Thursday, June 30, 2005

Labels may be helpful

Every tomato seedling acquired from the South Austin Farmers' Market is in a pot, and every one is producing well, despite the heat. Some are determinate, some, indeterminate; some are red, some, yellow or orange; some are large, some, medium, and others, cherry-type. But the varieties are a mystery as to names. I threw away all those little bits of plastic with names written on them.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Catching up

All NYRB, TLS, and LRB issues have been read. Most e-mail is current. It's interesting that Louie's 106 is open through the afternoon. Tejano music from the open kitchen was overwhelming the California pseudo-jazz on the sound system. A good thing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A drummer boy for the G.A.R.

In old age, he still had his drum.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The song isn't sung much these days

But the composer of When Will the Sun Shine for Me is in the Song Writers' Hall of Fame. He's one Benny Davis, who also wrote Margie.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Eddie Cantor's name sold the music

Is this another from the Great War?: You Keep Sending Them Over and We'll Keep Knocking 'Em Down. Or is is strictly a baseball song? No; definitely a war song: 1918. I like this list of sheet music from WWI. A special favorite is Aloha Soldier Boy.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

More sheet music from the Great War

Oley Speaks wrote The Road to Mandalay and When Yankee Doodle Learns to Parlez Vous Francais, in addition to When the Boys Come Home.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Peter and Polly?

These are paper dolls from Woolworth's or Grant's. They're of glossy, coated paper on a thick multi-layer die-cut paper backing. They stand up with the aid of plastic-circle bases and dual-nubbin holders. Were they published by Whitman? Yes; they were, and they're Peter and Polly Perkins, by Gertrude Kay. The box is still around.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Angel nurses

This is a scan of some sheet music from the Great War: "There's an Angel Missing from Heaven: She'll Be Found Somewhere Over There" (Robert Speroy. Paul B. Armstrong. Chicago and New York: Frank K. Root and Co., 1918).

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Way behind

There are over a thousand unread e-mail messages. Yikes!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Not dubbed

At the Arbor, Howl's Moving Castle is playing with its original sound track, subtitled. Having seen it this way, I can't imagine seeing it dubbed. Why is the name Diana Wynne Jones new?

Monday, June 20, 2005

It's like voting

We had to get to a performance of The Mikado as soon as possible, in case we're looking the wrong way when crossing the street and don't get to do it later on. The Austin High location is much more convenient than going all the way out to St. Stephen's and the acoustics are much better than those at the School for the Deaf. Costumes were ingenious, and the lighting and set were very professional and atmospheric for the small investment in resources. Where else can you enjoy funny lyrics, fine music, excellent vocal performances, and everything else, all accompanied by an eleven-piece orchestra? Austin is indeed a wonderful place for its size. And we enjoyed the live studio performances a few nights ago broadast from KMFA, and featuring songs by the KoKo, Nanki-Poo, and Yum-Yum, all to the tune of a lively piano arrangement of the music. I think it was the musical conductor who played the piano at the station. Thursday performances offer half-price tickets, and those under 18 get in for a mere five dollars.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Movie jackpot

After the parade, at the Oak Springs branch library there wasn't luck with books, but we found a cache of Mexican movies from the golden age. We've already watched a noir item called Lady Temptation (1947) and a beautiful print of a Jorge Negrete movie called No Basta Ser Charro (1945). K. had never paid attention before to El Chicote. NinĂ³n Sevilla is the rumbera in the first movie, which has several nightclub scenes, including a couple with Agustin Lara. This movie has many renditions of Solamente Una Vez, an all-time favorite song.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Best parade of the year

As we did last year, we took up a spot across from the Fresh Up Club. We walked a longer distance to get there, though. On the way we saw the troop of gaited horses taking up a side street. The riders were practicing changing leads and paces. I know that I recently saw a very nice article about this tradition (TexMo, AustinMo, Tribeza?), but I can't find it on line. This year, there were corporate sponsors in addition to civic ones: in addition to the expected radio stations, there were H-E-B, complete with a float, and Wells Fargo, with its promotional stagecoach drawn by a team of four. Two guys with a wheeled tub of ice were doing a very decent business selling bottled water. An older woman had made tinsel crowns with streamers and other hair decorations for sale. There was a paletero. We love these bands! Each one is very different in style and spirit from any of the others. In one, the guys sang at times. People who don't hear these kids are really missing something!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Stepping lively

Only three aggregations braved the heat to march up Congress as a teaser for the battle of the bands and drumline competition: Hearne, Austin SWAC All-Stars, and another. We spent the time while we waited in shops of Mexic-Arte, La Peña, and Tesoros. We acquired a book, some post cards of art promoting movies from the epoca de oro, a cheap Panama-type hat, a cloth-and-wood folding fan, and an oilcloth carrybag. We also went into the bank (Guaranty) and saw the building housing Kyoto and the Elephant room from inside the Temple-Inland Buiding. Lots of us enjoyed the water features and sunken landscaping at the former Franklin Bank building. The Austin Police Department pipers preceded the parade. Titus Electric has, evidently, paid for a trailer for carrying pipes and drums. Tesoros has evidently licensed some images from the Agrasanchez archives.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Ready for recycling

The recent paucity of gallivanting around town has meant much more reading at home. Now accounted for are all issues of TLS and LRB. In LRB, the diary feature is always a favorite; in TLS Michael Greenberg and Hugo Williams make the "freelance" feature a pleasure, as always. Greenberg's tales from the scrapyard never disappoint.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

WhoFoo pooh-pooh

On one of the bus jaunts around town, we stopped in for the first time at the new Whole Foods. Not having a vehicle, we can't report on the underground conveyance and delivery system. It does seem that there's not really all that much more stocked and that additional space has gone to the food-prep stations. We did enjoy the plastic food replicas at the rice-bowl stand. They had none of that lamb round steak in stock, alas. There was extremely fresh mackerel. We didn't want to carry bags of ice on the bus, so bought no perishables. One of the stalwarts from the last days of Congress Avenue Books now works at WF.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Free rent

After dental visit number two and after the car was still not ready after one entire work week and after additional work was authorized and with an engagement on Koenig and two more dental visits looming on the horizon, late Friday afternoon a plea went out to the insurance company and a rental vehicle was vouchsafed unto us at once. I knew right where there were two rental shacks downtown and another just south of the river. K., on the other hand, not being accustomed to the walking and bus-riding life and being used to zooming by everything in a car, claimed not to have seen any of them. As it turned out, the other party's company set us up right away with a vehicle from Hertz downtown. A quick jaunt on the bus and a stroll of a couple of blocks, and there we were. We hadn't had a rental vehicle since the days when we went for extended periods without a motor vehicle and would hit the Rent-A-Wreck on Congress, in the house just across the side street from Dan's Cellars, now St. Vinnie de Paul.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Found while looking for something else, part 5

Simplex toy typewriter at Frear's Dry Goods Bazaar 1922 

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Found while looking for something else, part 4

from an old Max Nofziger campaign 

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Found while looking for something else, part 3

This has a paper lining with a union bug: Hospital Day, 1909.  

Friday, June 10, 2005

Found while looking for something else, part 2

from the march on Washington 

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Found while looking for something else, part 1

Ramah Navajo High School  

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Travel in time and space

Courtesy of the library and serendipity, Images and Shadows (Iris Origo) has been wonderful episodic reading, with anecdotes of Edith Wharton, Berenson, and others of the era tossed in. The photographs are few but evocative. Maybe the library has some of the other books also.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Floral fireworks

At the bus stop were beautiful flowers identified when we got home. They are sensitive briar (schrankia). None of the photos on line capture the color pink or the constrasting tips. The scent is quite attractive, similar to lemon peel.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Don't park

We know that the original Central Market parking lot is bad and evil. We were struck while not moving, right in the middle of the parking space, by a harpy in a stupid giant expensive new SUV who tried to claim that the collision was our fault. She was moving. Our ignition was off. But this time it happened in the H-E-B lot when we weren't even there. As would have been done in the Austin of yore, the person left a note containing an apology and a telephone number on the windshield and then even answered the phone. What she thought was "a scratch" is going to involve a great deal of work, perhaps more than has yet been discovered. It's in day two of being in the shop. The body guy is out sick. Our poor, only car, almost ten years old and with just over 33,000 miles on the odometer. It would look like new, even though it came to us used, were it not for idiots. And the fax machines of other people have been busy all day. And emergency dental work is needed, but there's just one car and it's out of commission and we need to be by the telephone, not being users of cell phones. And did I mention the cowardice factor? The one who needs the dental work must be accompanied by the one who doesn't need it. Woe.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


We headed over to the City Market to be sure to find a current NOKOA and Villager in one place. NOKOA endorsed Margot Clarke; Tommy Wyatt endorsed Jennifer Kim. With FCC rules as they are, the reasons couldn't be discussed on the Friday's Breakfast Club, so we wanted to see. We stopped off at Boggy Creek Farm. We'd never been there, oddly, although we probably were among the first customers, when they started out by bringing their produce to Kash-Karry. Late in the day, much was gone. K., ever the cucumber fan, was impressed by some fancy pale variety.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Just the right size

The little show at Mexic-Arte is not distinguished, but it is interesting. The paintings, firearms, prints, crockery, silver, and embroidery may be seen up close and enjoyed in an intimate way. The handwork on the sword and firearms is beautiful. There's much bullion work, not restored to be shiny. It's too bad that the inscriptions on the paintings and ex-votos aren't translated for those who can't read them; the content is very interesting. The script is without exception very handsome. It's wonderful that the Mexican government sends these little exhibits. The one on calendar art was a great favorite and even had some souvenir post cards.

Friday, June 03, 2005

On site

Four kinds of rose of sharon are now in bloom. There are still bachelor buttons, a couple of poppies, some larkspur, and black-eyed susans. Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal, having abandoned their half-built nest amidst the passion vines, are now at home in the yellow oleander, right by an important window for cooling the house these mornings. There are no babies yet and all is at such a height we can't look down into the nest at the eggs. Mrs. C. is right at eye levell. That's one window that will stay closed for a while.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

"Todos dicen"

It always makes the day seem lucky when a favorite song is played on the radio. Today it was Los Dos Gilbertos. I think that they were with Joey and are now with Hacienda. Hacienda now streams on line. I also heard "Por una mala mujer," another favorite.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Lorna Sage will write no more. Bits of Bad Blood had been read when they appeared in LRB or TLS, or wherever it was. I'm not quite done with the book, found in the Austin Public Library, but have been enjoying it just as much as I expected to. How disappointing it is to learn that she died in 2001. The mixture of observation and candor has made such a good book, with portions that beg to be read aloud. She was, in fact, named after Lorna Doone. This was one of REH's favorite books. I struggled through it when I was too young to be reading something so thick and florid, but there is a wonderful story buried in all that sludge. How would it seem now? The Lorna Doone cookie was introduced by the National Biscuit Company in 1912. I can remember when there was plenty of plaid on the box and when these were among the Nabisco cookies sold one by one from those containers on stands at the corner store, the sort that the owner would occasionally give away to kids accompanying the grown-ups. Lorna Doone cookies have long since gone bad; the nearest equivalent is the Pepperidge Farm shortbread cookie, but the PF is too thick and too large to equate.