When I found myself plummeted down in the middle of this roiling milieu of musicians, artists, writers ....and then me producing and directing two radio programs, it never occurred to me to feel lost. I knew what Juneteenth meant in Texas, tho not many outside the state did. The did not know that slaves in Texas were not emancipated for two years fater the Emancipation Proclamation was signed until a US Navy boat pulled into Galveston Harbor and the captain read it from the deck. I knew I was involved in something special but I didn't know that it would be 11 of the most intense years of my life. It did not seem unusual that I"d be hosting get togethers for blues musicians filling out various bills around Houston: Pharoah Sanders, John Lee Hooker, Milt Larkin and his lovely wife Kathy and that, often, I"d be recording them. Jazz man Lannie Steele who was offered a music position at Texas Southern University came 'souf' and....stayed building up the SumArts orgnaization with grit and determination as well as tapping into a cultural trait Texans of all stripes seem to have: Sure..why the hell not? Sounds like fun!How much money you need, Bubba?
I recall the following conversation in differing guises as I was growing up:
Wahl....think I kin do that?
Dunno--how far can you see?
'bout as far as where the horizon meets.
Wahhl then give it a shot and when you git to that place, then check it out again.
I'm not sure I'm the one to tell this story and it certainly wouldn't be the 'Authoritative History of the Juneteenth Blues Festival at Miller Theater'
but I think I can tell a piece of the history and those pieces contain the history of many who are no longer with us and others who won't be long and their stories are not being told. So from time to time I'll offer up a written piece, photos I run across, articles I know about to let you get to know the wonderful people of my life during this time. Buckle your safety belt. Meanwhile enjoy an article in the Houston Press by John Lomax
Two arts organizations attempt a new spin on an old event
Published on June 10, 2008 at 2:18pm
If any of you have any old poster bills etc, do scan them and share them with us. To read the Houston Press articles about Juneteenth and Lanny Steele, consult links to the left of this page. Embedding them this morning doesn't seem to be working.