Saturday, September 27, 2008

Aggies vs West Point

Aggie Touchdown
Aggies vs West Point
9" x 12"
I would have about "given my eye teeth", as the old saying goes, to have been over at Kyle Field to watch the Aggie Corps of Cadets and the Cadets from West Point march in today. Wow! That would have been something to witness!
Instead I had to settle for watching the game on tv. I fixed myself a sandwich and settled in with my sketchbook. Couldn't get inspired though. They mostly showed the game, lots of commercials, and men talking about other games. Not my "cup of tea". I wonder why the tv stations can't understand that some people are more interested in things like the bands, half time, the Corps, the cannon, Parsons Mounted Cavalry, and all the things that go on at an Aggie game. Those things are rarely shown, and then only a glimpse, I guess to fill time when nothing is happening.
Today, I ate my sandwich and used the remote control a lot to look for something to hold my interest. During commercials and times when the men were talking about other games, and when I was just plain bored, I watched "How The West Was Won", for the umpteenth time.
I guess this was a pretty good game, today, since the Aggies won 21-17. Lots of players got knocked down and hurt in the process and, during those times, there were more commercials.
One play did catch my attention. One of the Aggie players was running down the field, near the sidelines, and several other players surrounded him, keeping the West Point team away and insuring the safety of the ball carrier. That row of marron shirts and helmets, and white pants, running down the field, looked pretty powerful as they ran for the touchdown. At that point, I opened my sketchbook and started sketching. It took me the rest of the game to finish what started out to be a quick gesture drawing.
At least it is a memory of the game where I wanted to be. I would have been happy to just have been outside Kyle Field, maybe at the MSC, watching the march in!
I used my favorite #314 Draughting Pencil on Canson 65 # acid free paper to do "Aggie Touchdown", above.
Plein Aire Painting Workshop
Calvert, Texas
Saturday October 18, 2008
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunrise to Sunset
Demo-Paint on Location-"Chicken Clinic"
Contact Cecelia at
for information and a supply list
20th World Wide Sketch Crawl
Saturday October 25, 2008
click the logo in my side bar
Let's Draw The Brazos Valley!
Contact Cecelia at
for more information
First Friday in Downtown Bryan
Friday October 3, 2008
Brazos Valley Art League
Fall Juried Show
P. David Romei Art Center
College Station, Texas
Entries due Friday October 3, 2008
Judging and Reception Saturday October 4, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Howdy, Fall!

Self Portrait as an Eagle
8.5" x 11"
It's fall! Cooler weather! Time for school and football. Band, cheerleaders, drill teams, and all.
Each year that I taught, it seemed like students became more and more apathetic and disinterested in almost everything. Some kids would run off from campus, rather than go to a pep rally or a program. Supporting the team was so dumb and boring, beneath their dignity, it seemed. At the pep rallies and games, they wouldn't stand, they wouldn't put their hands up in the eagle claw fashion, much less sing the school song or yell. They would run over anyone who got in their way, when they were trying to crowd out, before it was over. Nothing seemed to work. Their minds were on rushing home to the tv or video games, a boy or girl friend, friends to hang out with, a job, or something that was possibly illegal.
I wasn't a sports fan, of course, but tried to encourage the kids to enjoy all the opportunities that they had. We didn't have that much, or that much freedom, when I was growing up.
I dutifully put my hand up and sang the school song, as I watched for misbehaving students, or, at one point, took pictures to be used in the yearbook. When I didn't have a camera, I felt a bit lost. So, I took some paper and pencil and practiced gesture drawings.
What could we do to promote school spirit. Not everyone was in the band, or football, or cheerleading, or pep squad, or any of the other student activities. Sometimes, my art classes were called on to paint football signs. And that got quite a few kids involved. But, when the cheerleaders took on that job, that cut out one of the things that we could do in art.
I tried to get the students to be more observant, more aware of themselves, and others, and their surroundings. So, we did some short things at the beginning of the semester. After all, kids were constantly being put in my class, then moved somewhere else. So, we didn't know if we could finish anything that would take a few days.
I had students do a series of short drawings that would tell me about where they were in their development, and their skill level in art. We drew a person, an animal, the school mascot, a tree, a structure, a vehicle, a design, etc. Then we graduated a bit to drawing the person across from them at the table. I assigned students to do a self portrait at home, since I didn't have any mirrors in class. Only a few usually bothered to look at themselves in a mirror, and they just guessed while sitting in class when the drawing was due. Some actually followed instructions and studied themselves.
I explained that they were drawing the thing that they had probably looked at most through their lives -themselves! After all, they looked at themselves when brushing their teeth, washing their face, combing their hair, putting on makeup, or dressing. So, they should know what they looked like.
After the self portrait, kids were a little tired of drawing ordinary things, so I turned it into something kind of silly and fun, with the idea, too, of promoting school spirit.
We drew our mascot, an eagle, in pencil, then another one which we colored and cut out.
That should give them some idea of what an eagle looked like. And they should have some awareness of what they looked like from the self portraits.
This time, I gave the assignment, "Draw your self as an eagle". After all, songs and yells said, "We are the eagles!" So, what would you look like, if you were an eagle?
This provided a bit of fun as we all drew eagles with our own characteristics.
These drawings were then colored and cut out. We hung these, in a line, with each class together. I always did one with the class, and I taped my eagle as if leading my students.
It made a colorful decoration for our windows and attracted attention from people walking outside the room.
Unfortunately, by the end of the season, the little eagles were pretty dusty, faded, and brittle, so most were thrown away. But they were enjoyable while they lasted.
The drawing above is one that I did of myself as an eagle. I've got claws, a beak (with lipstick!), and feathers. But, I've got on my earrings, have hair pulled back with a pony tail holder, have on slacks and an artist's smock. My pockets are stuffed with things like pencils, pens, scissors, rulers, brushes, and crayons. Of course, I am waving a pallette and brushes, signifying that I am the art teacher.
Cut letters saying, "We Are The Eagles" finished the display.
"See, now you really are an eagle!" I told my students. Maybe they would feel a little more like a part of their school and support it and themselves.
This assignment could be modified to fit almost any mascot. Or it could be used to create cartoons. There are many possibilities. Just let yourself go. It doesn't have to be limited to a school mascot. People could just pick out their favorite animal, or make up an animal.
Go, whatever your team is!
Check out V....Vaughan's blog.
She has a lovely painting of lights on a pier that she is going to auction off to help raise funds for hurricane relief efforts. A portion of the sales of this painting will go toward the Baptist men who we have seen helping out in Galveston.
Buy a painting and help out a group who we know is serving those in need.
Plein Aire Painting Workshop
Calvert, Texas
Saturday October 18
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (officially)
7:30 a.m. to 6:51 p.m.
Sunrise to Sunset
(You will want to paint those, of course!)
demo-info-paint on location- V's famous "Chicken Clinic"
Contact Cecelia at
for information and a supply list
A fun, easy day, with breaks, lots of information, and those great Zamykal kolaches! This is the first ever plein aire painting workshop in the lovely little town of Calvert.
The 20th World Wide Sketch Crawl is coming up Saturday October 25.
Let's Draw The Brazos Valley!
Would you like to be a contact person for your community or area?
Let me know.
You can register on your own, or, if you are local, you can join in with us, or work solo.
Click on the Sketch Crawl logo in my sidebar and that will take you to their site.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Aggie Touchdown

8.5" x 11"
Game Day. And, with all the events of the last week, of all the people to be playing, the Aggies are hosting the Miami Hurricanes! They should be playing Houston or Galveston, but I guess we are close enough. Some of the evacuees here may never even want to hear the word "hurricane" again, after all that has happened.
Aggies, especially in relation to the Corps, have some wonderful traditions. Things that will always make wonderful memories.
During the games, the student body stands. Dates proudly stand beside their Aggie. It is especially appreciated when A&M makes a touchdown. The Aggies get to kiss their dates. The students always hope for a high scoring game!
I sketched this last year, while watching a game, and remembering how it was when I was young.
There were no girls at A&M, unless they were employees, or happened to be allowed to take a couple of classes. Almost everyone was in the Corps and life was very military. There were special times when girls came to campus such as for dances or as a date at a game. The boys were really anxious to see girls-almost any girl! And most of the girls were really excited to have a date with an Aggie. The boys looked so good in those uniforms, seemed to have good manners and could be trusted, were smart, outstanding, etc. It was especially thrilling to date a senior, with the boots, sword, a little more hair, and more priviliges.
Uniforms for the games were more like the officers in the military wore, for the Aggies. The girls wore suits, hats, high heels, and a big corsage bought by her date. And you wouldn't be caught out in public without your earbobs, necklace, and gloves.
I always thought that there were plenty of aching feet and blisters at the Aggie games, from standing in high heels and from the boots.
"My little Aggies", looking back, were a disappointment. (Cute as they were!) I never got to go to one of the games, never got to go to Ring Dance or any other important event, and never got one of those touchdown kisses. I always seemed to get sick before an event, or I was dating someone not in the Corps or from A&M at the time.
I did go to events and games, but with my mother, my grandfather, my grandson, or a bunch of other girls. Don't get me wrong, I did have dates with Aggies, but not to the big Aggie things. We would go for dinner and dancing, movies, a drugstore, riding, to the beach, to games at my school or a friend's school. I guess I'm too old now and just missed that part of life.
It is nice to see that the traditions go on and the younger generation is getting to enjoy them. I don't know that they are as special today as they were "back in my day". Girls are on campus and even in the Corps, the band, and everywhere. The students are not restricted to campus most of the time. People just dress any old way to go to games, shorts, t-shirts, jeans, ball caps, tennis shoes and that sort of thing. I guess their feet don't hurt like in times past. The Corps usually wears khaki uniforms, with short sleeves and a cap-what used to be everyday wear. Parsons Mounted does wear a bit more of a formal uniform, and they look nice with their horses and cannon, boots and swords. When cold weather comes, I guess the winter uniforms may be different.
I used to worry, "What if you have a date to an Aggie game, and they make a touchdown. But you are with a boy that you don't really want to kiss!" And, "What if the game is on tv and your family sees you kiss a boy!" I always hoped that, if I got asked, it would be by a boy that I was going to marry! I worried needlessly, though.
You can tell what I think of at ball games. It isn't what the players are doing!
Sometimes, I am thinking of what it is like to be in the band, remembering the notes, when to step off, how to stay in line and in step, who I'm following, and trying not to be terrified out in front of a crowd.
Now, we hope that the youngest family member will want to be an Aggie and carry on all those wonderful Aggie traditions.
Final Score Today Aggies 23 Hurricanes 41. Guess there wasn't a lot of kissing on Kyle Field this day. At least not because of tradition.
Plein Aire Painting Workshop
Virginia Vaughan
Calvert, Texas
Saturday October 18th
8a.m. to 5 p.m. (official)
sunrise to sunset
demo-painting on loacation-"chicken clinic"
Contact Cecelia at
for information and a supply list

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hot Night At Toot's

Hot Night at Toot's
8.5" x 11"
Public Service Announcement:
Click on the picture of the Bolivar Lighthouse in my sidebar, at the top of the page, and that will take you to the KTRK tv website.
I've been watching this station a lot since Hurricane Ike headed our way. It seemed to be about the only station with 24/7 complete coverage. And, I discovered that they have live streaming broadcasts that you can watch on the computer, even if you are not in their broadcast area. That should help those who are displaced, and those who are interested and concerned.
Under the lighthouse photo, I have listed some places where you can get Hurricane Ike news.
These are the tv stations that I have been watching. KPRC has some excellent videos, touring the area, and sometimes they, too, have live streaming broadcasts that you can watch on your computer.
KHOU has a message board and pictures, but I haven't found that they have live streaming broadcasts.
KBTX is our local station and they have been giving more coverage than the national news.
I also put a link to the Galveston County Daily News. They are publishing from Texas City, apparently. Their building in Galveston was damaged, but they are getting the paper out still.
Check out Virgina Vaughan's blog for some of her Galveston area paintings. You can find the link under Artists and Authors in my sidebar.
With so many people without power, all over this part of Texas, I decided to show a drawing that I did a few weeks ago when our air conditioner went out. It was a long few days before they could come replace it. We felt like we were going to expire before the new unit arrived!
I remember how it was before we ever had air conditioning. Even fans were rare when I was growing up.
The pencil drawing above, shows one hot night when I was spending the night across the street from my house, with my great-aunt, "Toot". That isn't her real name, of course. It's what we called her. Her husband was known as "Honey".
"My" bedroom at Toot's was the guest bedroom on the back of the house, northeast corner. Toot loved her home and her yard and worked very hard on both. She was very proud of the Magnolia trees that she planted in her yard, along with her roses, ferns, and other plants. There was a young Magnolia tree outside "my" bedroom windows on the east side. (It was my bedroom when I visited. Otherwise, it was the guest bedroom.)
Toot had redecorated this room and had a small closet added in one corner. There was a french door between the bedrooms and there was a window shade that covered the glass in the door for privacy.
The bed, dresser, and chest appeared to be around 1920s or earlier furniture. She married in 1913, so, perhaps, they had come with the house. In remodeling, Toot had someone cut off the bottoms of the legs on the bed to lower it. She thought that the tall bed was too old-fashioned. I have the dresser and bench, chest of drawers, and the headboard of the bed.
Moonlight appeared as blue and silver on the leaves of the tree, the hedge surrounding the back part of the yard, and the empty lot and street between her house and the school.
I tossed and turned in bed on hot nights, listening to the clanging of the chain as it hit the flag pole and echoed from the school, and the chatter of nightbirds, crumpled my pillow and looked out the window toward the school, hoping for a tiny breeze, or for the dawn to hurry and arrive. It seemed to be a little cooler with the morning dew. And, it would be time to get out of bed, move around, and head for school or a shady place to play.
Honey wore one piece summer underwear in the summer, long underwear in cooler weather. He got up at 4 a.m. every morning to get produce for his grocery store. And Toot would get up at that time, too, and make breakfast for them. As Toot would make the beds, she seemed a bit dismayed that Honey's pillow and sheets would be soaked with sweat each morning. She didn't say anything about my rumpled and slightly damp linens and pillow, or my soaking wet hair. Of course, she was a lady, so she didn't sweat. That wasn't considered lady like. Ladies might "glow", but that was it. No sweating allowed, no matter what happened.
The old houses were built with 12 or 14 foot ceilings and the doors had transoms over them to allow more air into the room. Windows were placed so that there was cross ventilation. It didn't help a lot when there was no breeze.
A lot of people still used kerosene lamps back then. Especially if they lived outside the city limits.
Now, we can't take it if we are without our air conditioning, our electric lights, tv and electronics, even for a short while. Many who have lost power due to Ike, are having to adapt to life in Texas without power. And many are having to adjust to life in strange places, and without a home or belongings. It may be a long time before all the power is restored. At least the temperatures have been a bit lower, with a little breeze from the north.
Good luck to everyone on the coast. This is so devastating and unbelievable. There has been so much confusion and chaos. Not quite as bad as Katrina, but still terrible for those who have to endure this tragedy.
And, still, there is little coverage from the national news stations.
Hopefully, the links will be of use to you in learning more about the storm and what is going on, no matter where you are.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Galveston Sunrise

Galveston Sunrise
9" x 12"
We were moving to Galveston, much to my delight. Had a new job, and my new mobile home was being moved there. We had the last load of things in the car and arrived at the mobile home park, only to learn that the movers just deposited it on a lot, and left. Didn't hook it up or anchor it. Just left it blowing in the breeze.
We couldn't live in it like that. They weren't coming back to set up the mobile home. And the park manager said we couldn't leave it there like that, blowing around. I finally told the people they could come and get it if I couldn't even live in it. And we looked for an apartment.
I had not found anything that I could begin to afford when it was closing time. We had a picnic on the beach for supper, and I knew that I didn't have enough money with me for a hotel room. So, I drove around while the kids slept. I was a little afraid to camp out on the beach. Not only did I not know about the tide, but I didn't know who might be out there, looking to do harm to a woman and a couple of children.
Eventually, I couldn't drive much longer, and gas was getting low. This was before the time of all night stores. I was trying to ration my last month's paycheck.
I pulled up on an area where other cars had been parked earlier . The sun would be up soon and I could resume my search. If a policeman came along, I would just move and drive some more. My route was mainly on Seawall Blvd. Back and forth. I didn't want to get lost.
My eyes closed as I watched the moonlight glistening on the water. My spirits were sinking as everything seemed to be going wrong. I had wanted to come here so badly, but nothing was working out. The waves lapped gently on the sand below where I was parked, assuring me that this was the place I should be.
The blue sky of night gave way to a soft pink glow in the east. Heavy clouds turned brown as the sun touched them. They seemed to break up and become smaller as they made way for a new day. Everything was touched with gold, except for the shadows that were a cool, deep blue.
Old posts, timbers, and rocks threw shadows on the sand. A bit of cool to soothe humans before the blistering sun of an August day in Texas broke above the horizon.
A fisherman stood, chest deep, out in the surf. A boat bounced by out in the distance. Overhead, birds began to glide in their search for food.
The golden day seemed to hold promise. I drove to a convenience store and bought breakfast for us to eat while we started our search for an apartment. Sure enough, we did find an apartment, right across from the seawall and the beach. I was tired, but I had to arrange for my furniture to be moved into the new place, and all the things that go with moving in . And it was a lovely place. It would have been even lovlier if I had had someone to share all that with, but, as it was, I just plugged on and did what I could.
I stayed busy. Things kept going wrong, but I hung in there, as they say.
When the first storm came along, I wanted to stay and watch. But, of course, the apartment managers boarded up the windows, so I couldn't see anything. I decided that I might as well evacuate, with everyone else, and I did.
It was nice to have a holiday so close to the beginning of school.
In my painting above, I showed some of the things that I would see on golden mornings on the beach in Galveston. However, I did add an airplane instead of a bird. I have heard so many times that, if you drip paint, just make a bird out of it. I have about decided that, anytime I see a bird in a picture, it is because someone had a little accident with their paint and they are just trying to fix it. So, to be different, I started adding things like an airplane or a hot air balloon instead of a bird to finish out my picture.
I guess that, after Ike, it will be a long time before we can see any scenes like this at Galveston. I've been just glued to the tv set, watching the storm and its effects, and hoping that it wouldn't come here. We all hope for the best by everyone who has been affected, all along the coast and inland, too.
While Ike's power did so much damage elsewhere, the wind was no stronger than a good Texas norther here. We had over 3 inches of rain and had some leaves all over everywhere. Communities around us lost power, but we didn't have that problem. Some schools are closed indefinitely and people are suffering without air conditioning, water, ice, food, gas, and good communications, among other things. There are shortages of things from gas to generators, ice and some food items. People are driving here from the Houston area to get gas and a meal, or a generator, or a room. Hotels are all full, and there is an Aggie game in town this weekend, where rooms have already been reserved. There is some scrambling to see how to handle that.
Counties and communites around us were not so lucky. Ike did his damage far and wide.
The pictures out of the Texas coast are just horrible. I still would like to know, "Where is the national media? " Fox, CNN, etc. covered the storm until it hit, then they were off, not to be seen again. They helped so much during Katrina. And, with mysteries and some problems, not to mention all the loss and suffering, it would seem that the good reporters would be on hand. I know, someone else assigns them. But, there were repeats of programs going on, over and over, while the coast was being almost destroyed, and no reporters.
Thankfully, local folks, and a couple of local reporters, got in there and made things happen. The media has certainly fallen down on this story.
It is going to be a long, hard journey to bring back our coast. I wish for the best for everyone and hope that they will have all the help that they need.
Local news has had some coverage, but not nearly enough. I'm sure that the evacuees who have come to this area and can't get news of their homes and families, are even more upset over the lack of news.
We only get one Houston tv station, and that is Channel 13, KTRK. Usually, the cable company cuts them off in favor of a station from Waco, that is supposed to be Bryan. This time, however, they kept them on, 24/7 and their coverage was excellent. They asked the hard questions, went in where no one else seemed to want to go, and were there for the viewers. Just now, on Wednesday, they are staring to go off and have regular programming. Personally, I think it is too soon, with so many people still displaced and suffering. But, I guess they have to make some money.
Fearing that I would lose the only station that was giving news, I looked at their website. Sure enough, they have live streaming and even a message board where people can look for family and friends, and ask questions. I started watching on my computer, as long as they were on. I even sent them a Thank You e-mail for the good job they were doing.
For those people who are still displaced and may not have Houston area news on your tv, here is some of what I found.
KTRK tv Houston Live Streaming news and a message board
KPRC tv Houston Live Streaming and excellent videos that give walking and air tours
KHOU tv Houston message board
KBTX tv Bryan/College Station
KBTX is having a food drive today, to benefit victims who are in this area. They will be open until 10 p.m. at the Brazos Center, taking donations of money and nonperishable food items that don't require a can opener. So many do not have electricty and do not have manual can openers.
Good luck to everyone! I hope that Galveston can be restored, even to the fishing piers and attractions over the water. It could have been so much worse, if that sea wall had not been there, and if the storm had come in at a little different place. I know that is little comfort to those who have lost homes, businesses, and loved ones.
And I hope that those who are trying to get some information can find it and gain a little peace of mind, and will be able to soon go on with their lives.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Calling Sam
8.5" x 11 "
As I watched the four storms blooming in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, I couldn't help but think of storms from the past. Images on tv brought many memories from times on the coast. Somehow, Ike reminded me of Hurricane Carla from September 11, 1961 as it struck the Texas Gulf Coast. Some of the weather forecasters are relating this storm to Carla, now.
I waited out the threat of Hurricane Carla in the junior high cafeteria for several days. Highway Patrolmen were going to take me from our little lake cottage to the shelter when my husband arrived. He took our most valuable posession, our tv set, a stack of English notebooks, and me to the junior high school where I was teaching English.
He paced around for a while, as did other men there, while it stormed outside.
Carla was a very undecided lady and would move forward, sideways, back up, turn around, not making up her mind where to go inland, for days. They thought we were in the path. Of course, weather forecasting was not what it is today.
I walked down the hall at one point to see who else was here besides the few people in the cafeteria. The gym was filled with a lot of people, many who had children. People were sleeping on the bleachers or the floor. We didn't think to take things like bedding, food, clothes, etc. I guess it was because we really didn't want to be there, or thought it wouldn't last for long. But Carla had other plans and teased the Coast for days.
People were getting hungry and everything in the cafeteria was locked. Finally, we thought things would be great. The Red Cross was coming!
Alas, they came with a small truck, one lady who loved reading movie magazines, and a man to drive the truck. The man left and the woman stayed inside, reading her movie magzines in the kitchen, most of the time. She only came out when it was time to serve a meal.
Now cooking in someone else's kitchen, or eating cafeteria food was not my thing, at all. But, I was bored and volunteered to help make meals to serve the people. Ladies lined up on both sides of the long tables in the cafeteria. We were given packages of bread, balogna, a couple of jars of mayonnaise, and waxed paper. We passed bread down first, then some people spread on mayonnaise and passed that on. The next people slapped on a piece of bologna, and passed it on. As we got to moving pretty fast, and the supply of bologna became low, some of the sandwiches ended up with just two pieces of bread, or some with only mayonnaise. At the end of the line, the sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper. Those were taken to the serving bar of the cafeteria.
In the morning and in the evening, the Red Cross lady assembled us workers, then called in the refugees. Everyone was given one bologna sandwich . Children were given a pint of milk to go with their sandwich. Adults were directed to a water fountain if they asked for a drink. The Red Cross lady put the food away after the meals and locked it up, then went back to her movie magazine.
Eventually, people were really hungry, as well as being anxious. One man went out in the storm and opened his conveneince store. He said he had had enough. My husband and other men went with him. My husband brought back some potato chips and a case of Cokes for me. He also brought another case of drinks for other people who wanted a drink. People were going back and forth in the storm to the store to get food, diapers, and things that they needed.
It was raining, dark, and stormy most of our time there, with Carla just off the coast. Some of the men went out in the storm and picked up limbs and debris in order to keep the streets clear. I was nervous about what might happen. And I was bored.
I went out to the car where my tv was and brought in my school things to work on. As I graded my big stack of English notebooks, one man walked by and said, "You are the most dedicated English teacher we have ever had!"
Actually, that was one time that I got caught up on my paperwork and had it all done early. It did take my mind off worrying about whether the building was going to cave in on us, or if we were going to all drown, or what!
Some people slept on the tables. I would sit on the bench and put my head on the table to sleep.
Then it was back to grading notebooks.
Eventually, Carla made up her mind and went inland south of us. We drove home, cautiously, tv set and graded notebooks in the back seat, not knowing if we would still have a house to live in. Tree limbs were down, but the house was fine.
The newspaper came out with a picture of us serving food to the refugees, and big headlins with the Red Cross begging for donations. They told of the thousands of dollars they had spent on feeding people in the shelter and doing work like keeping the streets clear. I couldn't believe what I read. Surely that bread, bologna, mayonnaise and waxed paper didn't cost that much. And it was the local men who were doing clean up duties. If they got a meal, people had to risk going out in the storm to buy something. If they didn't have transportation or money, they were out of luck.
In the drawing above, "Calling Sam", I was remembering Hurricane Beaulah in Port Lavaca in 1967. My parents came with a big cattle trailer and a pickup truck to move all my furniture and belongings to their home inland. We loaded up, spent the night with the idea of leaving early the next morning.
I went out in the night, big as I was with my daughter being due any minute, trying to get my Siamese cat, Sam, to come in. The rain was blowing sideways, a small tree was bending over in the wind. A yard light in a neighbor's yard spread an eerie light over the neighborhood. I held onto my hair and called and called for Sam, but he never did show up. I finally went in the house and tried to sleep. We got up early and again searched for Sam.
During the night, two tornados had hit on each side of us. We just heard a crash or big boom. A farmhouse was lifted up, except for the floor and the beds where people were sleeping. Boards from the house were scattered in the ground as if a giant had thrown them, spear fashion. The people didn't even wake up until morning when their house was gone from around them. Some dishes also were moved and not broken.
On the other side of us, a highway department building was destroyed by a tornado.
I never did find Sam. In fact, I never saw him again. My husband wasn't too fond of the cat. He stayed behind to work, but said he would look for Sam. Of course, he didn't, and later told me that someone probably ran over the cat.
Now we are inland, but Hurricane Ike is seemingly taking aim on the Texas Gulf Coast. It's a big one, they say. And, since it is so large, we are likely to get tropical storm and hurricane conditions, we are being told. Refugees are coming in, and Houston tv is staying on with hurricane coverage. Even here, over 150 miles inland, we are being warned to get out of mobile homes, prepare for high winds, etc. Big cargo planes were supposed to come in yesterday with special needs refugees to go to Reed Arena. 200 doctors and nurses were brought in from the north to take care of them. But, no one showed up! They were supposed to come in today. School has been cancelled here tomorrow. Traffic in town is terrible and you can no longer find things like water and batteries.
Living in a mobile home, we are not really sure what to do or where to go. We're trying to find someone to haul off boards etc. that workmen left, and cut some limbs away from the house.
I'm especially concerned about the things in the small buildings out back. So much art work and writing in my studio building, and more art work in the storage building. Not to mentinon all the old pictures and genealogy things in my house. I don't worry so much about things like furniture. My daughter wants to stay in "her house". So do I, but not if it is going to be blown over!
I'm wishing for Daddy with his pickup truck and cattle trailer!
And I'm hoping that this storm just falls apart or goes somewhere else. I'm not ready for this!
Good luck to everyone in Ike's path!