December, 2008 - Lots of good things happened this month, including the thirty-second annual
presentation of the
Christmas Pageant at Denton State School using a score that I wrote for the
very first production way back when.  Some of the musicians who play have been doing it for
several years, and they always tell me that it is a score they really enjoy playing and one that helps
them get into the spirit of the season.  
 Former T.W.U. colleague Lanelle Blanton wrote a wonderful
Christmas Cantata that was
performed by a small choir and musicians at Trinity Presbyterian Church.  It was
excellent.  I am
most happy to see her continuing to create works like this in her retirement.  
 My handbell choir at the university, the Redbud Ringers, performed for the Chancellor's Holiday
Party, and our offering was well-received by all who attended.  You can see a photo by clicking on
this link:  
Redbud Ringers - Christmas, 2008
One of the most beautiful Christmas trees that I ever saw was in March of 1973 (or a year near to
that).  I was selling real estate (one of several odd jobs that I had before starting my work at Denton
State School).  A beautiful home in one of the upscale neighborhoods came on the market, and
those of us in the business were allowed to take a tour.  In December of the previous year the man
who owned the home had shot his wife as she returned from a meeting with her lover.  She was
buried, he went to jail, and the kids were farmed out to other family members.  Nothing had been
disturbed since the day of the crime, and a very large Christmas tree was still in place in the living
room.  It was an eerie sight - but still very beautiful.

December, 1979 - The most inefficient energy source affecting our lives on earth is the sun.  Only
one two-billionth of its output reaches and is absorbed by our planet.  The rest of it goes out in
space (to heat and light the other inhabited worlds we know nothing about).  The ultimate energy
crisis is the scheduled burning out of the sun - estimated to be about thirty five billion years away.
 In downtown Denver we got lost, because our map was out of date.  After failing to raise anyone
on the trusty old CB we came to a building which, from outward appearance and the sign in the
front yard, seemed like a logical place to ask for directions.  The sign said "HELP HOUSE".  
(That's not the punch line).
 One member of our party got out of the car and approached the property eagerly.  He came
running back rather quickly; and we inquired, "Well, did you get directions?"  He replied, "I couldn't
get past the guard dog."  We concluded that this particular house catered only to persons who
really need help.

RHYME FOR OUR TIME:

Faces making front page news - faces big, faces small,
Faces from all around the world - faces tell it all.

Faces of all the politicians and all the society set;
Faces of starving children - we'd rather just forget.

Faces of the superstars - demanding higher pay.
Faces of starving children - tell them to go away.

Faces of endangered species - trying to save their skin.
Faces of starving children - will there ever be an end?

Faces happy, faces sad - confront us every day.
Faces of starving children; we look, then turn away.

Note:  I don't remember writing this very negative verse, but there it is - in black and white.  And,
wouldn't you know,  those starving faces are still with us.