Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Grassmayr Bell Museum...

Ok it really was a pretty quiet weekend around here considering that the grand kids came, I had an eye surgery, we played music for church and a funeral and I build a psycho box guitar distortion pedal. So I sit this morning, thinking noisy and remembered that I need to post some photos from the Bell Museum we visited in Innsbruck, Austria.  

The Grassmayr Bell Museum is not only a museum but also a foundry that the family has been operating to cast bells for 14 generations. Their bells are in 100 countries. Might be a pretty good chance you have heard one. Bells are the oldest percussion instruments and the first use was in China 4000 years ago. From here they spread across the world and uses of large bells by rich people to show off wealth, small bells for working classes to signal the end of a work shift, finely tuned bells of the musicians and religious view that the bell was the instrument of the gods bells have a wide variety of function. 

I looked up a bit of bell history and while it seems Christians are a little late to the game they have made up for lost time. The bell has many mentions in the Bible and historians give credit to Moses who studied in the Egyptian priesthood for introducing the bell to the early church. Goes to prove there is nothing like the influence of a well traveled and educated man. 

I think it's pretty cool that the bell is a link to musical and spiritual things in every culture.   

Now that some time has passed since I mad these photos I don't recall why I picked out this bell. I think it was very old and it seems that the date 1088 rings a bell so to speak. 

In the foundry. 

Bells in the courtyard. There was not a lot of info on these outside bells. Some may have been old, so new. A bell is like the good things in life. Not much changes. 

Those look like bullet holes to me. 

The following photos were made by Cathy. 

Making bells and fishing. Yeah, let's put those two things together.  

I bet that's some pretty old wood. 

We are used to a life style that tells us "at the sound of the bell you will..." I don't believe that was what those guys and gals back 4000 years ago were thinking. They wanted sound alright but it was a sound to make you look, make you think, make you begin, make you happy or sign that you were sad. If you are like me and think that things were pretty quiet maybe you were just hearing ancient bells. 


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.


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 


"...I know I've seen that face before," Big Jim was thinking to himself "Maybe down in Mexico or a picture up on somebody's shelf..."Bob Dylan from "Lilly Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
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