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 . . .

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Graham Post Office Mural

       "Oil Fields of Graham," oil on canvas, by Alexandre Hogue, (1898 - 1994), installed in 1939.

    For more information and better images of the Texas Post Office murals, see Philip Parisi's book, The Texas Post Office Murals, Art for the People, ISBN-13 978-1585442317.

The community of Graham now houses a museum and art gallery in the former post office building. The mural is on loan to the museum by the U. S. Postal Service.

A large photograph of the building before 1992.

A marker stands in front of the building.

Graham Post Office

      Built in 1935-1936 at a cost of $60,000, this was the seventh and first long-term post office in Graham. It was one of a number of Depression Era federally funded projects built in the city. An excellent example of a moderne style post office of the 1930s, the structure contains an intact mural by regional painter Alexandre Hogue. The edifice was designed by U. S. Treasury architect Louis A. Simon. Its distinctive features include decorative aluminum grillwork, sculptural metal lights and zig-zag art moderne stone friezes. The U. S. Postal operations were relocated to another site in 1992.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark  - 1999

Ranger Post Office Mural

     "The Crossroads Town." Mural by Emil Bisttram (1895 - 1976). J. F. Mathews visited the mural and later posited on his blog that the man at right in the foreground is the artist. Read his interesting observations at this link: https://artnm.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/emil-bisttram-walks-on-austin-street-in-ranger-texas/#comments

A simple design for Ranger's Post Office.

The layout is not unusual.

Example of one of the mailboxes.


Eastland Post Office Mural

     The facade of the post office in Eastland, Texas, has the three bas reliefs that show the ways the Postal Office delivers mail. Namely, by train, plane, and ship. It is the same design as the post offices with murals in Electra and Quanah. Inside, friendly employees do not hesitate to point to the mural.

     "Buffalo Hunt." Mural by Suzanne Scheuer, (1898 - 1984). Heavy canvas installed in 1938. A pencil and colored pencil rendering on paperboard exists at the Smithsonian and is shown at this link:

Floor and boxes at the Eastland Post Office. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Milky Way

 The Red River Photography Club hosted a field trip to Benjamin, Texas. 

          My first time making images of the stars, I felt so excited that I packed my camera a full week in advance. Mark, Nick, and Mike trekked ahead of the group to mow the grass, grown tall by the high levels of moisture the area has received. The moon was bright until two o'clock. By then, I had left to wind my way back home, delighted about learning about some of tools for sky photography. 

Crepuscular rays at sunset and Ben's camera working to make an undoubtedly great image.

    Of interest only to me, this is my first ever image of the dark sky. If you squint hard enough, you can glimpse Ursa Major in the top half of the picture. The moon lights up the cliffs below. It is the same view that Ben's camera captures in the top image using the basic nighttime camera settings of ISO 6400, f4, and 25 seconds. The difficult part of making these images comes later on, in front of the computer. 

     And this is my favorite image of the evening, rendered with basic post processing for now. The moon washes out the right side of the picture, but one can still see the Milky Way and the group of members in the foreground. The monitors of their cameras light up their faces as they check their shots of the Andromeda nebula. Ben and Gene stand at his camera (with the long lens), Tom stands behind them, Seth sits under the eve of the cabin, and Nick sits to the right.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Berty and Star

Photos by Mary Morris.

At left, Liberty, and at right, Star, born on the Fourth of July.

Berty, two weeks old.

Berty, four weeks old. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Duck Lake Overflowing

The water did not reach the spillway, though, it came up to a few feet from the road. 

The pond has a nice grassy and extensive shore, as shown in my image taken last year:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Larry Hamilton's Table

Green Darner

Quanah Post Office Mural

     Quanah is located at the south eastern corner of the Texas Panhandle. It is a small town with a big history. We focus on its post office.
     Standing before the building, I noted that the architecture is identical to the post office in Electra.
The building appears cared after carefully; indeed, the reliefs depicting the various ways that the U.S. Mail delivers -- by train, plane, and boat -- had several coats of paint to protect them. The lamps that flank the top of the stairs had no wear, considering their age. The mural looked good, too, and brilliantly conceived by the artist. I leave you with photos and the text I found on the wall.


A Treasury Department Art Project
Commissioned by the Section of Painting & Sulpture
Procurement Division, Treasury Department
Executed by Jerry Bywaters in 1938


Quanah, the county seat of Hardeman County, Texas, was named after Quanah Parker, famous Comanche Chief. The mural is dominated by a life-size figure of Quanah Parker who is represented pledging peace and friendship to a white man who symbolizes all the early cattlemen and settlers of this region. 

In addition to the dominating central group the mural depicts historical events in the left half and shows the contemporary interests of the town and territory in the right half. 


The country where Quanah is now located was originally the range for millions of buffalo. Near the townsite are several hills named "Medicine Mounds" by the Indians. Near these mounds the Texas Rangers captured Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of Quanah Parker.

Among the first white men to enter the territory were cattlemen who either used this part of the Plains as range or drove their cattle along the Pease River to the Kansas markets. The cattlemen gradually displaced the Indians and when the buffalo were killed of the Comanches were forced to move to the North of the Red River. 

Although the country was opened up by the buffalo hunters and cattlemen, it was not really settled until after the coming of the railroads. The town Quanah was named by General G. M. Dodge who surveyed the first railroad through the country in 1885. The first passenger train came to Quanah over the Fort Worth and Denver railway in March, 1887.


After the coming of the railroads Quanah developed rapidly. Cattlemen replaced the longhorn with better beef stock. Cotton, wheat, and corn were cultivated extensively. 

The industrial interests of Quanah were represented in the mural by plaster mills, cotton gins, oil mills, compresses, and railway repair shops. In 1905, an irrigation and power project was conceived and later the Lake Pauline dam was built furnishing water for the hydroelectric power plant of the West Texas Utilities Company. 

                                      "THE NAMING OF QUANAH"  Mural Painting by Jerry Bywaters

The mural painting over the Postmaster's door was executed by Jerry Bywaters of Dallas, Texas. Mr. Bywaters received his commission as a result of an Honorable Mention in a Section of Fine Arts Competition. 


The town of Quanah, Texas, was named for a Comanche Chief, Quanah Parker. In the center of the painting Parker is shown pledging peace and friendship to a white man who symbolizes the early cattlemen and settlers of this part of the Texas Panhandle. in the left background are items of historical interest: The "Medicine Mounds," the mesas are near which Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of Quanah, was captures by the Texas Rangers; a longhorn cattleman, one of many who first opened up the country; one of the early railroad trains which actually settled the area; General G. M. Dodge who surveyed the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad through Hardeman County in 1885. On the right hand side are represented contemporary activities and buildings; beef stock which replaced the longhorns; cotton, wheat, corn, and hog raising: plaster mills, cotton gins, oil mills, and cotton warehouses; high tension towers representing the lake Pauline dam and hydroelectric plant.


Jerry Bywaters was born in Paris, Texas, May 21, 1906. He studied at the Southern Methodist University, Dalls, the Art Students League in New York and in Europe and Mexico. He has won many awards and he has exhibited widely. He is represented in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Texas State College for Women, Trinity University in Waxahachie, the Princeton Print Club, North State Teachers College, and others. He has executed murals for the Dallas City Hall, and the Paris, Texas, Public Library. Mr. Bywaters is also an art critic and editor and is assistant Professor of Art, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. His other work for the Section of Fine Arts includes murals for the Post Offices in Houston and Farmersville, Texas. 


The Aim of the Section of Fine Arts is to secure murals and sculpture of distinguished quality appropriate to the embellishment of Federal buildings. Approximately 1% of the total limit of cost of the buildings is reserved for this decoration. The Section holds open anonymous competitions, national, regional, state or local, to which all citizen artists of the United States are eligible. A different jury of painters or sculptors, unattached to the Section, judges each competition. 



Original boxes, walls, and floors. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mr Stauffer's Fireworks

     My first attempt at photographing fireworks provided a pleasing experience and more fun in Photoshop than I've had in a long time. I posted a journal of my experience and more images at my site: http://www.texashistorysaunter.net/mr-stauffers-fireworks.html

Update: Ben showed me how to blend images in Photoshop. With great enthusiasm I blended the things that I liked best about some of the photographs, nine total.

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.