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 . . .

Friday, August 31, 2012

Plathemis lydia


Adult male common white-tailed skimmer. Love them for they gorge on mosquitoes.
Visit Dawes Arboretum for more photographs of dragonflies.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ol' Ninety-seven

     Ol' Ninety-seven, a Hereford bull, he's a charming fellow, if you don't approach him too closely, and a happy one, for all the gals following him around the prairie grasslands of North Texas. Rather than a number, I call him Sweetie.


From Start to a Finish

    Intrigued by the facade of a building downtown, I poked my nose in the city index of 1923. Why that year? Easy to answer: The facade shows, "19 and 23." The year, plus the address, are good places to begin. JoAnn had already discovered that they, the folks in the building, earned a living in real estate.  This afternoon, nose in several years of the city indexes, I noted that Gullahorn and Beard were partners in both real estate and live stock dealing. As far back as I studied this afternoon, which was 1920, those were their businesses. Their address was listed as 501 Indiana until 1945, when they listed 101 Indiana.


    The address of the beautiful building is 517 Indiana, different from the address listed in the index. 

Facade of building showing Gullhorn, 19 and 23, and Beard 
across the brick above, and the address on the wood.

A truck sits abandoned alongside the building. 

    On a side note, having nothing to do with the intriguing building, except, perhaps, its location, also parked on its property is the trailer of an eighteen-wheeler, which provides shelter for two homeless persons. Underneath, they seem to have most of what they need to provide for their creature comforts.

     By 1945, the address listed for Gullahorn and Beard shows 101 Indiana, where only the concrete foundation exists now, and the trunk of a tree long gone. 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lycoris radiata: Three Views

Spider lily on the 24th.
Nikon 3200, 55-300mm, 320ISO, f5.6, 1/60 secs, auto WB, manual,
cropped in the digital darkroom.

Spider lily on the 28th.
D3200, 55-300mm, 280ISO, f5.6, 1/250 secs, auto WB, manual, 
cropped in the digital darkroom.

Red spider lily.
D3200, 55-300mm, 100ISO, f5.6, 1/15 secs, auto WB, manual, cropped.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Impromptu Soccer

One evening in front of the Hardin Building.
Nikon F6, 17-35mm, Portra 400.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Steaming a Cowboy Hat


Paul, from Ranch Horse Outfitters, steams a straw hat 
to make it pliable enough to shape to a customer's head. 

Nikon F6, 17-35mm, f2.8, Provia 400, cropped.

Poetry: My Friend Jeff on the Baltic Sea

My Friend Jeff on the Baltic Sea

I used to ask my friend about everything.
Before he died on a sunny, windy day, I asked him,
Jeff, why do the swans swim on the Baltic Sea?

But silently he walked toward me for a farewell hug.
I said, Where will you go when you walk up the shore?
To see more swans swim, he said, on the Baltic Sea.

As he stood on the shore, the sun's warmth on his head,
I looked up at him. I wanted to walk with him up the shore
to watch other swans as they swam on the Baltic Sea.

The wind blew. I blinked. Time flew. Jeff -- Jeff left.
I wept -- yet since then I have stood tall without him
watching the swans swim on the Baltic Sea.

 

    Canon PowerShot A530, 23mm cropped, f5.5, 1/320sec, 0ISO,
    post-processed in the digital darkroom for color contrast in CS6.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cared-for Urban Decay

     Drive through a downtown and we may find various levels of urban decay. Some structures receive attention, if only with a board nailed to the doors to keep them from swinging open, or with a piece of chalk to express love for someone. Others stand, not forgotten, but perhaps owned by someone who cannot maintain them. Though small, Wichita Falls offers many photo ops for one who enjoys urban photography.








 D4, 17-35mm, 79ISO, cropped but the Mud Products, Inc image. 
   

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Andy's Sidelong Glance


Wondering about the whispers . . . 

Nikon F6, 35mm, Sensia 800, original color photograph 
post-processed in the digital darkroom using Snapseed.

Morning Dew Hawk

Morning sunshine on dew and a few limbs that fell during the storm last night.

Cooper's Hawk.

50-300mm, f5.6, aperture priority, enjoyably taken with the D3200, a light-weight and capable camera.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Artistry of Cowboy Boots and Rolling Cigarettes

  The Ranch Round Up provides opportunities to make friends and meeting up with old ones, in addition to raising funds for a good cause, or winning a prize for fastest kid running 'round barrels on a stick horse. They have good grub, too, in the chuck wagon event, or so I hear. Of interest to me, too, is the art work on exhibit created by the ranch families, cowboys, and friends. I made my way there to view the art work, without suspecting that I would discover the artistry created by boot-makers, a discovery that I made with a pouch of tobacco. 

  Indeed, historian Robert Palmer said that one item may lead to another, though unrelated, just as fascinating, item. 

   At one of the booths at the Ranch Round Up, Old West Collectibles, from Guthrie, Oklahoma, Mr. Balsiger rose from his chair and walked toward a collection of western antiques on the far table. "Lemme give you somethin'. Here's an old pouch, it's very old, of tobacco. The cowboys used to put it in their front shirt pocket, and the string would hang out over the edge. They would reach in there for some tobacco, and they'd roll their cigarettes, just like this," he said, holding his left palm upward, as if holding paper, and pretending to roll a cigarette with his right fingers. "They'd lick the edge and twist each end," he said, bringing the imaginary cigarette to his lips, and then twisting the tips with his index fingers and thumbs, effectively taking me into an imaginary world as brilliantly as a mime would. 

   He handed me the pouch. "That's for you," he said. It was a cotton bale of smoking tobacco from the Durham company. It was open and empty, the paper band torn, and who knows how many decades ago someone, a poor old soul addicted to tobacco, tore the band and commenced a-rolling a satisfying cig. The string he mentioned was still on it, and it was yellow. It contained, still, a few pieces of leaves, and smelled fragrantly of tobacco -- the only merit of the plant. I thanked him profusely for the opportunity to learn more about a part of history, tragic to the lungs though it might be to those addicted to tobacco. 

Durham tobacco pouch, a gift from an Oklahoman historian.

Red Nikon D3200, f3.2, 105mm, -1.33ev, flash, ISO110, cropped in the digital darkroom.


    In addition, it is known by the text printed on some of the bands glued around the pouches, that the Red Cross provided the pouches of tobacco to the troops during World War I. They ceased selling pouches by 1980, after quite a long run. 

   But back at the booth, I turned to Mr. Balsiger's friend and asked her, "Those seven-and-a-halfs?" She sat in a chair next to the white leather boots on the floor, catching her head as it lopped over, trying to keep from falling asleep. Aware of me looking at her, she woke herself up, eyes widened, and said, "Huh?"
   
  "The boots on the floor next to you, are they for sale?" I felt regretful to disturb her sleep and hoped she would welcome having something to do.

 "Uh, yeah, and they are seven-and-a-half. Wanna try them on?" she asked, stifling a yawn. "Sit yourself right here," she said, getting up from her chair, "so you can try them on."

Detail of the white leather boots.

Red Nikon D3200, 105mm, f3, 1/200, flash, ISO3200 (forgot to set my ISO to my favorite 100), 
slight contrast during post-processing in the digital darkroom. 

   "How much are they?" I asked, removing my right shoe, aware and embarrassed by the hole in my sock. 
   The woman turned to Mr. Balsiger, "Say, John. How much are the white boots?"
   "What?"
   "The white leather boots. How much are they?"
   "Seventy-five." 

   I tried on the boots and, finding them an exact fit and comfortable to my feet, said I would buy them. 
   "How much are those other old boots?" I said, pointing to a brown pair standing on display on the original box.
   "Oh, those are much more expensive," Mr. Balsiger's sleepy friend said.
   "How much more expensive?" Both of us looked at him.
   "Three hundred and fifty. They're very old. They're from the '20s. I bought them at an estate sale in Nebraska. They're Olsen-Steltzer boots made for Roy Rogers. The owner had a picture of himself wearing them. I bought the picture, too."
   "Sounds like they belong in a museum and not on my feet," I said. 
  "Right. You wouldn't want to wear those boots. You'd want to keep them and not wear them, and then in a few years you would want to sell them back to me," he said. 

   Intrigued by the boot company that Mr. Balsiger had mentioned, the Olsen-Steltzer, I wandered around the showroom in an attempt to find their booth, which, of all things, they had set up here. Why a historical, high-quality company that catered to celebrities such as Roy Rogers and whose boots would become museum pieces would travel all the way from Houston or Dallas or whatever big-time town, to sit at a booth for two days, seemed beyond my comprehension, but how ignorant about things I can prove myself!  

   Founded in Henrietta, Texas, in 1934, the Olsen-Steltzer began the penchant and flair for creative designs that cowboy boots show these days. At the company website, watch the old timey video filmed circa 1956 by the Chamber of Commerce of Henrietta. (I couldn't watch past three or four minutes, really, but give it a try.)



Olsen-Steltzer boots customed-designed for an aviator. 
Naturally, as an aviator myself, these boots peaked my interest, 
though I opted for the more traditional design.

   When I reached the booth, I noted the pleasing quality of craftsmanship and artistry. Subsequently, in viewing their website, I reflected -- and this is my own conjecture -- that any vestiges of the "Made in China" reputation, from which the company apparently suffered in the 1980s, disappeared. The quality of workmanship now may hark back to the years when presidents, celebrities, and cowboys bought their boots from Olsen-Steltzer. They still might, and I ought to find out! Today's designs include the traditional stitching, or your own, or the retro look to the '30s and '40s, and Joan Miro, or Picasso, all in high quality craftsmanship.

   In spite of the hole in my sock, I asked Tom to measure my foot for my first new, measured to my foot, pair of cowboy boots. 


Black Duck

  More information on the American Black Duck at All About Birds.

D3200, 300mm, f5.6, ISO800, cropped in the digital darkroom.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Young Man Frees a Young Hawk

       A young man came upon a nestling hawk in the grass. Weak with dehydration and hunger, the hawk did not fight or flee when Chris reached down to pick him up. Raised by Wild Bird Rescue this past year, the time came for the Broad-winged hawk to return to the wild. With foresight, the young man chose to release the young hawk near a lake and a forest, sure to provide food for the rest of its life. The young man and the young hawk, both adolescents, embark into their own worlds.


D4, 17-35mm, f2.8, ISO1000, cropped in the digital darkroom.




Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nature Below and Above

     Lying on inflatable mattresses, MyMrMallory and I watched, between dozes, the Perseid meteor shower. We drove into the countryside, far from city lights, and close to coyotes howling throughout the night. Packs of coyotes communicated to each other from all directions, as if they surrounded us, to the east, the west, the north. Eek. We lay safely inside the truck bed, huddling under a flannel sheet, hoping that the coyotes would not hop up to join us, soft and furry creatures of God though they might be . . .

     Other wildlife included turkey (8), sandpiper (3), nighthawk (6), scissortail (2), mourning dove (countless), a lark sparrow, a hawk, and in the morning we spotted approximately forty wild hogs.

The dark passenger window of the truck provided me with a good filter 
to take a photo of the setting sun.
D4, 35mm, f16, 1/6, 400ISO.


Views to the west and the southeast; we surrounded ourselves with open country. 
D4, 17mm, f11, 1/13 and 30seconds, 1000ISO, brightened a bit in the digital darkroom.


    At times I counted six meteors, one right after the other; at other times, I waited while knowing that soon a white trail would appear from the east, sliding toward the southwest. Some meteors traveled  short paths, others long paths from one horizon the other, and others, impressively, finished their trails by explosion. 

     In the morning, a waning crescent moon rose next to Aldebaran, adding to the beauty of the meteor shower. 



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bookshopped in Archer City

      One might find any time a good time to visit Archer City, Texas. Today, though, seemed the best of all these good times. for bookworms, at least.  Chris Vaughn wrote a nice story about The Last Book Sale in the Fort Worth Star Telegram
   
      I have a purpose this morning, other than to practice making photographs; I would like to own a particular book written and autographed by Larry McMurtry, and I would have to ask someone knowledgeable about his work to know which book I have in mind.
   
       In some store fronts, t-shirts with quotes from his novels were available for purchase. Realtor and McMurtry's nephew, Matt, offers the t-shirts at his office next door to Booked Up No. 4. I, though, searched, not for a quote, but for a scene in one of his books, and it is that novel, whichever one it is, that I set out to find.

      Update: Good story written by Alyssa Johnston about the sale in the Times Record News, and
another published in the New York Times written by John Williams.

Zooming down Highway 79 on my way to Archer City.

Smile! Archer County courthouse. (The clouds! They embellish pictures.)
I HDR-ed this image for effect.

The Royal Theatre. Here they viewed "The Last Picture Show" 
as part of The Last Book Sale festivities. 

No telling who or what pulls up (myself included) 
to eat a nice home-cooked meal at the Wildcatter Cafe,
just around the corner from Booked Up No. 4 and up the street
from Booked Up Nos. 1 - 3.

Fabulous old facades in the old town.

A man with an old suitcase walks up Main Street. 

     Could his suitcase contain a treasured antiquarian book or two, or a change of undies? 
     Or nothing, mused MyMrMallory, for perhaps he is a character in the show. After his observation, I felt a desire burble inside me to know more about McMurtry's work just to know if -- should MyMrMallory be correct -- which character in which novel this mystery man portrays. 

I lean against the glass to look in the front windows of the various locations of Booked Up. 
This is Booked Up No. 2.

Purchasers piled their books into boxes, then piled boxes into trucks and trailers. 
This is number four.

Booked Up on Main Street.

Pictured, the nice gals who sold me a signed copy by McMurtry. 

      I asked them, "In which novel, or was it in an article, does McMurtry write about a young character (based on McMurtry's recollections) who looks across the way to a mansion, and that he would see a light in the mansion remain lit well into the night? The character also mentions that the resident of that mansion would drive his Packard down to the road to retrieve his mail from the mailbox."
     
   One of them said, "Oh, yes. I remember reading that, too. Is it in Paradise, or is it in Benjamin Warren?"
    
    "I don't remember seeing it in Paradise," said the other. "We'll ask Larry when he comes in."

   Then, the first gal turned to the mysterious man with the suitcase. I hadn't seen him enter the building, and hadn't expected him there, since he walked up Main Street, away from the shop, not down and toward the shop. "Bob, do you know where Larry talks about the time he was a boy and he'd look out the way to Mr. Taylor's house?" 

    "That would be in Benjamin Warren," said mystery Bob. 

   "Then that would be the autographed book I'd like to buy today," I said, pleased that someone knowledgeable about McMurtry's work had walked in at the very moment I needed him. Strangely. I wondered fleetingly if his suitcase contained, gently bundled, a copy of Benjamin Warren
  
    An interesting thing to me is that the local folks of Archer county often refer to Larry McMurtry's house in Archer City as "Mr. Taylor's house," the man who built the house in the late nineteen-teens or early nineteen-twenties. He died in the mid-nineteen fifties, and the house was subsequently sold the the Archer City Country Club. McMurtry later bought the house from them, the golfers muttering through clenched teeth, "He gave us an offer we could not refuse," or so the myth among Taylor's descendants goes. 

    The scene in the novel supposedly reflects the recollections of the writer's youth. Mr. Taylor did read into the wee hours of the night, and he did own a Packard, I heard say from his descendants. I would like to own a copy of the book because it reflects a part of the history of Archer City. 

   Other interesting things about Mr. Taylor's house sound like made-up stories: His (first) wife haunts the house, and she (or is it his second?)  kept a chicken in the fireplace upstairs while living there. Interesting in that the local folks tell  stories about the house and the original owners, and according to one of McMurtry's relatives, so does he, complaining that he feels her ghost during some of his sleepless nights. It is nice, though, aside from Mrs. Taylor's ghost and chicken, that people remember Mr. Taylor with some unspoken fondness, the same kind of unspoken fondness I perceived for Larry McMurtry during my short visit to Archer City.

Bookshelves hold over 100,000 volumes in Booked Up, 
minus one autographed novel that I will cherish owning.

Nikon D4, 17-35mm, 100 and 800 ISO, f16 and f2.8.
1988 Jaguar XJS.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Good Ol' Days . . .

Before the drought . . . when we had water . . .



Nikon F100, Sensia 100.

Missus Who?


 
Abigail? Edna, Ethel, Fanny, Gertie, Hortense, Maude? Molly, Myrtle, or Sarah Ann?
Married to whom? Byron? Buford? Butch, Buck, Bubba?
I feel glad times are changing.

 Nikon F100, Sensia 100.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Not Too Old to Dream, Thanks to a Song about a Kiss

When I grow too old to dream,
I’ll have you to remember.
When I grow too old to dream,
your love will live in my heart.

So, kiss me, my sweet,
and so let us part.
And when I grow too old to dream,
that kiss will live in my heart.

 I lost a dear love during my mid-twenties. In the middle of grieving, I felt grumpy about my age back then. Mid-twenties, I thought, was much too young to become a widow; I think it is an age when we think we own the world, or can save the world, or sit on top of the world.

When I could hold my love in my arms, and we would listen to Vera Lynn cooing, “When I Grow Too Old to Dream,” I heard some sweet lyrics sung by a woman with a lovely voice. Beam back to the present, thirty years later, I hear the lyrics that reflect what I feel today.

The lyrics, I read in Wikipedia, were written by good ol’ Oscar Hammerstein II back in 1934, in between World Wars I and II, when Vera Lynn began her career. Lynn made the song significant during Great Britain’s struggles as she uplifted the spirits of civilians and soldiers.

Lynn was in her twenties when the Second World War started, and there she was, she owned the world, she stood on top of it, she saved it with her remarkable voice. She remained on top of the world, in fact, when at age 92, her collection, We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn, became the number one ranked album in the UK.

Not that I get all teary-eyed when I listen to the song these days, though I have on occasion wiped a tear from my cheeks when I sing it; the thing is that as one grows older, memories become a kind of hope to hold on to; and we hold on to them gently, lest we squeeze them to pieces.

In our older age, we recognize the timelessness of Hammerstein’s lyrics, the hope that lingers in us as we sing, “when” we grow “too old,” an age that we will not reach while the kiss of one’s love lives in our hearts.

Lynn, in her nineties, had not grown too old to dream, and certainly neither have I in my fifties. While in our mid-twenties we might believe in some things, in an older age, while we know we cannot own or save the world, we know that we can dream about it, we can dream about standing on top of it, all thanks to the memory of a kiss.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cat


F6, 85mm, f2.8, Portra 160, tethered flash, on the floor, on my belly.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

First Saturday of every Month, Jenny Flies

To learn about the JN-4D, please visit the web site or their Facebook page.

The pilot and his two gals after the flight.

Wide angle view of the Jenny's port side before her monthly flight at Kickapoo Airport.

Starting the Jenny. Note the fire extinguisher. Safety first.

Jenny in flight.

Landing. And a beautiful landing it was today.

Returning to the hangar. 

Nikon F6, 17-35mm, Portra 160, and polarizer filter, cropped in the digital darkroom.






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.