October 29, 2010

A return to Henderson

I've been through Henderson a few times before, and I stopped there again on the way home from a trip to Longview this past weekend. The main objective in Henderson was this:

100 west ragley street
100 west ragley street
100 west ragley street
100 West Ragley, c. 1870, Gothic Revival

But there was also:

art deco gas station in henderson
art deco gas station in henderson
art deco gas station in henderson

305 east main street in henderson
305 East Main Street

306 east main street in henderson
306 east main street in henderson
306 East Main Street

October 27, 2010

"A Blossom Fell"

Another beautiful tune as interpreted by Nat King Cole, this one discovered whilst watching Badlands. The best known and commercially successful version of "A Blossom Fell," Cole's version reached #2 on the Billboard charts in April 1955 (source).

October 25, 2010

Lingerin' in Longview as the day begins

I was really lucky with the clouds on this morning!

movies in longview
movies in longview
I had no choice but to pull over to get this movie theater, all lit up at 7 am, on Saturday morning.....Wait, what?

Okay, so you've seen the sunrise in Longview. How about the moon fall?
moon goes down over north fredonia street

the petroleum building
The Petroleum Building, c. 1956

north fredonia street in the morning
Looking down North Fredonia Street at the Petroleum Building

f.l. whaley house
f.l. whaley house
The F.L. Whaley House, c. 1871, Symmetrical Victorian

bldg. near gregg county courthouse
Art Deco-esque building near the Gregg County Courthouse

brown-birdsong house
brown-birdsong house
brown-birdsong house
brown-birdsong house
The Brown-Birdsong House, c. 1879, Victorian

former service station(?) in longview
former service station(?) in longview

ghost in longview

judge j.n campbell house
judge j.n campbell house
judge j.n campbell house
judge j.n campbell house
The Judge J.N. Campbell House, c. 1872, Greek Revival(?)

October 22, 2010


Hey, hey, it's Mike Nesmith....

Michael Nesmith and The First National Band

"Joanne" was the only Top 40 Mainstream single for Michael Nesmith as a solo artist. Nesmith released the single in 1970 with his band The First National Band on the album, Magnetic South. Magnetic South was the first album released by Nesmith after leaving The Monkees. (source)

October 20, 2010

Beatles '89

What if?
I've posted before about imaginary Beatles-reunion music mixes, but I'd never come up with one of my own. John Lennon's recent seventieth (wow) birthday had me thinking a bit more seriously about it. What if.....John Lennon hadn't been assassinated until 1989 (or not at all)? What if The Beatles had been able to reconcile their contractual/money and personal issues to reconvene (in earnest) to record at least one more album?

Obviously, all four Beatles never again recorded anything together after the Abbey Road sessions in 1969. So for the purposes of this mix, the limitations for choosing songs are for things recorded from Lennon's last creative output (for the Double Fantasy sessions in 1980) up to the year 1989, which was when Paul McCartney's above average (for him) Flowers in the Dirt was released. That album contains a couple of songs I can definitely imagine The Beatles recording, as I will explain.

So between 1980 and 1989, this would include, from John, Double Fantasy and the posthumously released Milk and Honey (recorded late August 1980, released in 1983). From Paul, McCartney II (released in mid-1980), Tug of War (1982), Pipes of Peace (1983), Press to Play (1986), and Flowers in the Dirt (1989). For material from which to possibly select songs, I'd exclude McCartney's movie soundtrack, Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984), which except for a favorite of mine, "No More Lonely Nights," was simply re-recordings of Beatles compositions, and СНОВА Б СССР (1988), essentially McCartney's version of Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll. From George, Somewhere in England (1981), Gone Troppo (1982), Cloud Nine (1987), and Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988). From Ringo.......well, er, I'll pretend the Fabs politely considered putting "Stop and Smell the Roses" (from his 1981 release Stop and Smell the Roses) on this imaginary album as the perfunctory one-per-album Ringo song, and then wisely decided against it.

This then, perhaps, might have been the album they'd have released in 1989, which I'd call Everest (or maybe A Doll's House?):

Side 1

"My Brave Face"
People compared McCartney's collaborations with Elvis Costello on Flowers in the Dirt to those he did with John Lennon. Costello provided the sourness sorely lacking from McCartney's overly sweet work of the years leading up to Flowers in the Dirt, just as Lennon could do. McCartney and Costello's harmonies on "My Brave Face" were, I think, purposely contrived to be similar to those he and Lennon did on "Here, There, and Everywhere," "Baby's in Black," "We Can Work it Out," etc., etc., etc. Listen to the line in the chorus "take me to that place" where the harmony vocal goes down on the word "place" -- that's Lennon and McCartney!

Also, I like to believe the lyric "Now I don't have to tell anybody when I'm gonna get back" is a reference to "Get Back." I think McCartney's expression at 1:16 in the video confirms my belief. "My Brave Face" sounds like a deliberate attempt by McCartney (and Costello) to be Beatlesque, right down to the first reappearance (the video for "Coming Up," notwithstanding) since the Beatle days of his Hofner bass (complete with Candlestick Park play list, still taped to it). Anyway, it could have been a pretty decent opening song to the first "real" Beatles album in twenty years...

"(Just Like) Starting Over"
Perhaps an obvious song to begin any "new" Beatles album, and it was difficult to decide whether I'd start it off with this or "My Brave Face," but I like how The Beatles ("The White Album) began with Paul's "Back in the U.S.S.R." and lead (bled) into John's "Dear Prudence." They even could have mixed it so as "My Brave Face" is fading out, the chimes at the start of "(Just Like) Starting Over" begin.

"This Is Love"

"Nobody Told Me"

Strange days, indeed.

"Coming Up"
Annoying in its way, perhaps, but The Beatles could have made it work (damnit)! John Lennon supposedly liked the song, and it is credited with having partly driven him out of retirement to return to "riding on the merry-go-round."

"Borrowed Time"
Ah yes, John Lennon - the voice of a generation, or should it be the voice of humanity?

"Heading for the Light"
A beautiful Harrison composition, recorded, of course, with the Traveling Wilburys. I've always imagined it was John and Paul (and George) doing background vocals.

"Beautiful Boy"
We know how Paul felt about this one. Don't you know he could hear himself doing harmonies with John? A nice way to end side one.

Side 2

"Tug of War"
As it was speculated to be a commentary of sorts on the post-Beatles break-up bitterness and quarreling between John and Paul back when McCartney released the album Tug of War (his first to come out after John Lennon's death), this song could have been a nice way of dealing with it on a "reunited Beatles" album. Bonus points for having been produced by Beatles producer George Martin. A lovely tune.

"When We Was Fab"
Favorite line: "Arrived like strangers in the night." Not as moving as "All Those Years Ago," but still a nice homage by George.

"This One"

"What opportunities did we allow to flow by
Feeling like the timing wasn't quite right?
What kind of magic might have worked if we had stayed calm..."

Yes, I'm afraid even in my little fantasy, make-believe Beatles album world, Yoko Ono is inextricably present...Just imagine Paul and George doing the backup vocals and Ringo reliably keeping the beat.

"Take It Away"
I've heard somewhere the video depicts the formation and career (in a way) of The Beatles. Ringo plays drums (for real!).

"Watching the Wheels"

No longer riding on the merry-go-round-hound!

I can clearly remember hearing this on the radio in those days after Lennon's death, back in December 1980.

"All Those Years Ago"

So beautiful...sigh.

The recording of the song featured all three remaining Beatles (Harrison, Starr and Paul McCartney), though this was expressly a Harrison single. It is one of only a few non-Beatles songs to feature three members of the group. Harrison and Starr recorded the song at Harrison's Friar Park studios between 19 November 1980 and 25 November 1980. After Lennon's death the following month, Harrison removed Starr's vocals (but left Starr's drumming track) and recorded his own vocals with rewritten lyrics honouring Lennon. McCartney, his wife Linda and their Wings bandmate Denny Laine visited Friar Park to record backing vocals. (source)

October 18, 2010

Oak Grove Cemetery

oak grove cemetery iron arch
Originally called "American Cemetery," Oak Grove Cemetery is located on the 1826 land grant of Empresario Haden Edwards. The leader of the 1826 Fredonian Rebellion, Edwards is interred here. The earliest marked burial on this site is that of Franklin J. Starr (d. 1837), a native of New Hartford, Connecticut, and a local realtor.

Many graves from the early Spanish cemetery of Nacogdoches were relocated to this site when the county courthouse was erected on the Spanish cemetery grounds in 1912. The earliest grave from that burial ground is marked, "Father Mendoza," 1718.

Oak Grove Cemetery is filled with historical figures important both to Nacogdoches County and the State of Texas. Perhaps the most famous is Thomas Jefferson Rusk, judge, statesman and Sam Houston's secretary of war. Like Rusk, Charles Stanfield Taylor, John S. Roberts and William Clark , Jr., signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Other statesmen and soldiers interred here include Captain Haden Arnold and Elias E. Hamilton, veterans of the Battle of San Jacinto; Jacob Lewis; James Harper Starr; General Kelsey H. Douglass; George F. Ingraham; Nicholas Adolphus Sterne; Captain Frederick Voigt; and Dr. Robert A. Irion, who also was Sam Houston's personal physician.

entrance to oak grove cemetery
Other burials of interest include those of former slaves Mitchell Thorn, Lawrence Sleet and Eliza Walker. Frost Thorn was among Texas' early millionaires; Diedrich Anton Wilhelm Rulfs, Nacogdoches' master architect, designed Zion Hill Baptist Church on the north side of the cemetery. Richard William Haltom founded and edited Nacogdoches' The Daily Sentinel, and poet Karle Wilson Baker was the third person named a fellow to the Texas Institute of Letters.
(Texas Historical Commission historical marker)

"The monuments in Oak Grove Cemetery remind the visitor of the Romance and Remembrance of Old Nacogdoches." (source)

This quote in turn reminded me of another:

"As a young person during that period, I had felt Nacogdoches' enchantment, had worn its mantle of romance as I listened to ghost-voices of the past echoing from hill to stream and reechoing through narrow, winding streets. For me, light summer rain revived the scent of antiquity that permeated the main square like lingering musk..." (From Old Nacogdoches in the Jazz Age, by Martha Anne Turner)

Let's listen to a few of those "ghost-voices of the past," shall we?

W.P. Mims
w.p. mims
Upright and just he was
in all his ways,
A bright example in
degenerate days.

His words were kindness
his deeds were love,
His spirit humble,
he rests above.

Dr. W.L. Denman
dr. w.l. denman
A minister of the primitive
Baptist Church, Charitable
to the poor and widows.

Marcus G. Mims
marcus g. mims

cement flower

M.L.A. Haltom
m.l.a. haltom

Pierie L. Manning
pierie l. manning

heavenly handshake

Mrs. John P. Davidson
mrs. john p. davidson
Gone but not forgotten

A precious one from us has gone
A voice we loved is stilled:
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled.
God in His wisdom has recalled,
The boon his love had given,
And though the body slumbers here
The soul is safe in heaven.

Angel Monument
angel monument
angel monument

Arthur, Leslie, and Teddy Pierce
arthur, leslie, and teddy pierce




Teddy (who died in Angers, France, in 1918):


Hollis T. Mast and Kate Bridwell
the masts

D.A.W. Rulfs


6 crosses

mother mary
"Mother, thou hast from us flown
To the regions far above;
We to thee erect this stone,
Consecrated by our love."


gone and forgotten

Eliza Walker
eliza walker

Born in 1817 (damn!) and a former slave

Franklin Jefferson Starr
franklin jefferson starr
Oldest marked grave (1837) in the cemetery

Chas. H. Mitchell
chas. h. mitchell
Farewell my wife and
children all
From you a Father Chr
ist doth call.

Little Mary
little mary

William Purvis Spradley
william purvis spradley

The Bakers
the bakers

The Monks
the monks

Susan H. Thorn
susan h. thorn
Spouse of Frost Thorn, one of Texas' earliest millionaires

Frost Thorn
frost thorn
frost thorn


ireson double column monument

Oscar Lemon Holmes
oscar lemon holmes
"I give and bequeathe the residue
of my property to the State of
Texas, to aid in the maintenance
and support of persons wounded
and maimed in our defense in
the present struggle of our Con-
federacy against the United
States Government; those from
Nacogdoches County, Texas, to
have preference."

Extract from the last will and tes-
tament of O. L. Holmes.

Anna Mary Taylor Shindler
anna mary taylor shindler
Her last words:

"I am one of nature's children
I love to look at the green trees."

winged hourglass
Time takes all but memories

Laura Blount
laura blount
The gift of God is
eternal life.

She died just as this house (designed by Diedrich Rulfs) was being completed for her by her father, who was among the founding members of Commercial National Bank. It is said that Laura died in her first childbirth, and her husband sold the house and moved from Nacogdoches.

Mary Palmer Dana Shindler
mary palmer dana shindler
Flee as a bird to your
mountain, Thou who art sick
of sin. Go to the clean
flowing fountain Where you
may wash and be clean.

Rev. R.D. Shindler
rev. r.d. shindler
Blessed are the pure is heart
for they shall see God.

Dr. Robert Anderson Irion
dr. robert anderson irion
Husband of Anna Raguet and personal physician to Sam Houston

Mary Bruton
mary bruton
Gentle one, may thy grave
Peace and quiet ever have.
After thy short earthly tour:
Sweet rest seize thee evermore.

Little Rosa Tucker
little rosa tucker

Elizabeth Holloway
elizabeth holloway

Adolphus Sterne
adolphus sterne
Merchant, public servant, and a financier of the Texas Revolution

steamboat monument
The monument was erected by Henry and Marcia A. Raguet in memory of their two children Mary and Condy Raguet who lost their lives on the steamboat America during a storm on the Ohio River December 5, 1868.

steamboat monument
DECEMBER 5, 1868

"How inscrutable are thy ways Oh God"

oak grove cemetery gate at sunrise