"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Death Panel..scarier than Halloween


Wife is going as a hippie--completely in character--she's beautiful.

Me, the death panel--50 percent off on lethal injections--no pain--all gain--cash in advance.

To "do" list: in this order: Sarah Palin, Grandmaw, grandpaw, U.S. Senate, Rush-
Beck-O'Riley, Other old geezers, you!

Socialists R us!

For tonight's Halloween party...don't you think the scythe is perfect for surgery in my borrowed doctor's scrubs?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

autumn leaves--watercolor collage




"The autumn leaves, drift by my window, the autumn leaves of red and gold...."

John Donne and death's collage



"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind...

"Perchance he for whom this bell tolls, may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me...therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
--John Donne

Not all deaths are depressing, but those that seem unnatural, or freakish, or unfair, or unnecessary, or untimely, or hit close to home, drag me down with reality. Such as with the execution of The Midwest City Sun this past week. I'm a newspaperman, a journalist, and I've become almost numb to almost daily pronouncements of the demise of newspapers. I mourned with the death of The Rocky Mountain News last year. Last night. I dreamed about the death of another major metropolitan newspaper. I read that after the recession, major advertising won't be coming back to those struggling papers.

But I'm also a weekly newspaperman, and I believe the community press still has a future, as long as there is a viable community to serve--one with population and business, and therefore readership and finances to serve.

That's why the death knell for the Midwest City Sun depresses me. I have two great former students working there, putting out a good paper, Aaron Wright and Jeff Massie. I know them. They're hard-working, committed to excellence, good journalists. I mourn for them, but I also mourn for all the people in eastern Oklahoma County. There are several communities that were served by this paper, and those communities are losing a vital part of their identity and existence. Communication has the same root word as community--one is essential to the other. Where will those people go for information about flu shots, about local government, about schools, about people marrying and dying? They will be ignorant and thus detached, and isolated and separated. An ingredient of the adhesive holding them together is gone.

I don't understand why the corporate owners didn't make an effort made to sell the paper. The Sun was a good paper in a viable community. Perhaps it wasn't making the obscene profit margins corporations demand. Perhaps it is a tax write-off. Perhaps it is just murder in the first degree.

Make no mistake--putting out a newspaper is a challenge, an ordeal, a demand of hard work and worry and stress. I know I don't want to work that hard any more, but I believe local ownership could survive here. I agree with my forward looking, tech-savvy friend Jeff Mayo of the excellent family-owned newspaper, the Sequoyah County Times in Sallisaw. He read my note on Facebook and responded, "I smell opportunity here."

I quote John Donne for several reasons. First, while I've repented of being an English major and devoted myself to writing to be read, our literature has made me a better writer. Second, Donne's lines about "No man is an island, entire of itself" have stuck in my mind for decades. Third, "For whom the bell tolls" has taken on a life of its own with Hemingway's novel. And, last, as with all great writing, it comes back to jog your memory and thoughts through people and comments...separation is a strong theme in his writing, one that is constant in our lives.

I don't mind being a dinosaur--it's actually sort of fun--but I don't like being a lonely dinosaur, separated from the rest of my kind. That is what upsets me about the death of The Sun. A newspaper's death diminishes me. I can hear the bell tolling, and I know who it is tolling for.

I don't like being depressed, because I want to live, not in the past, or worrying about the future, but in present tense. That's why, in the midst of death, autumn, I find my favorite season.

Some deaths are beautiful, as with the leaves. They portend separation, yes, but it's natural, timely, and thus beautiful. When a person is excruciatingly ill, death becomes a blessing. When people have lived a long, "good life," it is anticipated and natural. Those deaths are saddening because they are separation, yes, but since you can remember the good times, the stories, the vitality of their lives, they're not depressing. I and my colleagues often toast our good friend Bob Illidge, always laughing, sometimes with a tear in the eye. We miss him, but we're not depressed. We're inspired.

That's one reason one of my favorite songs is "Autumn leaves." Natural life and death and separation can be sad, but beautiful at the same time, because we are all connected.

Death is a collage, of past, present and a future we know not of...sounds like the newspaper business.

I still believe, to quote another poet, Shelley, who wrote almost 200 years after Donne, "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stormy memories


 Watercolor--10-20-9

This old adobe cabin in the Truchas foothills breathes memories of vanished families and friends, of stories told in romantic Spanish around a fire in a back iron potbellied stove, of flashing white teeth in laughter, of meals of frijoles, of nights under woven wool blankets and the smell of stacked wood and woodsmoke, kerosene lanterns giving off flickering light, as the long winter sets in at more than 8,000 feet and the high Truchas peaks bring in storm after storm.

It may look vacant, but I agree with the Pueblo Indians speaking of the ruins at Chaco...they are still inhabited. Why did people build here on a dirt road, far from the village? There was laughter here, but sadness too, of broken dreams, of lives and friendships lost, of the sorrows of every day life. In such a place time slows down, governed by the weather and the seasons and the sun. People live in present tense here because work is hard, and hands are calloused and faces weathered and life is short and uncertain like the decaying mud adobe walls. Memories are here, and more, despite the storms. If only we will listen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Alamo viejo



a Avenida Alemeda y Paseo de Peralta y el Rio Santa Fe en Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico.

This twisted old cottonwood is my favorite tree. Most of the people in the hundreds of cars zoom by every day don't notice its beauty--not just the leaves and the twisted arms but the rugged bark. It's only a few blocks from The Plaza and the end of the santa Fe Trail. I wonder how long it has been there?

I've painted it twice from a different angle, and will do so again from this new angle. Bottom painting is a detail--it's too big to scan all of it.

Retirement home



This looks what I can afford...abandoned adobe home on a dirt road uphill from the village of Truchas. I really like the open floor plan and skylights.

Ernie Pyle portrait



This is my Dad and his portrait of the famed WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle. The portrait sold for $1 million in war bonds in Dallas, and then the portrait was given to the Pyles in Albuquerque. Pyle's wife, who suffered from mental illness, probably destroyed it.

This is part of my connection with writers and artists, and I'll soon be giving a lesson on Pyle to the America's 20th Century Wars class taught by myself and Dr. James Baker, whose specialty is WWII.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn in New Mexico


Truchas!



My favorite New Mexico mountains, the Truchas peaks, the second highest in the state, topping 13,000 feet, towering over Susan's favorite, the remote village of Truchas, which is over 8,000 feet on the high road to Taos, only paved in the last 40 years.

Artists are coming up here now, but it's still a rural, Catholic community witha Penitente morada and campo santo (graveyard), lots of wood burning stoves heating adobe homes.

It is so remote that some of the viejos (old ones), still can speak Castillian Spanish spoken by the Conquistadores who explored and settled in the 1540s.

State of protest, patriotism


You don't have to be in New Mexico long before you see and hear the First Amendment breathing robustly in the high altitude.

I was shocked last week when we stopped at the visitors center on I-40 and looked up to see the flag flying upside down--a sign of protest or crisis. I wondered what had happened, and went inside to ask. The woman as shocked, said got a maintenance worker to change it, but not before I took this photo.

You don't have to travel far in this Veteran-rich state before you see three flags flying: the American, and state flag with its distinctive Zia sun symbol, and the black POW-MIA flag--usually flying above the state flag and under Old Glory. I missed a photo of that because there was no wind. This state honors its veterans. The mayor of Santa Fe order all flags at half staff while we were there, to honor a local soldier who had been killed in Afghanistan.

And bumper stickers, leaflets and more are everywhere. My uncle Mike says that New Mexicans will protest almost anything. These two other photos are on a car, and painted on an adoble wall in the remote mountain village of Truchas.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The great sentence search

Teaching writing? Good journalists sweat blood, turn out thousands of words on deadline.

But they also have fun, and their best writing comes when they've written something they had fun writing...even a sentence.

You can see them finish the sentence, hit the period key, and clinch their fist in triumph with a not so silent exclamation of "Yeah!"

Such was one today. Today's NY Times, by William Neuman, about the high price of chicken wings, and a cheap substitute: "Like the tail that wags the dog, the wings are now flapping the chicken."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My birthweek Capricorn horoscope, thanks to Facebook

You have the drive and ambition to reach the top of your profession. You are hard headed, a down to earth thinker, interested in theoretical/metaphysical/religious/spiritual subjects. You have radical views. You appear tough and aggressive, but are highly sensitive underneath. You believe the end justifies the means. You despise weakness in all forms and admitting failure for yourself is not a possibility. You are very persuasive. You want a partner that will share the joys and sorrows of everyday life with you. You live three separate lives, your work life, your social life and your intimate personal life and do not have any interest integrating these areas. You can make the best of a bad situation and you have amazing loyalty but can also come across as naïve. Strengths: Resilient – Resourceful – Theoretical Weaknesses: Naïve – Armored – Workaholic

Was there any doubt?

My old truck


I just took my 1969 Chevy pickup truck out for its monthly spin.
Long narrow bed, straight six, 4 in the floor, looks like Tom Joad paint...old new Mexico highway dept orange with peeling paint...little rust, 44,000 original miles, good tires. A gift from my uncle in Santa Fe. He bought it at auction several years ago and drove it to Texas and back a few time and used it as a camper. I drove it here from Santa Fe a couple of years ago. Air conditioning is having the windows down and vents open. 70 mph no problem.

It's like me...a few dents, a little rust, headliner is getting thin, headlights are a little dim, it's missing a few parts, exhaust is sometimes noisy, windshield is a little cloudy, but the radiator doesn't leak and drains well, the fuel gauge is broken so if you're not careful you can run out of gas. Battery is strong. You have to choke it to get it started after it's been asleep a while. It has got good tires and covers long distances well, but doesn't like stop and go driving. Not very good mileage, but who cares...it's macho and redneck rolled into one. People notice that I-don't-care-attitude, but know quality when they see it. It ain't fancy, but the body is solid, heavy metal--has a certain charm to it. It could be restored to look fancy, but it'd cost a whole lot. It may look old, but goose it and boy can it go. Lottsa torc!

Anyone want to buy it? (The truck)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What and who's important



My oldest son Vance, USAF, with Sarah Elizabeth Grace Clark, in Florida, in September. Sarah Elizabeth is an old Clark family name, and coincidentally, the name of my favorite cousin on my Mom's side, Sarah Beth Lutrick Foote.

Footnote: Vance added the name of Grace to Sarah Elizabeth so her initials would not be SEC--he hates the Southeastern Conference and loves OU. Alas, children go their own way.

Vance and his wonderful wife Kerin--a Yankee from Massachusetts and a Patriots and Red Sox fan, are also the parents of Katherine Emerson Clark, who celebrated her fourth birthday last month, and I was there. Second photo shows Katherine, also a big OU fan. She's very good at shouting "Hang 'em horns!" I'll forgive her.

(dirty family secret--Vance is also a Yankee, born in Iowa--but I still love him).

Friday, October 9, 2009

A real Republican

This is a version of my political commentary in The Oklahoma Gazette, a metropolitan OKC weekly newspaper, requested by editor Rob Collins.

By Dr. Terry M. Clark

“He had the courage to be honest.”
That was Henry Bellmon, remembered by the irascible Ben Blackstock, former executive director of the Oklahoma Press Association.
Bellmon, elected the first Republican governor of Oklahoma in1962, died last week at age 88, leaving a legacy of independence and integrity. Heralded as a father to the GOP in Oklahoma, his leadership transformed Oklahoma into a two-party state, reaching its pinnacle this decade when Republicans gained control of the legislature.
I first heard about Bellmon from the “Ring the Bell for Bellmon” signs as a freshman at the conservative Oklahoma Christian, coming here from New Mexico. As then a member of the Young Republicans and a disciple of Goldwater (I still know he was right), I was delighted when Bellmon won.
It might be easy for folks who didn’t know him well to have failed to appreciate Henry Bellmon’s greatness. Ask his contemporaries about him, and their anecdotes could fill books. You’d find that his greatness came not from being a politician or a Republican, but from his character and intelligence.
If any one item embodied Bellmon’s style, it was the title of his weekly newspaper column, “Plainly Speaking.” There wasn’t anything fancy about Bellmon. Didn’t need to be for the wheat farmer and U.S. Marine combat veteran from Billings.
Blackstock and Don Ferrell, former publisher of the Lincoln County News in Chandler who worked with Bellmon in several jobs, know him better than most.
“He worked hard. He figured everyone else should too,” Ferrell said, recalling the long hours. In the last year of Bellmon’s term as U.S. Senator, Ferrell was press secretary and had to be at work by 7 a.m. in Washington, and couldn’t leave until it was 5 p.m. Oklahoma time…”to serve the people of Oklahoma.”
You never heard the terms “liberal” or “conservative” bandied about by Bellmon. Ferrell said he wanted the “best ideas.” That independence was his trademark on two controversial issues—the Panama Canal, and HB 1017.
When the rabidly emotional vote came up on the Panama Canal Treaty, Bellmon was the swing vote. Despite huge pressure from Oklahoma, he knew the canal was indefensible. Ferrell was in the office the day President Carter called. Bellmon wouldn’t answer, because he was going to make up his own mind. He came home to ‘Benedict Bellmon” billboards.
Because he wasn’t an ideologue, he consistently had more problems with his own party in state politics.
“Republicans gnashed their teeth at him,” said Blackstock, especially on the education reform bill 1017. Bellmon couldn’t get but a few Republicans to support it, but worked with the Democratic legislature to overhaul the public education system. It’s hard to imagine how much worse shape Oklahoma’s education system would be in without Bellmon’s leadership.
Ferrell said Bellmon would be pleased with the Republicans coming to power, but didn’t talk about its current religious right slant. Blackstock said someone asked Bellmon about the party’s “drift” back in January.
“All he did was shake his head—and it wasn’t up or down,” Blackstock said.
Looking back over 48 years of friendship, Ferrell said simply, “He remade the state.”
Don’t call Bellmon a “maverick,” because that Texas term for unbranded cattle was profaned by Palin’s fakery last year. It’s become a cliché. Bellmon was no cliché. We need a new term to describe his kind of politician. It’d be an honor to be described as… “a Bellmon.”

(Clark is director of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Central Oklahoma.)

Peace?

I guess all the right wingers would prefer Obama got the War Award--no, that would deprive it from Bushie who is responsible for murdering a lot of Americans and more Iraqs in Iraq.

Why is this an issue? What does it matter? If it makes America look good in the world as a potential peacemaker, how can you oppose that? Why do they froth at the mouth like Pharisees? Why overreact? It tells you somethingabout their mindset.

Only because they don't want anything good to reflect on the President. They're blind in their hatred and narrow-minded ideology, and that makes them haters of what sets America apart. They have no idea what the rest of the world thinks, nor do they care. They're the new brand of isolationists--America first, and the rest be damned.

McCain was too good for them.

Does Obama deserve this? I don't know, nor care. If he could make peace at home by achieving some real bipartisanship, as he's repeatedly tried to do, he would certainly deserve it. He's got more chance in the Mideast that here.

The fanatics at home don't want that to happen here...they're just like the fanatics in the Mideast who will do anything to blow up the possibilities of peace.

Radical Fundamentalists--religious, et. al.--have no sense of compromise, of humor, of humility, of grace or forgiveness. They are the opposite of The Christ they say they follow...they're judgmental and hateful and most of all, destructive. Instead of hypocritically wearing little bracelets with "wwjd" on them, they should indeed ask themselves WWJD--What Would Jesus Do? Then they might try forgiving, caring, understanding, not judging people; not bragging about their faith, not gnashing their teeth as Pharisees at The President.

Maybe they should read First Corinthians 13 and apply it to their lives.

"The courage to be honest"

That's my lead on a political commentary on Henry Bellmon, in the Oklahoma Gazette this week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Booth is back!





My wife, the toussle-headed brunette, at La Cisterna in "Roma"...does she look better with red wine in in front of her, or does red wine taste better with her?




Booth is Back! Louie's at 15th at Bryant...Thanks to Manager Randy Duncan, Bob Illidge's plaque is on the wall. All the waitresses are cute and students or former students, and the faculty gather for conviviality, no matter the vicissitudes or vagaries--today's celebrants included Jesse Miller, Sandy Martin, Terry Clark, Susan Clark, Mark Hanebutt, Christy Vincent, Jill Kelsey and Ashley Barcum!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Walking on thorns


Watercolor 
Pablo Neruda in The Captain's Verses:

Tienes que andar sobre las esponas
dejando gotitas de sangre.

You have to walk on thorns
leaving little drops of blood.

My thought--isn't that about life, and art?

Remember the sandbox?


Jerry and friends in the corner sandbox

Remember the sandbox you had when you were a kid?
My brother and I had one in a corner on the backside of the house, with 1 by 12” boards nailed together to complete the square.
We went to an arroyo to get a couple of washtubs of sand, and lugged them home, back when I was in second or third grade, I guess.
Then I had a great place for my toy trucks, road graders, cars. I had a metal pail and small shovel. Perfect for making roads.
Or you could fill the bucket with sand, pack it, and turn it upside down to make an instant castle tower. Make a few more and add some small boards or damp sand for walls, and you had a castle, complete with gates for your toy soldiers to fight around. If you had a toy tank, it could knock the walls down.
It was fun digging in the dirt, making things only a child’s imagination could conger.
There were drawbacks. When it rained, the sand would be wet for days. And neighborhood dogs and cats would leave their offerings.
Worst was when I found a tarantula had moved into one of the corners.
Spiders and bugs were especially bad in a friend’s sandbox, made from an old truck or tractor tire plopped on the ground and filled with sand. The inside of the tire was dark and scary.
But by and large, the ole’ sandbox was an invitation to fantasy and imagination in play with lots of friends.
I’d forgotten about them until I saw a new plastic one out back of a house last summer. Baking in the sun, the sides were bright colors, and all the toys were still there—except they were plastic and not metal.
It lifted my spirit to see that, to know that parents provide outdoor imagination places for children, rather than the mind-numbing television and computer garbage.
But times have changed. Not only do you get ones made with plastic parts these days.
They have retractable plastic tops to keep out the rain and discourage the cats seeking a potty.
My daughter bought one for my granddaughters, but when I visit, I notice the top is off, and the sand is wet from rain. It’s not used as much as ours was, but I note my grandson likes to play in the mud in it. All is not lost.
And no more cheap lumber and free sand. These new fangled ones come in shapes and sizes. You can get them that look like turtles or frogs or dinosaurs or boats and no telling what else.
And you can get colored sand…in bags for a price as hefty as the sand…or buy sand in regular bags. And the costs? Be prepared for anything for $50 up to $150 for the sandbox!
You can get them fancy and add a swimming pool or slides and ladders and all the trimmings…but to me that goes against what a sand box is for…free time for the imagination.
But at least in this high tech world of faddish, expensive computer games with fake graphics killing make-believe people, the fun of constructive creation and digging in the dirt hasn’t disappeared.

That's what's brewing in my gritty coffee pot.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Memory



Watercolor 10-4-9

Memories are like the shadows of drift wood on white sand at the seashore. The gnarled reality of life is distorted over the hours and years, as the shapes and colors of the sand and the changing light casts two dimensional shapes that are never quite the same. They change all the time, affected by the present and the past and by forces not under our control. The shapes, the shadows, the memories, are sometimes distinct, sometimes vague, always there, captivating in their shape alone as well as what they represent. Even in ugliness there is beauty in the right light and time.

What do you remember?



Terry and Jerry

Writing for me is always an exercise in memory and organization, but I spend so much time thinking and studying and teaching about the craft of writing that I've ignored the memory tools.

Thanks to a highly recommended new book, "Old Friend from Far Away" by Natalie Goldberg, and with the help of some of black and white photos from the family album, I'm exploring new ground.

Goldberg is a New York Jew who converted to Buddhism and has made a name for herself, and lots of money teaching writing, and living in Taos. Twenty years ago she wrote "Writing Down the Bones," of which I have an autographed copy, and "Wild Mind," two books of great advice and hints on writing. I still use these in my classes. She's not written anything on writing since then, and this new book is on the practice of writing memoir. It has exercises for both prompting memory and improving writing.

The key to her message is "writing practice." The only way to get better at writing is to practice on a regular basis, just like any art or activity. If you've not read her before, I'll share those ideas later.

But now I'm most interested in remembering. I've blocked a lot of my past out...it's not Alzheimer's (yet), but there is much about my youth I just don't remember. Looking at these photos is helping. Some of her ideas help. The only way to improve memory is to practice--which is why oral cultures have an advantage over our "civilization." With the advent of writing, we began to diminish our ability to remember simply because we no longer had to.Those of us who had to memorize poems or the Gettysburg address or Bible verses are ahead of many, but we're a decreasing minority in this digital world--except for teenagers memorizing the songs of their favorite musician, at least. The muscles are still there, but they're like the appendix--withered away.

Yet to me, the biggest loss when someone dies is the loss of their memories. I'd love to ask my Dad about painting, about when he lost his leg, about living through the Depression. I'd love to ask my Mom about growing up in east Texas, about her family. But those memories, and answers, are gone. Like the belt buckle in the pix above. I still have it. It's silver and turquoise. I have a pix of my Dad wearing it in 1940. Where did he get it? I want to know, but there's no clue, other than New Mexico. One Navajo told me it was "very old>' That's all. I get some information from my last uncle, Mike, but there is so much more I want to know.

Memory is dangerous too...Not only does each person have triggers--people, places, smells, sounds, tastes, photos-- that pull thoughts back from somewhere deep, they can be pleasant or bitter.

I guess I'm old enough to consider writing a history of the five Clark boys. I'm not sure I want to write my memoir because a lot of it would be painful to myself and others and private. But Goldberg is right here...you have to write this for yourself, being free from fear of judgment. My Dad's diaries give me a peek inside his life. My blogging does this for me, just like daily journals of my trips allow me to go back in time to a certain restaurant or hotel or attraction when read years later.

I'm a journalist--I don't know that I'm disciplined enough to write an entire memoir--besides there's so much else that I want to do, like blog, paint, travel. What I really fear is digging deep into myself, and the scope of trying something like that--the same fear my students show when they think they have to write an entire story.

But I can write one page at a time, I know that. And I can open one memory at a time. And each page, each memory, leads to another.

What do you remember?

My training to be a future professor



It was my destiny, I guess. A birthday party, and look at all those future coeds!

I remember the names of two. The beautiful brunette on the left is good friend Cathy Hurford...now happily married and retired in Albuquerque. On the right, the cutie sitting on the arm is Cheryl Mitchell. I don't know where she is. I was in love with them all.

By the way, the drawing above her head is a pen and ink drawing of a medieval knight saluting a fair maiden in a castle tower. My dad drew that when he was 14 years old. It has survived two close calls: a house fire in Comanche that destroyed everything else. My grandmother got only it out, according to my uncle Mike, who is the last survivor of the Clark boys, in Santa Fe; and it hung over the fuse box in our house in Forth Worth and was struck by lightning.

Today, I've reframed it and it hangs over my writing table in my studio.

Artist influences



Where I grew up...The Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque in the 50s. All of that open space is covered with urban sprawl today, right up into the foothills, but for me, it was the wide open spaces, a place to explore, to breathe, to see. I could see this from my bedroom window. By the way, Sandia is Spanish for watermelon. they are 10,000 feet high, rising 5,000 feet above the Rio Grande valley and Albuquerque. Coronado and the conquistadores gave them their name in 1540, marching north. when the sun sets and the light is right, the cliffs turn almost red, and the treeline at top resembles a watermelon rine. These are the same explorers who named the mountains where our cabin was as The Manzanos--apples; and the mountains north of Santa Fe the Sangre de Cristo (blood of Christ). Wonderful sunsets and skies and landscapes , and beautiful words in a romantic language almost created--it would seem--to describe them. English isn't appropriate. Is that where I got my love of words?

A corner in our house. I grew up with books and art and artifacts. I don't think I realized until recently those influences. Dad was the artist, and it just sort of got into my blood, like mountains, the southwest, the wide-open skies, and journalism. I wish I had those Acoma pots today. No telling what they're worth. The rifle in the corner is the Sharps .50 caliber buffalo rifle I mentioned in the previous photo of the buffalo skull. It was stolen when someone broke into the cabin.

From the family photo album



Top: Erle, Terrence, Terry
Middle, four of the Clark boys, from left, Champ, Mike, Rex, Terrence--all of them escaped from red-dirt poor Comanche, Oklahoma, to go on to success in their own joys.
Bottom, Rex and Edna, Terrence and Faye, Champ and Mary

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Scrabble in New Mexico



Uncle Champ's boys, Cousin Dan, is the smaller; David is the older, on Alvarado street in Albuquerque in the 50s.

For the rest of you, It's Champ, Cousin Dan's father--the youngest of the Clark boys, playing scrabble with Uncle Rex, the middle of the Clark boys. My Dad Terrence, the oldest of hte Clark boys, is in the suit.

Remember your sandbox?




Jerry and friends in the corner sandbox on Sandia Base in Albuquerque. Story coming soon.

Views of "The Cabin"



the cabin I still dream about trying to find (See blog about cabins Sept. 19)...Top two views, under construction, including Dad's North Light window.
Third pix, in the wintertime. Fourth pix, Brother Jerry inside with his guns drawn, in from of Dad's art on the wall. Notice Dad liked nudes. I grew up with this kind of art all over the house. By the way, that is a real buffalo skull, and the hole in his head was made by a Sharp's 50 caliber breach loading rifle. Fifth pix, Terry cutting wood. Look at that blonde hair!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

English only?




What is English? Throw out the Latin? How about the German? Or the French? or the Greek? Or the Spanish? or the Dutch? or the African?

You can find words of all those origins in your ordinary speech.

The narrow-minded fanatics who think English is the official language haven't grown up in New Mexico, one of the original 48 states. The Constitution is in both Spanish and English.

Get over it...our language is a bastard language always changing. That's what keeps it alive...a vampire, it needs new blood to survive.