If I were to count up the nights that I spent in each of the houses I have lived in my life, the house I live in now would probably be on top. And that just boggles my mind. I mean, I’ve only lived here for almost 14 years and I feel like I’ve hardly gotten started. Now THIS house, the one in the picture, has been the one that has always had the record and always will have when I think about homes that made an impression on me. This was the house I grew up in.
The house was originally built in 1902 in Amarillo and was owned by the first postmaster of Amarillo. Someday I need to do some research about him. We (I say “we” as if I had anything to do with it)… Daddy and Mother bought it in 1964 when the part of town it was in was being cleared. They moved it to the country and sat it on a bare piece of plowed field. We (again with the we!) fixed it up and lived there until 1969 when we moved to Colorado. But we came back to it in 1971 and I lived there until I moved to the dorm at college in 1977. Dorm life didn’t suit me so I came home and lived at home through 1978 before moving in with a friend in town. So I guess my house here in Austin has already beaten out the Canyon house for length of time living there.
I took this picture in 1978 when I was in college and taking a photography course. I not only took it, I developed it.
I have lots of stories about this house. And I should tell stories about film and developing film since that is a lost art.
I want to write in my blog more, but I get here and am uninspired. Topics seem too big or trivial. I’m always thinking I can just pull a picture out and talk about it, but then I spend a half hour just looking through pictures, discounting them for being too much or too trivial. But I found this one tonight and it makes me feel old. It looks like I was growing up on a sharecroppers farm in the Great Depression, doesn’t it? Yes, I’m the little one in this picture in my dad’s arms. That’s Uncle Dick on the left, he lives in Abilene now in a nursing home. That’s his mother, my great-grandmother on the right. She died when I was in college. I’m not sure if this was their farm in Zephyr or in Hamilton. Probably Hamilton. There are some really good stories about Uncle Dick and Grandma Williams… another time.
I have seen other writers go back to a previous year and take a glimpse at what they were doing on that date in previous years. I was just fooling with other “blog” (I use that term just so you can imagine what it is, it isn’t a blog) that I have had online for years and thought I would see what I was doing in a previous year. Sometimes when I read something I wrote in the past it makes me laugh out loud. Since this blog was written only for a few special friends, I didn’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings if they were to stumble upon my writing. And now, with 10 years distance, I’ve forgotten this girl’s name and she’s forgotten mine, so I think I’m safe to repost this. Let me take you back to the second summer we lived in Austin… a hot July night in 2000…and ACTION:
I had a truly Austin experience this week that I will not soon repeat. I felt like I was in a sitcom or a candid camera episode. A woman I know is in an Improvisational Dance class at Austin Community College and invited me to her performance this week. I went to be polite and went to see where the campus was. It is a really cool campus where Austin High School used to be. Great neighborhood at 12th and Rio Grande. So I go to the school and find the auditorium. The auditorium would probably take you right back to high school days. At least it did for me. Same vintage as my old Canyon High School auditorium except this one was pretty small and only had about 300 seats. I get there late and four girls are on stage doing a very ethereal and spooky kind of dance to some very rhythmic and strange music. It ends before I see much and their instructor gets up and talks about the “piece” and takes questions. I couldn’t make heads or tails about the questions or answers. “It seemed like this was an organic piece, did you have an organic intention?” “Oh, yes, I had the robotic structure in mind but the plantlike movement as the complement to the blah blah snnnnnooorrre…..” Sorry, I nodded off through this point and was itching to leave already. I wanted to see enough of my friend’s part so I could say I was there. Finally these people cleared the stage and a different teacher took over. Now, believe it or not, this is where it got weird! She asks us all to come and SIT on the stage for this performance. Slowly, like cattle to slaughter, we shuffled to the stage and sat with grunts around the periphery. I am an ample woman and my legs were asleep under me before the first “dance” begin. I put dance in quotes because it was unlike any dance I’ve ever seen except maybe in those old films of kids on drugs at Woodstock or in San Francisco. Each “dancer” (hippie would probably be a better word) took to the stage while a boy played the drum and another performer read words. The words were sort of like a poem but not. The dance was sort of like a witch doctor’s dance but again not. Imagine a full grown person throwing a tantrum like a two-year-old and slinging their toys around the room and running around like they’d had two Mountain Dews for lunch while a friend shouts “Redemption, peace, motor oil” and you’re too busy looking at their hairy armpits to really get much out of it at all. That was my evening. Cindy was performer number five and, thank God, my requirement was over. If only my legs would wake up and let me crawl off the stage unnoticed. The gods smiled on me and I was able to make it and slowly creep out of the auditorium without having to witness more. Miraculously, cutting funding to the NEA seemed to make much more sense