Shelley Armitage | Author
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Shelley’s Blog

I'd just engaged in an argument with a feisty Cuban-American woman in which I said nothing. Nada, y pues nada.  I was speechless though alert to what was about to happen when I saw her striding down the hall to the lost baggage claim, flanked by children and perhaps her mother, dragging a luggage trolley stacked high, bearing the same weary look we all had--all of us just arrived at the Tampa airport from Havana.  She was shouting, shall I say, discouraging words. I had her bag all right....

Growing up I liked to think about how my home-town region had been called "a sea of grass."  Riding out to our farm where there was still native grass stretching to the horizon, I imagined the Spaniards' and American Expedition leaders' apprehension as they tried to lay track across the llano estacado. But years later, the weight of that epithet really came home to me as I gazed at the ocean surrounding O'ahu near University of Hawai'i where I was teaching.  When the local swimmers took off unfazed into...

I'd seen pictographs before.  West of Vega at what we call "Paint Rock," what archaeologists call "Rocky Dell."  It's an important pictograph site (pictographs are painted on rocks rather than incised like petroglyphs).  In fact that site is the only Panhandle painted rock site cited in Kirkland's The Rock Art of Texas Indians (l967), based on field research done in the l930s. Turns out Kirkland, an artist himself and amateur researcher, made watercolor renderings of other major cites in Texas, the most stunning and prolific in the Lower Pecos...