Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

“He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
― Robert Frost, The Poetry of Robert Frost

The Waggoner Mansion, Decatur, Texas

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That Is More Than Just A Tanker Of Gas

But remember!
Remember one thing: That is more than just a tanker of gas.
That is our lifeline to a place beyond that vermin on machines.
—-Mad Max II – The Road Warrior

Decatur, Texas

Pointed Blasphemously at Heaven

“This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven. At night the owls made of it an echoing throat; by day it stood voiceless and cast its long shadow.”
― Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Waggoner Mansion in Decatur, Texas

There is an abandoned palace in Decatur, Texas – The Waggoner Mansion, also called El Castile, is a sixteen room mansion built in 1883 by the Waggoner Family. The Reata Ranch House in the movie “Giant” is inspired by this building.

But now it stands, abandoned and rotting… and beautiful still.

Memories Warm You Up

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Decatur, Texas

I remember when I was a little kid loving the Texaco commercials on TV. The TV was small, full of static (with rabbit ears and bits of foil on top), and only black and white – but it had an amazing effect on my tiny self. “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star.” I barely can remember my PIN number now but I remember that jingle from more than a half-century ago. I would bug my father to buy some gas from Texaco, but he never would. He said it was more expensive than his brand (not sure what it was, but I do remember getting a big green inflatable dinosaur from Sinclair). Now, of course, it seems silly to get excited over a stupid commercial, but I was only a little kid. What did I know?

Eighter From Decatur

“But we must come to realise that every word is perfect, including those we scratch out. As my pen moves across this page the whole world writes. All of human history combines at this mere moment now to produce in the flow of this hand a single dot: Who are you and I, dear friends, to contradict the whole past of the universe? Let us then in our wisdom say yes to the flow of the pen.”
― Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man

Decatur, Texas

Legend has it that a local, Will Cooper, was credited with the phrase, “Eighter From Decatur.” Will played dice with his sweetheart Ada by his side. He would roll the dice and yell “Ada from Decatur, county seat of Wise,” for luck. The expression was spread by the travelling home guard and Army regulars. The phrase eventually turned into “Eighter From Decatur,” when a hard eight roll of the dice was needed.

Decatur, Texas

Hard Eight…. That reminds me of one of my favorite movies – I’ll bet you haven’t even seen it – I’ll make that bet – it’s better odds than a hard eight.

Made of Earth and Rain

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
― Pablo Neruda, Regalo de un Poeta

Petrified Wood Gas Station,
Decatur, Texas

A Conversation at Molly’s

“The beauty of Molly’s is that it is not, whether in the daytime or at night, the exclusive preserve of an age or income group. Unlike the sterile night scenes of pretentious San Francisco or New York, Molly’s (and most other New Orleans bars) welcomes all ages, all colors, and all sexual persuasions, provided they are willing to surrender to the atmosphere.”
― Andrei Codrescu, New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City




A conversation between my son, Lee, and the bartender at Molly’s, Decatur Street, New Orleans