Tag Archives: Jimmy Henley

Cactus Illusion II

Caralee Woods, Cacti Illusion, Fort Worth, Texas

Caralee Woods of Kanab, Utah, sent me a cactus illusion she had in her home at Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas, several years ago.  She writes,

Here’s another cactus illusion, one of my favorite photos.  It was taken in a hall that led from the kitchen to the garage in the Fort Worth house.  You will remember there was a series of three small square windows in which I put little pots of small cacti.  The sun would shine at a particular angle, making a shadow on the white opposite wall.

Caralee Woods and Jimmy Henley live in Kanab, Utah, and are building a strawbale compound.  You can visit their website Building Our Strawbale Home! Caralee was a regional book representative for Harper and Row before she retired.  Her husband, Jimmy Henley, was the undergraduate dean at Texas Christian University and taught sociology.  He was a grade school and high school friend of mine in Brownwood, Texas.

Their home at Eagle Mountain Lake near Fort Worth was featured in Architectural Digest [n. d.] before they sold it and moved to Kanab.  Their home was built with many of the lines and forms of the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth.

I used to house sit and take care of their companions (doggies and kitty cats) while they vacationed in the American Southwest.  I grew so attached to their companions that I regretted when they returned and I had to leave.

______________________________

Correction:

Caralee and Jimmy’s home was not featured in Architectural Digest, but in the local Dallas and Fort Worth newspapers.  See the comment section below.

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Lilly, Plants and Shrubs

It’s Recess! Coggin Ward 1955

Dale Smith Hitting Home Run, Coggin Ward, Brownwood, Texas, 1955 (click to enlarge)

In the 1950s, when I went to elementary school at Coggin Ward in Brownwood, Texas, we had two recesses, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  The op-ed article from the New York Times today (see link below) decries the lack of playtime in childhood and the problems encountered at recess — bullying, arguing, intimidation — so much so, that recess coaches have been appointed for troubled schools and playgrounds.  “For children in past eras, participating in the culture of childhood was a socializing process. They learned to settle their own quarrels, to make and break their own rules, and to respect the rights of others. They learned that friends could be mean as well as kind, and that life was not always fair”, so writes David Elkind.

I loved recess at Coggin!  Not so much to escape academics because I loved most of my classes, but I engaged recess like a high form of testing my strength against my weaknesses — running, jumping, kicking soccer balls, escaping from tag, hitting the baseball, even playing mumblepeg on school grounds (pocketknife game, we all carried them).

I used a 620 Kodak camera to take these pictures of us playing baseball in ca. March 1955, at Coggin Ward school.   (Mother used the Kodak to capture pictures of Camp Bowie and my father in the 1940s.)  Dale Smith was a good friend of mine and quite talented in athletics.

These photographs show no recess coaches.  I think there were a couple of teachers observing from the building, but they were never interventionists in our play and gaming unless a major squabble broke out (I don’t remember any).  We chose sides to play baseball.  There was some organization every now and then — calesthentics were occasionally forced upon us.  In the choosing of sides, athletic ability carried the most importance, then popularity.  Even the poorest-talented boy would be chosen to play for there was no sulking allowed we ordered.  I learned that life was not always fair and good, but most of the time the shame and failure could be overcome by coming up to bat again, having another chance for a hit to drive in Henley from second base.   There was always another chance at the plate, and, even then, there was tomorrow’s recess to score a point to win the game.

Television, computer games and other devices have robbed children and adolescents of time outside in the sun and wind and rain.  Look at the trees in the photographs.  It’s late winter, early spring and the leaves are not even out on the trees.  I can tell you that we would play at recess as long as the dust did not obscure second base from homeplate.  We learned to play and adapt to each other.  Oh, these were “social skill sets” that we carried into life beyond Coggin, beyond Brownwood High School.  It may be strange for us of the 1940s and 1950s to visualize a recess coach on the playground, but if that is needed to get boys and girls, young men and women, out of boxes called classrooms and houses, then so be it.  I think I’ll apply to be a recess coach in my retirement.  I’d rather be on the playground than behind a lectern on any sunny day of the year.

Choose sides, boys!  I want Dale, Joe and Jimmy on my side.  Carol will lead the cheers.  It won’t turn out that way, but that’s life, a lesson I learned at recess.

Dale Smith Sliding Into Homeplate, Coggin Ward, Brownwood, Texas, 1955 (click to enlarge)

Baseball Card Photo, Dale Smith, Coggin Ward, Brownwood, Texas, 1955 (click to enlarge)

Op-Ed Contributor – At Schools, Playtime Is Over – NYTimes.com.  This is the link to the New York Times article explaining the socialization problems of modern youth.

16 Comments

Filed under Recollections 1942-1966

The Natural Colors of Caralee Woods

Caralee Woods and Jimmy Henley live near Kanab, Utah.  They are building a straw bale compound on their place and have committed themselves to a minimum footprint on the land.  With solar panel, water well and environmentally-green construction, Caralee and Jimmy portray the best application of technology, science and ethics to minimize humanity’s impact on the planet.  They are truly off the grid — literally.  You can see their efforts over the past few years by clicking on their website Building a Straw Bale House. When I posted the piece from Bioephemera Blog this morning concerning the ca. 1686, natural colors, Caralee commented with the email below and provided a photograph of how she and Jimmy artfully and craftily shaped balls of colors from the Utah countryside as a result of finding natural clays for their plastering.  I think what she and Jimmy have created is not only an application for their home, but pieces of art that I wish to possess and place as a centerpiece upon my table.

“This is so interesting to me. One of the first things we did here is start looking for natural clay. We had plenty of the terra-cotta colored stuff here on the land for the earthen plaster, but what about the clay paint and finishing plaster for the interior? We drove around for a long time with a bucket and small shovel in the trunk so we could stop and take samples of the wonderful variety of Mother Earth’s colors when we saw something we liked. I would go home, sieve the clay, mix it with some water, and make clay balls that I then polished (I won’t bother you with this process here) to see what we had. The picture below is just a small sampling of the results; I’ve added many since.  There are no more beautiful, soothing colors anywhere in the world than what is produced naturally.”  –Caralee Woods to Jack Matthews, March 24, 2010.

Art of Caralee Woods, Natural Clay Balls, Utah

6 Comments

Filed under Life in Balance, Natural Colors