Shelley Armitage | Author
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Shelley’s Blog

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...

Mornings find us surfing the news.  Same ol'.  A tweet a day keeps the real news at bay.  I somehow think of Robert Benchley, time-worn member of the New York Algonquin group, along with Dorothy Parker and others.  I once reveled in that brand of humor, so sly, redolent, and droll.  Parker could wound with a feather and Benchley, well, Benchley never went over with my college students.  Too effete, maybe just too silly? Still.  I xeroxed copies of his "Decent into the Alimentary Canal," and "The Tooth, the...