Monday, July 31, 2017

You Know What They Said About Howlin' Wolf...

They said he could eat 50 bream. I think someone told me that or may be I dreamed it but I did write a short story about how I imagined the incident went and I think it's floating around out there on the internet but I can't find it. Anyway I don't think the Wolf would have much cared if mixed in with those bream or if we call them their true name bluegill were a  few shell crackers, red ears and goggle eyes. All are bream to the Wolf, especially if golden fried. 

I have not tried to eat 50 bream. I know that Corlaine has graduated to man sized fried catfish servings. I'm trying to watch it a little on the eating but today I caught 20 bream. Not enough for a blues man but it was fun.  

They were about 12' deep around bridge pilings in 37' of water. I had wanted to catch white perch on lures but they seemed to have the lock jaw and with some left over earth worms that the grand kids were using these guys were a willing bite.  It was pretty low tech fishing. I used one of those telescoping imitation cane poles you can buy at the sporting goods store.  

That might be a blues man demerit. Using a fake cane pole and only eating 20 bream. 


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Sunday, July 30, 2017

They look hot...

It's the dog days of summer on the lake. We started out with a bit of a breeze but with a faint rumble of a thunder storm off to the north the wind laid and the sweating began in earnest. For the fishing log the total was 16 keepers with a bunch of small throw backs. That's ok because if I consult old fishing reports we were in Europe this time last summer and it was on our return in August that catfishing remain consistently hot till after Christmas.  

As Warren and Coraline sweat Cathy and Matt are focused on fish. 

Don't worry, we took a swim to cool off and headed home to clean and cook the whole catch. We managed to eat at least 3/4 of what we caught and Matt and Warren cleaned up the left over pirate chicken. Coraline ate as much catfish as an adult. There will be a fight over leftovers.

It was not as hot cooking outside as it was on Friday afternoon when I fried only onion rings. I guess the difference was the morning cloud cover kept temps down a bit. For something different as I dumped fried catfish out of the cooker I placed onion slices and Cow horn peppers from the Lufkin Farmers market to steam with the hot fish. Very tasty.  

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

From the mouth of Babes...

There are those transcendental moments in life where everything falls into place. Nine to the universe really exists we just have to be in the present, the now so to speak to see it. 

Last night at supper after a day spent cruising the river, Warren, my four year old grandson brought one of those moments into focus. We boiled some shrimp, fried onion rings and made a kale/Brussel sprout slaw. I tried out a new fish dish on the assembled crowd. I admit that given the chance to eat fried catfish this is a group of people set in their ways and something new is often not readily embraced. 

Try this sometime: take catfish (we also thawed out large white bass fillets caught on the Sabine this past spring) take a package of Zummo's rice dressing, (Zummo's meat company has been in operation in Beaumont, Tx since 1908) make a handful size mound of the rice dressing on a cookie sheet, place fillet on dressing. I seasoned with lemon pepper, butter and lemon juice but cajun seasoning would be fine. Bake in oven set to 400 till fish almost done (I just eyeball it) then broil for a little browning at the end and serve. 

When this platter of food was set in front of Warren the transcendental moment came. He exclaimed and named the dish "Pirate Chicken!" 
Makes sense. If you raise chickens you need to stay home to feed and care for them, put up in the coop every night and so on. Pirates did not stay home much I have been told and I bet they ate a lot of fish. When the Lafitte Brothers were hold up in the Louisiana swamps they may have cooked up fish like this and called it chicken out of some land longings that their wandering nature could not resolve.  

Don't stay home. Nine to the universe.  

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Tubing...

For the fishing and tubing record and just as a general alibi in case you thought we were out trying to repeal health care or something like that here's the stats. We caught 4 cats and they will be our supper tonight with the grand kids. No one fell off the tube and I did not get to do the yearly fitness check to see if I could still ride the knee board because we were kind of short handed with two adults and two kids. How confident are you on a ski rope with a 4 year old spotting you? 

I was confident enough to let the kids use the camera. This photo by Coraline. 

I mad this one. 

Coraline slams the throttle to inject some fine premium gasoline in the carburetor of a Yamaha outboard. It's a great summer time Texas tradition.     

Another shot by Coraline. 

Here's a photo by Warren. That tube looks hard. Pop Pop had to take a nap. 

Warren admires Cathy's catch. 

Boy and pole. It's not exactly Norman Rockwell but it's how we roll. 

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

One Baby, One Tuba...

It's become a custom. You get a baby. The parents have to be agreeable. You put it in the tuba. You make a photo. The course of that baby's life is forever changed, spun off in new directions with possibilities endless and uplifting. Here is Ezra making his debut on the big horn. 

In case you wonder where this all started it was in 1969. I know they called it the summer of love and all that hippie dippie stuff but it is the year was when I first started playing tuba. As you can probably imagine it was a couple of more years before I produced meaningful tones but in 1969 that first day I held a horn change was in the air and has crept through time and lives ever since. 

I have noticed a couple of things about tuba. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I guess it all has to do with how you handle change in your life and a close encounter with my 1936 bell front King concert tuba can change your life. It can make a statement. One of my heroes is the guy in a video who shadowed a KKK rally while blasting away on tuba, practicing his free speech just as they were practicing theirs. I'm looking for that kind of opportunity and as an old Boy Scout and Scout leader I am following the reliable motto "Be Prepared" by planning to play the cowboy standard, "Home on the Range" if I am ever given any chance such as this. 

Speaking of chances my other grandchildren have had theirs and here are older photos of tuba christenings.

The first. Coraline in the tuba. 

Warren in tuba. 

Warren does not look happy about trying new things. "don't want to grow up like Pop-Pop."

Coraline gets ready to blow. 

Tuba, the way, the truth, the life. Look for the next baby in tuba by Christmas time. Of course family tuba pictures are pro bono. If you have a a baby I have a tuba. Price can be negotiated. 


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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hidden Village...

Some say "location, location, location." They think that's the answer. Some think about the old ways and don't really want to be found. Keep in mind that in New Waverly, Tx the persimmon orchard where beat writer Bill Burroughs laid up shooting guns and entertaining On the Road wild men Kerouac and Cassady is a closely guarded local secret. There's a place in Lufkin like that and while shooting guns won't be a thing here it's going to be a cool lay up. 

I am talking about Blackspot Tattoo Company and their new headquarters. It's a great old building on a quiet street. It used to be a car dealership beginning in the late 1940s up until sometime in the 70s. I can remember going there as a child with my dad to shop cars. 

Inside Ben shows off the artist work area. 


Katie, the Tiny Tattooist gets on down to the business at hand.  

Of course there will be food. Expect Old Souls Food Truck to be there. Tom and Mike pictured below wear kilts. I did not ask about that. I'm sure cooler in the East Texas summers and all. 

Jenny at the food table. Plenty of nice indoor and outdoor spaces. A lot of work still to be done but we have been invited to play and I can't wait to see how a guitar sounds bouncing notes off these old walls.  

Friends and family all on hand for food and fun. 

I have to admire the work ethic that it takes to fix up an old place like this. I can't imagine this area was in real good shape to begin but hard work has paid off in a timely and timeless manner. You do know they are right about that hard work thing don't you?  

Flash on the wall. 

Art hangs all over the place. 

Katie at work. 

Sara consults with clients. Blackspot Tattoo is a tattoo gun free shop. All work is ink dot. As far as I know this may be the only shop like this in Texas and people are starting to notice. I recently toured a tattoo exhibit at the museum in Chicago and guess what? Ink dot really is the old way.  

So check these folks out. I mean if you can find it. You will or you won't. The Hidden Village referred to in the title of this blog post is not something I have made up. It's a dream some people had and they are making it come true.  


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Making the scene in a National Publication...

Ok, just so my new grandson does not use up all the internet I got my photo in the prestigious wedding journal, Southern Bride. I did not have to wear a wedding dress but if you recall about a year ago my cousin Alyssa married Jesse in New Orleans. It was a great party and was well documented on the blog at this link

Seems this grand celebration got documented and recognized and I was lucky enough to photo bomb. You can see me on the left. Cathy was with me in case you are wondering. Kind of wish my tie was not sticking out so much but this is a candid shot not one of those pose for snap chat things. 

Read all about the wedding here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

First Look Ezra Miguel

Voice of a singer, lips of a tuba player and a double cowlick meet a new blog character Ezra Miguel Zamora. 

Proud dad. 

Great grandma was glad to see the baby but she was worried about her Mary. 

7 pounds 7 ounces I think 18 and 3/4 long. 


Sunday, July 09, 2017

For the Fishing Log...

That's not fishing a log although we tied up and caught these cats deep. Crew for the trip was Pop, Cathy, Katie, Peter, Mary and Miguel. Not everybody caught fish but the 17 fat cats we boated made a real nice fish fry late which Geneva joined us for. Pop and Geneva were camped at Hank's Creek. 

The crew. 

Peter is my Canadian Son in law. Get some sun tan lotion on him quick. 

I'll lotion these guys myself. 

Got my photo on the blog! 

Mary wanted to have the baby on the boat. As much fun as that sounds she is going into the hospital for induction Tuesday. 

You know what kind of photos you get when some one gets a hold of your camera. 

Poor little swollen pregnant foots. 

Cathy swings supper in. 

Is he trying to run under the boat with it? That's something my dad always asked when you had on a fish so I always try to ask it too. Seems like a helpful question. 

Supper for the son in law! 

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Friday, July 07, 2017

Summer Time Jams...

While at Lake Jacksonville we busted out the guitars. Here's Cathy and Cee Cee Ryder getting the goodie out of a tune. 

Banjo Bill, famous Mudbelly Primitive Guitar endorser. Knows what to do when things get primitive. 

Morgan works it out. Be careful above that 5th fret. 

Morgan and Cathy are working up a Dan Reeder Tribute Band. I'll let you check out Dan Reeder on your own. 

Watch that guy behind you, Bill. He declined his turn in the song circle but I know he has a very nice guitar at home and you never know what night it will be when you write that hit. 

No one made my photo but I played too. There was one really nice but short instagram clip that showed up of me nailing a really stone cold cool 1920s sounding Hawaiian slack key slide solo on the resonator guitar. Only problem was it was not a Hawaiian tune that this was happening on. I think this is why I have never been successful playing classic rock covers. Bang A Gong Get It On just don't sound right if a guy has on a grass skirt. 

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Happy Birthday Coraline...

Seven years old today! 

How it all started. Baby in the tuba. 


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Annual Lake Jacksonville Party...

Thanks again to John and Mari for hosting what has become the annual family July 4th party at their lake house on Lake Jacksonville. I had a very relaxing time and the food was good. 

Some of the crew floats off the boat house dock. Houses ring this lake and everybody has a boat, jet ski, paddle board or something that floats. I have seen some crowded days here on the holiday but maybe because this was not the actual holiday but the weekend before lake traffic was moderate. One activity everyone seems to do is float in the water very lazily off their dock.  

I have brought my boat before but John and Mari bought a pontoon last year and here you see Kevin making the "see that stick up over there, that's called a stick up" gesture. 

Morgan makes the "so I did not want to go on the boat" gesture. 

There was jet skiing. Here Morgan and Ali come in for a landing. I guess I am getting old and cautious. I only got the jet ski up to 45 miles an hour and then slacked off. 

Another good reason to celebrate is the three babies that will be added to the family this year. Left to right, Katie, Mary and Diamond are all expecting and all are going to be boys.  

Thanks again John and Mari! I'll cry if I have to work on the 4th some year. 

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