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A Gunslinger; A Medieval Stripper; Girls with Power (Tools); Manicotti and Mozart; Geo-Quiz

At the entrance to the new Brownwood town square is a herd of cattle and a cowboy… well, okay, they are bronze, so they don’t move very quickly. The other night being Halloween, Suzanne got a photo of Richard the Gunslinger trying to rustle one of the steers. Do you remember the exchange between two cowboys in a spoof movie from the 70’s? “Do you rustle?” “Only when I wear taffeta.” (I don’t mean to imply that I think Richard wears taffeta…)

I had almost forgotten one of the great stories of my time in England in the early 80’s. I was reminded of it when we picked up Gloria and Bob the other night, and had to turn down Beaulieu Loop. I was the US Navy exchange officer in the UK, and there were other exchange officers from Australia, Canada and New Zealand. A large group of us, including our host Royal Navy officers and their wives, went to an old abbey in the town of Beaulieu for a Henry the Eighth style medieval dinner, with only large knives and spoons as utensils, and copious amounts of mead and cheap French wine (“swill” might be a generous description). After several rounds of drinks and platters of chicken and pork eaten mostly with your hands, and even more mead and wine, the wife of the New Zealand lieutenant commander decided that she would become part of the entertainment and do a strip tease on the table. Except it wasn’t a tease… She was a very attractive and well endowed young woman, and every one of the guests was cheering her on, even her husband. I am still annoyed at the scoundrel server who turned her in to management, stopping a great show before the last piece of clothing was tossed skyward. Darn! 

One of the many dangers that I have to deal with as Blogmeister is taking photographs of hazardous activities. They say, “Never let a girl near power tools!” Well, I heard this electric chopping sound and what did my eyes behold? My Lovely Bride, with a diabolical look in her eyes, wielding an electric hedge trimmer with gusto. “Yes, My Love, go ahead and trim those helpless little bushes while I step carefully back out of range…”  She actually did a pretty good job trimming (and apologized to the bushes before giving them a haircut), but I have hidden my electric drill.

I coaxed the power tools away from her with a pledge to take her to dinner and a symphony. After delicious Italian cuisine, we went to hear The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra at the Church on the Square. The orchestra, about 40 strong, was mostly strings and woodwinds for this performance, with a couple of French horns being the only brass. (No snide comments about the French, please…)

Maestro Pasquale Valerio conducted works of Antonio Vivaldi and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The two cellists in the Vivaldi concerto (shown here) were spectacular, and are both Villagers. The entire performance was magnificent, and really “blew our socks off”. It was like being at The Kennedy Center back in DC!

Here is Your Faithful Correspondent flirting with pretty ladies at the concert. Catherine Cote’ and Marlene Moe had made dinner for visiting orchestra musicians. 

After the concert, we adjourned to our house with Henry and Catherine Cote’ for wine and a show-and-tell; Suzanne played the piccolo in her high school marching band, but then shifted to alto flute until we moved to The Villages, where she was asked to play the bass flute. 

I hope we don’t move again; her flutes keep getting bigger and more expensive. The next size up, the contrabass flute, is known as “the gentle giant” of the flute family, is almost six feet tall, and costs about $15,000. 

Okay, finally … here is this week’s Geo-Quiz: 
1. Start at Latitude 30N, Longitude 90W. What is this place’s nickname? Why is it called that?
2. Go northeast 90 miles. What town are you in? What was it famous for in its boom years?
3. Pick a barbecue restaurant in that town and in 25 words or less, tell me why you would have given it that name.
Entries will be accepted until Tuesday 6 November at 8:00 PM. The winner (judged solely by my arbitrary and subjective decision) gets homemade barbecue sandwiches and drinks delivered by Your Correspondent and Corvette Chick in her red ‘Vette. (Unless you live in Nebraska or another place far, far away. I’ll figure out a substitute prize in that case.)

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