Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chantell Cattell brightens up LogOn Cafe bar in Beaumont


Chantell Cattell
Yes, that’s her name, Chantell Cattell. It rhymes, she points out. I met this extremely friendly person at the LogOn Café, late-night music hot spot she and her dad run. She wore her long blonde hair up in a knot. The sticks that held it together were tiny paint brushes. The café is full of art, and Cattell pointed out a Bruce Springsteen likeness by an artist who incorporates a “crazy eye” into each portrait. In addition to offering creamy Parmesan or cilantro lime dressing for your salad – or both if you can’t decide – she gets to book bands for the venue.
“I’m like a kid in a candy store,” she said.
Cattell is just another person I’ve met recently who loves what she does and makes everyone smile in the process. I just wanted to share that with you. 

Knights of the Knippers
Barbed wire has Port Arthur ties and the use and abuse of the stuff makes up a chapter in “Six Shooters and Shifting Sands: The Wild West Life of Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones.”
Author Bob Alexander authors this University of North Texas Press release and covers anecdotes of people waking up to a gun pointed at their faces. I’m glad the west is not so wild any longer. The snipping of barbed wire to steal cattle was an incredibly costly offense carried out by thieves referred to as Knights of the Knippers. But some in San Saba county and elsewhere weren’t too fond of the wire fences when they worked, anyway. Read the book to hear more.

“Manifest Destinations”
Opium dens, stockyards, sky scrapers and Mormons.
I just started the travel season by touring three new cities in olden times. J. Philip Gruen’s University of Oklahoma Press book is subtitled “Cities and Tourists in the Nineteenth-Century American West. He got me so excited that I augmented his book with internet searches of vintage photography and etchings.
A look at tourism marketing in Chicago, after the great fire; Salt Lake City where visitors were encouraged to inquire of the Mormon lifestyle; and San Francisco, where possibly augmented “hidden” opium dens with dubious characters were staged are aspects of this fascinating read.
Just like today, two travelers can tell different stories. Some visitors were overcome by excitement or terror at tall buildings, or the “foreign” ways of living. The irony of Chinatown is that regulations required the Chinese to live in the overcrowded area, yet tourists came to gawk at the situation. Some visitors reported filthy conditions while others raved over neat and orderly shops. 
darraghcastill@icloud.com

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