After church concert of carols early this evening we're all gathereing in the den to watch the 1951 movie version of A Christmas Carol. I've seen it just shy of 50 times probably, but always enjoy it.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all (Yankees too)
My wife and I are spending the week at my son's home up in NE Louisiana--Log Cabin. Louisiana. He lives far from the big city (or any city) in a wooded area of 18 acres, I walked my Granddog, Joe, through the wooded area where my son's house is located, and through the adjoining woods. Brisk, about 50 degrees, nothing but the sound of leaves as I walked. No sirens, no horns, etc. Saw one deer. Joe bolted after him but the deer was too quick, I guess, as Joe retuned a few minutes later, returning to his sniffing and tree-search.
We'll have seven at the dinner(noon) table Christmas morning.
It will be cold enough for the fireplace tonight so on to gather some "free" firewood.
Trying to get back into the blogging scheme. Been working on getting my advanced reader copies out. Several people have generously agreed to read and comment. But getting it all done is a bit of a chore for a newby.
I got a copy a couple of years ago of A Very Southern Christmas. I pull it out now at Christmas. Though reviews at Amazon only give it three and a half stars, stories (like beauty) are in the eye, or ear of the be-reader. maybe it's just because I love short stories, but in any event it beginning to look a lot like you-know-what.
Got some final revisions to work on over the weekend, so I'll try to get any replies off when I can catch up. That's the thing about this blogging. You're(at least I am) afraid somebody'll think I'm ignoring them.
The following is not a brief post; however , in a concise, relatively few words it covers volumes.
The author is Troy Cauley, born in Comanche, Texas and a contributor to Who Owns America, sequel to I’ll take My Stand both written in the 1930s. This partial essay of Cauley’s appeared in So Good a Cause in 1993.
"...Technological progress in the past half century has been outstanding in the field of transportation. Let’s illustrate it. When I was a small boy in central Texas we lived about nine miles from the county seat, a town of three or four thousand people. In the fall we took a bale of cotton to town in a wagon. With a load of this sort, the team of horses walked about four miles an hour along the dirt road, thus taking over two hours for the trip.
A short time ago I flew from Texas to California in a 747 jet in about the same length of time. That looks like incredible progress. Let’s examine it more closely.
On the flight to California I saw virtually nothing of the country. From an elevation of 36,000 feet, all we saw were some weather-beaten clouds. Our seats were narrow and jammed together, but I visited with no one. Nobody showed any interest in me. I was in a crowd but it was a very lonely crowd.
On the trip to town with the bale of cotton we visited with fellow travelers along the way. We exchanged hearty greetings with neighbors as they sat on their porches. My brother and I had the whole back-end of the wagon in which to roll, tumble, and wrestle. We saw field-larks in the pastures and heard their cheerful calls. Bob-white quail thundered out of the bushes along the fencerows. Jackrabbits raced off for the cover of the post-oaks. The trip was a big success even before we got to town.
In a sense, of course, all of this is trivial. But in a broader sense, it is highly illustrative of a basic human fact: human nature is better adapted to a simple technology than to a highly complex one. People cannot live in a society of bread and circuses, especially when the bread has little or no nutritional value and the circuses consist mainly of endless hours of television depicting violence, vulgarity, and unclassified stupidity..."
I spoke with a wonderful Texas lady the other day who was in an assisted living home (she had some information regarding some business interests). When we finished our business discussion we went into a casual conversation. Though I am no spring chicken she has several years on me. As I get older and older I understand more and more what the great value there is in age and its necessarily associated wisdom. So much is lost to home, family and society by, so often, relegating older people to the sidelines.
Got them back. A genius named Susan up in Missouri led me through the dark abyss of computer world blogging..
The only reason a tractor is better than a mule is, you can kick a tractor and it won't kick back.
I was reading an essay by Bill Kauffman, and though a Yankee, also an agrarian I interpret, and a defender of localism.
The essay comments on some unnamed big city reporter/anthropological writer who knows the small-town-folk, though only through superficial experience.
A quote from the reporter: "It's easy to spot someone who grew up in a small town and got out: they have a breathless air about them, their expressions somehow startled and dreamy."
A quote from Mr. kauffman: "What the hell does that mean?"
Good for Mr. Kauffman.
I was thumbing through an old anthology of Southern Literature: The Literature of the South, 1952, Scott, Foresman and Company. I wasn't sure what, if anything, I was going to read, when I passed into a chapter on old folk songs of the South. Some tunes I never heard so they are merely poetry on the page. However, some I recall from childhood and some re-recorded later. Instead of reading, I recalled in my mind,with wonderful nostalgia: Barbara Allen, Casey Jones (my daddy sang it when we went riding when I was a boy), Kennie Wagner and Old Smoky. You don't have to be a poet or a musician to enjoy all of them.
"...early on one frosty morn..."
It's getting cold in Dixie. I remember in the "old" days having to scrape the ice off of the car windshields after a cold overnight and a frosty morning. Now two-car garages prevent such efforts; unless you've had a garage sale and don't have one.
I received a wonderful gift in the mail today. A book of poetry from Don "Scooter" Purvis et ux Bunny Cobb Purvis. Thoughts and memories in Rhyme, written by "Scooter" himself. Full disclosue: "Scooter" is an old high school coach of mine and Bunny was a classmate. Coach Purvis, who played for the 1958 National Champion L.S.U. Fighting Tigers, had put together a beautiful collection of life's memories of family and friends and time and events--wonderfully done in poetic style. And they reflect the most important Southern view in life: God and Family.
The "Dawgs" looked good last night. The Rebels not so great. Of course Auburn is a dang freight train--the Crimson Tide better buff up for the Iron Bowl. The Golden Eagles lost a back-breaker in overtime--dang!
The stars must be alligned just right for Baylor and Mississippi State to be nationally ranked in the same week of the same year.
When one speaks of the Missississi Delta, he might be speaking of the region in NW Mississippi, SE Arkansas, or NE Louisiana. It is the fertile area created by years of flooding by the Mississippi River.
Technically it is an alluvial plane as opposed to a delta--see geology 101 for the difference.
In any even event when one is in the State of Mississippi he is speaking of an area centered roughly east of a line from Memphis to Vicksburg.
My son lives in a small community north of Bastrop Louisiana; so small that he lives in the woods, where everybody should live--the woods--or at least somewhere where birds, frogs, crickets, etc. can be heard. He was reared in Houston, Texas, so his recent move has taken him from hell to heaven. When I visit him in the "delta" it is, regarding the people, the land, the traditions like going home. I love Texas, but Houston, like all of the "New South" cities has taken on a non-southern flavor.
I would recommend to anyone and everyone, James Everett Kibler's WALKING TOWARD HOME for a taste of what I mean.
I always made it two words. I heard someone (on the radio, I think) talking about some people, in pejorative lingo: "Just a bunch of Red necks." Having attended Mississippi State, I have at least some capacity for quipping on the term.
Usually, it is used in such a manner, i.e.., those of lesser degree, and usually from down South. However, a red neck is someone who has been working in the sun daily, to the point where the back of his neck is burned. Hard for some of us to wonder how a working man could be looked down on. But, I guess it takes all kinds.
A wonderful story about a wonderful Southern (Virginia) champion---Secretariat. To his friends he was Big Red. This is defintely to be added to my favorite movies.
I am old enough to remember watching him run (on T.V. of course). The Belmont was something from another world. But the story of the family who owned him is special.
I have always loved Southern stories, whether Faulkner, O'Conner or Joel Chandler Harris. They are part of my roots. I was fortunate to get Wido Publishing interested in my first novel: Mississippi Cotton. When they first offered to publish, they were even kind enough to promote it in the same vein as A Painted House and To Kill a Mockingbird. I was happy they understood the story-telling aspect of it. Southern stories are always first (in my opinion) about story and then about writing.