C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Sunday Drive: You'll Never Walk Alone / I Believe

As performed by the Righteous Brothers, 1965:

Well, fellas, another year has come and gone.  Strange to say, it's now more than half a century since I graduated from high school, more than 40 years since I finished college.  I'm sure many of my truckbuddies share my astonishment at the simple fact of having lived so long, sailed so far beyond the golden days of youth we hoped would last forever.  But after crossing seven decades, are we any wiser, any better, any happier here on this little planet?

I had intended to write a post today about changing times, the parlous state of the world, and what an awful mess it is.  But despite my strong objections to the folly, stupidity, and cruelty of left and right alike, this old man just doesn't have the heart to write that essay.  I could point out many things done wrong or going wrong - but what good would it do?  As in every era, the world is running on as it pleases, and no amount of admonition from me will make any difference.  One might as well try to halt the ebb and flow of the tides.

What I can do, however, is to live out my faith here in this little bungalow with M.P., doing my part to keep us going in good health, good cheer, and modest comfort - grateful for all the quiet blessings we have.  So instead of weighting this blog with dreary lamentations, perhaps it is better just to keep silent about the follies and sorrows of this rotten old world, and instead to offer a happy or hopeful thought now and then:  flowers by the wayside, stars in the night.

Simply to brighten the corner where you are is a good thought, and a useful one, especially for an old man who doesn't get out of the house much.  So to all my truckbuddies and drive-by readers, I wish a New Year of peace and happiness and hope for a better future.  

Thanks for riding along with me in the Blue Truck.  God bless you all.


Friday, December 29, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Baby, it's cold outside . . .

See the rest of him at Clan of Men.

Monday, December 25, 2023

The King's Christmas Broadcast, 2023

Bonus: The Coronation Year, a documentary by British TV network ITV, which was given behind-the-scenes access to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.


Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve 2023

It's a cold, wet, dreary day in Texas, but M.P. and I are snug and warm in our little bungalow, grateful for all the quiet blessings we have been given.  We send our best wishes for Christmas cheer and warmth to all our truckbuddies, along with a prayer for peace on earth, goodwill to men.

My truckbuddy Frank's niece, Andrea De Francesco, has recorded this gorgeous performance of "O Holy Night" that blew me away.  I think you'll like it.


Sunday Drive: Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

As performed by the choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, Montreal, with lyrics:

It so happens we have roses blooming in our garden right now --
a Christmas miracle!


Friday, December 22, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

That happy feeling when all your gift wrapping is done . . . !


Monday, December 18, 2023

Vatican Allows Same-Sex Blessings


An historic development in the Catholic Church - but it's only a small change in practice.  Reuters reports:

The Vatican said on Monday in a landmark ruling approved by Pope Francis that Roman Catholic priests can administer blessings to same-sex couples as long as they are not part of regular Church rituals or liturgies.

A document from the Vatican's doctrinal office, which effectively reversed a declaration the same body had issued in 2021, said such blessings would not legitimise irregular situations but be a sign that God welcomes all. . . .

The document, whose Latin title is Fiducia Supplicans (Supplicating Trust), said the form of the blessing "should not be fixed ritually by ecclesial authorities to avoid producing confusion with the blessing proper to the Sacrament of Marriage". . . .

The document said the blessing should not be linked to or timed with a civil marriage ceremony and be performed with none of the "clothing, gestures, or words that are proper to a wedding".

Places for such blessings, it said, might be "in other contexts, such as a visit to a shrine, a meeting with a priest, a prayer recited in a group, or during a pilgrimage".

The ruling was signed by Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, the head of the head of the Vatican's Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by the pope in a private audience with Fernandez and another doctrinal office official on Monday.

Full text of the declaration from the Vatican press office here.

In-depth analysis by Catholic media project The Pillar here, which notes:

The text was not issued in forma specifica, a particular formula in which a curial document is effectively co-signed by the pope, giving it full papal weight.

In other news, the Church of England yesterday began offering rites of blessing to same-sex couples.


Sunday, December 17, 2023

Sunday Drive: Schubert, Ave Maria

As performed by Luciano Pavarotti in 1994:


Friday, December 15, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Thursday, December 14, 2023

Christmas Windows

Kevin, the proprietor of Cavalcade of Food, shows off his Christmas window displays at his private museum of vintage appliances and kitchenware up in Croswell, Michigan:


Bonus: In another recent video, Kevin shows and tells how to make delicious-looking peanut butter chocolate chip muffins:


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Christmas Cuteness

Just happened to come across this video on YouTube.  Todd and Rob are husbands with movie-star smiles who love spending time in their North Georgia mountain home, and of course they have it decorated to the hilt for Christmas.  Not all of this glitterfest is to your Head Trucker's liking, but then it doesn't have to be.  I'm just glad I have lived to see a time when two men could have a home together and tell the world about it - something unimaginable in the first part of my life.  

Well, see what you think, fellas.  (But jet black ornaments on a Christmas tree??  Shudder.)

Your questions answered here:


Sunday, December 10, 2023

Sunday Drive: Handel, Comfort Ye, My People / Every Valley Shall Be Lifted Up

From Ghana comes this rather wonderful rendition by the Gramophone Chorus, featuring Ebenezer Antwi:


Friday, December 8, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Friday, December 1, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Sunday Drive: Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland

The beautiful 1909 song, exquisitely performed by Judy Garland in the motion picture In the Good Old Summertime (1949).


Friday, November 24, 2023

Thanksgiving Men

 By J. C. Leyendecker for the Saturday Evening Post:

Click to enlarge.


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving Song

By Mary Chapin Carpenter: 

Here's wishing all my truckbuddies a pleasant and peaceful Thanksgiving with the ones they love.


Sunday, November 19, 2023

Sunday Drive: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

For some of us, the beloved 1844 hymn is as much a part of Thanksgiving as the turkey.


Friday, November 17, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

¿Hablas español?

Tip:  Mute the annoying commentary and just enjoy the scenery.


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Talking Turkey

M.P.'s favorite meal is Thanksgiving dinner, so turkey cookery is taken very seriously at our house.  He has his own particular methods and secret ingredients, developed over many years, that I can't possibly share with you all.  But as a public service, here are some tips and tricks from leading authorities to make your turkey day a success. 

Butterball is, of course, the go-to source for all turkey info:


If all else fails, call or text the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at 1-800-BUTTERBALL.

But before you cook, you must thaw that bird. Which means, start today! Here's how:


For more turkey safety tips, check out the USDA guidelines here

And if you need in-depth, step-by-step directions on all aspects from start to finish, see the Betty Crocker website here

Bon appetit, y'all.


Sunday, November 12, 2023

Sunday Drive: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Mantovani

A lovely visual sequence, with lyrics, to accompany Mantovani's exquisite rendition of the old standard - a longtime favorite of your Head Trucker's.


Friday, November 10, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend



Thursday, November 9, 2023

How a Microwave Oven Works

I always did wonder.  This is an excellent explanatory video.  But who knew there were still vacuum tubes in the world?


Sunday, November 5, 2023

Friday, November 3, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Here's looking at you --


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Who Were the Proto-Indo-Europeans?

I'm sure all my truckbuddies are as concerned with this question as I am, and the first 15 minutes of this documentary tell you just about all you could want to know on that topic.

But mainly I'm posting this vid so you can admire along with me the brute on the title card, who makes scattered appearances throughout the film, beginning at the 1:25 mark.  You're welcome.


Sunday, October 29, 2023

Sunday Drive: Love Potion No. 9

For some reason, I always associate this song with Halloween.  It was a hit for the Searchers in 1964.


Friday, October 27, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Outspoken Fran Lebowitz

Though she probably wouldn't care, there's a soft spot in my heart for sardonic New Yorker Fran Lebowitz, writer, speaker, and curmudgeonly humorist.  I suppose I admire first of all her razor-sharp mind and her deft hand at a well-turned phrase; and then I have to smile at her undaunted individualism that does not yield to passing fashions of thought and behavior (she owns no typewriter, cellphone, or computer).

You can look up her books and essays online, but you really have to hear her speaking her mind to appreciate her piquant wit and insight.  I might not agree with everything she says, but the way she says it is entertaining.  This interview for Salon magazine was filmed a few days ago:


 CBS Sunday Morning interviewed Lebowitz last year:


In this interview from 2010, Lebowitz discusses the continuing appeal of Jane Austen:


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Talk Like an Egyptian

A fascinating animated video of numerous handsome men speaking ancient languages, including ancient Egyptian, Greek, Latin, Etruscan, Phoenician, and others you never heard of.  Pretty interesting, although various commenters say the pronunciations are not always quite correct.


All the speakers are using the same ancient text, which is well known to some people today.  I'll let you see if you can figure out what it is.  If not, the answer is here.


Sunday, October 22, 2023

Sunday Drive: Near You

That thumping left-hand rhythm is still a thrill all these years later.  Big band leader Francis Craig composed the 1947 #1 hit, since recorded by many other artists.


Friday, October 20, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Both Sides Now: Gaza and Israel

What a demonic thing  to do - tell a million people to flee for their lives to a safe place - and then bomb the safe place.  And then there was that satanic hospital bombing that each side blames on the other.

This 20-minute news report from Britain's Channel 4 gives a wide view of the nightmare carnage now happening in what used to be called the Holy Land.  What an unholy horror it is now - and so often has been in my lifetime - I remember the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War, and the great peace agreement that President Jimmy Carter negotiated at Camp David between Israel and Egypt.  But the volcano of violence keeps erupting, no matter what.

Both sides are to blame; both sides are suffering.  I have no favorites over there and no answers; I can only pray for peace.

If you have the time, do watch this for a balanced point of view.


Sunday, October 15, 2023

Sunday Drive: Autumn Leaves

As performed by Andre Rieu and his Orchestra, to which someone has added a lovely series of autumn scenes: 

By the way - temps have gradually been cooling down the last six weeks from those godawful 100+ highs we had for 3 months straight.  This morning, it was 55 when I woke up.  Tonight and tomorrow, it will be down near 40.  Quite a change.  We've turned on the furnace now for the first time since last spring.  

Friday, October 13, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Farewell to summer . . .


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

To New York aboard the Normandie, 1939

Someone has found a color film of the last voyage of the exquisitely designed S. S. Normandie made by a young engineer in the French Line company in 1939, just days before World War II began.  What a find!  There are priceless views of the ship, its crew, and passengers.  The narration is in French, but just click the CC button to see English captions. 


Sunday, October 8, 2023

Sunday Drive: The Blue Danube

A gallery of landscape paintings with captions:  what a lovely presentation to go with the beloved tune.


Friday, October 6, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Oktoberfest special!  Inventory closeout - all stock must go!  
Huge discounts!  This weekend only!  First come, first served!  

Cash and carry only.  All sales final.


Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Kevin's Cavalcade

We've been watching some videos from Cavalcade of Food lately.  It's based in the little town of Croswell, Michigan, up in the "thumb," where a fellow named Kevin is the friendly proprietor of a mind-boggling collection of vintage appliances, kitchenware, and furnishings from the 1950s to the 1970s.  His collection is so big that he bought a former five-and-dime store to display it all in.

We weren't too impressed at first, because what Kevin has collected is the same kind of everyday stuff - sometimes the very same make and model - that M.P. and I grew up with in that era, which all seem rather ordinary to us.  (Functional, yes; beautiful, maybe; glamorous, not at all.)  But you have to admire Kevin's energy and passion for amassing such a huge collection, each piece of which he can tell you all about in minute detail.  

Kevin also loves to cook, as M.P. does, and we've watched several of his cooking videos with interest.  The first one below is a crowd-pleasing treat we might make the next time M.P.'s family comes over - or maybe just for our own delectation some autumn night.

The second video gives an overview of the collection.  It's kind of a trip, looking at this huge display of so many familiar items from the past - maybe you'll get a kick out of it, too.


Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sunday Drive: Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Complete)

A lively performance by the historic Gewandhaus Quartet of one of your Head Trucker's favorites:


Friday, September 29, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Backpacking help available here.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Biden Joins UAW Picket Line

This is so wrong.  Just as wrong as Trump plugging businesses and products he liked while he was in office.  Both are forms of demagoguery - taking sides, appealing to one segment of the population instead of another.

Other Democratic presidents from FDR on down have voiced support for worker's causes - but this is going much, much too far.  It's not leadership - it's electioneering.


Biden has done good things too, but he should be called out on this egregious mistake.


Sunday, September 24, 2023

Sunday Drive: September Song

Ella does it like nobody else can: 


Friday, September 22, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

How's the view?


Sunday, September 17, 2023

Sunday Drive: Boccherini, Minuet

For music lovers in a hurry: 


Friday, September 15, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

 How's it hangin'?


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Pork Boys Do Summer 2023

There's not much to show, because this was longest, hottest, most godawful summer ever - the temperature outside was usually from 105 to 115, and inside, our overworked a/c system could only cool the house down to 85 or 90 degrees.  Consequently, even with all fans going, we sweated all day and most of the night, and could hardly do anything - even think - because of the oppressive, relentless heat.  I've never seen anything like it in my life, and hope I never do again.

During June, July, and August, we ate very few dinners at the table; mostly we sat at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, and mostly we ate simple fare, easy to cook without heating up the house even worse.  So picture-taking opportunities were few.  Here are a few snaps, mainly for our own record, of a few nice dinners we've had in the last couple weeks, as the heat has moderated.  There were more pics on M.P.'s old phone, which died and had to be replaced; the pics were, alas, unrecoverable.

One Sunday, M.P. used his cookery magic to make a ham steak so tender that you could almost eat it with a spoon.  Clockwise from 6 o'clock you see ham, fried sweet potato slices, a deviled egg, two halves of a buttered biscuit, turnip greens, and in the center, creamy cooked coleslaw - easy to chew.  All of it delicious!

One weeknight, M.P. asked your Head Trucker to cook Chicken Fricassee, which he has liked a lot in the past, and I was glad to accommodate him.  Below is a chicken thigh at 6 o'clock, leftward is sautéed corn with garlic and chives, at top is rice covered with fricassee gravy, rightward is a pile of green lima beans, followed by a buttered biscuit.  I didn't get the roux dark enough this time, but M.P. pronounced it all very good indeed.  Notice the lovely sunset-colored roses I bought on sale at the grocery store to use as a centerpiece.

Below, chicken fricassee in the pot, ready to dish up.

A closer view of the plate.

And finally, last Sunday M.P. cooked a pork roast in the crock pot all day, so for dinner we enjoyed Pork & Pineapple over rice; leftward is garlic bread; followed by sweet potato chunks in sweet sauce; fried onion rings; and at right, fried Italian green beans with Ro-Tel and bacon.  Mighty good eatin' - I tell you what, boys.

That's all, folks!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Sunday Drive: Begin the Beguine

Cool weather has returned to Texas!  It's only 88 degrees outside!  And 68 inside!  Hooray!

Click to enlarge.

To celebrate, here's one of your Head Trucker's all-time favorites, a breezy tune by Artie Shaw and his Orchestra:


Friday, September 8, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Looking for someone?


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Fifteen Years of the Blue Truck

Rainbow over a Texas highway.

It's hard to believe, but I published my first post in this blog 15 years ago today at this hour.  I started it on a whim, with no particular plan, and have continued it on the same principle ever since.  For a long time, it was a convenient vehicle for my ranting and raving about the state of the world and the sadly misguided people in it - to put it mildly - but the last few years I have mainly given up ranting, which serves no purpose (good advice is never welcome to misbehaving ears) and keep blogging just to have something constructive to do in retirement.  I know it is no great shakes, certainly - your Head Trucker has never been a crowd-pleaser - but it pleases me, if no one else, and that's enough.

I appreciate more than I can say the kind attention of my faithful truckbuddies, who have stuck with me all these years, the ones who regularly comment and those who rarely do so, but merely lurk in the corners.  Being effectively housebound at this late age, and resolutely opposed on general principles to what is called social media - a corrosive pestilence that will have to be suppressed sooner or later - the Blue Truck gives me a happy connection from time to time with like-minded friends, and that's a very nice thing to have.

To celebrate this anniversary, I reprint here from my second blog post an excerpt from E. M. Forster's essay "What I Believe," written in 1938 when the dictators and their rat-faced minions were preparing to carve up the world among themselves, bringing death and destruction to millions all around the globe.  Thank God for the stalwart leaders and peoples of the democracies who stood up to them and thwarted their evil plans.  We who are now old men have lived our whole lives in the long, sunlit afternoon of the postwar order - which, alas, seems daily to be coming apart at the seams, pulled and ripped in all directions by extremists and fanatics of the right and of the left.

In our fathers' time, the democracies were the golden mean, the middle path between the two extremes; and when the democracies finally realized there was nothing else to do but fight or die, they discovered their enormous strength and used it to subdue the wicked and restore peace, liberty, and justice to the world.  But is there still a middle way to be found?  Does anybody even want to find it?

I have my thoughts, but this Cassandra prefers not to waste breath by speaking them.  Nor is it safe to speak freely anymore about any but the most trivial topics.  Instead, I offer this excerpt from Forster's essay, which reflects something of my own thinking.  I don't agree with Forster on everything, but this passage resonates in my own heart.

"The victory of our queer race . . ."

I believe in aristocracy, though - if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke. 

I give no examples - it is risky to do that - but the reader may as well consider whether this is the type of person he would like to meet and to be, and whether (going further with me) he would prefer that this type should not be an ascetic one. I am against asceticism myself. I am with the old Scotsman who wanted less chastity and more delicacy. I do not feel that my aristocrats are a real aristocracy if they thwart their bodies, since bodies are the instruments through which we register and enjoy the world. Still, I do not insist. This is not a major point. It is clearly possible to be sensitive, considerate and plucky and yet be an ascetic too, and if anyone possesses the first three qualities I will let him in! 

On they go - an invincible army, yet not a victorious one. The aristocrats, the elect, the chosen, the Best People - all the words that describe them are false, and all attempts to organize them fail. Again and again Authority, seeing their value, has tried to net them and to utilize them as the Egyptian Priesthood or the Christian Church or the Chinese Civil Service or the Group Movement, or some other worthy stunt. But they slip through the net and are gone; when the door is shut, they are no longer in the room; their temple, as one of them remarked, is the holiness of the Heart's affections, and their kingdom, though they never possess it, is the wide-open world.

Hugs and good wishes to all my truckbuddies - thanks for riding along in the Blue Truck.


Sunday, September 3, 2023

Sunday Drive: The Lord's My Shepherd, I'll Not Want

In memory of beloved Queen Elizabeth II, who died a year ago this week and now rests in God, far beyond all earthly cares.  This was one of her favorite hymns and was played at her funeral in Westminster Abbey, as shown in the clip below.


Note to my truckbuddies: After two months of roasting in brutal heat, we have been blessed the past week with a merciful cool spell - temperatures only in the mid-90s, a merciful relief. (This means temperatures in the house have been 70-75, instead of 85-90.) This change has helped our feelings considerably. Temps are due to creep back up into the low 100s this week, and thereafter settle down into the 90s for the rest of the month - I do hope. 

Otherwise, we are shuffling along here okay, though your Head Trucker walks even more slowly now and my eyesight has gotten a bit blurry, which plays hell with my typing and is most annoying. We both have aches and discomforts in various places; sometimes we can't sleep, sometimes we sleep all day.  Getting old is no fun.  But we have all we need at the moment, good things to eat, and a happy home, and that's a lot to be thankful for. I hope all my truckbuddies are enjoying the time, wherever they are.

There's only so many summers, babe, and so many springs . . . 


Saturday, September 2, 2023

Sorry I missed the deadline . . .

 . . . but my Friday man stayed over.  


Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Pork Boys do Ratatouille!

(Pronounced rat-a-TOO-ee; say it quickly.)

Last week, M.P. got a yen to try something new and different, so he went searching for recipes, and the result was splendid:  a big pot of delicious ratatouille from the south of France.  Neither of us had ever tried it before, but we became instant fans of this all-vegetable dish.  With fresh herbs from our garden, it was a real palate pleaser that you could eat as a main dish with toasted garlic bread, or serve with practically anything else.

Note that all the vegetables end up soft, not crunchy - which is just how I like them.

This simple dish is easy to make, even for the culinarily challenged, and as with all good recipes, there are endless variations.  Here are a couple of recipe videos to check out.  The first one is simple and direct, just showing you what to do instead of telling:


The second is full of friendly directions from one of our favorite online chefs, Stephane at French Cooking Academy:


 I have a few suggestions: 

1. Instead of yellow bell pepper, M.P. used yellow squash, which I love - delightful!

2. Peel your zucchini. That thick, green skin tends to infiltrate the whole dish, and is very annoying to old men with bad teeth.

3. Drain your sautéed vegetables well, using a strainer or paper towels, before putting them in the pot. A little grease goes a long way. 

Well, now you're all ready to make this simple, scrumptious Provençale dish.  Try it, you'll like it!


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tracking Hurricane Idalia

Live coverage from the ABC station in Tampa:

And from the NBC station in Jacksonville:


Sunday, August 27, 2023

Sunday Drive: Brown Eyed Girl


This bouncy tune takes me back to August of 1967, and a long road trip through Wichita Falls - notorious as a hotspot, even for Texas - where I first encountered 100+ degrees of heat. We thought something was wrong with the a/c in the car until we stopped at a motel and learned how hot it really was. That was startling then. 

Now we have been living in 100+ degrees since early June, and it is no fun at all, fellas. Our a/c system can't keep up - 105 outside means 85 degrees inside the house. Better than being outdoors, but still miserable. 

But today we're enjoying a cold snap - it's only 95 degrees outside as I write. Whee!


Friday, August 25, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

 You must remember this . . .


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Sunday Drive: Summertime

As performed by Ella and Louis - who else?


Saturday, August 19, 2023

Let's Go to Riva del Garda

It was 110 here in Texas yesterday.  It's nearly 110 again today.  And it will be 110 tomorrow.  In other words, we are living in a roasting pan.   Even with the a/c running 24/7 and all the fans going, it's about 85 degrees in the house - much better than being outside, but still, we just feel drained and torpid all the time.

I got to wondering, where in the world could a body go to get cool, if one had the dough and the energy to travel?  And somehow I chanced upon this delightful stroll through the pretty lake town of Riva del Garda, up in the Italian Alps, where the temperature is 75 degrees and there's always a refreshing breeze blowing off the lake.  It was filmed just a couple of weeks ago.  There's no annoying background music, and the narration is in the captions.  Check it out. 

You're welcome.


Friday, August 18, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Need a light?


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Life Is a Beach, 8/16/23

Live cam from Hollywood Beach, Florida, where the Broadwalk always fascinates:

Take a short, ground-level stroll on the Broadwalk here.

And listen to the rhythm of the surf at Fort Lauderdale Beach:


Sunday, August 13, 2023

Sunday Drive: Call Me / The More I See You

Craig, by EpicDigitalArtStudio on Devant Art

A couple of light, easy-breezy songs from Chris Montez in 1966, just right for a day at the beach, doing whatever you want to do.


Friday, August 11, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

What's that you said?

Rodney Santiago

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Life Is a Beach, 8/10/23

Miramar Beach, Florida: 

Some people love the rocky shores and cold, dark waters of New England; some like the cold, pounding surf of California.  Fine - à chacun son goût.  But if I were choosing a beach to lie out on - a merely academic point at this stage of life - I would choose to be beside the warm, blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  

This live cam shows the sugar-white sands and endless vista of what has latterly been called the Emerald Coast.  My family stayed on the beach at Destin once, in the summer of 1963 - sixty years ago! - when there was but one motel, and nothing else for many miles but sand dunes and sea oats.  It was lovely - I've never forgotten.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

"Mr. Bradford" from All American Guys -
click to enlarge.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Life Is a Beach, 8/3/23

The people-watching at Hollywood Beach is just fascinating:

Listen to the rush of the waves at Ft. Lauderdale Beach:  

Here's Key West - but where are all the hot gay men?

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Poets' Corner: The World is Charged with the Grandeur of God

By English poet and Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), whose poetry is notable for unusual rhythms and alliteration.  The best approach is to read it aloud slowly, savoring each syllable, rhyme, and repetition.

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

I chose this poem for today's post because it is quoted in this speech I happened upon, "Why Beauty Matters," by the American poet and essayist Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, a brilliant man with deeply spiritual views.  

I'm afraid the speech is rather heavy going on a hot August afternoon - even your Head Trucker had to rewind and repeat some sentences several times - but it will repay careful attention.  

(For the record, I am not a Catholic, but as an Episcopalian I feel myself in a distributary stream of the broad current of Christian thought from apostolic times forward.)


Sunday, July 30, 2023

Sunday Drive: Turn! Turn! Turn! / Mr. Tambourine Man

A favorite of your Head Trucker's since the first time I heard it on the radio - performed here by the Byrds on the Ed Sullivan Show, December 12, 1965:

The lyrics are, of course, taken from the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, modified slightly for the song:
To everything turn, turn, turn
There is a season turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under Heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep . . .


Not my favorite group, but they had a memorable sound that calls to mind the jingle-jangle days of youth, when the endless road of life seemed to lead everywhere but the grave.

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