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Arts History Update for mid February 2017

5 Feb
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Arts History Update for early February 2017

30 Jan

Arts History Update for late January 2017

23 Jan

Arts History Update for late January 2017 by David Cummins

www.artshistoryupdates.com

Texas Land & Cattle Company steakhouse is closed at 7202 Indiana Avenue on the southwest corner of the Loop 289 frontage road. Rumors, and they are only rumors at this point, no inside information, say that Twisted Spigot Pub & Eatery of San Diego CA will open up at this location http://www.twistedspigot.com/copy-of-home-2 and the corporate website confirms this so the rumors are upgraded. Still, you recall all those “HEB Supermarkets are coming to Lubbock” rumors that are now 15-20 years old and yet who in Lubbock has shopped locally at an HEB? Stay tuned …………..

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Breaking News: Pacific Pro Football League is set to begin in Summer 2018. It isn’t competing with the NFL National Football League, but is an alternative development pool and training league for the NFL, an alternative to the major college football player track for players who don’t need or want the NCAA college option. It will compensate, train and identify NFL draft picks. Four teams, all based in southern California, each owned by the League and not by independent owners with multiple agendas, will play a four game schedule then playoffs and be done in seven or eight games by late August. All players will be paid equally, several hundred thousand dollars in cash, not tuition, books, residence in a college residence hall, and study guides with mentors hovering not to educate the player but just to keep him football eligible. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/could-this-pro-football-league-help-fix-a-nagging-nfl-draft-problem-100508944.html and http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-football-league-charts-an-alternate-path-to-nfl-1484128801

For players who are not drafted or are drafted but don’t make the team, there are two present alternative employment options to play football, the Arena Football League http://www.arenafootball.com in the United States and the Canadian Football League http://www.cfl.ca in Canada.

This was bound to happen as the spread offenses and college football patterns, suitable for college but at best simply counter-productive for NFL professional football, increasingly made the college experience less valid as preparation for professional football. College football players whose graduation rates were poor and who detested the public relations mask they wore as “college students”, repeatedly acted out their frustration with college processes, principles and values. I think this non-college option for compensated training to become a professional football player, is an excellent idea, long overdue.

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Those of us who are fascinated by art are hungry to learn more. Essentially we’re getting an MFA Masters Degree in Fine Arts by the do it yourself DIY method without ever enrolling, paying tuition and putting our other lives on hold. Where and how can one do that, as part of our enjoyable lives?

In New York City here are some opportunities:

1. Lecture Series, New York University Institute of Fine Arts http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/fineart/events/index.htm that includes a video archive of selected past lectures https://vimeo.com/ifa

2. Bruce High Quality Foundation University BHQFU, essentially a free art school http://bhqfu.org/ and Foundation University Gallery FUG where events take place http://bhqfu.org/gallery.php

3. Flux Factory, Long Island City in Queens http://spweatherstation.net/?page_id=184

4. Pratt Institute of Fine Arts Visiting Artists Lecture Series in Clinton Hill district of Brookyln and in Manhattan on West 14th Street https://www.pratt.edu/the-institute/

5. Art and Culture Lecture Series and Professional Practice Lecture Series at New York Academy of Art http://nyaa.edu/exhibitions-lectures/past-lectures/upcoming-lectures/

6. Silent Barn in Bushwick section of Brooklyn http://silentbarn.org/events

7. Pioneer Works in Red Hook District of Brooklyn https://pioneerworks.org/

7. Brooklyn Institute for Social Research https://thebrooklyninstitute.com/

8. City University of New York York College in Jamaica section of Queens https://www.york.cuny.edu/academics/departments/performing-and-fine-arts has two theater spaces and many presentations at Bassin Performing Arts Center https://www.york.cuny.edu/centers-institutes/performing-arts

9. Graduate Center, City University of New York https://www.gc.cuny.edu/All-GC-Events/GC-Presents most are free events but registrations/reservations are required for accommodation reasons. Videos of past events are here http://videostreaming.gc.cuny.edu/videos/recent/page1/

Of course all museums and some galleries have talks, curator’s or artist’s introduction to current exhibits, etc.

Upcoming on Thursday February 9 at 6:00 pm the Director of the Texas Tech University Museum Gary Morgan Ph.D. will present a free gallery talk on the In the Blood exhibit in Gallery 1. The talk is titled Form and Function of a Dog’s Breakfast [in British idiom a dog’s breakfast is a complete or confounded mess of something, only fit to be fed to dogs].

On Tuesday February 7 Garland Weeks, sculptor, will make a gallery talk on an exhibit of his sculpture at Buddy Holly Center Fine Arts Gallery 1801 Crickets Avenue. The exhibit title is Human/Animal/Allegorical: The Bronze Sculpture of Garland Weeks from December 2, 2016 through February 12 2017. The time on February 7 is in the afternoon 2:00 – 3:30 pm. Free and open to the public. https://www.mylubbock.us/departmental-websites/departments/buddy-holly-center/news-item/2016/12/03/default-calendar/human-animal-allegorical-the-bronze-sculpture-of-garland-weeks

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New York Times Style Magazine dated January 19 has an article by Alina Cohen 10 Places to See Public Art in 2017 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/t-magazine/best-public-art.html?_r=0 and one of those is Aurora Colorado where Blessing Hancock devised a lighted metal art sculpture. At Texas Tech University in front of the West Village Residence Hall is Texas Rising by Blessing Hancock and Joe O’Connell

https://www.codaworx.com/project/quot-texas-rising-quot-texas-tech-university-system

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Christian Conrad lectured on James Ensor 1860-1949 an Ostend Belgium painter at the turn of the 20th century http://jamesensor.vlaamsekunstcollectie.be/en often referred to as an artist’s artist. He was a member of Les Vingt (The Twenty) or Les XX or Society des Vingt (The Society of the Twenty) a Belgian artists group in 1883 – 1893 post-impressionist, symbolist, expressionist styles all new and evolving http://www.kettererkunst.com/dict/gruppe-les-vingt.php and upset with the salon qualification system of displaying art that usually rejected their new and not yet fashionable paintings, so they lit out on their own to display their art in independent gallery shows.

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On Sunday January 29 the Lubbock Heritage Society will conduct its annual meeting, open to the public not just members of the Society, at Bayer Museum of Agriculture 1121 Canyon Lake Drive just north of East Broadway Street as it passes by Mackenzie Park. A presentation will be made by Pam Brink and Cindy Martin on the Arch Underwood Pullman Car project and docent led tours will be conducted into and through the Car that was recently em-placed on site. The time is 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm no admission fee and refreshments are provided. http://lubbockheritagesociety.bravehost.com/LHShome.html

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There is a life size bronze sculpture of Elmer Kelton, newspaperman and author, in Stephens Central Library, San Angelo Texas. The sculptor is Raul Ruiz http://www.ruizstudio.com/about/ This library is relocated from its former location and occupies the space of the former Hemphill-Wells department store in downtown San Angelo. The Friends of the Tom Green County Library System operates its bookstore and a cafe within the public library http://www.tgclibrary.com/libraryexhibits.asp The location is the corner of West Beauregard Avenue and South Irving Street. Ruiz Studio & Gallery is located at 76 North Chadbourne Street about four blocks north of the Stephens Central Library. Elmer Kelton 1926-2009 http://www.elmerkelton.net/

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Arts History Update for early January 2017

4 Jan

Arts History Update for early January 2017 by David Cummins

www.artshistoryupdates.com

We on the high plains are at a distance from the sea or ocean coast to the west, east and south of our nation, and from the Great Lakes region on the north. Those places have estuaries, places where the flowing water or rivers, creeks, etc. are no longer quite rivers, and yet they are not waters in the sea or immense lake itself. There is a place in between, the estuaries, and they teem with life. Near our urban centers some estuaries are post-industrial wastelands, and contain an eerie haunted vestment of their former exceptionally busy and thriving economic life. Detritus are reminders e.g. when we see a series of pylons thrusting upward but holding up nothing. “That was a part of what, and what did it do?”

In an island nation such as England all flowing waters meander to the sea, and canals were dug and are maintained to connect many of those flowing waters. The canals are a project tended by the Inland Waterways Association. Here is a map https://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/wwwaterwaysmap See http://www.waterwaysworld.com/

Rachel Lichtenstein, Estuary: Out From London to the Sea (Hamish Hamilton 2016) $12.45 hardcover is a fascinating book. An immersive intimate journey into the world of the Thames Estuary and the people who spend their lives there. The Thames Estuary is one of the world’s great deltas, providing passage in and out of London for millennia. It is silted up with the memories and artifacts of past voyages. It is the habitat for an astonishing range of wildlife. And for the people who live and work on the estuary, it is a way of life unlike any other – one most would not trade for anything despite its dangers. Rachel Lichtenstein traveled the length and breadth of the estuary many times and in many vessels, from hardy tug boats to stately pleasure cruisers to an inflatable dinghy. And during these crossing she has gathered an extraordinary chorus of voices: mud-larkers and fishermen, radio pirates and champion racers, the men who risk their lives out on the water and the women who wait on the shore. From the acclaimed author of Brick Lane and Rodinsky’s Room, Estuary is a thoughtful and intimate portrait of a profoundly British place. With a clear eye and a sharp ear Rachel Lichtenstein captures the essence of a community and an environment, examining how each has shaped and continues to shape the other.

There is a huge cargo port project under way in Thames Estuary today near Tilbury Docks [north side of Thames opposite Gravesend in Kent on the south side], to construct another usage point in the estuary. The Hoo Peninsula immediately east of Gravesend is England’s largest nature reserve and is in the estuary only 30 miles east of central London. Rochester [southeast of Gravesend] is an ancient city Rochester on the River Medway that runs into the River Thames at the Hoo Peninsula, astride the M2 Highway. Continue east from Rochester on M2 to Canterbury and the University of Kent T.S. Eliot College https://www.kent.ac.uk/locations/canterbury/ where I stayed.

Lichtenstein grew up at Southend-on-Sea in Essex where the mouth of the Thames River opens into the North Sea. That is on the north side of the river mouth. I have been to Margate in Kent http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/margate-shell-grotto on the south side of the river mouth and looked outward and inward. She could see the remote World War II era sea forts http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/maunsell-army-sea-forts across the sands, and the treacherous muddy reaches that could strand a cockleboat for hours during slack tides. Cockles (bivalves) are small edible saltwater clams. Fishermen would get in their boats and harvest cockles while the tide is out and hasten to shore to clean and prepare them for a London market. Her book is mostly about the social human history in the estuary area. There are a lot of “former” people in her book whose profession is now eccentricity. Former tug boat captains, former barge operators and tenders, former shipping employees, former fishermen, etc.

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Warburg Institute within the School of Advanced Study, University of London is located at Woburn Square, Bloomsbury in central London http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/ a legacy of the Warburg Library of Cultural Science founded by Aby Warburg in Hamburg Germany in 1900 as Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg. It lasted there throughout his life ending in 1929 but the rise of Naziism forced it to decamp to London England in 1933 where in 1944 it became a part of the University of London. Warburg thought that images and most especially art images stand at the very center of historical study rather than being illustrative of ideas. He was entranced by the symbolism in art masterpieces. http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/library/navigating-library/library-aby-warburg

A biography of Aby Warburg 1866-1929 is by Ernst H. Gombrich, Aby Warburg: An Intellectual Biography (Warburg Institute 1970) (2nd Edition 1986)

Uwe Fleckner & Peter Mack, The afterlife of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg : the emigration and the early years of the Warburg Institute in London (Walter de Gruyter Co. 2015) 250 pages $56

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Happy New Year

Speaking of the happy new year, I wonder if any year ever had less chance of being happy. It’s as though the whole race were indulging in a kind of species introversion — as though we looked inward on our neuroses. And the thing we see isn’t very pretty … So we go into this happy new year, knowing that our species has learned nothing, can, as a race, learn nothing — that the experience of ten thousand years has made no impression on the instincts of the million years that preceded.

Not that I have lost any hope. All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up. It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die. I don’t know why we should expect it to. It seems fairly obvious that two sides of a mirror are required before one has a mirror, that two forces are necessary in man before he is man. I asked [the influential microbiologist] Paul de Kruif once if he would like to cure all disease and he said yes. Then I suggested that the man he loved and wanted to cure was a product of all his filth and disease and meanness, his hunger and cruelty. Cure those and you would have not man but an entirely new species you wouldn’t recognize and probably wouldn’t like.” John Steinbeck 1902-1968

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Before Erma Bombeck …. there was Betty MacDonald 1907-1958, author of The Egg and I (Lippincott Co. 1945), The Plague and I (1948 tuberculosis was then referred to as the white plague), The Piggle-Wiggle Series (1947 first book in series of children’s books), Anyone Can Do Anything (1950) and Onions in the Stew (1955). May I tell her story? It’s a Pacific Northwest story and I remember as a kid in Seattle listening to my parents talk about Betty MacDonald at the dining room table. I had no idea what they were talking about, at the time.

 

Elizabeth “Betsy” Bard was born in Boulder Colorado on March 26, 1907 and died Betty Bard MacDonald in Seattle Washington 1958. Her father was a mining engineer and took the family to Placerville Idaho 17 miles east of Horseshoe Bend Idaho in Boise County north of Boise [Placerville is today a ghost town, a former mining town] in 1910, to Montana later, and to Seattle Washington in 1918 postwar first to the Capitol Hill area and then to north of the University of Washington area by 1922. She had three sisters and one brother. She went to school at St Nicholas School on Capitol Hill at 712 Broadway NE http://www.historylink.org/File/10715 , to Lincoln High School 4400 Interlake Avenue North [between Lake Washington and Lake Union], and she graduated from Roosevelt High School [also my alma mater at 1410 NE 66th Street] in 1924.

 

Three years later in 1927 at age 20 she married Robert Heskett age 32 and they lived across Puget Sound on the Olympic Peninsula in Jefferson County near the unincorporated community of Center in the Chimacum Valley south of Port Townsend Washington.1 Heskett was a chicken farmer but both incompetent and lazy, and he beat Betty so four years and two daughters later, in 1931, Betty left with their daughters and returned to Seattle moving back into the Bard family home and divorced. Betty worked at a variety of low-paying and difficult jobs as a single mother supporting her daughters in the Depression era. It was a hard knocks life. In 1937-1938 she had tuberculosis and spent nine months as a patient in Firland Sanitarium http://www.historylink.org/File/3928 [prior to the advent of penicillin] [site of former Sanitarium is in city of Shoreline Washington today but then it was Richmond Highlands 12 miles north of Seattle when founded in 1911]. During World War II she met and married Donald MacDonald and moved into his Vashon Island beach home from which they both commuted by ferry into Seattle to work their day jobs.

 

While living happily with her second husband she began to write what she knew, her hard knocks life with and after her first husband, but she fictionalized it and made it sound idyllic, bucolic and humorous. The chicken farmer in the Chimacum Valley was fictionalized as competent and resourceful and there was much back country humor with characters such as Maw and Paw Kettle. Upon publication in 1945 immediately after the war ended, The Egg and I was an instant success and in 1947 a movie was made starring Claudette Colbert in the role of the fictionalized Betty and Fred McMurray as the fictionalized Robert. There would be many Maw and Paw Kettle stories and movies. The Plague and I was a fictionalized account of her time at Firland Sanitarium. Onions in the Stew was a fictionalized account of her life on Vashon Island. Now financially independent in the 1950s, she and husband Donald MacDonald purchased property and built a home in Carmel Valley California moving into it in 1956 but Betty was visiting back in Seattle in 1958 when she died of ovarian cancer, not treatable in those days.

 

Thats’ the story of humorous make do, made up stories of rural life in Washington State, by an Erma Bombeck style writer putting a hugely or over-the-top positive spin on her hard knocks life just before and during the Depression and early WWII years. My parents did not know her personally but many Seattleites knew of her after The Egg and I was published and became a national bestseller and movie.

 

Why does all this come to mind? Recent publications are Paula Becker, Looking For Betty MacDonald: the egg, the plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I (University of Washington Press 2016) 232 pages is in your bookstore $30 hardcover $16 e-book; see also Anne Wellman, BETTY: The Story of Betty MacDonald, Author of The Egg and I (CreateSpace 2016) $10.25. Piggle-Wiggle books are in the Lubbock Public Library. The Egg and I is in Texas Tech Library CT275.M43 A3.

 

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1http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/51-W-Egg-And-I-Rd-Chimacum-WA-98325/2141431783_zpid/ Today on 51 West Egg ad I Road in Chimicum is a half million dollar home built in 2007

Arts History Update for late December 2016

28 Dec

Arts History Update for late December 2016 by David Cummins

www.artshistoryupdates.com

Robert Venturi, architect, and his wife Denise Scott Brown, urban planner, received the 2016 AIA Gold Medal. He wrote a manifesto in 1966, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture and co-wrote Learning From Las Vegas in 1972.

A book published in the Fall of 2016 is The Difficult Whole: a Reference Book on the Work of Robert Venturi, John Rauch and Denise Scott Brown (eds. Kersten Geers et al., Park Books 2016) 216 pages $36.30.

Venturi is 91 years of age. His Philadelphia firm is now called VSBA Architects & Planners http://www.vsba.com/

His previous awards include a Pritzker Prize, a Vincent Scully Prize and others. His notable buildings include Vanna Venturi House [1964 considered the first post-modern designed structure], National Gallery of Art on Trafalgar Square Sainsbury Wing, Seattle Art Museum, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Hartford Stage, Frist Campus Center and many more. Look around in your community and possibly you will find a knockoff structure influenced by Robert Venturi. He was an architect of his age and for his age. What was cutting edge in the 1970s and 1980s has never quite lost its edge.

Robert Venturi, the architect who launched the post-modernisn assault on Miesian glass-box modernism by countering Mies van der Rohe’s famous dictum, “Less is More” with his own “Less is a Bore,” was at IIT’s restored Mies masterpiece Crown Hall last month to talk about “Mies is More: Learning from Mies,” part of the 2005 Chicago Humanities Festival.

Lest anyone think the 80-year-old enfant terrible was growing soft, however, Venturi’s major thesis was to unmask Mies, known for minimalist structures free of the type of applied ornament that Louis Sullivan loved, as a bit of a hypocrite, not above choosing symbolism over substance when it came to creating an architecture that expressed the industrial age of his time. “Ultimate irony,” observed Venturi, “Mies, like other modernists, enjoyed abstraction as an aesthetic, yet also employed symbolism as an aesthetic.”

For Mies, that meant keeping structure visible and exposed, but Chicago’s strict building code requires that the steel frame of multi-storied buildings be fireproofed within a concrete casing. When you look at a classic Mies skyscraper like the IBM Building at Wabash and the River, the exterior may appear to be structure, but the structural steel is actually buried in concrete fireproofing, and what you’re actually seeing are the anodized aluminum plates covering that concrete. To call Mies’s bluff on another affection – the vertical steel I-beams that he loved to use as mullions between the continuous strips of windows on his buildings – Venturi quoted Tom Wolfe’s diatribe against modern architecture, From Bauhaus to Our House. “Sticking things on the outside of walls,” Wolfe wrote, “wasn’t that exactly what was known in another era as applied decoration?”

Ironically, the building in which Venturi made these observations is the one place where Mies was able to express his aesthetic without subterfuge. Crown Hall, because it’s a one story building, didn’t have to be fireproofed. The steel you see is not what Venturi calls an “appliqué”, but the actual structure. It was sandblasted down to the bare steel during this summer’s restoration, and painted a revelatory deep and glossy black that observers who were there for the 1956 opening say replicates the building’s original appearance.

Venturi put up a slide with his comparison of “Mies” and “Bob”.

Mies Midcentury

Bob Post Mid-Century

 
Classic

Eclectic

 
Symbolic (industrial) Symbolic (iconographic)
 
Not acknowledged Acknowledged
 
Minimalism Complexity and Contradiction
 
Not aesthetically expressed Aesthetically expressed
 
Aesthetic cover-up Aesthetic celebration
 
not mannerist mannerist
 
Less is more less is a bore


The Vanna Venturi House from 1964 like the Robert Bruno Steel House in Ransom Canyon Texas are post-modern structures you wouldn’t necessarily want to live in yourself, because of all the strictures and difficulties of doing so, but they are architectural masterpieces. Notice the details, three different floor levels in one bedroom, how likely would there be a fall in the night while blurrily struggling to get to a commode?

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I am of an age when with time and leisure I can look back and take stock of a life. I became an adult in the 1950s graduating from college, getting married, going into the Army, etc. Today people would say those were choices. In reality for me they were available, on offer, expected and I had no idea there were options of any kind. I was, we would say today, clueless. Adults suggested and showed me what to do, how to do things, and I did them. I was conformist or shaped whereas today I would strongly object to that characterization.

I remember reading Faulkner and being mesmerized by a description of a Negro in a short story That Evening Sun Go Down (1931) [many years later they would be African-Americans but then they were Negroes]. http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1931mar-00257 Faulkner’s tale made me understand how human such persons were, certainly as much as I was human, and taught me to respect people like Negroes who were different in skin color and cultural background but not different in humanity. It would be decades later when I learned that Faulkner was a cultural racist in his private life, who said in the threat of integration imposed by the federal government that he would take up arms and fight on the side of his white racist Mississippi neighbors. In the 1950s I was incapable of appreciating the distinction between what an author wrote and what he did and was in his private life. Today I am keen to discover the interstices that lay between the written word and the author and his/her agenda, finding the interstices more interesting than anything the author wrote or did. The latter can be mundane but the human psychology and sociology that reside in the interstices are fascinating.

It seems that I’ve grown from a 1950s adult into a wise old fart. Curiously, I’m pleased such a status won’t even get me a coffee refill.

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Thinking of auditing a course in the Arts? MUHL 4300-003 Jazz History, The Music of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington meets TR 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm beginning January 19, 2017 in Music Building Room 218. Permission of instructor required contact Professor Christopher J Smith contact by e-mail christopher.smith@ttu.edu information https://techannounce.ttu.edu/Client/ViewMessage.aspx?MsgId=203106

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It is winter and the chill is heavy but we bring practiced coping skills to bear, and thrive. John Updike lived at Beverly Farms Massachusetts and wrote “Snow makes white shadows, there behind the yews, dissolving to the sun’s slant kiss, and pools itself across the lawn as if to say Give me another hour, then I’ll go”.

——- a poem in his last collection Endpoint and Other Poems published posthumously

John Updike 1932 – 2009 received a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Pen Faulkner Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, National Humanities Medal, National Medal of Arts and more.

Also published posthumously were a collection of his latest short stories titled My Father’s Tears and Other Stories.

He wrote and wrote and wrote, essays, memoirs, book reviews, literary and art criticism, poetry, short stories, novella, novels. Of all modern American writers,” wrote Adam Gopnik in Humanities magazine, “Updike comes closest to meeting Virginia Woolf’s demand that a writer’s only job is to get himself, or herself, expressed without impediments.”

Very late in life John and Martha Updike moved or spent most of their time in Tucson Arizona and he wrote this memoir

Here in this place of arid clarity,
two thousand miles from where my souvenirs
collect a cozy dust, the piled produce
of bald ambitions pulling ignorance,
I see clear through to the ultimate page,
the silence I dared break for my small time.
No piece was easy, but each fell finished,
in its shroud of print, into a book shaped hole.

Be with me, words, a little longer; you
have given me my quitclaim in the sun,
sealed shut my own adolescent wounds, made light
of grownup troubles, turned to my advantage
what in most lives would be pure deficit,
and formed, of those I loved, more solid ghosts.

Our annual birthday do: dinner at
the Arizona Inn for only two,
White tablecloth, much cutlery, decor
in sombre dark-beamed territorial style.
No wine, thank you. Determined to prolong
our second marriages, we gave that up,
with cigarettes. We toast each other’s health
in water and a haze of candlelight.

My imitation of a proper man,
white-haired and wed to aging loveliness,
has fit me like a store-bought suit, not quite
my skin, but wearing well enough until,
at ceremony’s end, my wife points out
I don’t know how to use a finger bowl.”

Postscript by me: A “quitclaim” is everything I have if I have anything at all. An example: If I sign over the Brooklyn Bridge to you by issuing a quitclaim deed, that deed will transfer to you all my title to the bridge but it doesn’t warrant or promise that I have any title at all to transfer. You may have guessed that I don’t have any title or any portion of ownership to that bridge, it being the public property of the City of New York.

Re-read Updike: “Be with me, words, a little longer; you
have given me my quitclaim in the sun, … ”

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Lubbock Homeschool Christian Athletic Association LHCAA formed in 2004 to provide sports opportunities for home school students. The website is www.lhcaa.com and there is a Lubbock Titans boys high school six person football team, a boys and a girls high school basketball team, girls high school and middle school volleyball teams, boys high school baseball team and more. Facebook site is https://www.facebook.com/lbktitans/ On these two websites you will find schedules and venues for viewing the action. They mostly play their games at the school of the opponent since they don’t have a facility but occasionally play at Rip Griffin Center on the Lubbock Christian University campus.

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Museums are changing as they are moving from being about something to being for somebody. I am delighted!

Museums are no longer stewards of a collection of objects but are now instruments for social change. Museum operators know they are not in the salvage, warehouse and display business, even though they perform those functions, but their business has become their patrons place in the world. When they perform that function they connect the patron as individual with a world about which or in which s/he was unaware or un-situated or previously uninterested. Museum operators today know they are growing their patrons, not in a body count sense like a commercial seller of commodities, but growing their patrons as cultured human beings well placed, well situated within their local regional national and planetary communities.

Gary Morgan, Ph.D. the new Executive Director of the Texas Tech University Museum, is devoted to the new role of museums and is often found wandering about in the galleries. He’s not perusing the objects on display, he’s perusing the people viewing those objects and he notices how they are interacting with the objects and with their fellow patrons. He’s watching their dynamics, how they circulate and whether or not they hook up or interact with other patrons who didn’t arrive with them. Accordingly he’s repositioned much of the display space and added what some may say are amenities to enhance and support the patrons experiences when in the museum. His expanding programs and policies are clearly designed to gain repeat visits to the museum by patrons and he’s brought faculty and staff from outside the museum into the process of building exhibits and viewing experiences. He’s turning the dead space/time in the museum into rentable event and hosting space/time, thereby introducing the venue to new audiences who may become patrons.

Texas Tech University Museum was never an art museum or a historical museum, it was always more than that, but we are seeing it become a pilot museum literally reinventing itself on the fly with the obvious purpose of connecting its patrons with the world and communities those patrons occupy but haven’t yet been fully aware or informed.

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Julien Benda, La Trahison des clercs (1927) (English: The Treason of the Intellectuals) (reissue Norton Library 1969) 243 pages Texas Tech Library HM213.B443 (reissue 2007 transl. Richard Aldington, Transaction Publisher 2007) explored by Roger Kimball, The Treason of the Intellectuals and the Undoing of Thought, The New Criterion, vol 11 no. 4, December 1992.

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Here is a video of the Lascaux caves paleolithic art near Dordogne France https://www.nytimes.com/video/world/europe/100000004789226/lascaux-caves-paleolithic-and-new-again.html?emc=edit_nn_20161219&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=384603&te=1

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Arts History Update for mid December 2016

11 Dec

Arts History Update for mid December 2016 by David Cummins

www.artshistoryupdates.com

The World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize for 2016 was awarded to a restoration team for restoring the Justus van Effen complex of buildings in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The ceremony occurred at the Museum of Modern Art on 56th Street in Manhattan, New York City. The restorers were Molenaar & Co. architects, Hebly Theunissen architects, and Michael van Gessel landscapes, and a representative from each of the firms accepted the award. https://www.wmf.org/world-monuments-fund-knoll-modernism-prize

Justus van Effen was built in 1922 and its architect was Michiel Brinkman. The project sits in the Dutch city’s Spangen neighborhood [about 100,000 population], surrounded by fairly traditional row-houses, some of which were created around the same time. This year’s award is the fifth WMF/Knoll Modernism Prize, but the first given to a housing project; the first four projects were public facilities: schools, a sanatorium, and a library. That Justus van Effen was and remains a social housing project (fully at first but now only in part) is significant. As built in 1922 Brinkman was given a two-block area for 261 dwelling units and he bundled the blocks together, defining the perimeter through continuous four-story buildings. Portals provide access to the interior of the block, where a central building breaks the block into two and further buildings define smaller outdoor spaces. The creation of these well-scaled, communal spaces was commendable, but what made the building influential in the mid 20th century were the second-floor walkways that rung the whole perimeter on the courtyard side, connecting all of the duplex units atop the buildings (below the duplexes were two floors of single-story units).

Promoted by the liberal elite in Rotterdam, Justus van Effen was created as an experiment in high-density affordable housing and a means of beautifying the city. The project fell into disrepair by 1970 and a restoration of sorts was attempted in the early 1980s to no good end. Most units were occupied by refugees at the time this restoration project began in 2012. It is admirable that Rotterdam officials would determine that it was wise to spend so much money and effort to restore an architectural gem for immediate use by a transient population with few ties to the city or area. As with all projects like this, however, the serious restoration activity spurred the property owners in the Spangen neighborhood to fix up and better maintain their properties and the entire neighborhood is “gentrified” to a better status. Leadership always has a similar effect, some would say leadership creates followership.

https://aplust.net/blog/michiel__inkman_justus_van_effen_complex_spangen_rotterdam_the_netherlands/ is a story about the housing project in 2012 when the restoration began and we get a good look at it then. Here are several photos of the buildings in Spangen before and after restoration https://www.pinterest.com/pin/553239135450786181/

Incidentally, Justus van Effen in history was an early 18th century Dutch essayist and journalist. His name was given to this early 20th century building project, now restored in the early 21st century. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Justus-van-Effen

Here are some photos of social housing projects in cities around the world https://www.pinterest.com/karlzetterholm/big-projects-social-housing/

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In the recent presidential election year many statements were made about matters important to you, including scare tactics about social security. One of those statements dealt with whether or not a worker will get out of social security what s/he and her/his employers put in. It turns out that most people have been frightened to the point of, if you can believe published polling of people, believing that they won’t or can’t. Here are the facts:

https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/social-security-myths?ccsource=email_monthly

Myth: You’ll never get back all the money you put into the program.

 

Although 70% of the respondents from our survey thought they might not get back all they money they put in, many will. Everyone’s situation is different. Simply put, if you live a long time, you may or will collect more than you contributed to the system. If you live a short time, you may not or will not collect more than you contributed to the system.

Due to the complexity of claiming strategies and number of variables involved, the Social Security Administration no longer offers a break-even calculator on its website. Social Security is designed to provide a safety net of income for the retired, the disabled, and survivors. The contributions you and your employers make during your working years provide:

  1. Current retirees and other Social Security recipients with payments
  2. A guaranteed income benefit when you reach retirement

While the government does not have a specific account set aside just for you with your FICA [Federal Insurance Contributions Act] contributions (the taxes for Social Security and Medicare paid by you and by your employers), one of the most powerful features of Social Security is that it provides an inflation-protected guaranteed income stream in retirement, ensuring against the risk you will outlive your savings. Even if you live to 100 or more, you continue to receive income every month. And, if you predecease your spouse who was collecting payments based on your work record rather than his/her own, he or she also receives survivor benefits until his or her death.

Social Security: Your contributions vs. potential benefits

Let’s look at a hypothetical case of an American worker, Steve, who reaches his FRA Full Retirement Age in 2016. He’s retiring in December and will begin collecting his Social Security benefit in January 2017 at his FRA (age 67). In Steve’s case, if he lives past age 74, he will receive a larger benefit than he and his employers contributed to the system. There is no standard break-even point, but let’s look at Steve’s situation in more detail.

Steve’s situation:

Steve’s situation

Hypothetical case assumes a final year of wages in 2016 to be $102,000. Using the Quick Calculator on SSA.gov, a rough estimate of benefits was calculated at FRA in today’s dollars. For an estimate using your personal earnings history, go to SSA.gov.

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Danny Hillis, The Enlightenment is Dead, Long Live the Entanglement, Journal of Design and Science, February 22, 2016 http://longnow.org/essays/enlightenment-dead-long-live-entanglement/ For those who studied the principles and processes of the Enlightenment from the 17th century onward, and wonder whether that’s still ongoing, here is an essay that suggests it’s over and we are now in an Age of Entanglement and we need to understand how to address it and synthesize our creative impulses. Am not endorsing these ideas, just presenting them for analysis and concern.

Here is information on Danny Hillis, author of the essay http://www.intellectualventures.com/inventor-network/senior-inventors/w.-daniel-hillis/

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Arts History Lecture Series at the Museum of Texas Tech University continues for the Spring semester on Friday mornings January 6, 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24, March 3, 10, 24 and 31, 2017 with visiting coffee and announcements at 10:30 am and a lecture by Christian Conrad Ph. D. in art history at 11:00 am – noon ending well in time for any lunch arrangements one may have at 12:30 pm or later. The visiting etc. occurs on all but the last day March 31 for on that day there is a closing of the academic year luncheon in the Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court. The lectures by Conrad take place in the adjacent Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium. This series is presented by the Museum Association of Texas Tech University, a patron group for the museum. The first two lectures of the semester are free for newcomers to the program. The semester fee is $45 and an individual session fee is $7 payable at the door.

Carol Box is chair of the Arts History Lecture Series Committee and is hostess for the series.

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Texas State Historical Association’s 121st Annual Meeting is at the Hyatt Regency Houston at 1200 Louisiana Street https://houston.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html March 2-4, 2017 https://www.tshasecurepay.com/annual-meeting/ the special rate at the hotel booked by or before February 9 is $159 per night. Registration for the meeting can be made through the website.

The president-elect’s reception will be held at the Houston Public Library’s stunning Julia Ideson Building http://houstonlibrary.org/find-it/premier-rental-spaces/julia-ideson-building-spaces and if that building looks familiar to you, it is because William Ward Watkin, Houston architect, designed it within two years after designing the Administration building at Texas Technological College in 1923 using the Spanish Colonial Revival building style derived from the earlier Spanish Renaissance building style in Spain.

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Effective January 9, 2017 Jim Bret Campbell will be executive director and CEO of the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University. Let’s welcome the new ranch boss to the Red Raider spread.

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Hope you didn’t miss Second Friday Downtown Plainview 5:00 – 8:00 pm each month, the theme in December being a Wine/Walk/Downtown Shopping Evening. December 9, 2016, and we’re looking forward to the next offering January 13, 2017.

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If popular music by local musicians is your interest, try out some venues on any evening but Thursday seems to be a special time in Lubbock for repeating regular offerings http://www.lubbocknightout.com/events/545512/juniors-listening-room For example, on Thursday December 8, 2016 the lineup was, from early to late evening,

1. West Texas Live Music broadcast on Radio FM 105.3 presented live at Overton Hotel Sports Grill and Bar 6:00 -10:00 pm no cover

2. Junior’s Listening Room at Caprock Winery presents two or three musicians each Thursday $5 cover, reduced price wine on offer and food truck food is available 6:30 – 9:30 pm

3. Live Music at La Diosa Cellars [wine cellars of the goddess] 7:30 -10:00 pm $5 cover with wine and tapas on offer

4. Jazz Alley plays at Jazz: A Louisiana Kitchen from 9:00 pm to midnight no cover, full menu food and bar drinks on offer.

5. Outlier duo plays at Skooners from 10:00 pm – midnight no cover.

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Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts at 161 Essex Street, formerly the East India Marine Society established in 1799, broke ground Friday December 9 for its 40,000 square foot expansion / new wing that, when completed in 2019, will make it among the 20 largest art museums in the United States http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/art/2016/12/08/peabody-essex-museum-breaks-ground-expansion/4aTklznLJ9sV0Kp1YvKDYO/story.html museum press release http://www.pem.org/press/press_release/355-pem_breaks_ground_on_new_40_000-sq-ft_wing .

Most folks recall the now infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692 resulting in eighteen hangings of alleged witches before the hysteria abated and reason returned. Those trials occurred in Salem Village an agricultural settlement to the west of Salem town [now Salem MA] that was a port city with well to do merchants. The poor rugged settlers on the edge of the forest next to occasionally noticed and feared Indians, were given to superstitions not evident in the town of Salem http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/salemwitchtrials/life/divisions.html

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Ars longa, vita brevis = art is long, life is short

Tempus fugit, ars brevis = time flies, art is short

These are two different concepts, but what they have in common is that art is linked with our lives. Your correspondent and readers agree.

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In our densely populated urban spaces we only imagine “where have all the Indians gone?”. Some were exterminated by disease, by violent attack, and by enslavement but some are among us, all around us. We have to look, ever so closely, for them and for the sites that are historical, cultural and sacred to them. For instance if you lived in Los Angeles where would you go? To University High School in Sawtelle/West Los Angeles on the eastern edge of Santa Monica south of UCLA in Westwood? http://www.universitywildcats.org The Gabrielino/Tongva Indians were the original inhabitants of the Los Angeles basin. Kuruvungna Springs, site of a former Tongva village, is located at the University High School property and a building was constructed there that is now http://gabrielinosprings.com/wpsite/ Kuruvungna Springs Cultural Center & Museum. Go on in and learn about the Indians of the Los Angeles basin. 1439 South Barrington Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90025 phone 310-806-2418. Every October there is a free Life Before Columbus Festival at Kuruvungna Springs.

In 1862 the US Army established Fort Wright at the west end of the Round Valley Indian Reservation. In 1863 the United States Government relocated the majority of the Mechoopda Maidu Indians in the Chico area to the Round Valley Reservation [founded 1852] in Mendocino County at Covelo, that today is a place about 14 miles east northeast of Laytonville on US Highway 101. The remaining Mechoopda who were not corralled, about 300 people, fled to the protection of John Bidwell’s ranch in the Chico area and lived there on a Rancheria set aside for them by Bidwell. Covelo is due west of Chico and reached on California Highway 32 and then the Round Valley Road about 109 miles west and a 3 hour 15 minute drive. It is west of the crest of a Pacific Coast Mountain Range.

Other Maidu tribes in the general area of Chico were Maidu Konkau [Concow], Maidu Oroville, Wintun, and Yana but the majority of Indians in the Chico area were Maidu Mechoopda.

 

At the Covelo or Round Valley location, the various tribal Indians eventually formed Round Valley Indian Tribes a Sovereign Nation of Confederated Tribes, that is federally recognized. http://www.rvit.org

PRE-HISTORY OF ROUND VALLEY

Round Valley has been the heart of the Yuki territory “since time began”. The Yuki have lived on their ancestral homeland (stretching from Humboldt Bay to the upper Russian River area) for over 10,000 years prior to other tribes immigrating into California. The Yuki are thought to be the original Paleo-Indians of California.

Any understanding of the pre-contact history of California must take into account the linguistic history of the area. Many anthropologists believe that the state’s languages were originally introduced by waves of immigrants who entered California, became established in an area, and then expanded into other areas.

[In California 20% of the nearly 500 separate languages spoken in North America were represented here. There were 6 distinct language stocks, 23 language families and isolated languages, making a total of some 90 languages, plus innumerable dialects.]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Berkeley anthropologist, Alfred Kroeber, recognized 104 separate language groups in California, derived from 6 distinct language stocks. The names given today to these stocks are: Hokan, Penutian, Algic, Na Dené, Uto-Aztecan, and Yukian.

Before 6,000 years ago, the population of the state may have been almost entirely Hokan-speaking, except for the North Coast Ranges, where Yukian speakers had already been living for tens of thousands of years. The Hokan-speaking groups are commonly thought to be among the first settlers, partly because their languages show the greatest diversity and possible time depth.

Between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago, there were considerable language shifts, especially among Uto-Aztecan groups in eastern California. In northern California, Penutian speakers may have moved into the marshy lower Sacramento Valley around 4,500 years ago, a movement often associated with the Windmiller Tradition. Over the next few centuries, they spread and diversified, forcing the earlier Hokan-speaking groups to the periphery. In time, Penutian-speaking populations would come to fully occupy the great central valley, as well as expanding westward into the Bay area and southward as far as the Monterey Peninsula.

But, related to no other, Yukian is a language family of it’s own. Anthropologists say that Yukian is among six other language families in the world that are related to no other , all these language families being extremely ancient.

162 years ago, these neighboring tribes were forced into Round Valley. By language family, the confederated tribes of the Round Valley Indian Reservation are:

  • Yuki: Yukian Family
  • Pit River: Hokan Family
  • Pomo: Hokan Family
  • Nomlacki: Penutian Family
  • Concow: Penutian Family
  • Wailacki: Athabascan Family

YUKI ANOMALIES

  • In addition to the above noted linguistic differences between the indigenous population of California, there also seems to be the same anomalies in the mitochondria DNA track studies that have been conducted thus far. Out of the numerous samples taken from Round Valley’s aboriginal population — no matches have been found in the United States, or anywhere else in the world. (Ripen, UC Davis, et al).
  • The Yuki language and the Pamean languages[1] in Mexico have octal systems because the speakers count using the spaces between their fingers rather than the fingers themselves, [2] corresponding to the digits one through eight. There is also linguistic evidence that suggests that the Bronze Age Proto-Indo Europeans (from whom most European and Indic languages descend) might have replaced a base 8 system (or a system which could only count up to 8) with the base 10 system.
  • In regards to basketweaving, the Yuki weave in the opposite direction of other California native weavers.
  • Also, Yuki baskets were the first documented with finished top edges.
  • Unlike most Californian peoples, the Yuki had a war chief and order. They were aggressive and attacked other nearby native peoples on numerous occasions trying to protect their homelands and resources. [Mojave were the only other California warring tribe.]
  • The Yuki are the only California tribe to continuously live on their ancestral homeland.

HISTORY OF THE ROUND VALLEY INDIAN TRIBES

The Round Valley Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe. Beginning as the Covelo Indian Community, RVIT is a confederation of small tribes: the Yuki, Wailacki, Concow, Little Lake Pomo, Nomlacki, and Pit River. They were forced onto the land formerly occupied by the Yuki tribe.

The Round Valley Indian Reservation began in 1856 as the Nome Cult Farm, an administrative extension of the Nome Lackee Reservation located on the Northwestern edge of the Sacramento Valley at Paskenta; one of the five reservations in California legislated by the United States Government in 1852. The system of Indian reservations had a dual purpose: to protect Indians by segregating them from the settlers converging on California in greater and greater numbers, and to free Indian land for the settlers’ use.

When the reservation was established, the Yuki people (as they came to be called) of Round Valley were forced into a difficult and unusual situation. Their traditional homeland was not completely taken over by settlers as in other parts of California. Instead, a small part of it was reserved especially for their use as well as the use of other Indians, many of who were enemies of the Yuki. The Yuki had to share their home with strangers who spoke other languages, lived with other beliefs, and who used the land and its products differently.

Except the Yuki, Indians came to Round Valley as they did to other reservations – by force. The word “drive”, widely used at the time, is descriptive of the practice of “rounding up” Indians and “driving” them like cattle to the reservation where they were “corralled” by high picket fences. Such drives took place in all weather and seasons, and the elderly and sick often did not survive. The Nome Cult Walk is an annual re-enactment of one of these ‘drives’.

From years of intermarriage, a common lifestyle, and a shared land base, a unified community has emerged. In 1936,the descendants of Yuki, Wailacki, Concow, Little Lake Pomo, Nomlacki, and Pit River peoples formed a new tribe on the reservation through the adoption of a Constitution and created the Covelo Indian Community, later to be called the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Our heritage is a rich combination of different cultures with a common reservation experience and history.

[1] Avelino, Heriberto (2006). “The typology of Pame number systems and the limits of Mesoamerica as a linguistic area”. Linguistic Typology 10 (1): 41–60. DOI:10.1515/LINGTY.2006.002

[2] Marcia Ascher. “Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas”. The College Mathematics Journal. Retrieved 2007-04-13.

Language information found athttp://www.californiaprehistory.com/tribmap.html


Last modified: August 12 2013.

Located 1 Mile North of Covelo in Round Valley. 77826 Covelo Road – Covelo, California 95428
Phone: (707) 983-6126 Fax: (707) 983-6128

Here is more history of that reservation including a photograph of the annual Nome Cult Walk, a re-enactment of the 1863 forced walk of Indians from the Chico area to the Covelo area http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Round_Valley_Indian_Tribes_of_the_Round_Valley_Reservation#/History_of_the_Round_Valley_Indians

Maidu Regional Park is located in the east side of Roseville California a suburban city of Sacramento California and includes Maidu Indian Museum & Historic Site http://www.roseville.ca.us/parks/parks_n_facilities/parks_in_roseville/maidu.asp

 

Major federal law affecting Indian communities is: 1. Presidential Executive Order with approval of Congress (e.g. Round Valley Indian Reservation established March 30, 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant) 2. Dawes Act of 1887 (Allotment Act) and 3. Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. https://historyscoop.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/indian_history-timeline.pdf Additional legislation and rulings found here.

 

 

Arts History Update for early December 2016

29 Nov

Arts History Update for early December 2016 by David Cummins

www.artshistoryupdates.com

Can we talk about the history of West Texas? After reception of Texas into the United States in 1845 the U.S. Army arrived and in May 1846 set off south toward Veracruz to begin the 1846 War with Mexico that had declared its intention to recapture and dominate Texas and more lands above the Rio Grande [Big River]. In the aftermath of that successful war, with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo http://www.history.com/topics/treaty-of-guadalupe-hidalgo on February 2, 1848, Mexico gave up all claims to Texas and to all or parts of New Mexico, Arizona, California [alta California not baja California], Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Later in 1848 a gold discovery in the Sierra Nevada [snow-capped mountains] in northern California would spark a Gold Rush and cause

substantial migration and travel to Nevada and California. Later strikes in other locations including Montana and Colorado would spur migrant travel to the west.

By 1852 the U.S. Army established a series of forts from the location on the Red River where the Great Western Cattle Trail Drive was located, south to the Rio Grande and down the Rio Grande to the southeast to its exit into the Gulf of Mexico. These forts protected the western and southern Texas frontier settlements and ranches from Indians [Kiowa, Kiowa Apache, Mescalero Apache, Lipan Apache and Comanche] and Mexicans, and established embarkation points for travel west to Santa Fe, Fort Bliss and onward to more western locations including San Diego, the Los Angeles basin and the lower southern extremity of the Great Central Valley of California.

The trails from San Antonio westward to Fort Bliss and from there then northward to Santa Fe, or farther westward from Fort Bliss to California, were called the Pecos River Trail because that was the major river crossing on the trek. There was an upper trail more often used as a military road, and a lower trail more often used for commercial travel, both called the Pecos River Trail.

The frontier defense series of forts were, north to south, Fort Belknap (Newcastle), Camp Cooper [Clear Fork of Brazos River to monitor nearby Comanche Indian Reservation], Fort Griffin (Albany), Fort Phantom Hill (Abilene), Fort Chadbourne (Coke County), Fort McKavett (Menard County west of Menard east of El Dorado south of US Highway 190), Fort Terrett (1852-1854 ghost town Roosevelt in Sutton County near Sonora), Fort Clark (Bracketville), Fort Inge (Uvalde), Fort Duncan (Eagle Pass on the Rio Grande) and down the Rio Grande to Fort McIntosh (Laredo), Ringgold Barracks (Rio Grande City), Fort Brown (Brownsville) and Fort Polk (Port Isabel on the Gulf of Mexico).

The upper Pecos River Trail extended from San Antonio northwest to Fort Mason (near Fredericksburg closer to Mason) to Fort McKavett https://tshasecurepay.com/digital-library/texas-talks/?event-id=4edc38c095 and then west to Horsehead Crossing / Castle Gap area on and near the Pecos River and then due west to Fort Bliss (El Paso). The lower Pecos River Trail extended from San Antonio west to Fort Inge (Uvalde), then Fort Clark (Bracketville) and headed northwest to Camp Hudson (on the Devil’s River) [travel stations nearby are Dead Man’s Pass, Dead Man’s Creek, Dead Man’s Run and Dead Man’s Canyon indicating the dangerous conditions for travel on this road], Fort Lancaster (on the Pecos River), west to Fort Stockton, Fort Davis, Fort Quitman (on the Rio Grande) to Fort Bliss (El Paso). The lower Pecos River Trail was also called Chihuahua Trail or Chihuahua Road or Old Spanish Trail or the San Antonio – El Paso Road and also the San Antonio – San Diego Mail Line and also Butterfield Overland Mail Line. What is left of this military forts road that became such a commercial travel route? Fort Bliss is an active U.S. Army post today within a thriving city El Paso. The other forts are historic sites some near or inside cities by the same name such as Fort Davis and Fort Stockton.

Fort Clark closed in 1946 and now is Fort Clark Springs within the city of Bracketville. The springs and pool is where the U.S. Army at this fort developed the ancient Las Moras Springs, used by the Lipan Apache and Comanche for centuries. Then in 1938 the Works Progress Administration arrived and developed the springs into a large swimming pool area, the largest pool on any Army post at the time. Some of the former fort buildings were sold and are now private homes, including the former residence of General George S. Patton, Old Blood and Guts. The current Old Guardhouse Museum is located in one of the fort’s 1870s limestone buildings, open to visitors on weekends.

Thirty miles west on US Highway 90 is the city of Del Rio in which one can visit Whitehead Memorial Museum that contains a replica of Judge Roy Bean’s courtroom, saloon and jail of “The Law of the West” fame. One can also see a portion of the city’s historic acequia or canal system. Follow Texas State Highway 163 northwest toward Camp Hudson on the Devil’s River 20 miles north of Comstock, present day Baker’s Crossing. The road in this area crosses the Devil’s River twice and at one point through a narrow canyon called Dead Man’s Canyon or Dead Man’s Pass or Dead Man’s Run because there were so many Indian raids on travelers of this roadway http://www.vvchc.net/marker/Dead_Mans_Pass_narrative.html and so many travelers were buried there. The Devil’s River runs south into Amistad Reservoir on the Rio Grande north of Del Rio.

Continue on SH 163 to IH-10 then west to Fort Lancaster State Historic Site http://www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/fort-lancaster-state-historic-site in the Pecos River Valley on a tributary Live Oak Creek in Crockett County. It is in ruins after having closed in 1874. A scale model of an operating Fort Lancaster is on display in the Crockett County Museum in Ozona Texas east of Fort Lancaster. Some of the fort’s materials were stripped for use in construction in the town of Sheffield seven miles west.

Continue west on IH-10 eighty-one miles to Fort Stockton http://historicfortstocktontx.com It like many forts was established near a historic water source Comanche Springs. Today it is a public swimming pool. A few buildings on the long-closed fort remain, officers’ quarters and an 1868 guardhouse. The visitors center informs us about the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers who were stationed there.

Continue west on IH-10 to Fort Davis National Historic Site operated by the U.S. National Park Service https://www.nps.gov/foda/index.htm and then west to Van Horn and on to Fort Quitman 1858-1882 http://www.maplandia.com/united-states/texas/hudspeth-county/fort-quitman/ and http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/tx/fortquitman.html on the Rio Grande north of the Mexican town of Banderas, a distance of 143 miles from Fort Davis. Continue on IH-10 up the Rio Grande to Fort Bliss a distance of 77 miles.

Rupert Richardson, Along the Old Texas Forts Trail (University of North Texas 1972) Texas Tech University Southwest Collection TEX 31 R524 A454 (1972) reissued and expanded Rupert Richardson, B.W. Aston & Donathan Taylor, Along the Old Texas Forts Trail (University of North Texas 1990) TEX 20.5 R524 A454 (1990)

Charles M. Robinson III, Frontier Forts of Texas (Lone Star Books 1986) 86 pages Texas Tech Southwest Collection TEX 32 R658 F935

Joan Usner Salvant, If These Walls Could Speak: Historic Forts of Texas (University of Texas Press 1985) Southwest Collection OVERSZ TEX 31 U91 i23

Lawrence John Francell, Fort Lancaster: Texas Frontier Sentinel (Texas State History Association 1999) 70 pages Southwest Collection TEX 27.3 F736 L244 F815 and Texas Tech Library F394.F637 F73 (1999) paperback and e-book $10

History is always a snapshot in time, hopefully seen in the context of events and activities. I asked myself, what was the earlier line of forts or presidios established by New Spain in this general area? Looking at the end of the 17th century and beginning of the 18th century or about 1700 it turns out that the outermost defensive area relative to Indians, who had already proved difficult to bring under control through the mission system of friars, either Jesuits or Franciscans, was largely parallel to the current border of the United States with Mexico, meaning that Santa Fe, Taos and the upper Rio Grande were Spanish outposts beyond the defensible frontier for New Spain. From east to west the presidios were Bahia del Espiritu Santo on the Gulf of Mexico [present day Goliad], http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/goliad San Antonio de Bexar inland, and the following presidios on the Rio Grande viz. San Juan Bautista, Monclova, Santa Rosa, San Saba, Cerro Gordo, Julimes, and Guajoquilla. West of that the presidios were in the Sierra Madre [mother mountains] and high mountain desert viz. Carrizal, San Buenaventura, Janos, Fronteras, Terrenate, Tucson and Altar.

The first of these presidios, missions and civilian settlements on the Rio Grande was San Juan Bautista. It was established at present day Guerrero in the Mexican state of Coahuila 35 miles down the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass Texas and Piedras Negras Mexico. The site was about 5 miles from the Rio Grande itself and was chosen because it was an obvious crossing area for Indians to cross the Rio Grande. It would be used for many years as an access point for Spanish colonialist to cross the Rio Grande and enter and exit Tejas [present day Texas]. https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/uqs24 Today Guerrero is on Mexico Federal Highway 2 that tracks the Rio Grande all the way down to Matamoros opposite Brownsville Texas.

At the western edge of the presidios was Altar, today in the state of Sonora, Mexico. It also is on Mexico Federal Highway 2 a distance of 112 miles southwest of Nogales Mexico across the border from Nogales Arizona.

The mission at Bahia del Espiritu Santo [bay on the Gulf of Mexico of the holy spirit at Goliad] was Nuestra Senora del Espiritu Santo de Zuniga [Our Lady of the Holy Spirit (the Virgin Mary) of the noble lineage House of Zuniga descending from the kings of Navarre] http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/goliad We recall the Battle at Goliad, the cry heard round about Tejas when the Texians [Anglo settlers] and Tejanos [Hispanic settlers] answered the demand to surrender the settlement’s cannon by saying “Come and Get It”. The Spanish soldiers who came for the cannon went back to San Antonio without it. Later the marching army commanded by Santa Ana would destroy Goliad silence the cannon and kill its inhabitants in 1836.

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Not entirely happy with an old laptop or desktop computer that seems slower than before and too slow to tolerate? www.extra-pc.com Xtra-PC is a thumb drive / flash drive] you can purchase for $25 [for more powerful versions cost rises to $89] and plug it into a USB port on your computer when it’s turned off. Then start your computer and reboot. In fifteen minutes time a UNIX based operating system is installed that bypasses your previous Microsoft Windows operating system or Apple OS operating system. It contains an e-mail software program, Open Office software, a Web Browser program and other basic software. For those people who use cloud software programs, it has an access to the web where you can use the software in the cloud with which you’re familiar and into which you’ve entered important data in your life. http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Teaching/Unix/unixintro.html

Why consider this? Only if your Microsoft or Apple operating system has slowed down to the point where cleaning up, defragging, aggregating and compressing files, etc. doesn’t return the computer to acceptable speeds. If the alternatives are spending $500 or more for a new or refurbished computer or living in forced toleration with a slow computer, purchasing this flash drive with a UNIX based operating system is an option. It’s a recoverable step if it doesn’t work out, i.e. you could jettison the UNIX operating system and restore your previous operating system that is still on your hard drive.

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The arts in Lubbock in December begins with the First Friday Art Trail on December 2, 1016 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm http://www.thelbk.com/event/first-friday-art-trail/2016-12-02/ continues that evening with live music at La Diosa Cellars [wine cellars of the goddess] http://www.ladiosacellars.com 901 17th Street from 7:00 – 11:00 pm cover per person $3-$7 depending on the musicians. Spanish tapas, sangria and other wines are on offer [owner’s husband operates McPherson Cellars Winery across the street].

The month ends with an outstanding musical duo Outlier at Skooners Grill & Bar 1617 University Avenue http://www.skoonerslubbock.com on Thursday December 29 from 10:00 pm to midnight no cover. If you can’t make it, their latest CD album is Outlier released October 24, 2016 $10 at Amazon.com see their website http://www.outlier-music.com/ and get to know Anthony Garcia [guitarist, pianist, vocalist] and Melanie Lenau [violinist, vocalist] watch and listen to them on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXsZC3MV4USO19gU9Ih3Fwg to be impressed.

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Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014 went to French author Patrick Modiano. Try a paperback novella Young Once $12.14 156 pages or another In the Cafe of Lost Youth $10.28 118 pages or another Villa Triste $8.61 170 pages.

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Symphony Space 2537 Broadway at West 95th Street upper west side in Manhattan New York City is a multidisciplinary performing arts center where live music, dance, theatre, literary events, and film are provided in an intimate setting

http://www.symphonyspace.org/home A literary event that one rarely finds in West Texas is the reading and performance of short fiction. On Wednesday December 7 at 7:30 pm Paul Giamatti Oscar-nominated actor will curate stories read/performed by others as well as himself at Symphony Space’s Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/9304/Literature/selected-shorts-paul-giamatti-curates-stories-from-ithe-new-york-review-of-books-i Others includes Jane Kaczmarek, Billy Porter and Kathryn Erbe. $30 per person but $15 for those 30 years of age or younger.

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A reader asked about how one can thriftily set up one’s computer to prevent hacks, trojans, worms, malware attacks or infestations of all kinds.

I am not a computer expert or geek but I do two things:

1. Since I’m using Microsoft Windows 7 operating system on my desktop and Windows 10 on my laptop, I use the free Microsoft Security Essentials software program https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5201 and set it up to automatically scan daily at 2:00 am [I leave my desktop on overnight and the automatic scan begins on my laptop when I turn it on for the first use of the day] and I’ve set up both desktop and laptop to automatically receive, download and install updates to the software program. This is what is called “real time” protection because what gets put into the computer are the protections against the most current threats as soon as those updates are sent out by Microsoft.

2. In addition I annually purchase Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Home Premium software program www.malwarebytes.com from Cleverbridge Inc. for $32.45 that covers two computers, my desktop and my laptop, and set it up to automatically run a daily scan and repair function, and automatically receive, download and install updates to the program.

In tandem these two software programs perform a good service for me. The rest is up to me to be cautious and smart, e.g. not click on strange or unexpected attachments, not click on links to “my bank account because there’s some problem with a deposit” [the link would take one e.g. to a Bulgarian site where my actual bank account information would be gladly received for performing future thefts], etc.

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Erica Richardson, Resident Teacher at Bodhichitta Kadampa Buddhist Center at 6701 Aberdeen Avenue Suite 4 Lubbock, moved back to Dallas and the Lubbock Center reverted to branch status http://meditationinlubbock.org/ It continues to offer meditation practices and instruction by lay instructors. On occasion in the future a monk or nun will visit Lubbock and offer a practice or instruction. http://kadampa.org/centers A Buddhist temple is located in Arlington Texas https://www.meditationintexas.org/

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