Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Morgan and Ali's Crawfish Boil...

It was a really good weekend for the 6th Annual Morgan and Ali crawfish boil. They cooked them up just right, many friends came, music was played and a good time had by all. Here's the photo record.

You think you wanted crawfish. This girl showed up with instruments, baby and a crawfish fiesta red wagon. 
Mary, Cathy and Morgan holding Ezra. 

Morgan puts the heat to some dads. 

Wish I could have heard the punch line to that joke. 

Some of the gang. 

Shot of he festival grounds. 

Megan's fiancĂ©e, Sam, a fairly new blog character, turned out to have a hidden washboard talent that was discovered and came to a boil just like the crawfish.  

Megan, Mary and Ezra shake a tambourine. Way back in the background is Ali. Sorry I did not get more photos of her but next year when she is carrying around that baby I will be on point for that. 

Cathy and Catherine. 

Morgan's college buddy and Catherine's boyfriend. He's a real Czech that speaks fluent Spanish. 

Czech out what he cooked for the boil. That's a real Czech kolach. They are supposed to be filled with fruit not the little old shriveled up weenies we get around here. 

When you can't stand it anymore you can lean on dad. 

Wait a minute. I think I just needed another beer. 

We played some good music, family and friends style. After the boil Cathy and Ali loaded Morgan up and took him to the airport. He will be in Buenos Aries the next two months for work. 

I think the blueprint for this party will be used again. 

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Bite is Hot...

We caught 29 catfish today. They were 3-4 feet deep. It was windy and you had to hang on to your hat. We put 8 pounds of fillets in the freezer and ate up some real fresh for our supper. Here's the photo evidence:

There was a big flock of white pelicans and water turkeys hanging off the main point. That means bait fish in the water and bait fish mean big fish. The pelicans winter here. I wonder if this group will hand around to be permanent residents? 

A big channel cat and the fats out/tats out summers coming photo.  

Cathy braces foot against the rail to keep from getting pulled under the boat. 

She has a new technique of fishing two poles at the same time. Supposed to be some mental exercise to increase focus and concentration and aid in staving off age related brain drain.  

The osprey keeps watch over our spot. 

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

New Horn...

Well it's not really my horn but I am becoming very attached to it. It's a horn Rose found in a thrift store for $20, an e flat alto horn. It's the mini tuba looking thing on the right side of the photo. 

One valve was stuck as well as all the tuning slides. I took it to American Band Instruments in Tyler and they did a nice repair job. It plays very well. They warned me it might not play in tune and it does seem a little flat but that might just be the operator or maybe the mouth piece. The only mouth piece they had at the shop that fit was for a trumpet. It works. It's a 10.5 C and I must admit that as a tuba player this is the most comfortable trumpet mouthpiece I have played. 

It's made by the F.E. Olds Company of Fullerton California, same town where Fender used to make guitars. Olds is a company that dates back to 1909. It appears to be a 60s vintage instrument. It's e flat, kind of like an alto sax. If I play what my brain and fingering says would be a b flat on tuba my tuner tells me it's an e flat on this horn. Looks like transposing is a fourth. Looking online I spotted one of these for sale at $225. Seems these might have come with two tuning slides so It could have been an F horn but I am pretty certain this horn has the e flat slide. 

I found out from old band friend, Kim that the company he works for , Eastman makes one of these. He advised me a method book to order and I have ordered it. 

As I say it plays well. My main horn is a 1936 tuba and the 70s baritone horn could be described as having a loggy response. The notes leap pretty easily out of the bell. I'm gonna practice. One of these days Rose will get it back. 

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

She Caught the Katy and Left Me the Mule to Ride...

She Caught the Katy and Left Me the Mule to Ride is a song written by Taj Mahal and James Rachell on Taj's 1968 album "Natch'll Blues." It probably means that the woman he sings of jumped on the Kansas Texas Railroad and took off and all he was left with to follow on was a slower "mule" or local train.

With the advent of most Americans traveling in cars as big as buses trains are not as much in use and while I have taken trains most people around here don't travel that way. 

We do have mules. And Cows. And grandkids. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Spring Break Hike...

Warren and Coraline are staying with us a couple of more days since it's spring break. We picked up god child Audrey and took off for Boykin Springs and a hike on the old Sawmill Trail.

The trail winds through the pines, dogwoods, wild honeysuckle and runs along the bubbling creek and ends at the old Sawmill town of Old Aldridge. There are several graffiti cover buildings still standing that date from around 1903. By the 1920s the town was gone, the saw mill equipment moved on and the walls were left to the vandals. I don't mind the graffiti so much. It kind of adds a certain character but please, everyone should know by now not to litter.

The kids were great. I think it's 2 and 3/4 miles to the mill and then 2 and 3/4 back. I'd add that up but you do know that I'm a tuba player.

Please enjoy the photos.

Warren needs to grow into that hiking staff. 

Tough trail dogs. 

Climbing on concrete ruins. 

Cathy took great ipad photos of the graffiti. Follow her on Instagram as smallc.  

According to East Texas historian Bob Bowman the rooflines and archways were more ornamental that usually scene in sawmills. This mill was established in 1903 and barely lasted 20 years. I would imagine things moved on when there was not a tree in sight.   

Audrey and Coraline take a break to read a book in the quiet of the ruins. 

I saw a graffiti slur about a guy I knew of in high school. That's been there a long time.  

This is what the kids called the "scary Bridge."

Who knows the way back? 

This was the power house. 

Plans are already in the works for what we might do next spring break. 

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

And the Winner Is...

Morgan and Ali gathered the families and announced that they are having a baby girl in September. 

Here's Geneva. She got cut out of the group photo. 

Ali filmed everyone's reaction to the news. 

Morgan and Ali flanked by my mom and Cathy's dad. 

Even Katie, Peter and Wallace got to be there by SKYP. 

Stay tuned for the baby in the tuba photo in a few months. 

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Another Fishing Report...

Rose, Tim and the grandkids Coraline and Warren are in for a visit and what better to do than go fishing. It was a good trip with 22 cats in the boat. We cooked all of them and had a real big good supper. There might have been enough left for Mary if she had come but Miguel would have had to do without. 

Tim and Warren Cooperate on a fish. 

Big fish of the day. Tim puts a three pound channel in the boat. 

Cathy and her swampers run the boat to the trailer. 

Another good look at that three pounder. 

Rose, Coraline, Warren and Tim pose for the tub full shot. 

I usually don't fish the weekends so it was kind of an unusual day for us. Boat ramp parking lot was pretty full. Fishing on the week days it's busy if there are 6 or 8 cars. No one fished near us so our secret spot remains secret but there were quite a few bass boats that sped by us at high speed. We have a good size boat so no danger from the waves but considering how big the lake is there is plenty of room to go around.

I guess I am just an old timer and remember where all the flooded forest was when the lake came in so there are places where I am cautious and concerned that I might hit a stump. I don't think people know about these places or even know where the boat cuts are anymore.  

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