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A Young Hero; Unity of Dallas; Is That Marzipan? Handcuffs? Beautiful Music; Cypress, Crawfish and Gumbo

Every now and then I meet a young person who breaks all of the stereotypes. Logan Wilson, a recent high school graduate in Colorado Springs, impressed us as we arrived almost at closing time at Chick-fil-A for our traditional post-event cookies and cream milkshake. He was busy mopping the floor (swabbing the deck in Navy terms) with a big smile on his face. We asked if it was okay to sit in the area he had completed, and with an even bigger smile, he said, “Oh, please, sit wherever you’d like. Thanks for coming to dine with us tonight.” While I got our milkshake, Suzanne chatted with Logan, and discovered that not only does he work full time, but he also teaches a School of Honor for young men and boys, providing Christian-based lessons in honor, chivalry, civility, and lessons of heroes from the past. I looked him up on line and found rave reviews from a home schooling mother whose two sons had attended his classes. Logan is just out of high school, and is already making a positive contribution to our society that many 30 and 40 year olds should be emulating. Well done, Logan!

Suzanne’s most recent event was held at Unity of Dallas, Texas. The nearest campgrounds were a bit of a hike, so we parked in their big back lot (yes, everything in Texas is big), and “dry-camped”. Daytime temps were in the high 80s/low 90s, so we had to run our generator for air conditioning.

Suzanne spoke at Unity’s Sunday service and followed with her Making the Connection presentation, which was very well received. The youngest member of the Unity Congregation, Keelin, was a real cutie, and after church was on her way with her credit card to a boutique to pick out a christening gown for next week’s ceremony. Watch out, Nieman Marcus! Thanks to Laura Sutherland for her warm Texas hospitality and coordination for these events. We are already looking forward to our return to Unity of Dallas.

After the event, we went out to dinner at a nearby grill for fish tacos (MLB) and fish and chips (Moi). Dessert was bread pudding, and herein lies a funny story. We were about to take our first bites, and Suzanne asked me, “What’s that white thing on top?” I replied, “I dunno, maybe marzipan?” (We didn’t think to put on our reading glasses…) It took a bite to realize that it was a chunk of banana…  another senior moment… sigh. 

Speaking of scrumptious-looking goodies, while walking to the car, I noted this poster in the window of a high-end cosmetics store. I made the mistake of commenting to My Lovely Bride that perhaps in my spare time I could work with selected criminals to help them become model citizens… Smack! “You won’t have any spare time, buster!”  (No intended good deed goes unpunished.)

With my head still ringing, we got ready to get underway. Before pulling in the slideouts, Suzanne noticed that our jacks had sunk into the asphalt, which had become very soft due to the 90 degree heat and our coach’s 23 ton gross weight. Fortunately they retracted easily, and we were soon on our way east… (The photo shows the imprint with the jack six inches above it)


On our way out of Dallas, we stopped at a studio for Suzanne to make a meditation recording. She will provide more info on her web site, but here she is with her sound guy, Matt, preparing for the recording session.

And here is MLB at the microphone, about to start the recording with spiritual composer Jim Oliver’s beautiful music…

Then on to Bossier City, just east of Shreveport in northwest Louisiana. This would only be an overnight stop, and our campsite was at Barksdale Air Force Base. We went for a bike ride and discovered Clear Lake, in just a bit different setting than the high mountain lakes we’d been enjoying for the past couple of months. Those are bald cypress trees growing out in the lake, by the way. The bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a hardy tree able to grow in lakes and ponds, and its heartwood is extremely rot and termite-resistant. However, older cypress are susceptible to Pecky Rot fungus (Stereum taxodii), which is not related to the term “peckerwood”. In fact, that term is an inversion of “woodpecker”, and is used to describe certain backwoods Southerners since the red-bellied woodpecker also has a red patch on its neck, and therefore a peckerwood is also a redneck. I do not use these terms in a derogatory sense, since I grew up in Louisiana… it’s simply part of the culture and language here, especially in the northern part of the state.

Finally, back to food. Since we were back in my home state, Suzanne graciously suggested that we should go out for some Louisiana cooking. On the recommendation of our good friend Reve Norman back in The Villages, we dined at Ralph and Kacoo’s near her former home, and enjoyed hush puppies and homemade bread, duck and sausage gumbo, and sea bass with crawfish, shrimp and lump crabmeat. If you haven’t been to Louisiana for its fabulous and unique cuisine, you should think twice about where you spend your next vacation.

1 Comment

  • Anonymous
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Sure do enjoy cypress trees here in Mississippi. In fact I'm going fishing today in a cypress grove in the Mississippi Delta. Like you though I don't tend to catch much. 🙂


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