One person, a place, a thing and an idea…

Having set this(or variations) as the topic for this week’s series of LBC posts I found myself more and more in the dark as this morning approached. I couldn’t get started. I just could not think of  a person to write about and then I opened my emails.

Paul is my ex brother in law, one of  three, and he lives in San Antonio, Texas. That deals with the Person and Place now for the  Thing….perhaps I should leave that until later.

Paul and my sister met while she was nursing in Texas, Corpus Christi I think, and they came over here to England and got married at Marylebone Town Hall…where the stars get hitched I understand.  I took to Paul immediately…

That was back in the 1980s and we didn’t meet again until my eldest son’s wedding  in 2007. There was a lot of catching up to do and, needless to say, it was quite an emotional time. Most of this was done during the second week after the nuptials when we went to stay with Paul and his wife Carla. Together they have brought up my niece in a loving and kind environment.

We hit it off. Our only major difference, barring religion. is Golf. Paul seems to think that traipsing around hitting a little white ball is fun.

The Place? The Alamo… I was brought up hearing about Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and the Heroes of The Alamo. My father,somehow, was well versed in the history of America so visiting whilst we were in San Antonio was an absolute must. There is little to say…our first view was stage managed wonderfully by Paul and Carla.

It was our first evening in San Antonio and we had been out to dinner and had gone down to The River walk for our dessert…Imagine that in London..or anywhere in the UK…we had heard some very good jazz and carla decided to lead us through, I think it was, The River Centre and there in front of us was The Alamo all lit up.

Of course we visited the Alamo. A very serious business that. We read the lists if those who died and found a namesake of my grandfather and a a sabre just like the one my father used to have. He had always insisted that it was U.S. Cavalry Sabre and he used it for hedge cutting. A wealth of memories. And several books as souvenirs. I would never get a large Bowie Knife through British Customs so I had to forego that particular pleasure.

The story of The Alamo is so much more complex than that portrayed in the films and popular myth. All three of the major heroes were vastly flawed individuals and the political ambitions of others played their parts.

This brings me to my Idea….the simplest and yet most difficult Idea that I know of The Idea of freedom and self determination for which The Alamo is famous. That in spite of the desire to make Texas a Slave State…which it became in fact if not in name.

Someone somewhere said something like, “True freedom is only achieved with poverty.” I wonder?

And what about ny Thing, my Object? In keeping with my San Antonio theme, I have to choose the wonderful necklace of large beads of Lapis Lazuli that I didn’t buy. They were of such wonderful quality that I was very tempted.

During the Soviet Russian Occupation of Afghanistan a lot of  Lapis Lazuli  was exported by the Mujahadeen to finance their resistance to the Russian occupying forces. Some of this was of superb quality and these beads were made from some of this. Now there is little if any high quality Lapis Lazuli to be found in the mines of Afghanistan. A loss to the people and to future generations.

And again, I find myself thinking about freedom.

You may wonder why I should have chosen this particular path for my fellow bloggers to write on. Well, a while back I was reminded of a series of books publish e during my childhood: People, Places, Things and Ideas. I was given a copy of Things, in fact I think I may still have it somewhere. These four titles can be said to cover all of human knowledge and on top of that…I still en jog learning.

Please do not forget to visit my partners in crime and read their contributions: Anu, Ashok, gaelikaa, Ginger, Grannymar, Helen, Judy, Conrad, Maria and Ramana.


By the way this is the text of  the email  Paul sent me:

One day an old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he’s lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.
The old German Shepherd thinks, ‘Oh, oh! I’m in deep doo-doo now!’  Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, ‘Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder, if there are any more around here?’
Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. ‘Whew!’ says the panther, ‘That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!’
Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.
The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, ‘Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what’s going to happen to that conniving canine!
Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, ‘What am I going to do now?’, but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn’t seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says…

‘Where’s that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!’

Moral of this story

Don’t mess with the old dogs… Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.

Of course, I am in no way insinuating that  you are old, some of you are just more ‘youthfully challenged’.

An old story, but a goody.


8 Responses to “One person, a place, a thing and an idea…”

  1. gaelikaa Says:

    That was a good story, plenty to think about. There’s no doubt that a little wisdom, when applied, is more useful than youth and the accompanying ability.

  2. Grannymar Says:

    I’ve heard you talk about Paul before today. What a first impression you had of the Alamo. I like the way you spin the tale and we all learn without realising it.

  3. Maria Says:

    My bucket list includes a trip to Texas and particularly to the Alamo.

    A children’s book that was one of my classroom favorites was “Susanna of the Alamo’ By Joyn Jakes. I love the way it enables children to place themselves within a historical event. The story focuses on the one and only survivor of the tragic Alamo fight, Susanna Dickinson and her infant daughter. THe story is told from her point of view which gives the children of today the ability to understand the fight as it was unfolding at the Alamo.

    Interesting that you had a relative there . Dickison is a family name on my mother’s side of the family and I have often wondered if there was a connection.

  4. Magpie11 Says:

    Don’t claim him as a relation…yet! His parents are known. There was another Mills at a related Battle which I did not get the name of.

  5. Rummuser Says:

    My relationship with my brothers in law, preceded my meeting my late wife and so the bonds were very strong. In India we have affectionate names for our brothes in law and there was a lot of banter after my marriage.

    Anyone exposed to American Western books, comics and movies, had to learn about the Alamo, I keep coming across it in many crossword puzzles too.

    I am quite comfortable being youthfully challenged thank you.

  6. Magpie11 Says:

    I watched the John Wayne et al version a while back: Having read a few books about the subject ….Including Three Roads to The Alamo (which I must get back having lent it) and a Novel which painted some of the characters through very clear lenses I felt quite uncomfortable. However I was reintroduced to the theme music, The Green Leaves of Summer by Paul Francis Webster / Dimitri Tiomkin. A gentle tune for a violent film.

  7. Rummuser Says:

    Yes Magpie. This is a beautiful song set to wonderful music. Somehow one did not associate this song with the Alamo. The lyrics are simply too gentle!

  8. Ginger Says:

    🙂 What a curious series of memories – all aligned very nicely.
    Being a Texan, I’ve been many times to the Alamo (and the River Walk), and enjoyed sharing those memories with you.
    As for freedom, I’m not sure it has anything to do with wealth or poverty, or if it’s simply that to a truly free person, capital is not part of his or her focus. That being said, I don’t think I can even conceive of money not being relevant somehow. Perhaps that’s why we’re in such bondage..

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