Monday, January 19, 2009

Baxter-Fennell-Tips House

The Baxter-Fennell-Tips house, 202 East Walnut, was built about 1851 and is a simple, graceful frame two-story house. The smaller 'apartments' on the lot were rented by migratory or short-term (or maybe even long term) workers who would come to Seguin.

Architect David Acherberg has done extensive work on this house and it is one of Seguin's historical home treasurers.

William Chester Maxwell built the home on Walnut Street (probably about 1851) and sold it to James Watkins Fennell in 1860.

James Watkins Fennell was born April 21, 1832 in Huntsville, Alabama. He came to Texas in 1855 "and located at Seguin, where he has since resided. Once tried California. but liked Texas better, and made it his home permanently." [Types of Successful Men of Texas by Lewis E. Daniel, published by the author in Austin, Texas Eugene Von Boeckmann, Printer and Bookkeeper, 1890.]

El Taco Tejano

El Taco Tejano, 202 West Kingsbury, has the BEST Breakfast Tacos! And, this place - just like so many places in Seguin - is where one can meet up with friends and acquaintances - any morning of the week. The tacos are so good. The cooks and servers (who do double duty - take orders and serve!) are efficient and friendly. This is a great place!
A group of Chicano poets in San Diego have been meeting since 1994 and reading their free-form odes in taco shops from here to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, New York and back.

Why read poetry in taco shops, you ask? Simple, says Adolfo Guzmán López, one of the Taco Shop Poets founding members.
"Taco shops are the most democratic of institutions, where your standing in life -- whether you're rich or poor, black or white or brown- doesn't matter," Guzmán says. "Taqueros (taco makers) treat everyone the same and serve everyone the same."

Martin Luther King Day - 2009

Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales, told a group of schoolchildren:

"We're all black now. And it's taught us all - from schoolchildren in Birmingham to poets in Wales - that if you're black, you can do it; if you're a woman, you can do it; if you're young, you can do it. And if you're Welsh, we can do it."

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

A week or so before Christmas, while driving in the early morning fog in Seguin, I was reminded of a 1981 blizzard in Denver - and thanked my lucky stars that we weren't shoveling snow!
The Sun and Fog contested
by Emily Dickinson

The Sun and Fog contested
The Government of Day --
The Sun took down his Yellow Whip
And drove the Fog away --
Snow Day
by Billy Collins

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed,
the All Aboard Children's School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with -- some will be delighted to hear --

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School,
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and -- clap your hands -- the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.