Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

July 21, 2019

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July 20, 2019

When we were in Lukenbach the other day, we browsed the Post Office-Beer Joint gift shop. There were the Knick-knacks, doo-dads, and other space-takers known as “gifts.” You know, the T-shirts, belt buckles, books, and over in the corner was a pile of walking sticks.

Those long sticks appears solid and sturdy and my youngest boy wanted one badly. He claimed it would help him walk.

$25 for a walking stick. Nope.

That picture up above is my friend, Walter. I told Walter this story and he gladly showed me his walking stick. He bought his 15 years ago in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

For $3.

That’s three dollars.

Walter guesses that sticks are more plentiful in Muscle Shoals than they are in Lukenbach.

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July 18, 2019

MUCH CAN BE SAID about the 18th of July. But I’ll yield the floor for more qualified voices to speak on that. Namely, my Mama & Daddy. They’re up in De Kalb (you know where that is, don’t you?) I think about them every day.

Where was I? Oh yes, the 18th of July. First off, it’s been a hell of a year. I think I might have said that already in this space on a previous day.

I’ll just leave this song here. The same song that I tend to play every year around this time. I think us Aggies call that a tradition. So fire up the Teletini, kick back, and enjoy these pictures and sounds that fly through the air and into your ears and upon your eyes, because as far as songs go; this is a good one.

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July 17, 2019

In Hye, Texas, they won’t tow you. They’ll forklift you.

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July 16, 2019

I snapped the image on the right looking south from the house around 7:30 p.m. yesterday. It looks a lot closer than 50 miles, doesn’t it?

The radar on the left shows the leading edge just over the Yarrelton community in northern Milam County. The rain in those clouds never reached us in Waco, but it was still a show in the sky.

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July 15, 2019

On this day three years ago, I sent my staff a note telling them that I was headed out of Lake Charles and over to Waco for a new assignment as the News Director at the ABC affiliate here. It was a time of great unknown and sadness as we left friends and colleagues who grew so close to me in the previous 6 years there.

In a strange stroke of coincidence, on this day (today), I sent a similar note to the staff in Waco that I was headed out soon for a new assignment. Just like before, it’s a time of great unknown.

I read in some study somewhere (the RTDNA/Hofstra Newsroom Study from Bob Papper, I believe but can’t find it) that the average stay for someone in my job at one television station is somewhere around 2.75 years. I’m pulling that figure up from memory, so forgive me, Bob, if I’m off on that. Not bad numbers if we’re talking inside baseball… or inside a newsroom.

It’s been a hell of a year, hasn’t it?

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July 13, 2019

South Louisiana is getting a soaking and windblown this weekend thanks to a tropical system christened Barry.

Since our departure from the coastal marsh and prairie three years ago, I’ve always watched those systems creep across the Gulf with more than my fill of wanderlust. After all, I’ve been in the rear with the gear for a while now as far as the news business goes. But the urge to track, cover, and help won’t ever go away. Jim Lehrer once said something about that when he talked about sirens.

“And I still hear the sirens. And as long as I hear the sirens, I’ll still be there to find out where the hell they’re going.”

That was a quote from Jim upon his retirement back in 2011.

Back here in Central Texas, the outer cloud bands continue to move from the north in a spinning motion. The long tentacles of a fairly weak storm by the standards of the people of Acadiana and Southwest Louisiana.

Even the old guys on the radio this morning in Lafayette were jovial and slightly misleading with their declarations of how beautiful of a day it is. Their humor wasn’t lost on me, nor was it for the untold number of Zydeco music fans listening in on KRVS.

Hoping for the best for the people down there… from a distance… and I do hope the hurricane parties and TV newsroom camps are as fun as they are stressful. Stay strong, folks.

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July 9, 2019

The ninth of July…

I recall two birthdays from the hometown on this day…

Ashley Prather and Amanda Rogers

Ashley and I went to school together from the second grade all the way to high school graduation and even spent the same semester at Texas A&M. We always made light of the fact that she was nine days older than me.

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June 24, 2019

What a strange start to summer in Central Texas it’s been. 75° today. Strong thunderstorms overnight. Lakes and rivers splashing over the banks. No boat ramps open because of flooding.

This one is for the books.

Usually, the wild weather is over and done by now. Not this year.

To hear my meteorologists tell it, it’s as if May is repeating itself over and over lately.

How’s the weather where you are these days?

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June 13, 2019

The designer of this lazy river in the shape of Texas must surely have gotten a bonus for the idea.

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May 25, 2019

A great view of a quartet of the class of 2019 from De Kalb High School as they march forward out of the halls and into the world.

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April 28, 2019

That’s Leslie Earl Tidwell riding shotgun. Tank is my grandfather. We’re checking on his cows.

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April 21, 2019

EASTER SUNDAY – The day came late this year. Usually, Easter has already come and gone by the time mid-April happens upon us.

Hopefully, we’ve experienced all of the “snaps” in weather this year.

Also known as the Easter snap, that’s when a cold front blows through from the north with gray skies, rain, and chilly Canadian air behind it. It’s made many of these holidays miserable to attempt church and pictures and dinners.

Not today. Just wind today. Plenty of sun, but the wind wouldn’t quit.

Speaking of wind, we flew kites today. Hours of untangling string and kite tails for 30 minutes of flying. But what fun flying it was.

Taking pictures of kite flying with your mobile phone is about as effective as trying to snap an image of the moon at night on one of these walkie-talkie devices. It just doesn’t work.

Perhaps I’ll need to invest in one of those DSLR cameras. But then, I’d need to learn all about aperture and ISO Numbers. Maybe another time.

Today is also San Jacinto Day in Texas and Aggie Muster. If you happen to know someone who went off to Texas A&M and you don’t know what Muster is, you should ask them about it. Be prepared to sit a while to hear the answers. I promise you, it’s worth learning about.

April 21 is also a date that belongs in the non-existent book of LKCF. Spelled out, that means “Little Known Charlie Facts.”

April 21, 1984 was when I’d graduated from a small child’s baby blue New Testament Holy Bible that was a gift from Sue Howard and Bro. Bob Glen at the First Baptist Church. The replacement was an Easter gift from my parents. A regular sized King James Version with my name printed on the front by the Baptist Book Store in Texarkana.

On the inside was my mother’s handwriting. As beautiful as her mother’s penmanship, though in a much different style.

I wish I could remember all the words she wrote. All I do remember is the date and the first part: “Presented to Charlie Haldeman”

It came along with the traditional Easter basket and eggs that morning, of course.

After she gave it to me, she took my picture next to my swing set that day in the back yard of our house. I was dressed in a navy blue suit. All of 5 years old.

Somewhere around here is that Bible and that picture. I’ll have to try and find them and share with you one of these days.

Until then, Peace be with you on this Easter Sunday of 2019.

And also with you. And you as well.

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April 16, 2019

Waco, Texas

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March 31, 2019

THE LAST DAY of March in the year 2019 is a cool one on the Central Texas plains. How’s yours?

After several days of warm hints of spring, a front blew through and sent the overnight temperatures into the upper 30’s in some of these parts. If Easter had been an early one this year, we would have called this an Easter snap. I remember more than the fair share of Easters over the past 15 years that included cold rain under gray skies, making for a miserable venture to church and dinner. Even one Easter in Grand Isle, Louisiana, ahead of spring break. Cold. Rain. Dark skies.

Despite the weather that year, I have fond memories of that trip. We piled into a tiny motel suite on the island that was all-but-abandoned minus the six of us. The floors scattered with sand that never seemed to leave the bottom of your feet, no matter where you shuffled to in the place. Even the shower floor seemed to have a gritty feel, regardless of the water that would flow over it. Small inconveniences along a beach I suppose.

That particular year, we planned on celebrating Easter Sunday at the local bar & grill with locals in a special church service hosted by the First Baptist Church of Grand Isle. The weather cancelled those plans, so we joined the congregation in its regular meeting space in the middle of to. wn.

The six of us along with a dozen members spent that morning in traditional worship, followed by a meal in one of two restaurants that were open that weekend. A good time had by all.

This year, Easter falls on April 21. That’s Aggie Muster and San Jacinto Day. Three special days all rolled into one this year. Let’s hope the weather cooperates and we’ll have an equally good day as the one back in Grand Isle.

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March 20, 2019

Last week, we got to meet Rindercella in her castle. She did not slop her dripper.

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March 11, 2019

The sign above the road leading in says “Where Dreams Come True.”

For the little people attached to these arms, I believe it.

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March 10, 2019

I can’t remember the last time I took an entire week away from work. I’ve taken as many as four consecutive weekdays off before, and an entire span from one weekend to the next?

Well, that’s been a minute. It might have been in the spring of 2010.

This week, in addition to a point of historical note, we’re headed to the big D. No, not Dallas or

De Kalb. Or would that be the big O, as in Orlando?

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March 7, 2019

Spring can’t be far away.

Tank is on his tractor back home.

He turns 90 in a few weeks.

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March 5, 2019

Happy Mardi Gras to you.

And you.

And you.

And you?  Yes, especially you.

Somebody named Bob Lee posted this image on Pinterest. Let’s go back a century to the village of Mamou, Louisiana for a look at this occasion.

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Posts from previous months have been archived:

Posts from February 2019

Posts from January 2019

Posts from December 2018

Posts from November 2018

Posts from October 2018

Posts from September 2018