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 . . .

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Invigorating Scamp in the Countryside

           MyMrMallory and I rode around with Andrew in his all terrain vehicle, the Rhino. I want a Rhino now. Rhinos can go anywhere.

Easily, the Rhino drove through this wheat field . . . 

. . . and gathered wheat seeds as a combine would gather them.

We encountered several gates, most of which were creative in their method of latching. 

Some gates required the wit and strength of two men to close.

          We visited several lakes. I call this one Turkey Lake, for an American Turkey took flight as we approached. 

Here I show a view characteristic of the Red River region.

         There remains the abandoned barn. Note the corrugated zink, the wood underneath it, and holding it all up, the stones. 

The barn may seem a bit crude in its structure, but at least it has electricity.

Recycle everything. A license plate nailed to the bottom of a doorway covered a hole in the wood.

Time and storms pass by. 

Flowers remain prolific in the Texan countryside. (Yay.) 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hard Eleven Hours

         If only I could have stopped to take more pictures. With the little time I had available, though, I managed a few photographs that show the wonderful Texas seen along the way.
        Heavily post-processed image of part of the structure of a bridge over the Brazos River. Lesson: One must prepare one's camera for "grab shots" as methodically as for a well-composed photograph.

       Viewing the image above, let us play Spot the Courthouse in the reflection of this picture showing a Jaguar Saloon and the highway signs. 

An homage to the past, now old. 

         I've recently decided to show new things, or old things becoming new, opposing my images of Ghost Towns and dilapidated things. In this view, I show old buildings renovated as new, which I view as an endeavor of great character on the part of the community. The two images above show Jordan's Pharmacy in Hamilton, and the building on the corner of Archer and Main Streets in Jacksboro. 

Hard Eight: Where they Cook Food for Your Belly

        Though I had a severe case of get-there-itis after a day away from home, I had to stop for lunch somewhere and to rest  for a hard morning driving north on Highway 281. Always one for a culinary experience, beginning at 11:00 am, I looked out for a local cafe or restaurant for a good meal. In Stephenville I ran into great luck. I caught sight of the Hard Eight BBQ, and carefully avoiding a collision with the yahoo in the truck on the cellphone tailgating me, I turned off the road and drove up to the already crowded parking lot. (You guys, quit yapping on the cell phone while you drive.)
         Inside the building, I saw animals mounted expertly, then hung on the walls. I saw the characteristic head and shoulders of deer, but I also saw full bodies of deer mounted to look as if they leapt over streams. The animals made me imagine them as they lived in the country. The motif seemed unabashedly masculine and country, showing framed images of cowboys and ball players all along the walls. Included among the photos I saw were photographs of 4H youngsters with their prize-winning pigs. Many portraits of ball players and bull riders hung along the walls of the halls, most inscribed by the subject. One of them wrote, "Hard Eight -- the only joint in town you can pay for your meal with the money you won off the owner on the golf course earlier that day." Another inscription, this one written on an artistic rendering of a cowboy astride his horse ready to throw his lasso said, "Good friends are hard to come by." 
         Looking around I tried to memorize everything I saw, and sought, too, a good possibility for a photograph. Up on a corner, hanging high from the banister of the second story, I saw a decoration that seemed worthy of study. A skull of a deer, antlers and all, affixed to a frame, perhaps an old window shutter, caught my eye. After staring at it for a while, my jaw lax and my mouth lay open, my nose wrinkled, and my eyes squinting, all in an attempt to concentrate to assimilate the sight above me. I noticed, too, rope as part of the art, and, What were those white sticks? Bones? Eew. My grimacing face perhaps caught, I assume, by the security camera directly below the objet d'art

         As I put my camera down, the manager, Matt, approached me and gently informed me that they do not allow photography in the restaurant. My smile and wide-as-saucers eyes, showing friendly interest, may have compelled him to chat with me about why they do not allow pictures. Their goosiness, understandably, stems from past visits by other restauranteurs who take pictures of this restaurant, inside and out, fetching ideas from the unique decor at the Hard Eight BBQ for their own buildings. 
        On behalf of Hard Eight BBQ, other restaurants may decorate to high heaven, but they will be hard pressed to match the quality of the food. I had a pork sandwich on jalapeno sourdough bread, so delicious that it convinced me to tell my friends about the Hard Eight BBQ. Standing before the bbq pits and looking upon several kinds of meats available to eat seemed impressive, too, as a culinary experience. The chefs at the Hard Eight augment the usual fare of chicken and ham with brisket, turkey, sausage, ribs, Rib Eye and Sirloin steaks, and pork chops. And no, though they claim "to go" boxes are popular, in spite of the size of my sandwich, I deemed it too delicious to share with MyMrMallory, waiting for me at home. And while there, glancing at the decorations on the walls offers a unique distraction to look at between mouthfuls. 

           Having managed only two images, I show them here. (Sorry, Matt!) The Hard Eight also sells memorabilia to remind you of your journey there. Visit them on the web to whet your appetite: www.hardeightbbq.com. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Hour in Canoe

Friends in the Sierra Club, human and canine, hopped into a kayak and a couple of canoes this morning.
The Wichita River waters flowed gently for us.

We spotted two Yellow-billed Cuckoos, several Blue Jays, American Robins, Mississippi Kites, Grackles, a warbler kind, and a gray bird. Terry, we need you come along with us to help us identify the "gray" birds. 

Glory accompanies Martha during most of her paddling adventures.

Here, French Poodle Boudreaux, and Terrier Uwen ensure a safe canoeing experience for Kelly, Temple, and J.D.

Several intriguing sites along the way included a large rock with carvings and raccoon paw prints in the dried mud.

One of the overpasses sports competing graffiti. 

We passed underneath I-44.

I hoped we would find water flowing down the falls, but they had the pumping unit off.

We landed and pulled in the canoes, then loaded them up on the trailer. 

Thanks to our friends at the Sierra Club for a pleasant experience.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Riding a Lawn Mower

       Recently, I discovered a new passion, and that is the endeavor of riding a lawn mower. I'm not good at it, yet, not having figured out a pattern, and having to ride around mowing over large patches of grass I missed, but I don't mind. The enjoyment in riding a lawn mower comes as no surprise to me because I love to drive things, to ride in things. Here, though, I contribute by driving something in cutting the grass. I recall the complaints made by some folks in having to mow -- the tedious chore they must accomplish every weekend -- usually ended by a dash to the refrigerator for a nice cold brew that will ameliorate the boredom of . . . mowing. Not I! I won't complain and I don't particularly like beer, so I get to mow and mow and mow until I run out of grass or the mower malfunctions, as it did today, the poor thing, by breaking a chain. How disappointing that we could not repair it so that I could continue my task.
       Not everyone has the opportunity to ride a lawn mower, and may live a lifetime never sitting on one; why, I cite myself as an example. I know many people who ride around in lawn mowers, but only until last month did I ever do so myself.
       I picture above our old lawn mower purchased from Texas Tractor Supply company on its fiftieth anniversary. TSC opened its doors in 1939. Except for a broken chain, it still mows, puttering along, turning on a quarter rather than on a dime, over humps, and around Mesquite plants.
       Unlike most folks, I can hardly wait to repair the mower and jump back on it to mow. The love of beer after mowing, I assume, will come with time.

Tagging Along at Five Hundred Feet

MyMrMallory invited me to tag along with him on a helicopter ride. We flew to El Reno, Oklahoma.
The helicopter of choice, a Jet Ranger, and its shadow on the ramp. 

They are my crew for today, walking toward the helicopter.

El Reno fuel station. Most credit cards accepted.

I hope that when they re-paint or replace this sign, they spell everything correctly.

Someone's mailbox, perhaps the person who owns the sign.

Recycled sign in parking area.

El Reno is a small airport with frequent aircraft traffic.

Antennae for cell phone communication have sprung up like weeds. 

After a couple of hours of flight, the crew pushes the helicopter back into the hangar. 

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.