Seems to be redundant

Good times come,

Good times go.

Since,

Time in constant,

I wish to forgo,

The good times.

Since,

Good times come,

Good times go.

The origin of the Quanah Parker Arrows

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Charles Smith never set out to create what would become, some argue, the largest art installation in the world. Charles Smith did not create his first twenty-two-foot tall arrow to commemorate the last Comanche Chief Quanah Parker.

Charles was a welder who built metal palm trees, at his home, an hour south of Lubbock, Texas, in the heart of the Texas Plains. Charles did not intend to be honored and adopted into Quanah Parker’s family and given the name Paaka-Hani-Eti, meaning “Arrow Maker”.

Charles Smith stumbled into this honor by doing a favor for a friend.

Community is easy to define in New Home, Texas. With a population of around four-hundred Texas Tech Red Raiders alumni, family, and fans that know each other by name and neighbors who still look to help each other out – a New Home visitor feels a longing to be embraced by such a community.

This sense of community would ultimately create what is known as the Quanah Parker Trail Arrows. Over eighty-eight arrows pierce the Texas Plains. Each denotes a particular site of Comanche and Quanah Parker’s history. It all began in The Spot Cafe in New Home.

Gid Moore, New Home’s local insurance agent, was looking to create an area for local school children to learn more about literature. He imagined a yard full of art that allowed the children to experience words through a large three-dimensional permanent art display. He shared with Charles his idea to materialize Longfellow’s, The Arrow and The Song and Inspired 88 with a large arrow. Charles, a welder and metal worker, loved the idea and got to work. This was 2003.

Charles Smith’s one-off piece would stand in New Home, Texas, for many years before being discovered by a group of individuals looking for that particular piece that would become the monuments on the Quanah Parker Trail. Little did Charles know that a random wind storm would divert Holle Humphries into the town of New Home and change his life forever. This was 2010.

New Home is not normally a town that one would stumble into. Located south of Lubbock in the Texas Plains surrounded by cotton fields, located at a two-lane crossroad absent of a stoplight, a town that is hard to get to let alone pass through. New Home is a town where families dedicate their lives to sustainable farming, family and community. The chances of Holle happening upon the arrow was truly one-in-a-million.

Holle found herself in a lonely town mesmerized by an arrow stuck into the flat earth. No explanation or marker presented itself with the focus of attraction. Holle found herself in a difficult position. Who created this and where is he or she – Holle knew she found what would become the image to celebrate Quanah Parker now she only had to find the artist.

Tai Kreidlet describes Charles as not” saying much but good at listening.” One can imagine how he listens, and what he thought when first offered the opportunity to help create what would become the Quanah Parker Trail Arrows.

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Charles did not accept any money for the arrows creation or installation. Each arrow was built by Charles at his home in New Home, Texas. He customized a trailer to deliver each arrow to its planned location. Holle states that Charles was “very particular on how he wanted the arrow set”. Therefore all installation was supervised and lead by Charles. Charles’ grandson remembers how particular his granddad was about the arrow’s position.

Prior to  Charles’ passing, he created and placed over eighty arrows in more than fifty counties in the Panhandle-Plains Region of Texas. These arrows became The Quanah Parker Trail. A trip down the Quanah Parker Trail will be an adventure. One will discover  Texas history, Commanche Culture and the work of an incredible West Texas artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

looking for some firewood

Aw, the campfire. So many senses are touched by the campfire. The glow of the embers with ever-changing blues and reds. The smell that continues to release the camping odors we love, but do not want to take home. The pops and sizzles of the perfectly weathered wood. Camping would not be the same without it.

Early in my family life we did lots of camping. It was cheap my daughter was only single digits ages when the outdoors are fun and it was before the time of iPhones and wifi. We could actually get lost and enjoy finding our way out.

Like most young families the trips consisted of state and national parks. Established campsite with nice tent pads, electric and water, with nearby flush toilets. Our trips were taking place right before, what we refer to as the explosion of the camping movement. A time when and we did show up to places like Arches National Park and get a campsite without a reservation. A time when camping was casual and cheap.

Early on Tuesday morning we headed out to do some camping in the eastern part of the great state of ——-.  A gorgeous woodsy area awaited us. We had most of what we needed packed, everything except firewood. After driving for a few hours we soon to arrive at the destination. Once setup we had little desire to leave again so I stop at a “filling station” deep in the east to ask about getting some firewood.

The others stayed in the car while I quickly made my way into the store and towards the beverage cooler. A short line had formed and I patiently waited my turn for the register. I made my purchase and asked the perpriator about a place to buy firewood.

“Sure” he said, “Mr. Shaw sells it back up the road a couple of miles.”

As quickly as the cashier finished his sentence a voice from behind be stated, “No, he is down at the shop.”

I turned to see an extremely large gentleman holding a thirty pack of beer. While his appearance and choice of breakfast drink to some would be shocking, overall he seemed to be a nice guy.

“I am heading down there right now” he said, now directing the conversation towards me directly. “You can just follow me.”

With all the confidence in the world I responded with an enthusiastic, “Great”.

I returned to the truck where my wife had been watching and wondering what in the world was happening in this redneck quick-mart.  I told her quickly about the plan as the “big guy” walked out the door with his thirty pack. We exchanged head nods and I placed the Toyota in reverse, secured by position behind the old Chevy  and started toward the shop.

Only in hindsight does things make sense. Only when you step away from the moment can you see clearly what is really going on. Like that poem about the fork in the road. Come on why are you telling us this. We wont know the right choice until we make a choice and still we can’t be 100 percent that is was correct or incorrect.

Were we making the right choice? Following the truck down a two lane blacktop road towards the “shop”.

The Lost Pease River Battle Site?

The 1936 Texas Centennial Monuments are mammoths. These huge granite markers were set across Texas to remind and remember the history of the state. One such marker was place near the sight of the famed Pease River battle site. While the historical accuracy of the events are up for debate, what is certain is Cynthia Ann Parker returned to her “family” after December 18, 1860.

On our endless pursuit to discover an explore locations in Texas related to Comanche and Quanah Parker history we loaded up to head out to Pease River. Google Maps had me headed in the right direction and Google Street View even allowed me to see a sign that instructed the traveler to turn off of FM 98 when traveling east out of Margaret, Texas.

It was early an early February morning the weather was pleasant  and we were so excited to discover a less visited historical site. Finding FM 98 right off the town square in Margaret we knew we were getting close. The wife and I keep our eyes open for the sign and before we knew it we entered Thalia, Texas. Something went wrong.

I turned the car around and headed back west. With the help of the iPhone we slowed down examining each side road to the north and watching the dot on the phone slide toward the assumed location of Pease River Battle Site. We turned on Sandy Rd. and let the dot on the phone head north. We were getting closer. Then all the sudden and freshly plowed field separated us from our destination. We took a wrong turn.

Back on the FM 98 we continued west. Still unable to find the signs that Google Street View had allowed me to place all my navigation on. The dot was now moving perpendicular to the battle site. Next turn was a dirt county road number 231. We made a right and let our dot move closer once again to the pined location. The road took a 90 degree turn to the west and our dot was moving away again. Just as our hearts were sinking there it was, the large granite monolith. Setting up tall beside the barbwire fence the 1936 marker inscribed with a brief history of the event at Pease River.

While the actual site was still beyond the fence and without the desire to trespass we were satisfied at finding the marker. After our photos and videos were shot I journeyed back to the road to find those Google Street View signs.

just looking

I gaze aghast as the society –

Exchanges  rights for the beliefs –

Of those who live in fear.

Fear that was taught by those who-

Hold the devil’s bounty near to their hearts

People who denounce their anti-Christ hero

Pointing long diamond fingers toward those who love God’s true gifts.

Alcohol, imagination, and sex.

Long fingers damning these truths -As the roots of all-evil.

Long fingers pointing toward the crucifixion

Of those who long to be free

The society that finds satisfaction

In sending the youth off to war

While they long to keep the elderly alive

While, with hands raised to heaven

Thank God for his sons sacrifice –

So unique?

Professing a desire to get a heavenly reward.

This society fights for the right to abort a baby

While prosecuting those who mistreat animals

I stair aghast

As we are told –Freedom is not Free

And

You must lose freedoms to keep freedoms

If you don’t pay you can’t play

If you don’t have enough money you can play anyway.

A society of oxymoron

A society of ignorant morons.