Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plus One: Three for One!

Looking for Spare Change
Well, it looks like life over for most of today and so did my new friend Arthur. You may know Arthur, his last name is Itis. Arthur Itis. We went grocery shopping today at Super Wal Mart and it took a while longer than I had anticipated. With my wife recently adopting a healthier lifestyle, it's very important to know what is in the food we buy. She read the labels on EVERY DAMN THING in the grocery department. It would have been faster to read War and Peace. I guess what I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is that I am tired and my buddy Arthur is killin' me.
I have picked out some popular posts from the past for your perusal.
For our newer readers, it'll give you a chance to catch up on what you've and for the Old Timers, maybe you can read something you missed the first time through. Thanks to you all for visiting and we'll see you manana. Adios, y'all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Shoe, A Horse Racing Legend

Since we are 2/3 of the way through the race for the Triple Crown of horse racing (which, by the way, will not be won by any horse this year), I thought it would be a good time to re-post this story about one of the greatest horsemen who ever lived.

  This story is a bit personal to me because I am related to the man that this article is about. At one time, he was one of the most famous men in the world and is still held in high esteem by any horseman worth his salt. the man's name? William Lee Shoemaker. To some, he was Willie Shoemaker, to others, Bill Shoemaker and to  everybody else, he was simply "The Shoe".
The Shoe came into this world fighting for life. On August 19, 1931, in Fabens, Texas, William Lee Shoemaker came into this veil of tears at a whopping 2.5 pounds. Willie was so small, he was put into a shoe box (ain't that ironic? The Shoe in a shoe box) and put into an oven to keep him warm.  He was not expected to make it through the night , but somehow he did. And the world, particularly the horse racing world, was better for it. This would not be the only life or death fight Shoe would have in his life. He was almost killed twice on the race track and again after he retired from riding when he rolled a Ford Bronco over while driving while drunk, which left him paralyzed from the neck down. Through all this adversity, Willie Shoemaker never gave up and he never felt sorry for himself. He said, "You've got to play the hand you're dealt, and I was dealt this one". As one of his big rivals, Eddie Arcaro said, Shoe "is a tough son of bitch".

As a full grown man, Willie Shoemaker stood a towering 4ft 11in tall and tipped the scales at 96 pounds. He was a small man in a world of small men. At the time he retired as a jockey, The Shoe had won a record 8833 races, won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness twice and the Belmont Stakes five times and, surprisingly, never won the Triple Crown of horse racing. He rode over 40,000 mounts and won 1009 Stakes races and his mounts earned over $123 million.

His biography is very interesting and I just touched on a few points of his life in this post. If you'd like to learn more about Willie, bookmark this page or click on through. It's a nice piece about a man whose legacy will live for a long time to those who knew him as The Shoe and to those of us who are proud to share a name with William Lee Shoemaker - the Little Man Who Came Up Big.

**Photo from si.com**

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Weekend Reading!

Here's a Memorial Day Weekend of Good Stuff for You. Enjoy it and have a great weekend with friends and family!amily!
There's some material that'll keep you busy for a while. If you'd like to look up more, use the search box in the upper right part of each page. There's a ton a material and it's all good stuff.

Colorado Chronicles: Buffalo Bill

William Frederick Cody was born February 26, 1846 near LeClaire in the Iowa Territory, destined to become one of the most famous men of the American Wild West era. The Cody family moved to Leavenworth, Kansas when William was seven years old. It was there that the tales of adventure about the cowboys of the day captured young William's heart and imagination. At age eleven when William's father, Isaac, died leaving the Cody clan in desperate straits "he took a job with a freight carrier as a "boy extra," riding up and down the length of a wagon train, delivering messages." (Wikipedia). Three years later, Cody was hit with gold fever and decided to set out to strike it rich. Somewhere along the way he met an agent of the famed Pony Express and the gold fever subsided rather quickly when William was hired by the Express. He built several  Pony Express stations along the PE route and was rewarded with a job as a Pony Express Rider. After a stint as US Army Scout, Indian Fighter and buffalo hunter supplying meat to the Army and some other endeavors, Cody, now known as Buffalo  Bill, began producing and performing in Wild West Shows all over the world. Though highly rewarding and popular shows, the performances didn't leave Buffalo Bill exactly a wealthy man as one would expect. Bad investments away from the Wild West Shows left Cody with little money to retire on, and though he was ready to call it a career, he kept on keeping on until his dieing day. In 1917, while visiting his sister in Denver, Buffalo Bill Cody died and was buried, per his last wishes, on Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado. His burial site is still a major tourist attraction for people passing along I-70, west of Denver. William Frederick Cody, truly an American original.

Maine Minutiae: 248 Acres of Awesome

With the onset of fall, I am looking back with great fondness on this year's garden. I may be a bit early in doing so, but I am also looking forward to and am already tossing around ideas for 2011. I live in an apartment with my wife and kids, so I am limited as to exactly what I can do gardenwise, but I plow (pun intended) ahead by doing as much as I can without pissing off the Property Manager. And those you that know me know that I teeter right on the edge of "acceptable" and "don't you dare". Such is life. While time is short until first frost here in Maine, we still have time to enjoy the bounty before us and I know just the place to enjoy said bounty - the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. From mainegardens.org/  we learn of the humble beginnings of CMBG, "This magnificent and ambitious project began with a kernel of an idea generated by Rollins Hale of Boothbay Harbor. He and other mid-coast Maine residents who shared the belief that northern New England in general, and Maine in particular, were in need of a botanical garden founded the grassroots organization in 1991." Sixteen years later, on June 13, 2007, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens became a dream come true. The Gardens now encompasses 248 acres, a 9500 square foot Visitors Center, a seasonal cafe and a gift shop, as well as a bevy of  blooming botanical beauties bound to bewilder you. The CMBG also serve as an educational experience, with information about natural history, botany, horticulture and the ecology of the area. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens can be reached here. CMBG is privately funded (as far as I can tell) and that alone is reason enough to label it as 248 acres of awesome.

*Photo from Downeast.com

Texas Tidbits: A Visit from Pancho Villa

Wow! Have we covered a ton of Texas History in the last couple of weeks or what? I kind of wanted to take a break from that for at least a few days to rest my brain. I thought today that we'd take a trip to Nowhere. And by Nowhere, I mean Brewster County located waaaaayyyyy out west, home to Big Bend National Park and the City of Alpine. My maternal Grandmother grew up in Alpine and she would sometimes talk about how life was when she was a child in the late teens and 1920s.

Grandmother once told me a story about a group of Mexican banditos who would occasionally come to her home when she was a little girl. This particular group of men was led by an hombre called Pancho. Pancho Villa. As I remember, she said that Pancho Villa and his men would come for food and water and stuff like that. I don't remember the whole story, but I do remember her saying that Pancho and his men didn't seem like a bunch of bad guys and he and his men treated my Grandmother's family with respect. I'll have to get in touch with my aunt (Grandmother's youngest kid) and see if I can get more details of the story. Anyway, I thought that was the coolest thing when I was a little boy. Pancho Villa! At my Grandmother's house! Wow!

I remember another story that she told me only one time and I never heard another word about it. Grandmother and her family were very devout Catholics, as am I and the rest of the maternal side of my family. The story involved men in white sheets burning a cross on Grandmother's front yard when she was just a small child. Yup. The dickweeds of the KKK did it. Is it just me, or is it ironic that an outlaw like Pancho Villa treated her family with great respect and the "good guys" (excuse me while I go puke) of the Klan would do something as vile as a cross-burning in her front yard simply because they were Catholic? I can only imagine what that must have been like for a little girl to witness such a cowardly yet terrifying thing. Pardon me for a moment while I send a heartfelt, personal message to the boys in the KKK. FUCK YOU AND ROT IN HELL YOU PUSSIES! Other than that, have a nice day, assholes. :) END OF PERSONAL MESSAGE TO THE KLAN. There. I feel better.

My intent when I decided to write about Brewster County was to actually write about Brewster County, but I got so into the stories my Grandmother told me when I was a kid that it kinda veered off in that direction. I was and still am very proud of my Grandmother. She is probably the toughest human being I have ever met, and I have met some dandies, trust me. She was about 5 foot nothin' and about 90 pounds soaking wet and tough as an acre of snakes. I have some more stories from her that I could tell you about but let's save that for another time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Southern Tip of Texas

University of Texas at Brownsville
I have always been a sucker for things Mexican - the food, language, tequila, traditions, sense of family, tequila. You get the picture - all that other stuff and tequila. Seriously, I love the culture of our Mexican neighbors. I was thinking, if I want to get a taste of Mexico and still be in the USA, where would be a good place to go? Easy answer. Brownsville. In Brownsville, I'd still be in Texas and get the flavor of Mexico as well. Hell, Matamoros is just across the Rio Grande. The southernmost city in Texas has a population of about 140,000 and a semi-tropical climate that attracts many snowbirds, or Winter Texans or as Texans call them, Yankees. :)  The climate is just one item on the "plus" list for Brownsville. Other pluses include a landscape laden with palm trees, bougainvilleas and comforting Gulf breezes, exotic birds and a zoo that features over 1500 species of animals. Brownsville's recorded history goes back to the 1600's but was settle many years later. According to The Handbook of Texas Online, "In 1781 Spanish authorities granted fifty-nine leagues of land on the northern bank of the river, including all of the site of Brownsville, to José Salvador de la Garza, who established a ranch about sixteen miles northwest of the site. During the early nineteenth century a small number of squatters, most of them herders and farmers from Matamoros, built huts in the area. A small settlement had formed by 1836, when Texas declared her independence from Mexico, but the region was still only sparsely settled when United States troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor arrived in early 1846." THOT has a more detailed history of Brownsville here. Today, as in centuries past, is a major shipping port that brings in goods from all over the world. I guess the most famous thing Brownsville is known for is Spring Break. Enough said. It seems that I have discovered Paradise at the southern tip of Texas, and it called Brownsville.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Plus One: Happy Birthday, Bocephus!

Bad. Ass. Man.
Repost from October, 2010....It's been a great Trip Through Time and Country Music over the last four weeks, but like all things, this too must end. We began our tribute with a bang with Garth Brooks, and now we're gonna end it with a BOOM! 

My favorite artist from any genre of music, bar none, is Hank Williams, Jr. I am very familiar with Hank's trials and tribulations over the years. He has told me about many of them in person, during the three times I had a chance to talk with him. As we drank shots of whiskey and nursed a few beers, Hank related to me one great story after another. Most of them were just general stories about the music biz, his role in it, his Dad (of course) and some other stuff. The one subject that Hank told me about was when on Augusta 8, 1975, he fell almost 500 feet down the side of Ajax Mountain in Montana. He went over the accident that nearly killed him in chilling detail. He probably would have fallen further down the side of the mountain except for one thing - a BFR. A Big Fuckin' Rock. He smashed into it face first into it and it opened his skull like it was on a door hinge, his brain exposed to the elements. Hank was hiking with his buddy, Dick Willey and Willey's son, Pete (I think, his name escapes me) when the accident happened. The senior Willey had to hike several miles back down Ajax to get help, while his son, who was about 10 years old, IIRC, tried to keep Hank awake and alert. The boy prove to be a hero. Hank told that if it hadn't been for the cold weather, he probably would have died right then and there. Two years of reconstructive surgery and rehab, including learning how to talk all over again, followed the fall down Ajax. Amazing story.

Already recorded prior to Hank's accident, was an album called Hank Williams, Jr and Friends. The link provides only clips of the songs, but I urge you to take a minute to listen to them. this album, in my opinion, is the single greatest album ever recorded. It was the single most influential album that initiated the Outlaw Movement in Country Music. I know, I know, Willie and Waylon and all that. I agree that W & W were the ones that popularized Outlaw Country, but Hank, Jr and Friends was before all that. Hank and Friends consists of nine songs that are my life set to music. It's the ultimate Country record. It's that great.

We know what many of Hank's hits are. Below I will list some of his better-known songs and some that aren't. But I promise you, they will all be good, and maybe you'll look at Hank from a different point of view.
What a great way to end our tribute to Country Music Month. Hank Williams, Jr, who once had NINE albums in The Top 75 at one time (!), has a ton of YouTube pages with his music on them. Make time to listen to some of Hank's songs that were never released as singles. There's a treasure trove of kick ass Country tunes and songs that paint a vivid image in your mind that I think you'll really like.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Blues, Texas Style: Struck By Lightnin'

Blues. Music that touches and tortures the soul. Music that sings of joy and triumph and, at the same time, despair and tragedy. We all, at one point or another, have experienced the gamut of emotions that is the blues. However, it takes an artist, a Van Gogh with a guitar, a Shakespeare with a song, to make someone feel the blues. One such man was born in Centerville, Texas on March 15, 1912, Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins. As a young black boy growing up in Centerville (halfway between Dallas and Houston on I-45), Sam was immersed in the blues. At age eight, Sam met a true Blues Man, Blind Lemon Jefferson, at a church picnic in nearby Buffalo. That experience was Sam's baptism into the church of the blues. By the mid 1920's, Hopkins was jumping trains, throwing dice and playing the blues, living the blues. But a decade or so later Lightnin' was imprisoned in Houston County for reasons unclear. After prison, he moved to Houston to get in on the music scene there. Unsuccessful, Sam was soon back in Centerville working as a farm hand. Taking a second shot at Houston in 1946 turned out to be a monumental decision for Hopkins, the blues and, eventually, the world. From then until the early '50's, Lightnin' rarely played outside Texas, but when he did...as the late Paul Harvey said, "Now you know the rest of the story"- playing in countries around the globe, in front of monarchs and poor folks, Hopkins became a legend. On January 30, 1982 in his beloved Houston, Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins succumbed to cancer at age 69. Cue the the blues... "Lightnin'" has struck Texas.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Our 1st Birthday!!!

It was exactly one year ago today that I put up my first post Three States Plus One. It's difficult to believe that it has actually been a full year since I undertook this task. What's even more amazing is the fact that I am still doing this thing! The blog has changed in many ways since that day that seems like a lifetime ago. For one, the posts are a bit longer therefore allowing me to get more information to you the reader. I knew that would happen when I started the blog, as I was literally feeling my way through the process. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I take that back...I have written some stuff before, but that involved tens of thousands of radio and TV commercials, never a daily article about any chosen subject. Besides, radio and TV commercials are 30 and 60 seconds long requiring few words and, most of the time, just a few minutes of my time. Blogging, on the other hand, can take a few hours just to put one post together, depending on my mood, energy level, the state of my illnesses and whether or not Bailey the 4 Year Old is wound up like a cheap clock or taking a nap. Such is the life as the Head Honcho of the Next Big Blogging Empire.

I'd like to think that, as a blogger, I have grown in my writing and ability to make you a part of the experience I write about. I'll give myself an A- on that, as there is always room for improvement. The template of the blog has changed very little with the exception of the sidebar which gets a makeover every once in a while with new gadgets I find on the internet, but it's pretty much the same as it was on Day One. I am halfway in the mood to redesign the entire page, but that will take more effort that I am willing to put forth at this time...in the near future perhaps, but not now.

On May 24, 2010 all the stats for the blog read "zero". Let's take a look where they stand as of this writing:
  • Page views - 24, 075 Total; 462.9 per week; 2006.25 per month; 65.9 per day
  • Countries - We are now read in 98 countries around the with the USA, of course, leading the way with 5434 Unique Visitors followed by Canada, 325 and the UK, 192. Our newest country on the list is El Salvador. All told, we have accumulated 6712 Unique Visitors over the last twelve months. 
  • States - Three States Plus One is read in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. Texas easily leads the way in total number of uniques with 1529, followed by Maine, 738 and California, 565.
  • Number of Posts - 551
I don't want to bore you with a lot of numbers (and believe me, I could!), I just wanted you to get an idea of how far this blog has come. Despite the brilliant writing, biting humor and scathing satire, it's not my award-worthy writing that makes this thing click, it's you, the reader who are the bread and water, the sustenance if you will of Three States Plus One. I never in my wildest dreams thought that we'd reach such heights in such a short period of time.

I want to humbly thank you for sticking with me for the last year and I hope you'll hang in there with me for Year 2. Your support and acceptance of Three States Plus One has been nothing short of astonishing. I hope in some small way I have taught you something, provoked you to think or made you giggle out loud (or cursed like a sailor) during the past 12 months. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you and may God continue to bless America.

Toby, Benevolent Blog Emporor, TexNetMaine Blogging Empire
threestatesplusone AT gmail DOT com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Looking Back: Texas Declares Independence

A Republic is Born
Today is such an important day to all Texans, that I am going to forego my usual brilliant insight and Nobel-worthy prose, to take a back seat to those who are far more qualified than I to inform you on this 175th Birthday of the Texas Constitution. On March 2, 1836, forty-one men gathered in a shack in Washington-On-The-Brazos and hammered out a document. A document that changed history. It was the Texas Declaration of Independence

"In October 1835, settlers in Mexican Texas launched the Texas Revolution. However, within Texas, many struggled with understanding what was the ultimate goal of the Revolution. Some believed that the goal should be total independence from Mexico, while others sought the reimplementation of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 (which offered greater freedoms than the centralist government declared in Mexico the prior year).[1] To settle the issue, a convention was called for March 1836. This convention differed from the previous Texas councils of 1832, 1833, and the 1835 Consultation. Many of the delegates to the 1836 convention were young men who had only recently arrived in Texas, although many of them had participated in one of the battles in 1835. Most of the delegates were members of the War Party and were adamant that Texas must declare its independence from Mexico.[2] Forty-one delegates arrived in Washington-on-the-Brazos on February 28" says Wikipedia.

If you want to learn as much Texas History as you can in one stop, there are few places, if any, more informative that the archives at Texas A & M University. The Aggies do Texas Independence with the pride and enthusiasm you'd expect from them. From the Aggie Archives we find this on the convention that brought us a Declaration of Independence for Texas.

The Handbook of Texas Online has several interesting links to the Texas Declaration of Independence, so it that would be great place as well.

I know you'll enjoy the Texas History lesson you'll get at any of the links in this post. I'll have more to say later today, so until then...God bless Texas!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Post Rapture Look Back in Time

Big Bend Sunset
Since we made it through The Rapture, I guess I am obligated to post something today. :) You know, a Rapture just ain't what it used it be. Back when I was a kid, we'd have a Rapture in the morning, then I'd walk five miles uphill to school in the morning, five miles uphill back home after school, then we'd have another Rapture to top off the day. It was brutal, I tell you. We must be importing our Raptures from China these days. Oh, well.....
  • The Blizzard of 2010 - The day after Christmas was the beginning of what felt like The Rapture here in Maine. We got hammered with several feet of snow in a weather event that lasted for what seemed like forever. Look back with me at this amazing couple of days and marvel at the power of Mother Nature.
  • Lens Master - Bob Zeller is to a camera like a duck is to water -  a Natural.. Check out this post and be shocked and awed. It's beautiful stuff. I promise.
  • A Spitfire of a Colorado Woman - Four words: The. Unsinkable. Molly. Brown. Enough said.
A Blogging Note: I am loaded down with Doctor's appointments tomorrow, so I'll be back with new and exciting material for you on Tuesday, which will mark the First Anniversary of my first post on Three States Plus One. That will be a fun day, as we look back at my initial year in blogging and see what has changed about the blog and what has happened in over the past 365 days. There's a lot to talk about, so it'll be a few days celebration with some wonderful recollections and updates. Until then, adios, y'all!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

If Today's Rapture Day, I'm Goin' Fishin'

The Stripers Await Judgement
As you've probably heard by now, today is Rapture Day. Lord, hear my prayers...I figure that if I am gonna die today, I am gonna die doing what I like most - talking to God and fishin'. I've gotta cover my bases, you know. To further endear myself to the Almighty, my last blog post before we are all called Home will be about fishin' and places to fish. I'm thinking that if Jesus hung around a bunch of fisherman, then I've got an "in" with the Good Lord Hisownself by showing my Sonly qualities. :)

BTW, if you haven't done so yet, you can make a donation to my PayPal account by hitting the "Donate" button in the right sidebar. It being Rapture Day and all, it would be a lovely last gesture to make before you vanish from this earthly Veil of Tears. After all, you can't take it with you. But I can keep it here. :)

Those are three of my choices I'd like to spend my last day on Earth. As for the reast of you sinners, hit the "Donate" button in the sidebar and just in case my name is not listed in the Book of Life, I'll make sure your money is well spent as I await my own Judgement. Amen.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Greatest Cowboy of 'em All!

On December 5, 1870 a little boy of African, Caucasian and Cherokee heritage was born near Taylor, Travis County, Texas, to a former slave named Thomas Jefferson Pickett and Mary "Janie" Gilbert. That little boy, William "Bill" Pickett would grow up to be one of the most famous cowboys of all time. Young Bill attended school through fifth grade, quit and began the epic journey from school boy to super star cowboy as a ranch hand. Pickett was so adept at things cowboy, in 1905 he joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show. As a member of the 101 show, Bill worked along side some other fairly well-known cowboys - Will Rogers and Buffalo Bill, to name a couple. Considering the times and this man's heritage, what were the odds of him being perhaps the Greatest Cowboy of that era? Pickett thrilled audiences all over the world with his extraordinary skills and abilities. Bill Pickett died April 2, 1932 doing what he loved, being a cowboy and was honored accordingly in 1971 by being inducted to the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and, in 1989, was named to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. With credentials such as those, it's no wonder Pickett was and by many is still called, The Greatest Cowboy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Texas Tidbits; Sam Rayburn, A Great Texan

Sam Rayburn
There are many legendary Texans. That fact is not in dispute. The degree of legendary status may be open to discussion, but there are certain Texas Legends where anything that open admiration and due reverence are all but expected. Men in this category include Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Sam Houston, Earl Campbell, Bum Phillips, Tom Landry, Darrell Royal...you get the idea. One of the most powerful Texans ever is a name that many will recognize only as the name of a lake - Sam Rayburn.

Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn represented Texas in the US House of Representatives from 1913-1961, three times serving as Speaker of the House. For perspective, he was in the House for every president from Woodrow Wilson to John F. Kennedy, a span of forty-eight years. Another way to look at Mr. Sam's length of service is that he was elected to office before World War I and served until after the United States sent Alan B. Shepard into space in May, 1961. Wow!

In doing a write-up of a man like Sam Rayburn, it would take hours for me just to look up the man's accomplishments. In lieu of that, I'll link to a couple of pretty dang good sources that detail much of Speaker Rayburn's life, private and public. I first went to famoustexans.com and came up with a nice piece. It's a long but very informative article, so make sure you have a few minutes to spare before diving in. And, of course, there's the old stand by, Wikipedia.

As you can see from those two resources, Sam Rayburn was a powerful man in American politics for almost half a century. Few, if any, men or women have had such a profound influence on the policies affecting every day Americans for such an extended period of time as Mr. Sam. I think it's safe to say that Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn earned every tribute paid to him and then some. Hit that link and scroll down to see some of the honors bestowed upon this great man.

Mr. Sam. A great American. A great Texan.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Osama Bin Killed Graveyard Dead Courtesy Navy SEAL Team 6

Now Burning in Hell
During my self-imposed temporary exile from blogging, I promised to not leave you wanting for something great to read. I have something great for you and I am sad to say that I didn't write it, but I want to share it with you. Here's a little more detailed story about how Navy SEAL Team 6 found and killed Osama bin Laden. It comes from the Associated Press via a blogger I read from time to time, and should read more often, Pat Dollard.

AP gets their panties in a wad real easily, so I will simply link the article as it is posted at Pat's site. Enjoy the story about honest-to-God American Heroes, Navy SEAL Team 6.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Taking a Few Days Off

I am taking at least a couple of days off from blogging to let my mind and body relax. I know that must come as a shock to you (that's sarcasm, BTW). I will, however, not leave you empty-handed as far as reading material goes. I happen to know that those of you with laptops and a router find great comfort in perusing my brilliant content in the john. Fitting, that. Where do you think I do most of my writing?

Here are three posts from the very beginning of this blog that have irritated and repulsed people from all corners of the world for almost a year now. Carry on.
The posts are very short, but there are some embedded links to some really cool information, so be sure to click on them and see what's up. The archives are full of good material, just give them a look using the search box at the top right of the right sidebar or scroll down the home page and click where it says "Older Posts" and look 'em over.

I'll see you in a few days with more of the kind of extraordinary tomes that you've come to expect from me. Actually, I'll try to do better. :)


Monday, May 16, 2011

Texas Tidbits: I've Got a Tiger By the Tail...

Here, Kitty, Kitty...
I love animals. Especially BBQ'ed. *rimshot* I'll be here all week, folks. Be sure to tip your blog writer. But seriously, folks...I really am an animal lover...cats, dogs, whatever. I like 'em  because they are not only cute and cuddly (until they grow up), but for the companionship and undying loyalty for the low price of loving them back and a little food now and then. There's a place just outside Tyler where a few people have gone way above the realm of normal animal rescuers to something even more fantastic - Big Cat Rescuers. Yes, those kind of Big Cats. Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge is something much bigger, literally, than your local animal shelter. It's a refuge for...hell, let's go to Tiger Creek's web page for that info :"To provide rescue and rehabilitation of big cats that have been abused, neglected or displaced.". And that's exactly what they do. Wanna meet some of the residents of Tiger Creek? Click here and when you get to the Tiger Creek page, look to left of the display and click "Meet the Big Cats". It's real good stuff. Tiger Creek is known worldwide for the outstanding work they do in giving these mighty predators a home that is as similar to their  natural habitat as possible, plus the care and love they need in order to simply survive. My hat's off to Brian Werner and Terri Block and their staff of volunteers for the superhuman effort, devotion and dedication towards these magnificent felines and their on-going hard work in rescuing and rehabbing Big Cats of all stripes. Or lack thereof.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Maine Minutiae: 2nd Graders & I Learn About Early Maine

...And a Bottle of Rum
I had a hoot yesterday. I got to spend a few hours with my oldest daughter, Isabella, on a 2nd Grade Class Field Trip, hereby referred to as "2GCFT". I met a school bus full of 7 & 8 year olds yesterday at a very historic site in here in Augusta, Old Fort Western, and got the Grand Tour of Old Fort Western OFW is the oldest standing fort in the United States having been built in the mid 1750's.

Along with the above-mentioned kids and a few other parent/chaperones, I got the Grand Tour of Old Fort Western and actually found it very interesting. Of course our guides, dressed in full 1750's regalia, right down to the shoes, made their presentation geared toward second grader, it was done well-enough that it even kept my interest. The Fort was a center of commerce for the area way back when, not only for its English inhabitants, but for the Native Indians as well. On site, they have a General Store that looks like you just walked into 1750-something (and you actually do!), a class room for the kids of the time and some other really cool historical artifacts that were commonly used by Old Fort Westerners. I honestly had a good time and learned something, too. I think the kids did, too.

The best part of the whole trip, which is about 3 miles, round trip from where I sit, was spending time with Issy. She's a smart kid and was asking questions of the tour guides and answering theirs as well. The thing I liked 2nd most was being a part of my little girl's school experience. I felt like hell when I went to meet the students yesterday morning, but all that changed on a sunny, breezy Spring morning when I saw how much interest the kids showed in the tour. It's something I won't soon forget.

Here are some photos from our excursion...
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Rope for the Ships
State Capitol Building Way in the Background

A Trader's Boat from the 1750's

Texas Tidbits: 29 Years After Columbus

The Lone Star
The history of Texas is as varied and colorful as the land itself. Many people don't know that the history of Texas as we know it, began less than thirty years after Columbus landed in the New World. From the time of the first Europeans setting foot in Texas in 1519, to 1836 when Texas won its independence from Mexico through the Civil War years, the flags of six countries would fly over the Lone Star State.

Today, in a series of short posts, we will celebrate this extraordinary place called Texas. Our journey will begin in 1519 and take us through the centuries on a historical adventure that is second to none in its diverse, yet unique path through time... a journey that will explore the land, the people and events that shaped this magnificent place into what it is today, almost 500 years after the the footsteps of the first Europeans were fresh in the sand.

It was on this date in 1845 that , after nine years as the Republic of Texas, that Texas became the 28th state to join the Union, by treaty with the United States.

Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Texans and citizens of all lands, it is with great pride that I humbly present to you..."the damnedest lady you ever saw"...


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Texas Tidbits: An All Woman State Supreme Court...In 1925? What the @^*&$?

As you know, I am always scouring the internet for unique content to post on Three States Plus One. Well, today I found a story that I had never heard of concerning Texas History. So let's explore this amazing story.

In 1924, a lawsuit was filed against an organization in which the three judges on the Texas Supreme Court were members. Therefore, in the interest of Justice, the Chief Justice and the two Associate Justices of the Texas Supreme Court recused themselves from the case. So, then-Governor Pat Neff assembled a Special Supreme Court made up entirely of women! Remember that women had been allowed to vote only since 1920! This was unheard of!

"The Dallas Morning News reported on Friday, Jan. 2, 1925, "All records were shattered and at least three precedents established on Thursday, when Gov. Neff appointed a special Supreme Court composed entirely of women. It was a healthy New Year gift of recognition to the woman barrister of today. This is the first instance a woman has been appointed to sit on the supreme bench; it is the first time a higher court is to be composed entirely of women and it is the initial case where a majority of the judges will be women."

The whole story is something that could happen only in Texas. Read the whole thing at The Texas Almanac website. It's absolutely compelling.

You've come a long way, baby.

Texas Tidbits: The Great Texas Land Rush is On!

First Come, First Served
I am on the internet for hours on end every day searching for content to post on this very blog. Some stuff I come across stands head and shoulders above the rest. Today is one of those days. I made my every-once-in-a-while stop at the The Texas Almanac website and what I found was one of the coolest things I have seen in a while. Check this stuff out.

I'll let the folks at the Texas State Historical Association (they publish the Almanac) lay it on you:

The Great Texas Land Rush!

Stake Your Claim

The Texas Almanac, The Source for ALL Things Texan Since 1857, is offering Texans the unprecedented opportunity to stake a claim to their own special part of Texas.
The Adopt-A-County and the Adopt-A-Town programs allow individuals and businesses to put their name on the Texas County or Town of their choice.

Additionally, the county or town can be dedicated to a loved one, to family pioneers or used to promote a business. But just like the original Oklahoma land rush, it works on a first come first serve basis, so hurry if you have a special county or town in mind.
Perhaps the best part of this particular land rush is that it’s all tax deductible. The Texas Almanac is part of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), and all donations to these programs are 100% tax deductible and support state wide educational programs. For more information on the TSHA and its extensive educational programs go to www.tshaonline.org."

Is that great or what? Besides being a grand idea, it gives you, as a Texan, a simple way to give back to the State that has given Texans so much to be proud about over the last 175 years. When you "adopt" a county or town you'll also have the Honor of leaving a line of text (or two as the case may be) on the Texas Almanac website!

Like I said earlier, this is a tremendous idea more than worthy of your consideration. Hit the links above and get the whole scoop of what the deal is. I am thinking of a town to "adopt" for myself. I love it!

God bless Texas!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Texas' Oldest Town

Downtown Nac
Snuggled tidily in the massive pine forests of East Texas lies the state's oldest town, Nacogdoches. I heard a tale many years ago of how Nacogdoches got its name. This Indian Chief, whose tribe was settled on the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border, had two sons, one named Natchitoch and the other, Nacogdoche. When they became young men, the Chief sent his sons in opposite directions to create new settlements for the tribe. One son was sent eastward into Louisiana and the other to the west further into Texas. Hence, the settlement in Louisiana was named for Natchitoch (Natchitoches, LA) and the settlement in Texas was named, obviously, Nacogdoches. True or not, it's a nice story. Nacogdoches is one of the most historic cities in Texas. Inhabited by the first Texans as far back as 10,000 years ago, Nacogdoches has a rich history of Indian culture. "Nacogdoches County is located in an area that has been the site of human habitation for several thousand years. Archeological artifacts, which date from the Archaic Period (ca. 5000 B.C.-A.D. 500), have been recovered from the area around Sam Rayburn Reservoir to the south. During historic times the area was occupied by the Hasinai Indians of the Caddo confederacy, an agricultural people with a highly developed culture", says Handbook of Texas Online. Click on the link to the HTO link and they have a very good synopsis of the history of Nacogdoches. Today's Nacogdoches is home to 32,000 people and 12,000+ students at Stephen F. Austin State University. Go Lumberjacks !! Many famous athletes and entertainers have ties to Nacogdoches - Don Henley of the Eagles went to SFASU, All Pro NFL players Larry Centers and Jeremiah Trotter also attended SFA.  US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and the discoverer of plutonium, Joseph W. Kennedy, also can point to Nacogdoches as, at one time, their home. I have spent time in Nac so I can tell you firsthand that it's cool little place and you don't have to go very far to decimate the local fish population. nearby are Lake Nacogdoches, the Angelina River and Lake Sam Rayburn. Fish.Fear.Me. Trust me on this one, folks. Be sure to check out the info at the links provided in this post. There's a ton of stuff that time and space prevent me from sharing with you. If you're in the Metroplex or somewhere near it, Nac would make a nice place to take a Sunday drive to, have lunch and see the sites. The brick streets of downtown Nacogdoches await you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can You Help a Brutha Out?

It's a New Category  :)
I am a proud man. Despite the circumstances of life that have, at times, beat me down, I have always been able to fight back and kick ass and take names. I can no longer do that so easily. The time has come for me to put my pride aside and do something that I never wanted nor expected to do. I am going to ask you, the reader, to consider making a donation to my PayPal Account. It's safe and secure and I use them myself and I don't take online security lightly. In my opinion, PayPal keeps your information safe and secure. I hope that allays any concerns you might have.

Here's the Deal: First off, let me tell you that I expect no sympathy nor do I ask for any. I am simply asking you to consider making a donation because I have worked  very hard to make my blogs better each day. True, my readership has grown by leaps and bounds, but that doesn't necessarily translate into any income for me. I understand that that's the way blogging is, so I am not blind nor ignorant to such facts. I do my blogs for fun but with the idea of making a little money, too. So far, I have readers in at 97 countries, but as of this point, no cash flow. Many small independent bloggers experience this type of situation, so what am I doing is not out of line, it's just humbling and embarrassing. However, I have to swallow my pride and present to you the facts about my current situation and you can make your decision.

Here's the Deal, Part II: If you've made it this far, thank you for sticking with me. My lifestyle has dramatically changed over the last year or so. I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and each has gotten progressively worse. I am able to walk (just barely), but I'm sure I'll need a wheelchair or something to get around very soon. It's hard for me dress myself and sometimes  my wife has to help me tie my shoes. Worse yet, soon I won't be able to walk a creek bank where Fish.Fear.Me. I can't play with my 4 year old little girl like a "normal" Daddy and that hurts me worse than anything. Hell, it hurts like a son of a bitch just to sit here and type this post. I go on, but I think you get the idea.

If your able to throw in a couple of bucks, just click on the PayPal Donate button in the right sidebar and you'll be prompted to so what needs to be done from there. Let me remind that I am simply asking for a little help, but if you wanna hit the Tip Jar with enough to buy a new bass boat, that's cool too. LOL

I am grateful for each one of you and whether or not you hit the Tip Jar will in no way affect my sincere appreciation for your continuing readership. Besides, I wouldn't know who donated what anyway.

Thank you for helping my dream of the TexNetMaine Blogging Empire getting closer, day by day, to becoming  player in the blogosphere. Without you, I would be an awful lonely voice way out there in the ether.

Thank you,
Toby, CEO and a Bunch of Other Letters That are Meant to Be Impressive, but I am simply The Head Dumbass of the TexNetMaine Blogging Empire

Texas Tidbits: A Magical Rock

You know when you're on a road trip and on the way to your destination, you see an interesting road sign or billboard that says something like : "Visit Podunk, Home of Podunkin Donuts"? I have seen a million of those signs and have always said, "Next time I come through here, I am gonna visit Podunk and have me some Podunkin Donuts". Inevitably, you go past the same sign months later and vow to visit Podunk for some Podunkin Donuts. But you never do. Then 35 years down the road, you still haven't visited Podunk for some Podunkin Donuts, but by now you are over 2000 miles away in a foreign land - like Maine. The next best thing to do at this point is to remind those who are near enough to Podunk, to visit Podunk and try some Podunkin Donuts. That is my task today. Except it isn't exactly Podunk I am talking about, it's Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. If you substitute "Enchanted Rock State Natural Area" for "Podunk" above, you'll see what I'm talking about here. I have passed signs that extol the virtues of ERSNA a gazillion times and have never followed them. I am a dumbass - a dumbass that sits over 2000 miles from Enchanted Rock, with little prospect of seeing it soon. Enchanted Rock is located near Fredericksburg in the Hill Country. ER is an outcrop of pink granite that sits in the center of a never-erupted volcano and rises 425 above the surrounding terrain and covers about 640 acres. That's a B.F.R. (big frakkin rock)! In the photo above, Enchanted Rock doesn't look that big , but look at this picture and you'll see the enormity of this magnificent monadnock. The Comanche, Apache and Tonkawa tribes that once inhabited the area around the rock believed it possessed mystical and magical powers. Today, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a mecca for rock climbers and hikers from all over the place. Take a peek at this page of short videos to learn and see more of ERSNA. I could kick myself in the butt for not stopping at least once to absorb the majesty that the Indians of hundreds of years ago saw in Enchanted Rock. The next time you are headed down I-35 and see the sign that invites you to visit Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, do it! Don't pass it by or you could end up a never-have-seen-Enchanted-Rock dumbass like me.Or you could end up in Podunk and Podunkin Donuts will be closed. Damn the bad luck.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!!!

Happy Mothers Day!!! I sincerely hope that your Mom has her best day ever. God bless her.

  • To my Mom - I never would have turned out like I am without the unconditional love that my Mom has shown me for the last 54 years. She is the best human being I know, bar none. I love her with all my heart and cannot thank her enough for all the times she repaired my wounds, both physical and mental. When I'm down about life, it's like she has a built-in mechanism that sends of a signal that I need her. Her love, compassion, support have been unwaivering, and for that I am eternally in her debt. Two simple words describe my Mom - The Best. I love you, Mom.
  • To Heather my Wife - Heather has stood beside me like no other woman I have ever know. There were some times when she could have easily thrown my sorry ass out with yesterday's garbage. She didn't. For that I am grateful. Our love for each other is so powerful that only God hisownself could rip apart. Still, it's amazing to me that I love her a little more each day. She's the woman I have dreamed about for years and I thank God for her every day. I love you, baby.
Being a Mom is the toughest job in the world and I don't know where we'd be without them.Moms make the planet a more better place simply by being Moms. They may not  get anywhere the credit they deserve every day of the year, but they keep plugging away to keep us healthy, happy and most importantly, loved. We may take Moms for granted, but I can assure you that they never take us for granted. They are Moms and that's what Moms do. God sure knew what He was doing when He created them.

AHere's a tribute to those who gave us this miracle we call life, I want let all Moms know that you are best this world has to offer. So for all of you Moms....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Hobos, Me and the Hobo Festival in San Angelo

Boxcar Willie?
I have for many years, had a fascination with hobos. Why? Well, it's certainly not the extravagant, stable lifestyle they lead. It's the sense of adventure and the desire to, as the Hobo Motto says, "do what you want to do." Freedom is what I call it, like riding a Harley. At this point in my life, I have neither the time nor desire to be a hobo. I am happy living out my life with my wife and young children.

Back in the 60's when I was a little boy, I remember hearing the song Mama Tried by Merle Haggard. The first line in the song has stuck with me and fueled my imagination for almost fifty years...

"The first thing I remember knowin'
Is a lonesome whistle blowin'
And a youngun's dream to ride,
On a freight train leavin' town not knowin' where it's bound,
No one could change my mind but Mama tried..."

That is pure poetic fuel for the active imagination belonging to a little boy whose dream to explore "parts unknown" was as strong in him as the need to eat and sleep. Just think about it, traveling, by fright train having no idea where each leg of your journey will lead you and what challenges await you when you get to the destination. Pure dee, old time, freedom dependent on your ability to think on your feet and sheer  determination and ability to adapt to the situations laid at your lap.

It just so happens that a Hobo Festival will be taking place on the 21st of May in San Angelo. Accord to the folks putting together the Hobo Festival, here are the details:

The Railway Museum of San Angelo, 703 S. Chadbourne
FMI: 325-656-2067
Join us for a flea market, food, live music, a hobo costume contest, and more.

There's the information that'll get you to the Hobo Festival, so make good use of that info and join several thousand other folks being a Hobo for a Day. I am loving this event!

"The first thing I remember knowin'
Is a lonesome whistle blowin'
And a youngun's dream to ride,
On a freight train leavin' town not knowin' where it's bound,
No one could change my mind but Mama tried..."

I couldn't have said it better myself. And that lonesome whistle is a siren song to me...


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Texas Tidbits: A Texas Viking and War Hero

Go Vikings! 
Nimitz High School in Irving, Texas (Class of '75!) was named after one of the most celebrated Naval Officers in the history of the United States Navy. Born in Fredericksburg, Texas, February 24, 1885, Chester William Nimitz was the bouncing baby boy of Anna (Henke) Nimitz and Chester B. Nimitz, who died before his hero-to-be son was born. It was young Chester's grandfather, himself a retired sea captain, who instilled the virtues and character in Nimitz that would serve him, and our country, so well later in life. At the Offical US Navy website we learn that young Chester "had his sights set on an Army career and while a student at Tivy High School, Kerrville, Texas, he tried for an appointment to West Point. When none was available, he took a competitive examination for Annapolis and was selected and appointed from the Twelfth Congressional District of Texas in 1901. He left high school to enter the Naval Academy Class of 1905. It was many years later, after he had become a Fleet Admiral that he actually was awarded his high school diploma. At the Academy Nimitz was an excellent student, especially in mathematics and graduated with distinction -- seventh in a class of 114". Admiral Nimitz's rise through the ranks of the Navy ultimately led him aboard the USS Missouri, where on September 2, 1945, on behalf of the United States of America, he signed the document that was the unconditional surrender of the Japanese, ending World War II. There's so much more to this man's story that I'd love to tell, but time and space won't allow me to do so. I urge you to click on the links in the post and read more about this true American Hero who was The Greatest of the Greatest Generation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Texas Tidbits: An Almost Clean Getaway!

We've made it to another Humpday and that can mean only one thing! I have no idea what that "one thing" is, but Humpday always means "one thing". Or so I am told. You figure it out and let me know, will ya? I would like to dedicate this post to my friends in Tyler. It sounds just like something one of you would do, especially Ted. Ted is a madman. But he is our madman. I immediately thought of my buddy Ted when I saw this article about a guy practicing his God-given right to break into someone else's home while they are away. An alert neighbor called the heat when he witnessed a man, let's call him "Ted", kick in the front door to his neighbor's house. It couldn't have been the neighbor kicking in his own door while on his weekly tequila-a-thon, the neighbor was having his weekly tequila-a-thon somewhere else and wasn't at home. Besides, it was 3:30AM when this took place so the tequila-a-thon guy would have been passed out by now. Therefore, the alert neighbor knew something was rotten in Denmark. A few minutes later the fuzz arrived, cautiously entered the residence in question, Clint Eastwood cop guns at the ready and quickly spotted the intruder....in the bathtub! I now know that the bad guy isn't my friend Ted because Ted doesn't bathe. But I digress. Let's see, where was I...oh,yeah, the cops enter the house and find the burglar in the bath tub. I've heard of making a clean get away, but gee-moe-netti! The bad guy has to be from Oklahoma or something. Texas burglars are way too smart to get caught because they wanted to take a bath, passed out dead ass drunk maybe, but never to take a damn bath. Needless to say, the suspect was arrested and is now a guest of the Smith County Sheriff's Department, where he gets only one bath per week and is very careful to maintain a tight grip on the soap.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Birds! UPDATED w/ Video!

Mockingbird - State Bird of Texas

I wanted to do something a little different today on Texas Tidbits, something I'd like to do more of, and that is to put out there for all to see and discover the abundant wildlife found in Texas. From hunting and fishing to birding and observing wild animals in their natural habitat. Texas is one of the premier destinations in the world for all those activities, with its nearly 270,000 square miles of God's handiwork acting as home to thousands of species of all things wild.

I want to focus today on birding. Texas is one of the must-be places for birders from around the globe eager to spot one of over 500 species of our fine feathered friends waiting to be seen and photographed. As I type out these posts for you each day, I love to look out the back windows of the living room and watch for the next species of bird to land on the bird feeder I have hanging outside. This time of year in Maine, we are limited to chickadees (the State Bird), blue jays, dove and sparrows, but the spring and summer bring dozens of bird types to us. Back when I lived on the outskirts of Tyler, I had several bird feeders set up plus I had a very wide driveway, where each morning I would toss out handfuls of bird seed and watch the parade of feathers come and go. There were literally hundreds of birds that visited me daily, not including the birds migrating through. One morning, I counted 88 dove and 67 cardinals on my feeders and in my driveway - all at the same time! It was amazing! A veritable carpet of gray and red. My knowledge of bird identification is severely limited, so I kept a notebook and jotted down descriptions of any new birds that stopped by. I think I stopped at around 40. Not too bad, considering all that bird activity took place in my driveway and front yard.

Now as far as finding a great place to do some birding in your area of Texas, look no further than the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. The page is loaded with links to all kinds of information about where and when to get some optimal bird watching in. The World Birding Center is a network of nine locations in South Texas where you can experience an outstanding trip into the world of laying your peepers on the peepers.

The Great Texas Birding Classic is an annual event that brings together birders from all over the world to compete in a week long team birding event all along the Gulf Coast during the unbelieveable spring migration in that area, in which the teams identify as many species of birds as possible during the event. The Gulf Coast Bird Observatory is another outstanding resource to assist you in your birding endeavors. If you prefer a more local/hometown approach to birding, my main man Bob at Texas Tweeties has a list of over 200 indentified bird species and photographs of many of those birds in the archives of his blog.

I know that I have left you with many options in your pursuit of the legendary and elusive yellow belly sap sucker (thanks, Miss Jane!), so take your time and soak up all the information that you want. The birds will be there. And they'll be waiting for you.

UPDATE w/ Video: I found a cool birding video on the Texas Monthly website that many of our bird watching readers will enjoy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Texas Crab Festival

Krabby Patty In Waiting
It's the time of year for festivals! One event that caught my attention takes place this weekend in Crystal Beach - the 26th Annual Texas Crab Festival! This shindig is loaded with all kinds of stuff to do for every member of your family, including a special gift for the first 300 Moms on Mothers Day, May 8th.

The Crab Festival kicks things off on Friday, May 6 with Opening Ceremonies at 6:00 pm to be followed by one of the greatest competitions in sports today - The Texas Crab Festival Weiner Dog Nationals! There is nothing, and I mean nothing like weenie dogs squaring off in a "Dash for the Cash"- type race. it's frakkin' hilarious. This is worth the price of admission all by itself. After witnessing the Weiner Dog Nationals, everyone should be in a real good mood for some live music to wind up opening night of the Texas Crab Festival.

Saturday the 7th brings the following schedule of events:

10:00 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Festival Opens
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Seaweed
12:00 p.m to 1:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Jobe Wilson Band
1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. . . . . . . ………  Three Way Switch
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Stage B) . . . . . Crab Legs Contest
3:00 p.m. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Announcement of Cook-Off Award Winners
3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. . . . . . . ……….. Walt Wilkins
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Blue Broussard Band
7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . .  . John Evans
9:45 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . .  Hayes Carll

 FREE Children’s Entertainment all day near Stage B


Everything at the 26th Annual Texas Crab Festival comes to a rousing close on Mothers Day with Cajun Music Day!

The full schedule of all the activities at the Crab Festival can be found at the event's website. You still have time to make plans to attend, so get after it and have a safe and fun time in Crystal Beach at the 26th Annual Texas Crab Festival!





Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Triple Play of Sunday Fun with Apples, Kids and Church Bells

The Apple of My Eye
It's beautiful Sunday morning in New England, the beginning of a brand new month and great time to take another trip across the Fruited Plain. One can't go wrong when taking in the bounty of this awe-inspiring country, so get ready to be aw-inspired.

Maine - I like stories about kids doing something unique and then getting a most unexpected result. This is one of those stories. The children at Adams School in Castine, Maine got quite a surprise when they put a message in a bottle and tossed it into the Atlantic Ocean.

Colorado - One of the most beautiful sounds to my ear is the ringing of the Church bells on a Sunday morning much like today. However, in 1860's Breckenridge, Colorado, it wasn't such a divine sound to local miners - especially after a night of fun, froth and frivolity.

Family Time From Last Fall - This post was written last October when Heather, the girls and I took a drive much on a Sunday like today. A good time was had by all, especially Bailey.

These three posts make for some mighty good Sunday reading and perhaps will inspire you to put a message in a bottle, sing a song of Praise along with nearby Church bells or spend time with your kids or grandkids doing something that will create a memory to be shared, perhaps even repeated, with their children or grandkids in the decades ahead.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker