Today we drove into Dallas to the Texas Womens' Museum in Fair Park. We stopped on the way at 2 Podners Barbecue, a bbq/soul food establishment in south Dallas just outside Fair Park. The traffic was abnormally heavy, as cars thronged in to see Paige Davis' first weekend as the star of the local performance of the touring company for "Sweet Charity". I was struck how the newspaper did not mention that the play was once deemed controversial, but now would be considered relatively tame.
We went to the Texas Womens' Museum, one of my favorite of the Dallas museums, to attend a gathering of the Collin County Democratic Women group. Roughly 30 women and 2 men attended this function. We first were given a docent tour of the museum, which I had not visited in a few years. The museum is located in the old exhibition hall for the state fair, which has been completely and winningly renovated.A 1913 picture labeled "opera--first season",which portrays thousands in formal wear at a performance--gave us an idea of what the place must have been once, in between stock shows. I imagined what an opera performance must have been in a world before widely available recorded music.
This musuem was wonderful at reminding me how much progress was made by unimportant people fighting for local libraries, local compassion, local arts, raising a cry against inequality, and working to create institutions to step in where the de jure insitutions failed in educating women and minorities. A display about women in the military, however, reminded us all of how arduous progress was made--the uniform of the "donut dolly", who passed out pastries to wounded troops stood in stark reminder. The fact that so many things people take for granted now are less than four decades' old achievements is an excellent reminder that the battle lies ahead, not behind.
The museum is very well done, with pull-out drawers of memorabilia and information about famous women in Texas and beyond. One could spend hours there, but we took only an hour to go through it, as we were going to hear a speaker. The speaker was a Ms. Jensen, who described her experience as a young wife during WW II, when her husband was declared missing in action, then captured by the Germans, then released to a life of post-traumatic-stress-disorder. Eschewing needless histrionics and politics, she explained her family's experience and the experience of lost friends--including a fellow officer on the plane in which her husband was shot down, who, in turn, was killed
rather than taken prisoner by the local home guard officer. She tied the point up simply about the difference between wars that must be fought and wars commenced without a real purpose to defend us from an attacker. The entire afternoon was quite interesting, and the other attendees were delightful.
We walked in the little Texas Discovery Garden, in which I took several minutes of video of flitting butterflies for the 2 minute film I am preparing. We then came home, where I took pictures of bees, beetles and butterflies on the back yard flowers. I will have the requisite 2 minutes of footage.
We went tonight to a get together of our Sunday school class. They are interesting people. One woman is a minister-in-training at midlife. I would love to give sermons, but I am afraid that it is not my destiny to occupy a pulpit. I suspect that it is a form of vanity to wish I could preach every once in a while, particularly as I am anything but blameless or called upon to do so--by anyone. I just like the notion of talks about things and ideas, in a public setting.
We spoke for a long time to a couple who have a small weekend farm in which they raise some 7 Irish Dexter cows. Irish Dexters are among the smallest of the conventional cattle, without quite being miniature. They got into the business when they read a book about how small holdings do well with dexters. They ordered some Dexters all the way from Oregon, as well as ultimately picking up a bull from north Arkansas. Now they breed Dexters for others. I am not entirely il-cow-literate, but Dexters were a new one for me, so it was fascinating to hear how two people who had not owned livestock since their respective childhoods came to raise an exotic-for-Texas bovine breed. I would love to meet their Dexters in person. I spoke with another fellow about his upcoming vacation to Lake Michigan--it sounded like an impending joy.
We came home at 9:30,after a nice visit with all. I took the first song I created for songfight.org, "That's what she said", which was in its entry a slow keyboard chill melody with a mournful spoken word track which was based upon the way things fell apart with the woman I wanted to marry when I was college-age. It is safe to say that the song fell flat at songfight.org. I sped the song up, changed the instrumention, made it all a lot more fun, added a theremin sample, and remixed it a bit. I put the result up at CC Mixter. My real agenda, though, is to use this as the quirky soundtrack for my nascent 2 minute video. I edited the video I shot, and began to assemble the film. I'll finish with it well prior to the 8/25 submission deadline. I titled the remix "seeking human love in a robotic world", a bow to the 8 bit vidgame android consistency of the song.
I am glad we had such a good day, and a day of weekend remains.