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  • Please WAIT! Then SCROLL DOWN for Quinceanera, Flea Market, Blackbrush.    [ Are you in this picture? ]
    A Gentleman's Travel Notes.
    Quinceanera, Flea Market, Blackbrush.
    The tree outside, she says, is Arkansas Ash. The fuzzy stuff that I was pointing at, all over my car and covering the ground around, isn't seeds. This is a male tree, she said, apologizing for the mess. She motioned groundward to a natural evidence of growth. Problem with the plumbing, she says. (From HEB, Feb 18, 2009, A Gentleman's Travel Notes.)   CLICK & GO!  (On this page.)   HEB, Feb 18, 2009    Mexico, a few facts.    Texas, a few facts.    (On the next page.)   Buzzard Roost, San Felipe, Seminole Canyon. Jan'09   Quinceanera, Flea Market, Blackbrush. Feb'09   Eagle Pass, Box Canyon. Feb'09   Big Bend National Park. March'09     
    (PHOTO ESSAY: Quinceanera, Flea Market, Blackbrush. Scroll down. Click on image for full size.)
    Old Plaza in
    San Felipe
    by the ancient creek
    from the San Felipe Springs.
    hang out and
    make friends
    at the Casa de la Cultura
    for a
    Boogie-Woogie theme
    happening soon.
    (A sweet 16 celebration, at just 15.)
    Paco's Cafe
    Near the flea market
    through tables
    of clothing
    with kids
    and maybe a bike
    or baby stroller.
    Great selection
    A warm afternoon
    Nap under a friendly
    Lakeside Real Estate
    Some shade
    Debutante Quincenera
    Church ceremony
    Los Caballeros
    Quincenera en costume
    with cake
    and flowers.

    I play a game with time. Looking out for stars, the level of ambient light, clouds and other signs, I guess at the time, then reach for my glasses and maybe the flashlight. I've never done this before, and I attribute it, roughly speaking, to my aging and living alone. Both factors merge together, the new me.

    09012426.jpg Today the sky is white puffs in a regular pattern with occasional darker bodies trailing whisps. I see the face of an old man with all white hair and a long beard. The image of my Zayde when I was a small child. He dovinned at the big table alone in the morning. Sat on a green bench outside much of the day. A tree grew out of an empty square in the concrete. He took me with him down the block to the shul for the minion. I remember the ornate canopy.

    The tree outside, she says, is Arkansas Ash. The fuzzy stuff that I was pointing at, all over my car and covering the ground around, isn't seeds. This is a male tree, she said, apologizing for the mess. She motioned groundward to a natural evidence of growth. Problem with the plumbing, she says. All the trees around are the same variety. A seasonal display of small bright green bunches. Black birds land on them, pause, and screech. Across the fence line dark mesquite and big ear cactus in a sprawl. She has a trash bag with her and one of those mechanical grabbers to pick up stuff. For the exercise, she says, pointing to her belly. The package she brought me was from Bert. Tax stuff and some welcome DVD's from my collection. Blier, Veber, Leconte and fresher Ozon. Yummy.

    09012430.jpg She's from Thailand. Came here as an exchange student in the 70's, majored in hotel management. Worked 3 jobs for ten years in NYC. She saved every penny and bought town houses with it in places like Lexington KY. No upkeep. Easy to rent. Now she buys vacant lots in the $25-50K range and sells them short term for as much as 100% gain. Got this place 12 years ago. In seven years she'll give it to her son and retire on SS, a Hilton pension and all the stuff she's bagged away. Live half time in Bangkok where the dollar goes a long way. A husband left her. She keeps the $90,000 check he cashed on the wall to remind her. The guy she's with now is hired help.

    I've been here one month today. Admittedly a minor anniversary but still one that deserves some reflection. I pull into the big HEB parking lot and experience a sense of great pleasure in my situation. The sun is low and glaring behind the sprawl of cars, wires and macadam. I sense the familiar bustle of compact figures, often colorfully dressed, with children tagging along. The men are in white shirts and a straw. The workers are dark in a sort of navy blue uniform. I'm in no hurry to do my shopping. I guess at the time and look to be sure. 5:30PM. I sit with the orange sun behind the wheel.

    When I get back I try to remember one by Lu You. He's on official business into the provinces. At one of the towns, after the formalities, he visits a hermit's place away in the bush. No one at home. He takes a rock seat outside and sits. He hangs out all night at a sake bar, drinking and flirting with the girls. When he gets back to the boat he flops on a coil of rope on deck and sleeps it off. It's still dark. The water makes slapping noises.

    I couldn't find the poem, but learned Burton Watson published 25 more of them in '07 and ordered the book on Amazon. The beauty of the individual moment, seen through Watson's incomparible English, is a high point in human expression. His pen name translates, The Old Man Who Does As He Pleases.

    Del Rio TX Feb 18, 2009

    Mexico is a country in North America and the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. It also has the largest number of American Indian language speakers on the continent (the majority speaking Nahuatl, Mayan, Mixtec and Zapotec). Human presence in Mexico has been shown to date back 40,000 years based upon ancient human footprints discovered in the Valley of Mexico [1] (previous evidence substantiated indigenous inhabitants at 12,500 years ago). For thousands of years, Mexico was a land of hunter-gatherers. Around 9,000 years ago, ancient Mexicans domesticated corn and initiated an agricultural revolution, leading to the formation of many complex civilizations. These civilizations revolved around cities with writing, monumental architecture, astronomical studies, mathematics, and militaries. After 4,000 years, these civilizations were destroyed with the arrival of the Spaniards in 1519. For three centuries, Mexico was colonized by Spain, during which time the majority of its indigenous population died off. Formal independence from Spain was recognized in 1821. France then invaded Mexico in 1864 and ruled briefly until 1867. A war with the United States ended with Mexico losing almost half of its territory in 1848 and the Mexican Revolution would later result in the death of 10% of the nation's population. Since then, Mexico as a nation-state has struggled with reconciling its deeply-entrenched indigenous heritage with the demands of the modern Western cultural model imposed in 1519. The nation's name is derived from the Mexican civilization (known in popular culture as the Aztecs).
    Much more at

    The history of Texas (as part of the United States) began in 1845, but settlement of the region dates back to the end of the Upper Paleolithic Period, around 10,000 BC. Its history has been shaped by being part of six independent countries: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. Starting in the 1820s, American and European immigrants began arriving in the area; joined by Hispanic Tejanos they revolted against Mexico in 1836 and defeated an invasion army. After a decade as an independent country, Texas joined the Union (the United States) in 1845. The western frontier state was characterized by large-scale cattle ranching and cotton farming. In the 20th century, it grew rapidly, becoming the second largest state in population 1994, and became economically highly diversified, with a growing base in high technology. The state has been shaped by the interactions of Southern, Tejano, Native American, African American, and German Texan cultures.
    More about Texas including French Texas, Mexican Texas, and Republic of Texas at

    Cactus Flowers.

    A Personal Potpourri. A Personal Potpourri.
    Old photos, letters, clippings, greeting cards and other stuff too precious to discard. A Personal Potpourri is your Adirondack Guide's eclectic photo and writing place for stuff that just doesn't fit elsewhere in Fourpeaks Adirondack Backcountry Camps webpages. CLICK HERE for more Personal Potpourri.  CLICK HERE to meet Your Adirondack Guide.

    .Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out. 
    Are you in this picture? Fourpeaks hosts now welcome paying guests to a 700-acre rest and playground for vacations in the Adirondack Great Camp tradition. Couples appreciate Fourpeaks secluded settings. Outdoor loving families have fun exploring our accessible wilderness. Folks with dogs enjoy the open spaces to run their pets. A private nature rereat. For a vacation away from it all.    Are you in this picture?  CLICK HERE to find out!    [More about this at Frequently Asked Questions.]

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