Friday, September 30, 2016

Keeping Score At The Double Ringer


Unfortunately by now they almost belong on the endangered species list in Texas. We are talking about old fashioned Honky Tonks, the dive beer joints, the bustling saloons, which by now have mostly disappeared from urban areas. Some isolated ones, mostly hiding in the country, can still be found. Their habitat, even though shrinking, lies from Central Texas going south towards the border, the buckle of the bible-belt up in North Texas was just too tight, with only Fort Worth and it's legendary stockyards being an exception.

This specimen, the Double Ringer (lat.: Duplex dingding), can be found about 25 miles northeast of San Antonio on your way to Seguin.  Drive south off IH-10 on 2538 or 325 and you should find it nestled into the woods in an old German town called Zuehl. The Double Ringer has a history, it used to be primarily a meat market and a bar on the side in the beginning, these days it pretty much sticks to the selling of libations. But if you are lucky - and chances are way better than the odds of the Texas lottery - the owner Billy may cook something for his guests, either frying fish or barbequeing on one of the many grills outside.

Double Ringer refers to the game of Horseshoe pitching, where you try to throw horseshoes around a stake. If your shoe completely encircles the stake and a line can be drawn from both ends of the shoe without touching the stake, you score a ringer. If you repeat this with your second throw and both shoes are lying around the stake, then you score a Double Ringer.

And if you walk in and nobody is in the bar, the patrons are sitting outside, below some shade trees, telling tall tales and lore and enjoying some cold ones. If you need a sports bar, are on the prowl to chase the other gender or not flexible to mingle with people - this bar is not for you! Obviously they are also biker friendly.

Sources: National Horseshoe Pitching Association,
This shot and others are available for publication through photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. It is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio and in my Niume photo sphere blog.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Keep Cool


There's a joke in Texas about the seasons, that the Lonestar state basically has two - a hot summer and a mild summer. Mild meaning, temperatures into the 80s (30 C) and that can actually happen year round. I remember days in the middle of "winter" as in January, where people would try to get comfortable in their swim suits.

And yes it can get scorching hot - where it's almost mandated to stay indoors while the AC is buzzing, as the quicksilver raises well into the 100s (>38 C). Not too long ago, we actually broke a record in Austin, where we had over 60 days of 100+ degree weather. Just a tad too hot to do outdoor chores, like digging a hole, spreading dirt.

This shot and others are available for publication through photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. It is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio and in my Niume photo sphere blog.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tip Toeing (Thru) The Tulips


A Dutchman came to Texas and missed his tulips so much, that he decided to grow his own and start the Texas Tulip Farm. Situated in North Texas near Pilot Point (about an hour north of the DFW area) if offers an amazing sight of a huge variety of the flowers not native to the Lonestar State.

During blooming season, late February to end of March, try to make it out on a weekday if you can. Saturday and Sundays can be quite populated and you may have to wait in line to park and get in. They charge $ 2.50 a head to get and then you can stroll for hours between the different beds.

It's also a great opportunity to take family pictures, put please don't put your children in the middle of the tulip beds and therefore crushing the flowers. Actually this is not an amusement park and children should be kept on a "leash." Also don't show up in your stilettos, it's a farm, so the ground is uneven, wear rugged pants so you can actually kneel down in the dirt if you want to take close up shots.



You can take (cut, or hand pick) tulips home, but at a rather steep price. To make your tulips last, pick them while they are still closed, they will last much longer at home and  will give you enjoyment for a couple of weeks.

This was the first year we went there and I know I want to go back next spring, tip toeing not thru but next to the tulips.



Sources: texas-tulips.com
This shot and others are available for publication through photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. It is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio and in my Niume photo sphere blog.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Meeting


As urban communities grow more and more impersonal, where you hardly know your neighbour anymore, it's important to have public spaces where you can convene with other people and exchange more than pleasantries and simple hello.

Theaters, music halls, galleries etc. are great places to expand the horizon not only culturally, but also in a sense of community and meeting space.

The Courtyard Theater in Plano is such a place. Their offering of a Texas Music Series, in a seated, smoke free, listening environment helps to bring together all shapes of the community, who certainly share one thing in common - the admiration of the artist that invited them that night.

Lovely renovated from an old gym into a theater venue, it's quite dazzling. Reflecting the old agricultural background of the small town Plano, which by now is an bustling urban suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with the use of aluminum siding with normally frames a Wilson livestock trailer. It combines old with new, and gives the whole room ample space to breath.

In this year's Texas Music Series, there are still two concerts scheduled - singer/songwriter Max Stalling (10/6) and country rockers Confederate Railroad (11/3), latter ones touring on their recently released album "Lucky To Be Alive" with a re-recording, a 20th anniversary version of their hit, the Chris Wall penned "Trashy Women." Besides music they also try to get a theater company into the building to offer the public a great variety of cultural events, who in end bring the people back together to meet.

Sources: plano.gov, wilsontrailer.com, maxstalling.com, confederaterailroad.net
This shot and others are available for publication through photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. It is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio and in my Niume photo sphere blog.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Big Illusion .


"To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances." (Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray -1891)

A great provoking (and in the summary of the book sarcastic) paradox of Wilde, but spoken at a point where Dorian needs be sold in to believing in the never ending beauty and youth by Lord Henry.

So have we as a society arrived at the point (roughly 125 years after that quote) where commerce plays the role of Lord Henry on a daily basis and tries to seduce us, into the false world of artificial appearances while denying the community, the reality of the true life cycle.

Well if we can stay "Forever 21." Unfortunately working long term on three times 21, I have not met anybody, that got stuck at that age. I don't want to be 21 anymore. I would miss all my highs and lows, all my successes and failures - that so lovely frame our lives. And I hope there will be more highs and lows to come for a long time - even so it's not indefinite.









Sources: "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (Oscar Wilde).
These two shots and others of mine are available for publication  through a photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. The pictures are also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio and in my Niume blog.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Prada In The Desert


For over ten years a high fashion nonfunctional Prada clothing store is smack dab in the middle of the West Texas desert between Van Horn and Valentine, but associated with Marfa to the south. Originally built to desintegrate over the years and to become nothing again But it had to be repaired, as vandals broke into the store, stole the luxury purses and shoes (only right ones were on display.) It needed another fix when a Waco artist broke into the building, spray painted the walls and protested against another clothing manufacturer.

But else the building has been there for over ten years and still attracting visitors from all over the world. The fate of the installation wasn't clear for a long time, as the Texas Department of Transportation considered it to be an unlicensed and therefore unpermitted billboard on the side of a state highway. A reclassification of the building into a museum with Prada, Marfa being the only exhibit, safed the fate, so now it can peacefully disintegrate and become nothing again.


Sources: www.powwows.com

Both shots as well as others are available for publication through the photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. This photo can also be found in my ClickASnap portfolio or in my Niume Blog.

Beat The Drum Slowly

Pow Wow - Austin 2014

Pow Wows are the Native American people’s way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones.  This is a time method to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians.

A drum circle is as important as the singers and dancers to pass on the traditions; nt only to Native American people, but to everybody who likes to attend a Pow Wow. It's more than an educational experience, it's very spiritual and may open some hearts and minds.

So if you want to go on the Pow Wow trail or just visit one in your town or find the closest to where your are at, visit www.powwows.com

Sources: www.powwows.com
This shot as well as others are available for publication through the photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. This photo can also be found in my ClickASnap portfolio or in my Niume Blog.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What Are You Looking At?

Differential Grasshopper (melanoplus differentialis), outside of the US also known as American Grasshopper. In swarms deadly to new crops and therefore considered a pest to agriculture.

This female subject (you can see the ovipositor) can grow upto 5cm (2inches) and can lay up to six egg masses in soft soil, each of which can contain 40–200 eggs . The nymphs will hatch early the next summer and will reach adulthood in 32 days.

They are not uncommon even in urban areas, where you may find them on a vacant lot. But normally they prefer grasslands, corn, fruits, forbs and sunflowers.

Sources: http://www.insectidentification.org, wikipedia,
This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio, and as a blog in the photography sphere on Niume.

Composition In Blue, Orange And Brown

Close up of a house detail: wall, window, fascia, evoking a Piet Mondrian composition, even though only in geometrical form. I'm actually guilty and have to confess, that I occasionally love to indulge into abstract, abstract urban, minimal abstract or even a combination of all of them. Some of the results probably will never hang on a wall, but sure enrich the process of doing and trying. 

The above "scene" did trigger the Dutch "De Stijl" painter, Piet Mondrian, even though using more than just primary colors, reduce the whole thing more to a geometrical celebration of his "stijl".  Originally painting as an impressionist, playing with fauvism and pointillism, he started to reduce, limit himself to primary colors with his famous  "Evening; Red Tree," which I tried to celebrate in photography only in my Niume blog "Rest Is Not Idleness." Joining the art movement "De Stijl" he began abstracting and minimalizing even more: 

"I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…"

Here is one of Piet's most famous artworks - Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow

Piet Mondriaan (1930) Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow                                          Public Domain

Sources: Wikipedia
This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio, and as a blog in Niume




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gulf Fritillary on Pride of Barbados



Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) on blooming Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

The large grey patches under the wing of the butterfly distinguish it as a Gulf Fritillary, even though it looks very similar to a Monarch. Mostly present in the Southeastern US, reaching as far west as Texas. It is a beautiful sight to see. Caesalpinia pulcherrima or Pride of Barbados with it's common name, attracts a lot of humming birds and butterflies. Other names for this stunning bloomer include Mexican or red Bird of Paradise, flamboyant-de-jardin. Origin is unknown, but it's pretty draught resistant, actually can grow wild. If the plant freezes in winter, try to cap it back as early as February, when it starts to get warmer.

This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio, and as a blog in Niume

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hesperaloe parviflora Study I




Hesperaloe parviflora, the latin name what is casually called Texas Red Yucca, even though it does not belong into the Yucca family, but into the Aloe family.


It's a very showy native (Texas and some parts of Mexico) succulent, in April/May/June (according to how temperatures are, where you live) it starts to have long tall spikes of these pinkish flowers. The further north you are the longer they bloom, and can actually bloom during the whole summer. In the more southern regions of the Lonestar state, the blooms are normally gone by June, developing into first green se.ed pods, who then harden, turn brown and start spreading small little black seeds.

The plant is xeric, which means very drought resistant and can even take some "very rare" snow, it will just bloom a little bit later after experiencing a really cold winter with freezing temperatures. Hummingbirds & butterflies love the plant.

This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio, and as a blog in Niume



Night Shift


A lone security guard at the end of the lobby, guarding an office building. As I love to document work in BW pictures I am really taken with the colors in this one. The almost complimentary colors are working wonders for this shot. And the "cold" outside fights the "warm" inside, but there is a guard denying access. There is something Kafkaesque in this shot. 

The BW on the other hand is more to reality in some certain ways: unarmed guards make minimum wage and do mostly "observe & report" duties. It just shows the job at what it is, a simple job. 


Both these shots are available for publication through Dispatch Press Images, a photo agency. They are also featured in my ClickASnap portfolio.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Flush It Out



In rural areas, public services have to come and flush culverts. Their job is to clean them with high pressure washers from debris and trash to reduce flooding, when it storms, so the rain water can drain away. One of the public sector jobs, where your tax money is at work to guarantee a safer community.

This shot and others are available for publication through Dispatch Press Images.

Beauty In Decay



I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth. Henry Miller

Couple of years ago, while taking care of yard, I ran across these decaying Canna leaves. The subtlety in color, texture and the state were in, blew my mind. As death is always portrayed as a heavy burden, look at the lightness of being and leaving. Nature taunting us with abstract art.

Some people may not agree with me and that's absolutely fine, but their is beauty in death and decay.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pickin' & Grinnin' In Luckenbach


For the last almost 30 years I've been an infrequent frequent visitor to the small hamlet of Luckenbach, Texas. Made famous thanks to the Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson Hit "Luckenbach, Texas - Back To The Basics Of Love" the "town" with its own loop attracts people from all over the world. I published a first installment of a blog "Let's Go To Luckenbach, Texas" in Niume a while ago.

While weekends may be quite busy and overrun with tourists coming in buses and bikers showing up in swarms, it's the quieter moments that make this little town so special. If you ever go there in winter, the only thing warming you is a small little wood stove inside. It's mostly locals and regulars that show up, but there is always a picker or two, who want you to listen to his newest song creation.

If you go through the summer months, choose a day during the week or come in late on Sunday afternoon, when the "big" stars are gone, the stage is empty and the local people, the pickers and grinners show up for a traditional picker's circle or song swap or whatever you wanna call it.

The talent is wonderful and you may actually ran into one of the bigger stars on his way home, who just drops by to see what's going on. Chill, have a cold one and forget the world just for a little while.


These images and others are available for publication through Dispatch Press Images, a photo agency.

On The Way



You never know when you're gonna need them. This Emergency Medical Technicians (or EMTs for short) have probably one of the most demanding jobs there is. Not only do they have to respond quickly, they also have to decide quickly how they can help with medical issues, traumatic injuries and accident scenes.

As a survivor a bad motorcycle accident I will always be in debt to the EMTs who were able to "ship" me as fast as possible to the next hospital, where I spent the next 13 weeks.

So pay attention, get off your freaking cell phone, while you drive and get out of the way, so they can tend to the person who needs most. The next time it might be you, waiting for an ambulance to show up. And sometimes it may only be minutes deciding if you live or not.

This and other images are mine, are available for publication through Dispatch Press Images, a photo agency.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Study In Rust III


Diamond shaped detail of a manhole cover. As mentioned in other posts about Rust, there is the decaying beauty in rust, that keeps fascinating me. Part of it has to do with almost indestructible element of metal, that withers away under the weather and showing us some of the most beautiful colors doing so.

From The Ashes


Six years ago, in March 2010, the Phoenix rose out of the ashes and became a bar again.

Originally built in 1871 the building housed several bars and saloons as well as several department stores, especially after prohibition put a temporary end to the bar business in 1918.

According to their own history chapter on their Phoenix Saloon website, one of the owners, William Gebhardt invented chili powder on these premises. Supposedly it was also the first saloon in Texas that offered service to women. At that time a revolutionary thing as most women weren't allowed to attend bars, saloons and honky tonks for their own pleasure and could only meet men in dancehalls. "Hell's Half Acre" in Fort Worth with its establishments and bordellos only catered to men, who came through the area on their cattle drives on the Chisholm Trail. Originally a war term, where the most bloodied and dismembered bodies were, it became an expression for the devil's sins and temptations.

Beautifully restored, an old original brick wall was exposed, the venue now offers libations and serves Chili, which was featured in one of the cooking shows on TV. Besides offering a lively nightlife as a bar with music during the week and on weekends, you may also encounter some haunted spirits that are alleged to be meandering in the 145 year old building.

Sources: thephoenixsaloon.com
This shot and others are available for publication at Dispatch Press Images.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Squirrel Study I

During a smoke break this tree squirrel showed up, I guess to give me some company.

I got my camera, sat down or even laid flat on my stomach and let the little feller do what he does best. Digging up roots, looking for a nut and checking out the neighbourhood. All these pictures (a study II) will follow were shot during the same break.








Keepin' Balance


Not sure what kinda Dragonfly this is - but hoping that one of the readers may actually be able to help me out here. I tried to find out, but simply googling blue eyes and black/yellow body did not bring any closer information where this Odonata needs to be placed.
Maybe some extra info may help - shot in July of last year (2015), outside of Austin, Texas.

This was originally published in the Photography Sphere of Niume account on September 15th, 2016 - I really love who big the pictures show there.

New Ten Gallon Hat


Getting a new hat is a ritual - not only the size matters, but the shape, the wideness of the brim, the height of the crown.

Did you know that a ten gallon hat is big enough to hold ten gallons of water for your horse, is nothing but a myth.

It's a word mix-up. As so many things cowboy (vaquero), its origin is Spanish. Galón means braid translated to English and a huge hat with a big crown can adorn more than one braid. So if it's a ten braided hat - it's a ten galón hat. Developed from the Sombrero (literally shadow giver), hats with a big brim to cover neck and part of the face are common for horsemen in sunny climates and came to the Southwestern US states via Mexico.
But the whole hat wearing thing can even be traced back into Asia, where the Mongolian horsemen were the first ones to wear something that years later evolved into a cowboy hat.
Popularized in the US during the 20's and 30's with the B movies and the protagonista, the singing cowboys wearing cowboy hats, they became a cultural phenomenon, that emerges and re-emerges to the "general" consumer in cycles like every fashion thing does.
Only the people that still work out there in the sun, look at it as relief from the sun and mostly as a needed utensil.

This shot and others are available for publication through Dispatch Press Images, a photo agency.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Made It Clean


"I told you, I made the shot, clean. No I did not touch the four ball on the way to the hole." The statement is imagined but it goes well with image. That said I feel comfortable and love to shoot in bars, there is something special about it.

And the only way to improve your aim and your shooting in pool, is HAMB - Hit a Million Balls. That said, I'm up to play next.

This and other shots of mine are available for publication through Dispatch Press Images.

Around White Rock Lake - Dallas


With cooler temperatures in the 80's (around 30C), after the sweltering summer heat, people are starting to come out again and to enjoy a leisurely Sunday. Biking around "White Rock Lake" in Dallas. The trail around the lake is 9.33 miles (15km) long and also serves for the White Rock Marathon, a qualifier for the more famous Boston race.

If not biking, you can stroll along the lake and find a variety of flora and fauna to explore. Basically a water reservoir in the middle of the metroplex this place also offers casual fun, not just on Sundays.

This and other shots of mine are available for publication through Dispatch Press Images.

Monday, September 12, 2016

MOB Ties? Jack Ruby Ate Here! - Campisi's In Dallas


Sinatra and the rat pack on the jukebox. Jack Ruby ate here the night before John F. Kennedy was shot. It's dark and it's rumored to be a MOB hangout of old. Great-great granddaughter Amber appeared as a Playboy centerfold.

Yes, you are at Campisi's Egyptian Restaurant in Dallas.

I tried to give this place a dark look, as in "film noir" to enhance the mystery of Campisi's Egyptian Restaurant on Mockingbird.

For a full article (including a food review) about Campisi's please visit my other more food & travel oriented blog "Where In The Hell Is Carlton, Texas?"
This and other shots of mine are available for publication through Dispatch Press Images.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

72 - Gettin' Ready


This cowgirl is getting ready outside of the Fort Worth Coliseum (the first indoor rodeo arena) to Barrel Race, while an earlier contest is leaving head down.

Goal is to ride in the fastest time around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. When they enter the arena, they are at full speed, "attacking" the first barrel, circle it, hitting the other barrels (2 & 3) and then gallop as fast as possible back to the starting line.

The riders pay an entry-fee and according to the number of contestants riding, the winning money is either won alone or split up to place four, if there are a huge number of riders. The rodeo, which also features cowboy events as bull and bare bronc riding and roping takes place every Friday and Saturday in the Stockyards of Fort Worth. Not all events take place on the same day, for more information check out their official Website, Stockyardsrodeo.com.

Sources: barrelhorseworld.com, stockyardsrodeo.com
This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Donald Lee - Fort Worth Drover


While strolling through the stockyards in Fort Worth, I ran into drover Donald Lee. Dressed in vintage looking western outfits, he helps twice daily (11:30am and 4pm) to drive a herd of longhorn cattle through East Exchange Avenue. Easy job, somebody may perceive quite quickly, well not that fast.

Besides riding out there in everything from ice and snow to 110 (43C) degree weather, there is also the upkeep (like shoveling manure) of the horse, the stable, the cattle herd and the pens. And if this is not enough, like all the other drovers, they are also ambassadors, spreading goodwill about the old traditions, the history of the cattle drives and why they disappeared as well as educating kids about the daily life and chores, like branding.


The big cattle drives are long gone, their heyday being between 1860 - 1890. The only cattle being auctioned off these days is by satellite video conference. So go out, visit the Stockyards in Fort Worth and learn something from the past. For more information visit the Visitor Center online or in person.

He also rides in his spare time, below you can see him and Molly, a paint.

video

Sources: Branding Picture & Video courtesy of Donald Lee, http://www.fortworthstockyards.org/, Fortworth.com
This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Lone Prairie


The vast skies, the meager grass of winter and a "herd" of cows mingled together against the far horizon. The lone prairies, a sight you may see quite often, travelling through the Lonestar state.

Oh carry me back to the lone prairie
Where the coyotes howl and the wind blows free
And when I die you can bury me
Neath the western skies on the lone prairie

I'm a roving cowboy far away from home
Far from the prairie where I used to roam
Where the doggies wander and the wind blows free
Thought my heart is yonder on the lone prairie

Oh carry me back to the lone prairie...



This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.

Sold


It's part of the American landscape and happens in almost every small town, several times a month, sometimes once a week. Farmers converge to sell their cows, heifers, calves and bulls. Buyers investing for breeding purposes or to satisfy our demand for meat. (No, it doesn't come pre-packaged from the super market, as you city slickers want to believe.)

And it's somehow mesmerizing to listen to the sing-song, as the auctioneer chant prices. And as the rhythm fastens and the prices may go up, the bidders bidding; only then you realize that there is a livelihood intrinsically related to the survival of a whole family. So while you are looking at my picture, finding all the details, listen to the auctioneer. "gezortenplotz" put a great shareable audio-file on freesound.org



This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.
Sources: freesound.org

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Howdy Y'All








Close to Lyndon B. Johnson's birth place Stonewall, is a small ghost town called Albert. Once a town with a post office (1877 - 86) it's now unincorporated. You may have heard the name of Albert because in 2007 it was up for sale on eBay, according to a CBS/AP article it wasn't the first town for sale on the internet bidding site. 

According to the towns own website it was originally called Martinsburg but changed name to Albert, when "Albert Luckenbach" (aka August Engel) and his sister Minnie (or Sophie) sold the general store in Luckenbach and moved in 1892 20 miles east to Martinsburg and renamed the town Albert. The renovated dancehall, a new watering hole and pecan and peach trees were bought in 2009 by Easley family who still run the town. 

The dancehall still holds concerts and dances and the watering hole is open Wednesdays through Sundays and also offers on a smaller scale live music entertainment. 

Friendly people and y'all are greeted with a fine "Howdy Y'All"  

This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.
Sources: CBS/AP, AlbertTexas.com



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Heavenly Reflection


On a roadtrip we took a detour to examine the ghost town of Antelope, Texas in northwestern Jack County between Jacksboro and Wichita Falls.

Antelope, once a bustling frontier and ranching town - the West fork of the Trinity river is close - with a town square, hotel and general store, once was proud to have a population of 300 people. By mid-century it was down to half and by now there are about 50 people, calling Antelope home. Highway 281 bypasses the town by just a mile or so, but it's worth taking the "town loop" to explore this North(west) Texas heaven. And if it's only for the Baptist church, suddenly emerging before reaching the highway again.

This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.


Monday, September 5, 2016

On The Porch


If the world had a front porch like we did back then
we'd still have our problems but we'd all be friends
Treating your neighbor like he's your next of kin
Wouldn't be gone like the wind
If the World had a front porch, like we did back then

These lyrics of Tracy Lawrence's top-ten-hit (#2/1995) "If The World Had A Front Porch" written by Lawrence together with Kenny Beard and Paul Nelson, pretty much sums the content of this picture up, celebrating traditional values and socialising with your neighbour(s). Long gone in the bigger cities where we hardly communicate with our neighbour and most of the time may not even know them - the front porch is(was) a meeting place. It's societal benefits are endless, just start to think about it and spin some yarn.

I don't know what these two gentlemen were upto, but they got ready to contemplate the day and exchange some great togetherness and discussion.

This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Lone Fisherman


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
(Henry David Thoreau)

The solitude. The calm. The loneliness. All things we should be striving for and trying to absorb back into our hectic daily life. As Thoreau said, it's not the fish and the fish-fry. It is the time spent. As you. With your surroundings. Your mind wondering while you're wandering on the shores. I guess some people may even call it "go to church."

As a photographer this also means to go out and search. Even if there is no sunshine - you may find something very inspiring.

This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Salud - En La Perla



This more than a moment in time. It probably soon will be in the very past. La Perla is one of the last Hispanic bars on the legendary East Side of Austin, Texas. With gentrification and condos came higher rent and a change in demographics. Rich kids, mostly working behind desks in the moving in, while families can't afford the raise in taxes anymore. House prices soar, what could have been bought below $100'000 a bit more than a decade ago, triple, quadrupled or even quintupled. And it's not unseen that an "old" 50-60 year old home is bought, torn down, razed and replaced with a "McMansion."

All this is called progress. Progress for what and whom. By destroying the dives and neighbourhood bars - well there aren't anymore customers anyway - part of the social fabric is gone. Replaced by anonymous sports and music bars. Don't get me wrong, where ever there is music, let's check it out. But no more families celebrating a quinceanera, where somebody would have brought fajitas or gabrito, where the six year-old would have made her first dance moves twirling with her dad, where a Mariachi or the jukebox were playing songs by Ramon Ayala, Vincente Fernandez, Juan Gabriel or local hero Flaco Jimenez. No more. No it's a battle of the bands. Loud, agressive - far, far away from the all encompassing family feel to the fake "you're-a-part-of-the-crowd-now"-illusion.

People move to the more affordable edges of town, into non-descript starter homes - as living in a family home for generations now demand that you start a new. "Little boxes" (Thank you Pete Seeger) in cookie-cutter neighbourhoods, where you don't know your neighbours anymore. No social life on the street or in the corner bar - well there are no corner bars.

It's a lament of the times. So next time walk across the tracks or as in Austin under the once dividing highway and soak in a different culture. And have a toast to the times that are gone.

This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dreamin' About All Them Tools




I hate malls. I think these consumer palaces are responsible, besides the big box stores, in destroying or at least eliminating every single Mom & Pop store there is, or bettter there was.  
So normally I just tag along with my cameras, always trying to find something to shoot.

Well this was just to precious, this senior taking a nap in front of the Sears store, not at least bothered by the people meandering and rummaging around him. He probably hates malls as much as I do. Or he may have had a tool overload (as in a sugar overload) that mad him take a nap and dream about all the tools he could buy and take home to do his projects.

Daily Life. Sleep and dream well.

This shot and other photography of mine are available through Dispatch Press Images for publication.