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 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.
Five Gold Stars for Sandy
For the past three weeks I have been helping a lovely lady from Arlington, Vermont learn to play guitar. She is leaving today and I will miss this time of fun and music with her. She caught on fast. The first day she learned to play ‘Down in the Valley’ (just two chords, G and D) and by yesterday, she could play 12 chords and a dozen songs. We were really rocking the place! She will be back next year, her husband Bob is the champion turkey caller in Vermont and has been here as a turkey hunting guide for Magnum.
This is a picture of our little 1964 Airstream trailer, 17′ from hitch to bumper. It had everything we could possibly need and was completely self-contained. Even with the small space, it had a nice bathroom in the back with shower, commode and lavatory and a big window. The kitchen had a three burner stove, oven, sink and refrigerator. One sofa made into a queen size bed and the other, into a full size. For ten years we traveled to Mexico every summer with our two little boys, most often to Guadalajara, staying at the Paradise Trailer Park. We would stop on the road along the way to eat our meals, and no matter how remote the area was, in a few minutes there would be a group of people standing outside. (after the first trip, we took cartons of candy, gum, crackers, and whatever we could cram into the space) What they asked for most was ‘pan’. When we got to the first large town, we went to the bakery and bought burlap sacks full of bolillos, which are small loaves of hard crusted, wonderful tasting bread and only cost a few centavos apiece. We did this every year afterwards to give to our new found friends. We ate all our meals from the trailer, I could slice an onion and it filled the space with a wonderful aroma. Those were great meals.
During Christmas vacation, we picked the boys up from school and headed for Cuidad Valles, over 500 miles away. It is in a beautiful tropical area in the eastern part of Mexico. The trailer park ($3 a day) had lush trees, two swimming pools with sandy bottoms that bubbled up warm spring water from the earth. We usually took a day trip to Tampico, on the Gulf of Mexico for fun on the white sandy beaches.The only problems with Mexico during these years were the terrible wrecks on the roads. The last time we went there, two trucks loaded with sugar cane crashed head on. Mexicans did not know how to drive. When I think back to the best times I can ever remember, it was in that little trailer with Daddy and our two boys. I am thankful that we could experience it~
When I was in seventh grade, our teacher gave us a list of names and addresses of kids from other countries who we could have as ‘Pen Pals’. It was right after WW ll and I chose a boy from Germany. He sent me a picture of himself, standing on a rock ledge with beautiful mountains in the background, wearing leather shorts with colorful suspenders. It didn’t hurt one bit that he was fine looking with blond curley hair and a nice smile. His name was Freider Schmidt but nicknamed Bio. His father taught at Baden-Baden Württemberg University. I wrote him a letter and sent a picture (not of myself but of the prettiest girl in school). He wrote back and for several years we corosponded. Mother often sent his family care packages with things like chocolate and coffee, things they didn’t have available at this post war time . She even sent a woolen blanket from the Eldorado Woolen Mill. Bio asked if there was anything he could send me and since Mother was a china painter I told him she would like a tea pot or something in undecorated china. A few months later a wooden crate arrived on the train and it was (had been) a complete set of Bavarian china. Every single piece was broken except for a cream pitcher and six dessert plates. I never told him about the disaster. Mother painted the the plates, and trimed the pitcher with pure Roman gold, fired it and it has been my treasure for 67 years. Some of my friends didn’t fair so well with their Pen Pals, but I always remembered my handsome friend and wondered what happened to him. Many years later I told my children about him and the picture I sent him of that pretty girl who was ‘not me’, and they told me that the picture I had kept of him all those years was probably ‘not him’ either.
This is Debbie Pina, she grew up on the farm where we lived. She was one of the sweetest children I ever knew and simply adored by her grandmother Goya. Her mother was a nurse and her daddy worked for the city, her parents were tragically killed in a bus accident a few years ago while on a tour with a group from the First Baptist Church in Eldorado. Debbie lived with her brother Danny and his family after that. She and Danny were often the subjects in my paintings. A farm is a wonderful place for children, always something interesting going on. There was a storm cellar, tractor, barns, two ponies and a goat. We had a tree house, there was the ‘Peacock Club’ in the garage room, and there was a cave in the pasture. (Even after my boys were in college, their friends, several from other countries, came to spend the weekends and savor the country life). Those are sweet memories