Pardon tonight’s brevity, but I’m only posting two photos. These are a little north of our Taylor home and a wee bit south of Granger. Both are on the same county road. Like so many byways on the Blackland Prairie, it’s a nice way to travel with one’s camera. Although I don’t know why, I like that some folks leave a light on outside their barns. That little touch adds presence to an already-lovely structure.
Church bazaars are grand events. Each year, I try to make my way to the far northern reaches of Williamson County, Texas to document the one put on by Holy Trinity Catholic Church of Corn Hill. This beautiful church puts on quite a whingding, with plenty of food, music, games, and most of all, a chance to visit with friends and family in a nice setting. Grandpa, with his 16-month-old grandson in the opening photo, is an example of family ties I like. Although the bazaar is in the church activity center, and outside on the grounds, visitors are always welcomed to visit the sanctuary of this 100-year-old church. I ambled over there, too, meeting Mary Ann Nowinsky, visiting with her sister-in-law, Connie Wear. Mary Ann was married here in 1963, a week before the untimely death of John F. Kennedy. Some bazaar visitors, like the 2-year-old twins, were awfully close to nap time. One of my favorite things to do at Holy Trinity’s bazaar is spend time with the folks playing bingo, like the mother and daughter with this post. The daughter, 10, was feeling some angst when her numbers didn’t fall into place. The fellow playing the accordion and trumpet at the same time? Well, that’s Fritz Hodde. Mr. Hodde plays some mighty fine Czech polka music. These photos were taken for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.
These are some photos taken a couple days back while wandering along the country roads a little east of Weir, Texas, in the heart of Williamson County. They, of course, were taken at evening time, when the light danced across this Blackland Prairie landscape. Since coming home to Texas, in 2009, I’ve not once seen a train cross the tracks shown in the final photo, but I like those tracks …. and the road you can see to the right. These are all nice diversions on the road of life.
Today I spent a few hours in Bartlett, Texas, a community of a little over 1600 people on the Williamson/Bell County line. A portion of the picturesque downtown area resides in each of these counties. The occasion was their annual Bartlett Friendship Fest. Like Granger, a few miles south, it’s a community with old-fashioned brick streets. The house where I grew up, in Texarkana, had a brick street. As with any festival, there was a parade, music, food, vendors, politicians, and music. These small towns where I live have large numbers of people with Czech origins. After being in Texas over 8 years, tonight I decided to look up the meaning of S.P.J.S.T., a Texas-based Czech fraternal group with deep roots. If what I found on Google is to be trusted, here it is: Slovanska Podporujici Jednota Statu Texas. At least I know “Texas.” One group in the parade was the Austin Jeep Community, a club of sorts. Those jeeps were crawling all over each other, kind of cool! They have a nifty mural in Bartlett, included in this post. At the car show, I was duly impressed by an 8-year-old taking photos with an honest-to-goodness camera, not a smartphone. While I give smartphones their due (reluctantly), a camera is the tool of choice. By the way, I really like that Basset hound, Norton. These photos were taken for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.
Tonight, while on the lookout for something else, I came upon this scene, a father and his 4-year-old daughter enjoying an early-evening together near Weir, Texas as they strolled along a not-so-traveled country road. Thank goodness, we have plenty of “not-so-traveled” roads in my area. Sincere apologies to my favorite singer/songwriter, James Taylor, for the title. I do love my Texas.
Here’s one from December 1976, kids taking turns riding the family goat in Elm Grove, Louisiana, one of my little adventures for the Shreveport Journal. Believe it or not, there was a time before television and the internet took over.
This morning, stepping outside a little before sunrise, I looked up and saw, through a tree, Waning Crescent moon. It may only be 46% visible right now, but before the sky filled with unwanted light, it looked mighty fine. These morning distractions can be pleasant.
This was a photo I took Monday morning while en route to a 9/11 event. Since I was ahead of time by a wee bit, it seemed to be a good idea for a brief stop at the Jonah Community Center, formerly known as Jonah School. The school’s been documented a few times, but I like the tree, too. This was maybe 10 minutes after sunrise. Texas skies, friends, are wonderful.
Because Taylor is my town, but also because they do this well, I’m posting twice today. This evening, Taylor held its annual commemoration of 9/11/2001 events, their Patriot Day. Patriot Day included a parade down Main Street, followed by a program at downtown’s Heritage Square Park. I’ll include a few photos here. The ringing of the bell, at the end of this post, is rather nice … not necessarily my photo, but because it’s a tradition of fire departments everywhere.
On this, the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I attended Georgetown’s Memorial Stair Climb, held at the GISD Athletic Complex. The event remembers the date, but more than that, it honors the first responders who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Participants in today’s climb walked the number of steps equivalent to the 110-story towers that fell. One firefighter toted his 4-year-old son on his back the entire way, followed closely by his wife, expecting their second child in November. I was impressed to see some members of the Georgetown High School football team pause during their morning practice to view the commemoration. Much of this year’s anniversary has been overshadowed by hurricane coverage, but it’s good to remember the day. I recall being in a elementary school classroom for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution when the towers came down. Everything stopped there that morning. As it it did in many places.