Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Retro TV

While flipping through our TV channels a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that we had acquired a new one. I was pretty skeptical. At least 90% of what we get on TV is of no interest to me at all. I have my short list of programs that I watch faithfully. I seldom miss House, Lie to Me, Dancing With the Stars, Ace of Cakes, or American Idol.

I was delighted when I scrolled through the lineup for an average weekday and saw my old pal Marcus Welby. Now, there was a doctor. Next up was Emergency! It is probably a reflection of my present age that I now find Kevin Tighe (Roy) more appealing than Randolph Mantooth (John). Also in the lineup of old favorites was The Incredible Hulk, Dragnet, Adam 12, and The A-Team.

I also am getting a chance to see shows that I never got to watch because my mom or dad did not like them. I am discovering Kojak, The Bold Ones, and Night Gallery.
And, not being a fan of any of the popular late night shows, I finally have something to watch before bed...Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

These shows are somewhat cheesy, corny, and definitely not politically correct.

That's what I call entertainment!



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Barracuda


The other day as I pulled into the local Sonic, I saw a lineup of old cars that looked as if they belonged at a drive-in. The Vicksburg Car Cruisers were parked and ready to show off a dazzling array of antique vehicles. They were all very snazzy, and reflected the love, time, and elbow grease that made them that way.

But it was the Plymouth Barracuda that brought back a flood of memories. My grandmother was in the market for a new car and my dad had taken her from dealership to dealership showing her conservative, "old lady" cars. Mamaw wanted none of them. Instead, one day in the late sixties, she pulled up in a maroon Barracuda hatchback with a black racing stripe down the side. Living in the tiny community of Russum, Mississippi, we kids had never seen anything that cool in our entire lives.

Mamaw was a nurse in Hazlehurst, a small town about an hour south of where we lived. Before reliable and widespread emergency services, Mamaw would open the hatchback, fold the back seat down, load up a patient and haul him or her to the hospital. The Barracuda made many a trip out to the country to check on folks and down to Louisiana to visit relatives. We all loved that car.

Eventually, the Barracuda got so old and unreliable that Mamaw had to trade it in. No longer being made, the cool Barracuda gave way to an ugly, angular, green Plymouth Valiant. It was the end of an era.

But thanks to the Vicksburg Car Cruisers, I had a lovely trip down memory lane.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Watercolor


In January, I talked our local craft shop owner into teaching a watercolor class. This was a big step for me. I have not picked up a brush to do any kind of "fine art" painting since I was 13.

When I was a kid, I loved to draw and paint. My school notebooks were covered in fashion sketches and doodles. Art was second nature. When I reached 8th grade, I excitedly signed up for my first art class.

My excitement was short lived. The teacher was a sharp tongued woman (nicknamed Nicolathenose) who did not like much of anything I did. My fashion sketches for an assignment to draw a store window display failed to impress. Worst of all, I got a "F" on my painting. I admit it was not my best, but I simply could not get it done in a single class period. I was told that I had no talent. I was crushed.

I stopped drawing and painting. I concentrated on music and became a musician instead of the fashion designer I had dreamed of becoming as a kid. It all worked out. But part of me still longed to paint. I started out with some simple "one-stroke" painting. It was fun, but still limiting. And I did not feel like an "artist."

So, after 36 years, I finally decided to try fine art painting once again, in the form of watercolor. I am in a class with people from age 9 to age 65. My teacher tells me I have a nice touch for this medium and I am happy with how much I have learned in less than 3 months. I feel like I am making up for lost time. I paint constantly.

I don't know that I will ever be "art show" material, but for now, I am having a great time.