Tribes

I love local festivals and I try to attend as many as I can.   They are pretty much all the same, (stuff for sale, food on a stick, music and beer) perhaps that is why I like them.  So I was at a Celtic Festival on a fine Father’s Day afternoon, and I noticed that even among the ‘Celts’ there seemed to be a number of different tribes (and not just a difference in the tartans!).

There were the organized groups.   They were neatly dressed in well pressed kilts, a very formal group.  (Don’t know if the bagpipes had to match.)

There were the re-enactors, striving for authenticity, or what passes for authenticity.  I expect they have battles and such as they seemed to possess rather a lot of arms.

Then there were the Celtic dandies.  Not content with just wearing the kilt, they added a jacket or vest and a swag of tartan draped over their bodies.  It is a rather fetching outfit.

I saw a lot of young men going for a ‘Braveheart’ sort of vibe.  One has to have a lot of tattoos and to wear one’s kilt with a certain swagger.  (In answer to the question “what does one wear under a kilt?”  I did see a pair of bicycle shorts).  😉

Perhaps the most unique of the clans was ‘Clan Santa Claus’.   They were definitely going for a different take on the whole Scots thing.  I suppose we all belong to one clan or another, but on this day folks were openly proclaiming their allegiance to a country and an ideal that the ancestors left far behind.

Steeple Chasing Pt. 2

An interesting thing about churches is how the builders use architectural styles to proclaim the building’s purpose.  The first three examples in last post were all built fairly recently, but were all built to the same ancient template.  The buildings in today’s post all come from the local downtown, and are what the congregations dreamed up when they thought of building a church.

Not content with their church having a single steeple, this church features two steeples.

I’ve always liked the looks of this one, it puts me in mind of an ancient rocket, ready to blast off in case of apocalypse.  The giant phone towers that loom over it from the phone company building next door add to the futuristic vibe.

I’m not sure if this counts as a steeple, or is it just a pointy roof?  The building is of solid looking stone, it’s not going anywhere.

This one is the most impressive of the lot, with it’s tower crowned with spires.  And there is no mistaking it’s purpose.  What is impressive about all of these is that they were built in roughly the same time period, with each group seeking to proclaim that they were the ones to join.

Steeple Chasing

When you ask children to draw a house, they almost always draw a triangle atop a square, whether they actually live in such a building or not.  It represents the idea of ‘house’.   When I was in the South, I also discovered the template for the idea of ‘church’ and it is different from the sort that we have here in town.

Churches declare their identity with a pediment over columns on the front, and a complex steeple rising from the roof.  The building otherwise is just a large box, perhaps a bit like the idea of house.

They seem to also need to have the window in the pediment as part of the identifying features, although I can’t imagine it having a functional role.

Of course I wondered where the original models came from.

I’ve forgotten where I downloaded this image from, and also who the actual artist was that was inspired to immortalize this.  But I think it is a church somewhere in the New England states.

And then there is this London church, it has the columns in front,  but no pediment, with the round window and massive steeple.  I suppose the steeple was meant to make to building stand out against it’s surroundings.  And this church has the admonition written on the side (perhaps it should be the 11th Commandment) “Commit No Nuisance”.  Generally good advice.

Airport Art

I once again found myself sitting in the airport, waiting to get back home.   But this airport at least had some interesting art that celebrated the region.

The airport had some contemporary art right at the top of the escalators on this terminal.   And as this was contemporary art, it needed the label “airport art”, otherwise one might wonder what it was and why it was in the glass case.

As I mentioned, they had a bit of art that celebrated local deities celebrities or somehow notable persons.   This is Robert Johnson, the renowned delta blues guitarist from Mississippi.

More Southern icons from left to right (not a comment on their politics):  Hank Williams, a country singer/songwriter from Alabama, Elvis Presley, a singer from Mississippi, Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer from New Orleans, and Olivier Hardy, film comedian from near Augusta, Georgia.   The dude whose picture hangs below is former president Woodrow Wilson who also lived in Augusta, Georgia for a spell.

This bit of art had some identifiable faces as well as a couple of mystery folks (I suppose I could have looked for a sign).    Patsy Cline, country singer from Virginia, and ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford, country singer from of all places, Tennessee.  The people in the middle were the mystery, I don’t recognize the woman and the man is possibly Ike Turner, a musician from Mississippi.   Dr. Martin Luther King was a minister from Georgia, and Ty Cobb, a baseball player also from Georgia.  Hanging below the rest is Jackie Robinson, a baseball player from Cairo, Georgia.

The circular portraits are set inside a notched automobile inner tube, which is a popular way to make a planter in the yard for one’s posies.   So I suppose that the artist wanted us to know these persons were all grown in the South.  Maybe.

 


 

Home

It is always nice to come home after being away.   Home is familiar and comfortable, just the way one likes.   And we have the many sayings that reflect this “there’s no place like home” or “home is where the dog is”, etc. etc.  My house is not only home to me, but there are a few others that share this address, although they do not get much in the way of mail.

A Pine Siskin (a sort of sparrow with a bright  red head) decided that right by my front door is a great place to put a nest and raise a family. The spot is sheltered from the sun and rain.  I usually go out the garage door, and that is okay with this bird.   But the siskin gets vexed when I peep out the window to see what it’s up to, so I try not to do this.

Out in the back yard, the ‘esquilos perversos’ or evil squirrels have made themselves at home.   They need to enjoy it now, because the hot tub is going away this summer, so they had better load up their tiny furniture and move.

This hole doesn’t look like much, but I’m pretty sure that it has a comfortable lining of soft dried grass and fur (I did watch her constructing this).

And this is the architect of said hole, the bunny former know as Pete. Because the bunny hides the entrance whenever she leaves, I suspect that there is a baby bunny living in there as well.   None of them pay rent, but they all make this home a better place to live (well maybe not the squirrels).

 

DFW

In travel adverts we see beautiful stylishly dressed people walking along deserted white sand beaches.  On travel shows, the host chats with friendly locals who are delighted to serve him/her the fabulous local specialty.  That is the fantasy, the reality of most travel starts with an airport, much like this one.

Here’s your friendly neighborhood bar, although don’t get over-served or they will not let you on the plane (unless that is the captain on the next bar stool.)

How about a little overpriced food?  It’s your last chance for sustenance before you reach your final destination.

And if you are traveling on an overseas flight, there is the duty-free shop.   Who doesn’t need another pocketbook or some booze for the long flight ahead?

Ever wonder what the smartly dressed cattle would wear on vacation?

Here be a  dragon that guards the snacks.  I am old enough to remember when airlines served food (typically sort of bad food, but it was food) instead of tiny packages of pretzels.

And what airport worth it’s salt doesn’t have an enigmatic bit of art.  I’m not sure what it represents, except perhaps the experience of travelling.

Big D

The graduation took place in Dallas, Texas, a frighteningly sprawling city made possible by oil and air conditioning.   It was quite a change from life in the slow lane.

Downtown features the concrete canyons popular in major metropolitan areas.  Full of business persons, doing business things.

Just outside of the downtown proper, is the new hipster hangout formerly known as skid row.   Now instead of winos, one encounters the young and hip.   I wasn’t sure if we old people would be allowed in this enclave, but we had money so it was okay.

We ended up at a very trendy (as seen on TV) barbeque place.   We even stood in line to get in, which is something I seldom do.  They keep serving food until they run out, and we got there before this happened, but just barely.

And this is how it is served.  We had smaller trays covered in brown paper to eat off of, which we carried to our table.  Pictured is a pile of pulled pork, not pictured was the sliced brisket, hot links (sausages), and fried chicken.  Side dishes were served in carry out containers.  I will admit that the food was exceptional.  A singer was plying his trade out on the patio, but I thought it was still rather warm ( and somewhat smoky) to be eating outside.

Also outside was the area where all of the food magic happens.   The picture looks blurry because this shed was full of smoke (pecan wood only).   You can see the burning embers that had fallen out of the fire boxes laying on the ground.  It was incredibly smoky and hot, just like a vision of hell, but this job is a calling and a religion to those who work here.

 

Pomp and Circumstance

One of my nieces graduated from college this past weekend, so I ended up going to her graduation for some inexplicable reason.  (It is inexplicable because I did not even go to my own graduation 😉 .  The students were in the standard medieval garb of black gowns and mortar boards, but I fell in love with the outfits that the faculty had to wear, and I will admit to being a little jealous of these splendid robes.

I do realize that the colors of the robes somehow reflect the disciplines of the professors, whatever that might be.

There were loads of gorgeous outfits, but they were marching down the aisle right smartly and did not give us time to admire the get-ups.

Of course the best outfit was this magnificent pink cape and mitre Biretta worn by the Archbishop of Atlanta (he got an honorary degree, so he needed to look nice).

The president of the college (the one wearing the medallion) had spent three hours the night before, smiling in pictures for the students and family members.  It’s all part of the job.  The ceremony was outdoors and lasted for over two hours and as the temperature was in the high 80’s F (about 30 C), I must admit I admire the fortitude of these distinguished academics.   Perhaps I don’t want a robe after all.  Or

I could have dressed like this spectator, she was getting some wear out of what had surely been purchased as a bridesmaid’s dress.

In print

Years ago when I first started to quilt, and I first started to read quilt magazines, I thought “I could do that too”.   But the sort of women who get ribbons at shows and who get into quilt magazines are mostly insane and obsessive about quilting, and that is not me.  My work for others has appeared in magazines, but I couldn’t find where I had squirreled them away, so I can’t show them today.   But my work has appeared years ago in two books, and here they are.

I met Ann at a class she taught, this was my class sample.  She lived in Denver at the time and we became friends.  She even talked me in to wearing this at a fashion show at the quilt expo in Houston.

And I still have the jacket.

I also met the other author when I took a class from her, and we would run into each other back when I went to quilting conferences.  I sent her a picture of this little quilt and she chose it for her second book.

This is a detail of the quilt.   I’m not sure why I stopped quilting, but my life changed and I got busy with other things.  But perhaps I will pick it up again when I am old (I am already old, so I had better make that ‘when I am much, much older.) 😉

 

5th on the 6th

Today we were celebrating Cinco (5th) de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexicans winning a battle, if not the war.  This is apparently another moveable holiday, so it was being celebrated today, the 6th.   And what better way to celebrate this holiday than with a car show.

I took this photo because it reminded me of the car M’s grandmother drove.   This is a restored  former police car, a 1964 model.  Grandma drove a police special with a big block engine and heavy duty suspension, and let’s just say that it did not take her all that long to get to the grocery store. 😉

It’s a big deal in this car culture to have a very low car.   This truck is in the process of transformation, it has a hydraulic system that lets the body sit just above the ground when parked, it raises up higher when you drive it.  The cab has been chopped and dropped, it hasn’t been run through a crusher, although it does look like it.

What would a car show be without a couple of bounce houses for the kids?  The sign in the background was from a place that offered naughty massages.

This dashboard is on a 1947 Chrysler.   The car has only had three owners since it rolled off the assembly line and is in the process of being restored.   The back seat was spacious and comfortable, unlike what one might find in a modern car.

I thought this car was absolutely gorgeous!   The color looked striking, the chrome had been carefully polished, and it has hydraulics.

This guy is giving the chrome a final polish before the judging.  Our cars are inanimate objects, just designed to get one from place to place, but it was impossible not to feel the love these guys have for their machines.