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.
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
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
understood. Only the mezzo sounded like she was eating oatmeal during her
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
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
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
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
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
So what do we call people who shared the same grandfather but a different
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
That sounds to me like a very plausible scenario.