Opening the album

I’LL BE TURNING 76 before the month’s end, outliving my father, so I opened the album to see what used to be, and I’m sharing with you because I’m a sharing sort of fellow.

I’ve posted some of these photos before, maybe all of them, but it’s been years. I began this internet writing effort in 2005.

I do not have lots of photos from my past. When my second wife tossed me onto the hard Houston streets in 1995, I left most of our photos behind. Wish I had not. It was almost 20 years of memories, but I still have some shots from before and after.

Let’s start when I was in the 7th Grade. That’s me in the middle. Note the shoes.

Roundabout that same year I would pose with my sister in the back yard of our home on Cesery Boulevard in the Jacksonville, Florida, suburb of Arlington. My sister will turn 80 next February, and she lives in what appears to be a double-wide in Arcata, California. We have not communicated in almost a decade. Why? In a nutshell, she is quite difficult.

Our backyard in the 1950s.
Movie extra in New Orleans, 1970s

By the late 1970s, I was living on Prytania Street in New Orleans with Julie who would in time become my second wife, but we didn’t marry till after moving to Houston in the early 1980s. It was while living on Prytania Street that I bought my first manly motorcycle while growing even fonder of the varieties of the demon rum. And gin.

Holding a highball and weighing 225 lbs.
With daughter Celeste, age 12.
With a French friend atop the Torre Latinamericana in Mexico City, the mid-1970s.

In 1976, Julie and I took our first trip to Europe. We visited England, France and Spain. This photo was taken outside our home on Prytania Street as we were heading to the airport. I am a foot taller than she is, so I was scrunching down a bit, bending my knees.

Or perhaps she was standing on a box.

She was a cutie.

In the mid-1980s, my mother and I split the cost of a “new” car for my daughter, and Julie snapped this photo at the moment I presented it to her. She was happy. I’ve been in Mexico 20 years now, and I’m still awaiting a visit from her and her husband, Mitch.

Celeste was happy to see me that day.

The following shot was taken in my apartment on Braes Boulevard in Houston around 1998. Still coping with my involuntary bachelor life, i.e. Julie, combined with having recently broken up with a lovely Latina, i.e. another name, with whom I was much enamored, I was not a happy camper. I cut all my hair off.

Another bad day.

But life improved. A lot! The following shot was taken on the patio of our favorite hotel suite in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, about 10 years ago. I did not weigh 225 pounds anymore. I was sleek and trim. Some would call me skinny.

One reason I wrote this post is because WordPress just now forced a new editing program on us, and it’s incredibly complicated. In the process of putting this together, I’ve become a little more comfortable with it, so I can continue for another 15 years.

There are new features. For instance, now I can put on a slide show, which was not possible before. Here are some color photos, all shot by me a few years back.

And below that is yet another new feature, a tiled gallery. Again, all my photos. All are clickable to see larger versions and to leave comments, which was not possible before.

23 thoughts on “Opening the album

  1. A trip down memory lane. I also lost many photos in divorces.

    We go through many changes through the years. Some we look back on and remember fondly and others not so much, but it is what made us what we are.
    Quite a beard you had back in the day. I used to grow one in the winter for self defense from the Arctic winds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirk: My first wife told me often that I didn’t have enough face fuzz to grow a beard. I was in my early 20s, and had never had one. As soon as we parted company, I let ´er rip! I’ve pretty much had one nonstop ever since. It’s significantly toned down now, but my chin is still hidden away. In my heyday, I was quite the Blackbeard. They made me shave to be the movie extra, but that was temporary.

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  2. You were a handsome little dude in the seventh grade. Your daughter, Celeste, is very pretty. If you were to reach out to her and tell her that you would really love for her to come for a visit, she may just surprise you and do it! She and Mitch could even stay at your downtown casita and have their own digs. See how I just planned all that out for you?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Connie: Yes, I was a fine-looking young feller, and wasn’t chopped meat as an older feller either. I know, being a married woman, that you could not say that without getting into hot water.

      As for my daughter, she’s been invited a number of times. As the saying goes, it’s complicated.

      Sorry your comment went to moderation. Blame WordPress, not me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, if I think a man is handsome I will say so, regardless of being married. My husband has no problem with that, and he will generally agree with me. After all, some people are just attractive whether they are male or female. We usually agree on attractive females as well. And yes, you are a handsome adult, too!

        I know relationships can be complicated. I have one son that I am am extremely close to, and we see each other often. My other son left for college over twenty years ago, and we rarely see him. However, we do speak on the phone from time to time. He lived in Austin after college for about ten years. For about the past twelve years he has been living and traveling in a motor home, mostly out west and works remotely. He is an IT guy. He said he wanted to do that before he gets old, so that is what he is doing. When we lived in Florida for three years, he came for a visit twice. Once was for my other son’s wedding and the other time was just for a visit, which was the last time that I saw him. That was over three years ago. Now we are living back in Houston. Every once in a while I will call him just to check in to see how he is doing. He also calls us from time to time. I guess what I am trying to say is, if possible, try to continue to reach out to your daughter every so often. You never know when the sound of your voice may be exactly what she needs that particular day. Of course, I don’t know the back story of your situation, but I know that you love your daughter like I love my sons, and I believe that it can’t hurt to reach out from time to time and let them know that we love and miss them. I would be so thrilled for you if she would go to Mexico for a visit with you. It’s never too late. Don’t give up!

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        1. Connie: My most recent interaction with my daughter was just a few months ago. I was following her on Instagram, and she was following me. One day she said she had voted by mail, or something of that sort, and I jokingly replied that I’d be canceling that vote out because I know she was a Bernie fan and pink pussy-hat wearer, as are all her relatives on that side, I suspect. Bang! She blocked me entirely. No more Instagram connection. Just one example of what I face.

          Your son’s occupation and lifestyle make it understandable that you see each other rarely.

          So you’re in Houston now. I do like Houston. Lucky you.

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          1. Coincidentally, my son is a huge Bernie fan and has followed him for years. Long before his presidential run. I once told him that he had to give Trump some credit because he ran against the Democrats, the media, and many Republicans and he still managed to win. He responded that he gives Trump nothing. We differ on politics and some other things, but I will say that we can have discussions and listen to one another even if we disagree. He has even enlightened me on different subjects and I’ve learned a thing or two from him. If I had said to him what you said to your daughter he probably would not have liked it, but he wouldn’t stop speaking to me over it. I don’t know how old your daughter is, but my son is 44. There is just something about that generation. I think they should be called the nonconformist generation. My son is most definitely a nonconformist. I hope your daughter comes back around soon.

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            1. Connie: A Bernie fan? Oh, dear. I feel your pain. People who oppose Trump, I am totally convinced, do so 95 percent because of a lack of accurate information. They get their “news” from the mainstream media or from the flagrantly leftist websites. There is no real reason to be against Trump. He’s doing a spectacular job.

              As you know, I imagine, Trump loathers often dump friends and relatives completely. They are the tolerant ones, of course. Far rarer for conservatives to cut ties with people simply due to their having opposite opinions.

              My daughter is 54 and should know better.

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  3. Great photos. Thanks for sharing. Hoping you have a reunion with your daughter in the near future.

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    1. Thirsty: Thanks. As for my daughter, it’s been a long time now. Someone famous — I think it was the radio commentator Laura Schlessinger — once said that men cause problems between countries and women cause problems in families.

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  4. Once again, great photos. We are on good terms with all our children and relatives. I have a twin brother who I talk to about twice a year. We are not close because we never have been.

    As far as visiting, most of the time, we make arrangements to come to them. They all work and have children in activities. I can’t imagine asking them to sacrifice a vacation to see us. Our time is much more flexible to come visit, even if it’s only for a day.

    I know you are not crazy about the NOB thing, but it might be fun. I would call her every month until she agrees.

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  5. Wow. It sounds as if you’ve taken quite a few rides in the bumper car of life, with divorces, weight gain and other mishaps. Yet you made it out alive. Getting off the sauce was probably a good start, like it was for many of us. Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Señor Lanier: The funny thing about my weight was that when I was at 225 — now I’m at 170 — I did not look fat, and I guess I really wasn’t. It was pretty much evenly distributed. I was just big. It snuck up on me, which is easy to do in New Orleans with all that tasty food like fried-potato po’ boys. That’s right. French fries between two slices of baguette. Insane. I can’t believe I ate those things, but I did, and lots of other stuff too, plus what I made at home.

      One day, I caught a glimpse of my naked self in the fluorescent light above a big motel bathroom mirror in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Wowsa! The very next day I changed my eating habits and gradually took off 50 pounds. That was in the early 1980s, and I’ve kept it off ever since, something few people can do. Keep it off.

      Diets do not work because they imply a start and a finish. On finishing a diet, everyone returns to their previous eating habits, and the weight returns. Diets do not work. Change of habits is what works.

      Getting off the sauce was the best move of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As far as the comment about men causing problems between countries and women causing problems in families, I agree wholeheartedly. I have three sisters and the drama is never ending. I generally just keep my distance from all three of them.

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  7. So I assume you are referring to WordPress’s new “blocks?” Though I haven’t written a post in more than a year, I did help a friend set up a web page using WordPress. The “blocks” made things considerably harder than it used to be. This seems to be a trend in computation. The easier companies try to make things the harder they actually become. That plus the graphic designers who want to hide all the controls, and I’ll wager than in 20 years no one over 30 will be able to ever use a computer again. Sad!

    Cheers,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where I’m still waiting for the pandemic to end so that I can have something to write about.

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    1. Kim: They made the new editor the only one available yesterday, and I was cussing up a storm. I wrote something on the WP forum, and got some help there. After fooling with it for HOURS, it started to fall into place, and now I actually like it.

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