Monday, April 28, 2014

89th season finale....

any of you who have a fondness for Gershwin would have enjoyed Saturday night's toe tapping finale of the ASO's 89th season. it was in a word-- fun.  and, did i mention, damned good fun.

Joseph Young, associate conductor of the Atlanta symphony took the baton for Maestro Jacomo Bairos in his absence.  Thanks are due to Jacomo and the symphony staff for bringing this marvelous talent to little a-town.  what a conductor!  he had our little band of players in top form. he is well spoken and continued in the educative vein Jacomo has shared with symphony audiences. Bravissimo, all!

in years past, the symphony season has ended with the choirs from AC and WT performing  major works along with the symphony.  the hallelujah chorus comes to mind.  fine singers all but i have an intense dislike for one individual from among the groups thus i've found myself staring daggers at that person and not enjoying the performance as much as i might.  totally my problem, but...

this season's finale was unique not only in that we had the guest conductor but we had not one, but two guest artists.

i've found myself in trouble in the past for commenting here about a particular soprano's voice; and more to the point, about the dress she was wearing. (she should've considered the source or have forgone reading comments posted to an amateur blog)

anna bergman, guest soprano, was in fine form vocally and quite witty in the bargain.  her gown was very pretty, btw.

when i envision a concert pianist, i see long, rather delicate fingers.  Kevin Cole, the guest pianist, signed cd's after the performance. i noted his fingers to be anything but long or delicate yet he wrangled an amazing performance of "rhapsody in blue" from them.  i can only imagine how many hours of practice might be involved for anyone set to the task of performing any major piece.  workmanlike fingers?  perhaps.  but it was a classic performance of rhapsody and just goes to prove one should never judge a book by its' cover. amazing, sir! 

a very entertaining evening all around while leaving me to imagine what wonders ASO's 90th season may bring.

note to self: get our season tickets renewed ASAP.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

crow, under glass...

a while back I was gently poking fun at folks here in little a-town for carping about the dust storms so prevalent this third spring of the drought.  having grown up on the south plains I have some knowledge of spring winds and the sand storms they bring on windy days like today.  often on days like the last few i've  been known to pronounce, "this is a good day NOT to be in Lubbock, tx".

this entry to kdg will serve as an apology of sorts to the folks i was gently ribbing for bemoaning the "awful dust storms" of late. 

this morning on my way to the office (donut stop) the wind was howling to 40 mph, sustained, and what did i see? the sky was brown and dust was in the air; not a sand storm as in lubbock, but the earth was most definitely on the move with eddies of little a-town dirt blowing down the pavement.

my point?  we need rain-- and it's still a good day not to be in lubbock,  tahoka. o'donnell, lamesa or any little burg down that way where a sand storm this time of year can sand blast a car.

i've been gone from that country for 40 years and I still don't have all the sand out of my craw.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

still droughting...

here we are on the downhill side of march, sliding pell-mell toward May and the 4 state region is falling deeper into the drought of the last three years. a few weeks back little a-town was some 30+ inches of rain/moisture in the hole over that time frame.

where is el nino when you need the guy? over these last weeks 7420 has seen some rainfall, still, totaling less than an inch for the year to date.

there's a 20% chance for rain today. i'll take it.  but that could mean 80% of the area will wind up with bupkis.  not the best of odds, but any chance for rain is better than no chance, any day.

praying for rain in little a-town!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

back from the motherland...

it's depressing to see the old home town continue to shrivel on the vine.  driving into town the population sign reports the census in 2010 as-- 831!!.  OMG!  a search indicates that in 1990 the population was recorded as being 1102.  it was down a smidge to 1011 in 2000.  But 831 in 2010??!! that's a loss of 271 souls in just 20 years, but it was never big, something just over 1300 souls back in 1960. down 500 over the past 50 years.  

are the pioneer families dyeing off at that rate.  it wouldn't surprise me.  for sure there is little to keep the young'uns hanging around after graduation.  even a cursory inspection shows a once thriving town in extended free fall. but that's been the state of things since, when?  like, as in forever! 

did the slide in census numbers start the day the four lane bypassing o'donnell to the west opened?  without the passing through traffic, less money found its way into local coffers.  or was the decline triggered by the advent of bigger and better farm equipment? or by the increasing use of herbicides? viva la roundup!  that advent likely signaled the beginning of the end for the bracero program which ended in 1964. the braceros pumped up the local economy with extra dollars through the summer and fall.

whatever the case, o'donnell is in a word, sad.  it looks tired and worn, a ghost of the vibrant community it once was.  i remember Saturdays as laundry and grocery shopping days, of abandoning the fields at noon to get those weekly chores done to get ready for the work week ahead. both sides of the street were lined with cars, every building had a thriving business.  now the streets are mostly empty, the vacant store fronts stare blankly, no glimmer of life from within.  such is the fate of small towns everywhere with a dwindling population and tax base. 

as for the old home town there is something of a blossoming oil and gas presence and the hope that wind energy will see the value of the constant lynn county winds.  if the oil "boom" fizzles there is still the wind, the ever present wind. if only there was access to a transmission line, things might be different.

it's not a ghost town, yet-- still, it makes me sad.


I'm not the lone ranger... or maybe I am.

Flipping through the "next blog" feature I find that I'm not the only one who fails to regularly post to one's blog site. That makes me feel some better I suppose.  It's hard to write without inspiration and with serious doubt that anyone reads the post if I do manage to "scratch out" a few words, or cares one way or the other when I do.

One day blends into the next, passes on to the next and on and on ad nauseum. Such is life in retirement.  The kids are busy with their lives in far flung places.  I seldom call for fear of interrupting.  The texts I send, with keeping them up on what's happening in little a-town in mind, are most often ignored.

Welcome to my Tuesday morning pity party.