Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Saturday, March 12, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different: Archie's Funhouse 1973

I meant to post this earlier in the day since it's Saturday morning and all. The day just got away from me. Oh well. Here's something I used to watch along with my brother and sister as we ate a bowlful of Captain Crunch cereal.

Friday, March 11, 2011

San Antonio Prepares to Rally Against Education Cuts

Heres a link to a KMOL Channel 4 story about the upcoming rally here in San Antonio.

San Antonio prepares to rally against education cuts

Friday Roundup

Bowden Elementary's namesake: Dr. Artemisia A. Bowden.

Another great east side school: Highland Park Elementary.

The prehistoric history of our Edwards Aquifer is the subject of this presentation.

Playing with the kids is an important part of the presentation.

Another fun show comes to an end.

This week was all about Doc Edwards with some office work sprinkled in between for fun. The last school I performed at was Bowden Elementary on the east side of town not too far from the Carver Cultural Center. The kids were very enthusiastic. In fact I have to say that they were the most fun group of kids I've done presentations for all year. The kids were fourth graders who asked plenty of questions afterward and made me extra glad that I do what I do for a living especially when I visit a school in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood.

These are very difficult times for communities across the country. There now exists a very real possibility that things almost certainly will worsen for the middle and lower income populations before all is said and done. It's happening as we speak across the nation. The situation in Wisconsin is a fine example. Here in Texas, a right to work state, things aren't any better. To say that Texas is a business friendly state is a gross understatement. Here in Texas the rule of thumb has been to reduce or eliminate state funding for a multitude of programs at the expense of the average Texan while providing tax incentives (huge tax breaks) to big businesses. It's been like that for years.

I try to keep a positive attitude but sometimes the news can be very grim. I don't like the what I've seen and read but I have to remain optimistic. I can't lose hope. When I look at the faces of those school children I also see the faces of my own children too and know that I can't lose hope. And hope does exist as is evidenced by the demonstrations and rallies taking place across the country to bring to light these injustices.

It's helps to laugh in times like these. As a clown I know that to laugh at authority diminishes their power and stature to a manageable level. That's why I'm so grateful for Jon Stewart and his crew of political junkies on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. They put it all in perspective with laughter and and brutal honesty. Below is a link to the center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog group and the Texas State Teachers Association for info on the efforts being made to prevent cuts to school funding across the state. The last but not least is a link to an episode of the Daily Show covering current topics of interest as only they can do. Thanks for your time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


This is an amazing story. Rik Gern, a.k.a. Bonzo Crunch of Austin, Texas told Pammy and I about the documentary and now I'm gonna have to find it. Thanks Rik, I mean Bonzo. Below is a Wikipedia link to some info about Henry Darger also courtesy of Mr. Crunch.

Our Schools are in Jeopardy!

Save Austin Schools

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

From Way Back When: Heart - Dog & Butterfly (Live 1978)

Lord of The Rings - May it be

Mid-week Stuff

More photos from Bob Abdou's puppetry/ventriloquist bash. We started the event off having a delicious Mexican lunch at the Ramos Restaurant in Manor, Texas just east of Austin. It was a cozy little place with good food and service and it was the perfect place to kick things off.

A mini puppet/vent figure exhibit composed of puppets figures brought by all the attendees. A wide variety of figures and puppets were on display with most of them having been made by hand. Very cool!

Here's a look at a collection of Sesame Street and Muppet Show characters.

David Pitts a.k.a. The Astonishing Mr. Pitts and his buddy Henry.

There was a show and tell portion during lunch that was very informative and entertaining.

David and Henry making with the funny business.

Manor is a small neat looking one street town with beautiful architecture. That's the exterior of the Ramos Restaurant where we had our yummy vittles.

Last but not least I took a picture of the Manor city hall.

This month just keeps getting busier. Let me start off by mentioning that this past weekend I did a puppet show at a birthday party (Thank you Mr. Pitts.), which I haven't done in a long a long time so I was a little nervous but all went well. I built a portable proscenium for the show which really makes a big difference. I'll post of picture of it later. It's simple but effective.

On the Doc Ed front things are looking good too. Yesterday had a couple of schools calling up for shows this month. That's what I call job security, baby! Here's a list of upcoming shows:

March 11th Bowden Elementary

March 22nd Cambridge Elementary

March 3oth Randolph Elementary

March 31st Medina County Fair

Between those dates of course is the usual eclectic menu of fun we experience here at Rancho Ramirez. An interesting development for the kindergarten Doc Ed show is that a puppet will be included. It will be operated by me so I'll have to build up on my ventriloquism skills over the coming weeks. No problemo! It's exciting to be working on a new skill. And the building a puppet will be fun too. We haven't quite decided on what it will be though it was was suggested that a salamander might be suitable. Whatever the choice I'm really looking forward to building it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Spy in the Sky...

Doc at Galm Elementary

Good ol' Doc Ed was at Galm Elementary yesterday presenting the Amazing aquifer Adventure show for one hundred and fifty fourth graders. The school is located on the far northwest side of town out by Sea World. Galm was built on property of Clarence Galm, a farmer with a good size plot of land. There's still a lot of country out that way that is relatively wild and quite beautiful. I'm glad I get to go out and about as Doc, especially to the far corners of our city. Some of that raw land did have developer signs putting it up for sale though. Oh, well.

No pictures of Doc performing today. Instead, I thought I'd share some photos of Galm Elementary. You can tell when the administration of a particular school is willing to go the extra mile to make the place really special. Murals of sea life great you upon entering the school. Nice touch! And it's not often that Doc is greeted by the principal of the school, Mr. Benjamin Muir. Finally, for a bit of history there are photos and a little biographical info of the school's namesake in the hall by the office. Check them out and as always click on any image to magnify them. I often do. My eyes ain't what they used to be.

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