Purple is kind of mysterious.

  • Deep or bright purples suggest riches.
  • Lighter purples are more romantic, delicate, and feminine.
  • Redder purples warm up your color scheme while the bluer purples are cool baby, cool.
  • Your choice which one describes Prince Rogers Nelson who was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stone Temple Pilots also sing of Purple, but not Purple Rain.
  • Purple in France is fashion in a magazine.
  • Purple prose is not the blue some people think it is.

When I was a child I was given an amethyst geode by a rock-hound friend of my dad. I got to watch him open the stone  and we were all surprised by the gem inside. I also have a beautiful amethyst geode that belonged to my MIL as her b-day was in Feb. Purple was my favorite color long after the little girl “purple is my favorite color” stage. At 16 I was allowed…after considerable contentious pleading…to paint my bedroom purple. That violates all Feng-shui sensibilities, but what did I know…or care? But purple is also connected to spirituality and healing , which, if you believe in this stuff, would account for some of my best other-worldly thoughts and prayers.

In the history of cryptography, Angōki B-gata, codenamed Purple by the United States, was a diplomatic cryptographic machine used by the Japanese Foreign Office just before and during World War II.

Purple Heart medals are awarded to US servicemen wounded in combat.

And now I find there is a “Purple Economy”. Defined as that part of the economy which contributes to sustainable development by promoting the cultural potential of goods and services.

The 2nd International Purple Economy Forum took place, appropriately in Abu Dhabi with the theme “The cultural challenges of the globalized economy”.

Purple is a term sometimes used for governments or other political entities consisting of parties that have red and blue as their political colours. It is of particular note in two areas: in the politics of the Netherlands and Belgium and in the politics of the United States.

And of course there is Barney…a category unto himself!iuPurpleheart

Barney Hero Shot.

Barney Hero Shot.

Celebration time, c’mon, America persists and her dream sustains

The United States did not grow from empty concepts, nor is she kept alive with apathy.
America’s ideals and promises exist because her citizens believe and care and hope. They are maintained with sweat and devotion. They should be celebrated with fervor and passed on with zeal. Contemplation of the effort and courage it took to make both a reality is not always enough to sustain our belief. We need to touch and see and feel the spirit. We need to kindle that spirit persistently with dedication and commitment.

Despite her promises, America has used religion, race, heritage, economic status, gender and physical attributes and mental capabilities as bases for denial of equality.
And yet America persists. Her dream sustains. Her people endure. People clamor to come to her shores. Liberty continues to captivate the imagination of the world.

July 1986. I have watched the celebrations, listened to the speeches, read the personal accounts of disillusionment with the distance liberty has traveled during 210 years of American history. Now, in quiet reflection, I am able to answer those people who used this time to protest that America has not fully realized her potential and not completely fulfilled her promises.
To them I say:
My Irish ancestors, my French ancestors, my English ancestors and my Indian ancestors were all, at one time, in one way or another, discriminated against. But that was then and this is now. I have never been able to measure up to the slender sleekness that Madison Avenue thrusts upon us as the image of perfection. I have felt the humiliating sting of poverty in the land of plenty. I have been refused work because motherhood “might” interfere. But that was then and this is now.

Liberty cannot be measured by time nor by space. “how far” is not a distance history can cover by marching through quotas and time tables or arbitrary definitions of desire. Liberty is measurable only through the shining eyes and swelling hearts of her believers. Evidence of the gratitude, the pride, the care, devotion and love of those committed to her cause is abundant. A pause for celebration does not blind Liberty’s children to the collective and individual imperfections of America and her citizens. It does not ignore her shortcomings and it does not repudiate injustices, past and present.

Even the most ferocious battles are littered with strategic pauses and re-groupings, however brief. Celebration of an ideal should be one of those respites. Inability to leave the past in its proper place puddles ones perception of the present and clouds ones vision of the future with unnecessary murkiness. For one brief, shining moment Liberty’s flame should be allowed to chase our disappointments into the shadows.

There is no better refreshment for the spirit than unabashed patriotism. There is no better way to commemorate the visionary ideals and idealistic visions of our forefathers. We have erected impressive mental and physical symbols to remind ourselves of those visions and ideals.

Many of America’s children have heard the stories. They have not experienced the anguish, the sacrifices, the injustices endured by older generations, but they do have to cope with discrimination and injustices, dreams and desires repackaged in twenty-first century clothing. As they go about resolving these problems, we must show our children, vividly, eloquently, poignantly, why we cherish and protect the symbols of our freedom so that Liberty herself continues strong for future generations. They must know that vigilance is not a sometime thing, nor is it static. Celebration is but one manifestation of our passion. It is as necessary as the fighting spirit that gave us something to celebrate in the first place.

Perhaps the Statue of Liberty, the Stars and Stripes and the homage we pay them are but symbolic sparks, but held lofty and strong those sparks fuel magnificent fires. Without fuel a fire will die. Without hope human hearts will not and cannot struggle. Hopeful celebration should not be abandoned because we have not yet achieved perfection. America’s passions run deep. Her fire must not be allowed to grow cold.
America’s celebrations bear witness to the strength of her determination to never forget why she is here, nor lose sight of where she is going.

The Beggar Woman Who Does Not Beg

When I lived in San Diego I worked at a downtown bank which was about six blocks from where my co-worker and I parked our car. Which obviously means were drove/rode in together. We parked where it was cheap…thus the six block walk. Being downtown where there was a grassy park and nice benches and fast food stores with cheap coffee, we passed many homeless on that six block walk. My friend always gave them her loose change. I never did, but I did give each one a smile. And then one day I wrote this poem…

The Beggar Woman Who Does Not Beg

Hunched and plodding,
head averted for a moment as we pass, her very smallness seems to shrink her stature more
as if to say, “no, don’t look, don’t see my tattered self.”

Chin to chest, her eyes cast sideways to see if I am watching.

She catches me tossing the air a small, apologetic smile
– and I am caught off guard –
Bubbling through her being, I glimpse
some deep and handsome invincibility
manifested now on her haggard face
and see there is great beauty in her toothless grin.

Suddenly our vulnerability is gone,
taking with it the narrowness of the path we tread,
the largeness of the distance between us.

The possessions piled upon the cart she pushes
throw off their shabby-seeming meagerness
to show me the riches of self-immediacy.

I am, for that lingering moment,
lifted far above the frail and beggarly, superficial mask we wear
to see the true countenance of humanity.

PCL 1988

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 510 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 9 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I find it amusing that the US Postal Service insists on spelling our Everhart Road, Everhardt.

We have some very odd names on our streets here in Corpus and they have sent me at various times on a hunt for the names behind the names. Apparently I am not the only one. Murphy Givens, an author who writes for our local paper among other things, has written more than one column about our street names.
He writes that most of our streets were named for people. This isn’t an unusual circumstance and many have been changed over the years, some for good reason, some by arbitrary decision.
I especially like the fact the unofficial citizens won out on one name change…”Members of the City Council have always been the greatest threat to historic street names. They were in 1912 when they changed Tancahua Street to Pleasant Street and Carancahua to Liberty. You can still find tile insets with the Liberty Street name on Carancahua. The names were changed on April 5, 1912, then changed back on Sept. 12, 1913, because people didn’t like the new names.” The original names, BTW, were Indian tribes indigenous to the area which makes it appropriate and meaningful to leave the names alone. What the name itself means is a mystery.
But sometimes it is good to change street names. Laguna was named for a slough that ran from the bay. The name was changed to Sartain to honor John Sartain, a Corpus Christi policeman slain by a sniper in 1971. The sniper was convicted.
Another, fallen under different circumstances, law-enforcement officer who has a street named for him was City Marshal Elias Tyre Mussett, killed in 1892. Some say in the line of duty, but really he was shot by one of his own policemen, John T. Parker. They had twice run against each other for the Marshal job. Mussett won and there was known to be enmity between the two.
Davis Street was named for a Governor but changed to Brownlee to honor Texas native, William John Brownlee (colorfully known as Billy Jack) who was killed at Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Twigg Street is still here, running past the Omni Hotel’s valet entrance. It did lose a letter in translation however. The street was named for David Twiggs, a US Army soldier. Twiggs became a brigadier general as a consequence of his service in the war with Mexico. In 1846 Twiggs led Zachary Taylor’s Army on its advance from North Texas to the Rio Grande and commanded the right wing during the Army’s successful battle with Santa Ana’s forces at Palo Alto.

Once upon a time Corpus Christi had a Tiger Street. Henry Kinney, the city’s founder it seems liked animal names. Tiger Street is now North Broadway which runs parallel to the Harbor Bridge until it reaches the water. Digressing from the street names I looked into Henry Kinney and found a “ghost town with an address” right here in city limits. Evidently someone else has looked into this history, too. We have a new housing development called Nuecestown Estates going up at the southern edge of Corpus.

NuecestownTXHistoricalMarkerWillBeauchampHarbor-Bridge1_LGfilename-t-34-and-t-44What with Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi parked firmly beside our bay, it is natural that Navy influence is seen in Saratoga, Lexington, Yorktown. Rodd Field Road was originally called Langley, but it was changed to honor Herbert C. Rodd, a naval aviation pioneer. Lexington Boulevard was renamed South Padre Island Drive in 1966. It is the main drag entering the city and leading across the causeway to the Island.

I find it amusing that the US Postal Service insists on spelling our Everhart Road, Everhardt.

I met Murphy once at a play at a local theater. I forget which play, but Murphy is unforgettable. He has a Texas-wide grin, an infectious laugh and has written that indeterminate number, I-don’t-know-how-many, books, all relating to history and recollections. Some are photographic collections. It’s the sort of thing I would have done if he hadn’t beaten me to it.

I worked at a museum at Balboa Park in San Diego one year cataloguing shelves and shelves of old stuff pertaining to the history of San Diego. This was small stuff, clothes, pitchers, dinnerware, that sort of thing. Nothing so solid and impressive as a street or a building.

What Students Really Need to Hear

Reblogged and shared because it’s a super and supra- important message.


It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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Everything old is new again: Good Use of Old Stuff versus Abandoned Eyesores

My aunt gave me a couple of letters my dad wrote to her when he was in pilot training at Ellington Field during WWII. That was cool because it answered for me the question why he flew the plane he did. It also sent me wondering if the airfield is still in use. A definite yes. And it also made me wonder what other innovative, creative repurposing is going on with BIG stuff like architecture…as opposed to the small everyday stuff like popsicle sticks into trivets. Here are just a few examples.

Commissioned as a military aviation training facility in the 1917, Ellington Airport (EFD), Houston’s third airport is coming out of the shadows with a new taxilane,

three active runways and provides 24-hour air traffic control services. It is also home to many tenants including the Texas Army National Guard, Delta Connection Academy and NASA.


Cinncinati Union Terminal. Magnificent restoration. Now Cinncinati Museum Center, this place has museums, art, shows, event space and more. I went to a wedding reception held here in the late ’90s. It is an awesome venue.


Elevated train tracks

NY Elevated  Tracks

Phoenix/click on the grey dots for pictures

Bankside Power Station is a former oil-fired power station, located on the south bank of the River Thames, in the Bankside district of London. It generated electricity from 1952 to 1981. Since 2000 the station’s building has been used to house the Tate Modern art museum.


Housing. Yeah, I could do this…the creative possibilities are endless!


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