Name That Trash

The Real Donald TrumpThe Real Donald Trump is a bigot. He has alienated and insulted Latin-Americans, African-Americans, female-Americans and Muslim-Americans, among others.

Trump has purposely positioned himself to appeal to the fearful, disenfranchised, white, non-college-graduate far-right Republicans historically most susceptible and receptive to racism. The total number in that group looks to be less than 30% of GOP voters – conceivably enough to win the Republican nomination, given the current makeup of what is now more like the Party of George Wallace than the Party of Lincoln – but I doubt it.

Even if he were to win, the total number of voters in the groups Donald Trump has alienated will be enough to hand Hillary Clinton the presidency on a silver platter. In my opinion, that’s what the GOP deserves for mostly standing silent while Trump dishes out daily doses of bigotry.

If you see it but don’t call it out, then you own it, too.

So I’m calling it out. But that doesn’t mean I have to dwell on it and let it ruin the day:


Posted in Politics

A Trip To Eagle Lakeless

We pass through Eagle Lake, Texas, regularly on trips to and from the Polka Farm. So the other day, my wife and I made this little town of 3,600 or so our destination. The first thing we noticed was that it’s exceedingly difficult to actually catch a glimpse of the 1,400-acre lake for which the town is named.

We followed promising roads around both sides of the lake, and at one point found ourselves on the only road that leads to structures actually built on (or more precisely, on a hill above) the water. Six or eight homeowners appear to enjoy fabulous views and access to the lake. But it turns out the lake itself is privately owned, and leased out to select hunters and fishermen.

We learned this from the mayor, whom we met while making a call at the city chamber of commerce, of which she also is president. I imagine that she is weary of informing the inquisitive of the fact that Eagle Lake citizens live a couple stones’ throws away from the lake but, no, they have no access to it. Yet she showed no weariness at all, and in fact appears tireless in her efforts to promote the city.

It’s an old town by Texas standards, with two or three dozen historic commercial buildings, most dating from the late 1800s. Building permits were displayed outside perhaps a third of them, which appear destined for restoration.

One of the finest buildings is the former Farris Hotel, apparently an establishment of some repute, which closed down in 2013 after the owner died. I’ve read that the widow sold the building to someone who renamed it Wessex Hall. Whatever the new owner’s intentions, the building sits behind a hurricane fence now, apparently not in use.


For a small town, Eagle Lake is blessed with architectural gems, including even the city police station:


Yet the city has made its contribution to rural decay. In our search for the elusive shores of Eagle Lake, we came upon a large brick and beam hovel, behind a state historic marker identifying it as E.H. Henry Rosenwald School. According to the marker, in the days of racial segregation African Americans in Eagle Lake conducted school for their children, but had no formal school building  until a black educator, Eugene Henry, convinced the president of Sears Roebuck Co. to cover half the cost of building one, in 1930.

Here is that historic school today:


Sad to me that the forces at work renovating the town couldn’t have manifest themselves early enough to save the school. Now crumbles into the Earth and serves mostly as a monument to some imaginative graffiti. When time permits, I’ll gather more of the Eagle Lake images into a separate gallery…

Posted in Photography, Texas, Uncategorized

Back Up To Halloween

Wait a minute, how could I have forgotten about it? Maybe because almost everyone else did.

In recent years, fewer and fewer local kids have been stopping by for their Halloween sugar fix. This probably is because fewer and fewer neighbors seem willing to go out and buy candy, turn on the porch lights and show up at the door to play their role for the young costumed ones.

Which is too bad, because about the only children left who trick or treat around here are being escorted by young moms too poor to own their own vehicles, meaning they can’t drive the kids to a neighborhood where the houses are closer together and the pickings therefore easier. Plus, it had rained most of the day.

We only had one group – three little girls.

Still, the spirit moved us, in mysterious ways, and we had a fine time.


And maybe overdid it just a hair.

Posted in Be Afraid, Kids, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be, Uncategorized

Sometimes The Hardest Thing

Even at my age, it’s very difficult sometimes just figuring out approximately who you are, and then being yourself.

As a writer, photographer or artist, you find that in order to be true to your craft, you must reveal a piece of yourself previously unknown. This causes you to look within yourself and examine what’s down there.

Trying Just To Be MyselfThat can be scary. The sum of our past experiences and our dreaded future, our fears and mistakes, our acts of good and evil, the height of our happiness and the depths of our pain, the breadth of our imagination and the narrow blackness of our despair, the miracle of our birth and the eventuality of our death – all of it exists inside, mixed together like ingredients in some cosmic chili.

When you create, you reach down there and bring a gob of that chili outside for inspection. Sometimes, lots of times, you’re afraid to show it – to show yourself – to the world. That which is inside you runs the gamut. It can be horrifying. It can be shocking. It can be socially unacceptable. It can be anything.

One of my current goals is to learn to be at peace with whatever my art reveals. This has not been easy, but I take comfort in the fact that art is not a reflection of the artist himself, but a reflection of what the universe has done to him.

Does that make sense?

Posted in Art, Metaphysics, Writing