Thursday, March 23, 2017

For the Fishing Log...

If you do facebook you are aware that each day it will pop up a "memory" for you. This has been a great thing for the fishing log because I can look back and compare past trips. This past weekend it poped up some photos of a trip where all were in heavy coveralls of a cold late winter lake. Yesterday it was short pants and no shirts. If you don't want to buy some global warming that's ok. I'll be selling hats and sunscreen at the boat ramp. Prices will be cheap. I won't want to mess up my SS check in a few years when all these ducks come to roost. 

We caught 18 catfish yesterday under slip corks in shallow water. Had to look about a bit and it was the fourth place we tried. Fish were good, up to 18 inches long. Action should heat up here on out. Cathy put her shirt on for this photo. She put on that vintage Rusty Hook Bait Shop hat to ward off the sun. The Rusty Hook was way out on the West End of Galveston Island. Lots of fancy houses out there and I don't know if rich folks tolerate places like that in the neighborhood. I bet those houses out there on sandy ground where there used to be none won't tolerate much sea rise. 

There was a bass fisher hanging around our area that saw us catch these fish. His comment was, "ya'll wearing those cats out pretty good." There was an implication that if he was found fishing in that spot violence would follow. 

Since my good camera took a bath with a canoe tump I am just on the cell for photos and that leaves something to be desired. I don't know if global warming had anything to do with that but I will do more study. I do know that the water was not as cold as I expected.  


I fried some when we got home. Cathy waits for me like one dog waits on another. 


We ate these with lemon, hot sauce and some kind of cajun Wowie spicy dip. It's all you need right out of the pan. 



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Friday, March 17, 2017

The Irish Wallace Clan...

Let me see if I can bring the Wallace family in from Ireland.
In 1755 John Wallace was born to Tho and Elizabeth. The country of birth was Ireland. The location is unknown at this writing but he was baptized in the Catholic Church at Killlala, County Mayo, Ireland on July 16, 1756.  This parish dates to St. Patrick's time and was placed under his disciple St. Murdach in 442. It is reported that St. Patrick baptized 12,000 in a single day from a nearby well that still flows. A woman was also raised from the dead and also baptized.

It's not known how John arrived in America but we do know he had a son 1823 in Monticello Georgia named William who also named a son William. These were my Third and fourth great grandfathers.
The second William had son born in Leakey County Mississippi in 1853 who was name E Pluibus Eunium Eallace. They called him Plu. 

In 1892 Plu and wife Sara gave birth to my grandfather Sam Wallace in Colmesneil, Texas. Sam was my dad Gene's Father. Sam died in Lufkin in 1954. My dad passed in 1991.

I'm still here and I think I got it all this down on how the Irish got to Lufkin.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Family Campout...

Well you may wonder where the blog has been. Maybe not. Actually I could have been here because I had a good 4G signal out in the woods but I did other stuff. All the kids and spouses were in as well as Pop and Geneva for a big time camp at Ratcliff lake. It was warm, rainy and cold all in the space of a few days but all survived. 

This is my truck all packed up. I usually put the canoe in the bed and it's a nice feature that the canoe hauler thing can be configured to be a top loader.   


Almost all these photos are from the cell phone. I did a first which was to dump the canoe with me, Morgan and a brand new digital camera on board. The camera is kind of working after a good drying out except the lens won't open. It was the first time I had been in the canoe without the camera in a dry bag. Oh well, live and learn. 

Katie, Peter and Mary. You see anyone else? 


Cathy holds on hoping Morgan and Ali don't dump. 


We made it! 


There is really three people in that boat if you count Mary being pregnant. 


Mary, Coraline, Warren and Rose are all bundled against the cold front that blew in. 


Fair fishing till the front.

The crew.

This makes two rainy trips in a row for our camping. I know summer will be hot but I am looking forward to a camp where the only clothes you need is a swimsuit. 

Oh yeah, there were wild animals. 







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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Meet this Friend...

Once, and this was when she could still see pretty good my mom was walking around my yard looking at my various projects. Lined up along a flower bed were these hose guides to keep you from dragging the water hose over delicate flowers. They were little frogs sitting on a base with a spike protruding the bottom that stabbed into the ground. Mom tripped on one of these, did not fall as she was and still is pretty agile. She look at that frog squatted there and said "What kind of voodoo thing is that?" 

Mom's vision is pretty bad these days and I don't think she notices my "voodoo" things as much anymore. Maybe she just got used to various creations being stuck around in an eccentric manner. Here's a recent voodoo thing and it's story. I don't know what to call him maybe you can suggest something. 

The skull stick, and this thing is about 5' long and he uses an old Christmas stand as a perching place is something I picked up at the Renfest a couple of years ago. Just one of those things, sometimes I need a stick to carry around even though I know it will get me in trouble. 


Those are some kind of belly dancing bells hanging from the ears that I bought in a shop in New Orleans that specializing in Middle Eastern life style stuff. Now before you get all scared and radicalized on me you need to know that there was no daily call to prayer with an Iman running the cash register but merely a staff of patchouli smelling Earth Mamas in swirling dresses who believe that good girls don't shave above the knee. 

The red, yellow, blue and green balls are a maraca thing that brother in law John brought back as a gift from a business trip to Jakarta, Indonesia. I did not ask what his business was there but thanks John. 

Mardi Gras beads are Chinee in origin of course and are really not a part of the art but just the debris from a recent passing party.  



The bells on the back are from the bell museum in Innsbruck, Austria I visited this summer. I have some good pictures from there and plan a blog post on it sometime. 

Hanging as a pig tail of sorts is a Galveston sea shell and a deer vertebra I found in the East Texas river bottoms. 

The swatch of pink that holds some of this stuff together is from a shirt I bought on the beach in Mexico. One of those times a passing vendor, a poor person made you a price and you said, "I don't want it." and he dropped the price and you said "I don't want it." and he came down even more and you bought it because you were afraid you, a rich person were fixing to have to accept a gift from a guy living in a dirt floor hut. It just did not feel right. 

I regret a bit that I have cut the shirt up over the years and used it in art projects that need a splash of color but I have never seen a real Mexican wear a shirt like this and given my extra large sizing anytime I did wear it that was just a whole lot of pink going down the road.       


If you shake the stick it can be played like a musical instrument of sorts. In fact the belly dancing bells are on some of my droning sound cloud recordings. 

When I think about all the things used here I really can't tell you how many years it took me the gather the various parts. Lots of traveling, walking in the woods. 


Because there was so much tripping on the little frog "voodoo" things I eventually pulled them up as delicate flowers were just not going to be a thing for me. I did save them, the frogs, not the flowers. They have potential for reuse as a project like this one day. Everything has potential, use what you have. 


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Mardi Gras Lake Chuck...

That's what the locals call Lake Charles. I can only assume it's with fondness because we paid a visit to the Mardi Gras parade there, had a good time and caught up on old times with our good friend Nydia. We also met Nydia's husband Brad for the first time. 

I have no shame when it come to Mardi Gras. I'll push a kid down to catch some beads. I am not sure the last time I saw Nydia in person but to my credit we communicate from time to time. It was no big stretch when Nydia and Brad, who happen to live two blocks off a parade route offer free parking in their front yard for us to show up at their door. "Great to see you, I need to pee." Don't worry they understand. 


I think I first met Nydia in the old rot gut coffee place that was in the UC. I think it was called the Vista Inn but I may not be remembering well this evening. It was 1976 and best I can recall she looked then just like this photo I made yesterday looks now. 

Here's another photo of her and Cathy waiting for the floats to pass. 


It's been the kind of weekend where I had a lot of family around, had some of my oldest friends visit or in this case I visited them and we just carried on like those currents of life that sweep us around and have often pushed us away from each other came to a sluggish standstill while we caught our breath and caught up with each other.  

And you know what? That Mardi Gras in Lake Chuck? I think it was a celebration of us. Now the floats have passed and it's Lent so take a little time to reflect, to keep in touch, to remember what we did when we were young and how the people that matter the most are still the same down inside. That's why we liked them. 





 Thanks again for the hospitality guys. I must admit that I should have taken Brad's photo and also I did not get a photo of my old friend Gil who was at the fish fry this weekend. That's ok. I got the action shots, the pictures of the girls and photos of guitars. I'll try to be more through next time. In the mean time you can read Brad's column in the local Lagniappe Magazine where he writes and edits at this LINK 

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Monday, February 27, 2017

The Best Thing About a Mardi Gras Fish Fry...

We pulled off another fish fry this weekend. I say we because I could not have done it with out the help of folks like Matt, Pop, Geneva and others who went on so many fishing trips with us. I thank the guys who cooked, Aaron, Runt and Morgan. They know what they are doing, are very efficient and keep food quality high. Thanks to all friends who brought food, dressed in fancy costumes for the occasion. The eats were great and I count several that were present among my oldest compadres. Thanks to Sheri and Nat for pictures and video. Thanks to all the musicians who showed up to play.  There is one thing, the best thing that I did not see coming was the time I got to spend playing music with the three of my kids (Katie is in Chicago and will be down next month) that were able to make the party. There were many compliments from my friends about how well the kids, grown people all were playing and singing. 

Getting ready for one of these fish fries starts way before hand but the real action starts the night before with food preparations beginning and with out of towners arriving. This was when Rose got here and the music playing started. It continued on the next day with friends making up the fish fry band and into the evening with a big campfire sit around song fest and I guess it really ended when we played music at church Sunday evening. To paraphrase the blues singer Howlin' Wolf "I was left with the feeling if I don't get to do this no more I have had my fun." Kids, you guys played great. 

With the cooking area and instruments set up Cathy overlooks final details.

Fried Catfish.


Mardi Gras baby. 


A band what am a band. 


Me and one of the church choir members, Marlene. 


Morgan, Quince, Warren, Jared and Jackson. 


Mary shows how to put your back to the riser and make a stand. Inside that belly poking that guitar out is the next band member, Ezra. 


Anne is breaking in a new guitar. 


Morgan, Warren, Jackson, Pop. 


Rose and Morgan


Me and Quince. I opened a dorm room door in about 1976, looked up and down the hall and this guy is what I saw. 


Rose and Pop. 


Catherine on vocals and washboard. 


Rose and Morgan 


Song circle. 


Anne and Ali. 


Hays Carll said "This line of work no one retires." 


Cathy, Rose and Coraline.


Thanks again all who made this so fun. Now we got to go fishing. 





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Thursday, February 16, 2017

People You Meet...

I travel and meet people. Here's a guy we met on a recent trip to New Orleans. Now I don't usually do all the talking when I meet a guy like this but I let him talk and just get his story. I am sorry to say I was so busy listening to his story that I did not get his name even though we had two separate visits as we waited at the bus stop on Magazine Street.  

This fellow was the oyster shucker at a neighborhood bar called Tracy's. Kind of an Irish place and it seems as if the oyster bar, located in the corner of the open dining area was all his to operate as he pleased. He told us his hours were 12pm to 8pm. That's pretty good for a town like New Orleans, not too work too early and off before things start happening. He handled all the details of oyster supply, arranging delivery of the freshest, best priced shellfish to be found from the most reliable suppliers. Since it was early in the season prices were not good and ran about $12 a dozen. He told us because of that he usually put 14 oysters on a plate. 

Sadly we never got to try out his oysters since both days we visited the bar was not open yet and the one time we went in for a bite to eat it was after the oyster bar was closed, our friend no where in sight and the offerings from the kitchen were just the typical wings, sandwiches and fry baskets you might find anywhere.    


Our friend told us that he once shucked 1600 oysters in a shift. I don't recall the length of the shift and I don't really remember how many it was but I do know it was a righteous fete. He wowed us with a disappearing/reappearing cigarette trick. He shared a bit of his faith and I saw him being kind to a street looking person. Come to think of it, who was this man we met? Haven't we heard about a man like this before? Shouldn't we be hardworking, friendly, kind and be able to do simple magic tricks? 

I think so.  

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