Getting Just the Right Pumpkins

While I’ve already photographed the unloading of pumpkins at two Georgetown churches,  it seemed like a good idea to visit with some shoppers. My destination was First United Methodist Church in Georgetown, where there was plenty of Saturday afternoon fun.   All the photos presented are suitable for publication in the Williamson County Sun, but I particularly like two:  the father, shopping with his one-month-old daughter for her first Halloween, and the little princess, making adjustments to her tiara.    This is a fundraiser, folks.  They’re not running out anytime soon because. 1500 more pumpkins were scheduled to arrive from Northern New Mexico this afternoon.  

Somewhere North of Elgin, Texas

En route back home from an Austin American-Statesman assignment this evening near Elgin, I decided to take a different route home to Taylor.  Alas, the road I thought was right?  Well, it wasn’t.  So I really did wander …. somewhat aimlessly.  Finally, remembering the dang smart phone and Google maps, I figured things out.  Along the way, I took some photos.  If you were to ask me where this is, I couldn’t say. Truly, yours truly was lost.   Anyway, this one’s got a lot of digital noise, due in part to a long shutter speed, high ISO and an older camera.  If you recall, my main camera sunk last week in the San Gabriel River.   But now that I look at this image, it grows on me.   There’s a warmth here. 

Grain Elevators …. and Rails

Perhaps I’m into the grain elevator and shiny rail tracks tonight.   At any rate, these are all close to home, right here in Taylor, Texas.  The grain elevators are all from Williamson County Grain.   The tracks?  Well, they lead into (and out of) our lovely little community.   Until I get my main camera replaced, I’m using the backup camera, plus one that’s not been used in a long while.   That’s okay though … I’m liking the old one, too.

St. James Episcopal Church in Taylor

This photo of Taylor’s St. James Episcopal Church  was taken last evening a little before 8p.m.   In our community of 15,000-plus, dominated by Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists and Baptists, to name a few, St. James, at the confluence of 7th and Davis Streets, stands out.   The church, made of cypress, oak and pine trees, was completed in 1893.   I find it to be beautiful and enjoy documenting it from time to time. 

Night Light in Taylor, Texas

There’s no long explanation to tonight’s post.   All were taken last evening in the downtown Taylor area.   The opening photo shows an Amtrak train making its way south toward Austin a little past 7p.m.   It’s similar to an image posted a year or so ago, but some friends who took a recent train ride on Amtrak made me think of it.   The others are just scenes … the viaduct over the tracks …. the long-closed Blazimar Hotel, a really good place for a Halloween scary place, a grain elevator at Williamson County Grain, with the viaduct in the distant background, and, on the way home, a scene at 2nd and Main Streets, in the heart of downtown.     

Spending Time With Joe

Since moving to Taylor in 2009, I’ve seen him numerous times, always on his bicycle, traversing every part of our little town.  He’s always been an intriguing  man.   For a long time, the front of his bike was adorned with Beanie Babies.  Early Saturday evening, when wandering around downtown Taylor, there he came, pushing his bike across a busy (for Taylor, anyway) intersection.   I grabbed a quick few frames, figuring that’s all I would get.   Looking up Main Street, however, there he was, the bike parked, his shoes off, resting on a bench.   I struck up a conversation with what turns out to be Taylor native Joe Lopez, 67.   Joe has never taken to driving motor vehicles, preferring the quietude of two quiet wheels.   At one, time, he tells me, he’d take his bike all the way to Georgetown, a little over 20 miles west, traversing Texas Highway 29.  “It wasn’t as crowded back then,” he explained about the road.   As we talked, he caught me unprepared for his next sentence:  “You’re that fellow that drives around the countryside and takes pictures.”   He wasn’t asking a question, just saying what he knew.  How in heck did he know this?  Yes, I do wander quite a lot, but didn’t know it was common knowledge.   It turns out Joe is an avid reader of newspapers, which can be perused at our Taylor public library.   He’d seen the occasional column I do for the Williamson County Sun.  And he remembered.    It comes as no surprise that the Sun has a following of readers in Taylor.  Joe’s been reading it for years.  But more on Joe.   He’s a diabetic.  Not long ago, complications resulted in the loss of a toe.  Taking his shoes off for rest makes sense, does it not?   Joe seems to have things under control, with medication and care.   It was so good to finally meet him.   Looking across Main Street at the McCrory-Timmerman building, now a hopping scene on any given weekend, he recalls shopping there as a kid when it was a department store.   This wandering, if nothing else, tells us this important thing:  stories are everywhere. 

Where Baseball Begins

On the way home from one of my wanderings tonight, I passed this baseball field near Bull Branch Park in Taylor, Texas.   Even though it was a Saturday night, and well beyond dark, the parking lot, and the stands, were close to capacity.   It made me think about baseball, and Texas.   For whatever reason, my state gets a lot of attention paid to football.   That’s understandable, but for kids like me, growing up in the Texas of the 50s and 60s, baseball was tops.   Since I was on the small side, football was well beyond my skill set.  But baseball?  No problems there.   Think about it.   If you follow professional baseball, take a look at the Houston Astros, now in the American League Championship Series.   Earlier this afternoon, they won their second straight game against the New York Yankees.  One of their premier players is Jose Altuve.   Mr. Altuve is not a big fellow, but he’s quite talented.    Go Astros!   But you know what, folks?   This baseball thing begins like the scene you see with tonight’s post.    Kids giving it their all .. families there to lend their support.