Archive for the ‘Never Forget’ Category

You might wonder what a wayward turtle and cupcakes have in common? This past weekend Alex and I had one amazing weekend. Friday we went to Three Dog Bakery in Southlake and ordered up some new treats for the fur babies. After procuring puppy happiness, we spent a little time shopping at Grapevine Mills followed by dinner at Buca di Beppo. Since having my Lap Band, I cannot eat the portions Buca serves, but I was in luck now that they serve two different portion sizes. My favorite entree there is pizza! Surprised? Probably not!

Saturday we woke up and after spending some time with the babies, decided to head up to the shopping area off of Heritage Trace in north Fort Worth. With the exception of an “incident” at Sam Moon, we had a great time. We did some more shopping at JC Penney’s and for the first time in many years I was able to fit into a 2X shirt. Now, the 2X was not flattering but it did fit. It is the little things like this that make having my Band worth it. Before we shopped we ate lunch at Olive Garden and had a wonderful waiter named Hedey. His name he told us was Brazilian, but he was Mexican. Hedey was one of the nicest servers we have had in some time. I always try to call servers by their name and make sure they know that the service they provide is both appreciated and important.

After lunch and shopping, we left JC Penney and on the drive out, we saw the little guy in the above photo. I am not sure where he came from since there was no water nearby. Alex, me and another nice family spent some time snapping photos and getting chased around by Mr. Turtle, but eventually we decided the best thing to do was to put him on the other side of a work fence as far from the road as possible. I hope Mr. Turtle made it home wherever that is. After rescuing the wayward turtle, we enjoyed the sweets you see pictured above from Sweet Spot Bakery. Honestly, the ding dong concoction was a little too sweet for me, but the red velvet cupcake was good and the place decorated very cutely.

After we finished our sweets, we did some more shopping and came home to spend some time with our babies. We were home for a few hours until time to leave to meet our friends at the Royal Falcon Pub. We spent several hours at the Royal Falcon learning about sordid affairs, rumours and other generally good gossip (God forgive me). Around 2 A.M. we finally made it home and after enduring an hour or so of puppynami, we all finally went to sleep. What an amazing couple of days with my best friend in the entire world!

“When the Pleiades and the wind in the grass are no longer a part of the human spirit, a part of very flesh and bone, man becomes, as it were a kind of cosmic outlaw, having neither the completeness and integrity of the animal nor the birthright of a true humanity.” – Beston.


Very little means more to me than my marriage. I can clearly remember the days before I met my wife as being very lonely and longing for someone to share every day with. In 1999 I met my life partner and best friend and no single earthly event has ever approached the joy of meeting and marrying Alex Martin. We were married in 2004 when I had just (finally) finished college and she was working to complete her degree. Money was tight, and most of what I had went to her ring which is a beautiful estate piece that is over 100 years old. Her parents had spent most of their budget on the event itself and so there was little money for my ring, and frankly I have never been one for flashy jewelry. Alex and I found this ring at James Avery and the price was right. I loved that it was different since I most certainly am a bird of a different feather myself. The ring is banded in silver with yellow gold Teutonic Crosses and interlocked rings representing the Trinity. The Teutonic Cross dates back to the 14th Century and represents strength and support. The interlocked rings represent the Christian Trinity of God the Father, Jesus his son and the Holy Spirit.

This ring symbolizes my commitment to my wife in this world and beyond. My marriage is not about emotion , physical attraction or any other human construct, but is about an ethereal commitment I made to Alex that no person on earth can tear apart. As humans we all go through emotional ups and downs, but marriage is something that transcends all human emotions and as such must never be entered into lightly. My marriage is the most amazing covenant on earth and is only superseded by the covenant I have with God. It is my hope that someday all people can know and enjoy marriage throughout the world because nothing on earth parallels the joy my wife and our commitment bring to me.

I have known for most of my life that for whatever reason I tend to drift toward the linear. I cannot explain my affinity for seeking out linearity but I notice it more and more. Today as I was shooting at the DFW National Cemetery, the one photo which truly stood out was the one I decided to attach as my photo of the day. Two stark characteristics hit me as I edited today’s photos. First, I naturally framed the above image in such a fashion as to emphasize the lines of the columbarium. The second characteristic is the juxtaposition of the already dead against the empty chambers awaiting the future deceased. While the entire cemetery is a moving and hallowed place, the empty chambers awaiting the as yet to die victims of war was most solemn. As I took in the scene I began to ask “why must more die?”  Have we become so adjusted to the deaths of human beings that we simply prepare a place for them once they die with little regard for preventing those deaths? I know that these empty chambers exist as a practical matter, but the symbolism of the empty tombs was profound. For anyone who has not visited this hallowed place I encourage you to do so and remember that these people paid the ultimate sacrifice for you and me. The most fitting memorial we can give members of our armed forces is to strive for a world where their deaths are not necessary and the empty chambers of the columbarium remain empty.

Tower 55

Posted: July 5, 2011 in Family, Never Forget

This is a photo of the last railroad tower my father worked in here in Fort Worth. Tower 55 sits at one of the busiest rail intersections in the country and I have fond memories of my dad working there. What is most nostalgic for me is not this tower or any other particular rail tower, but the memories I have of my father and his railroading. As a young child my dad used to take my down to Centennial Yard, now called Davidson Yard in honor of Richard J. Davidson who my father taught all he knew and later become Chairman of the Board for the UPRR, where I would watch in awe of the huge diesel locomotives and rail cars. I fondly remember being allowed to “drive” a switch engine from the “crest” eastward to the “bowl” which were the names given to the west and east ends of the yard respectively. In our post 9-11 world this would most likely never happen today, but it was a very neat and fun experience at the time. My father was a railroad man through and through and no matter how much he complained, he loved the railroad with all of his heart. I wish my future children could have known “Papa Jerry” and he could have taken them down to the rail yard to see the “big choo choos” like he did me. Miss you dad!

The 4th of July means many things to many Americans, but for each of us it is a celebration of the freedom we enjoy. Often we hear tales of patriotic acts performed by valiant soldier in far off lands, or heroes right here in America, but what Independence Day truly means is having the freedom to eat ChexMix, drink over priced Smart Water and pick lake muscles from the bottom of a muddy lake. All of this seem terrible trivial when compared to the escapades of Purple Heart winners, but we all must remember that even the greatest acts of heroism are done not for some higher ideals, but rather for the simply freedom we each enjoy. There is a shred of truth to the notion that American soldiers fight for freedom and democracy, but what  they really fight for is their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, family and neighbors. Soldiers do not think about the “greatness” of America nearly as much as they think about what it will be like to snuggle with their loved ones again or drink a cold one on the dock at his or her favorite summer lake spot. So on this 4th of July let us remember the sacrifices of the millions who have died or been injured so that each of us can enjoy a little ChexMix and a drink in our own lake bubble!