Arts History Update for late July 2014

14 Jul

Arts History Update for late July 2014 by David Cummins

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame repository is the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Libraries at Texas Tech University and there is a display exhibit now through September 30 noting the events of the past season. For Texas Tech the most important event was that its baseball team made the last eight teams in the nation at the College Baseball World Series in Omaha Nebraska
and for that accomplishment the team’s coach Tim Tadlock was awarded as National Coach of the Year. This was the first time for Texas Tech to be in the College World Series. Regrettably it lost its first two games and left town a bit deflated. Fans recall that it made it into the regional tourney at Coral Gables Florida and won, then hosted a super regional in Lubbock and won that in two straight games, fueling an enormous surge of pride that persists.


When companies say they participate in Social Media to advertise and inform about their product or service and connect with the market, what do they mean? Essentially, their staff keeps up a constant presence on:

1. You Tube channel
2. Facebook
3. Twitter
4. Foursquare
5. Flickr
6. Instagram
7. Linkedin
8. Wikipedia
9. Pinterest
10. Tumblr

An example is Texas Tech University and and and and and and and and and

There’s a verb associated with each form of social media, to alert us that this is an activity folks are encouraged to engage in, and of course the more they engage with a company or institution the more the latter has reached its goal. Do you “pin” or “link” or “tweet” or “like” or “follow” or ‘tag” etc.

There are many more social networking services.
The responsible and sensible use of social media on behalf of one’s employer is a skill for which employers pay top dollar when it’s demonstrated to help the company. Some companies outsource this activity, often to a public relations firm, and others employ staff in-house to carry it out.

Of course there is always the possibility of doing something badly, and we know that some folks will appropriate and share confidential and private information and images. Youngsters who have been “outed” in this manner have been so devastated as to attempt or commit suicide.

One sober although not often appreciated stance toward social media, is to be aware that someone, a total stranger with an agenda unknown to you, is repeatedly watching and listening to social interactions. It may be so commercial and mundane as someone trying to figure out who might be a likely market for the watcher’s commercial product and so should be targeted as a consumer. It may be headhunters or potential employers wanting to know about the private lives of persons of interest.

The vigilant and safe folks will take more time and telephone to have a private conversation or meet and talk over coffee eye to eye. Only in that context will private information be exchanged. Not on social media.

When something happens live, like athletic events and concerts, and communities of fans and supporters can interact to and with it, savvy operators of those events create Social Media platforms for fans and supporters to respond, often instantly so unconsidered, emotional and inconsiderate responses abound. Athletic Departments at universities are an example and notice the “Live Chat” drop-down dialogue box that you can be assured is monitored by an athletic department employee. Here’s a long list of social media sites devoted to Texas Tech Athletics including a way to instantly respond to head coaches in each of the sports.

In days of yore we noticed Monday morning quarterbacks chatting about what the football coach should or shouldn’t have done at last Saturday’s game. Today with digital social media, that “quarterback” sitting in row 37 or at home watching on television can “correct” the coach instantly. Thankfully, pressing the send button is a one way transaction, and the coach may not read or receive the message until Monday morning.



Tex Thornton:
King of the oilfield firefighters
and rainmaker
by Clay Coppedge


The oil fields of the Texas Panhandle in the 1920s and ‘30s were a place where a man who knew how to use nitroglycerin could make a good living for himself. Ward A. “Tex” Thornton was such a man. He learned all about nitro when he went to work in 1913 for an Ohio company that manufactured torpedoes. He brought that knowledge along with a steady hand and no small degree of courage to the oil fields around Amarillo in 1920.
Thornton was sent to Amarillo in 1920 as a branch manager for U.S. Torpedo Company of Wichita Falls where he learned about the peculiar nature of those oil fields and how nitroglycerin, which he knew all about, was in high demand. The problem was handling and using nitroglycerin without blowing everybody and everything around it to atoms.

Nitroglycerin, first developed in Italy in 1847, was adapted commercially by Alfred Noble of peace prize fame as a high explosive, which meant that it was highly unstable and could be set off with just the slightest jolt; numerous explosions of the spectacular but tragic variety attested to this and led to it being widely banned, which was bad for Nobel’s nitroglycerin factory. He experimented with it some more and eventually stabilized it with the use of diatomaceous earth in the manufacture of an explosive he called dynamite. (Yes, the man for whom the Nobel Peace Prize is named invented dynamite.)

Nitroglycerin in its raw form was used in the Panhandle oil fields in a couple of ways. Well shooters like Tex Thornton would put it into promising holes to create an explosion intended to shake the oil loose and bring it to the top; the thick limestone formations in the fields made it necessary to use a lot of nitroglycerin. The fields also held large amounts of natural gas, which made dropping little canisters of nitroglycerin into well holes occasionally problematic.

Demonic gas vapors sometimes caught the canisters and forced them back up the well hole. When that happened it helped to be able to (a) run very fast, or (b) catch the canister when it came back up. Bobble the nitro and the well shooter and everyone and everything in his immediate vicinity would be toast. Thornton was said to be one of the best at catching the nitro when it came back up.
The high levels of natural gas also made the fields susceptible to fires. One way to extinguish such a fire was to drop a charge of nitro into the fire and explode it; the explosion sucked all the oxygen from the fire and snuffed it out. When the threat of starting additional fires was too great to use the nitro, Thornton would smother the fires with massive amounts of steam and water, which took about three weeks, 20-30 men, and 50 steam boilers; but it worked. Tex Thornton was known as the king of oilfield firefighters.

Later, during the Dust Bowl, he picked up a reputation as a rainmaker or charlatan, depending on your point of view. There’s no evidence that Tex Thornton did not believe that explosions properly placed in the clouds would produce rain. Napoleon believed it, World War I soldiers believed it, and in the 1930s everybody in Dalhart, at the cold, flat and windy northwestern tip of Texas, was ready to believe it, too. Thornton probably believed the theory that rain follows artillery but if he tried such a thing anywhere other than Dalhart it hasn’t been widely reported.

Dalhart was hit especially hard by the Dust Bowl. The bank failed on June 27, 1931, a day when the temperature reached 112 degrees. That began the first of eight years with very little rain and the beginning of the most destructive dust storms in history. Dalhart was one of the worst-hit communities in the nation.

Tex Thornton showed up in Dalhart right the middle of the town’s misery, in 1935. He told the city he believed he could make it rain. He certainly tried. He set off explosives in the clouds for several days, battling dust storms and high winds much of the time. People came from miles around to watch him but the blowing dust drove most of the spectators away. Thornton stayed at it. Finally, it snowed. Then, as the temperatures warmed, it sleeted.

For all anybody knew, Tex Thornton had coaxed moisture out of the sky in Dalhart, though places like Kansas and Colorado, way out of range for Tex Thornton’s nitroglycerin, also got snow and rain in roughly the same amount at roughly the same time.

His reputation as a well shooter, firefighter and rainmaker made Tex Thornton something of a legend in the Panhandle but he met with an unfortunate ending that had nothing to do with a large explosion, as we might expect. Thornton was murdered by two hitchhikers he picked up on June 22, 1949.

The man and woman charged in the murder – the hitchhikers – were not convicted. The trial was of the sensational variety, and aspersions were cast on Tex Thornton’s character, an ignoble end for a legendary character of both oil field and Dust Bowl lore.


Ward A. “Tex” Thornton’s son was Charles Bates “Tex” Thornton “whiz kid’ at Ford Motor Company and Hughes Aircraft, and founder and CEO of Litton Industries,
in whose name funds were given to Texas Tech University to endow professorships. Charles B. Thornton 1913-1981 was born in Haskell Texas and was abandoned by his father soon thereafter. Charles attended Texas Technological College for two years majoring in business administration. Haskell is north of Abilene Texas on US Highway 277.

Opening up the Northwest

There were three railroads that operated from the upper Midwest to Seattle, the Northern Pacific Railway, the Great Northern Railway, and Chicago Milwaukee St Paul and Pacific Railroad [called The Milwaukee Road],_Milwaukee,_St._Paul_and_Pacific_Railroad In addition, the Union Pacific Railroad [the first transcontinental line chartered by President Lincoln in 1862] came north to Portland in 1884 and Seattle 1888 from San Francisco.
The Northern Pacific was chartered by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1864 for a line from Lake Superior to Puget Sound. Construction began in 1870, was delayed by Indian wars, and was completed in 1888 by a direct route through Missoula Montana crossing the Bitterroot Mountains at St Paul Pass and Taft Tunnel [1.6 miles, east entrance in Montana west entrance in Idaho] on to Lookout Pass and Wallace Idaho, and Stampede Pass in the Cascade Mountains west of Yakima, and by an indirect route from Spokane down to the Columbia River and then north from Portland Oregon to Seattle Washington. 15,000 Chinese laborers and 10,000 Anglo laborers were used in the construction.
The Great Northern, bankrolled by James J. Hill, took a more northern route, what is currently US Highway 2 route, through the Montana High Line country, Glacier National Park Montana, Sandpoint Idaho, Spokane Washington and across the northern Cascade Mountains at Scenic Washington [Old Cascade Tunnel 2.6 miles and New Cascade Tunnel 7.8 miles 1928-1989] in the Stevens Pass area reaching Puget Sound in 1893. John F. Stevens was chief engineer for the Great Northern.
In the economic Panic of 1893 the Northern Pacific slipped into bankruptcy but the other railroads carried on.
Railroad lines converged in Seattle in the 1890s and the two permanent downtown stations or terminals were constructed later, King Street Station (1906) [Great Northern and Northern Pacific] and Union Station (1911) [Milwaukee Road and Union Pacific].
Today all the lines have been merged into the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and its trackage is an amalgamation from former railroads. The current Amtrak passenger service eastward is on the Empire Builder train and its western terminus is King Street Station with its 12 story clock tower. The current passenger service southward to Los Angeles is on the Coast Starlight By law passenger service today must defer to freight train traffic, so train schedules for passengers are guides or suggestions. It’s relaxation and beverage time all day and night.
The historic Hiawatha train was a Milwaukee Road passenger train that ran between Chicago and Seattle. Today it is an Amtrak service between Milwaukee and Chicago. The historic Empire Builder train was a Great Northern passenger train service between Chicago and Seattle and the historic North Coast Limited was a Northern Pacific passenger train service between Chicago and Seattle. These three historic passenger trains were flagship trains and marked the apogee of haute railroading in the early 20th century. The freight cars and trains were the economic engines of the northwest.


Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival 2014, the fifth annual, is Labor Day weekend August 29-31 at Moody Gardens in Galveston Texas. It locks down a hot Texas Summer about as well as anything might. The best craft beer made in Texas is definitely present, and some excellent craft beer from around the nation is on offer. Free van service back to your hotel so no one gets into trouble on the road after imbibing. The other trouble is yours to navigate.

Brewlicious Brews & Food Pairing at $75 per person on August 29 in the Ballroom, and Brewhaha Grand Tasting at $35 per person in the Convention Center on August 30, and Beach Brews & Bands at $10 per person on August 31 for an evening concert with fireworks over the lake, among other events, make up the weekend I like the Pub Crawl around the city of Galveston event, with all transportation provided on Saturday evening, and I’m guessing the promoter stocks those pubs in advance with some of the best Texas beers so crawlers/aficionados will find their desires satisfied.

Moody Gardens at any time of year is a destination in itself


Bay Model Visitor Center at 2100 Bridgeway Boulevard, Sausalito California is a 1.5 acre working three-dimensional hydraulic model of San Francisco Bay San Pablo Bay and the Sacramento River – San Joaquin River Delta System, open to the public Tuesday through Sunday free admission US Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District and the national parks and recreation system is the landlord. The model area is San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay [northeast to Vallejo], and Suisun Bay just west of where the Sacramento River flowing south from the Sacramento Valley meets the San Joaquin River flowing north from the Central Valley City of Stockton is to the east of that river systems delta and is on the San Joaquin River. Since 1933 there is a deep water channel that permits ships entering San Francisco Bay to proceed through Suisun Bay all the way to Stockton and to West Sacramento where there are turning basins. Carquinez Strait connects San Pablo Bay with Suisun Bay.

What a thrill it must be to walk around the expanse of the model feeling like a giant striding across the lands and waters and gaining a perspective not readily otherwise achieved.

The source of the San Joaquin River is the Mount Goddard area in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the river flows southwest to Fresno in the Central Valley and then north roughly parallel to Interstate 5 Highway. A myriad of diversions for agricultural irrigation purposes and some hydroelectric facilities make the San Joaquin a highly utilized river. This area of the Central Valley is referred to as the Thousand Lakes area.

The source of the Sacramento River is in the Klamath Mountains south of Mount Shasta in Siskiyou County and flows south roughly parallel to Interstate Highway 5 through the cities of Redding, Red Bluff, and Colusa to the City of Sacramento [joined there by the American River] and converges with the San Joaquin 40 miles south of the city. The city of Chico is on Butte Creek but is only a few miles east of the Sacramento River so Chico folks go tubing on the Sacramento at Scottys Landing


Arts History Update for mid July 2014

10 Jul

Arts History Update for mid July 2014 by David Cummins

Tim’s Vermeer (2013) is an 80 minute documentary film about inventor Tim Jenison’s quest to discover how Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer 1632-1675 could paint so photo-realistically 150 years before photography was invented. Vermeer His life and that of Baruch Spinoza Dutch philosopher 1632-1677 were coterminous Vermeer was mostly located at Delft while Spinoza started in Amsterdam and ended in The Hague.

Exposition of the value of Spinoza as an original thinker

Vermeer: The Complete Works (ed. Renzo Villa, Silvana Editoriale 2012) Texas Tech Library ND653.V5 A4


Most of the sewage water in Lubbock is treated and upgraded to stream water quality and discharged into Yellowhouse Canyon’s North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. Downstream at John Montford Dam near Justiceburg it rests in Lake Alan Henry and then is piped up to southwest Lubbock, treated again, and is potable water coming out of our taps.

Less is going on our lawns and gardens since we are in stage # 2 drought restrictions on water usage since June 1. The parks in town where the water table is high have pumps that draw up non-potable water that is then placed into the irrigation system for the park, so lesser quality water is used to irrigate those parks and thus saves/conserves on usage of highly treated potable water.


Nicole Tonkovich, The Allotment Plot: Alice C. Fletcher, E. Jane Gay, and Nez Perce Survivance (University of Nebraska Press 2012) can be read online free in PDF files at Project Muse which is an online database of humanities and social sciences documents gathered by Johns Hopkins University. Notice that several other books dealing with the Nez Perce Indians are able to be read online, Numipu Among the White Settlers, Paralax, Transit Transmotion: Reading Race in the Allotment Photographs of E. Jane Gay, Nez Perce Country by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., and Saving The Reservation: Joe Garry and the Battle To Be Indian by John Fahey [Garry was a Couer d'Alene not a Nez Perce] Here is an excerpt of a review of Tonkovich’s book

A bit of context may be helpful to understanding what this book is about. The Dawes Act of 1887 was enacted by Congress to achieve two things, reduce the size of the reservations granted to many Indian tribes in the west, and assimilate the Indian people on or near those reservations into the culture of non-Indian America. As far as reduction goes, Congress actually thought the treaties granting of such huge swaths of land may have been necessary to gain peace with Indians but wasn’t necessary for them to exist and thrive on ancestral lands while non-Indians settled and progressively improved and opened up the west. Accordingly, the reduction land was made available to homesteaders, timber companies, transportation networks, and town sites. The assimilation goal was to be achieved by taking the remaining [some was kept for tribal and communal use] reservation lands and dividing them up into individual and family plots or tracts of land, often 160 acres in size per individual, and allotting them to registered Indians.

The Nez Perce tribe was based in three Indian Agency places: Nespelem in eastern Washington shared with the larger group of Colville Indians, and Lapwai and Kamiah in north central Idaho. While Chief Joseph was kept by the US Army at Nespelem, the larger band of Nez Perce were on or near the Clearwater River in Idaho and the two Indian Agencies were at Lapwai and Kamiah. Spalding, on the river itself, was only six miles from inland Lapwai in a verdant valley. The allotments to individuals and families of Nez Perce Indians occurred from 1889-1892 and Alice C. Fletcher an ethnographer anthropologist and her assistant, a photographer, E. Jane Gay, were assigned by the US Government to manage the allotment process and record and report its implementation to the government. They did so and a formal record of their reports has long existed as a public record document that up to now has supplied the accepted history of the allotment process. Tonkovich located the private diaries and correspondence of Fletcher and Gay and uses those alongside the formal reporting to tell an entirely different story, largely from the Nez Perce perspective, of what happened during and following the allotment process.

There were in fact many Nez Perce who were not registered with the local Indian Agencies during the four year period 1889-1892 and some of those people when later registered were generously allowed to receive belated allotments, often on a part of the reservation they’d never seen much less lived on, and many were not allowed registration despite believing themselves to be Nez Perce. Furthermore, allotments only resulted in a federal patent [deed by the federal government to an individual person or persons] if the allottee lived on the land and made improvements on it to show that s/he husbanded or cared for the land. Many Nez Perce sold their allotted and patented lands quickly as soon as the federal government allowed a market for those lands. It would be astonishing to make a survey of formerly allotted lands to see how many and what percentage of them remain in Nez Perce hands as compared to how many are owned by non-Indians. Congress didn’t know it at that time, but a gradually changing policy on reservation lands would demonstrate that members of tribes would often enjoy more fruits from the reservation land if it were controlled by the tribal entity and it could parcel out usage rights but not ownership to individuals and families. Most people would say that tribal entities have been fairer to individual members than the federal government-appointed Indian agents were. Historically, Indian agents often consulted with tribal elders before making decisions anyway, so it made sense to let the elected tribal officials make the decisions directly.

Here is a map of the current Nez Perce Indian Reservation although a good deal of that land is in towns and privately owned by individuals Indian and non-Indian, and farmland or grazing land owned by individuals Indian and non-Indian. The remainder within that large shaded area is actually Nez Perce Indian Reservation and currently managed by the Tribe. There is a tribal-managed casino at both Lapwai and Kamiah and a museum Nez Perce National Historic Park Museum at Spalding and another at Kamiah. US Highway 12 runs along the course of the Clearwater River as it flows west to enter the Snake River at Lewiston Idaho Clarkston Washington on the border. US Highway 95 turns inland at Spalding, runs past Lapwai and goes up Winchester Grade to enter on top of the Camas Prairie named for the camas plant that is indigenous to the area. There is a Kamiah Grade highway that winds down off the Camas Prairie toward Kamiah down on the Clearwater River. The town of Grangeville is off the reservation as is Cottonwood on the southern end of the Camas Prairie. South of Grangeville on US Highway 95 is White Bird Grade [famous due to a US Army battle June 17, 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon with Nez Perce at that site ] that leads down off the Prairie to the town of Riggins on the Salmon River. The towns surrounded by the reservation but on private land are Winchester, Craigmont, Nez Perce, Ferdinand, Orofino, Reubens and Gifford.

Incidentally White Bird, a Nez Perce chief along with the better known Chief Joseph, was victorious in the Battle of White Bird Canyon but was forced thereafter to flee the attacking US Army in 1877 under General Nelson Miles, and Joseph surrendered near present day Havre Montana October 1877 but White Bird and a small group made it into Canada and he lived out his life in Pincher Creek Alberta where he was murdered by a young 22 year old Nez Perce in 1892.


Cyril Lionel Robert James 1901-1989 was an Afro-Trinidadian writer who left Trinidad in 1932 for London, left England in 1939 for USA, and left USA deported back to England in 1953 for his radicalism and revolutionary activities. He stopped writing under his real name while in the United States and shared Marxist views with anyone who would listen. He actually wrote some things under one or another pen name but at the time they weren’t traceable to him. He wrote The Case for West Indian Self-Government (1933) and his masterpiece The Black Jacobins (1938) attempting to use the Haitian Slave Revolution of 1791-1803 [French colony of San Domingo is today known as Haiti] as a contemporary primer for all oppressed black populations anywhere. His book was banned in the Union of South Africa but parts were spirited into the country and he was well read by Africans there.
He wrote a play in 1934 Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History; A Play in Three Acts that was produced on stage in London starring Paul Robeson in the title role in 1936, and Duke University Press published the play in 2012 after it was found in 2005. He expanded upon the play to complete his book The Black Jacobins (1938,
Vintage Press 1989 $13.83). Duke University Press also recently published James’s 1932 biography The Life of Captain Cipriani: An Account of British Government in the West Indies (2014) $18.80 and a biography C.L.R. James in Imperial Britain (2014) $20.99 by Christian Hogsbjerg.

If you hadn’t heard of James, be supported in that Texas Tech Library contains none of the above works. James however has a Facebook page in his honor that include videos showing him in his later years.


Florence Bean James & Jean Freeman, Fists Upon a Star: A Memoir of Love, Theatre, and Escape from McCarthyism (University of Regina Press 2013) 359 pages hardcover $26.96. James 1892-1988 was a pioneering American theater director who first put Jimmy Cagney on stage, and founded the Negro Repertory Theater and Seattle Repertory Playhouse. After being cited by the Congressional Un-American Activities Committee and two trials, she fled to Saskatchewan Canada.

TV-PBS ART 21 Art in the Twenty-First Century television series season 7 will be broadcast on four Fridays October 24, 31, November 7, 14 featuring twelve artists, three per one hour episode. Local broadcast times may differ.


Becky Taylor, Another Darkness, Another Dawn: A History of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (Reaktion Books 2014) 272 pages $39 by publisher, $31.88 ABE Books new $29.59 incl s&h
If there was ever any people within the homeland of other people, who were more despised and discriminated against and feared, and forced to travel on, somewhere, anywhere, but get away from here, it’s the Romani. The leadership in some European countries has recently made a place for Romani within the geography of their countries, and some Romani are now settling down, owning property, and gradually becoming citizens. As they interact with the citizenry of the country and become members of a larger society as well as members of their Romani clans, an assimilation will occur and an ugly period in European history will be history of an ugly period.

Jennifer L. Weber, Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North (Oxford University Press 2006) 304 pages $13.13 e-book $8.79 Texas Tech Library E458.8 W43 and electronic download
Review: If Civil War battlefields saw vast carnage, the Northern home-front was itself far from tranquil. Fierce political debates set communities on edge, spurred secret plots against the Union, and triggered widespread violence, such as the New York City draft riots. And at the heart of all this turmoil stood Northern anti-war Democrats, nicknamed “Copperheads.” Now, Jennifer L. Weber offers the first full-length portrait of this powerful faction to appear in almost half a century. Weber reveals how the Copperheads came perilously close to defeating Lincoln and ending the war in the South’s favor. Indeed, by the summer of 1864, they had grown so strong that Lincoln himself thought his defeat was “exceedingly likely.” Passionate defenders of civil liberties and states’ rights – and often virulent racists – the Copperheads deplored Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, his liberal interpretation of the Constitution, and, most vehemently, his moves toward emancipation. Weber reveals how the battle over these issues grew so heated, particularly in the Midwest, that Northerners feared their neighbors would destroy their livestock, burn their homes, even kill them. Indeed, some Copperheads went so far as to conspire with Confederate forces and plan armed insurrections, including an attempt to launch an uprising during the Democratic convention in Chicago. Finally, Weber illuminates the role of Union soldiers, who, furious at Copperhead attacks on the war effort, moved firmly behind Lincoln. The soldiers’ support for the embattled president kept him alive politically in his darkest times, and their victories on the battlefield secured his re-election. Disgraced after the war, the Copperheads melted into the shadows of history. Here, Jennifer L. Weber illuminates their dramatic story. Packed with sharp observation and fresh interpretations, Copperheads is a gripping account of the fierce dissent that Lincoln called “the fire in the rear”.

I am looking forward to reading this book. It comes perilously close to my personal situation. Before President Bush took us into a war in Afghanistan in 2002 I was strongly opposed to doing that and spoke for just sending CIA/ DOD teams into the country to get Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist compatriots, but leave the Afghans alone and let them deal with their current Taliban government. Once war was started I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve and gratefully receiving a pension from my government for more than twenty years of service, so I stopped opposing a potential war and started favoring limited objectives for the existing war that included flushing out Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist compatriots. The following year in March 2003 President Bush took the nation into a war in Iraq, and prior to that event I strongly opposed doing so and spoke for dealing with Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction in a more artful manner. Once our nation was at war I again started favoring limited objectives for the existing war, assuring the absence of such weapons of mass destruction and assisting in a regime change conducted by Iraqis for Iraq, and an early departure for our troops. I thought then and hoped that I could be loyal and supportive and follow the flag in wartime and encourage the best of outcomes for our nation and the Afghans and Iraqis, and not be a Copperhead even though I had earlier opposed going into war. More recently, when Syrians revolted against the Alawite Shia dictatorial regime of the Assad family, I opposed sending in American troops and spoke for limited logistical support for oppositional Syrians. President Obama selected that path so war by America was avoided.

Looking back into our history, I can appreciate how keenly Southerners and southern states wished to continue their agricultural based economies and their slave-based crop production methods, and how exhausted they were by the endless debates from the 1820 Missouri Compromise onward, so the election of Lincoln to the presidency was the final straw in the haystack, and South Carolina would secede within days of his inauguration. At that point there was a fierce and appropriate soul-searching that must have occurred by all Northerners and Southerners. If I had lived then and were a Southerner I might have been like Sam Houston and thought secession and war a poor choice, but stepped aside since the vast majority wanted it. If I were a Northerner I might have proposed that our nation befriend the Confederacy and seek to be good neighbors with it as an independent nation. One cannot fully place oneself into another time, but the point is that there were options not taken. Good loyal citizens may have preferred those options and wanted to avoid a Civil War. I am sympathetic for those Northerners and Southerners who preferred other options, but were swept along into secession and a war to either preserve a union or achieve independence for a separate Confederacy Republic.
It is to President Lincoln’s credit that, after re-election in 1864 and some important victories by the Army in the field, that he made plans to not prosecute Copperheads for treason or their violent actions toward their neighbors but rather forgive them and move on, and those plans were respected and carried out by President Johnson and Congress.
As a soldier in the Army that fought the Vietnam War, at the very moment that Jane Fonda was in Hanoi visiting with Ho Chi Minh, I forgave her as I think Abe Lincoln would have also. I’m glad she was not prosecuted or harassed. Long after that war ended I read a biography of Ho’s life and imagined how ironic and even amusing he must have found the Hollywood actress’s visit. His perspective was to keep his nation free from the mega-beast China on his northern border and from the French colonialists and American hegemonyists. He did so and Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City and he occupies a father of his country status.


Simon Winchester, The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible (Harper Collins 2013) $22.22 hardcover $12.99 paperback e-book $1.99 for a short time, Lubbock Public Library 973 WINC Texas Tech Library E178.W8
Winchester is a Brit who wrote several books while visiting and resident in America and recently dropped United Kingdom citizenship and become an American, so this is a paean or encomium for his newly adopted country.


Harold Dow Bugbee 1900-1963 was a Texas painter, illustrator and curator of art for the Panhandle Plains Historical Society operating from his family’s ranch near Clarendon Texas. An exhibit of his art on loan from the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon Texas is on view from July 19, 2014 at National Ranching Heritage Center, Texas Tech University, Lubbock Texas. The exhibit is curated by Michael Grauer, Curator of Art and Western Heritage at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum who will speak at the opening reception on July 19 at 1:30 pm.
Bugbee was only 14 years of age when his family moved from Lexington Massachusetts to Clarendon Texas where his father’s cousin T. S. Bugbee owned a ranch outside of town. By age 21 Harold graduated from the Cumming School of Art & Design in Des Moines Iowa [operated from 1900-1954] and his career commenced. Harold would return to and live on that ranch throughout his career so his art was informed by his ranch experiences in the Panhandle Plains.
He was a notable art teacher West Texas State Normal College, a teacher’s college, [now West Texas A&M University] offered classes in the applied or practical arts, from its inception in 1910. Among the steady stream of art instructors at WT were Georgia O’Keeffe who was in Canyon from 1916 to 1918, although had yet to decide if teaching or painting was her life’s direction. However, a provision in O’Keeffe’s contract with WT required her to take classes from Arthur Wesley Dow at the Art Students League in New York City. Dow was the leading proponent of Modern Art in the United States at the time. For a school traditionally considered one of the most conservative in Texas, in one of the most conservative parts of Texas, this requirement to teach Modern art tenets is simply amazing for the time.
Under the direction of Isabel Robinson, WT sponsored the Palo Duro School of Art during the summers from 1936 through 1943. The PDSA brought instructors in from all over the United States to teach in the Palo Duro Canyon, including Texans Adele Brunet, A. W. Mack, Amy Jackson, and H. D. Bugbee. Students lived in tents or in stone cabins built under the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps program and painted from Coronado Lodge on the rim or down in the Canyon bottom. World War II suspended the PDSA, which the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum may resurrect. Lloyd Albright, a ticket agent for the Rock Island railroad at Dalhart, spent much of his spare time painting at Taos in the 1930s. Albright also offered some classes in oil and china painting, as well as design and furniture making. Maurice Bernson at Canadian and Russel Vernon Hunter at Farwell Texas and Texico New Mexico, also achieved acclaim outside the Panhandle and offered some art instruction.
Lissa Bell Walker, a Frank Reaugh student, taught in the art department of Wayland Baptist College at Plainview in 1912, two years after the school opened. At Brownfield, Ima Sawyer Lewis held private art classes in 1916 and Mado M. Prideaux taught art privately there from 1917 to 1923. At Lubbock, Lubbock High School formed its first art instruction in 1915. When Texas Technological College opened in 1925, it offered drawing courses through the school of engineering. Two years later a school of applied arts had been organized by Marie Delleney, later of Texas Women’s University, and the school expanded its offerings to include design, life drawing, watercolor, and art history taught by A. W. Mack, and others. Florian Kleinschmidt headed the new Texas Technological College Art Museum in 1935 which offered children’s classes under Floy Hooper. In 1937, the museum became the Texas Technological College Art Institute.
Fourteen years later the South Plains Art Guild was formed for: “the promotion of the creative arts within the South Plains area by means of exhibitions, lectures, classes in arts and crafts, and the elevation of the level of art appreciation by educational means. The Guild sponsored a series of workshops in the 1950s and 1960s, held by numerous Texas artists such as Manuel Acosta, Emilio Caballero, Bror Utter, Deforrest Judd, and Dorothy Bryan, and New Mexico artists such as Peter Hurd, John Meigs, and Carl Redin.

On January 9-31, 2009 at William Reaves Fine Art Gallery, 2313 Brun Street, Houston Texas there was an exhibit Painting West Texas 35 Artists/100 Years is the catalogue. Michael Grauer made the gallery talk for that event titled A History of Art Making in the Texas Out-Back


Arts History Update for early July 2014

1 Jul

Arts History Update for early July 2014 by David Cummins


July is National Ice Cream Month and when the sun is beating down all day every day, you know why a cool-off is needed. If you’re a Texan you want a parlor that’s local, like Sweet Firefly in Richardson, Old Town Creamery in Plano, Amy’s in Austin since 1984 or Amy Simmons’ competitor Lick Ice Creams at 2032 South Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Hank’s in Houston, Beth Marie’s on the Courthouse Square in Denton, La King’s Confectionery in Galveston, Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, or Holly Hop Ice Cream Shoppe 3404 34th Street in Lubbock.


Ask about the new and cool flavors like Cilantro Lime or Grapefruit with Champagne Marshmallows or Mexican Vanilla with Habaneros [chile peppers].


Chain stores are okay in this have it your own way environment, like Cold Stone Creamery or Marble Slab Creamery in Lubbock. Don’t be too old-fashioned or snobby and try out a custard, sorbet, gelato or frozen yogurt shop.


Custard – in Lubbock Sheridan’s Lattes and Frozen Custard or Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Sorbet – in Lubbock try Holly Hop Ice Cream Shoppe

Gelato – in Lubbock Cold Corner Gelato & Smoothie Shop in Student Union Building Texas Tech University

Frozen yogurt – in Lubbock Red Mango Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies, Yofresh Yogurt Cafe and Spoonful Frozen Yogurt


Amy’s Ice Cream is served in Lubbock at The Arrogant Texan 1113 University Avenue. Blue Bell is served in many shops as well as for sale at supermarkets.




Lubbock in the Loop website will keep you up to date on rumors and hard information about new businesses and happenings in town. For instance, are you prepared for Dawnstar Cheesecake Bakery and Cupcake Shop soon to open at Cactus Alley # 5 at 2610 Salem Avenue? If not, rattle its telephone for opening day information 806-786-3056.




Food Trucks in Lubbock. The City Council is balking, requiring at the moment that they can only sell from a private property location and one where the owner/tenant in possession has granted permission for sales by a food truck. Have you noticed these trucks … Twist’d Texan, Crusty’s Wood Fired Pizza, La Picosita, Raspados Colima, Potbelly Slims, Blue Oasis Italian Ices, Street Eats, Jody’s Texas Pit BBQ. A petition drive for signatures to open up the city for street-side sales is being held Sunday June 29 at Garden Ridge parking lot 4304 West Loop 289 [old Sam's Store before it moved] from 12:30 – 3:00 pm offering free food samples for those who sign the petition. Even if you’re not sure you would wish to sign the petition, why not come by and talk to food truck operators and ask them what they would like to do, and how would that be a fair or appropriate usage of streets and grounds.


One perspective is that food trucks are a public health issue, but why can’t the city inspect and regulate trucks like they do restaurants? If they exist and are unregistered and “not within the tent” they will be rogue trucks and uninspected and unregulated for public health issues. It would seem that bringing them within a regulated food industry system is the best result.


Another perspective is that food trucks are free-riders competing against restaurants without paying rent, but in reality they are stand up can’t sit down mobile restaurants and we shouldn’t allow one form of business to use government restrictions to keep another form of business from existing and competing. Free trade allows all forms of business and competition for the custom of customers. Historically, in urban areas there were food cart vendors on city streets, usually push-carts where a man pushed his own cart to a street-side location and hoped to sell apples, pastries, etc. A century ago or longer, the food cart might have been a wagon hauled by a horse to a street-side location. The phenomena today is a new form of an old format.


Another perspective is street-side parking of food trucks prevents street-side parking of visitors and customers to the nearby locations, but other visitors and customers do the same since there are a finite number of street-side parking locations. The answer is to regulate duration of any one person’s usage of street-side parking whether it be a visitor, a customer, or a food truck, an old story of sharing the limited street-side parking that is available. There are signs today that limit some parking to 30 minutes, to an hour, and to two hours, in order to create an equitable sharing of limited numbers of parking spaces. Current city regulations forbid a business utility vehicle to park street-side unattended overnight in residential districts, thus forcing them onto private property with permission granted. Attended food trucks would rarely go to residential districts because of low contacts with customers, so their presence will be largely at commercial areas where there are masses of people who are invited and attracted.


I would like to know more about this industry and what real problems exist and how best they might be addressed.





Andrei Platonov 1899-1951 was a writer who was 18 years of age when the Bolshevik Revolution took place and lived his entire life, a writing life, in a crippled Tzarist Russia or the Soviet Union. Igor Sats 1903-1980 befriended Platonov and as editor of Literaturny Kritik published Platonov’s literary criticism and fiction. Andrei Platonov, Soul and Other Stories (transl. Robert Chandler & Elizabeth Chandler, New York Review of Books Classic 2008) collection of eight short stories is in Texas Tech Library PG3476.P543 A2 is a review of this book of stories.

Andrei Platonovich Platonov, The Foundation Pit (Pushkin House 1987 but unpublished at time of author’s death, written between 1926-1930 and held because it would have garnered persecution and possibly death if it were published and the author known) (transl. Robert Chandler & Olga Meerson, New York Review of Books 2009) categorized as non-fiction 224 pages at Lubbock Public Library 891.7342 PLAT it is in fact a historical novel set in an agricultural area that is being collectivized and is an early 20th century dystopia novel. The Soviet regime would not have liked itscollectivization program satirized as a dystopia

Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler and Olga Meerson
With notes and an afterword by Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson

In Andrey Platonov’s The Foundation Pit, a team of workers has been given the job of digging the foundation of an immense edifice, a palatial home for the perfect future that, they are convinced, is at hand. But the harder the team works, the deeper they dig, the more things go wrong, and it becomes clear that what is being dug is not a foundation but an immense grave.

The Foundation Pit is Platonov’s most overtly political book, written in direct response to the staggering brutalities of Stalin’s collectivization of Russian agriculture. It is also a literary masterpiece. Seeking to evoke unspeakable realities, Platonov deforms and transforms language in pages that echo both with the alienating doublespeak of power and the stark simplicity of prayer.

This English translation is the first and only one to be based on the definitive edition published by Pushkin House in Moscow. It includes extensive notes and, in an appendix, several striking passages deleted by Platonov. Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson’s afterword discusses the historical context and style of Platonov’s most haunted and troubling work.


Platonov’s reputation as one of Russia’s most important twentieth-century writers is confirmed by this new translation of his novel, The Foundation Pit. In a small town shortly after the revolution, workmen and low-level bureaucrats work on the foundation for an enormous building intended to house the entire town. They strive to finish it despite continual interruptions due to new and contradictory Communist Party requirements and assignments. Several of them get sent off to supervise collectivizing the surrounding region’s agriculture and in the process destroying the kulaks or “rich peasants” Platonov ruthlessly depicts how resentment underlay this purge of people whose only crime, often enough, was modest success. A brilliant satire of the Stalinist cultural revolution, the short novel also parodies the type of literature that was produced on command to glorify it, for Platonov uses a semi-literate, ironically folkish style that yet lets him give vent to melancholy asides. Platonov wrote this essential addition to twentieth-century world literature at a time when its discovery would have meant certain imprisonment and probable death, and he left it unpublished when he died in 1951. Its mere existence bespeaks a man of integrity and courage. ~–John Shreffler

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. Platonov moved from central Russia to Moscow in 1927 and became a professional writer but by 1931 was sternly censored and often regarded as anti-totalitarian [against the regime]. Later his 15 year old son would be arrested and sent to a gulag where he contracted tuberculosis and then would be sent home where Andrei would nurse him, contract the disease himself, and die early in 1951.

Sheila Fitzpatrick went to Moscow and studied with Igor Sats in 1966-1967 learning much about the deceased Platonov and reading unpublished manuscripts of his including The Foundation Pit. She would return to England and write, essentially extensions of Platonov in Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times, Soviet Russia in the 1930s (Oxford University Press 1999), is a review of her Spy in the Archivesrecent book.

Here is a pioneering account of everyday life under Stalin, written by one of our foremost authorities on modern Russian history. Focusing on urban areas in the 1930s, Sheila Fitzpatrick shows that with the adoption of collectivization and the first Five-Year Plan, everyday life was utterly transformed. With the abolition of the market, shortages of food, clothing, and all kinds of consumer goods became endemic. It was a world of privation, overcrowding, endless queues, and broken families, in which the regime’s promises of future socialist abundance rang hollow. We read of a government bureaucracy that often turned everyday life into a nightmare, and of the ways that ordinary citizens tried to circumvent it, primarily by patronage and the ubiquitous system of personal connections known as blat. And we read of the police surveillance that was ubiquitous to this society, and the waves of terror, like the Great Purges of 1937, that periodically cast this world into turmoil. Fitzpatrick illuminates the ways that Soviet city-dwellers coped with this world, examining such diverse activities as shopping, traveling, telling jokes, finding an apartment, getting an education, landing a job, cultivating patrons and connections, marrying and raising a family, writing complaints and denunciations, voting, and trying to steer clear of the secret police.


Sheila Fitzpatrick, Stalin’s Peasants: Resistance and Survival in the Russian Village after Collectivization (Oxford University Press 1994) TTU Library HD1492.S65 F58 and other works. Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution (Oxford University Press 1982) 181 pages Lubbock Public Library non-fiction 947.0841 F559R Texas Tech Library DK265.F48

Sheila Fitzpatrick, Tear Off The Masks!: Identity and Imposture in 20th Century Russia (Princeton University Press 2005)

When revolutions happen, they change the rules of everyday life – both the codified rules concerning the social and legal classifications of citizens and the unwritten rules about how individuals present themselves to others. This occurred in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which laid the foundations of the Soviet state, and again in 1991, when that state collapsed. Tear Off the Masks! is about the remaking of identities in these times of upheaval. Sheila Fitzpatrick here brings together in a single volume years of distinguished work on how individuals literally constructed their autobiographies, defended them under challenge, attempted to edit the “file-selves” created by bureaucratic identity documentation, and denounced others for “masking” their true social identities.

Marxist class-identity labels–”worker,” “peasant,” “intelligentsia,” “bourgeois”–were of crucial importance to the Soviet state in the 1920s and 1930s, but it turned out that the determination of a person’s class was much more complicated than anyone expected. This in turn left considerable scope for individual creativity and manipulation. Outright imposters, both criminal and political, also make their appearance in this book. The final chapter describes how, after decades of struggle to construct good Soviet socialist personae, Russians had to struggle to make themselves fit for the new, post-Soviet world in the 1990s – by “de-Sovietizing” themselves.

Engaging in style and replete with colorful detail and characters drawn from many sources, Tear Off the Masks! offers unique insight into the elusive forms of self-presentation, masking, and unmasking that made up Soviet citizenship and continue to resonate in the post-Soviet Russian and Russian-influenced world.




Philip Short, Mitterand: A Study in Ambiguity (Bodley Head 2013) 692 page biography of Francois Mitterand published by a British press, but Philip Short, A Taste For Intrigue: The Multiple Lives of Francois Mitterand (Henry Holt 2013) 620 pages published in the United States and reviewed by Yascha Mounk, Francois Mitterand Was An Elusive Shape-Shifter Whose Goals Remained Unknown Even To His Closest Aides, Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2014 . The British version was reviewed at Sudhir Hazareesingh, Skilled at a Distance, London Times Literary Supplement, May 30, 2014 and the reviewer’s steely grasp of what the author mis-characterized or left out about the narcissistic Francois Mitterand is wonderful.

By reading both reviews you know enough not to read the book. “And so all other considerations were subordinated to his personal ambition. As Justice Minister at the height of the Algerian war, he remained silent as thousands of Algerian patriots were tortured and murdered by the French Army – the only reason being his hope that he might be appointed Prime Minister. He became a Socialist not out of ideological principle or moral conviction, but because he realized this was his only viable path to the French presidency. He did not hesitate to facilitate the rise of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National (by introducing proportional representation for the parliamentary elections of 1986) because he hoped the extreme Right would split the conservative vote, and thus allow him to retain a majority in the National Assembly. Once socialism became an obstacle to his retention of power in the mid-1980s, he discarded it without so much as an afterthought (Short’s claim that Mitterrand had a lifelong commitment to “social justice” is almost comical; the gap between rich and poor in France grew wider after his fourteen years in office). He left the Socialist party bereft of any doctrine, weighed down by political and financial scandals, and in the hands of a cynically technocratic leadership fixated only with capturing national power. In this essential respect, there is little room for ambiguity: Mitterrand destroyed the soul of the French socialist movement, and it is still struggling to recover from his toxic legacy.” I would agree with this view and warn readers of the book that occasionally the author falls into a paean or encomium [song of praise or tribute] for his subject.

Texas Tech Library DC423.S553 Some Americans regard Mitterand 1916-1996 as a Communist because he was briefly or often mis-labeled as such by the American media. Of course he wasn’t. He declared himself a Socialist and after he came to power within the Socialist Party he embraced the Communists in order to gain a political ally but he wasn’t a Communist. Indeed, during the late 1930s he ran with a fascist and anti-semitic crowd and upon Germany’s occupation Mitterand joined the Vichy and was decorated for Vichy service by Petain. Only in 1943 did he eschew the Vichy and join the Resistance but not the Communist resistance, an early contradiction in stance that he would repeat often throughout his life. What we now know is he was not even a Socialist although that was the party label under which he ran and won election to public office. He was deeply conservative in many ways. What he believed in, and his only consistent and retained belief, was the political survival of himself Francois Mitterand. Everything else was sacrificed sooner or later.

The Mitterand Years: Legacy and Evaluation (ed. Mairi Maclean, Palgrave Macmillan 1998) Texas Tech Library DC423.M578



San Francisco Giants are atop the West Division 46 wins 33 losses of the National League in Major League Baseball and Oakland Athletics are atop the West Division 49 wins 30 losses of the American League. Could we have a Bay Bridge World Series?





Mike and Pat Maines home at 9005 Memphis Drive is predictably handsome, with two artists resident within, and its exterior has undergone a painting of the double garage door by John Chinn, a well-known artist whose day job is Instructor in Design at the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University


If the address is unclear, from 82nd Street south to 87th Street, and from 93rd Street south to 98th Street, Memphis Avenue is a north south grid street. Between 87th and 93rd Streets it loops east around Charles Guy Park and Premier Sportsplex and is known as Memphis Drive while it’s looping.


A garage door mural is private art that is viewable by the public from a city street. It’s gorgeous.




Is it art if no one is there to witness it’s being made, and it’s temporary so it disappears before anyone can discover it? What sound does a tree make falling in the forest if no one is there to hear it?



Ai Weiwei and Bert Benally Create Pull of the Moon Through an Unprecedented International Art Collaboration

Targeted News Service (USA) – Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M., June 20 – The New Mexico Arts issued the following news release:

Ai Weiwei, internationally acclaimed Chinese dissident artist, and Navajo artist Bert Benally through a remarkable collaboration, will create Pull of the Moon, a temporary, site-specific art installation in a remote part of Coyote Canyon on the Navajo Nation. Pull of the Moon is part of Navajo TIME (Temporary Installations Made for the Environment), a unique partnership between New Mexico Arts and the Navajo Nation Museum. The installation will feature earth-based drawings using sand.

Bert Benally said of Pull of the Moon, “The concept is based on Navajo aesthetics, the idea that for the Navajo, art is more about the process rather than the finished product.”

The installation will be created on Saturday June 28, 2014. Due to the remoteness and lack of facilities, this event is not open to the public. A limited amount of media passes are available on a first come, first serve basis. Members of the media wishing to obtain access should contact Chuck Zimmer at (505) 476-0523 or (505) 699-6496.

A free and public launch event for Pull of the Moon will take place on July 16, 2014, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in Santa Fe, at Alan Houser Park, and will feature a live performance by German sound artist Robert Henke and Bert Benally based on sounds captured at Coyote Canyon during the installation.

A documentary film entitled The Making of Pull of the Moon by Daniel Hyde and Blackhorse Lowe highlighting the collaboration between Ai Weiwei and Bert Benally at Coyote Canyon opens at MoCNA on July 16, from 5:00-7:00 p.m., and runs through October 16. A 3D modeling digital landscape has also been created by xRez Studio Inc. and can be viewed in either 2D or 3D formats at MoCNA from July 16-October 16, 2014.

An exciting immersion full dome experience of this digital landscape based on Pull of the Moon is not to be missed at Museum Hill in Santa Fe on Friday, July 18 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 19 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. New Mexico Arts intends to tour the dome around the state. All events at MoCNA and Museum Hill are free and open to the public.

“Cultural landscape is very important to this project. That is why Coyote Canyon was chosen with its rich history and traditions. When it is travels to different locations it will carry the power of the initial place with it. One of the objectives of this project is to connect art with cultural landscape,” said Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler.

Pull of the Moon signifies the transformative power of art through international collaboration and is a reminder of the immense challenges faced by many cultures and the capacity for growth and healing from very impactful events. Despite being unable to travel outside of China, Ai Weiwei’s boundless spirit and creativity still touch many around the globe. Pottery shards from his Dropping the Vase series have been ground down to a fine powder that will be used in the installation at Coyote Canyon. “The shards were intentionally placed there as evidence of the powder’s origin,” explained Ai Weiwei, “I think this is an interesting idea because we can only see ourselves, our past, through material evidence such as these shards. It is important to pass on to future generations where we are from and to give a glimpse of the mind and soul of the people living in that time.”

“I am very excited about this unparalleled partnership between the State of New Mexico, Navajo Nation and Ai Weiwei that we have been able to create,” said Chuck Zimmer, Deputy Director and Public Art Manager of New Mexico Arts. “From the beginning our intention has been that the land itself be the starting point, a blank canvas for artists to transform through their creative process into something larger, something that can bring healing and harmony to the land and to the community. With this as our goal, I cannot think of more appropriate artists to create this installation than Bert Benally and Ai Weiwei.”

From the above we now know that we can hear sounds and view a documentary film of the making of the art installation on July 16 in Santa Fe at the named museum, and thereafter through October 16 in the exhibit about the installation. It’s clear that Navajo don’t want the public to go trapsing into Coyote Canyon so they will bring an event in the Canyon to the public in Santa Fe. What a project! Here is information about Coyote Canyon It is located north of Gallup New Mexico traveling on US Highway 491 about 16 miles then turn east on Navajo Service Route 9 for another 9 miles.


After you watch this 28 minute video of jeep style all-terrain vehicles despoiling Coyote Canyon you will appreciate why the location is not inviting visitors who bring disrespect to a sacred space a place of return in 1868 from The Long Walk to the Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumner in New Mexico Territory.





Are you familiar with this Rocky Mountain outdoor landscape painter? Helen Henderson Chain 1849-1892 operated Denver’s first book store, stationery shop, art supplies shop, art gallery, art school, and publishing house here she is at her easel in 1882 Her paintings were exhibited in New York City at the National Academy of Design in her day. She and her husband were touring in the Orient when their ship went down during a typhoon in the South China Sea October 10, 1892.


Denver Public Library’s Western History Art Gallery has an exhibit on her that is up through August 17




Willard Spiegelman, Great Art Behind Bars, The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2014 is a story about the Old Jail Art Center in Albany Texas north of Abilene From 1877 to 1929 it was an operating jail, then vacant, and then used as a private space until donated for use as a museum since 1980, on the rolling plains south of historic Fort Griffin an important US Army post 1867-1881 on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. Stone ruins of some buildings and recreated structures now exist at Fort Griffin State Historic Site


In medieval history Albany is that part of Scotland north of the firths of Clyde and Forth. The firth of Clyde is the bay or estuary into which the Clyde River and its tributaries empties, the principal city being Glasgow, and the firth of Forth is the same on the east coast, the principal city being Edinburgh. The Dukes of Albany were royal lineage people. It is said that Scottish-American Presbyterians founded the town of Albany naming it for their former homeland, and one of the very oldest buildings in town is a Presbyterian Church, the Scots would say a kirk If there’s any place in Texas where Bloody John Knox presbyter is still a hero, it might be Albany.


Isn’t it wonderful when a national newspaper like The Wall Street Journal notices and remarks favorably on an art center in a small West Texas town? For this instance the stereotypical Texan image was not portrayed but rather something quite different and distinct, as we who live here know is often the case in our daily lives. We know that Texas with 27 million people has grown into a quite diverse pluralistic society with cross-sections of religious cultural and societal values and approaches. That side of Texas is not often expressed by our politicians or government so those of us who welcome and embrace the diversity are seen by politicians as progressives or even radicals and labeled as such despite the fact that some of us are deeply conservative in a non-political use of that term. Wide distinctions in use of language exist today so some of us just turn off the political usage and go back to the etymology of language and use terms as they would have been used a century or even several centuries ago.





























Arts History Update on June 20, 2014

21 Jun

Arts History Update on June 20, 2014 by David Cummins


Tommy Hancock: West Texas Muse (63 minute documentary film 2014) directed by Dwight Adair is being introduced at Lubbock’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema 120 West Loop 289 off North Slide Road on Sunday June 22, showings at 4:30 and 7:30 pm $20 per person that includes free admission to a later live performance at Blue Light Live 1806 Buddy Holly Avenue in the Depot District after 9:00 pm, performance by a put-together group The Sons of The Roadside Playboys


Tommy X. Hancock resides in Austin, is now 85 years of age, but way back in the day Tommy was the owner of Lubbock’s fabled Cotton Club east of town and he fiddled and led the house band The Roadside Playboys, initially with Texas Swing Music but Tommy morphed onward into various styles, and he booked the leading musicians of the day into the Cotton Club. He and his wife Charlene Condray Hancock and children Conni, Traci, Louie and Joaquin traveled the Rocky Mountain area from 1972 playing as The Supernatural Family Band that was later inducted into the Country Music Association Hall of Fame. He is an inductee in the Austin Chronicle Music Awards Hall of Fame and the West Texas Walk of Fame in Lubbock where he was born and raised and is regarded as the Godfather of West Texas Music. When he no longer could perform as a master fiddler due to arthritis, he supported Texana Dames featuring his wife Charlene and their daughters Conni and Traci. Here is a 2011 video of Charlene on keyboards and daughter Conni Hancock playing some Texas Jumbo music as Texana Dames Family picture here


There will be DVDs of the film for sale and also of Lubbock Lights (2003 documentary film 80 minutes) in which Tommy, the Texana Dames, Terry Allen, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Lloyd Maines, Jesse Taylor and others appear. Texas Tech Library Digital Media Studio 1890.L297 (2005)


Best of all, Tommy is back in town June 22 for this event and will be present to greet viewers of the film and attendees of a brief incarnation of The Sons of The Roadside Playboys at a Lubbock night spot. Also attending is film director Dwight Adair. Flags in Lubbock should fly a little higher on Sunday June 22, 2014 because Tommy, a living legend, is back in his hometown.


Here is a video of Elvis Presley singing at the Cotton Club 6410 E. US Highway 84 [Slaton Highway] on October 15, 1955 at the invitation of its owner Ralph Lowe who would later sell the Club to the house band leader Tommy X. Hancock. A very young Willie Nelson, Little Richard, Wayland Jennings, Hank Williams, Harry James, Benny Goodman, Bob Wills and so many more sang and played there. The address was outside the city limits and this club seating 1,400 patrons broke all the social rules, inviting players and audiences who were African-Americans, drifters, hippies, and social outcasts as well as good ole boy West Texas cowboys and farmers. Everyone was welcome and it was one of very few venues for live music between Dallas and Los Angeles.


The Cotton Club suffered several fires and burned down more than once but Hancock just built it back.


One of the legacies of Buddy Holly was his wallet in which was found a membership card in The Club for Unappreciated Musicians. Buddy was member # 4. The card had been issued by Tommy X. Hancock. Godfather of West Texas Music is a title no one contests.


Tommy X. Hancock, Zen and the Art of the Texas Two Step: The Book on Dancing (World Wide Pub Co 1998) Texas Tech Library GV1624.T4 H36




now out of print but available at Alibris in very good condition for $15 a paperback.

Here is a video of the late Traci Hancock singing

Rob Weiner, West Texas Musical Heritage (West Texas Historical Association 2009 Yearbook volume 84 pages 175-191

Arts History Update for very late June 2014

19 Jun

Arts History Update for very late June 2014 by David Cummins


RALPH – The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities has been an online magazine since 1994. It is saucy, irreverent and attitudinal. Two collections of its best reviews, articles, poetry, etc. are published in book form The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World: The Best of RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities (volume I at 466 pages and volume II at 513 pages, each $25) (Mho & Mho Works 2013) but $29.99 at for both. The website contains an archive of its issues, so reading online without subscribing at $25 per year is an option. Contact RALPH at Box 16719 San Diego CA 92176-6719 phone 619-280—3488 or e-mail


Here is The Roots of Buddhist Psychology by Jack Kornfield reviewed by L.W. Milam




Italian Futurism 1909-1944 Reconstructing The Universe is a current exhibit at The Solomon R. Gugenheim Museum New York City February 21 through September 1 and it is stunning with more than 300 works by Balla, Boccioni, Bragaglia, Depero, Dottori, Marinetti, Pannaggi, Rosa, Russolo, Tato and others. Catalogue by Vivien Greene et al. at 352 pages with 338 color plates $60 $43.33. The first comprehensive exhibition of Futurism in America, with a focus on motion, if not the speed of a Lamborghini at least the chugging away of a Ducati motorcycle. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 1876-1944 issued a manifesto Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism, Le Figaro newspaper, February 20, 1909 and the movement died when he died in 1944. He sought to shift the culture of the nation and to a degree, futurism did. While a strong writer he was an even better publicist and, when publicizing his own ideas, he was a fervent apostle. Necessarily radical, futurism focused on social conflict in the modern city and was influenced by Georges Sorel’s Reflections on Violence (in French 1908 exponent of revolutionary syndicalism, English translation T.E. Hulme 1912 TTU

Library HD6477.S523) but went further, Marinetti saying “we are aspiring to the creation of an inhuman type, one in which moral suffering, generosity, affect, and love will be abolished … naturally cruel, omniscient, and combative”. Yes, some Russian artists quickly jumped on the speeding train adapting futurism into Russian constructivism, but that story is not told in this exhibit. F.T. Marinetti: Critical Writings (ed. Gunter Berghaus, transl. Doug Thompson, Farrar Straus & Giroux 2006) and Marinetti: Selected Writings (ed. and transl. R. W. Flint, Farrar Straus & Giroux 1972) TTU Library NX600.F8 M37


Ester Cohen et al., Futurism (5 Continents 2009) $43.39 ABE Books very good condition $62.79


Richard Humphreys, Futurism (Movements in Modern Art Series) (Cambridge University Press 1999) $25.12 TTU Library NX552.A1 H86


Sylvia Martin, Futurism (Basic Art Series) (Taschen 2006) $17.34 TTU Library N6494.F8 M37




Kandinsky: the intellectual innovator


Vivian Endicott Barnett, Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910-1925 (Hatje Cantz 2013) $40.44 TTU Library ND699.K36 A4


Angela Lampe and Brady M. Roberts,, Kandinsky: A Retrospective (Milwaukee Art Museum June 5 – September 1, 2014 and Frist Center for the Visual Arts at Nashville thereafter, Yale University Press 2014) $40.65 [the catalogue for the exhibit at these two museums is expanded in the publication by the Press]


Ulrike Becks-Malomy, Kandinsky (Taschen 2007)


Hajo Duchting, Wassily Kandinsky: 1866-1944 A Revolution in Painting (Basic Art Series) (Taschen 2012) $14.99 at 96 pages, always tastefully packaged at Taschen


Kandinsky and Franz Marc founded Der Blaue Reiter [The Blue Rider] group of artists in Munich Germany yielding the first abstract watercolor painting in 1910. Kandinsky had studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich beginning in 1896 after leaving a successful law practice / law professorship in Russia, and painted Der Blaue Reiter (1904). He returned to Russia in 1914 ending the Blaue Reiter period, when The Great War broke out. He returned to Germany at the invitation of Walter Gropius to join the Bauhaus group at Weimar 1922 – 1933 Bauhaus was quickly troubled by right wing German politics and moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925 and to Berlin in 1932 and was then dissolved in 1933 whereupon Kandinsky settled in Paris France. Here’s a 4 minute video of actress Helen Mirren in the Museum of Modern Art New York City admiring four original Kandinsky paintings. Art like music can directly enter one’s soul.


and of course his own writing: Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1910) (transl. M.T.H. Sadler, Dover Pub. rev ed. 1977) $6.26 and Point and Line to Plane: Contribution to the analysis of the pictorial elements (Bauhaus Books 1926) (transl. Howard Dearstyne & Hilla Rebay, Cranbrook Press for Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 1947, Dover Fine Art Series, Dover Pub. $9.83 and Guggenehim Museum Foundation 1979, Martino Fine Books 2013, reprint of 1947 edition only $7.95 but readable online free at The former in another format is differently titled The Art of Spiritual Harmony (Illustrated) (Martino Fine Books 2014) paperback $5.95 e-book $2.99. These prices remind us that we can purchase excellent art books at modest cost and have outstanding images in our personal space. Kandinsky Complete Writings On Art (eds. Peter Vergo and Kenneth C. Lindsay, G K Hall 1982 Faber and Faber 1982 two volumes at 924 pages Da Capo Press 1994 reprint one volume at 972 pages) TTU Library N7454.K3 (1982) writings are arranged in chronological order from 1901 through 1943. Da Capo Press paperback $40 is $29.14 at new and is $16.43 in good condition at ABE Books incl s&h.



The Blaue Reiter Almanac (eds. Franz Marc & wassily Kandinsky, Munich Germany 1912) (Viking Press 1974) (MFA Publications 2005 $17.73 296 pages)



In January 2015 Microsoft Windows 7 operating system will go onto extended support that just covers the basics. You’ll still receive free security updates, but non-security-related hot fixes will only be available on a paid subscription and you’ll have to start the subscription before April 15, 2015. There will be no free support, Microsoft won’t honor warranty claims, and the company will not add new features.


By the way, Microsoft XP’s mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009 and it went into an extended support mode that ended on April 8, 2014; Microsoft Vista’s mainstream support ended on April 12, 2014 and it is now in extended support mode that will end on April 11, 2017.


If you are a Microsoft Windows XP operating system user today you should not use the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser as it will make you vulnerable to threats your static operating system can’t handle. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are excellent free web browsers to download and install and I recommend them. Purchase a good anti-malware software like Malwarebytes or select a high quality free one like Avast, download and install it, and check on it regularly to see what it’s protecting against so you know the threat level, and take precautions and adopt safe practices. By continuing to use XP you decided to go alone into the nether world of computing so be intentional and risk averse as you travel that road.


So if you’re satisfied with the support you’re getting on Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, you probably won’t have much to worry about with Windows 7 for another four years.


At some point you may wish to embrace the contemporary Microsoft Windows 8 operating system and purchase, download and install it. It’s now easily able to be adjusted to the familiar Start Menu if you don’t want to use the Touch Screen modality most of the time.




Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art is setting up a travel trip to Chicago Illinois for Spring 2015 led by art historian Carol Neuberger. It will include visiting renowned private art collections, an architectural tour of the city, curator-led visits to museums, a concert by Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and more. Contact Kira Neal for more information and cost, e-mail phone 202-633-8768




Take a Hike “across the pond”: 1. in Cotswold villages and lanes, and in the Duchy of Cornwall 2. walk the Thames Path for any part or all of 184 miles 3. Offa’s Dyke Path in Wales 4. Wales Coast Path is 870 miles 5. Anywhere in the northwest of England in or near the Lake District, the Pennine Way National Trail and Hadrian’s Wall Path6. Walk in the Scottish Highlands with the rangers at Aigas Field Centre at Beauly, Inverness Shire 7. in southwest Ireland walk the Beara Peninsula [part in County Kerry and part in County Cork], Killarney National Park and remote Sherkin Island.




Texas Plains Trail Tourism & Preservation Roundup for 2014 is July 30-August 1 at Canyon Texas, main venue is Panhandle Plains Historical Museum. Here’s the schedule and prices comprehensive $95 per person but ala carte as you wish




Never read Ulysses(1922) by James Joyce? The novel follows its protagonist Leopold Bloom through an ordinary day June 16, 1904 in Dublin Ireland. Bloom buys kidneys at the butcher’s, serves his wife Molly breakfast in bed, reads the mail, and visits the outhouse. He attends a morning funeral, runs an errand at the drug store, and inadvertently gives a man a winning tip about a racehorse. He bumps into an old flame, stops off for a sandwich and a glass of wine, helps a blind man cross the road, and ducks into a museum to avoid his wife’s lover. He gets into an argument at Barney Kiernan’s pub, ogles a young woman at the beach, and pays a hospital visit to a woman in the throes of a difficult childbirth. He spends the evening in a red-light district with young Stephen Dedalus, protagonist of Joyce’sPortrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Bloom feels paternal toward the young Dedalus, and sees him home safely. Finally, in the wee hours of morning, Leopold returns home to Molly, just as Odysseus returned to Penelope.Ulysses is the Latinized or Roman version of the Greek Odysseus found in Homer’s TheOdyssey. $17.66 hardcover $2.70 paperback $0.99 e-book with introduction, map of Dublin etc. but you may read it free as a public domain item downloaded at this site 13,498 times in the last 30 days, if you were wondering if this modernist masterpiece were still popular. At 736 pages a download doesn’t equal a full reading. Probably many more people have started reading Ulysses than finished reading it. Spark Notes may help



“What is so staggering about Ulysses is the fact that behind a thousand veils nothing lies hidden; that it turns neither toward the mind nor toward the world, but, as cold as the moon looking on from cosmic space, allows the drama of growth, being, and decay to pursue its course.”

Carl Jung


Kevin Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses (The Penguin Press 2014) 417 pages. For more than a decade, the book that literary critics now consider the most important novel in the English language was illegal to own, sell, advertise or purchase in most of the English-speaking world. James Joyce’s big blue book, Ulysses, ushered in the modernist era and changed the novel for all time. But the genius of Ulysses was also its danger: it omitted absolutely nothing. All of the minutiae of Leopold Bloom’s day, including its unspeakable details, unfold with careful precision in its pages. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice immediately banned the novel as “obscene, lewd, and lascivious.” Joyce, along with some of the most important publishers and writers of his era, had to fight for years to win the freedom to publish it. The Most Dangerous Book tells the remarkable story surrounding Ulysses, from the first stirrings of Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to its landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933. ABE Books new $18.08 $22.19 e-book $11.99——————————-



Captain Randolph B. Marcy US Army Corps of Engineers expedition of 1852 purpose was to trace the Red River of Louisiana to its source or headwaters. He was based at Fort Smith Arkansas but he started this expedition at Cache Creek near present Fort Sill Oklahoma, entered Wheeler County Texas on June 10, camped on June 12 where Fort Elliott was later located at Old Mobeetie, and entered Gray County on June 14. He camped near the present town of Lefors on June 16 at the head of the North Fork of the Red River. Marcy knew the Canadian River was to the north because he had visited it in 1849, so he traveled 25 miles north and found the Canadian, now assured that it was a distinct separate river. He returned south to the North Fork of the Red and traveled farther south to the Salt Fork of the Red River. He found a nearby stream of fresh water and named it McClellan Creek for his deputy George McClellan who would later become his son in-law and a Civil War general. A marker now exists several miles south of Pampa on Texas State Highway SH 70. On July 1 Marcy reached the main fork or Prairie Dog Fork [later named Prairie Dog Town Fork] of the Red River that flows southeast near Estelline and north of Childress where it begins to form the northern boundary of Texas and southern boundary of Oklahoma, an amazing meandering river that runs from the panhandle 1,222 miles before emptying into the Mississippi River [through the Atchafalaya] navigable below Shreveport Louisiana.


From a West Texas perspective the river system to the south of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River is the Pease River that flows past Copper Breaks State Park and the town of Vernon and empties into the Red River [the Roaring Springs Ranch Club is at the springs that is the headwaters of the Pease River]. South of that is the Wichita River that flows through Wichita Falls and empties into the Red River. South of that is the Brazos River system that takes a southern turn and flows through central Texas to the Gulf Coast. South of that is the Colorado River that rises in Dawson County near Lamesa and flows southeast into central Texas, the capitol at Austin, and on to the Gulf Coast at Matagorda Bay


Nine years later Captain Marcy would be General Marcy during the Civil War.


Kenneth F. Neighbours, The Marcy-Neighbors Exploration of the Headwaters of the Brazos and Wichita Rivers in 1854 (reprinted in Panhandle Plains Historical Review volume 27 in 1954) $29 and (reprinted 1956) ABE Books very good condition $15. US Army Major Robert S. Neighbors was the United States Supervising Agent for Texas Indian Affairs from 1853. He was murdered at Fort Belknap on September 14, 1859 by Edward Cornett one of many people who thought of people like Neighbors as detestable “Indian lovers”. His murder helped the Texas legislature end the reservation experiment in Texas and move them in 1859 to Indian Territory next to Oklahoma Territory north of the Red River.Records of the Marcy Expedition of 1852 are displayed at White Deer Land Museum in Pampa Texas and here is background for the historical marker referred to above


The town of Lefors in Gray County and headwaters of the North Fork of the Red River would become famous twenty years after Marcy camped there, when Colonel Ranald Mackenzie successfully led the US Army Fourth Cavalry against Comanche at that site on September 29, 1872


Tierra Blanca = white land, that is the source of the name of the museum, although the town of White Deer on White Deer Creek between Pampa and Panhandle is perhaps the more recent and direct cause for naming the museum, derived from both tierra blanca and a white deer. The town White Deer has a statuary of a white deer right on Main Street US Highway 60.


Tierra Blanca Creek rises in Curry County New Mexico and flows east by Hereford and Umbarger [forming Buffalo Lake at Umbarger Dam (1937) as part of the Tierra Blanca Water Conservation Project and the adjacent National Wildlife Refuge]

and where Tierra Blanca Creek joins Palo Duro Creek east of the town of Canyon is the beginning of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River


Intensive agricultural capture of water and drought conditions mean that Buffalo Lake is often dry and the course of the Tierra Blanca Creek is hard to discern west of Hereford to and beyond the state boundary. We must trust the hydrologists who say it rises in Curry County New Mexico and flows beneath the surface. Las Escarbadas (1886) was a division headquarters building for the XIT Ranch 35 miles west of Hereford astride Tierra Blanca Creek or Draw and is now reconstructed (1977) on the site of the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock. Las Escarbadas means the scrapings, and refers to comancheros having come to this place where they scraped at the apparently dry draw and were repeatedly able to yield fresh potable water, so they would set up their trade goods and wait for the Indians.


Rio Blanco = White River but any river can be masculine Blanco or feminine Blanca. The town of Blanco Texas is White and masculine. Tierra Blanca Creek or White Land Creek is feminine. Rita = small river. Cañon Blanco = Blanco Canyon or White Canyon


Rio Colorado = river of red color, is the source of the name of the Red River, in French “Riviere Rouge” as it was called in Louisiana. Note bene: there are several red rivers, this one often referred to as the Red River of the South, while the Red River of the North flows north to Manitoba as the boundary between Minnesota and North Dakota


Robert Goldthwaite Carter, On The Border With Mackenzie or Winning West Texas from the Comanches (1935) (Antiquarian Press 1961 TTU Library Southwest Collection 45.2 C324) (Texas State Historical Association 2007 TTU Library F391.C337) Carter was long-lived 1845 – 1936

Robert Goldthwaite Carter, Tragedies of Cañon Blanco, A Story of the Texas Panhandle (Gibson Brothers 1919) on microform at TTU Library

Robert Goldthwaite Carter won the Medal of Honor in 1900 for his service as 2nd Lieutenant Carter in the US Army Fourth Cavalry on October 10, 1871 at a battle on the Brazos River He retired from the Army in 1876 due to disabilities as First Lieutenant and was breveted for Captain many years later. He was an avid writer. He served in the Civil War 1862-1864 as an enlisted man from Massachusetts, then went to West Point graduating in 1870 and being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served in the Mexico Expedition of 1873, the Remolino Coahuila Mexico Raid of May 18, 1873, battling the Kickapoo and Apache Indians when Colonel Mackenzie received orders at Fort Clark Texas to stop Indian cattle rustling. It was a successful Raid Colonel Mackenzie was the most effective cavalry officer in the 1870s so it was no surprise when he was tapped to lead the Red River War of 1874-1875 to rid the Comanche from the Panhandle and Plains of Texas.





Andrew Wyeth was a mid-20th century artist to whom we repeatedly return, currently in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC titled “Looking Out, Looking In” May 4-November 30, 2014

“One of Andrew Wyeth’s most important paintings, Wind from the Sea (1947), is also the artist’s first full realization of the window as a recurring subject in his art. Wyeth returned to windows again and again during the next six decades, producing more than 300 remarkable works that explore the formal and conceptual aspects of looking both in and out of windows. Spare, elegant, and abstract, these non-figural paintings are free of the narrative element inevitably associated with his well-known compositions. This richly illustrated book presents a select group of Wyeth’s tempera paintings – many of them never before published or on public view – along with two essays that explore Wyeth’s fascination with windows.”



Nancy K Anderson & Charles Brock, Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In, National Gallery of Art, catalog 192 pages $55 but $38.86 at


Looking at Wind From the Sea (1947) we see through billowing curtains at an open window the scene from which Christina’s World (1948) sees the house on the hill that was Wyeth’s summer house in mid-coast Maine near Cushing. Wyeth 1917-2009 lived his entire life at Chadds Ford Pennsylvania, his birthplace, and at this summer house in Maine. His birthplace was the home and studio of his father N. C. Wyeth the famous illustrator 1882-1945. Andrew Wyeth was the youngest of five children Henriette Wyeth 1907-1997 the eldest, who married Peter Hurd in 1929 after he first arrived at Chadds Ford in 1923 The Brandywine River Museum of Art at Chadds Ford has Andrew Wyeth’s studio on display and


Andrew became the most famous of all the Wyeth artists and came to the attention of the art world in mid-century as it turned toward abstraction whereas he was a realist and regional painter. Despite being out of sync with the style of the time his paintings continued to absorb collectors and viewers, especially those who could not understand the main abstractions of Pollock and others. He sketched a full scene but by the time he painted he had removed so much of the sketch material “boiling it down” he said, that what was left was often a scene of desolation, an enigma that required speculation to understand. He used a subdued palette and depicted objects symbolically as emotionally fraught places, usually absent human beings. We have all been speculating a good long while, and the recent publications help us appreciate the artist’s stance and agenda at the time he painted them. For instance, we learn that he first met Christina age 55, a paraplegic woman, but of course he painted her as a young woman perhaps 18-26 years of age crawling if not clawing in the field to make her way back to the buildings and life support. That painting at Museum of Modern Art New York City has been viewed by millions of people and is one of the most recognizable paintings in America. Many would not agree with my interpretation, nor should you.


David Cateforis, Rethinking Andrew Wyeth (University of California Press 2014) $48 at includes a collection of essays by different people about Wyeth and his oeuvre.


Richard Merryman, Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait (National Gallery of Art 2013) TTU Library ND237.W93 A4 resulting from interviews with the artist over a long period


Wyeth and Edward Hopper were friends. In Nighthawks (1942) by Hopper we look through a diner window and see an employee and alienated unassociated patrons late at night, a snapshot of a stasis. We’ve always wondered if the diner ever came to life afterward or if this condition were its destiny.


Other artists were similarly engaged. 7 A.M. News (1976-1978) by Alfred Leslie shows a woman in her morning dressing gown seated at a breakfast table with newspaper in hand but she’s looking winsomely away despite what’s in the newspaper or flickering on the small television set on the table. She’s well to do but perhaps not doing too well or at least dissatisfied and emptied by what she reads in a newspaper and sees on television, as breakfast is in part an unattended soft boiled egg in its shell, in an egg shell holder beside her empty coffee cup. She is unfed. Leslie started as an abstract expressionist but went to a realist figurative style, especially adept at the contemporary woman with widened agendas and opportunities. A Nouveau Realisme [New Realism] Manifesto was signed in Milan Italy on October 27, 1960 and many artists bucked the abstraction trend






On June 10, 2014 the town council of Taos New Mexico voted to rename its Kit Carson Park as Red Willow Park, in disgust with Carson for having led and participated in the rounding up of Navajo people by the US Army in 1863-1864 and taking them on The Long Walk to Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory, the fort having been set up to guard the prisoners/residents of the new reservation. Only a fraction made it there and back to Navajo country in 1868 after this failed ethnic cleansing experiment, so Carson is known by some as an Indian killer and destroyer of Navajo culture and livelihoods. Taos Pueblo is said to be the Place of the Red Willow, so the park’s new name refers to Taos Pueblo. Fort Sumner was closed once the Navajo left and was sold to a rancher Lucien Maxwell in 1870. On July 14, 1881 Sheriff Pat Garrett found Billy The Kid in a Maxwell home bedroom and killed him.


The Bosque Redondo Memorial Museum (2005) designed by Navajo architect David N. Sloan is located at Fort Sumner State Historic Site and Monument 6.5 miles southeast of the town of Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Murals were installed in 2012



Stanley Marsh III age 76 died Tuesday June 17, 2014 in Amarillo Texas. Businessman turned artist and eclectic promoter of arts. he paid a group of artists d/b/a Ant Farm to create Cadillac Ranch off Route 66 now Interstate Highway 40 west of Amarillo. Cadillac Ranch is ten partially interred vintage Cadillac automobiles on Marsh property. They are usually brightly colored and folks feel free to paint on this public installation art. Ant Farm was a radical art and design collective that both designed and installed Cadillac Ranch in 1974 for Stanley Marsh III. When Doug Michaels, founding member of Ant Farm, died age 59 in an accident on June 12, 2003 the Cadillacs were all painted black in mourning. Perhaps they are now being painted black in mourning for Stanley Marsh III.




On June 18 Jeff Bezos and introduced the new Amazon smart phone called Amazon Fire. This is the first smart phone for Amazon, competing directly with Apple and its iPhones, Samsung Electronics and its series of smart phones, and Google smart phones. Amazon Fire has a 4.2 inch high definition display screen, a 2.2GHz processor, 2 GB of Random Access Memory, and its wireless connection is to AT&T at 4G speeds. It emphasizes quality access to streaming video music and games and the ability to shop at to purchase the wanted video music and games and enjoy it immediately. Its rear facing camera is 13 megapixels with an f/2.0 lens. Without a contract it may be purchased for $649 but with an AT&T contract it can be purchased for as low as $200. It is not set up as an open source wireless device so for now at least, AT&T is the exclusive provider.










Arts History Update for late June 2014

13 Jun

Arts History Update for late June 2014 by David Cummins NCAA Baseball Super Regional play finds four Big XII teams in the last 16, including # 7 Oklahoma State # 16 Texas Christian # 20 Texas and # 23 Texas Tech that plays College of Charleston on June 7-8 and on June 9 if tied at one game each. These games are on Dan Law Field in Rip Griffin Park on the campus of Texas Tech University. The eight winners of the Super Regionals advance to the College World Series in Omaha Nebraska. Texas punched its ticket first with two straight wins against Houston and is in the College World Series for the 35th team. Not a typo, the baseball history at University of Texas is awesome. Texas won the College World Series six times.


Oklahoma State lost two straight to UC-Irvine [Big West Conference]and will not go to the College World Series. Texas Tech defeated College of Charleston twice by identical 1-0 scores and is in the College World Series for the first time. Begins June 14 ends June 25 double elimination winners/losers brackets Texas Tech meets Texas Christian Sunday June 15 at 3:00 pm TV-ESPN2. Other schools are Ole Miss [Southeastern Conference], Virginia [Atlantic Coast Conference], Vanderbilt [Southeastern Conference], and Louisville [American Athletic Conference]. The Big XII Conference has three teams in the World Series.


Not to be overlooked are the winners of Division II and Division III NCAA Baseball titles in 2014, namely, Division II winner University of Southern Indiana at Evanston on the banks of the Ohio River, and Division III winner University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at Whitewater midway between Milwaukee and Madison.


What is significant about these championships is that major league baseball teams have scouts in the stands watching games and specific players of interest. The 2014 MLB Draft has already occurred and some of the players being watched are already drafted such as players on Texas Tech Red Raiders team: Chris Sadberry left-handed pitcher went in the 6th round, the 167th pick, to the Miami Marlins; Hunter Redman, catcher, 8th round, 249th pick, to Los Angeles Dodgers; Tim Proudfoot, shortstop, 21st round, 642nd pick, to Oakland Athletics; and Dominic Moreno, right-handed pitcher, 33rd round, 1,005th pick, to St. Louis Cardinals. None of these named players have signed up or contracted to play professionally for they are still “amateurs” and college “students” at least into late June.


Dreams do come true however as Kyle Freeland, left-handed pitcher for Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver Colorado, played well at University of Evansville that won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season, was drafted in the first round by his hometown team the Colorado Rockies, and he signed on Tuesday June 10 for a $2.3 million bonus He’s still got acne and he’s a millionaire with an infectious grin and a curve ball that doesn’t “hang” it “drops off the table” while crossing the plate.


———————— BookExpo America May 29-31 had 10,640 attendees while BookCon for book consumers May 31 was capped at 10,000 tickets and people, both in New York City at Javits Center. Essentially, publishers use BookExpo in late Spring to confer among themselves and tout their new Fall line of issuance to independent booksellers, while BookCon is for readers/fans who want to meet authors and buy current books. As expected the publishers and second level retailers of books ranted about and its alleged predatory merchandising practices [translation: ranters rant at anyone who adopts different methodologies and is successful, leaving the ranters wishing they were equally successful, while they spew out abominations upon the successful]




Has electronic reading captured part of your reading? If so, be aware that an inexpensive way of accessing content is on offer, directly to your e-reader such as a Kindle, iPhone [smartphone], iPad tablet or Android tablet or other device [and your web browser on a laptop or desktop computer]


The New York Times (ad-free) $19.99 per month

compare to The New York Times All Digital Subscription at $35 for 4 weeks and even more expensive two day delayed print edition mailed to your home or business

The New York Times Latest News $1.99 per month

The New Yorker Magazine $5.99 per month

Foreign Affairs $2.99 per month

The Atlantic Magazine $1.99 per month

Salon $3.49 per month

The [London] Times Literary Supplement $7.99 per month as compared to $14 per month in print mailed to your home, a good example of the cost-savings in being an e-reader rather than a print reader, but the providers throw in so much more, like updates to articles, links to other articles on the topic, gaining access earlier electronically, and gaining access to the provider’s blog on the article, often quite refreshing and stimulating. The extras are so valuable that you will quickly realize that this is the way these providers of content really want us all to be connected so that they eventually can stop publishing on paper. Jeff Bezos predicted it and it may happen.


London Review of Books $2.90 per month

Reason Magazine $1.25 per month

Slate Magazine $2.49 per month

The New York Review of Books $3.49 per month or $41.88 per year as compared with $75 per year in print

Dallas Morning News $9.99 per month

Austin American-Statesman $9.99 per month

Houston Chronicle $5.99 per month

Fort Worth Star Telegram $6.99 per month


Just how does it work? is the site for purchasing a daily The New York Times (ad-free) for $19.99 per month, and it wants you to be sure you get what you want, so the first 14 days is free, and if it doesn’t load into your Kindle or other device and be easily read by you, all you do is cancel, and your cost of trying it is zero. Before the end of the first month that you purchased, if you decide it’s not quite what you want, all you do is cancel, and your cost for a month and fourteen days was $19.99. Now here’s an enticement. If you subscribe at this inexpensive rate, you get free complete access to the website where stories are linked to other sources like Reuters so you can follow a story from several vantages and perspectives. Additionally you will likely find that you want to read and look at images online for some stories and on your Kindle e-reader for other content so this multiple or alternative access to content is significant and useful.


I don’t like recommending something to you unless I’ve experienced the dynamic so I subscribed to the Kindle edition of The New York Review of Books to which I’ve been a satisfied print subscriber for many years. Received a first thirty days free trial period and now have my Kindle June 19th issue and my print June 19th issue side by side for comparison. Caveat: My comparison is a dated one since I have a Kindle second generation released February 2009 so the experience on a contemporary Kindle Fire HDX released October 2013 would be on a larger screen, much better in color, at faster speeds on 4G wireless, while I have a six inch black and white screen, on 3G wireless Whispersync, and that’s an upgrade into an old generation Kindle, the oldest still supported by Digital Services. I am a dinosaur type who reads electronically but generally resists bells whistles and other gadgets and gizmos as they appear.


Kindle Releases: Kindle November 2007 [no longer supported], Kindle 2 February 2009, Kindle 3 August 2010, Kindle 4 October 2011, Kindle Touch October 2011, Kindle Fire November 2011, Kindle Fire 2 September 2012, Kindle Fire HD September 2012, Kindle Paperwhite October 2012, Kindle Fire HDX October 2013


One of the benefits of Kindle at is that many electronic items are audio-linked so one can switch back and forth between reading and listening to it being read to you. Each device is different but on my Kindle I press the Aa button and a dialogue box appears and I scroll down to Text to Speech and press Turn On and the item is read to me and the pages on the Kindle screen turn as the voice finishes each page. I either listen from the Kindle speaker or plug in my earplugs to the Kindle and listen directly into my ears and no one nearby hears anything [much preferred for quality and ability to hear anywhere without disturbing others].


Another singular advantage of electronic reading is that one can adjust the font and size to a preferred setting regardless of how the publisher chose to present it on paper.


Electronic reading can be done on multiple platforms. Kindle Cloud Reader is installed on my desktop at so all the Kindle books I’ve purchased are there and I can read or re-read as I like on the computer monitor. You can start reading a book on Kindle and later go to Kindle Cloud Reader and that book is synced so that when you open it up it’s already at the page you left it on your Kindle.


By way of comparison the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal directly offers a digital only subscription for $9.95 per month so each day’s newspaper electronic edition [print replica style] is able to be read online on a desktop or laptop computer or any tablet or smart phone with access to the Internet. It’s optimized for three browsers Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox, and for iPad tablets iPhone smart phones and Android 2.33 operating system and higher devices. In addition the subscriber has access to the newspaper’s website Sad to say, the user ratings are not high, often noting portions of the print edition that don’t make it into the electronic edition, and presentation electronically is below the standard we have become accustomed to electronically from other companies. Some have called the A-J the worst newspaper for any 200,000 and above population city in America, and that print quality level is likely to reappear electronically. Digital is not a quick fix but an entirely different medium methodolgy.







Words and Pictures (2014) reviewed looks like a winner as a Summer movie, although it hasn’t yet arrived in Lubbock. Starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche





Audra McDonald won her sixth Tony on June 8 for portraying Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Circle in the Square Theatre on W. 50th Street in New York City. McDonald previously won two Grammys as a singer.


This story of Billie Holiday through the songs that made her famous, refers to the time in 1959 when she performed at Emerson’s Bar & Grill in Philadelphia. It is bittersweet because that was her last public performance as she died on July 17, 1959 age 44 in New York City after a hospitalization resulting from illicit drug usage. She died in a hospital bed while under arrest by police. Holiday’s nickname was Lady Day, thus the name of the musical play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. The play attendees must know this history and know that what is being portrayed on stage is Holiday’s last performance in life. Audra McDonald could do that role only one right way and a host of wrong ways, to her credit she found the right way.


An autobiography is Billie Holiday, Lady Sings the Blues (Doubleday 1956 revised Penguin Books 1984) TTU Library ML420.H58 A3 Lubbock Public Library 13 H732L from which a movie Lady Sings the Blues (1972) was made starring Diana Ross telling about the troubled life and career of a legendary jazz singer.


One of many biographies is Donald Clarke, Wishing On the Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday (Viking 1994) Lubbock Public Library B H732C





Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937 is an exhibit at Neue Galerie 1048 5th Avenue just south of Guggenheim Museum in New York City March 13 – September 1, 2014. This is a well mounted and striking small exhibit. A larger and more comprehensive exhibit displaying 650 works was the 1991 exhibit at Los Angeles County Museum of Art titled Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, that traveled thereafter to the Art Institute of Chicago. The catalogue at 423 pages is edited by Stephanie Barron & Peter W. Guenther, Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany (Los Angeles County Museum of Art 1991 republished Abrams 1991) TTU Library OVERSZ N6868.D3388 ABE Books in good condition $85 incl s&h.


The catalogue for the current exhibit is edited by Olaf Peters (Prestel 2014) 320 pages at $60 or $51.09 at and $47.17 at ABE Books incl s&h


Nazi is the National Socialist German Workers’ Party led by Adolph Hitler and its motto was Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer one people, one empire, one leader. Hitler as a youth had applied to art school in Vienna but was not admitted. He went in another direction but was always interested in art and knew what he liked and disliked, the latter so intently that he was willing and able to punish artists for making art that displeased him. He used such art as a tool to inflame and excite the people. Accordingly, in 1937 he forced an exhibit of Degenerate Art [Entartate Kunst] in Munich at the same time he mounted a huge exhibit of approved art Great German Art Show [Grosse Deutsche Kuntsaustellung]. Following the Degenerate Art exhibit he forced the purging of museums and galleries of the art that displeased him. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a German expressionist painter, 1880-1938 was so offended and brittle that he committed suicide. Here is his 1931 Self Portrait to which he added yellow slashes in 1937 after his paintings were confiscated and removed from public view





Ann S. Stephens, Malaeska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter (Beadle & Adams Dime Novels June 9, 1860) was the first dime novel. It cost ten cents. Beadle & Adams would publish 320 more, thought by most to be cheap melodramatic pulp fiction. They were avidly read by many.




The Sweetwater Texas National WASP WWII Museum at Avenger Field is bringing its story to the people. On June 14 it appeared in Buffalo Gap Historic Village south of Abilene with a program “A Chautauqua: World War II WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots) the first women to fly American military aircraft and forever change the role of women in aviation” Hope a later stop will be Lubbock Texas I met one of those ladies and even in her later years “she was a pistol”. Other West Texas museums telling the World War II story are Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock, Texas Air Museum in Slaton [open Saturdays and other days by appointment, flight days are advertised such as Saturday April 12 when vintage aircraft PT-6, T-6, and Ki-51 were flown], American Airpower Heritage Museum formerly CAF Airpower Museum in Midland, Hangar 25 Air Museum in Big Spring, and 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum in Abilene.


In addition, there are outdoor war memorials in several communities such as Texas Panhandle War Memorial at 4101 Georgia Street South, Amarillo and Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial at 83rd Street and Nashville Avenue and with an excellent slide show.





Comanchero Canyons Museum in Quitaque Texas at 200 South 3rd Street will open later this year in a former Church of Christ building. No date is set yet. The website banner at the top has a photograph of a comanchero standing above his set out trade goods with a rifle as the most prized item for sale. We can imagine Comanches riding up to his location for the swapping or barter negotiation. history of comancheros

























Arts History Update for mid June 2014

5 Jun

Arts History Update for mid June 2014 by David Cummins

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri (1928), the author of six autobiographical volumes, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970). As a teenager, she and her mom and brother moved to San Francisco. There she became a streetcar conductor, the first black person and the first woman to be one there. She was only 16. A few months after graduating from high school, she gave birth to a son. Later, she married a Greek sailor named Tosh Angelos and began using a variation of his surname — Angelou — for her stage name at the Purple Onion cabaret in San Francisco, where she was a calypso dancer. She toured Europe as a dancer in a government-sponsored production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and when she returned to the U.S., she settled in New York City, where she performed off-Broadway, sang at the Apollo Theater, and started going to meetings of the Harlem Writer’s Guild. She met James Baldwin and Jules Feiffer, who thought that she should write about her life in the manner that she spoke, in the “same rhythmical cadences with which she mesmerized” her friends and others with whom she interacted. She did, in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She passed away May 28, 2014 in Winston-Salem North Carolina at age 86.


National Trails Day is the first Saturday in June each year. Take a hike. If you stay in town you could hike more than 3 miles of trails at Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark Or you could get into the Jim Bertram Canyon Lakes System at any one of the six lakes two of which are in Mackenzie Park east of Interstate Highway 27. Southeast of town is Buffalo Springs Lake with miles of trails, that refers to itself as The Oasis of West Texas. A number of city parks have walking paths Who needs a path? Make one of your own in any of the parks.


Some enjoyed the history of Texas in the early 19th century on these pages. Here is some history of Spain. The Revolution took place in 1868, later called the Glorious Revolution September 19-27, 1868, expelling Queen Isabella II to Paris France where she lived the remainder of her life, dying in 1904. The Prince of Savoy son of King Emmanuel of Italy was brought in and became King Amadeo I in 1871. He abdicated on February 10, 1873 followed by a parliamentary declaration of the Spanish Republic [later called the First Spanish Republic] by a parliament containing feuding radicals, republicans, democrats and others that couldn’t agree on a federal or unitary republic or much of anything else. Profound political and social instability and frequent bouts of violence, belatedly controlled by the army, followed. On December 29, 1874 General Arsenio Martinez-Camp announced the Bourbon Restoration of Monarchy bringing Isabella’s son in to be King Alfonso XII. His reign 1874-1885 and a regency for his infant son King Alfonso XIII lasted from 1874-1902 and stability endured while parliament was weak and subservient. In 1898 Spain lost the colonies of Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and Philippine Island in the Spanis-American War. The regency was led by Prince Alfonso’s mother Maria Christina of Austria of the Hapsburg Dynasty until 1902 when at age 16 King Alfonso XIII took the throne and kept Spain out of the The Great War [later called World War I] 1914-1918. He ruled until 1931.

In 1923 General Miguel Primo de Rivera seized power and became the King’s Prime Minister and dictatorial de facto ruler. By 1930 the Spanish populace and parliament were exhausted with both King and Prime Minister. The former fled to Rome, the latter resigned, and the Second Spanish Republic began April 14, 1931 until 1939 when it was replaced by a military nationalist rebellion led by General Francisco Franco in 1936 beginning the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 against the republicans and others.

The new 1931 Constitution established freedom of speech and freedom of association, extended suffrage to women in 1933, allowed divorce and stripped the Spanish nobility of any special legal status. Initially it also largely disestablished the Catholic Church, a trend that was somewhat reversed in 1933. The controversial Constitutional articles 26 and 27 imposed stringent controls on Church property and barred religious orders from the ranks of educators. Scholars have described the constitution as hostile to religion, with one scholar characterizing it as one of the most hostile of the 20th century. José Ortega y Gasset stated, “the article in which the Constitution legislates the actions of the Church seems highly improper to me.” Pope Pius XI condemned the Spanish Government’s deprivation of the civil liberties of Catholics in the encyclical Dilectissima Nobis.

The legislative branch was changed to a single chamber called the Congress of Deputies.
The constitution established legal procedures for the nationalisation of public services and land, banks, and railways. The constitution generally accorded civil liberties and representation, a major exception being the rights of Catholics.
The 1931 Constitution was formally effective from 1931 until 1939. In the summer of 1936, after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, it became a dead letter after the authority of the Republic was superseded in many places by revolutionary socialist and anarchist juntas.
The Republican Constitution also changed the symbols of the country. The Himno de Riego was established as the national anthem, and the Tricolor, with three horizontal red-yellow-purple fields, became the new flag of Spain. Under the new Constitution, all of Spain’s regions had the right to autonomy. Catalonia (1932) [Barcelona region to the French border] and the Basque Country (1936) [foothills of the Pyrenees] exercised this right, with Andalucía [south], Aragón [central], and Galicia [northwest] engaged in negotiations with the government before the outbreak of the Civil War. The Constitution guaranteed a wide range of civil liberties, but it failed to agree on key points with the convictions of the conservative right, which was very rooted in rural areas, and with the desires of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, which was stripped of schools and public subsidies.
Hitler and Mussolini sent munitions and money to General Franco, thereby tipping the scales in the Spanish Civil War while the United States and Great Britain refused to send aid to the Republic. France, Italy, Portugal and other continental countries expressed neutrality, all affected by the economic depression known in the United States as The Great Depression.
The Spanish Civil War was not limited to military battles but was brutal on civilians mostly by the Franquistas who were more powerful and ultimately victorious, but also by the Republicans. Once installed in 1939 as dictator Franco ordered more than 400,000 Spaniards, thought to be Republicans or sympathetic to them, to be incarcerated until released in 1947. Franco’s regime lasted 36 years until his death in 1975. King Juan Carlos I was brought in to reign November 1975 as a constitutional monarch with state power in the parliament.
In 1936 George Orwell 1903-1950 went to Spain to report on the Civil War and instead joined the fight against the Fascists. His famous account describes the war and his experiences Homage to Catalonia (London Secker & Warburg 1938) (reissued Beacon Press 1952) Texas Tech Library DP269.9 O7 paperback by Important Books 2013 at $7.75. Incidentally, Orwell was a keen appreciator of art and wrote about many pieces of art. George Orwell, All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008) 416 pages collects many of his writings on this topic.
The most recent book is Jeremy Treglown, Franco’s Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936 (Farrar Straus & Giroux 2013) Texas Tech Library DP270.T74.
At no time during Franco’s regime was there any serious attempt to make an accurate history of the Spanish Civil War or account for all the millions of affected Spaniards. Accordingly, even statistics are contested as we look back from such a distance. About 200,000 – 250,000 Spaniards were executed by Franco’s army and police. About 500,000 Spaniards fled the country. About 130,000 Franquistas were killed in the rebellion.
After Franco died the Spanish parliament passed an amnesty law Pacto del Olvido the Pact of Forgetting (1977) that protected members of the Franco regime from prosecution. For progressives they regard that law as illegitimate, but the rightists regard it as a binding pact. In October 2007 the Congress of Deputies passed the Law of Historical Memory recognizing the victims on both sides and conferring rights on them and their descendants, while formally condemning the Franco regime. Since then Spaniards have been in a constant battle over the past and its accounting in the present. Old debates and the works of those who labored under the pall of the regime and the consequences to family members of the strife have created a stalemate that keeps Spain from moving forward while political leaders say that moving forward is their goal. The Spanish youth declaim that they wish to be free of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparent obsessions and their melange of truths and falsehoods. A heavy price is being paid for lack of transparency and an incontestable record of history.


Notice the Chinese pistache trees planted in Memorial Circle at Texas Tech University. Live oak trees, forty of them, that will line the entrance boulevard on Broadway from University Avenue, will be planted with balled roots between late November 2014 and January 2015. These improvements on the gateway to the University have been well planned and executed.


Have you read the new monthly newspaper received free by postal mail? Metro Leader started in April and this June issue, only its third, is a fast improving issue that focuses on human interest stories that are informative, accurate, and pertinent to our lives. Cobey Shaver is a young reporter who writes a good story and has a good instinct for human interest stories. Its Lubbock office is National Mail-It, LLC, 5101 80th Street, Lubbock TX 79424 phone 469-667-9341 e-mail The Facebook page is Gary Garvey is the publisher. Italian Prisoners of War Beautified Umbarger Church is the story line of this item, referring to World War II and the Hereford Texas Military Reservation where Italian prisoners were housed, similar to a German Prisoners of War group at McLean Texas Alien Internment Camp east of Amarillo about two miles east northeast off Route 66 outside McLean.
A PBS documentary was shown on television “A Cathedral in the Desert: The POWs of Hereford Camp 31” Probably the residents of Deaf Smith County didn’t like their excellent farmland referred to as a desert, while parishioners at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Umbarger enjoyed the publicity.
The Hereford Military Reservation (1942) extended into Castro County and was used for United States military purposes as well as a part of it being Camp 31 for Italian prisoners of war, the first arriving there on April 3, 1943 and the last departing on February 7, 1946. The POWs constructed a small 13 square feet chapel for their worship. After the war ended the entire reservation was surplus and sold off for private farming and ranching but the retained part was the chapel and base of a water tower. It rested unused inside a farmer’s field for decades until Castro County Historical Commission started a restoration project yielding the completed Memorial in 1989 with a portion of a barbed wire fence adjacent to remind viewers of the camp confinement. At one time the number of POWs at Hereford climbed to 2,500 men.

Camp Hearne at Hearne Texas housed as many as 5,000 German prisoners of war, most from the German Afrika Korps from 1943-1946 and since most were NCOs [non-commissioned officers] and the Geneva Convention did not permit regular work details for such officers, the inmates constructed a concrete floor stage and audience section and performed theater for their own amusement and pleasure. There was also a large library by late 1945. There were small numbers of German POWS in Texas at Alto, Center, Chireno, Hunstville, Lufkin, San Augustine and Tyler Life in German POW camps in Texas is detailed at
If you go to McLean the McLean-Alanreed Historical Museum at 116 Main Street has a POW Camp display and photographs phone # 806-779-2731 and two blocks to the east is Devil’s Rope Museum where the history of barbed wire fencing is on display. Notice the restored 1929 Phillips 66 gasoline service station on Old Route 66 in town. When you see those orange gas pumps you intuit, so that’s why Oklahoma State University at Stillwater wears orange and black on their sports uniforms. The home of Phillips Petroleum Company was Bartlesville Oklahoma and it was primary in the establishment of OSU. [later emanations ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66, Chevron Phillips and more] Bartlesville contains Price Tower (1956) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that now includes within it the Price Tower Arts Center with displays about Wright’s design and several by an Oklahoma architect Bruce Goff who designed Bavinger House and Ledbetter House in Norman Oklahoma and John Frank House in Sapulpa Oklahoma, among others, all in the organic style. Castle Dwelling B&B near Cobden Illinois by Bruce Goff initially as Hugh Duncan House, is sometimes referred to as The Goff Duncan Castle documentary film


The annual Texas Book Festival October 25-26 in Austin Texas kicks off October 24 with First Edition Literary Gala at Four Seasons Hotel, a black-tie event at $500 per person. Attend and enjoy, or just attend the Festival that is free but you will definitely purchase books and paraphernalia of an amazing literary world in which Texas plays a singular role Well-known respected authors are all around you as this is for them a rare day in the sun after so many years at the keyboard.


War has produced fine literature.
Korean War: Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (Simon & Schuster 1961), I Am The Clay (Knopf 1992) by Chaim Potok, The Long March (Random House 1952) by William Styron, Indignation (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008) by Philip Roth
Vietnam War: Tobias Wolfe, In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost War (Alfred A. Knopf 1994), Tim O’Brien, The Things they Carried (Houghton Mifflin 1990), Michael Herr, Dispatches (Alfred A. Knopf 1978)
Iraq War: Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds: A Novel (Little Brown 2012) Texas Tech Library PS3616.O88348 Y46 and his poetry Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting: Poems (Little Brown 2014) Tech Library PS3616.O883348 L48 The author was a machine gunner so the language is direct and violent “if this poem had fragments of metal coming out of it, if these words were your best friend’s leg, dangling, you might not care or wonder ….”
Literature is not reportage, of which there has been excellent writing from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Quality is quality and enhances our inner soul, something media drivel and clanging do not touch.

A source of good literature is literary journals such as n + 1, The Missouri Review, and The Threepenny Review print and digital magazine of literature, culture and politics where politics can be decoding the Stanley Cup finals between the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings That’s as good as sports writing can be, so good that you read to the end even if you don’t know the teams or care like a fan about hockey. You know that it started sometime last Fall and still it isn’t concluded until high Summer in June? Beyond greed what does that mean? For a small slice of America too much is not enough? Another article discusses concert halls and classical music performed in them but that’s a teaser in the current issue that is not concluded on the Internet unless you subscribe Digital Only $32 per year, Digital Plus Print $36 per year, print is three times per year Fall Winter and Spring issues. Benjamin Kunkel is founding editor.
Want to write or talk to n + 1?
68 Jay Street Suite 405
DUMBO District – not part of the address but boroughs are broken down into districts
Brooklyn NY 11201-8360
phone 718-852-2363
Texas Tech Library’s JSTOR electronic database has all issues of n + 1 from 2004 to the current Spring 2014 issue.
The Missouri Review by the University of Missouri, from 1978 is issued four times per year Fall Winter Spring and Summer issues. Subscriptions digital $24 per year, print per year $30, or two years $50, or three years $60. A sample issue of Spring 2012 is here Texas Tech Library’s Project Muse Premium Collection has The Missouri Review in full text.
The Threepenny Review in Berkeley California is four issues per year $25 or $45 for two years. Here is a list of articles that you may read online and evaluate the magazine current issue table of contents The editor Wendy Lesser recommends a current book Yiyun Li, Kinder Than Solitude: A Novel (Random House 2014) 337 pages $19.71 hardcover $10.99 e-book at and hardcover in very good condition ABE Books $11.65 incl s&h. Texas Tech Library PS3612.I16 K4. Read it and evaluate the Review vicariously.
An essay On Beauty and Judgment by Alexander Nehamas from the Winter issue 2000 is here.

List of literary magazines or journals in print for ten or more years I am a subscriber or former subscriber to several of these. Choose what interests you.


Here is a 50 minute documentary film A World of Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009)

Las Calles Hablan [the streets speak] (2012) is a 55 minute documentary film on street artists in Barcelona Spain

Silent Wings: The American Glider Pilots of World War II (2007) (director Robert Child) 115 minute documentary narrated by Hal Holbrook and featuring Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney begins with a possibility in 1941 of using gliders to supply materials and equipment to airborne troops dropped by parachute, followed by the stark realization of a German airborne attack with glider support on a Belgian fort that took the fort in a matter of hours, and some months later after having taken over mainland Greece, a German airborne attack with glider support took the island of Crete in the eastern Mediterranean in four days. From that moment on the American military was clearly focused on the need for airborne attacks with glider support and that required glider pilots who could make one way flights, land the glider and discharge its cargo, and become infantry to fight and connect up with airborne troops, penetrate enemy positions and eventually return to headquarters. One soldier flew five times behind German lines and successfully was repatriated with allied forces five times, a rarity. Of course he flew a new glider each time since they were disposable. Young men no doubt believed they themselves were not disposable and behaved with a courage and determination that we admire greatly.
Allen Todd 1920-2009 was a college graduate with a civilian pilot’s license so he volunteered for the Army Air Corps Combat Glider Program, trained at South Plains Army Airfield in Lubbock, and flew a glider on D-Day plus one June 7, 1944 in Operation Overlord in Normandy France, and was repatriated. He then flew a glider in Operation Market Garden in Holland, and was repatriated. He served out after the war ended in the U.S. Air Force Reserve retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was instrumental in bringing the Silent Wings Museum to Lubbock. In his civilian career he was a commercial artist with The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

All of these documentary films are free of charge on the Internet.


Joe Garnett of Lockney Texas is now mostly a painter but formerly he worked in Los Angeles as an illustrator and made celebrity portraits, movie posters and record covers. He is 75 years of age and his career is on exhibit at Buddy Holly Center’s Fine Arts Gallery June 20 – August 10 1801 Crickets Avenue in Lubbock. One of the successful South Plains artists is back home with us. Hope he brought a suitcase full of that City of Angels [what a misnomer] money.


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