadcast nationwide much like a Hollywood production. It began for Hillary Clinton in LeClaire Iowa in the first week of her April 2015 campaign when she shook hands “pressed the flesh” at the Jones Street Java House, a local coffee shop. Sometimes at such events a throng of reporters and photographers outnumber the people around the tables in her public and unannounced visits.

Whatever one’s politics or lack of politics, meeting a presidential candidate in person is always remembered, as is true for all celebrities who command a national press and keep popping up when we read newspapers, magazines, or television “news”. One wonders what those Iowans felt when they met Ms. Clinton.

In 1992 in Lubbock Texas when Bill Clinton was a presidential candidate with a campaign schedule that did not include Lubbock, it was announced that his wife Hillary Clinton, a lawyer in the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock Arkansas, would travel to Lubbock on her husband’s behalf. She went, and I went, to Lala’s a Tex-Mex Restaurant1 on Broadway Street in the 1100 block and a crowd of about 70 people heard her speak about Bill and why he might make a good president for the country. I haven’t met her in person since then, and don’t expect to, but I remember her visit vividly and imagine LeClaire Iowans at their coffee shop. I also imagine how many or how few Iowans will go to events and actually meet in person two or three or more candidates for president. How will they compare them, and on what bases or characteristics? It’s obvious, isn’t it, that this is an electoral process but not a representative process. It describes how a president is ultimately elected, but that president is not in fact a representative of anyone in LeClaire or Lubbock. He or she may act for them or by their leave or in their name, but is not acting as their representative. We expect more and better from them than we often deliver for ourselves.

That said, I’m no fan of books published by presidential candidates the year or two prior to their entry into a political campaign. They seem like puff pieces designed to self-validate the importance of the author and his/her appropriate entry into the campaign. Two of those are Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hard Choices (Simon & Schuster 2014) Lubbock Public Library 635 pages 3 copies 328.73092 CLIN and Jeb Bush & Clint Bolick, Immigration Wars: Forging An American Solution (Threshold Editions 2013) Texas Tech Library JV 6483.B84. They never state objectively what the author did or didn’t do relative to the issues the author pontificates about. There is thus no glimmer of walking their talk and thereby an expectation that they won’t in the future.


NBA [National Basketball Association] Western Conference and Eastern Conference Playoffs began April 18, 2015

15 teams in each Conference and, after an 82 game season, seven of those teams are done and licking their wounds, and the remaining eight playoff teams are:

Eastern Conference: # 1 Atlanta Hawks 60-22 v. # 8 Brooklyn Nets 38-44, # 4 Toronto Raptors 49-33 v. # 5 Washington Wizards 46-36, # 3 Chicago Bulls 50-32 v. # 6 Milwaukee Bucks 41-41 and # 2 Cleveland Cavaliers 53-29 v. # 7 Boston Celtics 40-42

Western Conference # 1 Golden State Warriors 67-15 v. # 8 New Orleans Pelicans 45-37, # 5 Memphis Grizzlies 55-27 v. # 4 Portland Trail Blazers 51-31, # 3 Los Angeles Clippers 56-26 v. # 6 San Antonio Spurs 55-27, and # 2 Houston Rockets 56-26 v. # 7 Dallas Mavericks 50-32 Round one is first team to win 4 games. Round three will produce Conference winners and Round Four will produce an NBA Champion. The better record during the season determines home court advantage as a round is played. The best teams during the season do not always win in the playoffs, so get out your scorecard, pencil with eraser, and televisions aglow.


The Bowerbird Panhandle Art Review is an online regional art journal founded by Hannah Dean of Slaton Texas e-mail phone 575-308-9737


Daniel Albright, Putting Modernism Together: Literature Music and Art 1872-1927 (Hopkins Studies in Modernism) (Johns Hopkins University Press 2015) $54 hardcover $30 paperback


Jay Friedlander, Strategic Sustainability: Creating Abundance, American Management Association Playbook: Your Source for Practical Work Solutions, uses the Abundance Sustainability Cycle overlap between profits, people and planet as the place where all the work done there is a win-win for everyone. Only the business’s competitor that is not doing it, is a loser and then only relatively speaking Many businesses mimic their competitors who get out front.


Art League of West Texas Foundation has its Spring Membership Show on exhibit at the Buddy Holly Center Fine Arts Gallery 1801 Crickets Avenue April 17-May 24, 2015. The juror is James C. Watkins, internationally known ceramic artist. West Texas Watercolor Society has its Spring Show at Buddy Holly Center May 1-June 14, 2015. The juror is Candace Keller professor of art and curator at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.


Jeff Dell, artist in residence print maker at CASP Charles Adams Studio Project 5th Street & Avenue J Gallery, is leaving town after a five month residency. Closing reception free event for the public is Saturday April 25 from 1:00-6:00 pm. His specialty is screen prints so expect to see some really cool stuff. He’s going back to San Marcos where he is a Professor of Studio Art Printmaking at Texas State University


Didn’t get published in Iron Horse Literary Journal? now there’s an additional journal by the English Department at Texas Tech University, Harbinger Literary Magazine, that invites undergraduates to make submissions for publication. Its first release party is Friday May 1, 2015 at 3:00 – 4:00 pm in English Philosophy Departments Building Room 106. Free food and drink. Pick up a copy of the magazine.

Third annual Iron Horse Literary Journal Film Fest of short-short films is Wednesday April 29 at 7:30 pm at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema $9 for public, free with Texas Tech ID!fest/c1xxg


1Lala and Conrado Cavazos owned this restaurant and closed it upon their retirement and moved to the Lower Rio

Grande Valley


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