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Old 05-04-2019, 01:26 PM   #1
JanVigne
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=GXW-MvirE1U

I miss Pete Seeger.

http://acousticguitar.com/guitar-tal...eid=e1bdf30061
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:44 PM   #2
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Nice guitar. So nice it led Jan to overlook his aversion to the sweet sound of the 12.......

And yeah, I miss Pete too. He was the real thing.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:13 AM   #3
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I have nothing against the sound of a good 12 string (too many aren't that good), just as long as someone else is playing it.

Our historic neighborhood is going through a case of the gentrification blues. Ugly concrete block houses are encroaching on the borders of the neighborhood and it's obvious the developers have convinced the city council those 1940's bungalows built for the returning GI's should be torn down and replaced by "modern" buildings competing with each other to show why Bauhaus never survived. Most are cheaply built with materials that scream low cost/no personality. A friend who is an architect said of them, "They must have forgotten to add the details to the rendering." Sadly, they didn't forget, they never intended them to be there.

Little neighborhoods that have been around for decades have disappeared. Not all bad as many had fallen prey to the North Dallas absentee slum lords and the attendant problems that can be found on the South side of any large city. Dallas has grown to be the fourth largest city in the US with almost 400 people a day moving in from other states and we are in an affordable housing crunch within the boundaries of Dallas.

As is all too typical of Dallas, tearing down is the first - and usually the only - solution. Profits can't be made by expanding the footprint of the home, that was set over 100 years ago when this area was originally platted by Dallas. Therefore, the answer is to build up and charge more.

Where not that long ago I could drive down a street and see mid-century and older single story architecture all around me, now I drive into a canyon of "upscale retail and restaurants" and four and five story apartment buildings that blot out the sun. This whole area has for decades been a neighborhood where the most popular restaurant since the '50's has been Norma's, a divorced mother's go at making a living on her own. The recipes are homestyle and the food hasn't changed since Norma flipped her first burger in the "old fashioned" shop on West Davis. Norma's lot is always full of Fords, Chevy's and the occasional older Lexus while the "upscale" places attract the North Dallas foodies who eat and then leave, not spending time or money in the community.

Some people see the changes as good while most of us old timers just see history and community slipping away. For those who had once said they couldn't live anywhere else in Dallas, now everything is beginning to look like all the rest of Dallas. The neighborhoods that once had houses that looked like they went together but each was distinct and brought its own identity to the neighborhoods have been replaced by multi-story look alike monoliths with the visual appeal of a used bar of soap. Developments are showing up with dozens of roofs that all look alike and the owner finds their house by the color of the garage door.

Talking to a "30 something" neighbor last week about the sense of being surrounded by upscale absentee landlords trying to change the character of this neighborhood, I mentioned Seeger's "Little Boxes" and got a totally blank look. Not a clue. Never even heard of it and didn't know a thing about it.

I told him to have Alexa look it up on his Google machine when he got home.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:10 AM   #4
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I hate when that happens!

Our town (pop ~35K) is in a downturn; biggest employer in the county is an under-funded, mismanaged state university that has lost almost half its enrollment in the last 12 years (said lack of coin & leadership, coupled with a grisly murder/cremation of a student and a mass shooting), leaving a glut of empty rental stock. This, in turn, leads landlords to recruit Section 8 tenants from Chicago, which in turn builds pockets of concentrated poverty, which in turn increases crime.

So the city council keeps giving one millionaire developer corporate welfare to tear down 100+-year-old buildings on the main drag & replace them with soulless abominations with no consideration for the architectural character of the town - and 3 floors of single-bedroom apartments. (Revitalizing downtown", doncha know.)

Sorry, but a 1-bedroom apt 30 yards from the railroad tracks isn't "executive housing" (even if there were executives looking to live here) - it's a flophouse.

"Little Boxes" should be required listening before city council meeting........
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:50 PM   #5
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Outside of our historic district, the abominations are going up as fast as the developers can bring in migrant labor and teach them to use a skilsaw. Sitting eight feet away from six and eight lane roads that are now busy 24/7/365, the postage stamp sized "balconies" are a joke - a place to hang a satellite dish (which makes for an attractive first impression as the only decoration the facade has).

I sat pets in these things and the road noise is constant. I never knew you could make a laminate countertop so thin you could roll it up and use it as toilet paper. Cement floors on each level and computer designed efficiency sets room divisions. It's no wonder most of the inhabitants don't stick around this area for dinner. I'd want out too. Watching sunsets from the banks of the Trinity has been replaced by a view of your neighbor's living room window and still more concrete. But again, they're leaving the area and not contributing to the local economy as they take their money back across the river to eat on the other side of town.

Our part of town is the oldest in Dallas, with rolling hills that were once a dairy farm. Dallas' earliest movers and shakers lived here and road the trolley into downtown. I can sit on my porch and name the original home owners on this block who now have buildings and highways named after them. We have 150 year old oak trees so big two people can't get their arms around them. They're just an impediment to be removed by the developers. Up until recently this area didn't look or feel like the rest of Big D and that's how most people liked it. Development went on around us but mostly left us alone and to ourselves. But, if Dallas is about anything, it's about profits and you don't make big profits from a bunch of old, little houses with families that have grown up in those same homes and stayed in this area to raise a next generation. Schools have been improving but now they're just getting crowded with all the new residents of TX adding to class loads. TX is no help, the fools in Austin live by the motto that TX is low tax/low services.

I can't imagine these new additions will be around in another 100 years but I hate to think that, if they last, they will be seen as the good old days.

I'm really saddened by what has happened in my home state of Illinois. Like TX being 50th in the number of uninsured citizens, Illinois being first in the states with the highest number of past governors doing time is not the list you want your state to be on. I'd sure hate to see IL turn red because of the people moving out and heading to TX. On the other hand, all those Yankees are likely to turn TX blue.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanVigne View Post
Like TX being 50th in the number of uninsured citizens, Illinois being first in the states with the highest number of past governors doing time is not the list you want your state to be on.
I was not shocked that Rod Blagojevich was our second straight governor to go to prison.

I was shocked he wasn't the 4th straight..........
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:58 PM   #7
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Interesting gentlemen

I just got back from a weekend at
My daughter's place. She took me
To the older parts of New Smyrna Beach.
I haven't seen in thirty something years.
Some areas were as I remembered.
But the new crap( building s) stood
Out looking out of place and ugly.
Tourist, Yankees and who knows
Who else have taken over another small
Piece of paradise. I call it the Greed
Machine, aka Rat race.
Tonight with a cold beer, I'm going to put
On some Pete Seeger and listen to it again.

Bob
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:41 PM   #8
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Don't forget Woody; https://www.google.com/search?q=kera...hrome&ie=UTF-8


Seeger's one of the featured artists.

Which brings up another point. Where are the musicians with guitars that kill fascists? And songs that bring them to their knees and bow their heads?
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanVigne View Post
Don't forget Woody; https://www.google.com/search?q=kera...hrome&ie=UTF-8


Seeger's one of the featured artists.

Which brings up another point. Where are the musicians with guitars that kill fascists? And songs that bring them to their knees and bow their heads?
(WARNING: Extremely NSFW!!! (And yes, it is in my repertoire.....)
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:08 PM   #10
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Careful, Cowboy, Bob may not be old enough to hear some of those lyrics. He's the youngster of the bunch you know.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:16 AM   #11
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Lol

61 and the youngest of the bunch.
Bob
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:49 PM   #12
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This Dallas Morning News article is about an adjacent historic district to where I live. The DMN is very pro-business and generally in favor of developers making their profits off the less well off in the city. They are currently backing the "Pro-Business" candidate for mayor.

As you might infer from reading the article, the area in question has been mostly an area where lower income minorities have lived for over 100 years. The remaining houses are mostly small bungalows and modest four squares built around the turn of the 20th c/ which were a significant improvement over the original wooden frame homes built in the 1880's.


ROBERT WILONSKY ‘It’s not just a neighborhood’

As historic district vanishes, residents let out a cry for help
O f all the houses that make up the Tenth Street Historic District, 218 N. Cliff St. is among the least remarkable. Nothing about it says special. Everything about it shouts teardown.
For many years, the rotting white Craftsman shotgun, nearly a century old, has been boarded up and overgrown, its facade spray-painted in giant letters “NO TRESPASSING.” On occasion, cops respond to calls there, and at neighboring properties, to deal with drug deals and assaults and ditched cars stolen from the suburbs. Five years ago, the Dallas city attorney’s office sued the old house’s owner, at the time a Tyler-based nonprofit, to have the structure declared a nuisance in need of erasing. Without a single note of dissent, from the audience or horseshoe, on Jan. 5, 2015, the city’s Landmark Commission approved 218 N. Cliff’s demolition.
Yet, it survives — that eyesore, that danger — because the city ran out of money to demo the building, and because Carolyn King Arnold, the on-and-off council member for that neighborhood, demanded a timeout to demolitions in Tenth Street. On Monday, the house returned to Landmark for another go at demolition because Richardson developers are promising duplexes on several sites in Tenth Street, including at 218 N. Cliff St.
And this time the commission, unanimously, said no.
I have documented the reasons here before — because Tenth Street, originally a settlement for freed slaves dating to the late 1800s, is disappearing, a giant piece of this city’s past erased. Many are to blame for its demise. Among the culprits: faraway and absentee owners who allowed demolition by neglect; speculators who bought land in the hopes of cashing in on the coming zoo deck park and left structures to rot; and City Hall, which allowed the gem of a neighborhood to tarnish without swift action.
For years, the city attorney’s office found cooperative partners in Landmark Commissions that would sign off on demolitions with the shrug of the inevitable. Which is how, of the 257 homes in the area when it was designated historic by the City Council in 1992, more than 80 have been destroyed in recent years, and why there are so many concrete steps leading to weed-filled lots.
And the residents, terrified of developers who bring with them expensive new homes and expensive new property taxes, have had enough. They have formed a neighborhood association to counter the destruction of the past and displacement of the future. And that neighborhood association has sued the city in federal court, blaming “racial segregation and municipal services discrimination ... and unequal zoning” for the district’s slow demise, according to recent court filings.
The lawsuit, which the city keeps trying to toss on technicalities, shrugs on. And the Landmark Commission, once quick to take an eraser to the city’s history, is now loathe to participate in any further vanishings.
Laid bare again in council chambers during Monday’s hearing was that battle for Tenth Street. Developers on the one side, insisting they will add by subtracting, and residents on the other, clinging to what little is left. And in the middle is the city, which seemingly has no plan or vision for the coming makeover that will wring what history is left from this historic district.
“We’ve been neglected for years,” 75-year-old Patricia Cox told commissioners. Save for two decades away from Dallas, Cox has lived her entire life on Betterton Circle in a white 1938 house that looks like a movie set’s re-creation of yesteryear. Cox told me later that when her parents bought the house in ’43, it was already shabby, and they restored it to the condition in which it remains today.
“We need more time,” Cox told the commissioners, her words as sharp as a tungsten needle. “It’s sad that our houses are being taken away from us because of neglect by the owners, on purpose. We don’t want the demolitions. We want to improve our neighborhood. We are improving our neighborhood. We’ve been overlooked by the city of Dallas and everybody else.”
She added, a few seconds later, “We don’t want to become another West Dallas,” where whole neighborhoods have been devoured by developers.
Cox later told me of a sharp spike in her property tax bill in the past year — from about $700 to nearly $1,700, on a home now valued at $58,970. She fears the coming, inevitable gentrification will chase her from the family home.
“It’s just too much,” she said.
Speaking to the Landmark Commission, too, was DeLisa Rose, a RE/MAX realtor who told the commissioners she and her husband run Richardson-based Sterling Oasis Community and Economic Development Corporation. That’s an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) affordable housing developer that bought several southern Dallas properties from the city’s Land Bank before its recent overhaul, which came only after our reports about shenanigans.
Rose said nearby Greater El Bethel Baptist Church, on East 9th Street, deeded her nonprofit the land for redevelopment. She said Sterling Oasis is going to build duplexes on North Cliff elsewhere in Tenth Street because that’s what is needed in the land of vacant lots.
Residents, she said, “want a great area, and sometimes people in the community don’t understand what that means.”
“It’s not the home that’s historic,” she said, “but the area.”
Rose said homebuyers do not want yesterday’s troubles, a dilapidated shanty made whole again. They want “new plumbing, new pipes,” she said, insisting that the demolition of 218 N. Cliff is a thing that must be done “not to destroy a neighborhood, but to build new homes that compete and compare to what a buyer wants.”
Residents know they cannot stop the coming development, like the sleek new house HKS architect Jay Taylor built on a long-vacant 9th Street lot or the $235,000 two-story Alonzo Harris has planted next to a 1925 residence along Church Street. But they want an end to the demolitions. They want those new homes to look like the old ones, a requirement for historic districts that seems to have been ignored so far. And they want the new homes to take root on empty lots, not atop the bulldozed splinters of the remaining homes that allowed for the creation of the Tenth Street historic overlay of the 1990s.
“You don’t understand what I am trying to tell you,” Cox pleaded to Landmark commissioners finally sympathetic to the plight of the Tenth Street Historic District. “It’s not just a neighborhood. It is not just a neighborhood. It’s people’s lives.”
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:37 PM   #13
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Well, it doesn't sound quite like a victory - but slowing "progress" is progress! Right on Patricia Cox!
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:37 PM   #14
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ROBERT WILONSKY S. Dallas deserves better than ‘That’s just the way it is’
I was taking pictures of a pile of trash — tires and couches, mostly, tossed into an overgrown South Dallas lot — when a man in a blue van pulled up next to me. “Mr. Cruz?” he asked, and I told him, no, sorry. He shook his head, pulled over and got out.
The man, who would identify himself only as Bill and gave his age as “older than dirt,” said he thought I was Mr. Cruz with Code Compliance and had come to clean up this mess, one of many in this part of town.
No, sorry. Just here to write about it.
When I ran into Bill on Monday, I’d just come from a City Council committee meeting about a code blitz coming to this part of South Dallas , near Oakland Cemetery and Lincoln High School, and two other neighborhoods a few miles away in and around Fruitdale, which was planted a century ago as a farming community and is still more rural than urban.
The initiative — called “Community Clean!” — will extend code’s hours and is set to begin with a workshop intended to clean up three target census tracts and engage residents there. Nadia Chandler Hardy, the assistant city manager over Code Compliance, asked the council for $1.5 million worth of new equipment — dump trucks and Bobcats and so on — needed to assist abatement crews tasked with collecting the garbage dumped across the southern half of this city.
The $1.5 million is just sitting there, budgeted dollars going unused while the city tries to fill vacancies in Code Compliance.
Right now, the city has but three abatement crews working all of Dallas, “Not even half of what we need,” Chandler Hardy said. And clean-ups are spread across three departments: Code, Sanitation, Street Services. That system is “not efficient,” she said. The new trucks would get the number of Code Compliance crews up to five. Still not enough. But better, slightly.
Code, which employs around 285 enforcement officers, is already deeply backlogged: Chandler Hardy said Monday that the city has 10,000 outstanding service requests, either through 311 calls or officers in the field stopping to write citations.
She said half of the outstanding requests, involving shabby houses, overgrown lawns, and dumped furniture and tires, are in the three census tracts getting the full-court press in coming weeks and months. But the trash and weeds and rot spills out beyond those boundaries.
Burned-out homes are decorated with faded code violations and lawsuits targeting owners with faraway addresses. Along Tanner Street, just off Malcolm X, a trailer filled with old TVs and office chairs and barbecue grills rots in front of a half-built house where construction stopped after it, too, caught fire. On Monday a man walked by and snatched a bright green golf club from the trash heap and kept walking.
A homeowner along Tanner, who also didn’t want to be identified, said only, “That’s just the way it is down here.”
Bill told me the trash and tossed-out couch lying on its side across Meyers Street near the cemetery and Opportunity Park weren’t there last week. But they’ll remain for another three weeks or so, when it’s time for the monthly clean-up, he said.
The boarded-up house next door, too, is tolerated because it’s ignored, just part of the scenery. There’s not even a code violation notice tacked to its peeling-paint front. Bill said he couldn’t remember anyone living there in the 40 years he’s been down here.
Bill was resigned to the inevitable and echoed this neighborhood’s apparent mantra: “That’s just the way it is.”
Mayor Mike Rawlings, with a month left in office, said Monday that the code blitz is meant to prove to residents that the city hasn’t forgotten about them — that “we care about them.” In doing so, he said, “It gives us a better place to stand to challenge these neighborhoods to do better.”
City Hall is adhering to advice once given by Alan Mallach, author of last year’s The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America. You cannot stabilize a whole neighborhood by cleaning up a few properties, he wrote, but “code enforcement is the one tool we have, however imperfect, that can bring about better property maintenance and improved physical conditions across the board.”
But no one, least of all the residents, believes this blitz to be a cure-all for southern Dallas. And council members were as skeptical Monday as you likely are now.
Adam McGough, a former community prosecutor who dealt with code issues, said all he heard were promises and buzzwords. He wondered how such a push in three areas could be sustainable when so many more are in need of the same tending-to.
Rickey Callahan chided staff for ignoring Pleasant Grove: “We’ve got to do better than this.”
Jennifer Staubach Gates said what ails parts of southern Dallas likewise infects Vickery Meadow in her district, only blocks from NorthPark Center, or in far western neighborhoods, where code inspectors and cops knew about the hell inside the Han Gil Hotel Town, which the feds finally shut down.
A few months back, I asked City Manager T.C. Broadnax how city employees could drive past Shingle Mountain as it grew and grew along S.M. Wright in plain sight and not stop to see what the hell was happening? Broadnax said he had no good answer, because there wasn’t one. He said anyone with “a caring eye” should have seen it and stopped and asked what was going on. But they did not.
And so another community went ignored. And another community stopped believing that City Hall cared about them. And another community stopped calling City Hall to complain, because why bother? That’s just the way it is.
“The concern I have is when people stop calling because we’ve failed to come,” Broadnax said. “And when no one calls, the conditions persist. I’ve heard too many times: People have stopped calling, and people have stopped caring. But I grew up in conditions like that. That’s the only reason I am city manager, to make sure people don’t have to live in conditions like that.”
Like Broadnax, Chandler Hardy grew up in a neighborhood filled with boarded-up windows behind which there was prostitution and the selling of drugs. She said she remembers what it was like to be abandoned by City Hall in her Florida hometown. So she would rather try this than do nothing. Because nothing is all these neighborhoods have ever seen.
“We first, as a city, have to say this is not acceptable and begin to work at it,” she told me Monday. “The experience of empty and broken promises or straight-up neglect, that’s not acceptable.”
She said she sees her past when she drives through South Dallas or the neighborhoods of Fruitdale. And she knows what these residents feel. Because as a young girl, she felt it: “I feel angry.”
We all should. Because that shouldn’t be just the way it is.
Twitter: @RobertWilonsky
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:02 PM   #15
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Since this is a guitar/music forum; https://thecommondesk.com/coworking-...dallas-history
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:34 PM   #16
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:08 AM   #17
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https://southernspaces.org/2007/deep-ellum-blues
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:39 AM   #18
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A Blind Lemon Jefferson lesson; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cLWaUueh8g

This song might have been heard on the streets of downtown Dallas where Jefferson walked to from his home in Deep Ellum in the 1920's; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXsxqBhmlFg
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:46 PM   #19
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Check this one out, Jan; I think I'm in love!

https://www.wideskyguitars.com/parlor-12-string/
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:36 PM   #20
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The question, of course, would be, "What would Leadbelly do?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkTT-hfZsh4



Sorry this took a few days to get to, I've been repairing plumbing - now I have to repair the wall (two of the dogs killed a small possum in the backyard last night, fortunately the critter didn't know it could have scampered under the house and wound up in my bathtub) - and finishing my cigar box guitar kit assembly. I wanted to stain the guitar and the RH here in Dallas has been so high that stains and such are slow to dry. The weather here in Dallas has been messed up for the last 10 months ever since I retired and I've only been able to get out in the yard on a few occasions. So much rain the local lakes are either closed or closing portions off to boaters. I never could imagine why anyone would want to be a farmer here in this part TX but this wettest year on record has certainly curtailed a lot of production. And still, we have it easy compared to the middle of the country. I still have family up around Champaign and Quincy and they are saying the farmers are really suffering - for more than one reason.

When I first arrived in Dallas in '78 the typical Big D humidity in the summer was 12-15%. The summer of 1980 still holds records for heat in Dallas with days in triple digits for weeks and a few days at 113. However, with low humidity and me accustomed to St. Louis weather, it was the first time I could walk out of the sunshine and into the shade and feel it getting cooler. I almost fell off the sofa the time the Rangers were playing in Cleveland and the announcers said the 37% RH was "stifling".

I've been trying to explain to a neighbor the local weather here nowdays reminds me of living in the Mississippi River Valley again. Though that isn't exactly accurate. Last Saturday I called up the weather report on my computer and it said the Dallas temperature at 10 PM as 78 with a cool front moving in and the RH was 69% with a 46% chance of storms, some severe. Just for grins I looked at my Illinois home town's report and it was 74 degrees and 89% RH with a 6% chance of rain. Yep! still glad I'm not wearing that sort of weather. We had a friend in IL who used to visit her sister in NOLA in the summer just to dry off. Though even with the AC system running 24/7, the hygrometer back with the guitars says the in house RH hasn't dropped beneath 51% in several months.

*

I checked the airfares for Chicago to Taos, Cowboy. For about less than a grand you could take a cheap flight out of Chicago and still have a few bucks to spend on a new guitar. Assuming, of course, you have an extra $6k or so you don't know what else to do with. Otherwise, you and Jeff Bezos will just have to accept the fact that love don't come cheap.

The WS parlor is pretty. Seems 12 string parlors are having their moment lately. Collings builds one also. I didn't go to the Spring guitar show this year so I haven't seen the Collings line in a while. Sounds as though "Wide Sky" is too busy building to bother with showing. It would be interesting to play a 12 string parlor since I have been enjoying my parlors so much. Not interesting enough that I would learn more songs that require a 12 string, but interesting. 'Sides, I don't have an extra few grand to drop on another guitar. I'll have to leave it to you and Jeff, CC, to keep the economy afloat. My part of it is kinda bumping along as I get accustomed to living on a fixed income when the outgo is anything but fixed. (Have you ever wondered how anything so difficult to get working right for you could be called "fixed"?)

Thanks for the heads up. Let us know if you ever get a chance to play one.


("Wide Sky", huh? I've not heard that one. West TX is one of those places that has "Big Sky" that goes on seemingly into infinity. I never really understood that one either until we took a trip to the Davis Mountains down in SW Texas. Standing at an observation deck in the Big Bend National Forest I was knocked over by how much sky I could see. I mentioned to a Ranger that I lived in Dallas and there were days where seeing more than a 1/4 mile was tricky and almost always hazy. She said the visibility had been considerably reduced since Mexico had opened a coal burning power plant in the Northern portion of the country, a few hundred miles from the border, a few years earlier. That day the visibility was 11 miles but the Ranger said normally, when the wind wasn't blowing the fumes from the power plant into TX, the average visibility at that observation deck was over 60 miles. I had seen some gorgeous sunsets in Illinois settling into the flat farmlands of the Mississippi Valley but there's something about that sense of reaaaalllly "Big Sky" that sort of takes your breath away.)
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:24 PM   #21
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Here in N. central IL, the farmers usually have over 90% of the corn & soybeans in now; they're at about 35% this year, and some considering whether to plant at all.

Since arriving home from a major roadtrip mid-April, I think we had consecutive no-rain days once. But at least it's been fairly cool (until this week).

I was going to mow today (needed it 2 weeks ago), but it rained just enough to put the kybosh on that.

60-mile visibility sounds like something to see - once. I've been in IL since '74, and still get crazy with the flatness. This past weekend we went back to OH (the Appalachian part of the state) and I bathed my soul in hills.........

I came across the Wide Sky in an unusual manner. The Lovely & Charming Mrs. Cowboy accepted an invite to watch the Stanley Cup at the house of some friends, who have a projection TV with surround sound & a 10' screen. I don't give a rat's hindquarters about hockey (or any sport, really) so I worked a jigsaw with the distaff half of the friends while She watched the games with the dude & their son - but I looked up when Gary Clark, Jr. played just before a game, and he had something I'd never seen, the headstock of which the cameraman didn't have the decency to bring into focus; extensive research (I posited a query on one of the other guitar fora I frequent) revealed it to be a Wide Sky P125. That, of course, led to an in-depth looky-boo at their site. Now i have to go look for that Collings.

As far keeping the economy rolling, I dream of new guitars - and scrimp for new strings..........
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:12 AM   #22
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"60-mile visibility sounds like something to see - once. I've been in IL since '74, and still get crazy with the flatness. This past weekend we went back to OH (the Appalachian part of the state) and I bathed my soul in hills......... "



60 mile visibility is something to see, more than once. If nothing else, just for the fact that sort of visibility is being lost all across the US but more for the effect it has on you.

Obviously, growing up in the St. Louis area, I thought most of the nation was bottom land. My home town sits on a bluff that overlooks the flat land that runs to the Mississippi. I watched the Arch being built from the end of my paper route. But everything else in any direction was flat.

To the North, along the banks of the Mississippi, we would visit my father's nephew near Alton where the Mississippi, the Illinois and the Missouri rivers joined to flow South. It's an area that Twain wrote about and John Hartford sang about.

The Piasa bird is located on the bluffs there; http://greatriverroad.com/cities/Alton/PiasaBird.htm The land was carved out by the rivers and the bluffs remain. Illinois has been smart enough to preserve some of the history of the area and, if you enjoy hills, making a trip to the Alton area would be refreshing for you IMO. Up around Grafton, where the rivers actually meet, the preservation of natural lands would bathe your soul I think; http://www.illinoisstatemuseum.org/c...llinois-rivers You can imagine what Lewis and Clark thought when they first came to the Mississippi. You can easily forget that the sprawling, money making metropolis of St. Louis is only 45 minutes away.

It's been two decades or more since I was last in Grafton but back then at least the pace of life there was a night and day difference with St. Louis. You took your watch off when you entered Grafton.

However, if flat bothers you, don't go West of there unless you're prepared to keep on going all the way to Colorado. As a kid my family had several friends who had retired to Colorado and Wyoming, which meant we would take the car or the train out there every few years. Across Missouri (North of the Ozarks) and Kansas and cutting through just at the corner of Nebraska, the only way you knew you were entering Colorado was the first time you realized everything around you wasn't flat. Living out there in the absolutely flattest of flatlands, where the sky seems to be closing in on you and no matter which direction you look all you can see is the same flatness, has to affect how you think.

After I graduated from my MFA program a friend had taken a teaching job out in Lubbock and invited us out. Her instructions on how to get to Lubbock from Dallas were, "Go to Hwy 30 and turn left." The only thing that saves that stretch of land is that it's not Oklahoma.

About halfway to Lubbock you begin to see the view gradually growing into Big Sky Country. Mr. Baker, who ran the Dallas Theatre Center where I worked while in graduate school, was from there as were about half the people in the MFA program associated with the theatre. "When there's nothing else around you, you could look up at that sky and imagine anything was going on out there away from where you were and what you were doing", was a favorite way to explain the artistic imagination that area inspires. Everyone from that area spoke fondly of growing up while looking up at that Big Sky both day and night.

Dallas sits at the dividing line of flat and rolling. Everything to the North looks like an extension of Oklahoma, only lower in elevation. Coming back to Dallas from St. Louis, I could almost put the car in neutral and coast all the way from Oklahoma City to Dallas.

To the West you are heading towards Lubbock on a road that never ends.

The South Side of Dallas, where I live, begins to gently roll as you are seeing the entryway to The Hill Country of Austin and San Antonio. Lots of very pretty land that reminds you not everything in the state has been paved over - unlike the drive from Dallas to Houston.

SouthWest is the place to head for that 60 mile view, though you'll have to pass through a lot of places like Pecos that, while locally famous for their cantaloupes because the sun shines in Pecos 18 hours a day, you can easily forget Pecos even while you're standing in Pecos. There's a lot of sand that has never been good for growing anything but cotton on the edge of the Davis Mountains.

Dallas is at about 400' elevation but the Big Bend Park covers territory that starts at 1,800' and continues upward to 7,800'. So imagine that 60 mile view beginning when you are standing at almost 8,000' elevation and you still can't see the limits of the Big Bend Park.

The third largest National Park in the US, Big Bend has a representation of every ecosystem that exists within the US borders. You want to be in hills, you can be in hills. You want to be in the Mountains, you can be in the Mountains, the desert, the prairie or anywhere else that exists in the US.

I took a photo on the road leading from the Southern exit of Big Bend of a black leather sofa sitting alongside the highway about 20 miles from the nearest town (pop. 65?). Everything is dead flat around the sofa with just the ribbon of the highway dissecting the foreground and the Davis Mountains rising from behind the sofa in the background. I imagined someone driving out to the sofa now and then with a bottle and a sandwich and just sitting in that sofa waiting for a car or an armadillo to pass. They could be sitting there for a very long time. We probably didn't pass five cars on an hour and a half's drive out of Big Bend.

On the South exit highway you pass through Terlingua; https://www.google.com/search?q=terl...hrome&ie=UTF-8

Willie and Waylon and the Outlaws made Terlingua famous and then came the chili cookoff that draws people from around the world to a little town in the middle of Nowhere.

Passing through Terlingua takes less than a minute though on most days. As you can see from the photos, you're about to drive along the Rio Grande on the TX side. Not much green but views that literally take your breath away.

The McDonald Observatory is up the road in Fort Davis. It has housed one of the largest telescopes in the nation for decades and they are installing what will be the largest. Just in case a 60 mile view isn't enough for you.
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:38 PM   #23
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"The third largest National Park in the US, Big Bend has a representation of every ecosystem that exists within the US borders. You want to be in hills, you can be in hills. You want to be in the Mountains, you can be in the Mountains, the desert, the prairie or anywhere else that exists in the US."

Every? Now I want to come to TX to see tundra & glaciers......

In my youth, I lived briefly in Galena, IL; the terrain in Jo Daviess County is very similar to where I grew up. And in college, I spent many a day - um - committing victimless crimes in Mississippi Palisades Stae Park, overlooking the river by Savannah.

But as to heading west, my middle son lives in Denver - and I can assure you, CO does not do it; you have go past the Mile High City.
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:15 PM   #24
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Do we still have glaciers in the US? If so, even at 8,000', TX does not have a glacier. Therefore, I may need to edit that sentence.

Yeah, been a while since I was in Denver but even back then it was pretty much just another big, but not big enough, city - except when the Shriner's Parade would come to town. I imagine all that has changed some since CO legalized pot.

We spent most of our time in or around Estes Park. My father always wanted to live there but never made it after my mother fell ill.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:23 PM   #25
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My youngest lives in AK; you can see a glacier from his front yard, and another from his back yard (but they have retreated visibly in the 9 years I've been going to visit him there).
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:03 PM   #26
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OK, how about every eco-system in the contiguous US?
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:49 PM   #27
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If I were feeling cantankerous, I could probably come with one or two - but I'm not, and that seems like too much work, so yes, I will stipulate "contiguous".
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