The Bingo Singers~this little group has been active for at least 19 years. It started at the nursing home when I was helping with the Bingo games. Willie Johnson was singing one day and I told her I had a guitar and brought it the next time and we were off and running. She knew every song there was, I made copies of the lyrics for everyone and we sang for an hour before Bingo twice a week. We sang everything from old ‘he done her wrong songs to hymns’. Through the years we have had some great singers, some of the guys like Jack , George , Claudie , and Wally to name a few, and volunteers like Jim , James , Mary , Norma Lynn and a group of women who love to sing . We’ve played a few gigs at socials on the court house lawn. A nice comment was, “you don’t mess around tuning guitars or warming up, you just get up and sing“. It has been fun being a part of this sweet nursing home family, some of my best friends ever, it is nice having a good audience~We meet every Friday at 9:00 and sing our hearts out for an hour. Everyone is invited.
Today I will show you some more pictures from the drilling rig operation. This was the Mittel well that was drilled in August 1990 so all the faces you see are 23 years older now. The chances are many of them are still working in the oil fields. Daddy worked as a roughneck until he was 68 years old and loved his job. These men have to know what they are doing, one mistake and the whole crew can be in danger. Hard work but everyone seemed to like what they were doing. They had to be strong and physically fit, they got dirty and they got tired. The money was good, it was one of the best paying job in this area. Men get broken ribs, some lose a finger, others have had burns from flash fires. and there have been wrecks when the crews were driving home from work after long shifts. It is just their way of life and they like it. Drilling is still going strong in West Texas
I liked making this blog, Dan and I enjoyed meeting these fellows
My friend Pat brought me an snap shot of an old grist mill in Glen Rose, it was built back in 1860 and at one time owned by her Great Grandfather Price. She wanted me to paint it for her. She told me the story behind it and I found more information on the internet, so while I was painting, it was interesting to know the history. She remembered visiting her grandmother there when she was growing up so it was part of her young life. Once when she was six years old, her mother put her on a bus in Ballinger, sat her behind the driver and told him not to let her off until she got to Glen Rose where her grandparents were waiting to pick her up. Times were different back then. After I finished the painting and she had it for a few days and came back and wondered if I could add some children playing in the yard. I asked my little Edmiston neighbors to come over and pose under my oak tree, with a wagon and the swing, then painted them in the picture. It brought it to life. This old building still stands in Glen Rose, it has been a grist mill, cotton gin, hospital and now an art gallery, many changes in a century and a half. Pat has this little bit of history hanging on her wall. I enjoyed painting it~
Here are three of my dogs, this picture was taken in 2006 in the world’s smallest office. I got T4C to build me a little 6′ X 8′ building, I painted it barn red, trimmed it in taupe and the roof was hunter green. It was an exciting project. I built two desks out of 1″ birch plywood and it had insulated windows, a ceiling fan, and also an air-conditioner. It had a small heater but didn’t need one since the computers kept it warm.
When it was finished, there was space for two people working in there with two computers, printers, scanners and 19 feet of shelving on the walls, enough storage room for all their business.This project took about two months but was one of my favorites. It was like building a play house. My dogs liked it too.
What a thrill the day my kids moved home and saw it for the first time. It was sitting at our camp on the South Concho River near Christoval, they used it until they were able to build their new home. Now it has been moved to it’s permanent place in the middle of Chickie Town and the Peacock Palace and the Bean Barn and the orchard. I never get over the feeling of excitement going inside that fine little place. Wonderful memories live here.
This is a picture of the ranch in the Delaware Mountains in far West Texas. It is 70 miles from Van Horn so is about as remote as it gets. You see Guadalupe Peak in the background, the highest point in Texas at 8,751 ft. It is a magical place, the ranch has been in the family for around a hundred years. One day Dan’s Grandpa Pelt was in the coffee shop at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio when he got to visiting with a man sitting there and they started talking about their ‘white elephants’. Grandpa had property in the Valley near Edinburg and the other man had a large ranch in Culberson County. When they were finished that day, they had made a a trade for each other’s land, sight unseen. Back in those days, deals were struck like this all the time. The ranch has been wonderful for 5 generations to enjoy. It is a favorite family hunting place with big mule deer, antelope, and every kind of wild life. The first time I saw it, it took my breath away, coming up to the rim and seeing for a hundred miles, it was like the Grand Canyon of Texas. Thank you Grandpa, sweet trade~
This armchair is 8″ high and a copy of one in my living room that I have had for 45 years. We bought it from Bennett Brother’s of Chicago, a wholesale place that put out a wonderful catalog every year. They carried nice furniture, as well as jewelry and almost anything you could think of. The prices were ‘wholesale’. The miniature chair was easy to make, upholstered furniture didn’t take as much time to make as the wooden pieces. The lamp table was a copy of a real one I had. The books are a little block of wood, covered with pictures of books from a magazine, just cut out the picture and fold it over the wood. One book is True Women by Janice Woods, I scanned the book jacket and then reduced it down to the right size for the miniatures. No matter how tiny these things are, you can recognize the covers and read the titles. It is the same with photographs, I scan, then reduced the size and frame them in something like an ear screw that has the the stone taken out. Jewelry makes perfect little frames. This chair is like the one I sit in every morning to read the paper. I have said before how much I enjoy the morning paper~if I am not liking the way a story is going, I just turn the page. The TV news turns into a loud debate, Breaking News! Then the rest of the day, each commentator giving their take on it and explaining it to us dummies~I like the Standard Times and our wonderful local paper, The Eldorado Success~
On March 24, 1924, Mr. E.L. Hoover bought this new Model T Ford Roadster from Watkins-Inks Motor Co in Llano, Texas and paid $346.70 (filled up). Years later, in the early 50’s, Bob McWhorter bought it from him and completely restored it. He enjoyed taking kids for rides, showing it off in parades or just driving it to the drug store for coffee. He had two Model T Ford cars and later gave one to each of two nephews, Dan and Paul McWhorter. The boys loved their cars and took great care of them. When Paul was 16 years old, he was going to take the test for his Texas Driver’s License and asked the patrolman Don Thomas, if he could use his old car. Mr. Thomas said, “sure thing! I have never ridden in a 54 year old car”, so off they went! Paul passed with a perfect score. Several pictures were taken that day that ended up in the newspaper, and later in ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.’ It was the oldest car ever driven for a Texas Driver’s Test. (licenses were not required until 1936). The boys have had their special cars for over 35 years, they are parked in a fine barn near Chirstoval behind Paul’s house. Getting the cars was one of their biggest thrills ever, and seeing the piece in Ripley’s was fun too. Nice surprise~
On Sept. 10, 1994 Paul called me from the river. He said, “we have had a flash flood,everyone is alright but the River Mouse is gone.” I took off for Christoval, Dan was on the porch yelling, you can’t go! I couldn’t believe it, there wasn’t a cloud in sight, all the way up there there was no sign of a storm, not until I was three miles away and I saw all the patrol cars, a helicopter, water in the ditches, water everywhere. I drove in on the East side, down Moore Road as far as I could, then walked in water on up to the river. It was raging. I had my video camera going, (later when I watched the video, I could hear sobbing, I was completely crushed). We looked for the River Mouse for days, all we found was the trunk lid. Paul and Anna had to go back to Albuquerque and the last thing he said was, ” go get another boat and start over”. I did, this one only took 4 months to restore since I had kept all the drawings and plans from the first one. When it was finished, it was exactly like the original River Mouse (except for a small brass plaque on the dashboard~ ‘Please Lord, Bless This Tiny Ship’).
This is one of those really easy to make dinners. It is great with hot rolls and a fresh fruit salad. For my Sunday company dinner yesterday I served it with Debbie’s green beans and a corn dish, dinner for eight, everyone enjoyed it. ~in the oven when I left for church, ready for the table when I got home~ Always a good anytime meal but makes a special dinner for company too, simply delicious~
I was driving the car by myself by the time I was eleven years old. Back in the day, it was considered ok, as long as you knew how to go forward and reverse and work the gear shift. Not everyone owned cars then so you pretty well had the streets to yourself. The first time I backed the car up was one morning when Mother drove down the block, parked and walked the milk cow back to the pen behind our house. Then she told me to go get the car. That was a big deal, I had to back it out of the barrow ditch and take it on home. (one of those ‘dreams of glory’ times) In fact I backed the car up twice that day. Later that afternoon, I drove over to Grandmother’s house and got too close to the mulberry tree in the front yard and hooked the bumper on the trunk. I was able to back up, but it bent the bumper so that it was pointing straight out tn front. Damage to the tree and damage to the car~I knew I had to go tell Daddy, he had a filling station in town and I drove on the back street to get there. The car was rocking and jumping and making a flapping noise, I was scared to death, I could hardly hold it in the road. I didn’t know how a bent bumper could cause so much trouble. Then when Daddy saw me coming, he ran into the street, waving his arms and yelling. (I mean really yelling!) He was furious. I had driven all the way to town with a flat tire, it was in shreds. (It was during WW 11 and tires were rationed.) He told me I would never drive that car again and I would never ride in that car again. I walked home feeling worthless and knew he wasn’t finished with me yet. That quirt did sting! (I did drive the car again and there are more car stories~ later)
When I was 13 years old, my great aunt Allie was having to go to San Angelo every few days to the doctor for treatments. Usually my grandmother took her but she couldn’t go this one time. Aunt Allie’s son Greasy, who was the sheriff here in Eldorado asked my daddy if it would be alright if I drove her up there. Oh YES, great day in the morning! Greasy’s car was a nice shinny black four door sedan, and a mighty pretty one. I picked Aunt Allie up and we were off. There was no traffic on the roads back then, you hardly met a single car coming or going. So we are blazing down the highway at 30 miles an hour, windows down, doing a lot of talking, all the while I was checking out the dashboard. Lots of buttons and switches I wasn’t familiar with, ” wonder what a throttle is’~ There was a dimmer switch in the middle of the floorboard, all I had ever seen was over beside the clutch. I stepped on it and a siren went off! It was an ear piercing low whine that got louder and higher until it was screaming. It got to it’s top note and stayed there. After a minute Aunt Allie said, (yelling so I could hear her) “Oh Dear, maybe we should shut it off”, but who knew how! In a little bit she said, (again yelling) “maybe we should pull off the road”. Good idea, I was already worried that we would be going though Christoval pretty soon. I slowed down and stopped, I turned the key off but it didn’t turn the siren off so we sat a while. I finally decided the only thing left to do would be try pushing that dimmer switch again. When I did, slowly the whine started to come down until it was just a long low deep growl and then it quit. I was a wreck, Aunt Allie was so sweet, I knew she never told, it was our secret ~ I would have gotten in really bad trouble with Daddy.
I was having an art show in Dallas in the 1970’s, I painted while people browsed and watched the demonstration. I loved doing this, so many people either painted or wanted to paint. There was a young man who came every day and sat and watched and asked questions. He just knew he could do it and was serious about trying. I gave him a list of paints, brushes, canvas sizes and told him to buy a ‘How To Paint’ book. All of this would cost him about $25. I painted a couple of fast sketches on a pad for him to follow when he got started. He was on fire, he couldn’t wait to get going. Several months later I was in Dallas again for a show, I wondered if I would see him. Sure enough, here he came all happy and excited. When I asked him how the painting was going, he said he had put it off for a while. Right after he bought the art supplies, he came to watch a man demonstrate guitar playing and had always wanted to play guitar so bought one and was taking lessons! I love this story, it just shows that we all have the urge to do something creative, it doesn’t matter what it is, just so when we hear that voice inside, we know we must do it.