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Inside of every older person is a younger person asking,

Vol 2 Nr 11 November 2010

“Where Did It Go?”

A Fun and Informative Rag for Those Who Have Been Around the Block and Attended at Least One Rodeo

“The River Road”


Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana Although other states have their own River Roads, perhaps none is more evocative or famous than Louisiana’s. Here, the very name inspires a vision of white pillared houses standing amid lush gardens and trees dripping with Spanish moss. Louisiana’s fabled Great Mississippi River Road consists of a corridor approximately 70 miles in length located on each side of the river between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The area includes the river, levees, and adjacent lands and cultural resources. Among the latter is the state’s most famous and recognizable group of monumental plantation houses, most built by wealthy sugar planters in the Greek Revival style. The River Road’s reputation of pillared splendor began with the comments of 19th-century travelers. As early as 1827, one succinctly described the region as follows: “Everywhere thickly peopled by sugar planters, whose showy houses, gay piazzas, trim gardens, and numerous slave-villages, all clean and neat, gave an exceedingly thriving air to the river scenery.” More than half a century later Mark Twain journeyed down the river to revisit some of his old haunts. He records: “From Baton Rouge to New Orleans, the great sugar plantations border

both sides of the river all the way, . . . Plenty of dwellings . . . standing so close together, for long distances, that the broad river lying between two rows, becomes a sort of spacious street. A most homelike and happy-looking region.”

Houmas House The grand homes described by these observers were built by immensely wealthy sugar planters during the 30 years prior to the Civil War. They epitomize the conspicuous consumption lifestyle characteristic of the socalled Gold Coast during that period and were the absolute apex of the Greek Revival style in Louisiana. They may be briefly characterized as two-story mansions with broad double galleries and monumental columns or pillars that rise to the roofline in one continuous shaft. In some cases, conventional porticoes are dispensed with and the squarish mass of the house is surrounded by a two-story colonnade. Known

as the Aperipteral style, the latter treatment is essentially a subspecies of the American Greek Revival and is an archetype peculiar to the Deep South. Although the Greek Revival dominates, visitors to the River Road can see plantation houses in other styles as well. For example, a limited number of Creole houses survive. Also featuring columned galleries, these pre-antebellum homes, if one may use that term, are a relic of French colonial Louisiana. The entire River Road was once Creole, but one by one these early buildings were either modified or replaced. And, while it never even began to challenge the Greek Revival in popularity, the Italianate style is also represented among the region’s majestic plantation homes.

San Francisco Although visitors tend to focus upon the big house, one must remember that plantations historically had a large number of buildings. Far from the rural idyllic view we have today, plantations CONTINUED, PG. 6


After spending the weekend in New Orleans watching a Saints game in French Quarter bars, I couldn’t help but wonder about the source of the expression, “Who dat?” It was everywhere you looked. “Who dat?” is a chant of team support, used especially by Saints fans. The entire chant is: “Who dat? Who dat? Who dat sayin dey gonna beat dem Saints?” “Who dat” may also be used to describe a Saints fan. The chant of “Who Dat?” originated in minstrel shows and vaudeville acts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was taken up by jazz and big band performers in the 1920s and 30s. A common tag line in the days of Negro minstrel shows was: “Who dat?” answered by “Who dat say Who dat? In the swing era, “who dat” chants back and forth between the band and the band leader or between the audience and the band were extemporaneous. That is, there was no one specific set of words except for the two magic ones. “Who Dat” became part of a chant for fans cheering on their favorite team. It has been debated exactly where it started, but by 1983 the cheer had become so popular among fans that the New Orleans Saints organization officially adopted it during the tenure of coach Bum Phillips, and Aaron Neville (along with local musicians Sal and Steve Monistere and Carlo Nuccio) recorded a version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” that incorporated the chant of “Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints” (performed by a group of Saints players). The song quickly became a major local hit. After the Saints won the NFC Championship Game on January 24, 2010, against the Minnesota Vikings in the Superdome, fans from all across New Orleans, including fans who were exiting the game, started a Mardi Gras-style “Who Dat” on Bourbon Street with modified lyrics, chanting, “Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat in the Super Bowl!” in reference to the Saints advancing to the Super Bowl for the first time ever in their 43-year history. In Super Bowl XLIV, on February 7, 2010, the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17. Who dat?



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Proclaimed by the Mayor for the first time in 1961, the festival honoring this most delectable of local foods was a one-day affair held on Saturday climaxing a week of activity featuring sausage dishes on menus of local cafes and specials on sausage products in local meat markets and grocery stores. The first year it was “Sausage Festival” … later “Wurst Week” … and finally “WURSTFEST”. What he thought would be a typical small town festival was conceived by Ed A. Grist, who was a practicing Veterinarian and City Meat Inspector. At the time, no one anticipated the phenomenal success this festival would achieve. The first WURSTFEST drew a crowd of 2,000 sausagehungry visitors attracted by literally world-wide publicity … there were feature stories on this unique celebration in newspapers in Canada and Germany, as well as most major cities in the United States. Although scheduled to take place in Landa Park, threatening weather caused the first festival to move to the National Guard Armory.

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The festival went “bigtime” in ’63, moving downtown to the Rathskeller (a burned-out department store basement, now the New Braunfels Utilities parking lot) with an event scheduled every night of Wurst Week. Attendance in ’64 tripled, reaching 30,000 and the visitors

consumed 5,000 pounds of sausage. In ’66, the pressure on the Rathskeller was so great (an estimated 35,000 attended that year) that it became necessary to move to larger quarters. Over five tons of sausage disappeared from food booths that year.

WURSTFEST broke in a new site in ’67 … half of the present Wursthalle … and attendance jumped to 40,000. In ’68, the entire Wursthalle, having approximately 33,000 square feet and seats for over 2,000 people, was leased in time for 56,000 visitors in the expanded ten-day run. In ’69, balmy weather throughout the ten days of WURSTFEST contributed to a record attendance of 75,000. Food served from 48 booths included Wurst Tacos, Sauerkraut Pizzas, Corn on the Cob, Shish-ka-bobs, Wurst-kabobs and all kinds of sausage. The festival had its first bigtime entertainer in ’68 when Myron Floren of the Lawrence Welk TV show appeared. In ’74, the Biergarten was added along with new security facilities and restrooms. 1978 was a benchmark year with the purchase of the Dittlinger Feed Mill property, and a sublease on a portion of the LCRA property. This tripled the size of the WURSTFEST grounds and entertainment area for the visitors. A grounds admission charge and strict policies, along with improved facilities, removed any doubt that the festival would continue To Page 15

November 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 3

Kemah Events coming up in November and December! ARBOR ANTIQUES SERVICES, INC.

w the Bay Antiques by November 4-7 Kemah, TX

• • • • • • •

Ann Gunnel’s Design Beverly Johnson/Abigail Johnson Cabin Fever Antiques Delighful Pleasures El Antiquario’s Mexican Masters Gallery Elizabeth’s Antiques Flashback Funtiques

• • • • • • •

EXHIBITORS K & C Antiques Ken Wilson Antiques Material Girl Matt Thomas Antiques Our Robbins Nest Pandora de Balthazar Timeless Paragon Antiques

• • • • • • •

R & S Antiques Rita’s Treasures S & G Antiques Stained Glass Expressions The Bag Lady The Painted Pear Winnie Mauchs


November 12,13 & 14, 2010 Kemah, Texas

UPCOMING KEMAH EVENTS November 4 - 7 Antiques by the Bay November 11-14 Salute to Service -Kemah Veteran’s Appreciation Celebration Nov 20 - Dec 19 Christmas in Kemah

FRIDAY - Welcome reception for arriving Soldiers, Kemah Coast Guard Display and Air/Sea Rescue Demonstration SATURDAY - Fishing Tournament or sailing /cruising for soldiers and families. Classic Car Show on Boardwalk - Apache Helicopter Flyover & Landing. Special Forces Static Display. Laser Army shooting Range. Army “Dog Tag” machine. Coast Guard Display. Boat Parade. Festival Grounds Food & Entertainment. “Deck the Halls” Craft Show in Kemah Civic Center. Shopping in Kemah Lighthouse District. Live music. SUNDAY - Soldiers will be treated to breakfast by Elks Lodge, Kemah and then return home. 281-334-3181

December 11 Texas’ 49th Annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade

Breeze into Kemah, The Gateway to the Bay For more information call the Kemah Visitor Center 877-775-3624

Something For Everyone!

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Computer Tips Marlene Jones Owner - Friendly Computers

Making A Sensible Repair A big misconception these days is that computers are made to be thrown away. There are certain towers you can buy that are known not to last, but for the majority of the computers sold in retail stores this is not the case. Every computer sold has some maintenance cost. For example there are a few repairs that are common on just about any computer such as a power supply, hard drive and various software fixes. You might need these repairs on any computer no matter how much you paid for it. So let’s say for instance you purchase a computer for $300 and the power supply goes bad after 2 years. The repair would cost around $130 to $150 for parts and labor. If instead you decided to buy a new computer, you would not only have to spend 300 dollars for the new PC but what about data? Would you have to pay extra to get your data migrated to the new machine? You can see the dilemma, is it a better investment to pay for the repair or buy a new machine? Before making a repair you need to take a few things into consideration. One is the age of the computer, two is the amount of money you spent on the computer and three, how much money you have already invested in it. A good repair shop will take those sorts of things into consideration before suggesting a repair that would suit you. A good rule of thumb is if the repair is two thirds or more of purchasing a new computer then it would probably not be wise to continue with the repair unless there were other circumstances that outweighed purchasing a new computer. Also if you decide to repair it, make sure you are dealing with a qualified IT professional. A good judge of qualification is that the service tech has professional certification, such as the CompTIA A+ certification. Don’t be lured in by someone saying that they know how to work on computers and they offered you a really good deal. You could end up finding out the hard way that they are just not qualified to repair computers, and will have to pay again to have the repair done right. Keeping these things in mind will help you make an informed decision and hopefully maximize the longevity of your investment.

Acts of Kindness are about Putting Others First We live in a very fast-paced world. Many of us are busy, on our way somewhere, without time to stop and do something for another person. We have so much on our mind. We might be thinking about tomorrow’s big presentation, or worried about what we’re going to cook for dinner tonight. We might be eager to get to some destination or to leave some place where we are uncomfortable. In essence, we are trapped in our own thoughts and emotions and it becomes incredibly difficult to see others around us. Kindness is about putting other people ahead of ourselves. It is about taking the time to give someone else a piece of our time -and time is sometimes our most valuable commodity. Kindness is something that is done voluntarily: it is not something that can be taxed or stolen from us. Nobody controls our decision to show kindness except ourselves. Kindness means not first asking “what is in it for me” but asking ourselves “how can I help this other person.” It means seeking to fill a gap in the life of someone who may be struggling, or who has a need. It means not asking for anything in return. Kindness is giving of ourselves without considering what will come back in our direction. Kindness always puts others first.

Where Did It Go? P.O. Box 1460 Dickinson, TX 77539 PHONE: 832-265-5691 FAX: 281-385-9085 Editor/Publisher Gene Rutt Contributors Marlene Jones Captain B.G. Willie

Account Rep Elizabeth Scott 832-454-1940 A Fun and Informative Rag for Those Who Have Been Around the Block and Attended at least One Rodeo. We are essentially targeting 15,000 40+ readers each month from San Leon to Pearland and all points in between but have enough fun for everybody no matter their age.

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November 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 5

Stuck in a Rutt

Phil Donohue interviews Milton Friedman

Letter from the Editor

February 11, 1979

Phil Donohue: When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many havenots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism? And whether greed is a good idea to run on?

Well, thank goodness Election Day is about over. I am conservative, as is about 70% of our population, and it looks like it may be a good result for like minded folks. This is not to be confused with being Republican, though we usually rely on Republicans to be conservative and embrace conservative ideals, those being believing in a higher power, honoring the Constitution and encouraging personal responsibility. The conservatives I know are not racists, do not hate gay people and believe in helping those who cannot help themselves. This is why the Tea Party has had so much influence even though it is constantly maligned with the negative images named above. I also believe the Tea party is going to keep on top of the newly elected officials no matter which party they represent. The real fact is that politics is no longer Republicans against Democrats but rather freedom loving Americans against those who would strip us of our freedoms (for our own good.) ----------------------------Let’s hope this means our economy is about to turn around and to some extent I think it will immediately just from positive psychological influences. Let’s go out and spend some money and get people to work and let’s patronize our advertisers while you’re at it. I understand the uncertainty we’ve all been experiencing (in the publishing business too) but let’s go out and have a nice dinner out. The restaurant advertisers in this publication are all reasonably priced and have excellent food for that price. You can get some of the best steaks, BBQ, seafood, burgers and other delights within just a few mile area. Let’s take advantage of the available offerings and have ourselves a good time at the same time. Gene Rutt - Publisher/Editor

Milton Friedman: Well first of all tell me, is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy. It’s only the other fella that’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The greatest achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty that you are talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system. Phil Donohue: Seems to reward not virtue as much as the ability to manipulate the system. Milton Friedman: And what does reward virtue? You think the Communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? Do you think... American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic selfinterest? You know I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. And just tell me where in the world you find these angels that are going to organize society for us? Well, I don’t even trust you to do that. -- Milton Friedman (1912-2006) Nobel Prize-winning economist, economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, “ultimate guru of the free-market system”


I thought you would want to know about this e-mail virus. Even the most advanced programs from Norton or McAfee cannot take care of this one. It appears to affect those who were born prior to 1960. Symptoms: 1. Causes you to send the same e-mail twice... done that! 2. Causes you to send a blank e-mail! .....that too! 3. Causes you to send e-mail to the wrong person. .......yep! 4. Causes you to send it back to the person who sent it to you. ......DUH! 5. Causes you to forget to attach the attachment. .......well damn! 6. Causes you to hit “SEND” before you’ve finished. .........oh no - not again! 7. Causes you to hit “DELETE” instead of “SEND.” .......and I just hate that! 8. Causes you to hit “SEND” when you should “DELETE.” ........Oh No! IT IS CALLED THE “C-NILE VIRUS!!!” Hmmm....

Paradoxical Thought for Today

Thanks Billy Newman

“Fathom the odd hypocrisy that the Government wants every citizen to prove they are insured, but people don’t have to prove they are citizens.” ~ Ben Stein

6  WHERE DID IT GO November 2010

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River Road from Page 1 were factories aimed at producing a cash crop on a large scale for world export. Each was in effect a self-contained community. Joseph Holt Ingram, in his The Southwest by a Yankee, 1835, noted that plantation appurtenances constitute a village in themselves, for planters always have a separate building for everything. From a practical standpoint, the sugar house and the slave quarters, rather than the big house were probably the most important of these buildings. For those unfamiliar with the sugar industry, the term milling refers to the removal of juice from sugar cane stalks and its conversion into a crystallized product known as raw sugar.

disease severely depressed the Louisiana sugar industry, with the result that great house after great house was abandoned and fell into ruin. Also in the 20th century, dredging the river bottom for ocean-going vessels ushered in an era of industrial development that changed the character of many parts of the River Road. More importantly, due to the encroachments of the Mississippi, federal action, owner disinterest, fragmented ownership, demolition by industry, and a weak economy, historic properties were lost, sometimes by the score.

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Before the Civil War milling took place in numerous small mills (known as sugar houses) located on individual plantations. After the war improvements in sugar technology combined with shortages of labor and capital to force the closure of many of these formerly profitable mills. In their place rose a system of large central factories which processed cane grown on distant plantations as well as that produced in their own fields. Abandoned by their owners and allowed to decay, historic sugar houses gradually disappeared from the plantation landscape. Today only a few badly deteriorated ruins survive. Slave Quarters

Slave quarters, which sheltered the laborers who made profits possible, have suffered a similar fate. Thousands upon thousands of these buildings once existed across the South. Although a few major houses were lost in the 19th century, the River Road remained largely intact until the 1920s.

During that decade Mosiac

The region’s revival began with the restoration of Oak Alley in the 1920s. The River Road was a beehive of activity in the 40s, with such landmarks as Houmas House, Ormond, Bocage and Evergreen being restored. Much has been said about the impact of industry along the River Road, but there have been cases in which industry and preservationists have cooperated with spectacular results. Chief among these is the restoration of San Francisco Plantation House, which was accomplished with the financial assistance of the Marathon Oil Company. Sugar Cane

Today’s River Road is a study in contrasts, with broad cane fields, antebellum mansions, petrochemical plants and suburban strip developments, all jumbled together in a chaotic mixture. Nevertheless, much of the past remains to be enjoyed.

November 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 7

Libations for November Please Drink Responsibility

Veteran Ingredients: 2 oz Dark rum 1/2 oz Cherry brandy

Mixing instructions:

Pour the rum and cherry brandy into an old-fashioned glass almost filled with ice cubes. Stir well.

Thanksgiving Special Ingredients: 3/4 oz Apricot brandy 3/4 oz Dry Vermouth 3/4 oz Gin 1/4 tsp Lemon juice 1 Cherry Mixing instructions: Shake all ingredients (except cherry) with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with the cherry and serve.

Cranberry Bomber Ingredients: 4 oz Cranberry juice 1/2 oz Orange juice 2 tblsp Grenadine 1 tsp Honey Cola

Mixing instructions: Pour over ice and fill with cola. Stir and add honey. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

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2 shots Vodka (Absolut or better) 1 pint Firewater or hot damn 4 tblsp Tabasco sauce 1 splash Butterscotch schnapps 10 oz Wild Turkey 6 oz Jack Daniels (or other premium sourmash Whiskey) 30 shots Jägermeister (Substitute Sambuka if you wish)

Mixing instructions: Mix all drinks in a blender, You can add 8 cubes of ice to chill the drink and give it more of a body. Add the Hot melting butter(or the schapps right before you drink).

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8  WHERE DID IT GO November 2010

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November 11, 2010 As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. A federal holiday, it is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY U.S. MARINE CORP During the American Revolution, many important political discussions took place in the inns and taverns of Philadelphia, including the founding of the Marine Corps. A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming the Continental Marines. As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became Commandant of the newly formed Marines. Tun Tavern’s owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776. Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10th with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.

November 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 9

Old Time Music

“Old time music” is difficult to define because it is different in different parts of the country. For instance, in “Nordeast” Minneapolis it is the nomenclature for polka music, whereas in most parts of the country it is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as the squaredance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also encompasses ballads and other types of folk songs. It is played on acoustic instruments, generally centering on a combination of fiddle and plucked string instruments (most often the guitar and banjo) but also the dulcimer, harpsichord, mandolin and dobro. Sometimes a board and string on a washtub is substituted for a string bass. Reflecting the cultures that settled North America, the roots of old-time music are in the traditional musics of the British Isles (primarily English, Scottish and Irish). In some regions French and German sources are also prominent. While many dance tunes and ballads can be traced to European sources, many others are of purely North American origin. With its origins in traditional music of Europe and Africa, old-time music represents perhaps the oldest form of North American traditional music other than Native American music, and thus the term “old-time” is an appropriate one. As a label, however, it dates back only to 1923. The term “hillbilly music” was used to describe Appalachian and Southern fiddle-based and religious music and “race music” to describe the music of African American recording artists, began using “old-time music” as a term to describe the music made by artists. Ernest Van “Pop” Stoneman (May 25, 1893 – June 14, 1968) ranked among the prominent recording artists of country music’s first Pop Stoneman commercial decade. Pop’s first commercial recording, a song he wrote called “The Sinking of the Titanic,” was made in New York City on September 1924. It quickly became number three on the Billboard/Variety charts, and remained there for ten weeks. This solo recording sold over one million copies. I met Pop and his family band, The Stonemans, in Beaumont in the 60’s when his daughter, Roni, gave me some banjo lessons. On February 12, 2008, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Bay Area Houston Arts Festival Arts Alliance Center

Janet McTeer

Emmy Rossum

One recent movie entitled “Songcatcher” chronicles the efforts of a brilliant musicologist, who visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There she stumbles upon the discovery of her life - a treasure trove of ancient Scots-Irish ballads, songs that have been handed down from generation to generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains. She ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs and finds herself increasingly enchanted - not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they carve out meaningful lives against the harshest conditions

Bay Area acrylic and mixed media artist Jennifer Rivas displays one of her pieces that shows both her love of intense color and her unique vintage style inspired by her interest in art from the 60’s and 70’s. What: Bay Area Houston Arts Festival Where: 2000 NASA Pkwy, Nassau Bay Date: Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6 Time: 10AM - 6PM

The Soggy Bottom Boys in “Oh Brother”

Entertainment: Guitarists Dmitri Tchoulanov, Jua Manuel and Alex Ordonez will perform as well as pianist Victoria Stone and harpist Lucy Calhoun

From left: Chris Thomas King, Tim Blake Nelson, George Clooney, John Turturro,


Another movie (and one of my all time favorites) was “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” the entire sound track of which was referred to as “old time music,” in fact the Soggy Bottom Boys claimed to be steeped in old time music. The soundtrack CD became a best seller, certified eight times platinum as of October 2007 with sales of 7,421,000 copies in the United States up to November 2008. It won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2002 and created a lot of interest in “Old Time Music.” Bluegrass is often thought of as Old Time Music and though its roots go way back to the mountains of Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky, the actual genre was not actually denoted until the 1940’s and was named after Bill Monroe’s band, the Bluegrass Boys. As well demonstrated in the “Oh Brother” CD, old time music is really a combination of mountain music, gospel music, bluegrass, folk music, sea chanteys and blues.

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10  WHERE DID IT GO November 2010

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Many of us view the recent attack on a jet skier in Falcon Lake as an act of piracy. It had so many inconsistencies surrounding it that I’m not sure what it should be considered. It may have just been murder. However, there have been many bonafide acts of piracy in recent years, most of them occurring in the Straits of Hormuz by Somali pirates. Modern-day piracy has once again made international news with the capture of 20 American hostages on the cargo ship cargo ship Maersk Alabama. The Alabama was the sixth vessel in a week to be hit by pirates who have extorted tens of millions of dollars in ransoms. Who are these pirates, and how have they become so pervasive? They aren’t like the pirates in the movies. “Colorful pirates don’t exist. They’re either well-organized gangs, making a lot of money out of it, or opportunistic thieves,” Ian Taylor, editor of Cargo Security International, told the BBC in 2006. With no patrols along the shoreline, commercial fishing fleets from around the world exploited the chaos and plundered the waters. Somali fishermen armed themselves and turned into vigilantes by confronting illegal fishing boats and demanding that they pay a tax. “They got greedy,” a Somali diplomat said. Some started taking hostages for ransom and robbing boats. Pirates tell reporters that they don’t want to hurt anyone; they only want money. Piracy has grown in Somalia with the 1991 collapse of the government. The money is tempting in a country where almost half the population needs international food aid. “Even now, pirates are marrying the most beautiful ladies, with nonstop dancing at weddings that go a couple of days,” one former pirate told Time. “Some pirates are even sending their girlfriends to hospitals abroad to give birth. Imagine that.” Amidst all the hoopla about Christian extremists planning to burn Korans, some may have missed today’s news about the boarding by US Marines of a hijacked vessel off the Somali coast. Two dozen members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force boarded the M/V Magellan Star just before dawn this morning (local time). Suspected pirates had taken control of the freighter yesterday; her eleven crew managed to get themselves into a safe room after sending out word of the situation. In response, elements of CTF 151 (the maritime counter-piracy force in the region) were dispatched, including a Turkish frigate and the American warships USS Dubuque and USS Princeton. The Marine raiders aboard the Dubuque then prepared and executed an operation to board the Magellan Star and free the crew. Nine suspects were apprehended by the members of 15th MEU, in what is the first instance in that region in which American forces have undertaken such an operation with a commercial vessel seized by pirates. No injuries have been reported. The Force Recon platoon commander (“Blue Collar 6”) during this incident is none other than USMC Captain Alexander Martin. He posted a short item on the incident today on the USNI Blog, which is worth noting: “We got word that the pirates wanted to stay on and fight - it was funny because when we came alongside and they saw us board and

November 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 11

Some Non-Lethal High-Tech Weapons to Repel Pirates

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Personally I like the idea of a .50 caliber machine to repel pirates, blowing them and their boats into smithereens at long range but sometime cooler heads prevail. First, how does a small gang of lightly armed Somali pirates hijack a modern cargo ship? Speed and weaponry, mainly. Modern pirates, whether off the coast of Somalia or in the crowded shipping lanes of southeast Asia, typically use fast speedboats to zoom up to the sterns of slow-moving cargo ships. They then toss grappling hooks up to the rails and climb up ropes to clamber on deck. Pirates are generally armed with assault rifles and, increasingly, rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Modern ships’ crews are usually unarmed for a number of reasons, among them laws that prevent armed vessels from docking in the ports of many countries. “The maritime unions, shipping companies and the International Maritime Organization all agree that ship’s crews should not be armed,” says Capt. George Quick, vice president of the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, based in Linthicum, Md. “It would only escalate the situation The Somali pirates are pretty well funded, and they’d just get bigger weapons.” Modern ships also don’t need many people to sail them. The aforementioned 500-foot, 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama has a total of 20 crewmembers, including the captain. Hence it was pretty easy for pirates with AK-47s to boss them around, provided they can find all the crewmembers. So if the cargo ships can’t fire back, how can they defend themselves against pirates? A number of non-lethal solutions have been suggested and tried, some low-tech, some practically science fiction. Fire hoses. The simplest way to repel boarders is to train highpressure hoses on them. Spraying them straight down the sides of the ship at bad guys trying to climb aboard usually works. But there’s a catch. If there’s more bad guys standing in the speedboats aiming guns at the crew, then you have to give up. “Some companies encourage the use of fire hoses, but even that’s controversial,” says Quick. “When you’ve got a boatload of guys with AK-47s pointed at your crew, it’s not really a fair fight.” Remote-controlled fire hoses. To get around that logistical problem, several companies market high-pressure water cannons that can wash pirates overboard without exposing anyone to enemy fire. Molotov cocktails. If ships’ crews aren’t given weapons, they can always make their own. In December, Somali pirates shadowed the Zhenhua 4, a Chinese cargo ship, for days, giving its crew Go to PIRATES page 12

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rush the superstructure, you could see the look change in their eyes...they didn’t want to play’d be proud of the men today, they represented America with honor. It didn’t need to be a bloodless day (for the pirates) but it was...” Actually, I’d say that the raiders from 15th MEU represented more than just America today. They also represented the larger international community who are trying to work together to deal with maritime criminal acts. And this is important to mariners around the world, because it shows that seafarers are not alone when it comes to being predated upon by pirates. The boarding of a hijacked vessel by military assets is fraught with dangers, for the raiders, the crew and the pirates. Past incidents have seen such endeavors end badly such as happened with a personal yacht Tanit last year. Still, I would argue that today’s incident shows that professionals, trained in counterpiracy operations, can do a far more effective job of dealing with these situations than some of the other options floated out there (such as arming mariners or embarking private security assets). The skill sets of teams such the 15th MEU allowed for a successful operation without the loss of any lives - military, civilian or criminal. Is a permanent, international counter-piracy raiding force, willing to board vessels, take on pirates and risk their own lives to safeguard civilians the way to go? Well, we do it on land all the time. They’re called police. It’s part of the process of containing and deterring criminal activities. Not the whole solution, but an important element. And, no, raiders like the 15th MEU cannot be everywhere. But the threat they pose to pirates has risen dramatically as a result of today’s events.

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12  WHERE DID IT GO November 2010


"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money." -- Alexis de Tocqueville Let me get this straight . . . . We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don’t, which purportedly covers at least ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents to administer the plan, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but exempted themselves from it, signed by a President who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any “benefits” take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that’s broke. And this newspaper is too political? “Unless they can pass the same test that immigrants must pass to become citizens, people shouldn’t be allowed to vote. The idea that there is some public benefit in ignoramuses and morons pulling levers next to names on a ballot is one of the evil myths of post-modern America. The purpose of voting, in our country, is to select men and women with the competence and integrity to operate the mechanics of government fixed by our Constitution. For this process to have any public benefit requires that the choices be made on an intelligent, knowledgeable and reasoned basis.” -- Charley Reese The Orlando Sentinel

PIRATES from page 11 ample time to prepare a stockpile of Molotov cocktails using empty beer bottles. The baddies got on board, but the crew used the homemade bombs and fire hoses to fend them off for six hours, enough time for Malaysian Navy helicopters to show up and scare the pirates away. Sonic weapons. In November 2005, the cruise ship Seabourn Spirit in the western Indian Ocean fended off pirate speedboats, partly by blasting them with an long range acoustic device (LRAD), which is designed to cause painful level of sound up to 300 meters away. The bad guys may have figured out that earplugs or blast muffs greatly reduce the LRAD’s effectiveness as a weapon. Slippery foam. Boat decks are wet places. Somali pirates are often barefoot. Hence the need for Non-Lethal Slippery Foam or AntiTraction Material. No one’s actually deployed this stuff yet, but a few serious squirts would send pirates sliding around helplessly like happy penguins on an ice floe. Rubber bullets. Riot police typically fire non-lethal projectiles from real guns, which wouldn’t be allowed on many ships. But highpowered air guns could fire plastic or rubber bullets almost as easily, causing pain if not serious injury to boarders hit in the torso or limbs. Head shots could cause injury or even death, however. Electric fencing. At least one company sells a high-voltage fence that sticks horizontally outward from a ship’s sides, zapping any would-be boarders like so many wayward cattle. Nets. In the same way that police lay out nail strips to stop speeding cars, ships could launch small nets into the water to entangle the propellers of the pirate speedboats. It’s possible smaller versions could be launched from the stern of a cargo ship using the sort of catapults that launch clay pigeons in skeet shooting. Blinding weapons. Airline pilots already deal with jokers who shine laser pointers into the cockpits of landing planes. Pirates might have to face the Dazzle Gun, a futuristiclooking laser rifle designed by the Air Force that temporarily blinds adversaries who get too close. The Pain Ray is a truck-mounted weapon that focuses a tight beam of electromagnetic waves on your skin making it feel like your arm is in a microwave. It is realistically believed, however, that nothing can really stop the pirates short of a naval engagement. “It’s not really up to the ship owners or crews to solve the pirate problem,” he says. “It’s a governmental issue. It’s why navies were formed in the first place.”

Wurstfest from Page 15 In ’99 festival patrons enjoyed the finest in Alpine and Bavarian style entertainment. Clear skies, mild temperatures, good food and a strong line-up of popular performers proved to be a winning combination for the 39th annual Wurstfest … the ’99 festival earned its place in history as the top income producer for the ‘90’s! WURSTFEST was the recipient of a gift of a one-half acre piece of property on Landa Street from JPMorgan/Chase Bank in 2002 which allowed the organization to increase patron parking. 2005 saw the beginning of significant change in the park area as the LCRA power plant sold to an Austin developer and plans were announced to construct loft and garden apartments on the large tract of land at the entrance to Landa Park. Wurstfest relocated existing volleyball courts and constructed a 105 space parking lot on Elizabeth Street for the City of New Braunfels, donated $15,000 to the McKenna Children’s Museum project and celebrated 45 years of festival success. In 2006 millions of television viewers got a taste of Wurstfest when ABC’s Good Morning America Show came to the festival on Opening Day. More than 3,000 local residents arrived at the grounds by 5:30 am that morning to participate in the live, nationwide broadcast. The 2007 festival introduced Kinderhalle, a special children’s entertainment area, in cooperation with the New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department. Opa Gordon Zunker announced his retirement as bandleader of the Cloverleaf Orchestra and was honored for his 47 years on stage at Wurstfest. The largest day in festival history was recorded on Saturday, November 7, 2009. Wurstfest is a non-profit corporation designed to promote local commerce, especially through tourism, and preserve the community’s heritage. It provides a vehicle for local civic organizations to raise large amounts of money for a wide variety of community projects. Wurstfest is a special event that visitors can attend, enjoy themselves, and leave gratified, knowing that their expenditures will go for worthwhile projects WURSTFEST starts on Friday before the first Monday in November!

Aft-ter Thoughts: The Funeral by Captain B. G. Willie

November 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 13

Hurricane Season’s Last Hurrah By Patrick McKee

Hurricane season starts to wind down during the month of November, but occasional tropical activity is possible. On average, we see 2 hurricanes during the month of November every five years. One hurricane is seen during the last month of hurricane season every five years.

A friend of mine’s wife had just passed away and her funeral was being held. She and my friend had been married for many years, many miserable years for him. She had been a shrill, demanding old harridan and just awful to live with. Always complaining about something, she was never satisfied and seemed to take pleasure in making his life as miserable as was hers. While he felt a little guilty about it, her passing was not such a sad affair for him and he almost looked forward to life alone without her constant harping. The pallbearers were friends of the husband and had started the wake early. They had already downed quite a few before the funeral ever got started. The priest was pretty kind with his words though they rang empty to most of the crowd who had known her in life but there was no point in speaking ill of the dead.

At the end of the service, the pallbearers were carrying the casket out, actually stumbling out the front of the church when they accidentally bumped into a wall, jarring the casket. They heard a faint moan. Everyone looked at one another, then they heard a moan again. With great trepidation, they opened the casket and find to everyone’s shock that the woman was actually still alive! She lived for ten more years, and then died again. Those ten years were as bad if not worse for my friend than their previous time together. Once again, a funeral ceremony was held, and at the end of it, the pallbearers were again carrying out the casket. As they carried the casket towards the door, the husband cries out, ‘Straighten up there and whatever you do, watch that damn wall!’

A Flu Season Reminder “Clean Hands Save Lives” According to the Center for Communicable Diseases, as many as two million deaths a year could be prevented by washing hands. Handwashing is a simple thing and it’s the best way to prevent infection and illness. Keeping hands clean prevents illness at home, at school, and at work. Hand hygiene practices are key prevention tools in healthcare settings, in daycare facilities, in schools and public institutions, and for the safety of our food. Handwashing can prevent infection and illness from spreading from family member to family member and, sometimes, throughout a community. The basic rule is to wash hands before preparing food and after handling uncooked meat and poultry, before eating, after changing

diapers, after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose into a tissue, after using the bathroom, and after touching animals or anything in the animal’s environment. Proper way to do it: Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available. Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces. Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Rinse hands well under running water. Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.

Intense hurricanes are not seen much during November. On average only one forms every 26 years. Because conditions become less favorable, only one tropical system makes landfall in the United States every 25 years. Last year, Ida made landfall along the Gulf Coast as a tropical storm. At its peak the storm was a category 2 hurricane. If the averages hold true, the next land falling system would not occur until 2034. Activity drops off during the month of November for two reason. First, the jet stream drops southward increasing winds throughout the atmosphere. These winds typically tear storms apart. Second, water temperatures also drop off. Tropical systems use the warm water to get strong. The Caribbean sea is the area the does not see a lot of affects from the jet stream and the water continues to stay warm, so this is where activity typically forms during November. Hurricane season comes to an end at the end of the month and just in time too. There are only two names left on the 2010 list of names. If we run out of names, the Greek alphabet. The only time this has happened was 2005 when 6 Greek letters were used.

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14  WHERE DID IT GO November 2010

Architecture of the Renaissance Festival Some of the structures that make the festival fun

November 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 15

to be a family oriented event. WURSTFEST was listed among the top attractions in the world for the month of November. Proceeds from ’79 through ’81 were used for beautification and land development in Landa Park. $120,000 was spent on landscaping, erosion control and traffic flow improvement at the entrance to Landa Park. $600,000 was spent by WURSTFEST in ’80 and ’81 for erosion control and landscaping along the Comal River. In ’82, WURSTFEST acquired Jerome Nowotny’s “World’s Largest Beer Bottle Collection”.. The collection consist of over 17,000 bottles. A portion of the collection, along with other histroical festival memorabilia, is now on display in Der Spass Haus. In ’85, WURSTFEST celebrated its 25th Anniversary with Myron Floren and the University of Texas Longhorn Band opening the festival. A postal cancellation was designed to commemorate the 25th Anniversary celebration and a temporary postal station was located in the Marktplatz. In ’86, WURSTFEST opened its administrative offices on the grounds in the Kleinehalle

individuals themselves … and joined family members, special guests and hundreds of faithful fans in a salute to Myron Floren on his birthday. The ’90 festival introduced the Schorsch Pfeiler Band from Munich and welcomed four time Grammy Award Winner Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra to WURSTFEST. The festival success story continued. 1998 was quite a year. On October 17, just thirteen short days prior to the festival opening, floodwaters devastated New Braunfels. More than twenty inches of rain caused the Comal and Guadalupe rivers to rise to levels never recorded before … much of the property along the Comal River owned by the Wurstfest Association was underwater, and enhancements to the Gate #1 area completed in ’96 were destroyed. Festival officials immediately surveyed the damage and declared the festival would continue as planned. Many were amused by such optimism, but members and local businesses pitched in and prepared the grounds for opening day. Those who attended found it hard to believe that such damage had actually occurred. Myron Floren visited with his loyal fans by phone

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building and an information booth was constructed at the base of the tower to serve patrons. In 1987, larger, clear-span entertainment tents were situated at each end of the Marktplatz. The size of Das Grosse Zelt (Big Tent) was doubled, and the new arrangement was well received. A 32 piece brass band from Bonbaden, Germany, performed to the delight of the crowds and Myron Floren celebrated his 20th anniversary as featured entertainer. Favorable weather for nine of the ten days and widespread media coverage contributed to increased attendance and WURSTFEST was rated in the top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association. National media attention focused on the ’89 WURSTFEST as the reunification of Germany began with the opening of the Berlin Wall. Earlier that week, members of the Texas Accordion Association gathered … bringing instruments as unique as the

from his home in California as he recuperated from surgery. Die Froehliche Dorfmusik returned for their second visit to Texas and Wurstfest, and a progressive young group from New York, Die Schlauberger, made their first appearance at Wurstfest. Their modern and traditional alpine music was a marvelous addition to favorite entertainers such as Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra, Alpenfest, Sauerkrauts and others. Rainy weather five out of the ten days slowed attendance, however organizers declared this festival one of the most successful ever! Visitors contributed thousands to flood victims and Wurstfest matched every dollar contributed to flood relief during the month of November. A total of $50,000 was turned over to the Community Service Center by the Wurstfest Association to aid local flood victims. To Page 12



16  WHERE DID IT GO November 2010

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A fun and informative rag for the 40+ reader who has been around the block and attended at least one rodeo Web Name WDIG November 2010