Except as noted, all images copyrighted by and should be attributed to E. Bourland Hawley.
I had become many eons ago a traveling literary gnome, inquisitive about places I had and had not visited,
walking the same paths of peoples from the past, through places once grand and still grand,
photographing images that now show me the places about which I still dream . . .

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ronda: Ghost Town and Haunted Cemetery

         I have recently discovered, thanks to Gabriel, the concept of "ghost towns." I live in North Texas where the oil boom made and broke towns. I am surrounded by ghost towns. How can I resist not going to see them through the lens of my camera? I cannot resist documenting their current state. Ronda has disappeared except for its cemetery and a sign or two welded onto wrought iron gates. 

Grave from 1898.

A row of gravestones along a wheat field. As recently as 2009, the cemetery serves as a last resting place.

In the same field, I found two outhouses.

A roof once served the community. 

Archer County Historical Museum

            If you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop on by the Archer County Historical Museum. If you find the door closed, dial up the numbers on the note pictured above to ask if someone might be available to open it for you. That's Jack Lofton amazing Gabriel with his encyclopedic mind. I show, too, pictures of a printing press and a pulling machine (in HDR), plus the historical marker, and the facade of the old jailhouse now museum. The old jailhouse seems to burst at the seams with its permanent exhibit of . . . stuff . . .  lots of stuff . . . indoors and outdoors. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Clouds Over an Oklahoma Prairie



Monday, June 28, 2010


          Wichita Falls, a city rich in aviation history, has several airports within a ten-mile radius, including the runways of Sheppard Air Force Base. Only four miles or so away from the runways at the base sits Wichita Valley Airport, home base of some of the most classic aircraft ever developed. Here I show a 1946 Luscombe flown by Mr. McMurray. Today, Mr. McMurray gave Gabriel a lesson in aircraft operation. What a great aircraft for someone's first flight! (And look at that background! Thanks, Weather Goddess, for taking the rain to fall in the distance and not on the plane, embellishing this image.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Where's Ben?

         The storms this afternoon looked marvelous -- as long as they remained distant. We wondered about Storm Chasing Ben. They did not look threatening enough to send him chasing them to capture awesome images, but he's probably out there anyway.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


           Bisous appeared and disappeared as in a flash today. She hides when we have guests, but today she came into the kitchen while Gabriel played the guitar in the living room. Once he stopped, she quirked her ears in his direction, heard him pit-patting down the hall in his socked feet, and slinked away, cat-like.

Sailing the Starfish

Putting in.

Adjusting the lines.



Working Early

The great thing about rising early -- in addition to coffee or tea -- is the sunrise! 
This image shows Gabriel pounding a T post into the ground. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

JoAnn's Book Now on Sale

       The book, Emil Hermann, His Life and Art, written by JoAnn Crites, is available for purchase at the Museum of North Texas History, 720 Indiana Avenue, Wichita Falls Texas, 76301, or by phone (940)322-7628. Proceeds of the sale of this book go to the museum and the Wichita Falls Literature and Art Review. Interestingly, after the book was published, and during the advertising period, several people contacted JoAnn and the museum to say they owned paintings by Emil.

Cisterns in Istanbul

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tractors: Air and Farm

This is the nose of an Air Tractor, a machine to dispense chemicals over crops.

         And here is another kind of tractor. Dave was returning from mowing at the Humane Society's Cleaning Up Day. He insists that I cease taking pictures of him -- as if I could refrain with picturesque images like this one -- because he is Amish and is not allowed to have his picture taken. 

Thornberry Peach Festival

The experience seems good year after year with the sandwiches, the peaches, the cobbler, and the ice cream. Especially, so seems the music good at the Peach Festival every year in Thornberry. The Red River Valley Boys (plus drummer girl) delighted the spectators with their charm and well-played music.

Readying Reading: Santa Fe

          One of many fave towns, Santa Fe, seems a refreshing literary journey for a gallivanting ranching gnome. To embellish my visit there, I've procured the following book as part of a growing list of readings: Death Comes to the Archbishop, by Willa Cather. I can imagine vividly my dear friend and professor, Jeff Campbell, thrusting the book in my direction, adamantly wishing to share Cather's work with me. Next on the list: Walks in Literary Santa Fe: A Guide to Landmarks, Legends, and Lore by Barbara Harrelson; Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1917-1950.
          We will visit the opera, too, while in Santa Fe. One of the best operas in the country -- the world -- we will enjoy listening to and watching Madame Butterfly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Another ghost town.
You might see the image of this school frequently online, or the side wall of the old store along Hwy 82, and you might even see the image of the Methodist Church . . .

. . . but you might not see from the inside of the church the stained glass windows, their art rendered modestly, as one might feel upon entering through its door.

Two Ways to Move a Helicopter

You might feel surprised by how maneuverable a grounded helicopter may seem. Some, such as Tommy's have removable wheels on each skid.

Once you accept Randy's offer to help you push the helicopter out of the hangar, you can remove the wheels, as shown below.

OR . . . you can land the helicopter, nimbly, masterfully, on a wheeled pad, a picture of which I show above, then pull it into the hangar with the truck. 

This pad needs a repaired wheel. 

I noted these old chalks on the moveable heli pad. Not needed here, except to make an interesting photograph. 

Monday, June 21, 2010


            I saw Mankins on the list of Ghost Towns of Texas. We stopped by there this afternoon to take a look. Take note of the construction of the walls, particularly the storage barn door, which seems reminiscent of what we might see on the Greek isles in their own construction methods of taking stones from other structures and from other places to construct new buildings.
This small building stands on the side of Hwy 82, eighteen-wheelers rushing past it at sixty miles per hour. 

On the front door, Fedex had left a note.

The white figure at the top of the stairs looks like a gargoyle, one of several we saw standing guard at the entrances of the two dwellings. 

Let Lovely Turn of Phrase Begin

Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream On

Listen, will you? I think that . . . literature, poetry, music and love make the world go round . . . while mathematics explains things; I fill my life with them, then go walking in snowy woods.
Let us go then, you and I
like two etherized patients floating
through life, together feeling prufrockian.
DDB Jr. makes my world go 'round; during his absence, Pachelbel fills it up.
One summer I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, then through the Gulf of Finland to reach Saint Petersburg; I pursued Joseph Brodsky in its alley ways. I dream of making that two summers.
I read “Biking to Electra;” found my way in a Jaguar car, and glanced at the flashing steel grasshoppers at sunset. I’ll follow K.O.P.’s footsteps after he followed N.Scott Momaday’s; find warmth and inspiration on a rainy mountain.
Throw chinese coins for the I Ching.
Save the whales, the spotted owl, the woman in toil.
Cast a fly for trout; my memories of fly fishing under the sunny blue Colorado sky remain; I yearn to build more . . . with more trophy Browns.
Listen for the swan’s calls on the Baltic Sea. Feel KKII's joy, his arms spread wide in Yazilikaya.
Good night, Jimmy Durante, where ever you are.