Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lake Tejas,,,

We made a trip to Lake Tejas in Comesneil, Texas yesterday. The grand kids had a great time on the slides, diving from the dock and tower and we even put the canoe in for a paddle.

Lake Tejas is a place my dad took us swimming when I was a kid. He probably swan there as a child.  It's an old spring fed lake. The Wallace family came to the Comsneil area from Mississippi. My grandfather Sam Wallace was born there in 1892. His father, my great great grandfater E Pluribus Unam Wallace seems to have been born in Mississippi in 1853 and was in Texas by 1870. "Plu" as they called him also had his father in Texas but I am not sure of the date. My great great great great-grandfather William died in nearby Chester, Texas in 1900 and he and Plu are both buried there. I need to check out some of the cemeteries in the area.  

Warren jumps. 

The tower. 

Warren jumps again. 

Cathy demonstrates a can opener. 

Canoe crew. I caught two fish, a bream and a bass. Seems I recall a childhood memory of walking out on one of the several docks around the lake and seeing all kinds of fish around the dock waiting for a kid to drop a French fry. I did not have a fishing pole that day and can still remember the keen disappointment of not being prepared. I try not to let that happen again. 

Very pretty lake. Not crowded at all on a Monday afternoon. 

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Pulling Their Weight on a Catfish Boat...

Warren and Coraline needed no help on the fish today. Each one baited their own hooks and caught one apiece. That's not bad on a slow summer fishing day where we only boated 14 keepers.

Pop Pop still caught the biggest. 

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Lake Report...

Knee boarding and tubing has been great. As you may have noted on these pages we bought a new outboard, 40 hp last year and it is smaller than motors we have had in the past. Going fast is less important and quite a bit cheaper as it turns out. We have been happy with this new motor. Gas mileage is good and as you can see it pulls fine. Makes you wonder about all thos bass boats with 300 hp.

Various blog characters pictured are Matt, Margret, Grayson, Addison, Cathy, Coraline, Warren and me. Photos mostly by Matt.   

We will fish today. Look for a catfish report later. 

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Saturday, July 07, 2018

More Boat Paddle Guitars...

Good things and bad things. First the good. The boat paddle guitars are sellers. I have sold at least 4 this month. The bad things, it's hot in the work shop and only a little bit less so in the airier garage area where I have set up for now. 

Here's three and there are a couple of more on sale at Sound Techs and The Museum of East Texas. Coraline assisted with the building of two guitars this week and I had a nice photo of her holding them but I can't seem to find it.    

The one on the right is on it's way to Nashville and hopefully we will have more on that later. The one in the middle, the long diving minnow  job had an unexpected feature. While playing and tuning up that guitar I was palm muting (if you don't know what that is go read some other blog) I discovered that you could get whammy bar type sounds. The other two guitars, made with good old Cordell Hotspots, a rattling bait, and a much loved, fished and depended on lure of my youth can be shaken for percussion sounds. 

Tip for the wise, electric sounds are awesome with a contact type pick up like you might stick on a uke or fiddle. I'm not selling those but I saw a $500 triangle beater for sale on facebook so the pickups I personally own can be had.  

Tried some various nut materials but the best thing I have found so far is a lead sinker from the good old local Army Navy Store. I know, I know, this guitar will cause cancer if played in California and with hooks and lead might hurt a kids. You probably would not let your kid play your Gibson guitar so even thought this is a low fi machine don't let him play this one either.  

Sometimes the strings get close at the nut but by the time they travel to the lure bridge they stay spaced well and I don't see a problem with that myself. It's ok, does not cost as much as a Gibson. 

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Sunday, July 01, 2018

Summer Ski...

Mary, Miguel and friends rented an airb&b on Lake Rayburn this past weekend. We got invited down with the condition we bring the boat. I can live with that as they cooked us up a hamburger dinner and provided a fireworks display. I think I got in made. After all these years of leading the charge at a party I am getting to sit back and take it easy while my kids and grandkids provide the fun. 

We also went down to Lake Jackson and picked up Warren and Coraline for some summer fun. 

Here's some photos. There are so many good ones it's hard to decide what to post. 

Me and Michael get some sir on the tube. With the purchase of a new Evinrude 40 horse motor last fall we were guarded in our expectations of how well it would do tubing since it was smaller that the 50 we had before. Looks like it is going to be ok. 

Mary and Brittany. 

The we don't need no stinking life jackets photo. 

Titus and Warren get some air. 

Titus, Warren and Mary. 

Maybe you can guess what happened next. 

Cathy, Ezra and Coraline. 

After a year off having a baby from kneeboard fun Mary is back in action. 

Doing the 360. This was quite a feat as with a steady south wind the water was not real smooth for water sports at this location on the lake. 

Mary and Ezra, Brittany and Ellie, Davin and Kaley. 

The cousins! 


Miguel and Ezra. 

Really great weekend with a bunch of good people. 

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Canoe Trip To Red Hills Lake...

We headed out yesterday to Red Hills Lake in the Sabine National Forest for a little canoe and swim action. I recall we might have made a trip here when the kids were little. Seems I remember fly casting while keeping an eye on the kids in the swimming area and catching some funky looking carp on flies that might have been the results of someone dumping an unwanted aquarium in the lake. I also recall a Parks and Wildlife electro shock boat on the lake so maybe good fish have been stocked since then. 

Red Hills is a Civilian Conservation Corps build from FDR's New Deal Programs of the 1930s. This lake was built in 1940.  If you recall during the depression there was not much work so the government came up with the jobs building lakes, parks, school gyms and other facilities that as well as the benefit of the jobs they could also raise the general quality of life. Now a days things are a bit different. If ya got a job building something you might not be able to afford to go or shop there once it's done. I went here for the price of a $30 Forest service parking permit I bought last summer and have used again and again at the lakes and woods in this area. 

Cathy joined me on the trip. She is not much for paddling being squarely in the power boat camp. I paddled her around like to think I am getting some exercise doing this which was probably canceled out by the trip later the Fisherman's Galley on nearby Toledo Bend Lake. I had the grilled catfish topped with etouffee.    

The spill way. It was gently overflowing making a nice lapping water sound as we drifted past. Looks like it was designed to have a man climb up there from a boat and open or close it but from the looks of the rusted machine that might not have happened in a while. The hooks, line and sinkers hung in the grate are sad endings to what mush have been heroic casts from the nearby earthen dam.

I caught one small bass so I don't think we can expect a off the beaten path fishery here. I might try again sometime in the fall or spring as it was a very peaceful place, quiet other than the few kids in the swimming area. 

Not swimming in my belly. 

We changed out of our wet swim suits standing by the car in the shade of the forest with no one else around. Rest rooms were pit, but clean with plenty of toilet paper. No electric camping hook ups. I did note this sign after we were finished canoeing and swimming.  

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Street Band Tuba Players...

After a brief interlude of writing about the lake, swimming and grandchildren here we are back to the giant Mardi Gras float in the room and that's the discussion of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, tubas, banjos, why anyone would go see the Eagles or music where you can't feel the clave. 

Clave, a rhythm brought to the New World by sub Saharan people who ended up on these shores even though they really did not want to be and is the Spanish word for code and that might seem like what we are using  here, a code to throw the less than hip off the trail. In fact in addition to talking code I am on a kind of trail, a shining path if you will and that's to make a photo of as many tuba players as possible.

On trips to New Orleans I think I have photographed as many as 40 tuba players in a single trip. I don't think I did quite that well this time only seeing about 20. This has turned into what looks like a life's work as I have a big facebook photo album that I post them to. As this has gone on for years now through a few computer crashes the online version of some of these photos are the only ones that exist.

Today I'll post photos of the underdogs, not the big time dudes on stage in front of hundreds or maybe thousands but the street bands that were stationed up and down the neighborhoods around the fairgrounds playing for tips. From the looks of the tip jars they were doing ok.

There may be a handsome dude on lead guitar but you know all the butts are shaking to the bass guitar. In this case the tuba causing the shaking. 

A man after my own heart. Guy was too good not to take several photos. 

Something going on here drawing a crowd and it's tuba. 

Must not be playing jazz. There's girls there. In fact there are a lot of girls at a brass band show. 

No tuba players were harmed in the taking of these photos. All bands compensated in the tip jar for non profit use of photos. 

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