Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tacky Dominoes

Number side of a finished necklace I made for Kristin Ellis Maurice.

"Are you ready to go back to school?" she asked.
""No way! I could play here at home for weeks more."




Me too, what about you? If you're a teacher, like me, you're in the midst of winter break. Are you ready to go back to school? I've had so much fun in the studio this vacation that I could use another week or two. The  domino necklaces are coming along. The Etsy shop is up, but not populated with product yet. I've got to figure out the tax angle before I list anything.
Tray of tacky dominoes. I may have to start these 20 over!
 Of course right when I think I've got it--figured out the domino process--I hit a snag. Today's snag is sticky resin. I must not have measured carefully enough. Easy Cast resin (mixed 1 to 1) usually sets up in 24 hours. Not so when I mix it wrong. The surface is tacky--I can see fingerprints if I touch the tops. In the past I've used spray resin to coat it and cover the tack, but I know that doesn't work for how I wear the dominoes.
I like to wear mine number side out. When I used that spray resin last time, the image side got soft like those jelly shoes. It got so soft and pliable that I eventually worked a corner up and peeled off the entire image. Resin is turning out to be trickier than I first thought.

PS: Guess what? You can apply another coat of resin to the sticky resin. I wiped them with acetone, applied more resin and presto it worked!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What Are You Teaching Your Children?

What am I teaching my child? I think about that a lot. I'm sure most mothers do. It's echoed in my mind lately though. What am I teaching Collin about work? What am I teaching Collin about the computer? What am I teaching Collin about giving back?

This past week was Project for Awesome. If you don't know, P4A is an event where Nerdfighters (John and Hank Green's band of smart people) take over YouTube and Twitter in an effort to spread awareness about charities. You can find out all you want to know about Project for Awesome at their home page or dip into my earlier teacher-posts.  I also wrote about how I used Project for Awesome with students here.

Collin and I follow the Vlogbrothers on YouTube. We have all of Hank's albums from DFTBA Records. He's watched me participate in Project for Awesome for two years and this year he participated too. Saturday, though I was under the weather, we hunkered down in the studio and got to commenting. Collin started by watching the video bursts at P4A main site. Mid-video he stops and says, "Mom? What't the doobly do?" Doobly do (though I'm not sure how to spell it) is John Green's word for the description box that appears below a YouTube video--the box where you can add links and information about the video you post. Doobly do is Collin's new favorite word.

We set up his YouTube account and I showed him how to like, rate, favorite, and comment. We bought raffle tickets (Collin really wanted to win John's Nerdfighter glasses) and spent the afternoon talking about charities and videos. He "DFTBA's" his way through video after video, but what did I like best? His replies to my comments.
Definitely a pink stone day.

DFTBA,

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Art & Flower Moments Today

Today Collin and I went to the Winter Park Fall art festival. Picture the park running the length of much of Park Avenue. White art tents, sculpture, painting , splashes of color smeared on canvas. I snuck a couple of pictures but dare not post them. I wanted to remember  the ideas and work from them at home in the studio. What delighted me though was what Collin said as we curved through a park amidst the photo tents: "I didn't know photography could be art." The wonder in his voice, seeing art through his eyes, definitely pink stone.

Mom and Dad gave Collin a camera last year for Christmas. We takes lots of pictures and go out to intentionally shoot occasionally. It's time for another picture safari. Maybe Animal Kingdom? The weather has just turned (hopefully I won't jinx it by saying so). Maybe we'll head someone interesting tomorrow or maybe I'll challenge him to carry his camera in his pocket and shoot wherever we land.


I haven't taken many photographs lately--well, not counting Nana's 100th birthday celebration, but that's a story all it's own. I thought I'd add a picture of the flowers Rick  brought home from work today (gorgeous left overs). Seems we were of one mind as I'd bought home flowers today too. I need to learn how to photograph reds better though. The Gerber daisies defied the lens and keep blurring together, but  these are the flowers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Art Shop

Did you know that I had an art booth in college? I designed dried floral wreaths sometimes with bits of shells. Larkspur, hydrangea, roses, statice, baby's breath, sphagnum moss, leather leaf fern these words were part of my art language then. I worked for the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority while in graduate school. One project I helped create was All Around Town Art, a Saturday art market in a downtown alley.  I even set up my own booth there selling dried floral wreaths. I displayed them on a tall-as-me, painted tri-fold pegboard.
Now my art vocabulary includes such things as gesso, mod podge, epoxy resin, casting, water slide paper and more. I collage and paint and experiment with resin and dominoes. My whimsical creations  feature animals from a royalty free illustration book that I cut up. I've long thought that if I started my own shop on Etsy, I might not sell much, but I'd at least have a way to write off a portion of the art supplies I buy. Right? I'm making progress toward to the Etsy shop.
I have:

  • a studio 
  • a name
  • a shop banner
  • 50 some odd collages to list


Like that downtown art market with artists lining the alley's nooks in booths and canvas tents is Etsy, but in a  higher resolutione. Sometimes I call it an eBay for artists. Though you can find fine art there, Etsy is not a juried art space. As it's tag line boasts, Etsy is "your place to buy and sell all things handmade." What do I still need to do to get the shop, Copper Monkey, open? I need to:

  • investigate shipping costs
  • order/create packaging 
  • order/create stickers for packaging
  • finalize photographs of the artwork
  • write the shop's statement or story
  • mail DBA paperwork to the state
  • set up business banking account
Lots to look forward to. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, how do you like the Copper Monkey banner? Is the blue section to plain? Let me know.

: ) las

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blue Heaven

If you ever find yourself in Key West, you must visit Blue Heaven. In the Bahamanian section of the city, at the corner of Thomas and Petronia, just a few blocks from Hemingway's house, you'll find it there. Eclectic, eccentric, enjoyable. At Blue Heaven guests choose from indoor seating (I don't even know what that looks like) or outdoor seating. Outside find mis-matched patio tables unified by the recently updated all white plastic chairs under a canopy of live oaks and foliage boasting blooms and vines. Roosters and hens wander the dining room as do  various and sundry cats. White Christmas lights twinkle in trees and string themselves across sections of the outside dining room. There is a stage--for playing mostly--and a ping pong table and a bandshell with a lively mermaid tacked to its ceiling. Though the atmosphere never fails to raise my spirits, the food is truly heavenly.

Rick and I have eaten at Blue Heaven since we discovered the restaurant during our 1st anniversary celebration in Key West in 1996. We love it so much that when my brother decided to get married in Key West, we convinced my mom to hold the reheasal dinner there. We arrived to approve the final menus and found the manager spraying down the dining room's dirt floor with a hose (to prevent dust he told us). The dirt, the hose, the whole outside business made mom a little nervous. But Blue Heaven lived up to its name that evening and has ever since for us.

During our last visit, the Carrot and Curry Soup stole the show. Amazing. Creamy with just the right touch of curry. My grouper was stuffed with baby red potatoes. And the corn bread? A wedge of pure deliciousness. The key lime pie? Incredibly tall. Perfectly  key lime-y. Tart and sweet, I loved it. Our waiter regaled us with a story of Kenny Chesney making Blue Heaven history on Oprah. But I have to say, we knew Blue Heaven when. If you get to Key West, it's a must visit spot.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Southern Biscuits

I used to think you had to make biscuits using Bisquick. That or a Jiffy mix. What did I know? Bisquick comes in handy for a lot of things, especially when camping, but good biscuits it does not make. Biscuits have been on my mind. So, I did a little research and found several interesting recipes (and food blogs). I enjoyed the biscuit making post at Mommy's Kitchen so much, I thought I'd take pictures of my own biscuit adventure.
I settled on Alton Brown's recipe from the food network. It had less fat than other recipes I read and my experience with Mom's secret chocolate-chip cookie recipe tells me that shortening is a good thing. Buttermilk, a mystery to me, is involved, so surely they would come out like those I'd eaten at Cracker Barrell right?

Flour, baking soda, baking power, salt, butter, shortening and buttermilk, the post at Mommy's Kitchen describes making your own buttermilk with lemon juice and vinegar as well as making your own self rising flour. Good to know.


After mixing the dough by fork and fingers, I turned it out onto the floured counter to fold and knead. I cut the buscuits with a glass and baked them, touching, on parchment paper. I surprised by the oven temperature the recipe calls for: 450°. I baked them early 4th of July morning, so the house didn't heat up too much. It reminded me of a scene from a book Mom was telling me about.
Mom's recently read A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith, an award-winning, historical novel about the MacIvey family's journey from Florida pioneers to real estate tycoons. In the book, one of the wives describes cooking over an open fire in the pre-dawn hours. Mom said the pioneer women would get up near 4 a.m., cook everything for the day, and leave it on the table covered only by the pulled up corners of the table cloth. Can you imagine?I can't wait to read the book--it's going to be my treat for vacation! I wonder if Patrick Smith does classroom visits. Hmmm... There's nothing like a pioneer story to make you realize you live in the lap of luxury. Sometimes I'm convinced that the dreams of pioneer women--dreams of plucked chickens or prepared foods--led to grocery stores. Can you imagine cooking over a fire in the Florida summer? No can do.
My oven-baked biscuits came out well. I wanted them to rise higher and I suppose in order to get them to do that, I should have chilled my ingredients. They weren't quite the Cracker Barrell flaky melt-in-your-mouthness I was looking for, but they were good, delicious even. I put the pictures together with Photo Story 3 below:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Crash-a-rama!


Have you ever been to a bus race? Crash-a-rama is an event, I'm telling you. Old school buses do figure eights around a short track in opposite directions. Thus the crash factor comes into play as they meet head-on in the middle of the eight. There are several warm-up events. The boat race has been first in the past. No, boats are not fitted with engines. Instead they are dragged behind a stock car sans trailer and the crowd cheers as they disintegrate; debris flies. The destruction is incredible and the crowd? Always interesting to watch. Usually there are a few stunts too. The last time I took Rick to Crash-a-rama (a birthday gift to him), an old Cadillac attempted to knock over a school bus that was standing on end--the car just rammed right into it. Very primitive these events.

Since I am working out of town, Rick and Collin went to the buses races for a little father-son time. They kept me up to speed by texting me messages and pictures.

Text messages (along with my thinking) from last night's fete went like this:

We rode a race bus! (Do they have seat belts on those things?)
Lots of buck tooth here (Only had 1 buck tooth or a matching set?)
Larry the Cable Guy is here (Well he is from Sanford.)
Elvis jumped 3 buses! (Elvis? Elvis is at the race track?!)

With the last text I event got a fiery picture. Elvis is the name of the stock car and maybe the driver, I'm not sure. Rick assured me he survived the Evil Knieval like attempt.

I spent an hour trying to figure out how to get the picture from my not-so-smart phone that does not connect to my computer or the internet. I'd love a new phone, but I'm frugal. So I did a little research.

I found a helpful list of mashable tools for sharing pics on twitter and figured if I could get the photo online, I could save it. Seems I used to be able to bluetooth connect the phone to the computer before this one to share files, but alas, no longer. I settled on Mobypicture, so above is Elvis jumping the buses. What was the fire? Perhaps an explosion for dramatic effect? I wonder.

Monday, June 14, 2010



I'm working (writing curriculum for Plugged-in to Nonfiction), but I just had to stop for a minute and write about my experience with Ask a Librarian. Did you even know that Florida offers such a service? I didn't, but it was like a wish come true this evening.

You see I'm working on curriculum to go with our next book in Plugged-in to Nonfiction. Our team generates teaching ideas around a core text and then we turn those ideas into teaching guides and student activities. The core text I'm working with right now talks about disasters, natural and man-made. A great topic for students, right? While reading about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire I got to thinking about a book I used in college to shop responsibly. The book provided consumers with checklists and charts which compared American companies on a range of social issues (the environment, labor practices, treatement of women, etc.). I got to thinking. Wouldn't it be interesting for students to research their favorite brands/companies in order to investigate labor practices.

Well that 's where I hit a wall. I couldn't find such an index online and I couldn't remember the name of the book. I was chasing rabbits. Struggling with search terms. Wishing I were friends with a research librarian I could skype, I thought: Wouldn't it be great if we had Ask a Librarian like we have Ask a Nuse? I googled it and lo and behold, we do! How can I be a teacher and not know this?
I had a fruitful chat with Dani L. from PBCLS (maybe Palm Beach County Library System?) and she not only pointed me to online databases I could access with my library card, but she also dug for that book I remembered. She found it and she found one printed more recently (The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Makes a Difference). I capitalized on the search terms our converstion bubbled up and found Better World Shopper, an online resource that grades companies on social issues.(much like Florida grades schools, right?)

Simply amazing. What a valuable service that is. I posted Ask a Librarian to my Delicioius. I'll definitely be heading back with more questions.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

What Story Are You Living?


I just finished an amazing book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Miller takes the elements of story--exposition, conflict, resolution and the like--and applies these to his life and his walk with God. The English teacher in me loves the concept, but my spirit loves the story.

In the story you meet Bob Goff. an amazing real-life person who transformed what his children deemed the most boring of all holidays, New Year's Day, into a family/community parade and celebration. The parade has continued for ten years. That is the most whimsical of stories about Goff, others are awe-inspiring. Like the time he had his children write world leaders and invite them to spend the night and be interviewed about their hopes for the world. Amazing stuff these stories.

Miller's essential questions revolve around the kind of story do you want to live and how you go about connecting with life and God in order to live it. As he says, "Great stories go to those who don't give in to fear" (108).

I've been wanting to change my family story for some time now. Act more. Adventure more and serve more. I've always wanted to bike across Florida--or walk even, but biking seems like an easier first step (a practice story as Miller might say). Rick and Collin and I have talked about the trip, how many days it might take. We've talked about causes we'd be interested in raising money for with such a trip, but we haven't gone beyond the dreamy dinner table plans. Miller's story seems to say "get out there--get going--create the story you want to live." I'm listening. It's a push in the right direction.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Broken


I remember when roller blades came out. I wanted a pair badly. I think I even asked for them from "Santa"--I was in college, so I didn't, necessarily, believe in the sliding down the chimney Santa, but I will always believe in the spirit of Santa. At the time, Mom said, "no way, you'll break your arm! Or worse!" So I convinced a friend to get me a pair and take me to a parking garage to try them out. He did. I think that was the first time I flew--four floors, ramps I filled with figure eights. Boy did I love those skates.

I still skate. Collin and I indulge in the Saturday morning under-12 matinee skate once or twice a month. Good exercise, good music, we leave after our 2 hour session full of happy-person endorphins. I think those endorphins are what helped me drive to not one but two emergency clinics this weekend.

I fell. Last song of the session and I fell. As I made the turn for the "slow backwards skate," Collin came around me. We ran into each other. Landed hard. Luckily he was fine. I, however, knew when I hit the rink that it was broken. I might have said one semi-silent "damn" as I rested the arm on my head and made my way off the rink. The wrist definitely wasn't shaped right when I got up. I told Collin to find his friend and take off his skates while I went to the concession stand for ice. Broken. I knew it.

Both bones in my wrist are healing and according to the Orthopedic Surgeon well-aligned (read no surgery!). I'm a one-handed typist, one-handed artist... pretty much one handed for the next 6-8 weeks. I'm thankful it wasn't worse. Is there a limitation on Mom's predictions?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Are you going in reverse?

Who knew drills could go forwards and backwards? I not overly fond of power tools. I think it's a trust issue. I don't trust myself with them. Awkward and clumsy don't mix well with electric current and rpms. Once when sanding small wooden heart shapes (I was making Christmas ornaments one year), the belt sander caught my long sleeve and ate it. The sander scrambled clear up to my shoulder before I could yank the cord out of the wall. I wasn't hurt, no lost skin, no wound. I just knew I'd be in trouble. It was an expensive belt sander--industrial even. I couldn't figure out how to get the sleeve out of the sander, so I had to walk in with it perched on my right shoulder and explain. I have used power tools since.


Lately though, I've wanted to do it myself. Not saw or anything that could take off an appendage, but just drill some holes. Lucky for me, my husband already has a drill that is semi-broken, so knowing no harm would come to it, he hooked me up with a 1/16th drill bit and battery power.


I've been drilling things for days--mostly old bakelite dominoes. Who knew 1/4 inch bakelite would be so tough? I broke 4 drill bits before I realized I was drilling in reverse. You can drill in revserse? Apparently you can--it just takes longer and there is smoke involved. When I switched directions the drill went through that bakelite with ease. It's amazing how things go smoothly when you're going in the right direction!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I quit


Yep, I quit. I quit my 365 project. I couldn't keep up or rather, I could, but keeping up was adding stress instead of relieving it. I had to let go of my "one creative thing" which had been my mantra when I picked up the project in the first place. But really, do creative types ever do just one creative thing? Of course not. This morning, for instance, I'm making birthday hats. Yesterday, I wrote with my A.P. students. I create every day.

I thought that taking a picture a day would be something to look forward to, something to day dream about, something to enjoy. Perhaps if I shot just anything and didn't tie myself to a theme or challenge. Perhaps if I wasn't so picky. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. There's always next week, or next month or next year. I am still taking pictures, just not feeling the pressure to post them each day. I suppose my flunked 365 project will go down as a lesson learned (again)that I can't do it all. Or at least I can't do it all, all the time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

365 Progress



Do you ever need just one thing? One thing for yourelf--a you-only fun thing? Truth be told I have several (art days, reading afternoons, cooking with collin) but my one new daily thing is this 365 photo project. For the project, you post a picture each day to flickr and if you belong to a group you put it into the group pool as well.

No matter the work at school or the laundry piling up at home or the various and other sundry projects on my plate, I have a picture a day in my mind. A creative escape. I'm not as timely as the rules recommend, but I am taking pictures--everyday. I'm starting to see things in pictures and notice shapes, color and the curve of lines. It feels as if I'm getting back to an essence I had before I got so busy. That, I like.

Monday, February 1, 2010

In the Weeds Rant


As service staff say, "I'm in the weeds." I'm behind on delivering food to my customers, or clearning tables, or keeping up with everyone's orders. Wife, mother, daughter, friend, teacher, comittee member, part-time writer, photographer and dog-groomer--how do women balance all of these things?

In school, I need to get ahead on lesson plans. I'm feeling behind in terms of planning. I know where I want I want to be in six weeks, but I'm not more than a week ahead of myself. Sometimes I think that is as it shoud be--I can't know exactly what I will teach tomorrow if I don't know what students' understood today. Still, I usually have things planned out further ahead.

As a Mom I feel as if third grade has gotten away from me. I haven't been as involved in Collin's learning as I want to be. We don't have a great homework routine. We are reading together less (as he reads by himself more). Tonight I sat down to help Collin get his binder organized. Collin has a mish-mash of papers in his binder. Some from September and some from last week. He brings home papers several times a week in a big white envelope. Really, some of my
9th graders book bags are quite the paper mish mash too.

In the beginning of the year, I helped Collin sort the returned papers into his binder, so he could use them for reference (which I don't think he did). Eventually, he convinced me that he didn't need them, so we kept things in our usual file folder in the office. Things have gotten a little backed up. Wrinkled papers were peeking out from behind every cover and corner of Collin's binder. I know it's not my responsibility to organize for my child, but someone does have to help him establish a system and learn to use it. Do other parents do that? Do you leave it to the teacher?

It's the same with my own students. If we teachers on their 9th grade team are making a committment to use binders the "AVID way," meaning students file papers from every subject, in an order, every week and have their binders checked each week by their AVID teachers, then we as teachers need to support students and teach them how to do that. If we say we're going to do it, we have to give the students time in class to put their papers away and to organize. If we want students to use their binders as a resource, we have to make ways for that to happen in class (not my strength this year).

Collin cannot articulate what he supposed to do with his binder. He's not sure what it's for other than a repository for papers. Someday I hope that he can see value in going back through his work to review what he's learning--but he doesn't see that right now. He doesn't use his binder as a resource; he doesn't refer to things in it. Though he does have a system for putting papers he needs to turn in, in the front pocket.

Really the mother thing is bothering me. Time or feeling like I don't have any of it has become difficult. The binder thing is bothering me. I'm as rushed as the White Rabbitt, "oh my ears and whiskers how late it's getting!" Like I said, I'm in the weeds.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Daily Shoot



Have you seen the Daily Shoot? It's a daily photo challenge posted online each morning and then collected through twitter hashtags throughout the day. The deal is that you take a picture, then tweet a link to the picture to @dailyshoot with the hashtag for the day's assignment. A hashtag includes the number sign and a word or letters. On twitter you can search for a hashtag and see what everyone has to say about that particular topic. It's neat and something I'm just figuring out how to leverage to get the most information from a variety of sources at one time. But aside from that techie stuff, today's hashtag is #ds52 (I guess there have have been 52 daily shoot challenges, but I've only done a few over the past few days). I've been using to prod my thinking for the 365 photography project I've undertaken.

This morning I told my students about the 365 project and they suggested I take a picture of my home-made light-box. Of course, they didn't say home-made (they said ghetto light-box), but that's because they know about the old pillow case I used to make the sides and the left over white spray paint I found in the garage that I used to coat the interior.

You see, I created the light-box last month, so that I could take pictures of my artwork (mini-collages) in order to post them on Etsy to sell. I need some nice, clear pictures of my collages and thought I'd like them against a white background. So, I looked up how to make a light box online. I, of course, call it a light box, but according to my research and reading the real term is light tent. .

Though I didn't like the picture of the light box for today's 365 photo, I did want to write about it. For today's 365 picture I used another shot. While playing with the lights to set up the shot of the light box, I discovered that the little quartz light that came with a "real" light tent that my Dad gave me for Christmas makes cool light patterns on the wall, so for today's 365 I used the image of shot of the quartz light.

I love the real light tent gift that Dad gave me. I think what I love best about it is that he noticed. He noticed I was working at doing something, something creative, something photographic (a talent of his) and he gave me a gift that would help me do it. I haven't quite figured out the real light tent yet and it doesn't quite fit on the shelf like my home-made one does, but I know I'll be using both of them and learning a lot about light in the process.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My 365 Project: A Year of Art Stories



I've been thinking for quite a while about doing a 365 photo project. I loved seeing Diane Cordell's daily photos come across Plurk last year. Her photos took me to the 365 project pictures on flickr for inspiration. So why not? After reading several tips & hints from Langwitches', Silvia Tolisano, I decided to jump in.

I joined 2 flickr groups for the project: Ed-tech365/1020 (education/technology folks) and the Shutter Sister's 365 (artists, photographers, mothers, women). Unlike the ed-tech folks, I won't be shooting with an iPhone. I will stick to whichever camera I have with me, likely a Cannon Elph or Nikon SLR.

I thought I'd try and focus my 365 project on my art. I'm not sure that I'll stay focused there, but we'll see. I thought I would take the opportunity to not only capture images related to my art, but also to tell a few of my own art stories. I don't think I'll blog the photos, but I may. Yesterday it was just easier to post my picture of the day to flickr and jot my story in flickr's description box. I will likely continue thus, especially as time will be a luxury once vacation is over. So if you want to see the pictures with the stories, you'll have to visit them on flickr.

I love taking pictures. My thinking changes when I when I see things through a lens. Diane Arbus once said that "Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies." All art is that to me--a delightful sneak into something sweet. My 365 project will give me one sweet, sneaky moment away from work each day. It will be my treat. I'm so looking forward to it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

End of an Era


No one ever told me that a voice could take you back. Back more than 20 years. Back to pre-game. Back to the stadium. Back to waving at players at half-time. Back to my youth. This afternoon I watched most of the Gator Bowl and thought back.

In 1985 I bought two tickets to the Gator Bowl and gave them to my Dad for Christmas. I was 19, Dad 51. I was a sophomore in college. He drove us up to Jacksonville in the Porsche 944 he'd gotten for his 50th. I remember flying north on I-95. Dad saying, "that's the difference between a car that can go fast and a Porsche that's made to go fast." We must have topped 120 mph. We must have listen to Gene Deckerhoff's pre-game show on the ride up--I always did. We talked. About the game, my time in college, about the players we knew. Dad drove straight and strong--fast to Jacksonville. Our seats were high up in the stands, but it was my first bowl game and a gift I'd given to my Dad.

There were more than 79,000 people in the stadium with Dad and I that night. Florida State beat Oklahoma 34, 23. It was cold too, if I remember right. A Mr. Henry H. Beckwith was the chairman of the game that year. I didn't know that then, but it's a fitting detail now that I'm feeling nostalgic. Beckwith is a family name.

A lot of people, myself included, have wondered if Bowden's past his time. How difficult that must be--33 winning seasons and suddenly folks and fans are speculating about your retirement. Calling for it, even. Mickey Andrews is retiring today too. A team at its end. Change is coming for Seminole football. We give our lives to what we love and we work and work and work, but in the end what happens? I wonder about that sometimes.

I tuned into the game today and at Gene Deckerhoff's voice felt my eyes tear up. How could his voice sound just the same. Just the same as when I was 19 and Dad, 51. Voices can do that. Bobby Bowden has aged like the rest of us; he's someone we have seen change, grow, and age gracefully working the sidelines. He's had a lifetime of strong work in Tallahassee. He will be missed and lauded. But Deckerhoff? His voice took me by surprise today. Took me right back he did.

image: Florida State schedule card picturing Paul McGowan from 1987, our senior year, mined from my cigar box of ticket stubs and memories.