Saturday, April 30, 2011

Daybreak In Alabama

When I get to be a composer I'm gonna write me some music about
Daybreak in Alabama
And I'm gonna put the purtiest songs in it
Rising out of the ground like a swamp mist
And falling out of heaven like soft dew.

I'm gonna put some tall tall trees in it
And the scent of pine needles
And the smell of red clay after rain
And long red necks
And poppy colored faces
And big brown arms
And the field daisy eyes


Of black and white black white black people
And I'm gonna put white hands
And black hands and brown and yellow hands
And red clay earth hands in it
Touching everybody with kind fingers
And touching each other natural as dew
In that dawn of music when I
Get to be a composer
And write about daybreak
In Alabama. 

-Langston Hughes

I am profoundly grateful for the safety of my friends and loved ones in the wake of this week's storms, and deeply touched by the hearts of the people of the State of Alabama.

If you choose to donate to relief efforts, I recommend Toomer's For Tuscaloosa. The same spirit that gave birth to Tide for Toomer's during Auburn's tree crisis brought forth an immediate response to T-Town's troubles by the Tigers.

I am so darn proud to live here.





Love from Delta.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When I Play Music . . .


The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Campaign for Music Education is worthy of everyone's attention. They are attempting to raise $300,000 a tiny bit at a time to teach children the joy of playing instruments. The Orchestra’s Annual Fund helps support educational programs, including the expense of supplies like instruments for their Talent Development Program student musicians, study guides for public school teachers to use with pre-K through 2nd grade students, and in-school master classes taught by Orchestra musicians. Five dollars will go a long way toward helping them achieve their goal.

Click here to donate now.




Our friend Zach Monette has been involved in their efforts . . . he's the handsome guy in the light blue shirt. Please enjoy the video, and consider making a donation.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Another Peep Show





Many thanks to my nephew Duke Cheston for passing this excellent video along!



Love from Delta.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter



Whatever your plans this Easter Sunday, I hope you and your family have a beautiful time.

Here in Delta, we have a sunrise worship service. It's a lovely day.

Chuck the Duck is in the swimming pool, birds are singing, and I have discovered the Washington Post's Peep Show Contest.

Please have a look . . . the creativity is stunning.

Happy Easter to all my peeps.
The Washington Post Peep Show Contest





Love from Delta.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Favorite Shopping City




     Mom and I went to Atlanta yesterday. We had lunch with celebrities and non-celebrities at my beloved Mary Mac's Tea Room.(If it's good enough for Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama, it's good enough for me.) She bought me a beautiful cookbook. Our server Meche autographed it on the Sweet Potato Biscuit recipe page—there's a photo of him playing the dining room piano.

     After that, we went to fondle and admire lovely things all over Buckhead: Ralph Lauren, Bloomingdale's, Barney's New York, Nordstrom, Nieman Marcus, Bulgari, Saks Fifth Avenue, Talbot's, Versace, Williams-Sonoma, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin. I fell deeply in love with a pair of nude pumps.


     Those who know me know that I have loved Jay Strongwater's artful objects since—well, since the time he stopped being Jay Feinberg and started being Jay Strongwater.

     It goes without saying that the 'Matias Rooster' (above) is my very favorite thing from his Spring Collection, but there are oh-so-many-more.






Is he not adorable?
Cool chick.
 The prettiest Blue Jay ever . . . 
 Hydrangeas!
 Lilies!
 A Ginkgo Biloba lamp!
An elaborate hostess gift . . .
Nice little table.
A rooster charm!


     My ultimate interior design fantasy: paint each room of a house a gorgeous color. Lock Jay Strongwater and Dale Chihuly inside and don't release them until everything is pretty. If anyone knows how to arrange this, please let me know.








Love from Delta.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pretty Woman


Just a little blog today, to share this wonderful Roy Orbison video. It kinda speaks for itself!




Thanks, Roy.












A friend posted it on Facebook for all his pretty friends, so I'm doing the same.








Love from Delta.

Monday, April 11, 2011

COME OUT OF YOUR SHELL

That's directly off the cover of the souvenir program for the Alabama Chicken & Egg Festival in Moulton, Alabama. Moulton is beautiful, and my husband and I shared a lot of adventures there yesterday.





Y'all really need to see this. Not many places greet you with brilliant, vivid rooster sculptures on the town square. There is rich history here. There are graceful oaks. Beautiful old churches. 

And chickens. Lots and lots of chickens.










There was a lovely art exhibit.

We explored delicious homemade delicacies, and met a lady named Matera. She makes the best peanut brittle you'll ever taste. I took a picture of her in her gorgeous pink hat, but it came out blurry and I was heartbroken. Matera is simply terrific, and you should get yourself some of her candy. Ours didn't make it all the way home.
 
Some very spicy cornbread.
There was Venice Gelato, and it was fabulous.
Italian ices, funnel cakes, hot caramel banana sundaes, pizza, fried dill pickles, fudge-dipped cheesecake, nachos, ribbon fries, french fries, and I am sorry, but . . . chicken. On sandwiches, in stew, on a stick, and in popcorn form. I felt guilty walking past the poultry tent with cooked cousins of the participants, but I did it. And it was good.

Take a look at these birds:
That is a rather slender Speckled Sussex. Maybe Elizabeth and Dierks need to go on a diet.

We arrived in time to catch Po' Henry and Tookie. Great blues. This is from their Southern Artistry Profile Page: 
"Po'Henry & Tookie's musical style (genuine delta blues) has been influenced by their lifetimes of living, working, and music-playing in the midst of the cotton-farming culture of Richland Parish, Louisiana.  
Henry Dorsey, African-American, born 1928, Oak Ridge, LA - The only child of a cotton sharecropper, Henry, at the age of eight, began teaching himself the basics of the guitar on a "broom wire" attached to the side of this wood cabin home. Soon friends and neighbors were coming from all around to hear Henry play the "slide broom-wire." Naturally left-handed, Henry taught himself to play the guitar right-handed. Henry's forceful, piercing voice and raw acoustic guitar style are true to his Delta roots.  
Marlan Wayne "Tookie" Collom, Scottish/Irish-American, born 1937, Vivian, LA - Influenced by his harmonica-playing grandfather, Tookie began playing at age eleven. During the 1960's Tookie was lead singer and harp (harmonica) player in The Roller Coasters, performing throughout the South. Although Tookie continued singing and playing with various bands over the years, family responsibilities kept him at the steady day-job of cattle and cotton farming for the next twenty-five years.
In 1986, Henry and Tookie were brought together by a mutual acquaintance. They've been consistently appearing together now for approximately 20 years.  
Although both are retired from farm work, each has experienced firsthand, the changing culture of the rural South, as cotton work has changed from handwork to the automated process it is today."
Po' Henry and Tookie 



This is Tangerine Tambourine, and they hail from Decatur. Loved their kid music, and if you have a child, buy a CD.
Tangerine Tambourine
My husband shot this video:



                                                     








There were adorable children everywhereposing with poultry, tossing eggs, playing in bandsjust looking cute.
 












Tangerine Tambourine                                                                                                  
Cool.










Circuit Judge Angela Terry read Chicken Dance, and her audience ate it up.
By the way, I love this book.









Steve Gryb, The Pied Piper of Percussion. The guy has rhythm, and it's going to get you.

Pretty Mosaics with Nice Craftsmen







The Egg Eating Contest . . .
. . . and some very nice spectators.





Thank you to the charming people of Moulton for a fun-filled day. It was a bit on the warm side, but we stayed pretty cool. Just when you think you've seen everything . . .







. . . along comes a turken. (No, silly—it's all chicken.)






You should plan to attend next year. I certainly will. Because . . .



. . . some people just love chickens. And eggs. And festivals.


Here's everything you need to know:
The Alabama Chicken & Egg Festival
Lawrence County Arts Council









Love from Delta.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The King of Cool


I don't really remember much about Steve McQueen, but when I saw this poster—one of many Porsche recently released into the public domain—I sure did sit up and take notice. The man is a legend.

Take a look at Steve's old ranch and vineyard. It's for sale. There's a pretty nifty Stearman biplane included.



Now check out a Field of Dreams Mustang commercial. Gotta love it.

Car chase buffs adore this one: Bullitt. I never saw the movie, but Steve sure could make a fast car look good.
"When some rare Chicago blood starts spilling in San Francisco, they hand Bullitt the mop." Sheesh. 

I remember seeing a video clip of him doing a Firebird commercial once at a Pontiac meeting. I searched for it to no avail, but did find some pretty neat vintage ads:
"Wide Tracking"
1968 GTO

As the world approaches the thirtieth anniversary of his death, two new biographies are being introduced. One is Steve McQueen: The Life and Legend of a Hollywood Icon; the other, Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool. In the second are hundreds of photos taken of McQueen throughout his life and movie career. Some are being published for the first time. There are personal items, documents and movie memorabilia as well.

It includes a foreword by Barbara McQueen (left), a Steve McQueen family tree, and quotes by several Hollywood luminaries. 

He had a childhood filled with obstacles and once said, “My life was screwed up before I was born.”

McQueen was raised by his grandparents, Victor and Lillian Crawford. They lived in a 10-foot by 20-foot shack. Later, he was taken in by his great uncle and worked as a farmhand.

“On the streets is where you perfected your con . . . you learned how to adapt and play different roles.”


The man had street cred.

He sold encyclopedias door-to-door and worked as a towel boy for a brothel. Eventually, Steve gained notoriety as a TV actor and later successfully transitioned to films, becoming one of the most popular actors in the world.


King of Cool, indeed.






Love from Delta.