Arts History Update for early October 2014

29 Sep

Arts History Update for early October 2014 by David Cummins

Doris Kim Sung will lecture in the Texas Tech College of Architecture on Tuesday October 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the First Floor Gallery. She specializes in designing smart thermo-bimetal and shape-memory alloys for use in creating self-ventilating and self-cooling buildings. She started off in biology and became an architect blending the two nicely. Here is her TED talk eight minutes on Metal That Breathes She is an assistant professor at University of Southern California School of Architecture at Los Angeles Her practice is at dO/Su Studio Architecture in Rolling Hills California. Rolling Hills is south of Los Angeles and west of San Pedro adjacent to Rancho Palos Verdes. Fifty years ago I was in a gambling casino in Torrance and Rolling Hills Road was just south of the location. Here is a street view by Google Earth of 3376 Rolling Hills Road, Torrance CA,-118.3479485,3a,75y,109.3h,84.95t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1szTD12qCNwzqPJgPGWjEAgA!2e0


At its secession from the United States in 1861 and pretentiously calling itself the Republic of South Carolina, a former congressman said South Carolina is too small to be a Republic and too large to be an insane asylum, just the right size to create enduring trouble and catastrophe.


Texas Book Festival is October 25-26 at Austin Texas on the Capitol grounds and elsewhere. It’s preceded by a First Edition Literary Gala October 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel at 6:30 pm at $500 a seat for cocktails and a sumptuous dinner and schmoozing with four internationally acclaimed authors. If that price is too thrilling, there is a Gala After Party at 9:30 pm at Four Seasons Hotel for $75 per person and schmoozing with dozens of authors.
Your correspondent actually has never been to this Festival but attendees, to a person, rave about it and some return for later festivals.
Speaking of festivals Oktoberfest in Bavaria is a traditional early Fall festival emanating from the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig [Later King Ludwig I of Bavaria] and Princess Therese in the Austria-Hungary Empire chain two centuries ago. The marriage occurred in Munich Germany on October 10, 1810. The current 16 day event is a bit soggy and not much other than fun is accomplished. If you can’t get to southern Germany, how about Frankenmuth Michigan ninety miles north of Detroit? It’s called Little Bavaria and has several festivals during which various German style beers and foods are available
There is a Little Bavarian Restaurant in El Paso where many of us have enjoyed schnitzel and other treats There is another Little Bavarian Restaurant at 407 W. Baker Road in Baytown Texas east of Houston The city of Leavenworth Washington is the state’s Bavarian Village Silver Creek Restaurant and Beer Garden in Fredericksburg will delight your palate. There are many German-Americans around in the Hill Country to keep this restaurant authentic.
Twisted Root Burgers opened September 22 at West Loop 289 and North Slide Road next to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Known in other cities for being trendy, funky and a little snarky, its patio tables seat 70 for outdoor dining. Interior decoration includes guitar cases, license plates, doors hung from the ceiling, and colorful bottles hung on a wall in the shape of Texas. Full service bar but also interesting sodas. Open daily 11:00 am – 10:00 pm.
It produces zany things like boozy milk shakes: e.g. house-made custard in a shake infused with caramel flavored vodka, whipped cream, and dressed with crumbled cinnamon sugar potato chips, or The Oreo and Amaretto Shake, or The Vanilla Porter & Custard Shake.
A local firm owned by Bobby Skibell has been doing something like this. Wild Burger Grille is located at 3515 50th Street.
“Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” Albert Einstein.


Public Art at Texas Tech – new or recent art

Aaron T. Stephan, Portland Maine “Variation” at Bayer Crop Science Laboratory and Greenhouse on 9th Street and Indiana Avenue. Will be installed March 2015.

Counterpoint Studio: Peter Tonningsen and Lisa Levine, Oakland California “Bridging Localities” photo-collage mosaic at entrance to Jerry S. Rawls Golf Course at Texas Tech Parkway north of 4th Street south of Erskine Street. This mosaic is on their Facebook page on the Internet. It is not photos alongside others but under-laid overlaid and superimposed so there is some abstraction to the piece. Installed August 2014. and

Robert Bruno sculpture that is a piece made to go into the Steel House in Ransom Canyon, is presently located at E. 66th Street and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard northeast corner, and has been purchased by Texas Tech University and will be installed in November 2014 in front of the College of Architecture Building at 18th Street and Flint Avenue. It will be a sight to watch this large piece be trucked slowly by police escort across town to campus and positioned on site.

“Texas Rising” at West Village Residential Hall by Tucson artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock is seven multidimensional stars or portions of stars in stainless steel with laser cut stylings imbedded with LED colored lights that are subdued during daylight and interesting, create an aura at dusk, and are dynamic and brilliant at night. They change colors by computer design and one star is interactive so the person pressing a button can have the color of his or her choice. Installed August 2014.

Astrolabe by Owen Morrel was installed in July 2014 in the courtyard of the Experimental Sciences Building. It’s a metaphoric structure, an extrapolation from the historic astrolabe used by travelers 800 years ago. Stainless steel, mirrors, aluminum, concrete. Access it by parking in the Biology parking lot at 14th Street and Detroit Avenue. Go into Texas Tech at 15th Street and Flint Avenue travel east on 15th Street turn north on Detroit Avenue to the parking lot. Walk around the east side of the Biology building into the courtyard. Installed July 2014.

At Texas Tech University’s Autumn Fest 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday November 8, location to be announced, there will be a booth for the Public Art Collection and the new brochure cataloging the holdings will be printed by then and available free.

On Friday evening September 26 folks in Lubbock saw something unusual in the sky, causing some to speculate that Lubbock Lights is occurring again sixty years later. In fact it was a NASA Weather Balloon launched from the Fort Sumner New Mexico Municipal Airport entity Scientific Balloon Flight Facility


Lubbock Symphony Orchestra is well-known but perhaps less appreciated than is its due, because while some of us weren’t paying attention its quality and maturity improved. It is now a musical experience that nearly everyone can enjoy, at least occasionally.

The September 26-27 Masterworks Concert was such a musical experience. The young enthusiastic musical director/conductor David In-Jae Cho chose the selections so artfully. The first set was Les Preludes, Symphonic Poem No. 1 (1854) by Franz Liszt 1811-1886 Hungarian composer, followed by his Piano Concerto No. 1 (1855) played by guest pianist Roman Rabinovich [two encores]

After intermission the orchestra played Scheherazade opus 35 (1888) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov 1844-1908 a continuous 45 minute piece with hardly a pause between the four parts. The players and audience were both thrilled and exhausted by the musical journey depicting how Scheherazade kept herself alive and the sultan yearning to know more of the story tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Instinctively the audience knew it was hearing often played music, part of the classical music culture of America. In fact Les Preludes, Symphonic Poem No. 1 was played by Lubbock Symphony Orchestra first on April 27, 1950 and last on February 28, 1986. The German leadership during World War II loved this work and the fanfare motif of the march finale became theme music for the Webrmachberict radio show and the Die Deutsche Wochenschau newsreels. Piano Concerto No. 1 was played by LSO first on May 6, 1949 by Amparo Iturbi pianist [sister of Jose Iturbi] and last on March 31, 1995 by Helene Wickett pianist Scheherazade was performed by LSO first on October 11, 1966 and last on November 1, 1997.

In the week before the public concerts LSO does its educational mini-concerts in the public schools to demonstrate the excitement of well-played symphonic music. Future Masterworks Concerts are October 24-25, January 16-17 2015, March 6-7, and May 1-2. Three Family concerts and three Chamber Music concerts are also presented each year. When opportunity strikes a Special Gala concert is presented, two previously were one featuring Yo Yo Ma cellist and the other Renee Fleming, lyric soprano

There is a Plainview Texas Symphony that will perform on Thursday October 9 at 7:30 pm in Harral Auditorium on the campus of Wayland Baptist University The Texas Tech University Symphony Orchestra will perform next on Sunday October 5 at Hemmle Recital Hall at 7:30 pm and Thursday October 30 at 7:00 pm at Hemmle Recital Hall at a Halloween Concert. The Tech concerts are free events.


CASP Charles Adams Studio Project is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to the development of a campus where artists can find space and materials to produce art and display it to the public while they are developing their brand, acceptance by the art public, and financial ability to build and operate their own studio elsewhere. It might be called an incubator. LHUCA operates a Clay Studio directly east of the LHUCA main building at 511 Avenue K. The other studios are operated by CASP. The 5th & J Studios are located in a former City Police Garage on 5th Street between Avenues J and K. They face south on 5th Street. From the westerly most studio to the east there are five doors and separate activities:

1. Helen DeVitt Jones Printmaking Studio
2. Texas Tech University School of Art Satellite Gallery
3. 5th & J Gallery used as an event center/gallery
4. Office for 5th & J Studios 1106 5th Street phone 788-1008
5. CH Foundation Metals Studio

For a small fee payable on a daily weekly or longer basis, an amateur or hobbyist or budding professional artist can access any studio pertinent to his/her type of art-making and find the materials tools supplies equipment and machinery necessary for that art. Whatever is produced may then be displayed at the 5th & J Gallery where the public appears regularly, not just at First Friday Art Trail monthly events.

Behind this building 5th & J Studios to the north, a foundry is being built so that what is designed and produced in the Metals Studio can be turned into a permanent piece of art or product.

The Charles Adams Gallery at 602 Avenue J is a private commercial art gallery operated by Charles Adams, the person, and is connected on the west to his residence. That he lives works and makes his art studios charitable contributions to the community all within this area of several city blocks adjacent to and cooperating with LHUCA, is an example of his dedication and vision. CASP built four Studio Flats on Avenue J just south of the LHUCA Icehouse where an artist can reside, have his studio and display his art, all in the same location. Adams discovered that this model of building an artist activity community was very expensive and serviced too few artists and that the studio space for all-comers was a more viable option.

Addresses can be confusing in this part of town because of the presence of railroad trackage into downtown Lubbock, the merging of Texas Avenue and former Avenue H now Buddy Holly Avenue at 4th Street by an underpass relative to the overhead railroad trackage, some renaming of streets, and the presence of the new behemoth Marsha Sharp Freeway. The former 6th Street is Mac Davis Lane. The former Avenue G is Crickets Avenue, former Avenue H is Buddy Holly Avenue, and what would be Avenue I has long been Texas Avenue. The exit/entrance to/from Marsha Sharp Freeway into this Arts District is Avenue L on signage but LHUCA is on Avenue K and Charles Adams Gallery is on Avenue J.

Mahon Public Library facing south is at 1306 9th Street and is east of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. To the east of it is the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Media buildings from 7th to 9th Street. Lubbock Symphony Orchestra offices are located at 601 Avenue K across Mac Davis Lane to the south from LHUCA at 511 Avenue K. The LHUCA Christine DeVitt Icehouse is at 511 Avenue J.

Future development will include acquisition of the property north of LHUCA Christine DeVitt Icehouse, a long-vacant LP&L power station, that is due east of the CASP 5th & J Studios. To the west across Avenues K and L is the former Texas Department of Public Safety building that may soon be replaced by The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, a project of Lubbock Entertainment / Performing Arts Association LEPAA a private fund-raising organization that would spin off or morph into an operations agency for the Hall.

Arts History Update for late September 2014

20 Sep

Arts History Update for late September 2014 by David Cummins

Those who tell us to read the classics as if we were undernourished, don’t know that many have read literary criticism articles enough to know the value to be found within many classics without trudging through Ulysses, War and Peace, Les Miserables, and others.

If you must read Les Miserables, there is an excellent English translation that even translates the title. Victor Hugo, The Wretched (transl. Christine Donougher, Penguin Books 2013) $19.04 hardcover $10.91 paperback $0.99 e-book at
It has footnotes, end notes, a chronology of Hugo’s life, an historical introduction of the period which is 1815 through the June Rebellion of 1832 attempting to complete the Revolution of 1789 and secure a Republic as a replacement for historical monarchy and its authoritarian equivalent Bonaparteism. The novel was published in 1862 by A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Cie. In French it was published in five volumes running to 1,900 pages. In English it is often 1,500 pages. is an excellent description of what’s happening, and of the long essays within the historical novel that do not advance the plot.

Hugo 1802 – 1885 was initially a Royalist and ultimately after the 1848 Revolution a passionate supporter of Republicanism. He is buried in the Pantheon after his body lay in state at the Arc de Triomphe.

His other famous novel is Our Lady of Paris (Hunchback of Notre Dame) (1831) establishing himself as a romantic prose writer, this novel was set in medieval times, after his earlier poetry that began in 1821. He studied law 1815-1818 but did not practice in the profession. He chose a literary career path and published his first book of poetry in a journal Conservateur Litteraire he had started shortly before 1821.

Following the 1848 Revolution a coup occurred in 1851 and Hugo fled France living in Brussels and Great Britain’s Channel Islands until his return in 1870. During this period of exile is when he wrote his biting social and political criticism in the form of an historical novel Les Miserables.

——————— Mary Hunter 1868-1934 departed Carlinville Illinois with her widowed mother and older brother for the San Joaquin Valley California in 1888 and she taught school in the Bakersfield area. In 1891 she married Stanford Wallace Austin and they moved to Lone Pine and later Independence in the Owens Valley on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. They had a mentally retarded daughter in 1892. Mary and Wallace separated in 1903 and divorced in 1914. She did not remarry. The success of The Land of Little Rain (1903) allowed her to separate and go her own way, but she was unable to manage her daughter whom she institutionalized in 1905. Mary Hunter Austin moved to Carmel California in 1906 but continued to write about the Owens Valley and its inhabitants. The Basket Woman (1904) Isidro (1905) The Flock (1906) Lost Borders (1909) A Woman of Genius (1912). She moved to New York City for a decade and later to Santa Fe New Mexico at the invitation of Mabel Dodge Luhan late in life, built a home there Casa Queridto [beloved house] and died there in 1934. The Owens Valley extends from Bishop in the north to China Lake [dry] in the south. Due west of Lone Pine is Mount Whitney and due east is Death Valley, the highest and lowest points in continental United States outside Alaska.

Mary Hunter Austin, The Land of Little Rain (Houghton Mifflin and Co 1903 often reissued) Texas Tech Library F786.A93, a 1950 reprint at 133 pages is in Lubbock Public Library 979.4 A937L

Mary Hunter Austin, One Smoke Stories (Houghton Mifflin and Co 1934) stories of Indians with whom Austin interacted 294 pages Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection SWC 44 A937o. Indians included Timbisha Shoshone, Paiute Shoshone, Mono and Coso Indians. In Bishop California there is Paiute Palace Casino on US Highway 395 and Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center and Museum


Short List for the 2014 Man Booker Prize in Great Britain is announced on September 5


Authors attending the Texas Book Festival are announced, all 275 of them October 25-26, 2014 in Austin Texas.


Elmgreen & Dragset, Prada Marfa (2005) is a “permanent” installation art on the roadside of US Highways 67 and 90 east of Marfa Texas. It has the appearance of a small store with shoes and leather goods for sale in the style of the Italian clothier. It is not a store and the door is always locked tight. No one is ever “inside the store”. It is owned by a business in Marfa, Ballroom Marfa. Texas Department of Transportation has regulations for billboards and other signage alongside state highways, classified this art piece as a billboard, and cited the owner for a violation that could be mitigated by removal. After much negotiation Ballroom Marfa came up with a plan, create an art museum on paper, lease the space on which the installation sits to the art museum, classify this museum as a one piece of art in its collection museum, and continue on. Texas Department of Transportation agreed that classified as an art museum it didn’t violate signage laws and regulations. Problem solved.

————————-’s disdain for literary publishing houses is no secret, but the positive side of that disdain is that has attempted its own publishing in digital format. A recent example that is drawing praise is Day One a weekly literary journal with a short story or similar piece and a poem that are connected by a unifying theme including an interaction conversation by the writer and poet. It’s $1.59 per month and the first thirty days of the subscription are free [four issues] and you can unsubscribe before the fifth issue and owe nothing for trying the journal I don’t know if a subscription gives one access to an archive of previous issues, but if it does then this would be an incredible value at 37 cents an issue for well selected, edited and matched pieces.

There are of course free ways to get the same thing, but you have to work at it. One of the writers in Day One is Justin Brouckaert. Here is a very compelling story by him Like Tiny Little Cracks (2014)


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in Bentonville Arkansas November 11, 2011 designed by Moshe Safdie and founded by Alice Walton, a Wal-Mart heiress. A current exhibit State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now September 13 – January 19, 2015 reflects a nine month scouting out of artists across America who haven’t yet been recognized by the art world but are producing thrilling and dynamic pieces of art. 200 works by 102 artists in this exhibit. Some of the works are available for purchase as prints, such as these eight A number of Texas artists are in the exhibit.


Nessia Pope, How The Grid Conquered Contemporary Art, Art Space Magazine, September 12, 2014 The cubists in France, Kazmir Malevich in Russia, and Piet Mondrian from Holland taught us that the grid is a visual structure that lies at the heart of contemporary art. We’ve been exploring that concept ever since. It can take us inside a face as in Chuck Close’s work or it can take us into abstraction and the uses of color. It can become real and gain definition by juxtaposing a grid astride an absence of anything.


Peter Fountain is a pianist and he will be in concert as a guest of the Texas Tech University School of Music on Thursday September 25 at 5:00 pm in Hemmle Recital Hall. Free event. Remember that if you can’t attend one of these events, you can watch it on your computer monitor as it is live streamed online on the Texas Tech School of Music You Tube channel. If you have to be somewhere else and actively engaged at that hour, you can watch it after the concert is over as a past event on the Texas Tech School of Music You Tube channel. then click on Browse Channels then type Texas Tech School of Music then press Enter then click on Texas Tech School of Music and up comes a list of future events, presently live streamed events, and past events. One of the future events is Peter Fountain’s concert on September 25. A past event is TTU Annual Summer Jazz Concert one hour 28 minutes in length recorded on June 30, 2014. Click on it to test how the channel appears on your computer monitor and how well your computer speakers emit the sound. In the lower right of the video click on the expansion button and the video will fill your entire monitor. Press the Escape button upper left on your keyboard and the video will return to a smaller part of your monitor.

One prefers to attend School of Music events in person but when you can’t, you can watch it live on the live streaming option at You Tube channel. When an event is missed, you can watch it afterward on the You Tube channel.


Want to know more about ISIS the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? The Torch is The Great Courses Audio Podcasts Service and episode 20 in September 2014 is ISIS: A Cultural and Historical Perspective by Mark Berkson, Ph.D. Professor of Religion and Chair of Religious Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts, Hamline University, St Paul Minnesota. The podcast is 24 minutes in length


A reader of these Updates said that I am repeatedly guilty of optimism, to which I can only say that optimism is a choice. It is an attitude that is as spiritually necessary and proper as it is intellectually suspect.

We can write and think about the way things are, or we can essentially say the same thing by writing and thinking about the way things might be. The description isn’t different, there is however a dynamic introduced because we realize things as they are can get better or worse. Why not choose better?


An exhibit Virginia Woolf: Art Life and Vision is at the National Portrait Gallery in London July 10 to October 16, 2014. a prose stylist, she wrote as no one else of her time. At first folks were shocked. Then they realized the story was well told. Then they were liberated to tell their own stories. She took conventional and conforming out of the language of literature, making it first an option and then simply boring by comparison. She found A Room of Her Own and invited us to do so also.

Leslie and Julia Stephen were parents of a second daughter Virginia in 1882

1895 – mother Julia died. Virginia was age 13

1904 – father Leslie died. Virginia was age 22. F.W. Maitland, The Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen (1906) a biography

1904 – Virginia Stephen and her siblings moved from Kensington to Bloomsbury.

1907 – Virginia’s older sister Vanessa, a painter, married Clive Bell

1912 – Virginia married Leonard Woolf

1917 – Virginia and Leonard founded Hogarth Press that declined the opportunity to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses but published T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland

Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out (1915) her first novel and Night and Day (1919) her second and Jacob’s Room (1922) her third and Mrs. Dalloway (1925) her fourth

The Mark On the Wall, Two Stories (Hogarth Press 1917) short story

Virginia Woolf, Modern Novels, London Times Literary Supplement (1919) essay that was revised and reprinted in The Common Reader (1925 many later editions) and Three Guineas (1938) essay relative to the Spanish Civil War after Virginia’s nephew Julian Bell was killed fighting on the Republican side in 1937.

Hitler’s Black Book included a list of Brits who would be taken into custody after Germany seized London # 115 was Leonard Woolf # 116 was Virginia Woolf

Between The Acts (1941 but first published posthumously) her last novel

In early 1941 she began hearing voices and thought she was not just having another nervous breakdown, but was losing sanity. She wrote parting notes to her sister Vanessa and husband Leonard and she walked to the River Ouse in Sussex near Lewes on March 28, 1941, left her walking stick on the bank, and at age 59 strode into the river until its thread swept her away and she drowned.

British literary people have never gotten over this lady. A bronze bust of Woolf was erected in Tavistock Square in London England in 2004.

It was because she was inadequately treated by physicians, into which was read speculation about the inadequacy of medical care, physicians treating her as a man and dismissing her “female” maladies, misunderstanding eccentricity and otherness for illness and vice versa, that one speculator wrote a book whose title is as often recalled as anything else about Virginia …. Irene Coates, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: A Case Study for the Sanity of Virginia Woolf (Brandl & Schlesinger 1998)

Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962 play) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (movie black and white 1966 director Mike Nichols starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis, often regarded as a classic, two of the stars Taylor and Dennis receiving Academy Award Oscars but as Best Picture it was unchosen in favor of A Man For All Seasons)

If we have demons, and are afraid of them, we are Virginia Woolf and she told us about herself and us. We are sometimes uncomfortable seeing ourselves depicted in art, especially in a public place. Much easier to read a book, in private, and share in our imagination only with a deceased author whose imagination remains alive on the page.

Texas Tech Library has 80 entries under her name as an author.


West Texas Watercolor Society’s Fall Art Exhibit is September 19 – November 2, 2014 at Legacy Event Center YWCA of Lubbock 1500 14th Street. Also showing are oil paintings by Laura Lewis, jewelry by Linda Adkins, and Remembrance and Renewal photographs by Ann McDonald. The juror is Julie Schumer Santa Fe New Mexico abstract expressionist. The Center is open Mon-Fri 9:00 – 5:00 pm and for select evening events.

The website is not currently operational


Museum of the Desert Southwest at 409 South Gaston Street in Crane Texas will dedicate a new mural painted by Stylle Read titled Overland Mail Route Stagecoach at Horsehead Crossing (2014) at 10:00 am Saturday September 27, 2014. For more information about this event e-mail or phone 432-558-2311.

Here’s Read’s website at which you can see that he has experience painting a stagecoach

Crane is south of Odessa on US Highway 385 travel south to McCamey and then southwest to Girvin and then onto Texas SH Farm Road 11 travel northwest 12 miles and trek a mile east [by permission on this private land] to the Pecos River, the border between Pecos County to the west and Crane County to the east, and you’re at Horsehead Crossing over the Pecos River, so famous in history including the Overland Mail Route that extended from St Louis Missouri all the way to Los Angeles and then up to San Francisco its terminus. When the mail route mentions Franklin Texas, that’s an old name for El Paso the mid point between St Louis and Los Angeles. On August 1, 1859 a ferry was installed at Horsehead Crossing to take the stagecoach across. This was a federal government mail service so the Civil War interrupted the operation in 1861. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving followed the route to Horsehead Crossing in 1866 after the War and across the Pecos River and then went north on the west side of the Pecos toward their Colorado destination, the Goodnight Loving Cattle Trail. Yes, this circuitous route from North Texas to southern Colorado was all about avoiding Comancheria, the land of the Lords of the Plains who fearsomely stole the Anglo’s cattle and horses and went back to the tipi with scalps. Once the Comanche were safely ensconced on an Indian Territory reservation [Oklahoma] a railroad line would be built in the 1880s directly from Fort Worth to Amarillo to southern Colorado and finally to Denver.

The name “horsehead” derives from the many horse skulls placed on the bank as a warning to travelers that it may be the best place to cross, but many horses had been lost in the attempt. From 1839 – 1850 travelers and Army surveyors mapped the Crossing and Henry Skillman drove the Butterfield Overland Mail across in the 1850s.

Between Fort Chadbourne and Horsehead Crossing was a “desert” so there were water stations on the Overland Mail Route, from east to west at Colorado River Station, Grape Creek Station, Head of Concho Station, Camp Johnston Station, Llano Estacado Station, Mustang Waterholes Station, and Horsehead Crossing Station. Fort Chadbourne is in the process of being restored and is on US Highway 277 northeast of Bronte that is on the Colorado River as it flows southeast. At each station fresh horses [mules were often used] would be hitched, food was prepared in advance for the expected drivers and passengers, and an emergency water cask would be replaced. From Preston Texas near Lake Texoma to El Paso would take seven days, twenty-seven to get to San Francisco from St Louis. Freight, mail and passengers was a needed service and $200 would buy passage of one person from St Louis to San Francisco.


The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014) is a seven part made for television documentary film by Ken Burns focused on Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Part # 1 Get Action 1858-1901 Part # 2 In The Arena 1901-1910 Part # 3 Fire of Life 1910-1919 Part # 4 The Storm 1920-1933 Part #5 The Rising Road 1933-1939 Part # 6 Common Cause 1939-1944 Part 7 A Strong and Active Faith 1944-1962.

For a time, at the web site, you may watch the full series of episodes on your computer monitor or downloaded into your television set or tablet or smart phone. Eleanor was Teddy’s niece, and Franklin his fifth cousin. The film has a companion book by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns hardcover 576 pages with marvelous pictures $60 at the website $37.82 $18.99 e-book


Arts History Update for mid September 2014

7 Sep

Arts History Update for mid September 2014 by David Cummins

Texas Rising (2014) by Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock was dedicated on August 29, 2014 at the West Village Residential Hall west and south of Texas Tech Parkway at 18th Street. O’Connell’s website is and Blessing Hancock’s website is but they collaborate on public art projects including one in San Antonio under a freeway Ballroom Luminoso (2013) , another in San Marcos on the campus of Texas State University Fish Bellies (2013) and one in The Woodlands Texas north of Houston Seedpods (2011). Their separate studios are in Tuscon Arizona.

It consists of seven multi-dimensional star sculptures laser-cut in stainless steel and etched patterns that are not graphics. Four stars are partially formed on the ground and the largest in front of the main entrance to the Residence Hall is 18 feet tall and 21 feet wide and fully formed on top of the ground. Two stars are hanging in portals ten feet above a walking area. The stars on the ground are illuminated from within by LED lights that gradually change colors and are dramatic in the evening. The largest fully formed star’s lights are interactive so people can press a button and interrupt the computerized lighting program and cause shifts to whatever color the controller wishes. The lights and colors from within five stars are interesting and subtle during daylight, but once dusk arrives they take on an aura, and at dark they are a dynamic and dramatic display. Better yet, residents of the Hall say that when viewed from above on the second third or fourth floors of the Hall, the stars are especially dramatic.

The moorings for the five stars on the ground, are hidden from view underground in reinforced concrete pads using steel reinforcing bars (rebar). Concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension so the steel bars supply the tensile strength.

West Village Residential Hall is an upperclasswomen and men and graduate student residence.

Here is the brochure of commissions that O’Connell and Hancock have performed


El Grito or El Grito de Dolores “The Cry” or “The Shout” by father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a parish priest in Dolores Mexico on September 16, 1810, recalls that he rang the parish bell and called on Mexicans to rise against the Spanish crown and fight for independence. That was achieved by a long struggle in 1821. Many people celebrate El Grito on September 15 by ringing bells and shouting, and celebrate Mexican Independence Day as September 16. At Texas Tech University El Grito will be celebrated in the evening of September 15 at 9:45 – 11:00 pm in the Texas Tech North Plaza between the Student Union Building and the Main Library.

Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Costa Rica all celebrate their independence from Spain on either September 15 or 16 so Central American independence celebrations are often aligned with Mexican independence celebrations.

In Lubbock there is often a Fiestas Patrias Parade and Celebration on a weekend in mid-September. is the schedule this year beginning Thursday September 11 ending Sunday September 14 with a pageant at Estacado High School on Thursday evening at 7:30 pm $5, a parade on Saturday morning at 10:00 am on Broadway Street and Avenue V marching east to the Civic Center, and musical events on Friday Saturday and Sunday at Lone Star Amphitheater 602 E. 19th Street. All are welcome to participate.


Michael Singer Studio in Vermont is the artist for Uplifted Ground that connects the airline terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at Austin Texas with a new building for renting cars to travelers. In essence the space is a 300 foot walkway through a current parking building to the new car rental building It’s a $1.6 million public art project. A suspended and grounded series of plinths referencing natural geological formations, at different sizes for the cubes, provide the traveler with the feeling of an uplift as one walks forward. A public bond issue is financing the construction of the new building and this public art project.


Upcoming book festivals are:

14th Annual West Texas Book Festival in Abilene September 22-27

Books in the Basin in Midland and Odessa October 10-11

Texas Book Festival in Austin October 24-26


Cher is coming to Lubbock in her nationwide Dressed To Kill Tour or D2K Sunday November 9 at 7:30 pm at United Supermarkets Arena [formerly known as United Spirit Arena]. She was last here on February 7, 2003 at the same venue performing to a sold out crowd for her Living Proof Farewell Tour. Tickets went on sale Friday September 5 at 10:00 am at $152 for the best seat through Select A Seat. pre-sale online at this web site one day early on September 4.

Her 25th CD Album is Closer To The Truth (2013) so you can purchase it for $14 and hear her but not see her, the costumes, and extravaganza on offer in November.


An exhibit Texas Moderns: George Grammer is at The Old Jail Art Center in Albany Texas September 20 – January 4, 2015. The website displays Grammer’s Off Shore (1953) a blend of Cubist, American and Italian Futurist, and Surrealist abstraction. He is a Fort Worth Circle artist post World War II. Here is Gull Roost (1951) and here is Oil Wells at Night and Winter Night (Derrick in the Snow) (1959) Here is a biography of Grammer living for the past forty years in New York


In this election year we’ve all been listening to candidates and their advertisements. One of the themes in Texas is “border security” heightened by Governor Perry’s recent deployment of Army National Guard troops to the border in the Rio Grande Valley. This of course is a federal issue not a state issue so one wonders why state legislature candidates are talking about it so much.

Maybe singing would be better. Butch Hancock wrote Borderless Love and the Flatlanders sang it on their album Hills and Valleys (2009). It says a great deal for me about “border security”. Here is a three minute video of the Flatlanders singing it the first time at Waterloo Records in Austin. Here is another event at which they sang it in DFW and here are the lyrics including

A wall is a mirror that can only reveal
One side of a story that passes for real
But break it all down, it all becomes clear
It’s the fearless who love and the loveless who fear

Borderless love, the land of the free
Borderless love, how far can you see?
Borderless love, there’s no fear at all
In a borderless love there’s no need for a wall

I’m a fan of the Flatlanders Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock and they are in Lubbock Friday September 26 at the Cactus Theater at 7:30 pm $35 for a seat. The Cactus opened as a suburban style movie theater and operated for twenty years 1938-1958 then lay dormant, and was renovated by Don Caldwell Entertainment in 1993 as a live performance venue. It is on the National Register of Historic Places since May 8, 1998,_Texas


Robert Vijay Gupta made his violinist debut at age 11 with the Israel Philharmonic. He is now an adult age 26 and virtuoso violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He is passionate about music and despairs at how music education is only sparingly available to the masses. He will be in Lubbock on Thursday September 18 and will speak on Why Music Education Is Essential at the International Cultural Center Auditorium at 6:00 pm. A free event. Public invited.

Gupta is a passionate and dedicated advocate for the presence of music in ostracized communities. He founded and serves as Artistic Director for Street Symphony, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing free, live music to men, women and youth living in homelessness and incarceration. A gifted spokesperson for human and mental health advocacy through a musical medium, Gupta is a TED Speaker, and a 2011 TED Senior Fellow.

Not familiar with TED? The verb ted means to turn over and spread out. The organization was founded in 1984 and is currently managed by the Sapling Foundation as TED Ideas Worth Spreading and features a wide array of short videos on matters not currently known by large numbers of people. TED is basically a platform for spreading out ideas across the planet.

Gupta next appears in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on October 28 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Virginia Quilt Museum is in Harrisonburg Virginia in the Shenandoah Mountains near James Madison University Eastern Mennonite University Massanutten Resort Grand Caverns and Skyline Drive It’s just a couple of blocks south of Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint. It’s 61 miles west of Charlo
ttesville Virginia and to the west of Harrisonburg is West Virginia and rugged country. The exhibits are unusual and cultural including an exhibit Men Who Quilt and bring their engineering aptitude to the art form


Arts History Update for early September 2014

29 Aug

Arts History Update for early September 2014 by David Cummins

Pieces of public art selected for health care facilities are not chosen casually or idiosyncratically. Laura Landro, More Hospitals Use the Healing Powers of Public Art, The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2014

Aaron T. Stephan, Paths Crossed (2013) is a series of six wooden undulating spiral and intertwined ladders suspended from the two story ceiling in the entryway of the recently opened Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis Indiana. Stephan is a graduate of the Maine College of Art in Portland Maine.

The Cleveland Clinic has an extensive collection of contemporary art and has done a study of how its patients and their caregivers react and interact with the art. Meghana Karnik et al., A Hospital’s Contemporary Art Collection: Effects on Patient Mood, Stress, Comfort, and Expectations, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, April 27, 2014. Mike Kelley # 1 by Jennifer Steinkamp is a digital projection of a deciduous tree as it cycles through seasons and has drawn very positive reactions. Some pieces are straightforward abstractions such as Dissolving the Hardness of Ego (2007) by Jennifer Nocon, a textile showing itself wound tightly and then unwinding into a cornucopia shape. shows many of the Cleveland Clinic pieces as well as those at other hospitals. Others are at


The annual Texas Tech University School of Art Faculty (really all instructional staff) Art Exhibition is now up at Landmark Art Gallery at the School of Art 18th Street east of Flint Avenue through September 21. It’s comprised of new work by the faculty and instructors in a variety of media. Past exhibitions have been amazing and instill in us a respect and admiration for the artists, and provide for us an insight into what these artists may be imparting to their students in classrooms and studios.

The School of Art need not put in graphics or brochures or publications “how good we are”; it’s on view in the annual exhibition. We’re shown the level of excellence by what instructors produce as art.

The opening, and as far as I know only, reception is Friday September 5 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm and in most years several artists are present. They enjoy how we interact with their pieces so it’s a win win situation.

The annual Master of Fine Arts Candidates Group Show exhibit is in the nearby Studio Gallery through September 28. The other galleries in the building are the SRO Photo Gallery and the Folio Gallery, and there is an off-site Satellite Gallery at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in the CASP Charles Adams Studio Projects building at 5th Street and Avenue J.


Texas Historical Commission leads a free Cold War Oral History Training Workshop “When the Lone Star State Met The Iron Curtain: Recollections of Texas in the Cold War” at Fort Wolters Training Center in Mineral Wells Texas Saturday September 13 from 9:00 am to noon. The workshop is for learning how to conduct and record oral histories and includes hands-on training with digital and video recording equipment. Call 512-463-5833 to register. Depending on your route, Mineral Wells is about 4 hours 15 minutes, a drive 260 miles east of Lubbock.


Billy Joe Shaver, Long In The Tooth (CD Lightning Rod Records August 5, 2014 release) is ten songs 32 minutes of delightful singing, outlaw cowboy country style, by the septuagenarian $11.19 at $11.68 at CD Universe. Admired by many as a songwriter of excellence, he sings his own tunes Old Five and Dimers Like Me (1973), Fit To Kill and Going Out of Style, Black Rose, including a memorable phrase “the devil made me do it the first time; the second time I done it on my own” and Played the Game Too Long. Waylon Jennings’s album Honky Tonk Heroes was chock full of Billy Joe’s songs, eleven of them to be specific, and some will say this album was the best of Jennings career and indeed the best country music album of all time. Billy’s poetic verbiage, obvious sentiment, and bad-ass attitude was a pure refreshment. Waylon’s voice and style made it unique. You Tube has a video of Billy Joe singing Old Five and Dimers Like Me eleven years later in 1984


Tim Cole Memorial bronze statuary by Eddie Dixon, Lubbock sculptor, is being installed and will be dedicated on Wednesday September 17 at 2:00 pm at the public pocket park at 19th Street and University Avenue southwest corner Cole was charged with the rape of Michelle Mallin in 1985 and was convicted on her testimony identifying him as her assailant. He died in prison in 1999 still proclaiming his innocence. Another prisoner confessed to the crime and DNA evidence proved that Cole could not have been her assailant. By 2009 his conviction was legally overturned and he received a gubernatorial exoneration, not a pardon for a committed offense, but an exoneration for not having committed an offense. Kevin Glasheen, lawyer, paid $25,000 to commission the statuary and the City of Lubbock is supplying the public space. It will be a permanent reminder that our law enforcement and criminal prosecution system is operated by humans and when an error is committed it is devastating. A justice system can occasionally produce injustice.


A possible California Dreaming World Series in major league baseball looks less likely now that the San Francisco Giants have fallen 5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Oakland is only ½ game back of the Los Angeles Angels. A freeway series is still possible and a California Civil War north south series is also possible, but we can cancel out the Bay Bridge Series due to the slumping Giants.

Yes, the Texas Rangers have the worst record in major league baseball this season and are 26 games back of the Angels. Did we need to mention that? Still, they have won 39% of their games and are poor only by comparison. They were in the top echelon a short time ago and will be again, we hope.


2014 is the centenary of the commencement of The Great War that convulsed Europe 1914-1918 and, when the second World War began, The Great War was renamed as World War I. This year and last we have seen a spate of new books about World War I addressing it from a number of perspectives.

Here is a top 12 list of books

An example of a fascinating book is John Lewis-Stempel, The War Behind the Wire: The life, death and glory of British Prisoners of War, 1914-1918 (Weidenfeld and Nicholson 2013) ABE Books new $26.74 in which we learn that the German military incarcerating these prisoners was less attuned to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and their humanitarian values relative to prisoners, and more animated by the Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege (The Usage of War on Land) that allowed for killing of POWs. It had been written as a manual in 1902 by the German Army general staff. This explains why there was so much brutality, death by communicable diseases that could easily have been treated and cured, and death by starvation. It also explains why there were so many attempted escapes and a few notable successes. John N. Horne & Alan Kramer, German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial (Yale University Press 2001) Texas Tech Library D626.G3 H67 ABE Books good condition $19.94 incl s&h

Another book is Helen Rappaport, The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra (St Martin’s Press 2014) Texas Tech Library DK258.6 R374 Lubbock Public Library 947.0830922 ROMA in which we learn a good deal about Alexandra the wife of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and mother of these four young women whose individual titles was Grand Duchess. In order of age they were Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. Empress
Alexandra was sick and abed for years throughout the lives of her daughters and hemophiliac son Alexei although she controlled them from her chamber, and she brought in and fell under the thrall of Rasputin who enjoys a reputation as a reprobate and religious maverick in the Western mind. If we realize that Alexandra was a German duchy princess and a Lutheran by birth and training and had a hard time formally converting to Russian Orthodoxy, it is much more understandable that she might have brought in Grigori Rasputin who was able to provide a syncretistic blend of Russian Orthodoxy and Alexandra’s Lutheranism to assist her in dealing with her many afflictions and troubles.

Nicholas II of Russia, literally Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias from 1894-1917 was known in history as Tsar but Tsardom was nominally ended in 1721. Nicholas came to the throne in Russia from his roots in Germany at the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov and was a cousin of Queen Victoria of Great Britain [House of Hanover 1714-1901] and her husband Prince Albert [House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 1901 to the present, with a changing of the name to House of Windsor in 1917 during The Great War so that Great Britain could be comfortably at war with Germans even though the British King had an obvious German origin and ancestry]

The lives of Nicholas II, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei ended by execution during internal exile at Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918 at the hands of the victorious Bolsheviks.

The waterless moat, all 16 acres of it, around the Tower of London is being filled between August 1 and November 11 with ceramic red poppies fashioned by Paul Cummins Ceramics A dead soldier from Chesterfield wrote in his battlefield holographic will at Flanders “the blood-swept lands and sea of red, where angels fear to tread” and that sea of red is now a sea of red ceramic poppies in London. A total of 888,246 will be planted, one for each British or Commonwealth country fatality during the War. After November 11, Armistice Day in Great Britain and Veterans Day in the United States, the poppies will be removed and sold with proceeds to charitable organizations. Here is a video of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and his brother, Prince Harry, each planting a ceremonial poppy


Arts History Lecture Series begins Friday September 12 through Friday December 5, 2014 with coffee goodies and informal conversation from 10:30 am and the lectures begin at 11:00 am with departure promptly at noon. Meet in the Texas Tech University Museum Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court and repair to the Jones Auditorium for the lectures; 3301 4th Street is the Museum address but enter the Sculpture Court through the west doors on Indiana Avenue. The topic this semester is Impressionism, the first distinctly modern art movement and style of painting appearing in Paris France about 1870. It was adopted by a number of American painters and there are countless American examples of Impressionism. The lecturers are Dr. Christian Conrad and Dr. Michelle Kraft. The cost is $40 for the entire semester or $7 per session attended, and the first two lectures on September 12 and 19 are free to encourage persons to attend for the first time and sample the experience. Parking at both the 4th Street and Indiana Avenue parking lots is free as is admission to the Museum. The west entrance to the Museum is graced by a magnificent sculpture Landmark (2001) by Horace Farlowe, a North Carolina sculptor, in Texas pink granite and finely polished to a smooth finish.

The Lecture Series will resume in Spring semester Friday mornings January 9 through April 3, 2015 although the topic has not yet been announced for that semester. This popular program of the Museum of Texas Texas University Association, Jouana Stravlo, Executive Director, began with lectures by Rabbi Alexander Stanley Kline in the 1960s more information by phone at 806-742-2443

Arts History Update for late August 2014

20 Aug

Arts History Update for late August 2014 by David Cummins

Friday evening August 29 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm is the ribbon cutting and formal acceptance of the new public art installed at the West Village Residence Hall on the Texas Tech University campus 19th Street west of Indiana Avenue and Texas Tech Parkway. The several sculptures in the courtyard at the entrance to the Hall are called Texas Rising (2014) by Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock, Tuscon Arizona artists. They are lighted from within so will create quite a light show for residents of the Hall and their visitors and friends. This is a free for the public event and the artists will be present to interact with patrons of the art, us.


Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage (transl. Philip Gabriel, Alfred A. Knopf 2014) is a much anticipated novel after his wildly successful The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (transl. Jay Rubin, Alfred A. Knopf 1997) and later works. In its first week in Japanese book stores it sold one million copies. We’ve all read “coming of age novels” but this is a “not coming of age novel” and most revealing of life anywhere in a dense urban landscape. Artfully reviewed at Patti Smith, Deep Chords, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, August 10, 2014.

Lubbock Public Library has The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997), Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche (2001), After The Quake: Stories (2002) [in 1995 the Kobe earthquake occurred in January killing thousands, and in March the poison gas attacks occurred on Tokyo subways frightening the populace, so Murakami writes about the aftermath], Kafka On the Shore (2005) Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: Stories (2006) ABE Books good condition $6.98, After Dark (2007), and 1Q84 (2011) (an ode to George Orwell’s 1984 but a caution at 925 pages).

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is 611 pages and Colorless Tsukuru is 386 pages “The new novel–a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan–from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84 –
Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages. -”

Texas Tech Library has The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche, After The Quake: Stories, Kafka on the Shore, and 1Q84. It also has What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir (2008) 179 pages [he is a long distance runner including 26.2 mile marathons] ABE Books good condition $4.99 and Vintage Murakami (2004) 182 pages his selection from his writings ABE Books good condition $3.48

Neither has Norwegian Wood: A Novel (1987 in Japan, transl. Jay Rubin, Vintage International 2000) adapted into a movie Norwegian Wood (2010, with English subtitles 2011). An earlier movie Tony Takitani (2004) was taken from Murakami’s short story by that name.

Matthew C. Strecher, The 10 Best Haruki Murakami Books, Publishers Weekly August 8, 2014, reveals as it describes Murakami’s social deconstruction of an economic phenomenon Japan Incorporated, whereby the novels interrogate advanced capitalism highlighting its tendency to commodify and sell anything, nearly everything, including basic human relationships.

Murakami blends the surreal with hard-boiled deadpan comedy, and delicate introspection by his characters. He is age 65 and considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Danh Vo is a Vietnamese-American sculptor who has an exhibit We The People at both New York City’s City Hall Park and at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The former is recognizable as a portion of the flame in the Statue of Liberty torch, rendered in copper, and the latter is recognizable as the draped sleeve of the Statue of Liberty’s right arm, again rendered in copper, and a great photo opportunity for a selfie.


Texas Legislature House of Representatives District # 83 is a vacant seat since Representative Charles Perry withdrew his filing for re-election and filed to run for an open Texas Legislature Senate seat. At a Republican Party candidate forum each of the candidates announced that s/he is against the federal government and would scale it back in size and strength. Why is this an issue in a state representative position and what does this attitude signify as a mind-set of those candidates? The Republican Party county and voting precinct chairs will elect one of those six whose name will appear on the Tuesday November 4 general election ballot, but other disappointed candidates might launch a write-in ballot candidacy. No Democrat filed for this seat in the Spring so unless there is a write-in ballot candidacy by a Democrat the Republican Party designated candidate on the ballot will be the likely winner of the seat and become one of 150 members of the 2015 Texas House of Representatives.

There is a special election on September 9 to fill the open Texas State Senate District 28 seat and unexpired term, occasioned by Robert Duncan’s resignation from the Senate to become Chancellor of Texas Tech University System. The filed candidates are:

Jody Arrington, Lubbock, Republican
Delwin Jones, Lubbock, Republican
Charles Perry, Lubbock, Republican
Epi Garza, Wolfforth, Republican
Greg Wortham, Sweetwater, Democrat
Kerry McKennon, Petersburg, Libertarian

Early voting is available August 25 – September 5 with the exception of Labor Day Monday September 1 Should there be a runoff election, if the top vote-getter does not have 50% plus one vote, Governor Perry will set the runoff election date but it likely would be November 4 the general election day. Election day locations on September 9 in Lubbock County are identified at this website. Early voting locations on a daily basis are identified at this website.


Local growers, producers and restaurants come together for the 5th annual Great Harvest Marketplace. The event offers complimentary samples of a variety of local food, wine and beer. McPherson Cellars will be pouring wine. Guests receive a punch card with 15 opportunities for free tastings from 24 local venues including food wine and beer.

A representative for the Lubbock Restaurant Association said the purpose of the event is to expose the variety and quality of local food and drink. A chef will demonstrate cooking styles for Texas Gulf shrimp [local has an expansive definition sometimes]. At the previous year’s event there was live music as well.

The event is hosted at Bayer Museum of Agriculture 1121 Canyon Lake Drive in Mackenzie Park from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Thursday August 28. Free event but a $10 donation is suggested.


Non-degree seeking students at Texas Tech, including you, may register free on the e-learning portal and then select the course or courses you wish to take online Costs for enrollment vary. Some universities like Arizona State University at Tempe have committed to having their entire curriculum available online so theoretically one could never physically be in Tempe and still graduate.


The Blue Inside by Peter Mangan is the latest Art on the Llano Project installation on the median adjacent to the on ramp for South Loop 289 eastbound frontage road at Quaker Avenue. It is similar to Mangan’s Gemini Song at the Benini Foundation Galleries and Sculpture Ranch at Johnson City Texas in the Hill Country and is described as an untreated, already oxidized stainless steal silhouette frame of two humans male and female with three contrasting copper bands to contain the outline of those figures. All framing bands have two, three or four squares of blue-tinged translucent glass hanging from them. The glass is not noticed when one is exactly perpendicular to the sculpture but is on display from all other angles. The artist resides and has a studio in both Blanco Texas and San Francisco California.

The sculpture stands atop a two feet similar steel pediment to raise the sculpture to a height necessary for it to be appreciated by vehicular traffic at the intersection. There is little pedestrian traffic at that location but I parked in Doc’s Liquor Store parking lot and walked across the ramp to the median and closely inspected the piece.

Transportation costs were paid by Melissa Grimes at Studio West Interior Design 26th Street and Canton Avenue and installation was performed gratis by the Texas Department of Transportation District based in Lubbock serving 17 counties Douglas Eichorst, P.E. [professional engineer] is District Engineer. Kudos to these leaders.


Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock together are The Flatlanders. At one time they all lived in Lubbock Texas and met and liked each other. They still do. Here are their albums in CD format in chronological order: Live at the One Knite Austin TX June 8, 1972 (1972), More a Legend Than a Band (1994), Unplugged (1995), Now Again (2002), Wheels of Fortune (2004), Hills and Valleys (2009), and The Odessa Tapes (2012). They are live, in concert, at the Cactus Theater on Friday September 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm $35 or $30 in balcony.

These artists are successful individually, but there is a special magic about them when they appear together. Garrison Keillor knew that when he scheduled a live production of the Prairie Home Companion radio show at City Bank Auditorium in Lubbock on April 27, 2013 and asked The Flatlanders to be his guest band for the event. They were wonderful.

Do you remember Woody Guthrie and his ballad about leaving the Dust Bowl for California, something he did himself? The Flatlanders recently wrote a reversal of that phenomena called Homeland Refugee about a family picking up and leaving California to go back to their dust bowl roots. The chorus is

“Now I’m leaving California for the dust bowl
They took it all, there’s nowhere else to go
The pastures of plenty are burning by the sea
And I’m just a homeland refugee”

Lyrics at


Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC has in its archives a good deal of old typewritten/with erasures and inter-lineations and hand-written materials, and it would take the staff eons of time to transcribe it all into digital format, so the Smithsonian came up with the idea of inviting volunteers anywhere on their own time to do the transcribing. It uses the crowd sourcing software in its Transcription Center Here are a list of the current projects if you are interested. Earlier this year the Smithsonian put 200 documents from the collection on the World War II Monuments Men online in the Transcription Center and within one week 49 volunteers had transcribed and reviewed every one of the documents. They are now digitally archived and word searchable by anyone. This is a great way to use volunteers at museums and galleries for everyone’s benefit.

Larry Kirkland sculptor did El Intercambio (The Interchange) (2009) four granite sculptures and granite flooring designs on the pedestrian mall leading from the Medical Sciences Research Building to the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso Texas. Here are several pictures of those pieces on that pedestrian mall interweaving with excellent landscape architecture by Jason Hodges of Prairie Workshop and here are pictures from Larry Kirkland The largest of the four sculptures is Portal and is striped Imperial red granite and Kashmiri gold granite that reflects the building style at either end of the mall. The second sculpture is Mind crafted from the same two granite stones and is a positive silhouette head engraved with a floral pattern and tools of daily life. The last two smaller sculptures are made from Absolute black granite slabs with a cutout keyhole. The oblique view of Mind is even more revealing of contrasts in granite material This sculpture has already received awards

The campus at the moment in El Paso is comprised of three academic units, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. To the west of this campus is the non-profit teaching hospital University Medical Center of El Paso at 4815 Alameda Avenue [prior to 2009 it was R. E. Thomason Hospital of El Paso Hospital District] that recently expanded by opening an East Tower building and is adjacent to El Paso Childrens Hospital (2012) and TTUHSC Physician Clinics. To the northeast is Medical Center of the Americas Foundation that is constructing new research buildings. The entire area is bounded by Alameda Avenue on the south and Interstate Highway 10 and Gateway Boulevard East on the north and is east of downtown El Paso.

Headwaters (2005) by Larry Kirkland is a sculptural piece located on the Texas Tech University campus in Lubbock north of the College of Education Building south of the English and Philosophy Departments Building in that courtyard the hands and alphabet pieces are sculpted from Kashmiri gold granite and the base in the form of a book is from African black granite, a metaphor in its entirety.


Dying is hard, sometimes extremely hard. Death is the absence of life, a negative, distinguished from what occurred before which was life. Is it more, however? Shakespeare in Hamlet says “death is an undiscovered country from whose bourne [meaning destination or boundary] no traveler returns”. This passage provided the title for the book by Carl Watkins, The Undiscovered Country: Journeys Among the Dead (Bodley Head 2013) reviewed at Anthony Sattin, The Observer, January 5, 2013.

This scholarly book by a Cambridge historian about mortuary practices that became traditions devoid of the meaning by which they first arose, or indeed devoid of any particular meaning at all, sets us apart today in contemporary life from the history of the rituals of dying. The question for families today of what to do with the body and whether or not or how to conduct a memorial, is for many a process of fitting grief and loss into a comfortable narrative. If the decedent supplied instructions or preferences for post-death activities, the narrative is often pre-written in part and usually is dutifully observed in practice.

In Roman Catholic doctrine there is a heaven, hell and a purgatory in between. Residence in purgatory may be extended in time. Protestant Christian doctrine drops purgatory and assigns the decedent immediately to heaven or hell. There is no need for Protestants to pray for the repose of the decedent’s soul, or to pay the church for masses for the decedent. Various religions have distinctive views on whether or not those people who are not counted among the religion’s faithful, can or cannot go to heaven. What isn’t usually spoken is that denial must assign the person to hell. Most of us don’t feel comfortable with assigning strangers, who may be our neighbors, to hell. A reductionist religious theology loses force in our lives by becoming unjustified and insupportable.

There is no way to validate who has, in the past, gone to any of these destinations. The discussions and distinctions are hypotheses. Since the rise in the practice of cremation and lessening of burial and even less often burial in a cemetery astride the churchyard where the decedent had attended services, the physical body seems separated from whatever exists after death at whatever location. Indeed, disposition of the decedent’s body has come to fit within local public health and safety standards and to become a matter of compliance with community standards represented by regulations or ordinances. It can also be costly. And more often than not, for descendants there may be no physical location to visit that once was the decedent’s home or “final resting place”.

Many would suggest that since we know what became of the protoplasm or body of the decedent, it is the soul or psyche of the decedent whose location is debatable. There is no agreement as to the existence and quality of the soul during the decedent’s life and even less after his/her death. Speculating about something we were so ignorant of during his/her lifetime, causes most of us to fall silent.

Memory and remembrance by others, may for most be the final repose of the decedent. The comfortable narrative of the life, the dying, and the dealing with the death, is all of a piece and becomes one narrative as memories and remembrances are shared, stated and restated. The dead themselves are simply absent. These narratives often begin immediately after a death in the memorializing process often called “a celebration of his/her life”.

Most people suggest that post-death residence is a matter for individual speculation and belief, and social practice is to accept anyone’s assertion without contest. All assertions by those who are grieving are accepted as assertions, not as a fact or of anything other than grief itself.

Arts History Update for mid August 2014

7 Aug

Arts History Update for mid August 2014 by David Cummins

Spirit of ’45 Day will be celebrated Saturday August 9, 2014 at Silent Wings Museum as many of you realize that V-J Day was August 14, 1945 ending World War II after the earlier in the month bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Millions of lives, American and Japanese, would have been lost if we had to invade the Japanese homelands. Many feel indebted to President Harry S Truman for the horrific bombings that caused so much death injury and destruction to two important cities and civilian populations. The use of atomic bombs on civilian populations was arguably a violation of the law of war but the Japanese leadership was shocked and impressed enough to agree to an unconditional surrender that was announced on August 14 and formally signed aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay. Congress set the second weekend of August each year as a Spirit of ’45 Day of Remembrance.

Silent Wings Museum will be open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm free admission, and the Spirit of ’45 Day ceremony will take place at 2:00 pm. Address is 6202 North Interstate Highway 27 at Exit 9 on west side of Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.


The Blue Inside by Peter Mangan is the latest Art on the Llano Project installation on the median adjacent to the on ramp for South Loop 289 eastbound frontage road at Quaker Avenue. It is similar to Gemini Song at the Benini Foundation Galleries and Sculpture Ranch at Johnson City Texas and is described as an untreated, already oxidized stainless steal silhouette frame of two humans male and female with three contrasting copper bands to contain the outline of those figures. All framing bands have two three or four squares of blue-tinged translucent glass hanging from them. The glass is not noticed when one is exactly perpendicular to the sculpture but is on display from all other angles. The artist resides and has a studio in both Blanco Texas and San Francisco California.

The sculpture stands atop a two feet similar steel pediment to raise the sculpture to a height necessary for it to be appreciated by vehicular traffic at the intersection. There is little pedestrian traffic at that location. Transportation costs were paid by Melissa Grimes at Studio West Interior Design and installation was performed gratis by the Texas Department of Transportation District based in Lubbock serving 17 counties


Historic Granada Movie Theater in Plainview Texas is coming to life after decades of non-use. It’s located at 812 Broadway in Plainview. In early Summer the restoration/renovation began with the removal of the dividing wall and framework for the two movie screens. The drop ceiling panel was removed, and the stage area was restored and expanded. Rest rooms were updated into functionality. The exterior marquee was restored. Much remains to be done. As fundraisers by the 501(c)(3) organization in charge, four concerts will occur over the Labor Day Weekend, as follows:

Friday August 29 at 8:00 pm Texas Tornados $25 general admission seating

Saturday August 30 at 8:00 pm Jason Boland & The Stragglers $25 general admission

Sunday August 31 at 7:30 pm Natalie Grant $30 general admission

Monday September 1 at 7:30 pm Asleep At The Wheel $30 general admission

Seats purchasable at Select A Seat in Lubbock information on Darryl Holland and website advertises these events

Darryl Holland only raised 53 pledges totaling $12,102 of the requested $100,000 on Kickstarter in late Fall 2013 so that fund-raising project failed. Am guessing he will raise much more than that by these concerts. Don’t tell them, show them how it can be used, and they will gather to get on board.

Darryl and Stephanie Holland own and operate Holly Hop Ice Cream Parlor on 34th Street near Indiana Avenue, and the Lubbock Fun Club

Greetings, friends! 

I am extremely pleased to announce the completion of “phase one” in the major restoration work being done at the HISTORIC GRANADA THEATRE located at 812 Broadway in downtown Plainview, Texas!

Many of you receiving this note know that this project has been a total leap of faith – and an all-encompassing labor of love –  that has taken many twists and turns since Stephanie and I began this very personal journey EXACTLY TWO YEARS AGO TODAY.   As some of you may know, my late grandfather, Price Holland, was a partner in the operation of this historic theatre as well as the builder of the drive-ins and other “walk-in” theatres in Plainview from the late 1940s through the early ‘70s.  After his retirement, the GRANADA was eventually sold and “twinned” by an out-of-state corporation….without regard to the historical significance and ornate beauty of this once-majestic “movie palace.”  It has been my personal mission since 1977 to one day re-claim this theatre and restore it – as near possible – to its original glory.  On August 1, 2012….we took that first leap.

Now, as we reach this two-year milestone….we can report the following accomplishments:

• ROOF REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT along with additional cleanup of balcony and original projection room spaces.

• TOTAL RESTORATION of the ORIGINAL, 1940s-era MARQUEE – this work will be fully completed within the next 10 days!

• REMOVAL of the interior dividing wall, drop ceiling and stage obstructions from the 1978 “twinning” of the original theatre space – JUST COMPLETED!


To highlight these events, showcase the re-claimed space and provide a window into the future, we have taken another leap by booking a full-slate of AWARD-WINNING ACTS – to present over the entire LABOR DAY WEEKEND – in the newly-reclaimed theatre space.   We’re even offering an optional barbecue meal for the Sunday and Monday shows as an added option for those interested in an “upscale concert experience.”  (Please note…special combo tickets required to insure enough “fixins” for everyone!)

This stellar lineup of artists include:

Friday, August 29…………Texas Tornados………the ultimate Tex-Mex supergroup, anchored by Texas music icons Augie Meyers and the “King of Tejano Accordion Players”, multi-Grammy winning legend Flaco Jiménez.

Saturday, August 30……..Jason Boland & The Stragglers….This “Red Dirt/Texas Country” star leads the pack of the independent, non-Nashville, country rockers working today and is the most highly-regarded talent in his field.

Sunday, August 31………..Natalie Grant….5-time Gospel Music Association “Female Vocalist of the Year” and 2014 Grammy nominee…perhaps the most admired and successful contemporary Christian pop star of this generation.

Monday, September 1…..Asleep at the Wheel……The 9-time Grammy-winning “Post-Modern Kings of Western Swing”….carrying on the Bob Wills tradition for 44 years and counting!

For those in the publishing arena (or simply interested in more detail), I’ve attached a full PRESS RELEASE and accompanying color photos of the four acts we are featuring during this upcoming holiday weekend concert series. 

It is our hope that the people of the South Plains will appreciate hearing about our renovation efforts and will make plans to support this fundraising effort for our newly-formed non-profit organization so that we may continue in the process of bringing back this treasured movie palace and performing space.  Our goals for the future include showcasing additional concerts; screening independent and classic film; presenting theatrical plays and community-themed events.  We envision the theatre space also playing host to all-school reunions, private functions, weddings and all manner of special occasions.  In short, we endeavor to provide cultural enrichment and a social meeting space that promotes downtown revitalization, historical preservation and tourism.

Your help in delivering that message to friends, followers – and fans of great music that might embrace our project by attending – would be forever appreciated!

Complete concert information and ticket locations are included in the attached press release and through the links listed at the bottom of this note.

Lastly, if you or someone you know, would be interested in underwriting, sponsoring or perhaps buying a block of tickets to any of the concerts, please let me know directly.  We are offering a group discount of 10% for sales of 20+ tickets.

Please consider sharing this news with as many outlets and resources as possible to assist in widespread coverage for this special fundraising concert series.  Your help would be forever appreciated!

With heartfelt thanks,

Darryl Holland

Executive Director

Historic Granada of Plainview, Inc.

Physical address:  812 Broadway

Mailing address:  P.O. Box 812

Plainview, TX 79072

We are officially a pending 501(c)(3) organization


Jeffie Brewer’s Purple Bull (2014) is now installed at Marsha Sharp Freeway off-ramp to Avenue L as part of the Art on the Llano Project.!Purple-Bull/zoom/c1psg/image1jhh


Joseph Mitchell 1908 – 1996 came to New York City from North Carolina the day after the 1929 stock market crash. He had just graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was 21 years of age. After eight years as a reporter and feature writer at various newspapers, he joined the staff of The New Yorker Magazine, where he remained until his death in 1996 at the age of eighty-seven.

His books include My Ears Are Bent (1938, reissued and revised and expanded in

2001 by Sheila McGrath and Dan Frank), McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (1943), Old Mr. Flood (1948), The Bottom of the Harbor (1959), and Joe Gould’s Secret (1965) each a collection of stories or articles. His stories focused on people living on the fringe in New York City. They featured gypsies, alcoholics, the homeless, fishmongers, and a band of Mohawk Indians who worked as riveters on skyscrapers and bridges and had no fear of heights. Much of his journalism is included in the book Up in the Old Hotel (1992) Texas Tech Library PS3525.I86 U6 1992 that includes all of the previous four books collections of magazine pieces. While at The New Yorker, Joseph Mitchell interviewed criminals, evangelists, politicians, and celebrities. He said that he was a good interviewer because he had lost the ability to detect insanity. He listened to everyone, even those who were crazy, as if they were sane. He said, “The best talk is artless, the talk of people trying to reassure or comfort themselves.”

Mitchell published his last book in 1965, Joe Gould’s Secret, about a man who said that he learned the language of seagulls and was now writing the longest book in the world. Gould’s writing block was mirrored because, for the next 30 years, Mitchell kept going to his New Yorker office without publishing another word.

Joe Gould’s Secret (2000) is a film in which Stanley Tucci plays Joseph Mitchell and Ian Holm plays Joe Gould.

My copy of Up In the Old Hotel is well-worn, an antidote when occasionally I think the world makes sense and is rational and well ordered. I like Mitchell better than H. L. Mencken 1880-1956, although a similar personality at The Baltimore Sun, because Mencken shared his opinion and some vitriol whereas Mitchell just presents the story of an amazing person as if it were normative reporting of life, without opinion or evaluation. Mitchell allows the reader to identify the beat and determine just how off-beat this character might or might not be.


Peter Heller, The Painter: A Novel (Alfred A. Knopf 2014) $19.05 hardcover $10.00 e-book

Peter Heller, the celebrated author of the breakout best seller The Dog Stars, returns with an achingly beautiful, wildly suspenseful second novel about an artist trying to outrun his past.

Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. He grieved the one thing he loved. In the wake of tragedy, Jim, a well-known expressionist painter, abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. He works with a lovely model. His paintings fetch excellent prices. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open. Fleeing Colorado, chased by men set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico, tormented by his own relentless conscience.

A stunning, savage novel of art and violence, love and grief, The Painter is the story of a man who longs to transcend the shadows in his heart, a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life.

Lubbock Public Library FIC HELL and CD AUDIO FIC HELL

Texas Tech Library PS3608.E454 P35


Major League Baseball continues to excite after the All-Star Game break especially in California. In the National League West Division the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the San Francisco Giants by 1-½ game and in the American League West Division the Oakland Athletics lead the Los Angeles Angels by 1-1/2 games. Fans are getting stoked for three possible but not likely World Series. One would be a Bay Bridge Series with Giants against the Athletics, another would be a Freeway Series with Dodgers versus the Angels, and another would be a California Civil War North versus South Giants versus Angels or Dodgers versus Athletics.

Teams in contention are making trades to try to repair areas of weakness and put themselves in the best position to make the playoffs, win their league title, and enter the World Series. Good luck all around.

Back in Texas the Houston Astros are 23 games back but not in the cellar where Texas Rangers are 23 ½ games back. Ouch.


Electra Waggoner Biggs, Riding Into the Sunset (1947) is a bronze statuary of Will Rogers on his horse Soapsuds at the entrance to Will Rogers Memorial Center including an Auditorium & Coliseum in Forth Worth Texas and four slightly smaller versions are at Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Forth Worth, Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Home of Will Rogers in Claremore Oklahoma, Texas Tech University Memorial Circle (1949) and at Hilton Anatole Hotel (1989) in Dallas. The sculpture was completed in 1939 but world events took over the process of building the coliseum in Fort Worth.

Lineage of The Waggoner Ranch and its heirs:

1. Daniel Waggoner (1828-1902) cattle baron, based on a ranch near Decatur Texas in Wise County since leaving Hopkins County in 1853 with 229 head of cattle after his father Solomon’s death in 1849 and his wife Nancy’s death in childbirth in 1853.

2. son W.T. William Thomas “Tom” or “Pappy” Waggoner, (1852-1934) cattleman and horseman who bred thoroughbred horses and built Arlington Downs racetrack in Arlington Texas in the 1930s in part from oil discovered on the ranch, founded the Waggoner Ranch on and near the Little Wichita River extending to above the Wichita River and west into Clay County, Wichita County, Wilbarger County and Baylor County

3. daughter of W.T. Waggoner was Electra Waggoner Wharton 1882-1925 for whom the town of Electra was named in 1907 it formerly being called Beaver Creek, and son Guy Waggoner 1883-1950 and son E. Paul Waggoner, 1889-1967 quarter horse breeder and western lore promoter,

4. Electra Waggoner Biggs 1912-2001 was the daughter of E. Paul Waggoner and she died at age 88 in a Vernon Texas hospital near her family home Santa Rosa Roundup Ranch within the Waggoner Ranch. She became a sculptor and completed Riding Into the Sunset in 1939 but it was installed in 1947 due to world events delaying and displacing construction of the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium and Coliseum in Forth Worth. shows some of her commissioned sculpture.

She was a beautiful and stately woman for whom the Buick Electra car was named as well as the Lockheed Electra airplane.

5. Electra’s daughters are Helen Biggs Willingham (Mrs. Gene Willingham) who still lives on the ranch home and Electra Biggs Moulder (Mrs. William Moulder) of Jacksonville Florida.

The shares in the W.T. Waggoner Estate (a business trust from 1923) that operates the Waggoner Ranch are roughly owned 50% by Wharton heirs and 50% by Biggs heirs.

Waggoner Ranch

The Waggoner Commissary erected in the 1870s on the ranch near Electra Texas was preserved and moved to the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock Texas in its Proctor Park section


On Saturday October 18, 2014 there will be an opening of an exhibit at Wichita Brazos Museum & Cultural Center in Benjamin Texas 200 E. Hays Street featuring the Adolph Bayers showcase of spurs, bits, jewelery and other items made by the master metal worker from Gilliland in northeast Knox County. Frances Hamm, daughter of Adolph Bayers, will speak at the event that lasts from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Call 940-459-2229 for details of when her talk will occur. Bayers lived 1912-1978 and worked from his home in Gilliland. J. Martin Basinger et al, Artistry in Silver and Steel: The Adolph Bayers Legend (Southwestern Color Graphics volumes I-III 1996, 1997, and 2007) and see Cowboy Showcase

Wichita Brazos Museum opened June 27, 2009 and its normal hours are Mon-Fri 1:00 – 5:00 pm free admission. Its name derives from the location of Benjamin just south of the South Wichita River and just north of the Brazos River, hence the name. In Lubbock we know that the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River runs through Lubbock beginning at Mackenzie Park, confluence of Blackwater Draw and Yellowhouse Draw, and runs southeasterly until it meets the main Double Mountain Fork east of Justiceburg that itself joins with the Salt Fork of the Brazos River northwest of Rule Texas in Haskell County and then the Brazos River runs by Knox City and south of Benjamin toward Seymour in Baylor County before turning southeasterly and running through central Texas to Freeport on the Gulf Coast.

Benjamin is the site of Knox County Veterans Memorial that was completed in 2001 and is an impressive granite gateway structure at the corner of Texas Highway 6 [north-south highway] and US Highway 82 Texas SH 114 [east-west highway]. State Highway 6 runs from the Red River border above Quanah to Galveston Island on the Gulf Coast and since 1997 has been designated as Texas Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway. It is most appropriate that a memorial alongside the highway would honor all veterans from Knox County from the Civil War through the War in Iraq.

Wyman Meinzer, former official photographer of the State of Texas, makes his home and studio at the Knox County Old Jail (from 1887) in Benjamin Texas. and Here is a night lighted scene of Meinzer’s home and studio photographed by Ken Pruett

Benjamin is 126 miles east of Lubbock and a rather scenic drive.

A few days earlier there will be an art event in Seymour that is 32 miles east of Benjamin on Texas SH 114 October 13th, 2014. ‘TOM LEA AND THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE’ WITH LUCIANO CHELES 7 PM at the Whiteside Auditorium for the Performing Arts 301 North Washington Street in Seymour, Texas. For more information contact Myra Busby, Executive Director, Seymour Chamber of Commerce at

The Tom Lea Institute and the Seymour Chamber of Commerce Invite you to the presentation– ‘Tom Lea and the Italian Renaissance’ with Luciano Cheles that will be featured along the Tom Lea Trail. In addition to the Seymour presentation other venues include the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin, and the University of Texas at El Paso.

In 2003 as he was looking through art books, art history scholar Luciano Cheles came across one on Texas murals, noticing a similarity in the volumetric figures of Tom Lea and those of the great Italian Renaissance muralist Piero della Francesca. After receiving an e-mail validating his trained eye – “at the end of his life, Tom Lea wept when he spoke of seeing Piero’s work in Aretto, and getting to touch it with his hand” – Luciano applied to become a fellow at the

Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., winning a coveted spot. While in the United States he studied Piero’s influence on American artists with a special focus on Tom Lea.

In 2013, Texas Highways and Texas Monthly announced the Tom Lea Trail during October’s Tom Lea Month. This year Luciano Cheles will travel that trail, comparing a Texas master to those of the Italian Renaissance.

Luciano Cheles is a lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies at The University of Lancaster, Lancaster, England founded in 1964.


A new museum that will be dedicated at the Oldham County Round-Up on August 9 is the Milburn-Price Museum and Cultural Center in Vega Texas established by the renovation of an existing building by Greg and Karen Conn. The mural on the side of the building was painted by Joshua Finley and Valerie Doshier Denver artists depicting a comanchero making a trade with an Indian, an oxen team hauling a wagon, and of course cattle, a saddled horse and the Indian’s pony. A Quanah Parker Trail arrow was installed by Charles A. Smith on August 5, 2104 so this historic town on Route 66 is humming. Is the Boot Hill Saloon & Grill still open? Yes indeed and chef Rory Schepisi has a Black Angus steer steak waiting for you.

Vega is 36 miles west of Amarillo on Interstate highway 40 and about that mileage east of the New Mexico border. It is bisected by US Highway 385 that extends south to Hereford, Dimmitt, Littlefield and Levelland. It extends north to Channing, Hartley, Dalhart and the Oklahoma border.

History of the Llano Estacado and Environs

24 Jul

History of the Llano Estacado and environs by David Cummins

You didn’t know about the famous wolf hunt in 1905? President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was returning from a Rough Rider reunion in San Antonio and stopped in Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, residents knowing that he was in favor of combining the two to form a new state of Oklahoma, and therefore would be well received. Teddy was intrigued by the stories, well supported, that John R. “Jack” Abernathy could and did catch wolves with his hands. On April 8-12, 1905 Roosevelt lit out on a wolf hunt led by Jack Abernathy over three counties in southwestern [today's] Oklahoma with fellow hunters that included Roosevelt’s physician Dr. Alexander Lambert, Quanah Parker, Samuel Burk Burnett, Tom Waggoner, and Bill McDonald. Others were lagging and dis-spirited but Teddy was present when Jack lured a wolf to attack his wrapped arm and Jack throttled the wolf with his free hand and broke its neck. He repeated the exercise with three other wolves. Teddy thanked Jack for the display of courage in nature and Teddy headed for Colorado and a bear hunt with rifles.

The following year 1906 as president, Teddy signed the Oklahoma Statehood Enabling Act permitting both Oklahoma Territory [enhanced in 1890 by the addition of Cimarron Territory in the panhandle only 34 miles north to south but 169 miles east to west between the 100th and 103rd Meridians degrees of longitude west of the Greenwich Meridian at London England] and Indian Territory in which Anglo residents outnumbered Indians 9 to 1, to combine for a single new state of the United States. The 100th Meridian in the United States is historically regarded as “the dry line” everything west of it being a quite dry area and east of it being quite wet. The panhandle south plains of Texas is all west of the dry line.

In 1910 Teddy appointed Jack Abernathy U.S. Marshall for Oklahoma the youngest marshall in the nation

Samuel Burk Burnett 1849-1922 was owner of Four Sixes Ranch headquartered in Wichita Falls who started with Longhorns, then Durhams, then Herefords, to operate the finest strain of cattle. He introduced the practice of purchasing steers and grazing them for sale at auction. He had leased range land and ran cattle in Indian Territory by cooperation with Quanah Parker paying 6-1/2 cents per acre but as statehood approached he purchased107,000 acres in the Texas panhandle’s Carson County and 141,000 acres near Guthrie less than 100 miles east of Lubbock. The town of Burkburnett was named for him. His financial empire capital based on banking and oil was in Fort Worth.

Tom Waggoner was the son of Daniel Waggoner [died 1902] operating the extensive Waggoner Ranch properties upon which oil was later discovered, with headquarters at Vernon Texas.

William Jesse “Bill” McDonald was captain of the Texas Rangers

Quanah Parker was the last war chief of the Quahadi Comanche forced in 1875 to lead his people out of Comancheria onto an Indian reservation in Indian Territory and he became a successful rancher there and spokesman for Indians with the federal government.

So-called Cimarron Territory was known in past times as No Man’s Land, Old Beaver River Country, Public Domain and just plain lawless land or desert but the Old Santa Fe Trail Cimarron Cutoff ran through it and Colonel Kit Carson was dispatched in 1865 to set up Fort Nichols at a point where the Trail meets the Cimarron River The Cimarron Cutoff proceeded from Fort Dodge Kansas [Dodge City] to Fort Union New Mexico Territory [the northern mountain Old Santa Fe Trail proceeded from Fort Dodge to Bent’s Fort and La Junta Colorado and through Raton Pass at the border while the more direct Cimarron Cutoff Old Santa Fe Trail joined up at Fort Union and continued west 110 miles to Santa Fe. The Cimarron Cutoff’s major watering station was the Cimarron River but of course both Comanche and Kiowa watered there as well. Today the Cutoff passes through Cimarron National Grassland, Rita Blanca National Grassland and Kiowa National Grassland to Clayton New Mexico [approximately where US Highway 56 vehicles travel southwest from Dodge City] and on to Santa Fe since Fort Union in the Mora Valley 45 miles north of today’s Las Vegas was closed in 1891 after forty years usage.

Here is a route map of the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in 1891 that illustrates that its trackage ran west from Dodge City to Coolidge Kansas, Lamar Colorado, La Junta, then left the course of the Arkansas River to go southwest to Trinidad Colorado, Dillon New Mexico near Raton, Springer, Las Vegas and Lamy [spur extended north to Santa Fe] and did not follow the Cimarron Cutoff of the Old Santa Fe Trail.,_Topeka_and_Santa_Fe_Railway#mediaviewer/File:Santa_Fe_Route_Map_1891.jpg It would be several years before spur railroads would enter the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma such as Southern Kansas Railway of Texas chartered in 1886 becoming the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway in 1914, and the Fort Worth & Denver City Railway crossing lines with Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad at Dalhart Texas in 1888, shipping center for the XIT Ranch and other ranches, and extending beyond the state line toward Denver City Colorado.


Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca 1490-1558 was treasurer on the royal Narvaez Expedition to La Florida from Spain in 1527 with 600 men that suffered a shipwreck and a 1528-1536 journey across the American continent beginning with being enslaved by Indians to 1532 and ending with Cabeza and three other survivors being traders and shamans with Indians of various tribes. The other survivors were Andres Dorantes de Carranza, his servant Estevan a North African Berber sometimes called The Moor, and Alonso del Castillo Maldonado.

On small boats near the mouth of the Mississippi River Panfilo de Narvaez was in another boat and was lost attempting to sail along the coast to Tampico [east coast of New Spain (Mexico)], while Cabeza and his boatload made it to Galveston Island where they were captured and enslaved by Karankawa Indians. From there in 1532 four escaped and walked west crossing the Rio Grande somewhere between the current Falcon Reservoir and Amistad Reservoir, but close enough to West Texas so that Cabeza heard about and perhaps saw bison and in his journal referred to this terra incognito [unknown land] as “Cattle Nation”. They walked through the north of New Spain [Mexico] and came down the west coast to San Miguel de Cuilacan Sinaloa where they met Spanish slavers on horseback. The next year in 1537 he sailed back to Spain and rendered an account to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V [King Charles I of Spain] awarding him a bison robe, among other items. Cabeza’s “account” titled Relacion (1542) is a marvelous report of the lands and peoples of this area.

Cabeza de Vaca in Spanish translates as cow’s head so it turned out to be quite coincidental that he later, probably while with the Jumano Indians, saw bison that he recognized as cattle but somewhat different from Spanish cattle. He saw no horses and Indians who hunted bison then, hunted them on foot. He was told by Jumano that they hunted to the north in a more arid region, perhaps the first recorded account of a reference to the Llano Estacado.

It would be only a few years later 1540-1542 when Francisco Vasquez de Coronado would explore that northern area and write his report.

Coronado was governor of the state of New Galicia on the west coast of New Spain and in 1539 Viceroy Mendoza sent Friar Marcos de Niza and Estevan [survivor of the Narvaez Expedition] on a northern expedition. Niza returned and said Estevan had been killed by Zuni who lived in a golden city of Cibola and there were other such cities. Coronado took it from there, preparing his own expedition. His route began on the west coast of New Spain [Mexico] at Compostela, then to Cuilacan, then north on an inland route to southeastern Arizona northeast to Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico, Acoma Pueblo, Tiguex Pueblo [on the Rio Grande River near Bernalillo and the present site of Coronado State Monument], and Pecos Pueblo from which he went east into the Llano Estacado to Blanco Canyon near Crosbyton and Floydada Texas, then crossed the Red River east of Palo Duro Canyon then northeast to the “Quivira” Indians in Kansas above the Arkansas River, returning by a more direct route to Pecos Pueblo in New Mexico. He found no gold or other valuables but many years later every piece of his expedition’s detritus has become quite valuable. What did he make of those herds of bison? His journal referred to them often and they were the main staple of a protein rich diet for the explorers.

Coronado did not treat Native Americans well, killing many Zuni and others. Juan de Onate brutally outdid him however on that score, as onetime governor of the area in 1598-1607. Conditions of subjugation continued, ultimately leading to the Indians Pueblo Revolt of 1680 Juan Bautista de Anza was a Spanish explorer of Alta California all the way north to Monterey, and was Governor of New Mexico 1778-1788 defeating Green Horn a Comanche chief and stabilizing Indian Pueblo life free of raids by Navajo, Apache or Comanche. He started the comanchero trading program with Comanche on the Llano Estacado seeing it as helpful to containing Anglo-French westward expansion from the mid-continent region. It did not surprise de Anza that New Spain could not effectively colonize Tejas beyond the Bexar settlement at San Antonio founded early in the century. He was very cautious about Anglos and French so he would never have permitted empresarios like Stephen F. Austin to bring Anglo settlers into Tejas in northern New Spain.


Captain Randolph B. Marcy lit out from Fort Smith Arkansas in his 1849 expedition to trace the course of the Canadian River. Today we know it rises in far southern Colorado on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, flows south into New Mexico west of Raton, through a canyon near Springer, and then east across New Mexico forming the northern border of the Llano Estacado through the panhandle of Texas and then across Oklahoma until it empties into the Arkansas River at the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir on the Arkansas, a total of 906 miles. Marcy traced its course in Oklahoma Territory and in Texas and some of New Mexico Territory and ended his exploration at Santa Fe [thus establishing the Marcy Trail from Fort Smith to Santa Fe] where he resupplied and then lit out across the Llano Estacado on its western border following the Pecos River southward to the edge of the Edwards Plateau at Castle Gap on the historic San Antonio-El Paso Road or Southern Emigrant Trail between the present towns of Crane and McCamey, and then locating the sandhills near Monahans and a large spring at Big Spring before turning north at the easterly escarpment of the Llano Estacado, thus circumnavigating the Llano Estacado and returning to Fort Smith.

The Canadian River was known before 1849 due to an expedition by US Army Lieutenants James William Abert and William G. Peck in 1845, and before that by an expedition by Major Stephen Long in 1820 barely making it back to Fort Smith. Long’s harrowing return, including eating the meat of their horses, and report are the source of maps referring to the Llano Estacado and beyond on the high plains as “The Great American Desert”.

John Miller Morris, El Llano Estacado: Exploration and Imagination on the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico, 1536-1860 (Texas State Historical Association 1997) Lubbock Public Library 976.48 M876L Texas Tech Library F392.L63 M67


Saturday October 4, 2014 is a trek to the site of the First Battle of Adobe Walls that occurred on November 25, 1864 about 150 years ago. Buses leave Amarillo Civic Center at 11:00 am or the Phillips Building in Borger at 1:00 pm for the site where Kit Carson’s grandson and Kiowa and Comanche will speak. $50 buys a seat on the bus and reservations are requested by August 15 to Amy Mitchell at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum phone 806-651-2242. More information e-mail Lynn Hopkins at Hutchinson County Museum

General Carleton commanded a garrison of US Army New Mexico Department and was hateful to Indians, having ordered Colonel Kit Carson in the Spring of 1864 to take the Navajo on The Long Walk from their homelands to a newly founded Bosque Redondo reservation at newly opened Fort Sumner.

During the Civil War the Kiowa, Plains Apache, and Comanche repeatedly attacked travelers on the Santa Fe Trail and settlements of Anglo-Americans, so General Carleton sent Colonel Kit Carson commanding the New Mexico Volunteers to strike a blow at the Indians and show them that the United States would protect its transportation assets and settlements even while fighting the Civil War. Carson left Fort Bascom on the Canadian River near Logan New Mexico [1863 post abandoned 1870] with 260 cavalry, 75 infantry, 72 Ute and Jicarilla Apache scouts, two howitzers and 27 wagons and proceeded down the Canadian River intending to camp at Adobe Walls in Texas, then the ruins of William Bent’s abandoned adobe trading post and saloon on the northern side of the Canadian River 17 miles northeast of present day Stinnett Texas. Carson had, twenty years earlier, been active at the trading post when it was a going concern, so he knew its location.

Four miles from Adobe Walls Carson’s scouts reported a Kiowa village encampment so Carson attacked it and fell back to Adobe Walls to regroup. To his surprise there were at least four other villages of Kiowa Apache and Comanche nearby so in a matter of hours Carson was besieged by 1,200 – 1,400 attacking warriors. After the initial attack even more Indians, said to be about 3,000, were attacking by afternoon. Carson retreated into the first abandoned Kiowa village and burned it including the elderly in their tipis. He then retreated farther to where his supply train wagons were located, and on November 26 he led the troops back to New Mexico.

The current historical marker says “though Carson made a brilliant defense, the Indians won”. Eight years later the Battle of the North Fork of the Red River at McClellan Creek in Gray County September 28, 1872 would go against the Comanche and in favor of Colonel Ranald Mackenzie. Ten years later on June 27, 1874 in the Second Battle of Adobe Walls 28 buffalo hunters would be encamped at Adobe Walls and 250 or more Comanche attacked, setting off the declared Red River Indian War of 1874-1875 and the removal of the Comanche to Oklahoma Indian Territory. General Sherman approved Colonel Mackenzie’s strategy to attack Comanche resources and make their survival off reservation untenable. Mackenzie attacked the horse herds at Tule Canyon and Palo Duro Canyon and destroyed resources forcing the Comanche evacuation to Indian Territory.

Here’s a map of Comancheria


Here’s a look at Fort McKavett Texas overlooking the headwaters of the San Saba River west the present town of Menard The fort served from 1852-1859 and again from 1868-1883 and for the last thirty years has been Fort McKavett State Historic Site where Buffalo Soldier re-enactors tell history stories. The San Saba flows east through Menard and the town of San Saba before emptying into the Colorado River.


July 24, 2014


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