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July 15, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Worrisome mess. Amazon no help.

She is not amused.

No explanation accepted. When things are going well, who in their right minds would change things?

Mad cat with open mouth. ALl rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

Risk Our wrath? Take that defective offering away. ©

Oh, decision by human. Of course. Dunderheads can’t leave well enough alone.

Always fiddling. Causing bank erosion, landslides, flooding from too much concrete, water table level loss and land subsidence from drawing out too much water for silly things like water parks in drought areas, not to mention that huge pile of floating of garbage in the Pacific Ocean wandering lonely, but not as lovely as a cloud.

So much to cause a growly tummy and now this.

Once informed that HRH RC Cat’s sole preference of dinners had been discontinued, She-who-shall-not-be-ignored has had mood swings from wild anger to complete meltdowns (with hairballs, tossing back of offered delicacies on what little carpet remains, and a litter associated accident protest deposit from outrage.)

RC Cat is not alone in her discomfort and despair. 

Staff from other realms have been seen staring forlornly at the empty spot on the store shelves labeled: Friskies Senior Diet Turkey & Giblets Dinner in Gravy. 

Knees are red and dusty from desperately searching behind cans on display in every possible store.

The distribution center regrets their supplies are out.

One on-line source is price gouging; $40 dollars plus $10 shipping for a two weeks supply.

Staff tried to deceive offer substitutes. HRH was quick to notice.

Tummy pains made her yowl. Her complaints, pitiful.

Staff searched for a dinner can with the same ingredients.

Simply being in a round container is not sufficient. Dunderheads.

Cat with bowing mice.(1892.Indian fairy Tales/Batten/USPD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Under my thumb.” Louder. We command you to sing louder.(1892.Batten/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

RC Cat tearfully reminded Staff of her Early Days of Difficulty.

When Olde Tiger, by then blind and worried about an heir to the Realm, noticed a tiny wail from the top of a tree swaying dangerously near power lines with a storm approaching.

Recognizing a tiny kitten in dire need possible intern, Olde Tiger, yogi master still, focused Zen thoughts to alert Staff who foolishly responded by climbing the tree and grabbing the shy handful of swinging and biting fur.

Attempting to live in the wild far too young after escaping a bad home, RC Cat developed a delicate tummy.

Eating ants in the tree probably wasn’t the best idea.

Staff and the vets finally discovered the Miracle Dinner Can: the meal that always digested and nourished.

Straying from the Miracle Dinner Can was not tolerated well. 

Although yogurt, a bit of vanilla ice cream did have a place at the table…along with a cat selected portion of saltines cracker, tortilla chip, potato chip, or sneaked dog kibble for an occasional treat.

(HRH has always insisted that moderation is the key to a happy life.)

ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copy righted Cat.

Do you think it’s a plot? Is someone is holding out on Us?©

Luckily Staff had extra Miracle Dinner Cans in the hurricane kit.

But the end is near.

Another magic dinner can must be found ASAP.

Word spread from distressed realm to realm that there are two Natural Balance Miracle Dinner Cans that are very close in formula and are working with the elderly, ones with health issues, and those with delicate tummies.

So far, HRH RC Cat sleeping comfortably, but has been heard murmuring in her sleep. “Why, Friskies? Why?”

So let’s tippy toe out. Let her rest.

But make sure she hasn’t lifted your credit card for Amazon….

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Rough looking male Cats at a bar counter.Louis Wain. The bachelor party.1939/USPD: artist life, reprod of PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org)

All right. We former stock holders demand an explanation.(Wain./USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

July 13, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gators gathering shark advice.

walking gator, South Carolina.(Gareth Rasberry/Wikimedia.org)

Pardon me. You said third door on the left? (Rasberry/Wikimedia.org)

Don’t drink and dive with gators.

Gators know people stupidly think no one will notice an addition of warm yellow water in a swamp.  Seriously, anyone would get testy if that happened in their living room. Probably snap at the fool, too.

Golden Retriever in water/Scot Beckner/Flickr/Wikimedia.org)

You say, “Fetch.”
Gators say, “Dinner.” (Beckner/Flickr/Wikimedia.org)

Resist asking gators to participate in object retrieval games in water.

Being budget travelers, gators get confused and think it’s room service.

Forget inviting these introverts to block parties.

Social situations too stressful.

The shy ones may make an appearance, then try and grab a few a few snacks and carry them off.

Racks of kayaks outside a store/ No permissions granted/all rights reserved/copyrighted.

Hey look! Appetizer trays for gator gatherings.

Recently sharks have made it clear that they are sick of annual summer intruders, perhaps gators are snapping, too.

Just never know what’s behind a smile

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Dachshund leaping over log/Dan Bennett/Flickr/Commons.wikimedia.org

“Mom, that log moved. Called me an hors d’oeuvre. Reel me in. Leash alert!” (Bennett/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Gator paparazzi:

  • “Blind gator caught in Ft. Worth’s Trinity River”/park (CBS/DFW local). Too blind to know he was near people and should hide, he wasn’t hurting anyone – even at 10 feet long. Probably washed down by spring floods. Paddle boarders and kayakers were maneuvering around him, but sooner or later the Tx Parks and Wildlife people knew someone would start tossing chickens at him. “There’s alligators probably through here all the time,” he said, pointing to the Trinity River. ‘You’d never know they were here. ‘Cause they don’t want you know. they don’t want nothing to do with you, they’re swimming on by.’ ”
    “Once on land the gator he captured was pretty well-mannered. ‘He never hissed, he never growled; once we got him up on the bank and tape off, he was just as nice and docile as an alligator can be.’ ” This lucky gator was released into the wild in location far from people.
  • “Gator kills man swimming in marina bayou”. (Video) Drunk wouldn’t listen – not to people or posted signs. First fatal alligator attack in over 90 years here. A friend hunted down the 11 1/2 foot gator and killed it. Game wardens are not going to press charges.
  • “Son and father survive alligator attack in Chambers Co.” (Video) Family decides to swim in a swampy area. A desperate struggle.
Marina No swimming Alligator sign.(click2houston.com screenshot)

Gators, belonging to an ancient order, aren’t interested in diversity in their exclusive swamp country clubs. So sue them, but wouldn’t advise pursuing them.(screenshot.click2houston.com)

 

 

 

July 10, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Vote for Beauties (No Trumps)

Elegant masked woman playing chess.2009 Venice fashion shoot: Deror avi/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No masking the truth. Must know how to play the game. (Deror avi/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Naturally the contestants are nervous. Not only asked to strut out their best in front of huge numbers of strangers (“Eyes up here, please. I’m not that kind of girl.”), but also worried about what the folks back home are thinking.

Well aware that it’s a beauty pageant – a popularity contest – and wondering if their supporters will stay with them to the end.

One whiff of scandal or controversy could be the end of the trail. A total wash-out.

Good to stay grounded.

And that’s what the contest by USA Today recognizes.

The voting is open for the Readers’ Choice Travel Awards: 10 Best Urban Trails.

Contestants include 20 recreational trail systems located near a major U.S. city.

Are you going to hike over and march with your favorite to the winning line? Or keep quiet and fingers crossed hoping the mob doesn’t discovers it?

1922. vintage bathing shot Potomac Basin beach in from of Washington Monument Man and two woman:actresses/Nat.Photo Co../Loc/USPD:pub.date, press photo/Commons.wikimedia.org)

If our Mount Vernon Trail, Washington wins, we’ll dance again along the Potomac.(1922/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wander here to get a glimpse of all their portraits in landscape, read of their attributes, and place your vote.

Camp out with the count on the leaderboard.

Rally the troops to support your choice? (Voting closes Monday, July 20, 2015 at 11:59am EDT.)

(Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Trail is flowing pretty strong. How come Boston has two entries? Both lovely, but….Hey, Boulder, wake up! Oh, Mountain Time must be causing the voting lag.)

Just a daydreamer? That’s ok. Vote for the place you’re dreaming of!

  • “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” (John Muir. 1912)
  • “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks”(John Muir. 1918)
  • “One touch of nature makes all the world kin.” (John Muir. 1917)

Nothing trumps natural beauty,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

thunderstorm sky. ALL rights reserved. NO rights granted. Compyrighted

No park here. Sky high view out plane window.©

July 9, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Caution: Muse driving.

It’s so complicated now.

Once a person scribbled out a bunch of words, pounded them into a format, then begged, borrowed, or stole to get it published. Alternatively, some, out of desperation, left a manuscript where an astute relative or friend could find it after the funeral, then run to get it published.

Dead writers, like dead painters, sell.

Model Shaune Bagwell/Fashion Editorial.D. Mecey/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“So you think you’ve got what it takes?” (Mecey/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Being a published author is a common dream. Part of the journey is finding the right tool.

Old school pencils with their shades of grey.

Rediscovered elegance of fountain pens with their flow, easily bent points, and staining splotches. (Writers must suffer after all. It’s written down somewhere. Probably in disappearing ink.)

There are ball point and felt tip pens of many colors to coat pages. The clickety clackety of trendy once again typewriters.

Computers with programs to assist or totally destroy. Tablets for those who must travel to find their characters in themselves. Even smart phones for the concisely clever.

Choice of writing instrument is highly personal.

Can’t slow the flow.

Must suit each hand.

Have hand it to one guy who obviously put some thought into that before moving towards his dream. 

Tough chic and muscle car. (Flickr/danielle blue/Commons.wikimedia.org)

One writer’s muse may be another’s nightmare.(danielle blue/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 He was determined to create a smash hit. 

He knew he needed some big guns.

All he needed was an opening. (A backhoe might be a bit of an overkill, but when dealing with Warthogs… You never know.)

Forced himself forward despite obstacles. (Who hasn’t had to shove through blocks at one point or another? )

But even once the plot was in action, he still flailed. Found he wasn’t getting anywhere. (That well-known sense of doubt during the creative process.)

On the surface, it was clear as glass, yet something was holding him back. He pounded frantically trying to break through. (This is the page which separates the real producers from the lightweight wanna-be’s)

In what seemed like the blink of an eye (about 2 minutes actually), he realized he didn’t have the skill.

Despite the bold beginning, he ended up slinking back into the shadows. Only a totally useless broken piece in his hands. (Stolen ideas never shoot straight.)

Backhoe on security cam:Warthog Firearms/chron.com)

Ghostly images rumbled to life. (security cam)

But hey, he was featured on the news! (One 15 minutes of fame is as good as another.)

“Masked man crashes backhoe into Old Town Spring gun store” (Security video/story)

It’s hilarious.

Smart enough to get past the window’s security bars, but wasn’t counting on the smash-proof glass on the counters. (Points out that good research is critical when working on something.)

Warthog Firearms. What a choice setting.

crashed building. Old Towne Spring gun store. (Metro video screenshot chron.com)

Hard crash of reality. So familiar to writers.(Metrovideo/chron.com)

It is too just like the writing process. Work with me here.

My Muse is driving a backhoe.

Simply a matter of choosing the best tool for the job.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Elegant woman in train station.1951. Lisa Fonssagrives fashion shoot. Frissell, 1907-1988/LoC/USPD. pub.date, released by Frissell/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“So are you coming along or not?” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No whining. Wine aplenty, traveler.

Welcoming doorway at Grace Patriots WInery. (screenshot .gracepatriotswines.com)

Will you open that door? (gracepatriotswines.com)

Evening breeze. A sunset. A patio.

The glass of wine an end to a simply perfect day – or, perhaps if lucky, the opening scene of a simmering summer night.

Hair casually tossed to perfection, he leans closer –

“Hey! Hey! Snap! The dog just threw up in the back seat. And FYI, we are out of baby wipes.”

Summer vacation dreams fleeing faster than you can roll down the windows.

Gag. Find a place to pull over before we all die from the fumes.

It’s how real people live.

Party on the patio. (screenshot.gracepatriotwines.com)

Music. Wine. Movie set perfect (gracepatriotwines.com)

Desperate for mirages of the future. Images of hope. Dangling carrots (or Starbucks, whatever works) each morning to get out the door.

When the kids all go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, finally take their stuff, how long do hamsters live anyway?

When road trips can be spontaneous and clothing will once again be trendy and fashionable (without spots or wear marks which is why the item was on sale).

When it’s possible…someday.

Why wait?

rainbow over vineyard. (Screenshot.gracepatriotwines.com)

Tell them it’s a sign. Destined to stop there.(gracepatriotwines.com)

Anywhere near Sacramento, CA or Lake Tahoe areas?

An oasis waits: Grace Patriot Winery and vineyard.

Peaceful surroundings. Live music on the patio.

Award winning wines. (Including  the Lewis Grace Estate 2012 awarded the highest honor at the 2015 CA State Fair: Best of Show Red and winning also Best of Class of Region, Best of Region, and Best of Show. Not to mention the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon awarded Best Cabernet Sauvignon of California….and there are others)

Wine bottles on the bottling line. (screenshot.graacepatriotswines.com)

Line up of beauties waiting to meet you.(gracepatriotswines.com)

Tell the kids there’s a bunch of history, so they won’t want to go.

Stories of the grounds do linger.

The old Irving farmhouse was built in 1865 on the Irving Ranch which sat along a pony express route. The old barn still sits there, too.

See. History. Kids don’t need to know any more.

OK. Not exactly impartial since this family owned vineyard is family. But you’ll like the place, the wine, and the kids winemakers who learned their skills in vineyards from Napa to Australia.

A bit of wine, a lovely view, and suddenly the urge to travel appears?

Walnut tree in front of historic Irving Ranch House (1865) (Screenshot. gracepatriotswine.com)

Fall at the historic Irving Ranch House.(gracepatriotswine.com)

Why not? You’re just the right age to go.

Young? Great. You can rough it and live on PBJ and canned tuna more easily.

Way past that? Tell the grandkids you’ve decided to spend their inheritance.

 Lou Schell at home talking about her trip. (CBS Sunday Morning Show. screenshot YouTube)

There are good people out there. Lou found many.(CBS Sun.Morning/Screenshot YouTube)

That’s what 77-year-old Lou Schell decided.

She and her husband had always planned to travel after retirement – to do like CBS TV anchor/writer Charles Kuralt did in his “On The Road”segments. Just stop in places all over America and visit with ordinary people.

Sadly, Lou’s husband died before that happened.

Lou decided to go anyway.

With her sister tagging along, she drove out Jan., 2011, cheered by neighbors. Off they went to visit some of Kuralt’s favorite spots which included places like Key West, NYC, Woodstock, Maine, Alaska, and Taos.

Almost a year later, Lou returned home with such stories to tell.

Looking back she said, “I know you don’t put extra verses to the Bible, but I added an extra verse: ‘The Lord protects old ladies and crazies,’ and I just fit into both those categories.”

Lou Schell leaving the safety of her home (screenshot.CBS Sunday Morning Show/YouTube))

She’s headed out to see what she can see. (screenshot.CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube)

And she’d do it again.

Read her story here “Revisiting America for the First Time.”

Or watch her on YouTube/CBS video here “Following in Charles Kuralt’s Footsteps.”

Both of them have books: Charles Kuralt and Lou with her e-book.

So there now. Relax with some wine? Or get moving and discover an adventure?

Excuses aren’t good reasons,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Mountains. (Screenshot. Gracepatriotswines.com)

Mountains views and a vineyard. Definitely time for a road trip.(Gracepatriotswines.com)

July 6, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Herd of this.

Is this what is meant by a tin-horn cow, boy?

longhorn charcoal grills in parking lot. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Proud and handsome lot. (Which might leave a slightly tinny taste,)

A sight like this might be enough to shake up a cat on a hot tin roof.

Cow-sized charcoal grills rounded up and trailered to a grocery store parking lot. No doubt these are searching for one of those green suburban pastures they’ve herd about.

An imported breed which must have a docile temperament. Only a small cable corrals them in place. Certainly not the wild and wooly rodeo stock bull riders get things cookin’ with.

Long horn grills in a row. NO permissions gratned. ALl rights reserved. Copyrighted

An alert, but polite lineup of Longhorn grills. One thoughtfully wears a white sign asking for passers-by to refrain from attempts to ride them. The one in back has already flipped his lid out of nervousness at the thought.©

Store owners have a tin ear over these bovines being in the wrong place….at the grocery store which also sells fertilizer and log yard furniture along with fine wines and bakery goods.

It’s Texas. Fits right in.

“Longhorn charcoal grills? Sure, right there in the garden aisle – by produce still in the seed packets.”

Bet at least one UT student has this on their back to college supply list.

More than one way to heat up the tailgating parking lot.

Time to hoof it,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Longhorn charcoal grills? Sure right there in the garden aisle. ALL rights reserved. copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Somehow these guys look a little stiff after all this posing. They must be ready to mooove on to greener pastures.©

 

July 4, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Lifestyle of the primitives.

1841.Jefferson Walling log cabin, Henderson, Rusk County, TX ./LoC/USPD.by fed employee/Commons.wikimedai.org)

Now this is roughing it. (Jefferson Walling log cabin near Henderson, TX. Built in 1841. This Land Grant pioneer home is the only remaining structure from Republic of Texas era in Rusk County/LoC/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wild. Untamed. Dropped into primitive surroundings, would they forget where they came from or hold on to any shred of civilization from their former lives?

No doubt family and friend back home worried.

Renouncing citizenship, forced to learn a new language, and expected to bow to the mandated religion.

Why would they put themselves into circumstances like this? Why abandon who they were?

The immigrants shrugged.

Feeling if someone asked, there’s no way they would ever understand.

On this Fourth of July, thought you might be intrigued by a few passages from journals of early Texas settlers.

A different time and place. Life without a safety net. Yet they still celebrated July 4th.

(1834) The Fourth of July was a fine day. The barbecue was near Mr. Dyer’s house, and the quilting and ball were at the house. The ladies spent the day in conversation and work, the young people dancing in the yard, the children playing under the trees, and the men talking politics. There was no political speaking, as the Mexicans were present. The politicians and lawyers from San Felipe and Harrisburg were there, but they had little to say. The people were very anxious about Stephen F. Austin, as he was in Mexico, a prisoner. Three of the Mexicans ate dinner and were very sociable. One of them danced a Virginia reel, but the others could not dance anything but waltzes, and our young ladies did not waltz. Well, it was a grand affair for the times. The young people thought it magnificent……Well, the young people danced to that music from three o’clock in the evening till next morning. Mother went home with her family before day. Everybody else stayed all night. We ate barbecued meat, all sorts of vegetables, coffee, fowls, potatoes, honey and corn bread, but no cakes, as there was no flour in the country. The whiskey gave out early in the evening, and there was no fuss or quarreling. Everybody went home in a good humor…. This was the second time we attended a Fourth of July celebration in Texas. The first time was in Harrisburg. I remembered the Fourth of July celebrations in St. Louis. I had seen the militia parade, drums beating, flags flying, cannon firing, but the glory was not to be compared with that of the Fourth of July in the year 1834, near Stafford’s Point on the Brazos, about fifteen miles from Harrisburg.

Source: Dilue Harris, “The Reminiscences of Mrs. Dilue Harris I,” The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association Vol. 4, No. 2 (Oct., 1990), pp. 110 – 111.

Elegant and elaborate doorway to Mission San Jose y San Migel de Aguayo. Bexar County, San Antonio, TX.Typical architecture built during the TX frontier period. LOC/HABS/HAER/HALS/US PD.by fed employee/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Elegant and elaborate front door of Mission San Jose y San Migel de Aguayo. San Antonio, TX. Typical architecture built during the Texas frontier period. (LOC/US PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

(1835) The Fourth of July, Texas Style: First Hand Accounts of Independence Day Celebrations in 19th Century Texas I hope you spent the 4th of July pleasantly with your friends who feel some reverence for the day. As to myself, I can not say I enjoyed it. I got a bottle of vino muscale and drank to the Federal Constitution in all parts of America. I had no countrymen to join me or perhaps I should have done better.

SOURCE: July 5, 1835 Letter from Benjamin Milam to Francis W. Johnson in John H. Jenkins, ed., Papers of the Texas Revolution. (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 1:206.

(1845-1847) The 4th of July, the great national festival celebrated in commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the year 1776, was also celebrated here. A large American flag was hoisted on the Verein’s building and a formal banquet was given to which the officers of the Verein and a number of dignitaries of the city were invited. The heat had increased considerably during the first days of July and at noon the thermometer registered between 79 F. and 86 F. However, I must confess that it never became oppressive and disagreeable to me. Of course, I refrained from leaving the house during the hottest hours of the day. I was also fortunate in that the house was on a hill, where throughout the day the south wind blew strong enough continually to carry off paper and other light articles through the open door.

SOURCE: Dr. Ferdinand Roemer, Romer’s Texas, 1845-1847. Oswald Mueller [trans.] (San Antonio: Standard Printing Company, 1935; reprint edition, Austin: Eakin Press, 1995), 178.

Rose window. Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo chapel, Bexar Co. An Antonio, TX, typical of Spanish missions during TX rontier period. (LOC/ HABS/ HAER/ HALS/ USPD.by fed employee/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Letters and journals are windows into the past. Primary sources of information. (Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo chapel, San Antonio, TX, Typical of Spanish missions during Texas frontier period. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Although Austin County had only a few settlers in 1846, the Fourth of July was marked with a celebration at a site where Bellville is now located. Apparently the celebration, including a big barbecue, took place at this beautiful location in order to promote it as a town site and county seat. Mr. Jack Bell, a tall man with dark curly hair, was in charge of the affair. Although we could see the houses in the vicinity of Bellville from our farm, which was located fairly high on a hill, we had to travel for miles to reach the place. We had to detour through the impenetrably dark “Millcreek Bottom” and the over prairies of thick grass, with a kind of wide-bladed grass reaching the chests of the horses. A path had to be hewn in order that the animals could get through. Then, after going over some open hilly land we finally reached our destination…. I was just a child at the time, so I must have been all the more impressed by the strangeness of it. The official speaker was General Portis. His wife, a lady of considerable stature, like most of the other ladies wore a muslin dress with large flowers printed upon it and fanned herself with an enormous fan made of the tail feathers from a turkey. Incidentally, there were no domestic turkeys at that time, but there were many wild turkeys about. Sometimes when the eggs were found in the wilderness, they were brought home to be hatched out by chickens, and then one had tame turkeys. At the Bellville celebration we also saw for the first time large quantities of meat being roasted over open pits and then spread out on long tables where everyone could help themselves as desired. Later we attended other celebrations of this kind and became less aware of the uniqueness of this custom. Seeing young and old armed with huge chunks of meat that disappeared into the mouth without ever having been cut a first created considerable astonishment among us. Best I do not describe how the little ones coped with it. It must have been quite a sight.

SOURCE: Ottilie Fuchs Goethe. Memoirs of a Texas Pioneer Grandmother, Translated and Edited by Irma Goeth Guenther. (Burnet, TX: Eakin Press, 1982).

Stairwell. Michel Menard House, Galveston, TX. City founder, statesman, early pioneer /LOC/ HABS/HAER/HALS/USPD.by fed.employee/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Not all housing was primitive. Galveston before the 1900 storm was call the New York and Wall Street of the South. Interior stairwell of the Michel Menard House.The Greek Revival style house was built in 1840 by Menard who was Galveston City founder, statesman, and early pioneer. (LOC/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

(1853) But do not think that we do nothing here but work and that we fail to enjoy life. For some time now life has become very congenial here and gay; much more so than I ever expected it to be. I wrote you that we formed a club out here. The club house has been finished; it is across the road from my mill, to the north of my house. We celebrated the 4th of July in grand style. At 7:00 in the morning we all assembled on horseback at the club house. One man carried a flag which had been embroidered and decorated by the local ladies, at which work the ladies Lungwitz and Petri distinguished themselves. We all rode leisurely towards Fredericksburg, and the procession grew steadily in size. Just before entering the town we got into accurate formation and rode to the Market Place where members of the City Club, which is called The Reform Club, were waiting for us. We were received with music and loud Hurrahs! After about ten minutes the people from the Northern settlement came carrying a beautiful Texas flag. This had a large five pointed star on top and the words “Club of the Backwoodsmen”. The flagbearer was dressed in a blue denim shirt and trousers; he was an excellent representative for the backwoodsmen, The procession was much longer than yours at home when the Shooting Club meets, for as everyone was mounted and others followed in wagons, we made a huge parade. The parade moved through the town to music with the presidents of the various clubs leading the way to the “Vereins Haus” (club). After we had passed through Fredericksburg, the formation broke up; otherwise we would have made too much dust. In full gallop we made the three miles to the “Verins Haus”, around which we rode in stately formation. A lot of people had assembled
here. Now we formed a “Caree” and someone read the “Declaration of Independence” first in English and then in German. After that everyone unsaddled and we set up more than 30 private tents. In these each family served refreshments to its members and their friends….. Then the young people danced. At off times there were shooting matches, foot races and jumping matches. The winner had to pay for the wine, which all enjoyed very much. At 4:00 o’clock there were speeches and after that they danced the Polonaise. The gay life lasted until 6:00 the next morning – July 5th, when everybody had a cup of coffee. The celebration was not stiff nor was it rough or unrestrained. It was most congenial.

SOURCE: July 14, 1853 Letter from Carl Hilmar Guenther. Translation of Diary and Letters of Carl Hilmar Guenther. Edited and Translated by Regina Blackman Hurst. (San Antonio: The Clegg Co., 1952).

German immigrant, Betty Holekamp, arrived in Texas in the early 1800's (USPD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Another German immigrant, Betty Holekamp, arrived in Texas in the early 1800’s (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

So it looks like it wasn’t all skinnin’ possums and shaking’ rattlesnakes on the Texas frontier.

They still made time to celebrate a holiday from the old country.

Not such a primitive idea.

Party on!

Phil the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

A nod and thanks to the archives of the DRT (Daughters of the Republic of Texas) – You know, those little ladies who gathered up all the money they could and managed to buy the land with the crumbling Alamo to keep it from becoming a parking lot or shopping center. Oddly, no one else was interested in the old place at the time. The Alamo saved and sheltered for years as a shrine to honor those who fought and died on both sides of the wall. Kept it from turning into an event venue or amusement park. (Heaven help the State of Texas Land Office if they do not do the same.)

NO permissions granted.Flags hanging in the Old North Church, Boston, MA. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted

Yes, the yellow flag is the “Don’t tread on me” flag. But this one is in Old North Church of Boston, not in Texas. The similarities between the two places might surprise you.©

 

 

 

 

 

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