Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Déjà Vu at the Art Show

The Muleshoe Art Association held their annual spring show on April 6. I had never been to one of their shows, so I decided this would be the one. Off I went to Muleshoe State Bank’s meeting room, where the show is always held, and was impressed with what I saw, and then was hit with a case of déjà vu when there in front of me was a picture I recognized immediately. And this is why.

This is the photograph I took in the rain forest coming down Mount Kilimanjaro:IMG_1498

This is the painting of that picture interpreted by Reagan Cox:IMG_3775 He did a good job, didn’t he? He bought the print from me and said up front he wanted to paint it. I said yes, and so he did. 

But I digress. The Muleshoe Art Association started back in the 1950s. Then it boasted 80+ members; today those numbers have fallen to 14; declining membership of clubs seems the norm these days,  unfortunately. But those who are members enjoy their monthly meetings on the first Tuesday each month from September to May, held in the Ann Camp meeting room at the Muleshoe Public  Library, starting at 2pm and usually lasting about an hour and a half, depending on the program.  Dues are $20. Members are mostly from Muleshoe and Clovis, but everyone is welcome.  They have a business meeting followed by an instructional video or a live demonstration, refreshments, and  each other’s company. Sometimes they go on location to paint and sketch.  All mediums are discussed and included: pastels, watercolors, oil, acrylic, photography, china painting, told painting, and other multi-media.  And members’ work is always on display at the library, too.

Categories for the show were oil and acrylic, watercolor, pastels, and miscellaneous, which included photography and multi-media this year. The entry fee was $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. The judge  was Lawanda Calpon from Portales, NM.  Show entries came from Muleshoe, Clovis, Sudan, and Hereford.

Winning is not just an ego trip: money changes hands as well. Muleshoe State Bank selects one entry to buy, called the Purchase Award, for $350, which goes on to be hung in the bank. This year’s winner was “The Guard,” by Misti Wilbur of Muleshoe:

IMG_3785 First Bank sponsors the Best of Show with a $100 award. This year it was the same picture as the purchase award- “The Guard.” 

There are other cash awards given in each category by club friends as well: $50 for first place; $30 for second place; $20 for third place.

The show also has a People’s Choice Award, chosen by popular vote. “The Guard” made it a trifecta, winning that award as well.

IMG_3784Association member Martha Hunnicutt won second place in People’s Choice with her painting.

IMG_3781Sandra Chancey, secretary-treasurer for the club, won a ribbon with her painting of the old truck. President of the club is Ginny Seifert of Clovis, NM, and Nelda Merriott  is reporter.

I enjoyed seeing everyone’s work. We have lots of  talent in the Muleshoe area. I look forward to seeing what they have to offer next year. Heck, I might even make a meeting or two.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Version of the Masters

IMG_3953Muleshoe golf team: Tyson Turnbow, senior; Beau Avila, junior;  Colten Harris, sophomore;  Jonathan Perez, senior; and Mateo Castillo, junior.

We spent the day yesterday, April 19, watching the Mules golf team take 6th place at the regional tournament in Midland at the Nueva Vista Golf Club.  Sixth may not sound like a big deal to you, but since the team came in 16th last year, we thought it was a real  big deal. And they shaved something like 40 points off their total from district. The Mules’ A player, Tyson Turnbow, will be going to State, but alas, didn’t win the gold medal, as he lost a tie-breaker with Garret Smith from Wall, but that’s okay. He will be there, and in the world of golf, it’s another day to make the stroke you missed the day before.

The rest of the team had a good day as well. The weather was hot and windy-what else is new in West Texas?-but this team was ready for it. They played golf all year this year in wind much worse than yesterday’s, so they were ready. In fact, if the weather had been nice, they wouldn’t have known what to do with it. The only difference this time was that it was hot instead of icy cold. That’s the way it is up here with Spring sports. Schedule a golf match, baseball or softball game, track or tennis, and you are almost guaranteed lousy weather, followed by a Chamber of Commerce day.

But I digress. The team did well, had a good time, and came home looking forward to next year.

IMG_3913Coach Carey Sudduth, Tyson, Beau, Colten, Mateo, and Jonathan shared breakfast and a send-off Sunday morning before driving to Midland for a practice round.  Jonathan threatened to wear that hat  the next day. He decided against it, as he would have spent his time chasing the hat in the wind instead of his golf shots.

IMG_3934 IMG_3942

IMG_3944 Whereas the Ratliff Ranch course they played on last year is a links course, this one is, too, but with pine trees instead of mesquite trees.

IMG_3948In case you can’t read the names, the scores are, from top to bottom, for Mateo, Beau, Colten, Jonathan, and Tyson.

IMG_3964Bill and I took our chairs and had front row seats as the kids played through. We came home with redneck tans on our upper torso and golfer tans on our lower torso. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Loreda and the T-shirt Quilts


A while back I had the bright idea to make a quilt out of all those T-shirts I just had to have as souvenirs and mementoes and which were taking up huge amounts of space in my closets and drawers. I had seen a kit advertised in the newspaper for doing just that, so I sent off for it. More time passed, and the quilt directions gathered dust and the T-shirts continued to pile up.

At some point I admitted that I would never make a quilt, and I realized that my aunt Loreda Drum, married to my mother’s brother Dick, was  a quilter. She quilted the old-fashioned way, like Grandmother Drum would have done, with small, neat, stitches that accentuated the patterns on the material. I asked her if she would be willing to make a quilt for me, and she said yes.


I chose the T-shirts to be used, located the long tucked-away directions, and she was in business. T-shirts are not the easiest thing to work with as the knit material moves around, and the directions included how to deal with that problem by attaching the shirt to paper and other helpful hints. These directions also called for making it a tied quilt, where every few inches a thread of yarn would be pulled through all layers of the quilt and tied, leaving an inch of thread showing. That would have made things much easier, but Loreda didn’t like that kind of quilt, and decided to actually quilt the pattern on each shirt. I am so glad she did; it made a much nicer, prettier, more traditional quilt.


She finished the quilt in May of 2000, and we went over to Graham, Texas, to pick it up.  Bill wasn’t sure what he thought of it when I told him about the project, but when we got there and we both saw it for the first time, he realized what a unique piece  she had made for us. Each shirt had a history that went with the history of our family in some way. He is sure the kids will argue over who gets it one of these days.


This quilt was such a success that we decided we needed one made of shirts connected to things going on at Muleshoe High School that we could use at the football games on cold  nights. She agreed and once again I gathered up shirts I had collected over the years, and she put together another work of art. We use it, but I assure you it will never see the lights of a football stadium. Heavens, no! Spilled drinks, muddy feet, stuff. It is much too special to get dirty and messed up.



IMG_3862Dick and Loreda Drum. We celebrated her 90th birthday last Saturday in Graham. 

Loreda is turning 90 today, April 13. She hasn’t been able to make quilts these last few years due to arm and shoulder problems, so that makes my quilts even more special. They are both labors of love that mean a great deal to me.

IMG_3882 Thanks for sharing your talents, time, and love with me,  Loreda.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Benny Pena 1928-2011

We said goodbye to a classic cowboy Saturday. Benny was 83 years old and had spent all of those years working cattle, riding horses, and helping people.

When I say all those years, I mean literally all those years, as he started out life on horseback as a baby, swaddled in a saddlebag as his dad worked on the ranch near Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, where Benny grew up, one of thirteen kids.  By the age of three he was riding on his own and helping out with the chores. He competed in high school athletics and even won a  football scholarship to Highlands University, but I suspect the sports he really loved were the ones he did on horseback, team roping and steer roping, and he excelled in those, too. 

Benny ran his own cattle and worked cattle for other people in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and other parts of Texas. Bill bought some land and ran cattle on it for a brief time, and Benny helped him buy and sell, haul and doctor, and whatever else was needed. One time they were rounding up the cows and Bill was on the 4-wheeler, Benny on his horse, probably the mare he called Hillary, and Bill got knocked off the 4-wheeler. Benny informed him, “See, I told you that thing wasn’t as good as a horse.”

Yes, Benny really loved  his horses. He had cattle in the pasture around his house, but what I remember were all the horses, especially the mares and colts. I think he just kept the cattle around to pay for the horses, which he bred, bought, and sold. He even had some race horses who won a few races.

But, then, Benny just loved animals. I also remember a goat, a donkey, at least two llamas, a pony, and all kinds of dogs and cats. Strays always had a home, and people dumped animals on him when they tired of them because they knew he would take care of whatever they didn’t want anymore.

Benny also took care of people. He helped out when people were in need, and he played a large part in the success of   the bracero work program, seeing to it that the men had food and lodging and a job.

At the memorial service the family invited people to tell stories and memories about Benny. I shared that he had brought me cactus and rocks that he came across when working cattle , so now he will live on in my cactus garden.

Pictures of Benny, along with his boots, hat, saddle, rope, and an American flag honoring his service to his country, graced the front of the First United Methodist Church. In fitting cowboy style, Randy Travis sang “Amazing Grace,” and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans ended with “Happy Trails to You,” because Benny would have wanted  it that way.

Till we meet again, Benny.

Adios, amigo.