Hotel Garza Offers Weekend Getaway in Post, TX

During Passover week, my wife and I decided to get away for a couple of days. She searched the net for nearby bed & breakfast establishments and settled on a delightful little place called the Hotel Garza in Post, TX.

The Hotel Garza

The Hotel Garza Historic Bed and Breakfast is family owned and operated. It is modeled and decorated in the style of a 1915 western inn, with about a dozen uniquely decorated guest rooms.

We were able to stay at a special rate which included an evening meal, our overnight stay and a hot breakfast. Both meals were tasty, home cooked affairs served by our gracious hostess.

Ruby Lane

Our cozy room on the second floor was decorated with flowers and antique furniture. Several books were available, as well as a television and data port.

Hotel Garza Garden

The room overlooked a pleasant garden with a fountain, unusual decorations and a small pavilion — perfect for an evening stroll. The Hotel Garza’s resident Golden Retriever ran about the garden and wanted to play fetch.

Hotel Garza Library

The library, situated on a half floor in the back of the building, offered a wonderful selection of old books, comfy chairs, a TV/DVD and family games. I could have spent a good deal of time there. Being an overnight stay, however, I spent more time checking out with my lovely bride than I did with the books.

Every aspect of our stay at the Hotel Garza Historic Bed and Breakfast was absolutely wonderful.

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The Fantastic Four — It's a Jewish Thing

Marjorie Ingall of The Jewish Daily Forward discusses the relation of superheroes to Judaism in her article Bam! Pow! Whack!

I’ve long known that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were Jews who created a Messianic hero in Superman. I’ve known about Stan Lee (Stanley Lieber), face of Marvel Comics and creator of Spiderman, Bob Kane (Bob Kahn), creator of Batman, and Jack Kirby (Jacob Kurtzberg), creator of the Fantastic Four.

But I never knew about Ben Grimm a.k.a. The Thing. According to Ms. Ingall, Jack Kirby thought of The Thing as Jewish and reportedly kept a drawing of him wearing a tallit. He also has a Hebrew name — Benjamin Jacob Grimm.

The Thing’s Jewish identity was revealed in “Remembrance of Things Past”,  Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #56, published in August 2002, written by Karl Kesel. Stan Lee has said he never thought of The Thing as being of any particular faith.

The Thing

The Thing

"We Must Use Time Creatively," Says Dr. King

“I am coming to feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than the people of goodwill. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

World War II, Sign Language, Graphic Novels to Keep Family Entertained

Today’s excursion to the Ector County Library yielded 14 lbs of books and videos. That’s 4 lbs more than the doctor has cleared me to carry with my hurt back. It’s a good thing most of those pounds were selected by the Boy.

This week’s interest centers around World War II (a subject I like myself). He picked up two Weapons of War titles — one on WWI and one on WWII — from Lucent Books, Yankee Doodle Gals: Women Pilots of World War II by Amy Nathan, Navajo Code Talkers by Nathan Aaseng, and Jaruzelski (about a Communist leader in Poland).

He couldn’t resist The Real Vikings by Melvin Berger. It was sitting near the military history books. From the fiction shelf, he pulled Coming On Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson about a girl whose mother must go to work while the men are fighting in World War II.

I grabbed a couple of titles from the Caldecott winners shelf —  Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans (1954) and A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry (1957). I’ve been reading Caldecotts to the kids in more or less chronological order.

The Girl checked out Signing is Fun and Sigining for Kids by Mickey Flodin and The Joy of Sigining by Lottie L Riekehof. That’s her interest this week.

The video department lent us Flushed Away and The Pirates Who Don’t do Anything. Flushed Away is absolutely hilarious. Little details like the cockroach who is reading Kafka’s La Metamorfosis make this film great.

My search in the adult department gave me Batman: The Black Glove by Grant Morrison (I don’t recall hearing about this one before) and Dark Horse Books’ Indiana Jones Omnibus Volume 1. Volume 2 was also available, but I’ll get it next time.

The graphic novels are fairly recent and will probably lead to reviews for But first I have to finish my reviews of DC’s new mini-series El Diablo.

Correction: Leonard vs. Kelton

In the previous post I incorrectly identified Elmore Leonard as a Texas author. I was thinking of Elmore Kelton. I blame the pain pills.

A couple of months ago I suffered a low back injury at the day job. Two disks were damaged, but nothing too serious; hence the pills. My wife suggested some time recovering in San Angelo.

While there this past weekend, we visited the world famous Eggemyers General Store in the historic downtown area. Just down the block we found a small used book store called Cactus Book Shop. The store had a large selection of signed, first edition copies of Kelton’s works. Kelton spent 15 years as farm and ranch writer/editor for the San Angelo Standard-Times.

Today I Am 30

Today I am 30 years old. I had hoped to have something profound to say, some great word. After all, 30 is the number of maturity. But, alas, I’ve nothing.

My wife and children gave me gifts this evening. From the Boy, a coin bank shaped like a dog. The Girl gave me a coloring book and some fancy metallic ink pens. We’ll be able to color the book together. My wife got me an olive-wood and brass mezuzah from Jerusalem.

My birthday dinner will be Saturday evening. We’re going to Johnny Carino’s, my favorite Italian restaurant.

Birthdays being a time to reflect, I’ve spent the day looking back at 30 years of good times and bad. Great memories, regrets, dreams and failures: these are the experiences that make me who I am.

I’ve also been looking forward — planning how to use my past to benefit my future. There’s so much left undone and a lifetime remaining in which to accomplish it.