The final sunset of winter was spectacular. Had I seen a painting accurately capturing it, I would have grumbled "exaggerated and garish". But when Ma Nature is the artist, what can one do but enjoy being awed.

The 7-Eleven across from the Convention Center is becoming something of a crossroads. First Lady Moana, then the Old Guitarist. And Paulo ... who has become a shopping cart person [!]. I told the Sleeptalker if he sees me with a shopping cart, to please kill me.

On the last Friday of winter, I was bent down putting my sunset beer into my bag, looked up ... and there was Angelo. "What are you doing here?" "I'm hungry," he said. If he hadn't been so obviously and blatantly stoned out of his gourd, I would've taken him to a restaurant for a meal. Instead I gave him my pocket-supply of one-dollar bills (five or six, I think) and said, "get something to eat." He probably put the cash in his pocket and followed his no-doubt original intention to steal some food but, never mind, none of these young men is going hungry if I have the ability to do anything about it.

When I arrived at the Dark Corner on Saturday evening, there was a huge crane and other construction vehicles parked outside the building next to the Corner. Ugh. I hoped they wouldn't be working after sunset or before dawn. But on Sunday evening, it was back to normal, no vehicles present. Whew.

I don't think I have heard Verdi's Don Carlo before. As Felix said about Rossini's version of Cinderella, "it's a bit long". But I did make it through the first three of this five-act version. I wish they had done it in the original French, but then in the first intermission there was a discussion of this problem, whether or not to perform an opera in the language used in the first performance. I thought I'd be in complete favor of that until it was mentioned that Gounod's Faust was first performed in ENGLISH. Eeeek.

We have a Faust coming up at the end of April. In French, I hope.

I was right. Garrison did, as usual, say "it's been a quiet week ..." It was another repeat broadcast but once again I hadn't heard it. I wonder how I managed to miss so many Prairie Home Companion broadcasts in 2003?

And Michael Lasser, or his tape editor, must be doing drugs. In a show devoted to the relatively few, but wonderful, songs George and Ira Gershwin wrote specifically for movies, Lasser said we'd be hearing "Love Walked Right In". Afterwards, he said we'd just heard "Love Walked Right In". Sorry, the tune was "Strike Up the Band" and I'm pretty sure the singer was Judy Garland. Weird.

Oh well, Aries is here so who can be surprised at weirdness?


An amusing case of synchronicity. I said in 1319 that Paulo has become a shopping cart person. The next day he appeared in a newspaper item (last photo). Not just a shopping cart person, but a shopping cart maniac!

What is especially curious about this transformation is that Paulo has always been one of those people who don't even carry a bag of any size.

I'm much surprised the police or the park maintenance people haven't done something about this, but suspect that after the newspaper photo, poor Paulo may lose his collection.

I did it again, overslept and was awakened at the Dark Corner when the man arrived to open the place at about 4:45 in the morning. Maybe I should buy one of those little traveling alarm clocks. Not only would it get me out of there before the opener arrives, but it would also eliminate being awakened at about three by the newspaper deliverymen and then having to check my watch to see when four or four-thirty arrives.

There have been endless reports on the radio about that poor woman in Florida. But I've only heard one commentary on the aspect which first struck me about the attention it has gotten, the Constitutional question. We are based on the three separate powers, executive, congressional and judicial. So how is it Bush2 and his Congressional lackeys get away with trying to directly interfere with the judiciary? Minor question compared to the real issue, of course. Keeping someone alive with machines for fifteen years is barbarous. Letting someone then die from thirst or starvation is beyond barbarous. As one commentator said, we treat our pets better than we treat our fellow humans.

I'm reading Jonathan Kellerman's The Butcher's Theatre, unlike any of his other books I've read, I suppose primarily because it is set in Jerusalem. That's a city I wish I had visited. Closest I got was Damascus, and I didn't see anything there but the airport.

Maybe next lifetime, if there is one.


Karl Frederick Augustus Protz

Ah, the magic of the internet. That is evidently the name of my maternal grandfather, who died before I was born. On the rare occasions my mother referred to him, she always called him just "Mister Protz". Not even "Father Protz", but then she didn't learn for many years that he had actually been her father. Or probably.

In typical Aries synchronicity, Michael Lasser's weekend hour was devoted to songs about grandparents.

A member of the Protz family is trying to uncover the history of her family. Some of what she writes contradicts what I've been told all my life, including whether or not Martha Ruth Protz, my mother, was born out of wedlock. Or whether she was actually the child of a previous association of my infamous grandmother.

More after I've further digested the information ...

The weather has been absurdly erratic. For about a week it was unusually cool (cold by local standards). Then it got unusually warm for the time of year. Even at night my heavy flannel shirt was a bit much, and the cashmere pullover was tucked into my bag. Good thing I didn't throw either away, because overnight it went back to being cold again. And on the Easter weekend, the wind was ferocious. Almost constant gusting wind.

Pogo, without being at all evangelistic, recommended the Easter sunrise service at Magic Island. Yes, there's a new Bad Boy. I'm calling him Pogo although I am not quite sure why. He won't be around for long because he's a student at UH now but will undertake an exchange program with some school in Colorado next academic year.

He asked if I'd read Catcher in the Rye. I said, "yes, several times." "What's it about?" Errrr ... not an easy question to answer. I weaseled out with "it's about being a teenager." Pogo said he likes Lord of the Flies.

He reminds me of the Cherub.

Ordinarily I follow the lead of any Bad Boy (witness the Ice Follies), but it was just too cold and windy to greet sunrise at Magic Island on Easter morning. I took a more comfortable method of nodding to the occasion by listening to Bach's Saint Matthew Passion. Splendid recording conducted by Robert Shaw with the Atlanta Symphony, sensibly sung in English with soloists who for the most part enunciated clearly enough to be understood. Only the mezzo sounded like she was eating oatmeal during her segments.

The Met broadcast was the old warhorse pairing, Cav/Pag. The Cavalleria Rusticana was an enjoyable performance but it only took a few minutes of Pagliacci to remind me I really don't like that work.

Once again, Prairie Home Companion was a repeat of a 2003 broadcast. I'd heard it the first time but it was so good I didn't mind listening to it twice more, both on Saturday and Sunday. Good natured of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra to play along with Garrison's delightful nonsense.

Need extra helpings of radio because the dreaded twice-annual fund raising, begging bowl routine starts next Wednesday. I'll have to increase my book budget.

The Sleeptalker failed to appear for the Libra moon, but then so did the moon for the most part. The sky was heavily overcast and I only caught a few glimpses of it. But the Sleeptalker did make a splendid dream appearance, one of the best dreams I've ever had with him in the cast.

Who can ask for anything more?


The Saga of Karl and Cleo Protz

Karl was born in 1890 in or around Berlin, Germany. He left Germany at the age of 14 and worked as a merchant seaman through, I believe, 1916 or so. In May 1917, he was living in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, but by March 1918 had moved to Hope City, Arkansas. The 1920 census lists he and Cleo living together as man and wife in Hope City with no children. Karl married my grandmother, Lucy, in El Dorado, Arkansas in October 1926. They had three children: a son who was stillborn, a daughter (my Aunt Freida) and my father (Carl). The 1930 census lists he and my grandmother living together as man and wife along with the children (my Aunt Freida and Lucy's 2 children from her previous marriage).

The 1930 census also lists Cleo Protz and Martha R. Protz (age 8, mother from Arkansas and father from Germany) living in the home of Cleo's brother, Hamp Huitt, in Hope City, Arkansas.

Right on target. I remember Uncle Hamp and Aunt Pearl. We made long visits to their large house in Hope when I was a child. In fact, I remember that house more clearly than I do the one we had in San Antonio.

I didn't know Hamp was Cleo's brother, or that he was in fact my great-uncle.

she was born at least 2 years AFTER Cleo's marriage to Karl.


Why on earth did they invent that story about her being abandoned at a Salvation Army and being adopted?!

(It was someone in the Huitt family who told my mother that Karl and Cleo were actually her parents, but only after Cleo died.)

What a very strange soap opera.


If I find out anything else along these lines, would you like for me to update you?

Yes, of course. Although I suspect no one is still alive who knows the truth. It would be someone in the Huitt family, if so, and I've had no contact with them for over forty years. Wouldn't it be nice to find a photograph of Karl and a pregnant Cleo?

There is no doubt that Martha believed the adoption story. She got quite obsessive about the search for her "real parents", especially in the early fifties when she hired a detective, consulted psychics, etc., and I think talked to all the people she could find who might know. Whatever that member of the Huitt family eventually told her, she seemed to be convinced.

So what do we call people who shared the same grandfather but a different grandmother?


I'd be interested to find out, however, whether or not Karl and Cleo were actually married or if they were simply living together. It's possible that the reason for the "story" behind Martha's being left at the Salvation Army before Cleo and Karl's marriage is that Cleo and Karl weren't actually married and therefore Martha would have been considered illegitimate if the truth were known. That would explain a lot. Having illegitimate children in the 1920s just wasn't acceptable and Cleo (and Martha as well) would have been ostracized, especially if it was commonly known that she and Karl weren't "married" yet or had only recently gotten married. However, if it were believed that Martha was a foundling, both she and Cleo would still be accepted by polite society. I'll have to do some digging around to see if I can locate a marriage license or a divorce decree.

That sounds to me like a very plausible scenario.


the tales