"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, April 18, 2014

Kissin' cousin

Sandra Gail Gee Russell's funeral was today in Lake Charles. We Culps mourn.
She was as close as I've ever had to a kissing cousin. She arrived with her sister Charlotte and husband at our home in Albuquerque in the late 195os on a road trip, them driving a 1959 white Chevy convertible. 
Sandi and I went out on a date in it, full of teenage hopes and hormones. I was always "Terry Mike" and she was "Sandra Gail," because we all called people by their first and middle names back then. That was mainly because that's what our folks yelled at us when we were in trouble, but it stuck, forever.
This photo was taken by my Dad at one of our summer vacation trips to Silsbee in deep East Texas. There are so many memories. I couldn't make the funeral, but I will toast her royally at our cousin reunion next week, and remember the cute girl with the reddish hair, arched eyebrows, and captivating  laugh, forever.

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