Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

April 7, 2012

Easter is Here

Filed under: At home,Bluebonnets,Childhood Memories — Janice @ 11:22 pm

I truly don’t know why I’ve been on such a long writer’s block. Whatever.

Easter is here tomorrow and that makes me think of many good Easters I’ve had in my life. In Amarillo, Easter was like Halloween in that, as likely as not, it was too cold to do what you planned to do… hunt Easter eggs. We would wear our light spring dresses and white shoes, but freeze all the way too and from church.

As an adult, a favorite Easter memory was when I lived in Dallas and went home to Canyon for Easter. My best friend Beth joined our family for the day and my sister and her family were there. The boys were about 3 and 2 and were adorable in their little matching clothes hunting Easter eggs. We would hide Easter eggs in plain sight and when I “couldn’t find” an egg laying right in front of me Brandt was a good helper by pointing and saying “Aunt Zan, it’s RIGHT THERE.” Connor mostly sucked on his pacifier and had no idea what the fuss was about.

In Austin, our Easters are often bluebonnet trips into the country. We’ve had plenty of those this year and seen so many beautiful bluebonnet patches. And Mark is off on a trip of his own this weekend so I am home taking care of things that have been shoved aside for the last few weeks while I entertained others, did taxes, did work, or felt crappy. I’ve had a highly successful day and if tomorrow is just as successful, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

March 11, 2012


Filed under: Austin,Music — Janice @ 10:06 pm

I don’t know what is with me lately with this reluctance to write. Lots of ideas flow through my head, but the sitting down and getting them written is not getting done. And, I guess even if it does get done they sometimes are missing. I just found a post I wrote weeks ago that never published, so you’ll now read about my cousin Gary 3 weeks late.

My friend Jenni wrote a blog post about why she loves SXSW today. I read it and it did make me get a little bit excited about the week ahead. I also like the long walks and realizing how close things really are, even though I may only walk that much once a year. And I like running into people and meeting people and discovering new music. I wouldn’t be the Brian Wright fan I am today if I hadn’t heard him at a SXSW stage in the middle of the afternoon many years ago.

But I’ll go ahead and bitch and complain about things that most people would love to have to deal with in order to get to experience SXSW each year. Please don’t come back at me with all the good things about it and why I shouldn’t bitch. This is my blog and I’m going to bitch if I want to.

The main reason I dread SXSW and can’t wait for it to be over is because of how hard Mark has to work through it all. The last couple of years might have been a little bit lighter because of the economy, but this year it seems to be back at full tilt. Most of the year, Mark works from Tuesday through Friday at the drum/gear shop and often has to take gear on a weekend and be with a show for 12 or more hours. But when it gets near to SXSW time, he spends longer and longer hours putting gear together for bands and then it is almost a 24-hour-a-day job by the time this Friday is here. Yesterday he went to work about noon and came home at 4 in the morning. I expect today will be much the same. And there is no weekend or Monday off during SXSW. He’ll be working straight through all the festivities. He won’t get to go out and experience any of the bands he’s putting gear together for. He is there through rain and cold and on his feet all night long putting drums together and taking them apart and keeping track of dozens of sets of drums all over town.

My second gripe about SXSW is that my birthday is almost always during SXSW. On my 50th birthday, SXSW started late and I had a whole Sunday before SX to celebrate me! We ate Mexican food and enjoyed the spring weather and walked around the State Cemetery. My idea of a great birthday. Every other birthday is overshadowed by SXSW. On the good side, I do get to celebrate my birthday each year with Ray Benson at his big party and I am looking forward to that because I see many friends that I really like at that big event.

Jenni mentioned the traffic and that is a nightmare for those of us who live here. Last year we had a company part on the east side and, knowing the city and knowing what downtown would be like, I cut way east to make my way south to avoid the downtown streets. It didn’t help. The minute I cut back toward my side of town I was in long long waits for red lights and it was ages before I was back home. This year our company party is in an even more hard to get to place and I have no clue where I’m going to be able to park for it.

A good thing this year is that I am a little bit more secure in my job and know how much I can be gone to go enjoy the festivities and how much I need to be in the office to do my job. That is a good thing to know. I enjoy the day parties and the day music more than the night events, so I will be taking advantage of my schedule and experiencing what I can throughout the afternoons and getting my work done in the morning.

That’s enough bitching for now. I think most of my anxiety over SXSW is my anxiety and has nothing to do whatsoever with the event. I have had some great moments during SXSW, just like Jenni points out, and I am eager to see who I run into and what music memories I come away with when it is over.

February 21, 2012

Meeting Gary Hood

Filed under: Family,Genealogy — Janice @ 8:37 am

All weekend I thought of things I wanted to write about in my blog, but here comes Tuesday morning after the holiday and I haven’t written (hardly) a thing.

But I did get to meet my cousin Gary Hood this weekend. That was a highlight of my holiday. He and his wife Judy came through on Saturday  morning and I met them at the highway corner so we could become acquainted. As is the case with a whole lot of my “cousins,” we have never met.

Gary used to correspond with my grandmother. Back in the days before I did a lot of correspondence in my genealogy, he was researching his family and found out about my grandmother somehow and wrote letters to her. She was a good letter-writer and kept up the correspondence. He lived in Arkansas and she had just moved to Austin, I believe. They were distant Hood cousins and Gary came down twice over the years for the Hood Reunion in Georgetown and met my grandmother and the others there.

Fast forward to about 5 or 6 years ago. I get email from Becky Hood in Amarillo (another cousin I’ve never met) introducing herself to me. She had heard about me from Gary Hood in Arkansas, but tracked me down through the radio station. He only knew of me because of my grandmother telling him about me. Becky and I began an email friendship and exchange of information and I got to meet her on a trip to Amarillo almost 5 years ago. We hit it off immediately and had so much in common, beginning with the same hometown. My best friend even knew her sister from high school, another connection.

When Facebook came along and took over the world, I eventually became friends with Gary and we exchanged some information and became friends. He travels the world frequently and takes beautiful pictures, so I have enjoyed seeing his travels from my home.

Gary’s great-great-grandfather and my great-great-great-grandfather (I think I have that right) were brothers and lived in Arkansas before the Civil War, near where Gary lives today. Mine fought in the Civil War and was injured and had to use a cane the rest of his life. That injury didn’t keep him out of the war, though, and he continued to be a part of the Confederate force and fought the Union soldiers in Mississippi. I’ve forgotten the name of the battle now, but the Confederates were forced into retreat and had to retreat across a large river. There was sort of a bridge made of boats and they were retreating quickly, but the Union forces were advancing so rapidly, the Southern soldiers had to torch the boats to prevent the Yankees from using them as well. This still left hundreds of Confederate soldiers on the wrong side of the river. Many swam and drown in their attempt to get across. My g-g-g-grandfather was captured and kept in a prison camp for a period of time.

He did survive the war and went home to Arkansas. I need to ask Gary about his ancestor’s service because I expect he was also in the Civil War – who wasn’t if you lived in the South and were of fighting age?

After the war, the two brothers, along with another brother who was the g-g-g-grandfather of Becky Hood, came to Texas to homestead. Becky’s ancestor and mine stayed and found their home here. Gary’s tried it a while and decided he wanted to go back to Arkansas. Which he did. The End.

February 18, 2012

Odd and Ends

Filed under: Music — Janice @ 2:35 pm

I’m cleaning off my desk (and chair and floor – things have gotten way out of hand). I’m finding bits and pieces and scraps of things I wrote down to eventually write about. I may not really write about this, but I thought I’d share these lyrics I wrote done from one of the lame CDs I got at work. I didn’t even write down the artist, not that it matters. These are so typical of ALL of the country CDs I get. It is interesting that in the hands of the really good songwriters, these trite subjects can become a great country song. This guy was NOT one of those writers.

Some examples:

The title “What I Done Wrong” should have been a clue as to how bad this could be. “I been sittin’ here for three long days wonderin’ why it was you went away…”

“There’s a Gideon’s Bible in the drawer, bars on the window, bars on the door.”

“We walked in starched up with our ostrich on…”

“Daddy had a 1941 Ford when I was just about ten years old.”

“I got a brand new pack of cigarettes, I’ve got a brand new pair of shoes.”

“They say sweet salvation saves your soul, but without my woman I just don’t feel whole.”

“Loneliness is the only thing that keeps me company these days when I’m by myself.”

and my favorite:

“My Daddy picked his poison cause I guess that it fulfilled him”  (okay, you’re thinking, that’s a weird lyric, but then the next line ends with “killed him” and you realize it was one of those contrived rhymes he forced)

So did he cover all the country bases? Prison, trains, truck, or getting drunk? Not exactly, but enough of the others (two about Daddy!) that I would give him a “Trite Award.”

February 4, 2012

St. Blaise Day 2012

Filed under: Austin,Spasmodic Dysphonia — Janice @ 9:09 am

I wrote about St. Blaise Day last year and why I go to this Catholic service once a year. I had it in my intentions all this week to again participate in St. Blaise Day on February 3. I was even thinking how great it was that it wasn’t icy and snowy like it was last February and I didn’t have to worry about that issue this week.

But Friday, St. Blaise Day, rolled around yesterday and I completely forgot. I expected to go to a noon mass again and at 12:45 I looked at the clock and remembered! Shoot. With the help of my Catholic friend Denise and the Internet and a call or two, I discovered a couple of after work services that would have the blessing. Denise says I am lucky that it was First Friday or churches might not have been having these services.

I made it to the south side of town to the San Jose Catholic Church by their 5:45 service in the Sacred Heart Chapel. I wanted to see what their big cathedral looked like inside, but I guess I’ll have to go another time for that. The chapel was very nice, though. Plastic movable chairs instead of pews and no kneeling benches. I think Catholics must get to live longer because they keep their bodies limber by kneeling so often. Over and over and over during a service. I don’t/can’t do that. I was surprised that they DID get all the way on their knees when there are no kneeling benches.

The priest this year was a very small berry brown man and I assumed he was Mexican since this church is in the heart of a Mexican community, but when he spoke I realized he is probably Indian. He had a beautiful soft British accent.

It was a long long service with lots of responsive readings and ceremony and ritual. One thing (well, several things) I’ll give to the Catholics:  first, it isn’t a social hour when they come to church, before or after the service. When I go into a church I like to get my mind right and think and relax and prepare for worship. Catholics know how to to that, especially with the holy water and the kneeling as they come in, etc., but mainly with sitting quietly or praying before the service. Baptists (if you haven’t been in a Baptist church) do a whole lot of greeting and talking and visiting as they sit in the pews and come up the aisles before the service gets started. And I appreciate the Catholics for not making me declare that I am a visitor and filling out a card and fearing that they are going to come to my house to visit me. I have several horror stories related to such things I won’t go into today, but it is a huge relief to not even have to worry about that moment of the service where they say “Can we have all the visitors stand so we can welcome you?” Augh. Catholics do have that part of the service where you greet one another and say “Peace be with you,” but no one says “And who are YOU?” or “You are visiting?” or even expects you to introduce yourself. I like that, too. Yes, I like anonymity. But the Baptists do have much better music and much less audience participation so don’t think I’m slamming Baptists. We have our good parts, too.

They did the blessing early in the service and the priest did every one of them (no assistant priest) and said it loudly and clearly so I could really hear the words, asking the bishop and martyr St. Blaise to intercede and prevent diseases of the throat and all other diseases in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There were at least 75 people there so it took a while.

One thing I liked, too, in this mostly Mexican-heritage congregation was several women with lace scarves on their head. One woman that assisted in the service and communion had a beautiful black and red one that really was beautiful with her black hair and eyes.

Before the service I went into the little store there at the church. Lots of churches (even Baptists) have little stores in their churches these days and I’m not so sure I “believe” in that, but I did appreciate this one last night. I have wanted a St. Blaise medal for years. I have a St. Christopher medal that a listener once gave me and I appreciate it because of her, but I wanted St. Blaise because of this yearly ritual. I had looked online and have seen gold and silver ones for $25 and up, so I haven’t ordered one. Last night I found this store with just about every medal of every saint you could want and got a St. Blaise for all of 50 cents. Score!

Next year St. Blaise should fall on a Sunday again and it might be a long service. I will call ahead to make sure that there will be a blessing since my last Sunday experience didn’t have one. It will probably be Superbowl Sunday, too, but I expect and plan to be there again, unless I forget. 

January 29, 2012

What a Weekend

Filed under: At home,Austin,Childhood Memories,Family,Food,Music,Writing — Janice @ 8:23 pm

As the week goes on, I think of lots of things I think I want to blog about. I sometimes send myself an email with the idea. Tonight I searched for those emails and looked at the ideas and thought, “Now why in the world did I want to blog about that?” I think any subject I come up with has to be written about in the moment of inspiration or it is lost.

Which I guess is a good way of writing and I need to jump on that inspiration train more often. I sometimes tend to hold on to things until I have time to explore them further or really do them justice. I once asked Billy Joe Shaver about songwriting. I asked if he ever came up with a really good line or turn of a phrase and if he decided to save that line for a different song so that he didn’t “waste” it. He looked at me like I was crazy and didn’t understand at all what I meant. And I think that is the way that creative people really work (his way, not mine). They use whatever they have and expect it to be in its perfect place then and there and know there will be more inspiration where that comes from as they need it.

I have spent this day trying to get inspired to do the true paid work I needed to do in order to get past that and do the creative fun things I wanted to do. Mostly I ended up with nothing being done. A bit of the paid work, but not enough, and none of the fun stuff. And very little of the laundry and things that just have to be done to be a contributing member of our society. I hate when the weekend flies by with that feeling of little accomplishment.

On the very good side of the equation, however, I got to spend some really fun and really quality time with my husband. We went out to see music on Friday night and got to hang with some of our favorite people at some of our favorite places and hear truly great music. Saturday we ventured forth and tried a new chicken joint for dinner. Stuck in our ways, we don’t eat out much and we sure don’t eat out at new places much, but we ALWAYS on the search for good fried chicken that makes us as happy as Allen’s in Sweetwater does. We tried the new place Lucy’s Fried Chicken near Oltorf and South Congress that is currently trendy. We went and we enjoyed it, but it is VERY pricey for fried chicken. I think they could tone down the hipster vibe a bit and the organic and master chef vibe and hire some old farm wife to come in and make fried chicken and it would be an improvement. The fried chicken was excellent, the salads we had were excellent, the corn muffins were very good, but it isn’t a place we can afford on a regular basis and it isn’t the kind of place you’d want to go for a truly special night. Our search will continue. We also got to go to an estate sale that we passed and saw drums in the yard. The drums weren’t worth Mark’s money and I just got a book about the Depression and people’s memories of it and an unused spiral and we were happy.

We also watched the movie the Black Swan that got so many Academy Awards last year. I can see why it got them because the acting is outstanding and the set design, costuming, music, Foley, et al, was great. But the movie itself is creepy creepy creepy and I would not recommend it to anyone that doesn’t love creepy or horror. I’m glad I saw it to see what all the fuss was about and I tried to watch a lot of it with my “degree in film” mind instead of my “weak constitution chicken” mind. That helped. Creepy. Haunting.

And today would have been my grandfather’s 104th birthday. His name was Andy Williams, a name that was always fun to use in conversation. He was my first grandparent to die. He was 65 and had just retired a few months earlier (and hated every minute of it) and I was 14. So I have fewer memories of him than any of the others who all lived past 90 or 100. He was a truck driver and had been a farmer and had owned a grocery store and had to do a lot of things to try to make a living in the Depression and soon after. By some reports he didn’t try hard enough and their marriage was a bit rocky at times, I have heard. But they stayed together and he was a good grandfather. He would bring us packs of Juicy Fruit or Double Mint and sometimes coins when he came in from off the road. He let me smoke cigarettes with him when I was about 7 or 8. He would let us ride with him on the riding lawnmower.

Yes, I’m just rambling. I went back to a few of my older entries when I started this blog, trying to fix the links and errors that have cropped up with server changes. The ones I like to re-read are usually the ones I dashed off or wrote about several topics. The ones that were thought out and more like a newspaper article are stale and lifeless now. So will this one hold up over time? It probably would if it had a picture, so I’ll put a picture of Pappa Williams:

Andy and Durward Williams

That’s him on the left with the ever-present cigarette in his hand. Daddy on the right … probably with a cigarette in his other hand, too. This was in their garage. I notice between them in the background my little white and red stepstool that sits in my kitchen. It must have been relegated to their garage when Mamma got her new fancy bigger metal one (that doubled as an extra seat in the kitchen). There were many battles as kids to see who got to sit on the little red and white footstool. It, too, could be a stool you stepped up or, flip the top over, it could be a sitting stool. I “inherited” it from Mamma somewhere down the line. I say “inherited” because I am sure I got it long before she died and I may have flat out asked for it. I don’t really remember how I ended up with it, but I did, and I replaced the hinges and painted it red and white again because it was paint splattered and beat up. My nephews used to compete a bit to get to sit on it at my house, too. That makes me happy. Everyone has grown up with it now and it still sits in my kitchen reminding me of good times at Mamma and Pappa Williams.

January 18, 2012

A Mission

Filed under: Austin,Reading — Janice @ 8:59 pm

Dec. 31, 2011 – My friend Jenni gives me the book “A Redbird Christmas” by Fannie Flagg.

What an incredibly thoughtful gift because it had been a full 11 months earlier that she learned I had not read this book. I don’t know how it even came up, though we were discussing Fannie Flagg books. I told a story about my cousin and her little girl that died at age 3 or 4 and how on the day of her funeral the entire neighborhood was covered in cardinals. Jenni knew this book would mean more to me because of that.

Jan 1, 2012 – I think about how sweet it was that Jenni gave me this incredibly thoughtful gift and I wanted to sit right down and write a thank you note. No, I thought, I will read the book and then I’ll really be able to thank her and tell her how much I enjoyed it, too.

Jan 2, 2012 – Despite football games keeping me up late at night, I start reading The Redbird Christmas and find it to be a wonderful book. Like so many of my favorite Fannie Flagg books, it is about simple people and every detail adds to the story and brings you into it more. I can hardly put it down.

Jan 4, 2012 – I finish the book with great satisfaction (and some tears) and want to immediately turn back to page one and start it again. No, I’ll write that thank you note. But it is bedtime, I’ve finished a good book, I will do that tomorrow.

Jan 5, 2012 – It’s Friday and company is coming so I clean house and put off note writing.

Jan 7, 2012 – A vet appointment and more company preparation. Company arrives, frivolity ensues.

Jan 8, 2012 – I send A Redbird Christmas home with my sister so she can enjoy it, too, and tell her to pass it on to Mother as soon as she is finished. She’s not so sure about a Fannie Flagg book after this last bomb she wrote, but I assure her that this is the old Fannie and she’ll love it. A Redbird Christmas goes home with Mackie and I think, Gosh, I need to write that note to Jenni.

Jan 9, 2012 – Somehow a college football game takes my mind off of thank you notes.

Jan 10, 2012 – I have my new diary for the New Year and I write my 3 things I WILL be doing tomorrow (I’ve learned I can only accomplish 3 things for sure). Jenni’s thank you is at the top of the list.

Jan 11, 2012 – I go to write in my diary only to discover I haven’t done any of my 3 things on my list. I move them to the next day’s list.

Jan 14-15, 2012 – Suddenly I find myself embedded in the couch with football games – football games I won’t remember in a couple of days—completely taking my weekend.

Jan 16, 2012 – I have a dream. I have a dream of writing this thank you note!

Jan 18, 2012 – Today. No, it is still not written. I went so far as the box of cards to see if there is anything appropriate. No luck. At this point, a scribbled note on the back of the water bill would be at least SOME acknowledgement of how much I enjoyed this book and, more importantly, the thought that went into it. No, this blog will not serve as a thank you note. I swear a thank you note will be in the mailbox TOMORROW! And if I promise it here, I have to follow through, right?

I found a beautiful painting of a redbird on the web, but don’t want to steal it – – – so just go look at it HERE. Pretty! Instead I’ll use this pretty bird link (Image courtesy of birdclipart.com):

January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Filed under: Childhood Memories,Politics — Janice @ 9:29 pm

I saw Gloria Steinem on TV one day and she was reminding me and all women of the things that the feminist movement has allowed: Women having property in their own name for one. It is easy to forget how far we have come.

I was thinking about that today, too, as some of my Facebook friends still seem to have the attitude that there is no need for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the calendar, that it was approved and created in an effort to be politically correct. Of course, this friend (truly it was only one) was a white male who has probably never felt discrimination. I got to thinking about the changes that have come about in my lifetime because of the works of MLK and other civil rights leaders and thousands of people willing to fight and march and speak out.

First and foremost, there is a black man serving as the President of the United States. I don’t know about you, but I thought about this as a child and never thought I would see it in my lifetime. Or, if it DID happen, it would be a Vice President that has to take over or some “fluke” like that. There was a book out when I was young called “The Man” (I would link to it, but it is so old I can’t find it online). In it, a black man becomes Secretary of State, I think. The President dies in a plane crash, but the VP is very sick and close to death and won’t let them inaugurate him because he knows he might die soon. So the black man becomes President and the book was about the outcry about it and how he ultimately wins over the citizens. I really didn’t expect to see an African-American man move up through the ranks and run for President and win so overwhelmingly like Barack Obama did. I was a supporter and it thrilled me to have witnessed it. I wondered what my grandparents would have said about it. When I think about MLK and Civil Rights, it is easy to draw a direct line from the 60s to this President. And it is a very short line.

I also think about attitudes within my family changing.

I didn’t know ANY black children or black people until I was probably 10. I was even very confused as to the ethnicity of Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, Johnny Mathis, and Elvis Presley. Once we moved to Colorado, I went to school with a few black children, though still a minority. I remember walking home with one girl one day and discovering that her father had died in Vietnam. That was very sobering. She was the first person I knew that had a direct connection with that war. Another friend, Regina, was a fun friend at school.  She was planning a sleepover at her house. I hadn’t been invited yet, I don’t think, but I mentioned it to my mother and was told that I would not be allowed to spend the night at the home of a black friend. It wasn’t stated in a mean way, just “that’s the way it is.”

After we moved back to Texas, it was back to an almost all white school again. But a black friend worked on the newspaper with me. Everyone loved him, he was a star football player and an all-round fun guy. I drove him home one night after one of our late night newspaper work sessions because his house was on the way to my house. I mentioned it to my mother and she warned me not to let my dad know about it because he would have a fit.

When my nephews came along, Brandt’s best friend all through elementary and high school–and still today–is an African-American kid. Many times they spent the night at each other’s homes and the attitude has changed considerably in our family. Each generation has improved on the feelings and beliefs of the one before it.

Mark toured with a band that had a black singer for a year or two. I don’t know if they ever faced any discrimination as they traveled in their band van, but that singer sure remembered the days where he only played in the black clubs. He remembered playing in my hometown in the “Heights” where the black clubs were and where the African-American airmen from the base would go.

I guess that is a big difference between me and my dad, too. He had a first cousin that married an African-American in the 50s or 60s. He never forgave her for that and could not understand why she would do that. I don’t think he ever saw her or spoke to her after she married. I’ve learned a lot more about her in recent years. The man she married shared so many of her interests and her views. They both were involved in church mission work and education. It makes sense that she would fall in love. He just happened to have been born in Africa. Later they divorced and she is currently married to another black man. Another case of him being involved in education and things she was interested in. I believe he even supervised the Los Angeles school system at one time. He was also a Tuskegee airman, which makes me very interested in the new movie Red Tails that comes out next week. My dad was an airman, too, but he could not approve of mixed marriages.

And I’ll admit I still squirm a bit when I see a mixed race couple. I worry about their acceptance. I worry about their children. I know I don’t need to worry about it if they aren’t worried about it. I will admit I am still prejudice and occasionally racist. I certainly try not to be, but sometimes I feel those attitudes crop up in things I think. I try not to let them crop up in the way I act.

I still hear cases of discrimination or near discrimination that make me wonder how long it is really going to take to be color blind. I have an African-American friend that I work with that was telling me one day about going into a south Austin restaurant. The restaurant has a large lobby where a hostess greets you and seats you or you can just go on in to the bar if you don’t need a seat to eat. He went in one day to go to the bar to meet up with people from the radio station. He was striding toward the entry to the bar and no hostess was visible and then she came out just before he got to the entry. “Whoa whoa whoa,” she said, “Where are you going?” Not “Can I help you?" but a very clear implication that he didn’t belong in this place. He said he got the distinct feeling that he was not wanted there. He did go on in to the party and stayed a bit, but said he has not been back since. I am sure that there are still many stories like that in Austin.

The Civil Rights movement did not give me any more rights than I would have had as a white girl in America. But it has given me a wider variety of friends and co-workers than I would have had. For that I am grateful. It has certainly given me a richer musical experience and for that I am extremely grateful. Those are very selfish reasons that I am happy that change came to the U.S.A., but this is my blog and I am allowed to be selfish in it.

I am glad we have an African-American family in the White House. It seems sometime that some of the other candidates are desperately holding back on hurling a racial epithet. Instead, they use code words, hoping that there are enough people that understand that code and still hold those views to go back a generation to an all white male political system.

Sorry to go all political on you today, but MLK Day makes me happy. I see it as a reminder of where we have come from and a reminder of what visionaries can achieve.

January 14, 2012

And yet another

Filed under: Childhood Memories,Family — Janice @ 1:38 pm

It’s almost eerie when a picture keeps coming up over and over. I chose the picture of me and Mackie playing in the gravel 2 days ago and posted it and then yesterday easily found another one of that same day in my computer. Today I am REALLY doing some cleaning in my office (how many times have I said THAT?). I pulled everything out of my file drawer where photos end up. There are albums and boxes and envelopes full of photos. My intention is to scan them all. Of course, being as organized as I am, I am sure I am going to spend the afternoon re-scanning photos that have been scanned before, but are labeled in such weird ways I can never ever find them.

So I have this giant pile next to my desk of boxes, albums, and envelopes. And out of the corner of an envelope peeks out THIS picture. Another one of that same day that I had not scanned before. I know I hadn’t scanned it because it had ended up trimmed and in a large frame with other photos that we only recently took out of the frame.


I wish I had the photo know-how to fix the scratches on Mackie’s face, but I don’t. My mother was wearing the coolest sunshades in the world. What I would give to have those today!!! (at least $10 or $15, usually my limit for shades)

And I don’t quite know what was going on in this picture either except maybe mother was giving us tips on how to beg for coins to cars that pulled up to the stop sign. “See, just hold this hat, look pathetic and say, ‘Please sir, I’m hungry.’ Now get out there.”

January 13, 2012

Still in 1961

Filed under: Childhood Memories — Janice @ 11:10 pm

I found another picture taken soon before or after yesterday’s picture. At least we’re clear of the big cars and the busy roadway and it looks like it was time for a good talk with Daddy. Meanwhile, I’m wishing there was something more substantial than gravel in that spoon of mine. I guess I’m waiting for Daddy to get a bite on that line. I’m also hoping (now) that that coffee can and spoon weren’t used for bait.

old box from Mackies house scanned 9 10 2011 305s

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