Arts History Update for late May 2015

26 May

Arts History Update for late May 2015 by David Cummins Lubbock Heritage Society event

On Sunday May 31 at 2:00 Lynn Whitfield, Southwest Collection, will present a program at the Home Management House on the Texas Tech University campus. Now called the “cottage”, the building is located between Weeks Hall and Doak Hall east of College of Human Sciences building on Akron Avenue. Heritage Society members will be at the Broadway/University Avenue entrance and at the 15th Street/University Avenue entrance to help guide guests to parking and the HMH building. Reservations are required as the small house will only accommodate 40 – 44 people. Please email Sonja Gotcher at or phone 806-790-9337 for reservations.

The Home Management House (HMH) Program at Texas Technological College began shortly after the new college’s opening in 1925. For over forty years the program provided practical experience for those interested in the scientific methods of child rearing and household management. In the booming years of the early 1940s, occupants of the HMH also had to deal with situations such as rationing, planting victory gardens, canning and other contributions to the war effort.

In 2001 the Texas Tech University Archives acquired a large collection from the College of Human Sciences among which were 59 scrapbooks, many of which detailed the activities of the Home Management House and the women who lived there as part of their education. The scrapbooks also contain information on similar programs in other states. The Home Management Houses, also called Practice Houses, were part of a national movement to offer female students the opportunity to hone their home economic skills under a supervised and academic setting. Ray Westbrook, The A-J Remembers: Students Once Developed Skills at Practice House, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, May 3, 2015.


Documentary film Frank Reaugh: Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains (2014) showcases the life and work of Charles Franklin Reaugh 1860-1945 who lived in Dallas and made journeys out onto the Plains and painted those landscapes and activities The film will be screened at the historic Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas on Sunday June 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm. 82 minute film directed by Marla Fields.


4th Annual Wines & Vines Festival

May 29th 6-10 pm
May 30th 12-10pm
McPherson Cellars 1615 Texas Ave.

Wines & Vines is a unique event, focused on giving back to the community by bringing several of the best wineries from the state of Texas to one central location. All proceeds are donated to Lubbock’s Meals on Wheels.

The Hub City Master Chef Competition and Triple J’s Brewers Tasting makes Wines & Vines truly one-of-a-kind. Come enjoy outstanding Texas wines with live music, local food trucks and vendors featuring Texas specialty products!

General Admission:

$20* for one day only (Friday OR Saturday)

$30* for two days (Friday AND Saturday)

$15 per day without wine or beer tasting

Tickets purchased at the door

*One-day rate includes 10 wine tasting tickets

*Two-day rate includes 20 wine tasting tickets

Includes commemorative wine glass

Each wine tasting ticket may be used for a complimentary tasting of wine (1 oz.).

Participating Wineries:

Bar Z Winery 19290 FM Road 1541, Canyon Texas

Bending Branch

CapRock Winery

Flat Creek Estate

Hilmy Cellars

Hye Meadow

La Diosa Cellars

Landon Winery

Llano Estacado

Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards

McPherson Cellars

Pedernales Cellars

Wedding Oak Winery

William Chris Vineyards

Participating Food Trucks:

Chopped & Sliced Custom Catering

Crusty’s Pizza

Jody’s BBQ

La Picosita

StrEat Truck – Saturday only

Twist’d Texan – Friday only

Texas Specialty Products:

Kelle B Jammin’

Paddle Tramps
Simply Decadent Bakery

Weekend Schedule:

Friday, May 29th

Gates open at 6 pm, gates close at 10 pm

Wine and beer tastings

6:00-10:00pm – Triple J Beer Booth (samples and glasses)

6:30-9:30pm – music by Hayden Hughes

Saturday, May 30th

Gates open at 12 pm, gates close at 10 pm

Wine tastings only

2:00pm – Hub City Master Chef Competition

2:00-5:00pm – music by Alma Quartet

6:00-9:30pm – music by Keegan Peck
National Hockey League Eastern Conference Final is New York Rangers v. Tampa Bay Lightning and Western Conference Final is Anaheim Ducks v. Chicago Blackhawks.
National Basketball Association Eastern Conference Final is Cleveland Cavaliers v. Atlanta Hawks and Western Conference Final is Golden State Warriors v. Houston Rockets.

On the evening of May 15 under cover of darkness U.S. Army Delta Force commandos using Black Hawk helicopters and V-22 Osprey aircraft, darted from Iraq into eastern Syria for an ISIS leader of oil and gas operations, and killed him and twelve ISIS members and captured his wife and brought her back to Iraq for questioning before daylight May 16. No Americans were injured or killed.
Did you like the television docudrama Wolf Hall by PBS-TV? Let’s review the bidding.
Hillary Mantel, Wolf Hall: A Novel (Henry Holt & Co 2009) Lubbock Public Library FIC MANT 2 copies, winner of the Man Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, Bring Up The Bodies: A Novel (Henry Holt & Co 2012) Lubbock Public Library FIC MANT 2 copies, winner of the Man Booker Prize and Costa Book Award, The Mirror and the Light: A Novel (expected 2016). This is the historical novel trilogy on the life of Thomas Cromwell who became King Henry VIII’s principal minister despite being a commoner, and was stripped of his offices and titles and sent to the Tower and executed on July 28, 1540. He was beheaded by the axe and his boiled head was placed on a spike and displayed at London Bridge The first two books in the trilogy sold three million copies and are phenomenally popular.
Robert Hutchinson, Thomas Cromwell: The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII’s Most Notorious Minister (Weidenfeld & Nicholson 2007, reissued Thomas Dunne Books 2009) 360 pages, paperback $14.42 e-book $8. Texas Tech Library DA 334.C9 H88 (2009) Hutchinson is a qualified historian and this is a biography of Cromwell. It is not a novel.
The popularity of the Mantel novels led directly to a script for the stage by Mike Poulton, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies The Stage Adaptation (Nick Hern Books 2014) 272 pages paperback $12.52 e-book $10 and its current performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City March 20-July 5, 2015. Direction is by Jeremy Herrin
Peter Straughan wrote the screenplay for the television docudrama and it was directed by Peter Kosminsky produced by BBC/Masterpiece/PBS in six episodes broadcast initially April 5 – May 10, 2015. DVD $23 as Masterpiece: Wolf Hall (2015)
A contemporary audience would not and could not see depicted two major facts of 16th century English royal life, one being the obsession with titles/landed estates/heraldry, and the second being that everyone at some level “does God” as an animating presence in daily life. It was true that when Queen Catherine did not produce a male heir, King Henry VIII interpreted this as God’s curse on him for marrying his older brother the Prince of Wales’s young and new wife. While this sounds today like a psychological construct and scientifically false, in those days the operating causality for daily life events was the unseen and often misunderstood God. Another feature of life in that age and time was that brutality in the name of God and as a service to God was normative behavior. Today we might think Henry VIII mentally unstable and religiously bizarre, but he was accepted as being closer to God than other men, even those of royal blood but not King.
Harold Bloom, The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime (Speigel and Grau 2015) $35 reviewed at Cynthia Ozick, The Daemon Knows by Harold Bloom, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, May 18, 2015
What to do in Lubbock? Many calendars or event listings are online. Here’s a lineup. Select a Seat upcoming events and tickets Texas Tech School of Music events calendar Lubbock Christian University campus events South Plains College calendars

May 18 – June 28, 2015 is the Plains Art Association 54th annual Spring Celebration of Art at the Malouf Abraham Family Art Center, The Abraham Art Gallery, located in the atrium level of the Mabee Learning Resources Center building on the campus of Wayland Baptist University 1900 West 7th Street in Plainview telephone 806-291-3710 for hours and special events.
If you go, allow time for a visit to the Llano Estacado Museum on the northeast side of campus, free admission, for a better understanding of regional history Here is my take on Runningwater Draw but a visit to the Museum might improve this perspective – Runningwater Draw rises in New Mexico and runs east to Bovina Texas and on east to Plainview where it becomes White River and runs through Blanco Canyon east of Crosbyton and farther southeast where it is dammed to form White River Lake, a recreational opportunity and water supply for the towns of Spur, Post, Ralls and Crosbyton. White River continues and merges into the Salt Fork of the Brazos River that converges with the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River in east Stonewall County east of Aspermont Texas to commence the Brazos River on its flow to the Gulf of Mexico. Plainview Country Club is situated in Runningwater Draw!club-house/cq4e so the vistas at the golf course are significant for cogitating about early explorations and settlement of the area. Runningwater Draw Park is both west and east of the golf course and there is a bicycling and walking trail in the park. As one drives east southeast to Lockney and Floydada on US Highway 70 Runningwater Draw and the White River are to the south.

If there is to be any sensible political discussion of health care in the United States, it is likely to be in 2015, not 2016 as that is a presidential election year. What is there to discuss in 2015, five years after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 and a shorter period of time as it was phased in? Its opponents have named it Obamacare and offered up many bills to repeal it, always failing to pass them, and never offered any bill to amend or improve it. The reality is that Obamacare represents a pragmatic compromise solution to the hitherto intractable problem of substantially reducing the numbers of uninsured and under-insured people. Access to health care is obtained in America by holding health insurance coverage that will pay for it or for most of it. Obamacare has added nearly twenty million people to the rolls of insured people, but it also has not added another 25 million people to those rolls. Its reforms are internal to the existing health care system which it did not seek to change or replace. It implements a series of policies designed to reduce the continuing growth rates of health care costs that consume more than 17% of gross domestic product, and growth rates have slowed but remain as growth rates. No price controls or explicit rationing of health care has been imposed. Integration of accountable health care organizations within the Medicare system has been used, and steps are being taken toward value-to-the-patient based payments to health care providers. Federally funded studies are conducted to compare and educate about the effectiveness for patients between drugs, devices and medical procedures.
Obamacare is messy but it can and does work, primarily because it has buy-in from key stakeholders that make up the American health care quilt that includes patients, health care providers, not for profit and for profit health insurers, and the bio-pharmaceutical industry.
Sensible Americans are gaining an awareness that, working within the existing framework for health care will likely not lead to universal health care coverage in the near future, and that the plan to expand Medicaid and provide free health care to uninsured people is not acceptable to political officials in half the states. If the taxation base for Medicare and for subsidies to health care providers were increased, the goals of Obamacare might be reached, but there seems to be no political will for such an increase in taxation. Meanwhile, millions of Americans can’t access the health care system because they are ineligible for free care, have little or no health care insurance, and simply cannot afford to pay the prices of health care providers after limited insurance co-pays have been made, even when those prices are discounted. Working Americans and their children are becoming unhealthy and their untreated conditions worsen and affect them more severely, hindering them from continuing to work and from improving their work skills and performance.
If sensible Americans refuse to engage in the sound-bite confrontational rhetoric and address the problem, what do we talk about? France and Germany have a universal coverage rule by law, but they have a public system of insurance, and there are multiple payers for health care including private insurers. There are no coverage differentials between private health care insurance and public health care insurance since those are dictated by the public system of insurance, and low profit margins for private insurers are acceptable. Switzerland and the Netherlands have fully privatized the health insurance function and those insurers cover and pay for health care under strict government regulation, under a law calling for universal health care coverage for all citizens, and thus requiring that it be purchased by the entire citizenry. Under both models everyone pays into the health care system either through taxes or insurance premiums. The government is the insurer of last resort.
It is obvious that European nations went at the problem from the other direction than we did in America. They started by assuming universal health care coverage as the outcome and asked how that could be constructed and managed. In America we started with the private economic system of a fee for each health care service or product delivered to a patient, and adopted a shared-payment financing technique to provide for payment of those fees.
I pose the question and invite your thoughts and actions. I am not a political savant and cannot offer a single or preferred solution, or at best think that would be unhelpful. It’s a social but also an economic problem and it requires the creation of a system serviceable for 330 million people both now and into a future.
Some things are clearer today than they were decades ago. The Medicare model for determination of the amount of payments to providers for specific procedures, services and pharmaceuticals, has become the standard formulary against which insurance company negotiated price plans with providers are contracted. That eases the problem of acceptable levels of payment of fees for services and products. It says nothing about how to finance those levels of payment. The financiers are employers, patients, insurance pools of funding and the government. How much and why should they each pay? How can government raise taxes to finance its share or subsidize the share of others? How can employers average all their benefit packages for employees to include a ratable segment for health care and what is a ratable segment?


Arts History Update for mid May 2015

10 May

Arts History Update for mid May 2015 by David Cummins

The new Whitney Museum of American Art opens in the meatpacking district of New York City on May 1 at 290 Park Avenue South at 23rd Street and here is a set of slide show pictures at an invited walk through before the opening The architect for the nine story building is Renzo Piano.

Various views of the Whitney;_ylt=AwrTHQZOBztVMCsAN7lXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzOGVwMXNwBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDVklQNTc4XzEEc2VjA3Nj Alicia Powell, Reuters, April 23, 2015.


The Corcoran Gallery of Art with its 17,000 piece collection worth $2 billion was given to The National Gallery of Art in 2014 and the collection will be reopened to view later in 2015 as the Corcoran Collection within the second floor display space. The buildings and School of Art & Design were given to George Washington University The deal was a structured one with court approval The Corcoran Foundation and Endowment goes out of existence.


The Last Book Store 3203 34th Street phone 806-792-8858 is closing and is now liquidating its inventory specializing in used books, vinyl records, audio cassette tapes, CDs, and DVDs. Hours are 10:00 am-6:00 pm Mon-Thur close at 8:00 pm Fri-Sat and 1:00 – 6:00 pm Sunday. Lane Anderson operated the book store for many years and his photography studio is adjacent d/b/a Cloudstone Photography


Can we talk innovation? California State Polytechnic University at Pomona California, commonly referred to as Cal Poly Pomona, includes a Center for Training, Technology and Incubation within its Innovation Village. Within the Center is Innovation Brew Works located on campus at 3650 W. Temple Avenue, Pomona CA 91768 phone 909-979-6197. It is a brewery and brewpub that is also a cafe and is open to the public. It brews craft beer and students at Cal Poly work in the brewery and brewpub. They experience applied propagation of custom yeast strains, and the nitrogenation and carbonation process, and the development of unique hop and malt blends. Pomona, while in Los Angeles County, is east of the city and has always been agriculture-oriented and annually holds the Los Angeles County Fair in September at the Fairgrounds.

The similar characteristics with Lubbock and the South Plains are obvious.

Why couldn’t Texas Tech University do something similar? Its College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources CASNR already has a thriving enology [wine-making] and viticulture [wine grape vineyard operations] program. Why couldn’t hops, grains, malting process, yeast cultures, and brewing be another academic program?

Texas Tech could start by getting involved with a local home brew supplies company that wants to be a licensed brewery but hasn’t the capital to do so. It brews excellent beer it can’t sell. Yellowhouse Canyon Brew Works at 601 North University Avenue Lubbock TX 79415 phone 806-744-1917 e-mail operates in a former cotton delinting plant building on a service road headed west from North University Avenue just north of the Clovis Highway and railroad tracks.

Bill Hardy and his son Tim Hardy enrolled in The World Brewing Academy Master Brewer Program and spent eight weeks in Chicago at Siebel Institute of Technology and twelve weeks in Munich Germany at Doemens Academy. Bill’s wife and Tim’s mother Cindy Hardy stayed home and is the office manager.

Craft Beer production can be a technological cutting edge process. Schlafly Beer in St Louis Missouri uses the Siemens BRAUMAT Compact system and


You Tube videos by Christian Conrad Ph.D., instructor for the Arts History Lecture Series at Texas Tech Museum Jones Auditorium are here.


July 8-12 are the dates for the 18th annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah Oklahoma, his birthplace and boyhood before he moved to Pampa Texas to rejoin his father A single day pass is $30, three day pass by May 13 is $50, and $60 thereafter. Daytime performances are mostly at The Crystal Theater and evening performances at Pastures of Plenty. Other venues are Brick Street Cafe, Rocky Road Tavern, and Okemah History Center. Okemah is east of Oklahoma City off Interstate Highway 40 and south of Tulsa, population about 3,500.

Woody Guthrie wrote the lyrics and music for Pastures of Plenty so the venue was named for that song. In contemporary music The Flatlanders wrote and perform Homeland Refugee in which the lyrics say:

“I’m leaving California for the dust bowl, They took it all, There’s nowhere else to go, The pastures of plenty are burning by the sea, And I’m just a homeland refugee”. CD is Hills & Valleys (2009)

Woody Guthrie Center is at 102 E., Mathew B. Brady Street, Tulsa Oklahoma

Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center is at 320 South Cuyler Street, Pampa Texas in the location that once was the Harris Drug Store where Woody worked as a boy and learned to play the guitar.

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie 1912-1967 discography


George Bernard Shaw, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928, reissued and revised with chapters on Sovietism and Fascism in 1937) Texas Tech Library HX 246.S53 was written in response to a letter of request by his sister in-law Mary Stewart Payne-Townsend nee Mrs. Hugh Cholmondeley in 1924

“You will think me a dreadful bore when I tell you that I want you to send me a few of your ideas on Socialism. Unfortunately the “Study Circle” to which I belong have got hold of the fact that you are my brother in-law, so I promised I would write to you. We want to know so many things. One is – when frightful class warfare results from Socialism how would that be averted – Also, one human being is clever, intelligent, pushing and his neighbor is exactly the reverse; how could they be on an equal footing, how could we all be equally poor or equally rich for more than a week; the money might be divided to a penny between us all but you know the pushing ones would get it all from their idle brothers in a month or two, then what would you do? Then, the equality: you put me into a dress maker’s establishment but I do not know how to make a dress therefore I must work under a supervisor who orders me about, tells me how to the dress and pays me for my work. Where is the equality? – And so on, and so on. Will you answer my questions quite plainly and forgive this letter? Yours Sissy.”

The fact is that Hugh [Colonel, later Brigadier General] and Sissy Cholmondeley were members of the fox-hunting landed gentry, a group many Socialists would see as representative of the enemy. Shaw’s plays and his friendships were often at odds with the dogmatism of his political writings, to the extent that some said the latter were intended to be a “send-up” rather than serious. Shaw’s ends always seemed to justify any means to achieve them, and he failed to appreciate that a means that is brutal can become an indispensable component of the ends. That occurred in the Soviet and Chinese revolutions.

G.B. Shaw 1856-1950


New York Islanders, a National Hockey League team, has been playing at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale New York [Hempstead Long Island area in Nassau County] for many years, but the ice has been put down and taken up for the last time on April 25 and next season it will play at Barclays Center Arena/Stadium 620 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn New York. The New York Rangers hockey team’s home ice is Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York New York The Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team also plays at Barclays

Ebbets Field Dodgers may be long gone to some heathen location in southern California, but there’s plenty of fine athleticism in Brooklyn and the New York Mets baseball team is only a bus ride away in Queens, still a distance away from Manhattan or The Bronx, home of the New York Yankees in their new Yankee Stadium.


Joe Queenan, Museums, It’s Time to Sell those Duds on the Walls: Purists May Squawk But Museums Are Loaded with Crummy Paintings, Why Not Sell Them Off?, Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2015

What’s your opinion? Mine is distinctly an answer to a different question than asked by a newspaper given over to the glorification of money and owned by a person well-known to be megalomaniac and controlling of editorial and opinion content.

Even a “dud”, and of course that’s a conclusion that is a matter of artistic opinion and taste, is quite instructive and influential on the patrons who see it “on the wall” so I think the question is wrongly asked. What might have been asked is what should be done with the art in the basement or other storage that rarely if ever is displayed where patrons can see it?

If the museum has a program whereby a distinct group or sub-group of its patrons does in fact have access to it “in the basement or other storage” then that may be reason enough and justification enough to retain rather than dispose of un-displayed art. Texas Tech Museum is part of an academic Museum Science program under which bachelor’s degree and master’s degree candidates do explore the basement collections and use them in writing their papers and in understanding their curatorial significance. Moreover, when I was on the Museum’s Art Collection Committee we pressed the managers of the Museum to regularly “bring up from the basement” the very art we were spending foundation grant money to acquire, and not let it be consigned to be un-enjoyed. Gradually we made headway and today the Museum at most times in the year has one or more “Up From the Basement” displays for the general public to enjoy, and Museum managers have found that its patrons enjoy seeing those items and are pleased that they were acquired.

Gaining and exploiting the value of museum collections by better practices at the museum is key to valuing and using the collection sensibly and to its maximum potential. Selling off is a last resort option after all else has failed for a museum. Museum managers can use their patrons appreciation for the accessible collection to leverage those patrons financial support for the museum and the institution or foundation should plan for and budget for roof maintenance, repair and replacement in the normal course of building operations. Let’s not create false dichotomies or rush to judgment about selling off collections when a budget becomes unbalanced or badly performed/executed. Let’s balance the budget and improve the management of operations.

Arts History Update for early May 2015

24 Apr

Arts History Update for early May 2015 by David Cummins

April 24, 2015

Dear Playa Landowners, Naturalists, Agency folks, and Interested Public:

Since the last Field Day back in October, the uplands around the Playa Classroom were covered in tall grass and giant kochia weeds, thanks to 20 inches of rainfall over last summer and fall. After the winter snows, it seemed best to remove all that biomass (or risk a wildfire) from a management standpoint, so on April 8th, those uplands were swathed and baled. The harvest yielded 38 round bales! Even better, the landscape is in amazingly good shape for the spring months.

I invite you to attend our Playa Management Field Day on Friday, May 15th from 8:45am-1:15pm in Nazareth, Texas (3 weeks from today). We will start out at the Home Mercantile Building, in downtown Nazareth, Texas (101 Second Street)…with coffee, refreshments, restrooms, and two short presentations. By 10am, we will drive ¾ of a mile south of the Hwy 86 and FM 168 intersection to the Ogallala Commons Playa Classroom. Next, there will be a walk-around in small groups to assess key indicators for playa ecosystem health, under the direction of Manuel DeLeon (a wetlands specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service). We will have another treat to wrap up the outdoors session: a presentation on playa amphibians (with live specimens: toads, salamanders, frogs, etc.) by Robert Martin from Santa Fe, NM.

Back at the Home Mercantile, we will enjoy a home-cooked meal of German sausage and garden greens with dessert. We will also have a presentation on playa ecosystem management at Muleshoe, Buffalo Lake, and Grulla National Wildlife Refuges by Melanie Hartman, USFWS, from Happy, TX.

There is $10 fee for lunch and refreshments. Anyone attending this Playa Management Day needs to contact Darryl Birkenfeld at 806-945-2255 (or to insure an accurate lunch count.

The Field Day is sponsored by Ogallala Commons and the Dixon Water Foundation. Those attending are asked to wear appropriate clothing, footwear, and a hat.

After we adjourn at 1:15pm, anyone is invited to come over to our house for a tour of the rainwater harvesting, raised-bed gardening, etc., until 2pm. Please share this invitation and the agenda on the next page with others who might want to attend.

Our next Playa Management Day will be on Thursday, June 25th, 9am-1pm, just southwest of Edmonson, TX (Hale County), at Mark Hilliard’s playa.

Best regards,

Darryl Birkenfeld, Ph.D.,
Director, Ogallala Commons

Playa Management Day

Friday, May 15, 2015

Home Mercantile Building & OC Playa Classroom Nazareth, Texas

8:45am – 1:30pm

8:45am Registration and Light refreshments at Home Mercantile Building

(corner of Second & Leo Streets, located between Holy Family Church and Nazareth Schools)

9:00am Welcome & Overview of Past & Current Conditions at the Playa

Darryl Birkenfeld, Director, Ogallala Commons, and playa landowner

9:20am Assessing Playa Watersheds: What are Key Indicators?

Manuel DeLeon, Wetlands Specialist, USDA-NRCS, Lubbock, TX

9:40am Select Teams (small groups) and Assignments

10am Arrive at OC Playa Classroom (3.4 miles south of Nazareth on FM 168) Group Walks to conduct assignments

10:40am Group Reports & Discussion (Playa Classroom)

Darryl Birkenfeld

11:00am Building Soil Health & Drought Resilience in Playa Wetlands

Manuel DeLeon

11:30pm Playa Amphibians in Southern High Plains Playas (with live specimens)

Robert Martin, OC New Mexico Coordinator, Santa Fe, NM

12:10 Return to Home Mercantile

12:20pm Home-Cooked Lunch: German sausage, vegetables, and dessert

12:45pm Playa Ecosystem Management at Buffalo Lake, Muleshoe & Grulla NWR

Melanie Hartman, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Happy, TX

1:15pm Adjourn

A mini-playa exists in Lubbock on Texas Tech University land northeast corner of 4th street and Quaker Avenue under lock and key, and I toured it several years ago with a Texas Tech faculty member, but real estate development nearby has so encroached that it is not a fully functional playa like the one south of Nazareth in the invitation above. Please consider registering and attending this active tour of a fully functional playa on May 15. All the former playas in the Lubbock area are now just depressions with standing water at times, since so much of the playa habitat has been devoted to real estate development and farms.

Of course visiting and exploring an active playa with expert guides is the main thing, but folks, if you get an invitation to to eat home-prepared German sausage in Nazareth Texas and you recall the German-Americans who settled there with those recipes from the old country, strap on your stompin shoes and get to Nazareth for some pleasurable vittles.


Where does a political campaign begin? We know it ends with massive staged rallies broadcast nationwide much like a Hollywood production. It began for Hillary Clinton in LeClaire Iowa in the first week of her April 2015 campaign when she shook hands “pressed the flesh” at the Jones Street Java House, a local coffee shop. Sometimes at such events a throng of reporters and photographers outnumber the people around the tables in her public and unannounced visits.

Whatever one’s politics or lack of politics, meeting a presidential candidate in person is always remembered, as is true for all celebrities who command a national press and keep popping up when we read newspapers, magazines, or television “news”. One wonders what those Iowans felt when they met Ms. Clinton.

In 1992 in Lubbock Texas when Bill Clinton was a presidential candidate with a campaign schedule that did not include Lubbock, it was announced that his wife Hillary Clinton, a lawyer in the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock Arkansas, would travel to Lubbock on her husband’s behalf. She went, and I went, to Lala’s a Tex-Mex Restaurant1 on Broadway Street in the 1100 block and a crowd of about 70 people heard her speak about Bill and why he might make a good president for the country. I haven’t met her in person since then, and don’t expect to, but I remember her visit vividly and imagine LeClaire Iowans at their coffee shop. I also imagine how many or how few Iowans will go to events and actually meet in person two or three or more candidates for president. How will they compare them, and on what bases or characteristics? It’s obvious, isn’t it, that this is an electoral process but not a representative process. It describes how a president is ultimately elected, but that president is not in fact a representative of anyone in LeClaire or Lubbock. He or she may act for them or by their leave or in their name, but is not acting as their representative. We expect more and better from them than we often deliver for ourselves.

That said, I’m no fan of books published by presidential candidates the year or two prior to their entry into a political campaign. They seem like puff pieces designed to self-validate the importance of the author and his/her appropriate entry into the campaign. Two of those are Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hard Choices (Simon & Schuster 2014) Lubbock Public Library 635 pages 3 copies 328.73092 CLIN and Jeb Bush & Clint Bolick, Immigration Wars: Forging An American Solution (Threshold Editions 2013) Texas Tech Library JV 6483.B84. They never state objectively what the author did or didn’t do relative to the issues the author pontificates about. There is thus no glimmer of walking their talk and thereby an expectation that they won’t in the future.


NBA [National Basketball Association] Western Conference and Eastern Conference Playoffs began April 18, 2015

15 teams in each Conference and, after an 82 game season, seven of those teams are done and licking their wounds, and the remaining eight playoff teams are:

Eastern Conference: # 1 Atlanta Hawks 60-22 v. # 8 Brooklyn Nets 38-44, # 4 Toronto Raptors 49-33 v. # 5 Washington Wizards 46-36, # 3 Chicago Bulls 50-32 v. # 6 Milwaukee Bucks 41-41 and # 2 Cleveland Cavaliers 53-29 v. # 7 Boston Celtics 40-42

Western Conference # 1 Golden State Warriors 67-15 v. # 8 New Orleans Pelicans 45-37, # 5 Memphis Grizzlies 55-27 v. # 4 Portland Trail Blazers 51-31, # 3 Los Angeles Clippers 56-26 v. # 6 San Antonio Spurs 55-27, and # 2 Houston Rockets 56-26 v. # 7 Dallas Mavericks 50-32 Round one is first team to win 4 games. Round three will produce Conference winners and Round Four will produce an NBA Champion. The better record during the season determines home court advantage as a round is played. The best teams during the season do not always win in the playoffs, so get out your scorecard, pencil with eraser, and televisions aglow.


The Bowerbird Panhandle Art Review is an online regional art journal founded by Hannah Dean of Slaton Texas e-mail phone 575-308-9737


Daniel Albright, Putting Modernism Together: Literature Music and Art 1872-1927 (Hopkins Studies in Modernism) (Johns Hopkins University Press 2015) $54 hardcover $30 paperback


Jay Friedlander, Strategic Sustainability: Creating Abundance, American Management Association Playbook: Your Source for Practical Work Solutions, uses the Abundance Sustainability Cycle overlap between profits, people and planet as the place where all the work done there is a win-win for everyone. Only the business’s competitor that is not doing it, is a loser and then only relatively speaking Many businesses mimic their competitors who get out front.


Art League of West Texas Foundation has its Spring Membership Show on exhibit at the Buddy Holly Center Fine Arts Gallery 1801 Crickets Avenue April 17-May 24, 2015. The juror is James C. Watkins, internationally known ceramic artist. West Texas Watercolor Society has its Spring Show at Buddy Holly Center May 1-June 14, 2015. The juror is Candace Keller professor of art and curator at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.


Jeff Dell, artist in residence print maker at CASP Charles Adams Studio Project 5th Street & Avenue J Gallery, is leaving town after a five month residency. Closing reception free event for the public is Saturday April 25 from 1:00-6:00 pm. His specialty is screen prints so expect to see some really cool stuff. He’s going back to San Marcos where he is a Professor of Studio Art Printmaking at Texas State University


Didn’t get published in Iron Horse Literary Journal? now there’s an additional journal by the English Department at Texas Tech University, Harbinger Literary Magazine, that invites undergraduates to make submissions for publication. Its first release party is Friday May 1, 2015 at 3:00 – 4:00 pm in English Philosophy Departments Building Room 106. Free food and drink. Pick up a copy of the magazine.

Third annual Iron Horse Literary Journal Film Fest of short-short films is Wednesday April 29 at 7:30 pm at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema $9 for public, free with Texas Tech ID!fest/c1xxg


1Lala and Conrado Cavazos owned this restaurant and closed it upon their retirement and moved to the Lower Rio

Grande Valley

Arts History Update for late April 2015

17 Apr

Arts History Update for late April 2015 by David Cummins
Joyce Runyan, abstract water-media painter who lives and works in Ransom Canyon has twelve pieces at Pioneer Hotel Condominiums 1204 Broadway Street in downtown Lubbock. They enhance the vitality of the lobby entrance and The West Table restaurant off the lobby in the building!

What you ask is water-media? She uses acrylic paint that is water soluble and depending on dilution and modification by gels, media or paste it can resemble watercolor painting, an oil painting, or be distinctive from either. The West Texas Watercolor Society includes water-media painters and Runyan is a former president.

If you haven’t yet eaten at The West Table, reservations are preferred and can be made by phone or online, it’s closed Monday and Tuesday, open lunch Wednesday – Friday 11:00 – 2:00 pm, open dinner Wednesday – Saturday 5:00 – 9:00 pm, open Sunday for Brunch 11:00 – 2:00 pm and Supper 5:00 – 9:00 pm. The best value is Sunday Supper at 6:30 or 7:00 pm seatings pre-set four course meal for $25. The bar is open from 11:00 am to closing. Dirk West and Mary Ruth West’s grandson Cameron West and his wife are owners of and chefs at The West Table.

Here are nine paintings by Runyan to entice you to visit


James Wines’s Green Architecture showrooms, nine in total, are now either demolished or renovated beyond recognition except for the so-called Forest Building showroom for Best Products in 1980 on Quioccasin Road in Richmond Virginia. It’s now owned by West End Presbyterian Church and here is its website page on the structure Wines is age 83 and is founder and president of SITE a New York City based architecture and environmental arts organization.


Now that March Madness ended and college basketball is over, is the NBA National Basketball Association enough for your addiction? If not, be aware that the NBA started a Development League and in the Western Conference Southwest Division of that League are four teams Oklahoma City Blue, Texas Legends, Austin Spurs, and Rio Grande Valley Vipers. This is minor league professional basketball. Legends are associated with the Dallas Mavericks, Spurs are associated with San Antonio Spurs, and Vipers are associated with the Houston Rockets.

Venues: Texas Legends play at Dr Pepper Arena Frisco Texas, Austin Spurs play at Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park Texas and Rio Grande Valley Vipers play at State Farm Arena Hidalgo Texas. Deep into the season Legends are 22-28, Spurs are 32-28, and Vipers are 27-23. There are 18 teams in the Development League from small markets like Maine Red Claws in Portland Maine, Sioux Falls Skyforce in South Dakota, and Bakersfield Jam in Bakersfield California. The playoffs are going on right now and the Austin Spurs played the Bakersfield Jam on April 7, 11 and 12. Jam beat the Spurs on April 7 but the Spurs won the second and third games and are in the second round. The other three match-ups in the playoffs are Maine v. Fort Wayne, Sioux Falls v. Canton, and Santa Cruz v. Oklahoma City. Series to advance are best two out of three games. Santa Cruz Warriors won in first round and meets Austin Spurs on Sunday April 19 at 5:00 pm TV-ESPNU at Cedar Park and Tuesday April 21 at 8:30 pm TV-ESPNU at Santa Cruz California. Game three in Santa Cruz on Thursday if they are tied 1-1.

WNBA Women’s National Basketball Association schedule begins June 5 through September so as to be off-season relative to the Men’s NBA play and provide year round opportunities to enjoy professional basketball. Teams include the San Antonio Stars The draft for new players will be April 16, 2015


Super Geeks Lubbock on 66th Street promises a free video tutorial on the Microsoft Windows 10 Operating System that is currently in Beta testing. Here is the You Tube Channel for Super Geeks for you to access when the video comes online

Western Federation of Watercolor Societies 40th Annual Exhibition is April 16, 2015 – July 15, 2015 at Texas Tech Museum and the host Society is West Texas Watercolor Society represented by Carol Peterson who may be contacted at or by phone 806-535-6137. On January 28 the submissions were accepted or rejected and paintings were sent in March. Linda Baker will juror the show from April 27 – May 1, 2015 and winners will be notified by May 4. Delegates to the annual Exhibition will arrive on May 28 and depart on June 1. Western Federation Societies can be found in eight states

Here are images of the entries in the Exhibition that you can view as a slide show.

West Texas Watercolor Society offices are at the YWCA Legacy Event Center downtown Lubbock 14th Street and Avenue O.


Human Rights Art Exhibition from the Collection at South Texas College, McAllen Texas and also from South Plains artists, goes on exhibit April 23 through June 10, 2015 at International Cultural Center at Texas Tech University. The opening reception is Thursday April 23 from 4:30-6:30 pm during which a film Benches will be shown in the Auditorium while Kristi Humphries will provide a performance.

Trafficked by Lynn M. Randolph of Houston Texas is one of the paintings exhibited

There is a half-scale seaworthy replica of La Salle’s ship La Belle [feminine beautiful] that is called La Petite [small] Belle docked alongside the Palacios Texas shrimping fleet, and artifacts recovered i.e. excavated from, the seabed of the shipwrecked La Belle in Matagorda Bay in 1686, appear in a seven Gulf Coast museums including City By The Sea Museum in Palacios

La Salle is Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle,_Sieur_de_La_Salle the French explorer who died age 43 inland the next year 1687 near present day Huntsville Texas.

A marvelous temporary exhibit La Belle The Ship That Changed History is at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin October 25, 2014 – May 17, 2015 and the permanent exhibit on La Belle will go up in November 2015 while the temporary exhibit begins traveling the state.

La Salle had previously in 1685 started a colony at the mis-named Fort St Louis on a bluff overlooking Garcitas Creek before it emptied into Lavaca Bay on the Gulf Coast of later to be Texas. It was just an outpost amid hostile natives, the Karankawa Indians. It was La Salle’s attempt to beat the English and Spanish to this area he thought to be near the mouth of the Mississippi River, his goal, and La Salle left the outpost to travel inland to gain relief for his people in January 1687. At that point there were only 50 men women and children at the outpost and a Karankawa Indian attack ended their colonization in 1689. Spanish explorers would find the site of the former French colony and build a Spanish outpost over it Evidence of Karankawa occupation also was present in the area, so it’s quite historic. The Spanish De Leon Expedition found the abandoned and empty colony and made this map of it after burying the cannon because they anticipated returning to the area and using the cannon for a Spanish outpost’s defense. The Spanish burned the French-constructed buildings to the ground.

As we think about La Salle’s early exploration we are reminded of Alver Nunez Cabeza de Vaca’s ill-fated Narvaez Expedition of 1527 and his being rescued and enslaved by Karankawa Indians along the Texas Gulf Coast Early European entrance into Texas is an amazing story.

A fiction is Miles Arceneaux, La Salle’s Ghost: A Novel (Stephen F. Austin University Press 2013). The author Arceneaux is a pen name for three writers who collaborate on fiction such as this, namely Brent Douglass, John T. Davis, and James R. Dennis. $15.45 paperback $10 e-book. Brent Douglass’s parents reside in Lubbock Texas.


Congress mistakenly passed a Medicare Reform Payment Plan including a sustainable growth rate formula SGR and on April 14, 2015 repealed it, averting a 21 % across the board reduction in Medicare’s physician fees for covered services. There are complexities with regard to appropriately compensating physicians while reducing the growth rate of health care costs, and Congress now realizes, belatedly, that a simple meat-ax approach won’t work

The reality is that ever since 2002 Congress has adjusted the reality of payment reductions that the SGR would have imposed, so the SGR has been an unenforced specter for many years. It’s best to get rid of it and take careful account of reality.


In 1913 before The Great War commenced, an all African-American Army National Guard Regiment was formed, the 15th Infantry Regiment, New York. Most of its members lived in New York City or the NYC area. It continued to train as an Army National Guard Regiment after The Great War began in 1914 but the United States did not enter the War until 1917 and The American Army Expeditionary Forces under General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing were posted to Europe. Initially the 15th became the US Army 369th Infantry Regiment and were deployed alongside the Expeditionary Forces but not incorporated within them, only being used as stevedores and support troops. Pershing had insisted that the American Army Expeditionary Forces not be incorporated into the commands and troops in the field of the French, English and Canadian Armies but rather be assigned their own sector and fight under their own military commanders. He did allow for the 369th Infantry Regiment to be assigned to the French Army in its sector of battle at Champagne-Marne and at Meuse-Argonne and their French commanders referred to the regiment as The Men of Bronze, and awarded medals and badges for bravery and military accomplishment.

Bill Miles, Men of Bronze (documentary film 60 minutes black and white 1977)

Max Brooks, The Harlem Hellfighters (Turtleback Books hardcover Broadway Books paperback 2014) is a 257 page graphic novel illustrated by Caanan Whte, that is a fictionalized account of the 369th Infantry Regiment from its inception. Max Brooks is the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft well-known film actors. Lubbock Public Library GEN FIC BROO two copies. $23.48 hardcover $14.13 paperback $10 e-book.

Max Brooks will show portions of the documentary film and discuss his graphic novel on the Texas Tech University campus on Wednesday April 22 at 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the School of Law Lanier Professional Development Center Auditorium. A free event.

Sony Pictures purchased the film rights to the graphic novel and is producing a movie to be released in 2016.

Arts History Update for mid April 2015

9 Apr

Arts History Update for mid April 2015 by David Cummins

The Great War [World War I] that ended in 1918 brought to an end the Austria-Hungary Empire and the Ottoman Empire. As for the latter, a century on, we understand that transition better. Leila Tarazi Fawaz, A Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War (Harvard University Press 2014) Texas Tech Library D524.7.M53 F39 hardcover $22.50 e-book $19.25
“The Great War of 1914-1918 reshaped the political geography of the Middle East, destroying a centuries-old, multinational empire, while creating the nation-states of today’s Middle East. The political aftermath of the war has proven as heavily contested as the military battles that shaped the conflict. After a century of change, however, the social experience of the region’s inhabitants during those four trying years has faded into the background. This book illuminates the challenges of the civilians who endured and the soldiers who fought through four calamitous years. It is a story of resilience in the midst of hardship, courage in the face of death, and triumph in the cauldron of battle. In this telling, the First World War is not just a global event, but a personal story running across regions and along fronts. From soldiers encountering new worlds on distant battlefields to civilians staving off hunger at home and refugees escaping persecution abroad, the war profoundly upended the social identities and historical memories of the region. For these reasons, and due to the political settlement that followed, World War I stands as the defining moment that shaped the direction of the Middle East for the next 100 years. This social history testifies to the resourcefulness of the people of the region, in particular those of Greater Syria, investigates their experiences, and serves as a foundation for understanding the Great War’s enduring legacy”-

and Eugene Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East (Basic Books 2015) In 1914 the Ottoman Empire was depleted of men and resources after years of war against Balkan nationalist and Italian forces. But in the aftermath of the assassination in Sarajevo, the powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and not even the Middle East could escape the vast and enduring consequences of one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. The Great War spelled the end of the Ottomans, unleashing powerful forces that would forever change the face of the Middle East.

In The Fall of the Ottomans, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the First World War and its immediate aftermath in the Middle East to vivid life, uncovering the often ignored story of the region’s crucial role in the conflict. Bolstered by German money, arms, and military advisors, the Ottomans took on the Russian, British, and French forces, and tried to provoke Jihad against the Allies in their Muslim colonies. Unlike the static killing fields of the Western Front, the war in the Middle East was fast-moving and unpredictable, with the Turks inflicting decisive defeats on the Entente in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and Gaza before the tide of battle turned in the Allies’ favor. The great cities of Baghdad, Jerusalem, and, finally, Damascus fell to invading armies before the Ottomans agreed to an armistice in 1918.

The postwar settlement led to the partition of Ottoman lands between the victorious powers, and laid the groundwork for the ongoing conflicts that continue to plague the modern Arab world. A sweeping narrative of battles and political intrigue from Gallipoli to Arabia, The Fall of the Ottomansis essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the Great War and the making of the modern Middle East.
hardcover $27.64 e-book $16.19

Karnig Panian, Goodbye, Antoura: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide (Stanford University Press 2015) $18.63 e-book $12.50 When World War I began, Karnig Panian was only five years old, living among his fellow Armenians in the Anatolian village of Gurin. Four years later, American aid workers found him at an orphanage in Antoura, Lebanon. He was among nearly 1,000 Armenian and 400 Kurdish children who had been abandoned by the Turkish administrators, left to survive at the orphanage without adult care.

This memoir offers the extraordinary story of what he endured in those years—as his people were deported from their Armenian community, as his family died in a refugee camp in the deserts of Syria, as he survived hunger and mistreatment in the orphanage. The Antoura orphanage was another project of the Armenian genocide: its administrators, some benign and some cruel, sought to transform the children into Turks by changing their Armenian names, forcing them to speak Turkish, and erasing their history.

Panian’s memoir is a full-throated story of loss, resistance, and survival, but told without bitterness or sentimentality. His story shows us how even young children recognize injustice and can organize against it, how they can form a sense of identity that they will fight to maintain. He paints a painfully rich and detailed picture of the lives and agency of Armenian orphans during the darkest days of World War I. Ultimately, Karnig Panian survived the Armenian genocide and the deprivations that followed. Goodbye, Antoura assures us of how humanity, once denied, can be again reclaimed. and Ronald Grigor Suny, “They Can Live in the Desert But Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide (Princeton University Press 2015) $24.92 e-book $19.25 Starting in early 1915, the Ottoman Turks began deporting and killing hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the first major genocide of the twentieth century. By the end of the First World War, the number of Armenians in what would become Turkey had been reduced by ninety percent—more than a million people. A century later, the Armenian Genocide remains controversial but relatively unknown, overshadowed by later slaughters and the chasm separating Turkish and Armenian versions of events. In this definitive narrative history, Ronald Suny cuts through nationalist myths, propaganda, and denial to provide an unmatched account of when, how, and why the atrocities of 1915–16 were committed.
As it lost territory during the war, the Ottoman Empire was becoming a more homogenous Turkic-Muslim state, but it still contained large non-Muslim communities, including the Christian Armenians. The Young Turk leaders of the empire believed that the Armenians were internal enemies secretly allied to Russia and plotting to win an independent state. Suny shows that the great majority of Armenians were in truth loyal subjects who wanted to remain in the empire. But the Young Turks, steeped in imperial anxiety and anti-Armenian bias, became convinced that the survival of the state depended on the elimination of the Armenians. Suny is the first to explore the psychological factors as well as the international and domestic events that helped lead to genocide.
Drawing on archival documents and eyewitness accounts, this is an unforgettable chronicle of a cataclysm that set a tragic pattern for a century of genocide and crimes against humanity.
Leonard Barkan, Michelangelo: A Life On Paper (Princeton University Press 2010) $49.50 publisher $31 hardcover $22.59 like new condition ABE Books Michelangelo is best known for great artistic achievements such as the Sistine ceiling, the David, the Pietà, and the dome of St. Peter’s. Yet throughout his seventy-five year career, he was engaged in another artistic act that until now has been largely overlooked: he not only filled hundreds of sheets of paper with exquisite drawings, sketches, and doodles, but also, on fully a third of these sheets, composed his own words. Here we can read the artist’s marginal notes to his most enduring masterpieces; workaday memos to assistants and pupils; poetry and letters; and achingly personal expressions of ambition and despair surely meant for nobody’s eyes but his own. Michelangelo: A Life on Paper is the first book to examine this intriguing interplay of words and images, providing insight into his life and work as never before.
This sumptuous volume brings together more than two hundred stunning, museum-quality reproductions of Michelangelo’s most private papers, many in color. Accompanying them is Leonard Barkan’s vivid narrative, which explains the important role the written word played in the artist’s monumental public output. What emerges is a wealth of startling juxtapositions: perfectly inscribed sonnets and tantalizing fragments, such as “Have patience, love me, sufficient consolation”; careful notations listing money spent for chickens, oxen, and funeral rites for the artist’s father; a beautiful drawing of a Madonna and child next to a mock love poem that begins, “You have a face sweeter than boiled grape juice, and a snail seems to have passed over it.” Magnificently illustrated and superbly detailed, this book provides a rare and intimate look at how Michelangelo’s artistic genius expressed itself in words as well as pictures.

Audit a Fall semester course? Perhaps …. Seminar in 20th Century Music MUHL 4300-003 meets on Tuesdays 9:30 – 10:50 am weekly in Music Building Room 214 beginning August 25 2015 by Dr. Christopher J. Smith

or Frank Zappa, bandleader, songwriter, film composer, and political activist MUHL 4300-005 meets on Tuesdays 12:30 -1:50 pm weekly in Music Building Room 209 beginning August 25, 2015 by Dr. Christopher J. Smith.

Contact Texas Tech University Registrar/Bursar’s Office for details on auditing in West Hall on campus or phone 806-742-3661.

Booklife by Publishers Weekly is a subset for writers to assist in the multi-step process of creating, publishing, marketing and managing one’s book or other publishable creation. Among other things the site includes a Services Directory so you can shop, for free, for the names of people to help you on

1. editing
2. art and design
3. production
4. distribution
5. web design
6. social media
7. promotion and public relations
8. agent
9. publishing
10. business matters

On April 1, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown traveled 93 miles east of Sacramento on US Highway 50 to Echo Summit mountain pass 7,382 feet high in the Sierra Nevada mountains at a spot that at this time of year would normally have five feet of snow pack, but he stood in a grassy meadow because the drought in California will be extended due to a record low snowfall in the Sierra. The governor announced new and more water restrictions and a required 25% reduction in water usage by state and local government agencies including schools and colleges. It’s sensible and needed and it helps to gain voluntary compliance by private companies and individuals when the state and local governments get out front and bite the bullet on substantial restrictions. The point at which he spoke is very close to Echo Lake and the South Lake Tahoe community.

About 150 years ago this pass, then called Johnson Pass, was sixty miles west of the Comstock Lode silver mines operational from 1859 near present day Virginia City Nevada in then western Utah Territory.


Can we talk about computer operating systems? Much media and advertising communications use scare tactics and make things sound startling or difficult, unless of course we purchase what the communicator wants us to purchase. Recent announcements that Microsoft stopped providing mainstream support for Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, has caused some concern with Windows 7 OS users. Not to panic. Here’s the real story, a lot less concerning to most people.

Microsoft’s current operating system is Windows 8 and its next operating system Windows 10 is in Beta testing and its release is scheduled for late 2015. What about users of Windows 7 operating system? Mainstream support on it was stopped several months ago in January 2015 but that is of concern to only a few people because all that means is that no new features for devices using that operating system will be forthcoming and the Help Desk free calls for servicing is shut down. Windows 7 operating systems will continue to receive the all-important security fixes and extended support from Microsoft through 2019, five more years. It is true that in 2020 and afterward the use of the Windows 7 operating system devices will be risky unless we have purchased an add-on real time security system to keep the system and device clean. Calm yourself if you, like me, are a user of a Windows 7 operating system and you like its operations and don’t wish to be forced to adjust at some expense.

What is the new Windows 10 operating system? It’s designed to replace the miscalculation Microsoft made when it introduced Microsoft 8 that put a tablet and smart phone touchscreen interface on its PC and laptop operating system. Customers went frantic and complained so operating system patches were sent out to make that interface optional and one could use Windows 8 with a keyboard and mouse-operated cursor technique for operating it, or one could switch on the touchscreen interface and use it as one normally uses a tablet or smart phone.

The new Windows 10 will naturally provide optional ways for users to operate the device, but it has built an advanced system that will look one way when it is being used as a touchscreen device like a smart phone or tablet, and look another way when used as a PC or laptop. Further, while using in one interface, a window on the monitor/display can show the same page or another page in the other interface, so both interfaces can be operational simultaneously. For those people who have a convertible laptop or tablet the user has the choice to toggle on or off the two interfaces and techniques for operation. Microsoft thinks its customers will enjoy these options. Another feature is that all Microsoft applications are constructed so that the user of Windows 10 can toggle them on or off in either of the two interfaces.

Most importantly, one of the brand new policies at Microsoft [Apple and Samsung have done this successfully before now] is to allow folks using a Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system device, to upgrade for free to Windows 10 in the first year after it is released. One of the several benefits of upgrading will be that most if not all new Microsoft applications and capabilities that arise thereafter will not be usable on old operating systems but will be very usable on a Windows 10 operating system. If your hardware is still fully functional, it probably would make sense to take advantage of a free upgrade to Windows 10 even though the upgrade will take several hours to install. Remember that when I say “new applications” I’m referring to those that are synced with Microsoft as the installer. I’m not referring to free applications like Adobe PDF and Java Script. They are constructed by their makers to be available for download and installation on all presently used operating systems and you need not be afraid you would lose those even if you do not upgrade to Windows 10.

Hope this helps to inform and alleviate concerns you may have. See articles on this topic by Reid Goldsborough who is a Windows 7 operating system user see article—_Should_Windows_7_Users_Be_Worried_.html


Texas Tech University Libraries uses the Library of Congress Classification system e.g D524.7.M53 F39. There are other classification systems for identifying publications such as Dewey Decimal e.g. 843/.912 19 and OCLC Online Computer Library Center originally Ohio College Library Center 11625220 and ISBN International Standard Book Number 2-7073-0695-9. OCLC and its member institutions cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat the largest online public access catalog of library material in the world at If one finds a publication there and types in his or her zip code the page will advise if the publication is cataloged in a nearby library, and it will reference commercial publishers of the publication, so this search device is often used initially when doing research as it is efficient and saves time exploring.


Sharon Olds, poet, won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection Stag’s Leap: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf 2012) that contains intimate verses that chronicle the dissolution of a marriage of 32 years before and after the husband abruptly leaves his wife for another woman. Her books include Satan Says (1980), The Dead and the Living (1984), The Gold Cell (1987), The Matter of This World (1987), The Sign of Saturn (1991), The Father (1992), The Wellspring (1996), Blood, Tin, Straw (1999), The Unswept Room (2002), Strike Sparks (2004), and One Secret Thing (2008). Her poems have also appeared in more than 100 poetry anthologies. $19.58 hardcover $12.39 paperback $ 11.77 e-book at 114 pages Texas Tech Library PS 3565.L34 S73 Born in 1942 she is 72 years of age and former director of the Creative Writing Program at New York University in New York City.

Art on the Llano Estacado Art Sale & Exhibition opens on Friday June 5 with a ticketed $150 per person soiree and concludes on Saturday June 6 with a free public show and sale of the previous day’s unsold art in the Sculpture Court of Texas Tech Museum At the soiree Paul Milosevich will receive the 2015 Legacy Award. Here is the list of artists whose works will be offered for sale


If this Update began recalling war, let it end by recalling non-violence and peaceful change and improvement. On Saturday March 14, 2015 in Parliament Square in Central London England a nine foot bronze statue by sculptor Philip Jackson was unveiled. Mohandas K. Gandhi usually referred to by his sobriquet Mahatma meaning Great Soul [maha=great and atman=soul] depicted by his appearance as he visited London in 1931 for a constitutional conference. Prime Minister Cameron spoke at the unveiling and India’s finance minister participated

Gandhi arrived in London in 1888 at age nineteen to study law and after three years returned to India as a qualified barrister. He practiced law there and in South Africa where he learned the structures of government and their weaknesses including oppression of masses of people. He returned to India not to practice law again in the courts but to lead his people to freedom from oppression and independence from foreign rule, turning the politically unimaginable into the politically inevitable. He did it by force of character and willful public example without firing a shot.

The nine foot statuary stands on a substantial plinth so his place among the luminaries in this venue is monumental. They invite us to think and act large, not small. They invite us to stop our pettiness, particularly when we look at Gandhi and across the Square at Winston Churchill who said in 1931 while attending the same conference “He’s a seditious Middle Temple lawyer”. We need to reduce our snide and thoughtless speech lest some may remember it years later and find that it did not so much describe Gandhi as it discredited Churchill. Middle Temple is one of four Inns of Court that have the exclusive privilege to Call students to admission to the Bar as barristers in Her Majesty’s Courts.

Arts History Update for early April 2015

23 Mar

Arts History Update for early April 2015 by David Cummins

Three contemporary Israeli films are coming to Lubbock. They are each award winners.

Waltz With Bashir (2008) director Ari Folman, 90 minutes will be shown at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema regular price for public, Texas Tech ID persons admitted free, on Sunday March 29 at 7:00 pm. An introduction by Rob Weiner librarian and film devotee will occur before the film is shown, and he will moderate a discussion afterward. Trailer is here

Fill The Void (2012) director Rama Burshtein, 90 minutes will be shown on Tuesday April 7 at 7:00 pm in English Philosophy Departments Building Lecture Hall 001 (basement west wing of building) free to all. An introduction by Kimberly L. Jones, Ph.D. candidate in Fine Arts will occur before the film is shown, and she will moderate a discussion afterward. Trailer is here

Footnote (2011) director Joseph Cedar, 103 minutes will be shown on Tuesday April 14 at 7:00 pm in English Philosophy Departments Building Lecture Hall 001 free to all. An introduction by Dr. Kristi Humphreys, professor of Critical Studies and Artistic Practice will occur before the film is shown, and she will moderate a discussion afterward. Trailer is here


Mickey Edwards, The Parties Versus The People: How To Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans (Yale University Press 2012) $17.01 hardcover $ 10.46 paperback $9.94 e-book, at 233 pages the former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma cracks the nut of the dysfunctional Congress. Texas Tech Library JK 2265.E38 Lubbock Public Library 320.973 EDWA Adult Nonfiction America’s political system is dysfunctional. While this is a widely held view, it is a problem that—so far—has proved intractable. After every election, voters discover yet again that political “leaders” are simply quarreling in a never-ending battle between the two warring tribes, the Republicans and Democrats. In this critically important book, a distinguished statesman and thinker identifies exactly how our political and governing systems reward intransigence, discourage compromise, and undermine our democracy. He then describes exactly what must be done to banish the negative effects of partisan warfare from our political system.
As a former congressman, Mickey Edwards witnessed firsthand how important legislative battles can devolve into struggles not over principle but over party advantage. He offers graphic examples of how this problem has intensified and reveals how political battles have become nothing more than conflicts between party machines. Edwards’s solutions—specific, practical, fair, and original—show the way to break the stranglehold of the political party system. The Parties Versus the People offers hope for a fundamental renewal of American democracy. On March 15, 2015 he appeared on TV-C-SPAN2 with three journalists discussing his book and ideas. The one hour video is watchable here

See also Mike Lofgren, The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted (Viking 2012) $19.08 hardcover $11.25 paperback $10.69 e-book, at 240 pages. Lubbock Public Library 3 copies 324.273 LOFG Adult Nonfiction


Gary Paul Nabhan will speak on Friday April 17 at 6:30 pm in the Formby
Room of the Texas Tech University Southwest Collection building “A Naturalist in Southwest Ranch Country”. A reception and book signing will follow. Nabhan is W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Borderlands, Water and Food Security at University of Arizona in Tucson Arizona. Free event.

The previous evening Susan Brind Morrow will speak same time and place “Language and Nature: Hieroglyphs and Metaphor” A reception and book signing will follow. Free event.


Plains Indians before introduction of the horse were river valley seed planter/farmers and hunter/gatherers. Then the Pueblo Indian Revolt of August 1680 occurred in the Santa Fe de New Mexico province of New Spain during which 400 Spaniards were killed and more than 2,000 were driven out of the region mostly to El Paso del Norte. The Indians seized the Spanish horses and they were traded on to Plains Indians who quickly adopted a horse culture that led to those Indians being called Lords of the Plains and harvesting bison for subsistence. Two centuries later in 1890 at Wounded Knee South Dakota, the Lords would be vanquished and defeated, enduring the final indignity of pitiless massacre.

The Plains Indians Artists of Earth and Sky is an exhibit at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City March 9 – May 10, 2015 Many nations including Osage, Quapaw, Omaha, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Lakota, Blackfeet, Pawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, and Meskwaki are represented.


Walter Benjamin 1892-1940 death by suicide at Portbou Spain where he was denied entrance into Spain when fleeing Vichy France. German philosopher, culture critic and historian he explored elements of German idealism, romanticism, historical materialism, and Jewish mysticism. He wrote, as early as 1930, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. His last project was On the Concept of History (1940) in which he sought to explode any linear understanding of the past or reconstructing the past “as it actually was at the time”.

A monumental biography at 755 pages is Howard Eiland & Michael W. Jennings, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life (Harvard University Press 2014) $29.38 hardcover $23.49 e-book Texas Tech Library electronic download.

and see Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings volume 1 1913-1926 (all Harvard University Press translated from German by Eiland and Jennings, 1996) $25.12, volume 2 part 1 1927-1930 (1999) $23.88, volume 2 part 2 1931-1934 (2005) $20.77, volume 3 1935-1938 (2002) $21.78, volume 4 1938-1940 (2006) $25.09. Texas Tech Library PT2603.E455 A26 (1996)

Benjamin was well situated within the intelligentsia of Europe and in particular the Frankfurt School that had a plan for getting him out of France, to which he had expatriated in 1933 from Germany, and to the United States and safety but the plan broke down with catastrophic results. The man was lost but his voluminous writings have informed intellectuals who’ve read them in German, and now mono-linguist English readers have full access.


Charles Jencks, In What Style Shall We Build?, Architectural Review, March 12, 2015 is an article that I’ve read twice already and will read again. It’s fascinating if original formative expanding innovation is your ken or cup of tea. Even if not, notice amazing structures such as The Royal Pavilion at Brighton England in the Hindu style [literally Indo-Saracenic Revival Architectural style] The City of Culture of Galicia in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain by Peter Eisenman John Lewis Department Store in Leicester England by Foreign Office Architects Casa de Musica in Porto Portugal by Rem Koolhaus The Crystal Building extension at Royal Ontario Museum by Daniel Libeskind Foundation Louis Vuitton by Frank Gehry The Zayed National Museum of Abu Dhabi by Norman Foster and more.

Books to read on the topic include: Farshid Moussavi, The Function of Style (2015), Nikolaus Pevsner, Pioneers of the Modern Movement from William Morris to Walter Gropius (1936), Charles Jencks, The Story of Post-Modernism: Five Decades of the Ironic, Iconic and Critical in Architecture (2011) and Charles Jencks, The Iconic Building: The Power of Enigma (2005).


Panel Discussion by three artists Will Wilson, Jaune Quick To See Smith, and Sherwin Bitsui will occur Thursday April 2 at 4:00 – 5:30 pm in Texas Tech’s English Philosophy Departments Building Lecture Hall 001. Free event and public is invited. Theme is Art After Drought: The Politics of Representation in a Time of Climate Change. A reception will occur afterward in the School of Art Building 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Wilson and Bitsui are Navajo, Smith is Salish/Kootenai. Bitsui is a poet Wilson is a photographer and Smith is a painter and print-maker. Notice her Ode To Chief Seattle (1991). I have been privileged to be on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana and own a marvelous ceramic piece of art made by a resident member of the Salish/Kootenai federated tribes. Smith’s initial exposure to art came at Olympic Community College in Bremerton Washington.

Wilson’s photography works are on display at the School of Art Landmark Art Gallery from April 2 through May 3. Smith’s works are at the School of Art Folio Gallery from March 25 – April 12 and she is in the permanent collection of the Texas Tech Museum.


A New York Times article focuses on the Iranian artist and her exhibit at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City March 13 – June 3, 2015 and here is the Guggenheim website The exhibit is Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility. Mirror Works and Drawings 1974-2014. Click on the image Geometry of Hope (1976) the mixed media being reverse painted glass, mirrored glass, plaster and wood. She illustrates the power of abstraction to take an aesthetic beyond a representation of physical reality into a representation of metaphysical reality. Can a soul be contained, even incarcerated, yet dwell with hope for another future? Doesn’t this piece demonstrate that?


Robert Hass is the last event in the academic year’s Presidential Lecture & Performance Series on Friday April 10, 2015 at 7:00 pm in Texas Tech Student Union Building Allen Theater $18. Hass is foremost known as a poet but his prose and translation are equally strong. Hearing him read is a visceral pleasure.

1. Field Guide (1973) poems
2. Praise (1979) poems
3. Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984) essays and reviews
4. Human Wishes (1989) poems in which Hass is a student of desire, telling us that what we want is who we are, and intimating how likely or unlikely we may get what we want
5. The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994) translation of works by three masters of the short Japanese poem
6. Czeslaw Milosz, translation over decades of seven collections of poetry by the Nobel Prize winner’s work
7. Sun Under Wood (1996) poems, won National Book Critics Circle Award
8. United States Poet Laureate 1995-1997
9. Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 (2007) poems, won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize
10. The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems (2010)
11. What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World (2012)

Hass has been chancellor of the Academy of American Poets 2001-2007 and his own kind granted him the career pinnacle Wallace Stevens Award in 2014. He is a long-time professor of English at University of California at Berkeley Here is a 49 minute video of Robert Hass reading at a 2013 Sewanee Writers Conference


Aspen Colorado has become an art scene. Amy Phelan’s home with art appearing throughout her three story staircase, is a fabulous space The new Aspen At Museum designed by Shigeru Ban Architects opened in 2014 and admission is free to the public courtesy of Amy and John Phelan


Odis “Pop” Echols 1903-1974 was a vocalist, radio announcer at KSEL Radio in Lubbock, and owner operator of KCLV Radio in Clovis New Mexico who mentored many musicians on the Llano Estacado. His son Odis L. Echols, Jr. known as Odis from Clovis 1930-2013 was a popular New Mexico State Senator and later lobbyist. He was a graduate of Texas Tech University. An exhibit on Pop Echols goes up April 1 through September 30 2015 at Texas Tech University Southwest Collection / Special Collections Libraries with an opening reception on Tuesday April 7 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Free admission for both exhibit and reception.

Arts History Update for late March 2015

11 Mar

Arts History Update for late March 2015 by David Cummins
Cochran County Texas towns are Morton, the county seat, Bledsoe southwest of Morton near the New Mexico border on FM 769, and Whiteface southeast of Morton on SH 114. Morton is at the junction of Texas SH 114 [east-west] and SH 214 [north-south]. Texas Last Frontier Museum (2003) in Morton is located in a former Masonic Temple (1957) building. What is the significance of the phrase Last Frontier and how did Morton gain its name?
Christopher C. Slaughter was a cattle baron whose Lazy S Ranch (1898) 246,699 acres at the end of the 19th century, traversed almost all of Cochran County and more land. George Washington Littlefield purchased 238,585 acres from the XIT Ranch in 1901 and a small portion of it was in Cochran County. Slaughter died in 1919 and his heirs dissolved the cattle company in 1921 into small enough tracts that they could be sold either as family ranches or family farms. Minnie Slaughter Veal, his eldest daughter, hired a land agent to sell some of her property and his name was Morton Smith. He founded the town in 1923 and named it for himself. His land agency office was on the east side of the town square. Morton was incorporated in 1933 and elected its first mayor. Cochran County was one of the last areas in Texas to which a person or family could emigrate and “break out” new land. It was regarded as The Last Frontier. The western boundary of the county is the New Mexico border. Morton population is 2,006 as of the 2010 census, about 61% Hispanic, 33% Anglo, 4% African-American. Cochran County population 1890-zero, 1900-25, 1920-67, 1930-1,963, 1960-6,417, 1970-5,326, and 2010-3,127 so it’s been declining since 1960.

Do not confuse Christopher C. Slaughter’s Lazy S Ranch with his younger brother John B. Slaughter’s U Lazy S Ranch headquartered in Post Texas, Garza County, now owned by the John F. Lott family Christopher C. Slaughter had four younger brothers John, Will, Pete and Mace all in the cattle business at one time or another. Christopher C. Slaughter was often known as “Lum” or “C.C.” or “Colonel” and can be distinguished in that way. Christopher C. Slaughter’s Long S Ranch (1877) headquartered in Big Spring Texas eventually extended north to the Plainview Texas area and included a ranch near Lubbock called the Whiteface Ranch. He was known for cattle breeding, introducing short horn cattle to replace the indigenous longhorn and then breeding shorthorns with Hereford cattle to produce the heaviest cattle sent to market from Texas, and the most expensive, making him a fortune.

Christopher C. Slaughter bought his Lazy S Ranch land in 1898 from the dissolving XIT Ranch that included in 1885 nearly the entire Cochran County area, the southern most division of seven divisions of the XIT1 called Las Casas Amarillas or The Yellow Houses [a land feature in northwest Hockley County and southwest Lamb County] and from 1887 it was a breeding range for the XIT. Thus the Cochran County land was Comanche domain or owned by XIT Ranch or later by Christopher C. Slaughter until it was broken up into tracts for sale in 1921 as “Last Frontier” land for purchase and settlement.

One can keep all these cattlemen of yore straight by consulting William Joseph Elliot, The Spurs (Texas Spur 1939) Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection TEX 51.3 S772E, reprinted W. J. “Scotch Bill” Elliot, The Spurs (Texas State House Press 2009) hardcover $22.25. W.J. Elliot, a native of Scotland, arrived April 28, 1888 at the headquarters of the Espuela [Spanish for Spur] Land and Cattle Company (1884) to become the ranch bookkeeper. He helped survey the town of Espuela [Spur] (1891) and was manager of the general store and postmaster into 1910. The collection of the Spur-Dickens County Museum 327 Burlington Avenue, Spur Texas 79370 phone 806-294-5401 tells his story and he tells the story of cattlemen from experiences with them. The short version of the Spur Ranch is that it was never profitable for its English and Scottish investors and was sold in 1906 to an American land syndicate that would gradually reduce the cattle herd terminating it in 1915. The syndicate sold parcels and tracts of land for family ranches and farms, completing that process by 1938 when author Elliot’s book would be published. William Curry Holden, The Espuela Land and Cattle Company: A Study of a Foreign-Owned Ranch in Texas (Texas State Historical Association 1970) ABE Books good condition $14.41, see also J.W. Williams, The Big Ranch Country (Double Mountain Books Series) (Texas Tech University Press 1999) paperback $15.85

John and Bette Hope of Levelland, Jim Hogue, and Dorothy Barker on behalf of the Hockley and Cochran Counties Historical Commissions organized and conducted several bus tours in September called Last Frontier Ranch Heritage Tour, the sixth annual held on September 25, 2010 I was privileged to attend and enjoyed a meal at the C.C. Slaughter Lazy S Ranch headquarters building three miles southwest of Morton. The 2011 tour extended to Zavala Camp [cowboy camp in Hockley County for partners Fountain Goodlet Oxsheer and C.C. Slaughter], L7 Ranch in Terry County, T Bar Ranch in Lynn County, Double Lakes, Tahoka Lake, Meadow and Ropesvile communities. F. G. Oxsheer by 1884 operated a large ranch in Hockley County and was a partner rather than a competitor with Slaughter.

The Buffalo Soldier Expedition of 1877 occurred because, although the Comanche were forced onto the Indian Territory [current Oklahoma] reservation in 1875, there were still an occasional Comanche hunting/raiding party [depends on one’s perspective] that would leave the reservation and venture out onto the Llano Estacado. Company A of 10th U.S. Army Cavalry under the command of Captain Nicholas Nolan was searching for such a hunting/raiding party when the troops became lost and disoriented, had used up their water supplies, and were without access to water for 86 hours. Four troopers and one Anglo buffalo hunter died. There are four gravestones in the Morton Memorial Cemetery [north of town on SH 114] for those African-American soldiers John H. Bonds, John T. Gordon, John Isaacs and Isaac Derwin. Deeper into the Cemetery to the west is a stone marker for the Comanche who inhabited this area before Anglo settlement. Paul H. Carlson, The Buffalo Soldier Tragedy of 1877 (Texas A&M University Press 2003) Texas Tech Library E99.C85 C36, ABE Books new $14.79 incl s&h, Lubbock Public Library 976.4 CARL Adult Nonfiction

South of the Museum is the Quanah Parker Trail Arrow (installed March 15, 2013) crafted by metal sculptor Charles A. Smith of 290 FM 1730 Wilson TX 79381-23042 in his studio in far north Lynn County near the Lubbock County line. Next to the Arrow is Minnie Veal School (1922) named for the eldest daughter of the legendary cattle rancher in the county.

In the south part of town is Strickland Park with a man-made pond, the site of an annual Fireworks Display on July 4 conducted by the Volunteer Fire Department. Don’t look for the weekly newspaper The Morton Tribune as it folded about 2011 and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper is distributed daily in Morton and throughout the county. Levelland & Hockley County News-Press weekly newspaper also serves the Morton area. The Morton High School “Indians” play sports with black/gold colors accented by white uniforms.

Leave Morton going south on SH 214 just two miles and west on SH 1169 for a half mile to the historic C.C. Slaughter Lazy S Ranch headquarters building that is rent-able as an event center The metal Historical Marker says Upwards of 246,669 acres of Cochran and Hockley county lands. Col. C. C. Slaughter – a leader in banking, ranching and religious life in Texas – purchased land 1898-1901. First headquarters was a half-dugout. In 1915, C. C. Slaughter Cattle Company, Inc. brought men from Mexico to build this adobe and concrete quadrangle, on order of a Spanish hacienda. This was one of finest Texas ranch buildings of its era. Seventeen miles south of Morton on SH 214 and then 2.5 miles west on FM 1585 is Old Surratt Territory Ranch where the marker says Once representative of the late-19th century settlement and ranching history of the vast grasslands of the Texas Panhandle. Marshall Surratt (1849-1927), an East Texas native who settled in Waco and became a prominent attorney and district judge, purchased the 53 sections of land in 1885. Although the territory was known by his name, Jude Surratt never lived in Cochran County; he leased the acreage to the Jumbo Cattle Company. Operated by brothers Nick and John Beal and John Beal’s brother-in-law, F. G. Oxsheer, the Jumbo was one of a number of large ranching operations, including those owned by such famous cattlemen as C. C. Slaughter and George Littlefield, that thrived despite several years of winter blizzards and summer droughts. Wells and windmills were located throughout the Surratt Territory to provide reliable water sources for the herds of cattle roaming its plains. The early history of Cochran County settlement is the history of its ranching. The census of 1890 revealed no permanent residents; in 1900 ranchers working in the county accounted for its population of 25, and by 1920 the figure had risen to 67. As free range ranching gave way to fenced pastures of large syndicates and smaller family farms and ranches, the once vast ranch lands were divided. These smaller operations resulted in a division of lands and a surge in population, as reflected by the 1930 census figure of 1,963. Purchased by a succession of absentee landowners after 1900, the Surratt Territory remained intact until 1953.

If you want to visit Bledsoe travel south of Morton eight miles on SH 214 and west on FM 769 for 13 miles to the town of Bledsoe, a South Plains & Santa Fe Railway Company town and cattle shipping center one mile from the New Mexico border. The line opened in 1925. Travel east on FM 769 and SH 125 to Whiteface, formerly a cattle shipping center but now an oil and gas well operations hub, that includes the Whiteface Historical Museum located in the former Whiteface Hotel (1926). The South Plains & Santa Fe Railway Co completed a line west of Lubbock to Whiteface, Lehman and Bledsoe in Cochran County in 1925. The line from Whiteface to Bledsoe was abandoned in 1983 and the depot at Bledsoe was moved to Lubbock as an artifact. The history of Whiteface is here including the first producing oil well in the county 1936 on the Duggan Ranch south of Whiteface. Cal Farley’s Girlstown USA was established on the Duggan Ranch property in 1949 eight miles south of Whiteface and currently houses 84 girls. I’ve toured the impressive facility at 2490 SH 1780 Whiteface Texas.

Festivities occur each Summer in Morton and sometimes a re-enactment of the Buffalo Soldier event, this year on June 26-28, 2015 Texas Last Frontier Celebration and Buffalo Soldier Encampment. Here is the poster for the 2014 Celebration

The Mallet Ranch (1885) of Mallet Land and Cattle Company in southwest Hockley County near Sundown Texas was located adjacent to the C.C. Slaughter Lazy S Ranch and the ranches were competitors. David DeVitt operated the Mallet Ranch and his two daughters Christine DeVitt and Helen DeVitt Jones moved to Lubbock late in life. Oil was discovered on the Mallet Ranch in 1937 and oil revenue continues to fund the CH [Christine and Helen] Foundation and the Helen Jones Foundation (1984) that are major philanthropic entities on the South Plains. David J. Murrah, Oil, Taxes, and Cats: A History of the DeVitt Family and the Mallet Ranch (Texas Tech University Press 1994). Llano Estacado Heritage Foundation is located at 204 E. Carter Street, Sundown Texas 79372 phone 806-638-4524

Mallet Event Center & Arena (2012) is located on the south side of the city of Levelland Texas and is a marvelous addition to the area. It has a banquet hall, an exposition hall, an arena [dirt], a warm-up arena [also dirt], and covered penning for animals. Small events can be held in the lobby concourse area. Texas Limousin cattle breeders will appear in a show at the Mallet on May 22-24, 2015, a most fitting experience as a legacy from the breeding activities of Christopher C. Slaughter more than a century earlier in this area.

Comanche tribes in the Texas Oklahoma area were, from the Edwards Plateau region going north: Peneteka (honey eaters), Nokoni (those who turn back), Tanina (liver eaters), Tenewa (those who stay downstream), Kotsotekas (buffalo eaters) in Oklahoma, Yamparikas (yap plant eaters) in Arkansas River area in Kansas, and to the northwest Quahadis (antelopes) on the Llano Estacado. Notice that the Whiteface High School mascot is Antelopes, as is Abernathy High School and Post High School. Antelope Texas is on the road between Archer City and Jacksboro twenty miles northwest of Jacksboro in Jack County It is culturally notable that the Comanche of this area called themselves Antelope people and Anglo settlements are named for the antelope and their sports teams mascot is named for the antelope. People who are thought to be so different and distinctive may have at a deep unconscious level similar leanings and appreciations.


Great Western Cattle Trail Association annual national meeting is Friday-Sunday July 17-19, 2015 at Altus Oklahoma. Due to the recent passing of Mary Ann McCuistian it is being named Mary Ann McCuistian Memorial Conference. A Saturday afternoon excursion will take attendees to Doan’s Crossing of the Red River on the Great Western Cattle Trail 1874-1893 headed from Texas for Dodge City Kansas. and cities like Seymour are proud of their location on the trail This map depicts the Trail beginning at San Antonio, Kerrville, Abilene, Fort Griffin, Vernon, Doan’s Crossing, Altus Oklahoma, Elk City, Fort Supply, Doby Springs, Ashland Kansas, Big Basin and Dodge City railhead A price of $8 per head at San Antonio compared to $23 per head at Dodge City is what caused the cattle drive to the railhead.

Robin Cole-Jett, Traveling History Up the Cattle Trails: A Road Tripper’s Guide to the Cattle Drives of the Southwest (Red River Historian Press 2014) paperback $15.29 at or $15.52 incl s&h at ABE Books new American culture has grown up around the mythic West – the cowboy, the open range, and the longhorn. What better way to discover the legends surrounding the Old West than to follow the history of the cattle drives? “Traveling History Up the Cattle Trails” offers three historic
road trips that trace the Shawnee, Chisholm, and Great Western Cattle Trails from Texas all the way to Kansas. Complete travel itineraries, vintage photographs, depictions of relics from the past, and trail drive histories make this book a great traveling companion for all readers enthralled with the open road.

The Texas chapter of the Trail is here


Lubbock Concert Band is a community all-volunteer band that plays concerts at All Saints Episcopal School auditorium at 3222 103rd Street east of Indiana Avenue at 103rd Street. Next concert is Friday March 27 at 7:30 pm, next after that is Friday May 8 at 7:30 pm. Concerts are free for the public but donations are requested. Keep up with its schedule on Facebook


Save the date. Thursday April 9, 2015 at 7:00 – 8:30 pm Lubbock Lights: Celebrating Musical Heritage on the South Plains: Honorees Wade Bowen, Butch Hancock, Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines will be feted at Student Union Building Allen Theater on Texas Tech campus tickets $18 at Select a Seat. Sponsor is Office of the President at Texas Tech M. Duane Nellis


Texas Tech Women’s Basketball ended the conference season on March 2, 2015 in the cellar of the Big XII Conference with a 5-13 record 15-15 overall, and # 10 seed Texas Tech met # 7 seed West Virginia in the first round of the Big XII Championship post-season tourney on Friday March 6 at 8:30 pm in American Airlines Center at Dallas Texas TV-Fox College Sports Central channel 1648 HD. Tech lost that game 59-40 and the entire season ends 5-13 conference 15-16 overall, a losing record. Number one seed Baylor went on to win the Conference Championship tourney.

Texas Tech Men’s Basketball ended the conference season on March 6, 2015 in the cellar of the Big XII Conference with a 3-15 conference record 13-18 overall season. The conference ended Saturday March 7 and Big XII Championship post-season tourney at Sprint Center in Kansas City Missouri begins Wednesday March 11 where # 10 seed Texas Tech meets # 7 seed Texas at 8:00 pm TV-ESPNU channel 1605 High Definition. Tech lost that game and the entire season ends 3-15 conference 13-19 overall season, a losing record.

We re-learned an earlier lesson, round ball is more fun if your team wins, more than occasionally even more than sporadically, and is competitive in each game with as much chance to win as the opponent.

Over in the bluegrass state it’s quite a different story, a rare event, as University of Kentucky at Lexington Men’s Basketball finished its season 31-0 and heads into the SEC [Southeastern Conference] Championship tourney and then the NCAA Championships as the number one seed and the team to beat, if anyone can.


The Semi-Arid Landscape exhibition at the Buddy Holly Center Fine Arts Gallery opened March 6 and continues through April 19, 2015. More than sixty artists contributed to it, and all media are represented.

On Saturday March 14 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm Lubbock County Horticulture Agent Vikram Baliga will offer plans for residence owners to begin xeri-scaping their yards on a reasonable budget. Free event at Buddy Holly Center. During those same hours children under age 12 may create a terrarium or other piece of art. $7 registration by March 10.

Tim Oliver’s Rain in Caprock Country watercolor is in the exhibit and

Buddy Holly Center 1801 Crickets Avenue [former Avenue G] is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 pm admission $2-$5 phone 806-775-3560


Fleur Jaeggy, S.S. Proleterka (a Yugoslavian Ship) (transl. from Italian by Alastair McEwen, New Directions Publishing 2003) a novella in 122 pages, is an account of a girl’s sensual awakening and search for her “lost” father who has been allowed by the girl’s mother to sail with the girl to Greece. Texas Tech Library PQ 4870.A4 P7613. ABE Books as new $4.44 incl s&h. Jaeggy is an Italian writer with a German name who grew up in Switzerland. She is an edgy author and this work will rattle one’s sensibilities but it’s artfully written.

Christine McKenna, The Disenchanted Widow (Amazon Publishing Co 2013) $11 paperback $ 2 e-book. A novel about life in Ulster during the 1981 Troubles. The author lives in Rostrevor, County Down, Northern Ireland. It’s 1981 and Belfast is burning. So, too, is freshly widowed Bessie Halstone: she burns with a desire to break with her troubled past. With her feckless husband gone, she leaves home hurriedly with her naughty nine-year-old son, Herkie, and not much else. The Dentist, an IRA enforcer, is on her tail. He’s convinced that Bessie, with her “yella hair all puffed up like Merlin Monroe’s,” has absconded with the takings from a bank heist. But car trouble strands mother and son in Tailorstown, a sleepy Ulster village. Bessie finds temporary work as housekeeper for the handsome and mysterious parish priest. In the meantime, Lorcan Strong, an artist and a native of the village, is summoned home. He’s been shanghaied into forging paintings for the IRA. It’s work he cannot refuse; his mother and their business are under threat. Yet things are not what they seem in quirky Tailorstown. There is a “sleeper” in the village. But who? Bizarrely, it is young Herkie, due to his childish curiosity, who unravels the mystery and saves the day. ABE Books good condition $5. A footnote here is that this author submitted a manuscript to and was accepted, and that is a signal of quality to consumers because Amazon is building its brand as a publisher, much to the consternation of historic publishing houses who keep telling us “you would miss us if we were gone” but we keep telling them, with our feet shopping elsewhere “we’re not missing you now so we don’t expect to miss you later, whether present or gone”. What I’ve learned from such publishing houses and The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal saying “you would miss us if we were gone” is that such a statement really means that they refuse to change their business model despite lowered patronage and success by competitors. In contemporary parlance “they just don’t get it”. They won’t adapt, improve and compete even though they preach those qualities for others to adopt.


American Institute of Architects New York Chapter at its Center for Architecture 536 La Guardia Place, New York City on Monday March 16 at 6:00 – 8:00 pm will present author Kelly Easterling speaking about her book Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso 2014) free for architects $10 for the public Infrastructure is not only the underground pipes and cables controlling our cities. It also determines the hidden rules that structure the spaces all around us – free trade zones, smart cities, suburbs, and shopping malls. Extrastatecraft charts the emergent new powers controlling this space and shows how they extend beyond the reach of government.
Keller Easterling explores areas of infrastructure with the greatest impact on our world – examining everything from standards for the thinness of credit cards to the urbanism of mobile telephony, the world’s largest shared platform, to the “free zone,” the most virulent new world city paradigm. She proposes some unexpected techniques for resisting power in the modern world.
Extrastatecraft will change the way we think about urban spaces – and how we live in them. $22.19 hardcover $15 e-book at 252 pages. Easterling is a professor of architecture at Yale University.
She previously addressed this topic in her book Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways, and Houses in America (MIT Press 2001) and she if no other Northeasterner knows why we understand and value the Llano Estacado as not just a special but unique space, partially organized and partially a natural legacy into which we humans have inserted ourselves as residents and caregivers.


H.O. Robertson: A Self-Taught Texas Regionalist exhibit continues to March 31 at the Meadows Museum on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. A recent gift by the family to the museum and to the Bywaters Special Collections at the Hamon Arts Library generated this exhibit. Horace Oakley Robertson 1887-1970 was widely admired for his paintings during the 1930s and 1940s even though not a member of the Dallas Nine artists group.


Viva Aztlan Festival is Saturday March 21 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center admission $20 at door or $15 advance purchase. Folklorico dance competition, mariachi music groups, food vendors, and more make this a colorful and vivacious festival

The Seven Celtic Nations are Ireland, Galicia in northwest Spain, Cornwall England, Isle of Man England, Brittany France, Scotland and Wales. Carlos Nunez & Band played at the Legacy Event Center Margaret Talkington Great Hall on Tuesday March 10, 2015 in an absolutely thrilling performance of Galician music and its influences in the other Celtic Nations and around the world, led by the virtuosic power of Nunez who plays two sets of bagpipes, flutes and whistlesúñez-mn0000796364/biography



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