Saturday, June 26, 2010

Newspapers and misc.

From the newspaper: a few things I read in the paper -

1. "A bull charged, and matador Christian Hernandez took off -- across the ring, over the wall and into controversy. The admittedly terrified torero was arrested after Sunday's botched bullfight at the Plaza Mexico, apparently for breach of contract" .... he was released after paying a fine. 22 years old, the Mexican matador said, "I didn't have the ability ... this is not my thing." He retired from bullfighting.

2. Cathy Barber reported that a company named DEANO'S is making a cheddar Jalapeno chip (in Vermont) = slices of jalapeno, breaded and fried to a crisp, then dusted with cheese powder ... think French's fried onions but with jalapeno inside. They are only available by mail. You can get 3 bags for $12.95 --thasss right ---- $12.95 for 3 bags full. One for my master, one for my dame, and for the little girl who lives down the lane.

3. Pick your own berries: or

4. From Dear Abby: June 15 was World Elder Abuse Day. Abby issued an appeal to learn more about elder abuse. I can recite right here and now, on June 15th, I was abused. People did their part and abused me mercilessly.

5. Headline: "Should all good yogis shun meat? Vegetarian debate continues."
I didn't read the article.

6. An Ohio church had a 62 foot high statue of Jesus out front. It was Jesus from the waist up, with His hands raised upward similar to the "touchdown Jesus" @ Notre Dame. It was made of steel and foam (guess other stuff). Burned, hit by lightening. The photo in the newspaper is of Jesus with his hands raised, on fire. The final photo is of the remaining steel structure after the fire. The pastor says they will rebuild.
My thought is that the Devil sent the lightening. I will leave other comments to your mind.

Final thing. Ate at a Taco Bell last week. Y'know those little paper things on the tables that advertise food & drinks? I learned these are called Table Tents. The one on my tabled talked of New Frozen Margaritas at Taco Bell. Your choice: Strawberry Margarita or Classic Margarita. In smaller print it recited: "Contains no fruit juice or alcohol." I thought that was worth mentioning.

so I close, see ya soon.

WAIT !!! Let me give a tribute to Bill Etheredge who just retired after 40 years in the school systems. His last adventure was as a counselor in Lewisville ISD. I worked with Bill in Ardmore when he helped run the JHS band program and kept me pointed in the semi-right directions at the high school. Bill was so good with people and especially students - He is moving back to Oklahoma to be near his kids. Good luck to Bill as he joins the rest of us on the back porch, watching the world go by.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Born and Serenaded

As we go through boxes in our full garage, we find things. In my next bluggy, we will talk about a ledger book from 1914 we found. It was used by Bren's grandfather W.L. Cooper in 1924.

But, this one is a small article which showed up in a small Bible. It was yellowing - actually browning. It is now resting in top drawer of the Pink Thing.

(someday I should inventory the pink think and the egg thing (etc.) and put them on here. I would find it fascinating even though my readership might not.

It reads:


There is a new arrival at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Metze, Tecumseh highschool band leader. The baby is a boy and has been given the name of Michael Eugene. The band serenaded the youngster the other evening. The boy was born Monday evening, Nov. 4.

I might point out that mom (Sarah Smith Metze) was the band director in Tecumseh, Oklahoma, at the time. I suppose this got her out of a couple of Friday night football games...I suppose.

For the record, I was born at home not a hospital. I remember nothing of the birthing. I heard that 16 mo older brother Jim was hanging out by the bedside during the event. That could explain what is wrong with him even today. Now, really, who would want to stand and watch that happen especially as a 16 month old toddler? YeeGods!!

It is my guess that I was thoroughly unimpressed by the serenade. Mom probably gave eveyone an A that six weeks. Maybe Jim and brother Marshall enjoyed.



P.S. This was sent as an email with an attachment to my family. I have not learned how to move stuff from my "documents" to my blog....or photos even. Someday maybe.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Old Man Remembering


When I was young, my father who was quite frugal - no make that cheap - would walk through the house turning out lights and yelling out the numbers = "That's one; that's two; that's three....." I never noticed how many lights were left on until I began to pay the electric bill. Now, I walk through my house turning off lights thinking "That's one; that's two; That's three...." I would never yell it out - the wife might flatten me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Going to Pottsboro

PAST WEEK HAS BEEN BUSY - don't get me wrong, it was not too hard & I had time to laze around quite a lot - but I stayed busy in my mind. It started on Sunday when I spent 3 days with my brother Jim helping him re-wire his kitchen and put up some new lights over the center aisle stove and the bars. They look good.

When I make a trip, short or long, I make notes to remember the funnier or strange things. Now, what I think is funny, it seems a lot of folks just stare at me. For instance, my bro lives in the country near Pottsboro, TX. You travel through Sherman, then Denison, make a left a mile after Walmart & another left later - before you know it, you are in FINK, TEXAS. Fink used to have festivals and made some money out of its name, not any more.
I just find it humorous (or "funny" to some OR "Yuk, Yuk" to high school dropouts) that POTTSboro is right beside FINK. Not a belly laugh, just a bit of a grin.
Driving to Pottsboro on a Sunday afternoon. Have you listened to AM radio on Sunday afternoon? Everyone is trying to sell you drugs or stocks or money tips or real estate. I settled on a radio show called Gun Talk. They talk about guns for hours. I know nothing about guns... But, I did write down a website called

As I type, am watching American Pickers on History Channel. Just finished 2 episodes of Pawn Stars. Had to find some show to take MONK'S place. I stopped at a QT gas station in Plano. Inside was this really tall man as thin as one can get with his wife (dumpy is a good description) - she was really sorta short and heavy. Their teenage son was hanging around. He'd fit the generic concept of a great tuba play physique. 32 oz drinks were 49 cents & these three each had a cup -- tasting all the different selections ... all the different selections. After settling on a special, particular flavor, they and moved on to the Hot Dog Station.

I found my Band of Brothers soundtrack on my I-touch and headed north, 65 mph, Hwy 75, crusin'. Whoosh, some guy on a motorcycle came around me liberally as if I were standing still. Just had a moment to glance at his helmet. It had a tuff of hair across the top - a helmet with a Mohawk hair doooo.
Before I move to next blog: didja know Sherman has a Buck Owens Freeway? And an observation: I drive a black Mercury. It is amazing how many people slow down when I appear in their rearview mirror, then, take off when I pull up beside them - "Aw man, he's not a cop!"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Greta the snake dog #2

short bit:

I have been at my brother Jim's house to help him do some electrical work in his house. He bought a Fixer-Upper and has been slowly moving forward, but some things need a 3rd hand. I am about a half-hand.

Naturally, since I am not at home, something has to go wrong.

One year when I was taking 100 kids to Florida for a band competition, about 15 hours into the trip my wife called. The hot water heater had self-destructed and water was flooding the house. She came home from teaching ( Actually she was an Educational Diagnostician in public schools - I just thought saying "she came home from diagnosticianing" would be confusing ) - anyhoo, she came home at the end of the day to a floating house. Nothing I could do but go to Disneyworld and think.

I went to my brother's house Sunday, planning to return Wednesday afternoon. My wife called me this morning about 9:30. She is sitting in the Vet's office with Greta, the snake dog. Greta met a copperhead she couldn't beat this morning. The wife took the snake out with a shovel though. The only good snake is a dead snake. For a clarification, Greta is our wire-hair dachshund weighing about 9 pounds after she eats, maybe.

Let me cut to the chase. Greta is fine. The snake bit her on the tongue. The doc gave her a benadryl (sp.) shot and some antibiotics (about $100). She bled profusely from the mouth (tongue) for quite a while. I would think that helped her flush out some of the poison. I do not know if Greta has learned anything yet. That remains to be seen. The doc didn't think she has. He said that dachshunds are born hunters, and hunt she will do.

We once had a black & tan full sized smooth coat Dachshund named Mandy and we lived by a lake near Gainesville. We came home one time and her nose was bigger than Jimmy Durante's. From that day forward, Mandy's growl (voice) would change when there was a snake in the yard. You could hear that special growl. When the sound came, I grabbed a shotgun and wasted a snake. I am more frugal today - a shovel will do just fine.

Greta is moving slowly. She is in no hurry to go anywhere. Greta doesn't want to step off into the grass to do her business. We will see how the Copperhead affects her behavior later. This is now the 3rd one of my dogs to be bit this spring by copperheads. But Greta has accounted for 5 dead snakes...or is it six?
Good Dog!!

I hear that my boy Fritz, a hunter and eater by trade, tried to carry a dead rabbit into the house Tuesday night. My wife had fits getting him to leave it outside for the buzzards. I hate to see the rabbits killed. They are so cute. Snakes are not cute.

I am home & all is fine for now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Polka Festival - page two

We had seen advertisement about the polka festival for quite a while. On Sat. morning wife, Tom & Laura, & I drove to Ennis to watch the 10 a.m. parade We had to park 6 blocks from the parade route. Next time we'll go earlier and take lawn chairs. Yes, it was hot.
Most smaller town parades start with a police car followed by the high school band then a few cars with cheerleaders and teeny tiny twirlers with horses bringing up the tail. This parade had all of that and more - to my surprise, it lasted over an hour. It was packed with old cars, cars from the 50s, new cars, floats of various sizes, the Ennis Band played a nice march and played it well, brought a jealous tear to my eye. Towards the end of the parade was a BMW convertible. As it limped by us there was a loud pop followed by steam enveloping the hood. They pushed the car out of the way.

The cop cars came followed by many old guys carrying flags. I don't know what group they were with, but they had on lots of clothes, big tall hats with feathers and plumes, and long flowing capes. If I had to guess with no knowledge, I'd say something like Knights of Columbus in ceremonial clothing. When they came to our corner, one of the old gents went straight down to the pavement. The parade stopped as they helped him to the curb and doused him with water. I'd bet he was 80+ if he were a day. Next came the band. The Ennis band sounded good marching by - you could hear all the parts. About 4 or 5 more groups later (I don't mean to insult anyone here), was a group of Shriners. I have never seen an all Black Shriner group. There was one really old white guy walking with them.

Later in the parade, I'd guess there were 6 to 10 more Shriner groups. There were floats of them, groups with funny horns and little cymbals & drums, clowns, clowns on funny cars, motorcycles....There was one semi truck opened on both sides - with an old guy guitar band inside. There were probably 7 floats of polka bands and a few small rock & roll bands playing off the back of trailers. Fire trucks blaring horns from every town in Ellis County. At the of the parade, horses. It was a fun smaller town parade. A few of the Ennis band members finished the parade - went back to the start and came back through playing in a polka band. I bet that was fun.

We went home after checking out the booths. On Sunday morning, Christine announced she was going up to hear some polka music. Some of us headed north after lunch. All day Sat. & Sun. they have polka bands playing in 3 different halls. Each group plays about 3 hours and is replaced by another. You pay at the door and get one of those wrist bands which let you visit all halls.

We went to the first dance hall we could find, the Knights of Columbus Hall. We picked a long table at the back covered in white paper, outta the way. There was an empty table next to ours. People were dancing and the band was playing. Great Czech food was sold out of the kitchen. It was interesting.

After 30-40 minutes of polka band listening, I got up to get a diet coke. When I returned, I heard this noise calling my attention to the people who had just sat down at the table next to us. I heard ,"Mr. Metze." It was Jo Ann Hurley and Rachel Hurley.

I retired in May, 2004. Rachel was in that graduating class and was my first chair flute. She was quite good. After leaving Manor, Rachel went to U. TX and played piccolo in the Longhorn Band - she eventually became the piccolo section leader her final year at UT.
Rachel and her mom had just come in and sat at the table next to us. Rachel is the 2010 Miss Texas Czech. [that is not the official title - but I fergit] In her reign, she travels about the state going to these festivals. She dances with the polka people and generally represents the state. In August she goes to Nebraska for the National competition.

Rachel was wearing a gorgeous 110 yr old Czech dress from her grandmother. It was a gorgeous outfit and, oh yes, she gets to wear that fab jeweled crown and a colorful sash. I do believe she loves that crown.

What are the chances that I would drive 20 miles on a Sunday afternoon to watch a Polka band in the Ennis Knights of Columbus Hall and bump into Rachel Hurley and the Taco Lady? I forgot to mention, Jo Ann was a very active band parent. She owned a taco type stand all those years. Jo Ann worked hard and long and was the typical stage door mama.

Honestly had a really good visit with both of them. It was fun watching Rachel flitting around and around the dance floor waltzing and polka-ing and chicken-dancing. Part of duties is to dance with any guy who comes around...and she did. At one point she was introduced to the crowd and did that typical beauty queen wave. I really enjoyed seeing both of them. What are the chances?

We had a great weekend - seeing an ex-student at a polka festival dressed in Czech garb, crown, and sash - that was gravy.

Polka Festival - page one

For those who do not have a built-in generic map of Texas, let me give you a quick geography lesson. We live outside of Corsicana, to the east of town to be exact, on the Richland - Chambers Lake. This lake is a reservoir for Tarrant County (Ft Worth) and is the 3rd largest lake in Texas. If we took off in the boat to drive to the dam (prefer to say Darn - but didn't want to confuse anyone right now). If we boat to the Darn, it takes about 2+ hours to arrive. It might take longer, don't know, never made the trip by boat...prolly never will.

Corsicana is on I-45 between Houston and Dallas; I can drive to downtown D. in one easy hour. Now 20 miles up the road on that trip to big d, is Ennis in Ellis County. Ennis is a nice size town (4A UIL I think- as well as is Corsicana).

One of Cor's claim to fame is the first oil well drilled west of the Mississippi. They were digging a water well and hit oil - made em mad. Ennis' claim to fame is they are the home of the National Polka Festival, Memorial Day weekend. All towns have things to claim, not to get bogged down in little stuff cause is has nothing to do with this stone, my hometown, Levelland, 30 miles west of Lubbock in Hockley County has had 2 claims to fame: they had an episode of flying saucers some years back - I am sure this can be googled if you crave that sorta thing &&&&& the 2nd thing is that Hockley County once was in Ripley's Believe It or Not for having any bridges. But, I digress, back to Corsicana.

We have been seeing things in the newspaper about a Polka Festival in Ennis for a couple of years. Store that away till later.
2nd Part: My 3 kids, spouses, & 3 grandkidders all came here for Memorial Day weekend. Daughter Laura & hubby Tom showed first on Friday early. They love to fish & tried to catch something of value since arriving. Nothing worked this trip.

Son Roger & wife Penney + the 3 grandwonders came in on Sat afternoon. Daughter Christine is preparing for an Iron Man race in Austin - so she spent Sat morning swimming, riding the bike, and running - all in practice.

Some might find this next bit to be fun. Rog/Pen drove down from Lubbock Thursday after their kids got out of school. They had a hotel room in Arlington in prep for a 6 Flags outing all day Friday; but, alas ado, they have 4 dogs, all lovely dachshunds. Dogs don't do 6 Flags, more flags, more fun, less dogs.
They dumped their children in the hotel and drove south to meet us at a Love's gas station where we took in the dogs - lovingly. Their pups are sweet and cause less problems than ours. The following is a short essay about their dogs:
Sparky is their big boy, just as loveable a red doxie as you can find. Trilby, a long hair is their oldest female. She seems to be hard of hearing so you have to warn her of your existence or she will be startled and might wake up fighting. Katie Bell is the smallest of the crop. We think she is part Chihuahua and shows the temper if pushed. She is so cute walking around growling at the bigger dogs. They ignore her completely. Their final pup is Max, a yr old black & gray piebald who is still quite active. Let's change his name to Go-Go.
We made it home about 11:30 or so, put the dogs in bed, & followed suit. Friday came, Lar & Tom came up with their one dog, a white peke named Susie who was adopted from the pound in Kentucky [ and (I think) still shows mental scars from the previous owners ].
Counting my 5 wire-hair doxies, we had 10 dogs in the backyard. Continuing with this line of chatter, Christine showed Sat. afternoon with her 3 dogs; yes, that would be 13 dogs running amuck in my backyard. Her dogs: Buddy. adopted, mixed medium breed with short tail and boss attitude. Wesley. adopted, mixed too, who so much wants to please everyone. And Ollie who adopted Christine one day. A small red dachshund that was turned loose by neighbors until Chr. took her in to keep. Fiery little mutt; wants to be dominant.
It may seem that I have lost my my way regarding the Polka Festival. Nope. That will unfold in Polka Festival - maybe you will hang in for page 2.