Jack-o’-Lantern

“For these beings, fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth….Such are the autumn people.”
― Ray Bradbury

My son Lee came over to visit last Saturday – to hang out and watch Tulane win a football game (both his school, Tulane, and mine, Kansas are 3-0 on the season – which doesn’t happen very often). He brought a pumpkin and, although Halloween is still a bit off he carved it up into a skull. Candy loves skulls. He still has his artistic talent.

Lee’s jack-o’-lantern, with candle inside, out on the back porch.

Somebody Had A Bad Day

“After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.”
― J.G. Ballard, Crash

Scene of a crash. That heavy metal bollard – put in to protect the brick signpost – was bent. Somebody hit the thing hard.

I futzed and dutzed around today and didn’t get out for my daily bike ride until the brutal heat of the afternoon. It wasn’t too bad, though, I took some ice and water and at least on a bike you make your own breeze.

I found the bike trail blocked at Larkspur and Plano roads. Someone had hit a protective bollard, bending it more than a bit, and knocked the stop sign/street sign over. There was broken glass everywhere, though the car(s) involved were long towed away. I cut through a church parking lot and rode some residential streets to avoid the broken glass and bent steel.

Reality Is Torn Down Around Us

“Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.”
― J.G. Ballard

Margaret McDermott Bridge, Dallas, Texas

They Went That-A-Way

“Instead of the macho, trigger-happy man our culture has perversely wanted him to be, the cowboy is more apt to be convivial, quirky, and softhearted. To be “tough” on a ranch has nothing to do with conquests and displays of power. More often than not, circumstances – like the colt he’s riding or an unexpected blizzard – are overpowering him. It’s not toughness but “toughing it out” that counts. In other words, this macho, cultural artifact the cowboy has become is simply a man who possesses resilience, patience, and an instinct for survival. “Cowboys are just like a pile of rocks – everything happens to them. They get climbed on, kicked, rained and snowed on, scuffed up by wind. Their job is ‘just to take it,’ ” one old-timer told me.”

― Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces

Fair Park, Dallas, Texas

The Party is Over

“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”

― Ron White

The Block apartment complex, Richardson, Texas

Next to the smelly dumpster behind the coffee shop in the apartment complex I saw a sad bunch of colorful Mylar balloons left over from a birthday party. I had ridden my bicycle down for a cold brew and a place to hang out and write.

The balloons bothered me. So vivid and kaleidoscopic – and yet starting to droop and lose their helium. They are a symbol of good times, happy times, friends gathered together. But the party is over, and all that is left is a sad fading echo out by the disgusting rotting trash, its noble gas leaking away, its lift failing – starting to settle down towards the ground. The people from the party never appreciated how good is was while it lasted and now its gone.

I feel like that all the time.

Heroic Man

“In those days I learned that nothing is more frightening than a hero who lives to tell his story, to tell what all those who fell at his side will never be able to tell.”

― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Heroic Man, Lachaise, Gaston, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans

The Root of the South’s Downfall

“The first time I saw my father-in-law’s cotton, I though of the Original Sin, gardening being the root of the South’s downfall.”

― Michael Lee West, She Flew the Coop: A Novel Concerning Life, Death, Sex and Recipes in Limoges, Louisiana

The McKinney Cotton Mill at Sunset, McKinney, Texas

Spirit of Communication

“By being published, any author’s words cease to be his own, but rather belong to his reader.”

― Andrew Crumey, D’Alembert’s Principle: A Novel in Three Panels

Spirit of Communication (Golden Boy), Dallas, Texas

From Wikipedia:

Spirit of Communication is the formal name for the statue by Evelyn Beatrice Longman originally called Genius of Telegraphy. The statue has been the symbol of AT&T (and also the former Western Electric) since their commission was completed in 1916. It is also known informally as the Golden Boy statue and formerly as Genius of Electricity.

Commissioned for 195 Broadway in New York City. the sculpture has followed AT&T to other sites in New York and New Jersey over the years. In 2009, the statue was relocated to AT&T’s current corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas, U.S. As of 2022, the statue is located outside in the AT&T Discovery District in Downtown Dallas.