You are invited to join members of Loving Garland Green and participate in the first Wings for Our Community event.  “Wings” was born as a fundraiser concept for the Garland Area Makerspace. Loving Garland Green, stewards of the Garland Community Garden, are supporting us in testing Wings.  Our idea is to put wings all over Garland. People can pose with the wings and donate money to help manifest a space for the Garland Area Makerspace.

As our concept broadens and becomes more community inclusive, it has occurred to us that any nonprofit in our community can also have their own wings.

Each pair of wings will be unique to the maker/artists, but they will all loosely follow a format of being 8 feet tall and with feathers for their outer edges.  The body of the wings will consist of related objects.  For example, Garden Wings, shown above has various representations of organic matter.  Soon we will have a pair of “Maker Wings.”  These wings will feature people and tools.

The idea behind "Wings" is remembering and recognizing all the wings we are given in the form of people and tools that enable us to soar to heights we might otherwise have never been able to.   At this event, each person who wants to will be given a lantern and an LED candle to put inside the lantern and attach to a structure in the garden. These lanterns are in remembrance and gratitude for people in our lives who have provided wings for us to soar.

There will also be markers at the event for those who want to write the names of these people on their lanterns.


Note:  If it's rained more than an inch in the last 48 hours, park on Kingsbridge and walk down to the garden.


WINGS IN THE GARDEN - a participatory art installation in the Garland Community Garden -- Do something out of your box, even if it feels silly. Many of us are stuck in belief systems that no longer serve our needs.


 We've heard it all before:  "Take new paths.  Step out of your box.  Do things you've never done before. Talk to someone with a different worldview from the one you hold. Take the road less traveled, Read an author you never hear of. etc."  And it's still all very good advice.  When we surround ourselves with only those who agree with us, we limit the development of our intelligence and vision and our potential to fully develop as human beings.  Rigor mortis begins to spread in our brains and our thoughts become crippled as our inability to think in new ways deepens.

Johanna Arendt,, a political philosopher and theorist of the 20th century described deeply held ideas that we no longer question as "frozen thoughts" that blind us to any idea that does not fit into our world view.  We need to remember that a world view is a philosophical and not necessarily a real view of the world as it is.  We need to seriously examine our beliefs at least once a year.  We can do this by merely finishing these sentences again and again:  I believe that ________.  I believe this because___________(how did you come to have this belief in the first place? Really, where did it originate? With your parents, with a friend?  Force yourself to think of one exception to this belief. This is not true all of the time because...........  This belief serves me because as long as I believe this I can__________________

If you have trouble getting started, think of some emotionally charged topic for you.  For example I believe that all white people______ or  I believe that all black people______  i believe that all Republicans __________  I believe that all Democrats___________.


There are other ways to jar oneself out of an ossified belief system that no longer serves you or the people around you.  Allow a few people with different world views into your life.  Have conversations with them.  Make a conscious effort to seek out exceptions to one of your deeply held beliefs.  


When a nation has a leader who surrounds himself entirely with only those who agree with him (or who at least say they agree with him), then people get the “my way or the highway” leadership of a self-absorbed dictator.

Cases in point: Kim Jong-un doesn’t allow anyone to disagree with him; nor does Putin; nor did Franco; nor did Hitler.  Unfortunately our own President seems to follow their example as there is a long string of people he has appointed, only to fire when they disagree with him.


“Those who called themselves patriots introduced that new species of national feeling which consists primarily in a complete whitewash of one's own people and a sweeping condemnation of all others.” -- Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Another name for this kind of “patriotic” thinking is Nationalism. If we are so busy glorifying our nation we may become blind to the part our nation's leadership and foreign policies of the past played in destroying another country and that perhaps reparations are owed.

For example, read the history of US military meddling in the politics of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. We are not innocent bystanders in the destabilization of these nations. Our leadership has been working overtime at it for 50 years up to and through today.  For example, Soto Cano Air Base (commonly known as Palmerola Air Base) is a Honduran military base 5 mi (8.0 km) to the south of Comayagua in Honduras. It houses between 500-600 U.S. troops and is also used by the Honduran Air Force academy.

What the USA has done in these Central American and South American nations is just another version of what we did to Mexico by destabilizing their corn market in the 1990’s with our heavily subsidized corn commodities and NAFTA trade agreement that drove 2 million Mexican farmers out of the market and into the maquiladoras and also illegally into the USA. Whose fault was that really?

And again people do not wake up one morning, put on their flip flops and decide to walk over a 1000 miles away from all they’ve ever known as home unless they are truly faced with what they believe to be a life/death choice. Think about it from a personal view. What would it take for you to pack up, leave your home and travel over 1000 miles practically barefoot to a place you’ve never seen before and perhaps don't even speak their language?

These people are at our gates because they feel they have no other alternative. If we slam the door in their faces, our nation takes one giant step backward from what it means to be human. This is not my idea of how Americans are supposed to act.  

Americans need to unfreeze their thoughts and open their hearts.  Our nation has a food sustainability index of 124% .  This translates that we have enough food to support 24% more than our current population.  In numbers, this is approximately 80 million more people. In addition, we need young immigrant workers to help support our aging population and declining birthrate.  We need to start thinking and turn off the automatic pilots of our false belief systems that are supported by cliches, campaign rhetoric and what in many cases amounts to hate speech.

Our best interests as a nation can indeed be tied to the best interests of the migrants at our gates in Tijuana.   


Monarchs mating in the Garland Community Garden - October 8, 2018

Photo by Jane Stroud

According to information from the University of Minnesota, mating monarchs can remain together for 16 hours or longer, and it is only at the very end of this period that sperm are transferred.

The tiny beginning - Monarch egg on underside of native milkweed leaf. Only about four days later it will be a caterpillar.- Garland Community Garden  -  September 26 - Photo by Liz Berry

Females lay their eggs most often on the underside of the leaf where the caterpillars  when they hatch cannot be seen by flying birds and insects from above.   A female Monarch will lay up to 500 eggs--one at a time. The egg is translucent oval-shaped and tiny.  Compare the size of the egg to the thumbnail of the person holding it.   

The total time frame for one butterfly’s life cycle (one generation) is about 6-8 weeks…egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. It grows inside the egg for about 4 days. It then munches milkweed and grows as a monarch caterpillar (larvae) for about 2 more weeks. The caterpillar’s life inside the chrysalis (pupa) lasts about 10 days and its wonderful life as an adult butterfly lasts from 2 – 6 weeks.  Monarch butterflies may take as many as five generations to make it from Mexico to southern Canada and back again.  The last generation of Monarchs each year that migrates to Mexico live up to five months.  They are the ones who make the return trip to the USA and Canada and these are the ones who make the first generation of the new year.

However, the oldest monarch we know of is  Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.  Born on April 26,1926 Elizabeth Windsor is the oldest monarch in history, at age of 92.  She took the crown on June 2, 1953 when she was 27.   :)


Monarch Caterpillar - Rescued from the Garland Community Garden - September 20, 2018 

Caterpillar in the photo above is in its fifth instar.  The intervals between molts are called "instars".  After this one has eaten his final full of milkweed leaves, he will crawl to the underside of the lid above him, assume a "J" position and begin to transform into a pupa.  The total time for being a caterpillar is about 14 days.

Now the Caterpillar has morphed into beautiful green pupa.
Photo courtesy Jane Stroud

It will take the caterpillar about 10 days inside the pupa to transform itself in a beautiful Monarch butterfly.

Tagged female monarch, ready for release. - photo by Liz Berry
Charlie's Garden -Perspective I

Tagged female monarch, ready for release. - photo by Liz Berry
Charlie's Garden -Perspective II

Tagging and Rescue

Members of Loving Garland Green rescue caterpillars from the Garland Community Garden and also from our own gardens at home.  We put them in well-ventilated plastic containers and then tag and release them when they mature (eclose) into Monarch butterflies. In the wild less than 5% complete the life cycle from egg to butterfly.  When rescued and allowed to develop in a protected environment, 95% are able to complete their lifecycle.

Our nonprofit organization also tags monarch butterflies in the wild as they pass through our North Texas area on their way to the Mexican highlands.  Information on these tags assists researchers from Monarch Watch in learning more about the Monarch.  In the past 26 years over 1.5 million monarchs have been tagged.

(Note:  in the photo above, tags for seven Monarchs were already used.)

People who see a tagged butterfly dead or alive are requested to contact Monarch Watch and report the sighting. Ideally the butterfly is netted alive and the tag code recorded before releasing the butterfly.  Even if the Monarch is not alive, please call and report that as well.

First Line:  Email address for Monarch Watch.
Second Line:  Name of Organization 
Third line: telephone number
Fourth line:  a unique alphanumeric code identifying the monarch. 

There will be only one code for each monarch tagged.  The people tagging have record sheets where they record the code to identify the butterfly, date it was tagged; sex as F or M; whether it was reared or tagged in the wild; City, State and Zip.  When they have completed their tagging efforts (usually by the end of October) They send this information to the researchers at the University of Kansas.

 Come Visit the Garland Community Garden and You can be a Monarch too!

Get a friend to take your photo as a monarch.




More lessons for my friends on getting the most out of your favorite Charity Yard Sale:

It is definitely worth it to take a few days beforehand and use the Internet to assess the value of your donations.  With access to the Internet, you don’t have to be a professional dealer to at least get a ballpark figure regarding the value of items that have been donated.

As an example, I have pulled out and listed special items I found that have a total value of $1,030.  I doubt that we would be able to earn any more than $300 from this list at a yard sale.  We likely will not get the full $1,030 from this listing but I fully expect at least $800.

Of course Loving Garland Green has many more great items we will be offering at our yard sale on October 6—all with the dirt-cheap value that is typical of expectations of yard sale shoppers.  We’ve reserved Craig’s List for advertising only the special items.



Craig’s List only allows one posting per category every 48 hours.  Thus you need to group your items before listing.  Write the copy for each item and determine its price.  Use your cell phone to take a photo.  Then determine what category you want the item to go in.  Once you have all your items written up, photos taken and category designated then go to Craig’s list to upload as “owner”.  Creating an account is easy and free for owners.

Note:  The Bavarian teapot and the Oxford china were listings I created before I was aware of the rule that owners can only post once to a category every 48 hours.

The others are examples of how to list multiple items for one post in a category.  For the price, I usually post the sum total for all items listed.  Then in the introduction to my copy I say:  “If you get here first and you want all these items, you can have them for $OOO.  Otherwise, they are individually priced along with their descriptions as follows:


Posted in Category:  Household





Posted in Category Antique   

OXFORD BONE CHINA SET - $200 (posted before I knew better)


ROYAL BAVARIAN CHOCOLATE/COFFEE TEAPOT $30 (posted before I knew better)


MANY GREAT ANTIQUES FOR YOU - $335 (after I learned my lesson)


Category Collectibles (after I learned my lesson)



As promised, I’m adding more items today to our growing list of pre-event items for sale for our upcoming October 6 Loving Garland Green Yard Sale at 269 Bellwood Drive, Garland, Texas.

Remember, if you want to purchase any of these items:  Text 972-571-4497 to see if they are still available.  If they are you can bring your cash and drive over at our set appointment time to pick them up.



Dessert and Coffee in these Lovely Dishes - Set of 8 like new for $10

Unusual combination of pressed/etched glass -  Bowl 4.5 diameter 3 inches deep

Coffee Cup 2.5 inches diameter and 6.5 inches high (holds a full cup).  Imagine finishing off a great meal with bread pudding or ice cream and coffee served up in these pretty dishes! The bowls are a perfect serving size.






Two Lovely Cardinal plates and one cardinal trivet  $10

You may have to wrestle with me over these.  They are so beautiful.  The plates look like a gentle, yet vivid watercolor.  These St. Nicholas Square plates are 9 inches in diameter.  To assess the value and arrive at a fair price, I researched and found one of them for sale on EBay for $12.50.  The 8 inch diameter trivet is from Sonoma and we all know how expensive they are.  Imagine a quiche or a winter sandwich eaten with that special someone off this cardinal plate.  You could pair the two of them together and use them as lovely serving dishes for some special holiday cookies.  All three pieces in like new condition.





Matryoshka Doll plates (Russian nesting dolls) –
Brand new never used  $10 – Four plates 8.5 inches diameter

Great gift—all you have to do is put a bow on the box!

The first Russian nested doll set was made in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo.  Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan,   a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress.  The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby turned from a single piece of wood.  This set of Russian Doll plates is from World Market and still has the price tag of $24.99 on the bottom of the box.

Leave the price tag on it (but you didn't hear that from me).  My mother used to do that.  She was a great bargain hunter.  I remember one Christmas she sent me and my boys a giant box (about four feet high and five feet long).  We could smell it even before we brought it into the house.  She had been to a real fire sale and purchased a lot of stuff.  You know there is always that dilemma surrounding gift-giving:  Do I ask them what they want or do I get them what I think they need?


Still more to come . . .

Later today I’ll post more.  For now I’ll leave you with information on one more item just to show you we have more than dinnerware and linens for sale.


Sunbeam Mixmaster 12 Speed Mixer 2 Bowls Beaters 1970 Harvest Gold  $50

Yes we have one of these vintage mixmasters for sale.  Charlie and I just tried it out this morning and it works great!  In fact I need sometone to buy this fast before he does.

Here is what you get:

1. the Sunbeam Mixmaster with12 speeds you can select depending upon what you are mixing

2.  Two sets of beaters (one for regular mixing and one for blending and mixing doughs)

3.  Two vintage Fire King bowls made in the USA (one is 9.5 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep and the other bowl is 6.5 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep)

Note:  These two bowls have value in and of themselves.  Fire-King was originally produced in the 1940s for everyday use, rather than display. It was often sold in bags of flour as a promotional item or was given away at gas stations. Fire-King could also be purchased at local grocery and hardware stores. Several varieties of Fire King dishes were made; nesting bowls, dessert bowls, glass beverage containers, casserole dishes, mugs and more. The vintage nesting bowls, produced by the Anchor Hocking Company, are one of the most sought after collectible dishes of this type.

4. Electrical cord.

We don’t have the instruction booklet that came with this mixer about 48 years ago (mice food perhaps) but if you don’t know how to operate it, you have no business in the kitchen. 

If you are thinking that $50 is steep, go to “Bonanza everything but the ordinary”.  You can purchase one of these from them for $140.24.  A new electic mixer of this quality would cost even more.


Loving Garland Green is having our year-end fundraising Yard Sale! 

9 AM TO 3PM 269 Bellwood Drive Garland, Texas 75040

Hope to see you there AND you can buy stuff now--ahead of the sale.

We all know that yard sales are places where items are sold at huge bargains—pennies to the actual dollar value.  Since folks have donated such great stuff this year, we’ve decided to aim our profit margins at “quarters to the dollar” value before the yard sale.

The following are a few of the items we’ve listed so far on Craig’s List. 

If you see something you want to buy, call or text 972-571-4497.  If it’s not sold we can arrange for you to come by and purchase it before the sale.  We’ll update this site throughout the week as new things are added and others are sold.  Already we have sold three items for a total of $340.

Note:  We don’t mail. Our customers must call the number above and make arrangements to pick up.  In rare cases we might deliver locally.


This is only the tip of the iceberg of our offerings.  I’ll post more tomorrow on the Loving Garland Green site and probably Monday too so keep coming back. All the proceeds from our sale go to support Loving Garland Green, a local nonprofit organization and the official stewards of the Garland Community Garden.


 Pfaltzgraff Dinnerware

We have several selections of Pfaltzgraff dinnerware for sale.  All sets are in like new condition.  You can see photos of these dishes at the Pfaltzgraff website and also compare prices while you are there.

  • 12 place settings in like new condition of their Christmas Heirloom Dinnerware for $100
  • Four 10-inch dinner plates in their Folk Art design for $20
  • Four10-inch Dinner plates in Napoli design $10
  • Two 10-inch dinner plates in their Yorktowne design $5
  • Four 8-inch dessert plates from their Holiday Spice collection $5


 Vintage, Antiques, Collectibles and the Unusual

Excellent Condition - Whether you use them to make chocolate candies or as decorative art, these two pieces are lovely all by themselves as little works of art.  Sorry to say but we don’t have any details on their history.  Today most molds for candy are made from silicone.  However research on the Internet revealed a tin 8-inch vintage similar bunny chocolate mold for sale for $134



Antique Tin Tray $20

A touch of Americana - A very very old handmade (8 x 9 inches) tin tray - It’s still in such lovely sturdy shape that it could still be used to carry things but I think it would be better served as a piece of art hung on the wall.  Someone made this years and years ago.  To me I would guess it was made during the Great Depression. The design was made by punching holes in the tin—likely with a hammer and nail.  You can have it for $20 if you are the first to call.  Who knows?  Perhaps it’s older than I think and George Washington made this. You can tell people that if you want to but you didn't hear that advice from me!



Little Cat Ceramic Tea Pot – The top of the chair lifts off and the pot holds exactly one cup so it is functional.  If you have a friend who drinks tea and loves cats, this is the perfect gift because they are almost sure to not have one and most cat lovers like all cat things.  $10.  Perfect condition.  No nicks or chips.



The Turkey Deviled Egg Ceramic Holder

This is another piece that makes me smile—a great conversation piece for your Thanksgiving table perhaps.  You can put 12 whole boiled eggs around the turkey or six deviled eggs cut in half.  The turkey is the lid to a little bowl in the center.  I don’t know what you put in the little bowl as my family never dipped their eggs, boiled or deviled into any kind of a sauce.  An edge of the lid has been mended, but very well as I didn’t notice the first time I examined this piece.  It’s yours for $5.


 Antique Royal Bavarian chocolate/coffee/ teapot - $20





Set of four fun Fish plates – like new condition   $10 - Perfect for Sushi or sandwich plates.  11 x 8 inches - Mint condition.  Not scratched.  


Set of six beautiful 10- inch crystal dinner plates $15  Tree motif These plates are works of art.  Isn’t it lovely!  You deserve these plates.  Mint condition.  Not scratched.  We also have four 7.5-inch dessert/salad plates in the same pattern for $10.


Set of 24 exquisite molded glass dessert plates 7.5 inches Abstract Floral Design

Notice how the design of the petals extends beyond the edge of the plate.  I especially like these because of the little lip on the edge making it the ideal plate for cake and ice cream thus ending the dilemma of serving cake and ice cream in a bowl or on a plate where guest will get ice cream on your sofa or chairs.  Sold in sets of 12.  Each set is $10. Mint condition, not scratched



Nothing shouts elegance like a Texas-sized pair of crystal salt and pepper shakers with sterling silver tops. (6.5 inches high with a 3-inch diameter base)  Purchase this pair and make a statement on your holiday table this year.  Only $10


The City of Garland has a heart and its central location is our downtown square.

Peter Kageyama has written much on the topic of the emotional attachment to the place where one lives [For the Love of Cities and Love Where You Live are two of his books].  He reasons that when people love and appreciate something, they tend to take better care of it. He is right, we do.  About five years ago Peter was the featured speaker at one of our City summits where he made quite an impression on me—so much so that I made sure we put the word “love” in the name of our group when we founded “Loving Garland Green,” the official caretakers of our Garland Community Garden.

I was thinking about love of where I live when I went downtown last night to the MillHouse Pizzeria to listen to live music for free.  Some cities don’t have an identifiable heart. These cities tend to have an edgy unsettled feeling about them—like a large piece of machinery with gears grinding on in perpetual motion absent of human warmth. 

Garland, however, has a heart to come to, a central gathering place for the residents of our city and that is our downtown square, a giant welcoming space for many events that bring people together for many purposes formal and informal—from simply providing fun at our outdoor concerts, providing a space for impromptu jam sessions of local musicians, or an expansive outdoor theater for watching movies on the green. The heart of Garland also serves as the center for our local entrepreneurs to sell their wares at monthly and twice monthly events such as our Flea and MarketPlace. 

Merchants around the square also contribute to the giving spirit of our downtown community heart.  We have Cary Hodson owner of the Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery and Chris Ewing of the MillHouse who feature stages for local musicians to do what they love best. We have Rosalind's, a beautiful cozy coffee house and eatery with comfortable couches and chairs in addition to its wooden tables and chairs where people can come and use their WiFi.

Speaking of Heart, I felt a lot of it from the musicians and the audience at the MillHouse last night

Continuing in the spirit of giving local musicians a stage and an audience, the MillHouse had their second presentation of its Thursday night Back Porch Series sponsored by Texas Select Radio and Shaun Outen, a musician and great singer himself. 

When Charlie and I got there Duffee was just finishing his set.  What we heard sounded great.  Those there last night also had the opportunity to listen to Reece Norris a sixteen-year-old talent from Terrell, Texas.  Reece has a wonderful and unexpected voice coming from such a young person and his stage presence is very good.  He is already marketing himself well as you can see if you visit his Facebook.  I would be very surprised if Reece doesn’t make it to Nashville—he has the talent, the audience finesse, and in a couple of years he’ll have the heart throb factor. 

Darren Rozell, former mayor of Forney, Texas played and sang some lovely tunes for the audience. He has a saying on his Twitter site that reflects his talent and outpouring of music as well:  “Music is what feelings sound like.”  We also got to hear a little of Shaun Outen’s extreme talent last night.  He sang a trio with Reece and Darren—very nice.

Photos from the Back Porch Series (Garlands answer to the Grand Ole Opry)– Texas Select Radio at the MillHouse in Garland, Texas - September 27, 2018

Shaun Outen, Texas Select Radio                                  Darren Rozell, former mayor of Forney, Texas.

Reece Norris                                                                            Duffee


Garland Residents Have a Long History of Creative Problem Solving

Garland has a long history of making and “making do.”  One of our early examples of “making do” is the establishment of the Garland Power and Light Company (GP7L) Since 1923, the City of Garland has been providing electric service to its citizens through GP&L, its locally owned and controlled not-for-profit municipal utility. With more than 69,000 customers, GP&L is the fourth largest municipal utility in Texas and the 42nd largest in the nation. GP&L is recognized nationally as a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3®) and as a Tree Line USA Utility.

In 1923 privately owned electric utilities chose to maximize profits, bypassing small rural communities, such as Garland, to provide electric service to urban centers such as Dallas.  

Garland had a choice 95 years ago of biting the bullet and paying exorbitant rates for our electricity or striking out on our own and devising a better solution.

After the local, privately owned utility refused to give the City of Garland a commercial electric rate to power the water pump at the newly constructed water well, Garland's civic leaders turned to the Fairbanks-Morse Company who sold the city a 100 HP generator on credit, provided the city would build its own electric distribution system and use the revenue to retire the debt.  On April 1, 1923 Garland officially entered the electric and water utility business with 300 customers and a load of 70 kilowatts. 


A spirit of optimism is also deeply ingrained in Garland residents.

As for optimistic, what could be grander that the optimism demonstrated by W.H. Roach, founder of Roach Feed and Seed here in Garland located on the same spot for 85 years at 409 Main Street.  He founded the store in 1933—the beginning of the deepening of the Great Depression in the USA.  It was the year when our banking system was unable to keep up with the panicked withdrawals that customers were making from their bank accounts, rendering banks incapable of providing money many customers had deposited.  Imagine the courage of starting a new business in this financial climate of uncertainty.


I’ve been thinking about our community profile a lot over the past few days.  We have people like Bobby Orozco and his wife Jessica.  In my opinion Bobby has such a rare and exceptional talent as a pianist and composer that he deserves the support not only of our community but the world.  

However, Bobby is not sitting back waiting for the reincarnation of Emperor Joseph II, Mozart’s patron, or recognition from the world.  He and his wife are working with the resources they have.  There is no grand music hall yet available for Bobby’s performances but there is their small home at 1414 Resistol here in Garland.  It is here that Bobby holds house concerts with small audiences of 15 to 25 people.  This however is not enough to make mortgage payments and meet other expenses so Bobby is a substitute music teacher—a good thing since many pupils in the GISD will have exposure to a great talent.  In addition, Bobby composes pieces for special events in people’s lives—weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.

We also have the establishment of the Garland Area MakerSpace underway.  We too are making do with limited resources.  Since January we have relied on the Garland Nicholson Library system as a temporary space for our once a month public meetings.  However, in September we learned that the meeting places in our library are closed indefinitely for remodeling.  Left without even a temporary space we are now meeting in my home at 216 East Kingsbridge Drive here in Garland.

And the Garland Area MakerSpace despite our current limited resources continues to move forward toward establishing a permanent space located near our downtown area. 

Read about a few of the important decisions our board made at our monthly board meeting last night and our upcoming programs on the Garland Area MakerSpace Facebook.


Current Location for the Garland Area Makerspace and Loving Garland Green


As I sat in Bobby and Jessica Orozco’s cozy living room this weekend with 15 other people listening to Bobby’s lovely piano music, I thought about how none of this would be possible without their home and the Orozco’s intelligence to leverage their resource and talents.  So it goes in the USA.  Living rooms, kitchens and garages are the places where many wonderful things begin.

In fact, many multibillion-dollar businesses have begun in private homes:  Apple’s first computers were built in a small garage in Cupertino California.  Larry Page and Sergy Brin rented Susan Wojcicki’s Menlo Park Garage and it became Google’s headquarters.  The Walt Disney Company began in the summer of 1923 in a small one-car garage in Anaheim that belonged to Walt Disney’s uncle, Robert Disney.  Mattel, founded by Ruth and Elliot Handler began in a garage in Southern California.  I particularly like Mattel’s story as their toy products began as furniture for dollhouses—an outgrowth of using material scraps recycled from picture frames (their primary business at the time) they made in in their garage.  Then in 1959 Ruth invented the Barbie Doll and named it after her daughter, Barbara and the rest is a multi-billion dollar history.

A makerspace has all the advantages of a small home or garage squared. 

A makerspace could be compared to a beehive of garages, living rooms and kitchens arranged in a cellular structure usually all under one roof. 

The folks in East London apparently understand the connection between makerspaces and the prosperity of their local economy.  The following is an appeal from an online fundraiser, Spacehive, that to date has raised 55,069 pounds with only 12 backers: 

East London Makerspace (ELM) is the development of REED a project co funded by EU. ELM aim is to develop unused garages/ space into a makerspace to serve as a hub for the community to develop and produce eco products, offer training, skills and jobs to the local community. ELM will provide a space for the design and production of eco products offer a furniture Collection, restoration and resale for the community. It will provide a platform for eco designers, and disadvantaged young people from the community. To offer advice and help to launch careers, it will provide visibility and mobility for young people in the community to:, foster creativity and entrepreneurial activity, whilst encouraging new circular economy business models and market development . Introducing sustainable business models to the local community for sustainable social enterprises, pop up shops, a meeting space and artist studios - providing workshops, training, skills, and jobs for the community.

Collaboration is a fast track for making.  The proximity of makers from various disciplines working in close proximity to each other and sharing tools enhances opportunities for innovative solutions to various development issues as technologies and skills are applied in new and inventive ways for creative problem solving.  Invention is after all the result of a series of problem solutions that ended well.


Speaking of auspicious beginnings in small places: If you are interested in seeing a makerspace established near downtown Garland and especially if you have a space you would like to donate, please RSVP to attend our next board meeting of the Garland Area Makerspace.

Space is Limited

RSVP to Carol Currie at:


The meeting will be held at 7PM at 216 East Kingsbridge Drive Garland Texas 75040.

The address is a residence (mine) located between Crestone and Naaman School Road in Garland Texas.



Bobby Orozco's piano in his Garland Texas home, The Marigold House

Here in Garland, Texas we have opportunities to listen to all kinds of live music—from country and blue grass to classical. Last night Charlie and I joined the lucky ones who had the opportunity to listen to Bobby Orozco play his grand piano in the living room of the Orozco’s home (also known as “The Marigold House”) on 1414 Resistol here in Garland, Texas.

Before leaving we joined others in audiences who before us signed a door in the Marigold House.  I feel overwhelmingly lucky to have been able to spend time listening to this great musician and composer perform live in such a small intimate setting.  Tonight there were 15 in the audience—young, old and in between.


Jessica Orozco and door in their home that has been autographed by audiences who have attended concerts at the Marigold House.

Jessica, Bobby’s wife, is a Spanish teacher who has studied in Spain, painter and gracious hostess.  Her work decorates the walls of the two rooms that are open to the public when they have house concerts.  The audiences who attend these intimate concerts also have a small part to play in decorating the Marigold House since they are asked to sign a door in the Orozco home before leaving.   Although you can’t see it in the photo above, Charlie and I both signed our names before leaving.  The audiences also get to add touches of spray paint to a piano that sits in their front yard.  Charlie and I sprayed some paint on the Orozco's yard art piano before we left for home.



Bobby Orozco, a Garland Texas resident, may not be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but he is likely the one pianist/composer closest to Mozart’s talent living today in the DFW area.   

(Being a modest person, I’m sure Bobby will squawk at my comparison; however it is nonetheless true as I heard it with my own two ears.)

The parallels between the two musicians are very apparent in Orozco’s style and compositions and approach to music.  Like Mozart, Bobby has a gift for absorbing and adapting features of others’ music into his own compositions.  For one example, as a child Mozart met and listened to the music of J. C. Bach. Mozart adapted many features from Bach’s baroque style to his own compositions.  There were many other musicians whose features Mozart absorbed as well.

Bobby, being a member of our “Heinz 57” American culture, has a style that reflects the classical purity of artists such as Mozart as well as that of contemporary artists.  For example, last night he played a composition reminiscent of Floyd Cramer, an American Hall of Fame pianist who was one of the architects of the Nashville sound.  I was not a bit surprised when midway through the concert last night (Saturday September 22, 2018) Louis Moore, a member of the audience, asked Bobby to name his favorite composer and Bobby, with no hesitation, answered, “Mozart.”

Like the prodigy Mozart, Bobby too began playing the piano before the age of five.  During his last ten years Mozart frequently incorporated chromatic harmony into his compositions. [For those who may not know, chromatic harmony is harmony (chords) that uses notes that do not belong to the key the music is in. It’s not an easy composition technique and the execution (playing of the composition) is heavily reliant on timing.  Simply put:  if the timing is slightly off, the result will be cacophony, not music.]  Bobby expertly demonstrated his skill not only in composing, but also in executing this technique when he played one of his many original compositions, “Facing the Sun.”

In this piece the right hand (reserved primarily for treble clef) played in a major key while the left hand played in a minor key at the other end of the piano.  Bobby told us the piece was inspired during a camping trip taken when the heat index was off the charts.  They were surrounded by a field of sunflowers and noticed how the flowers turned to face the sun. When they went to sleep at night the sunflowers faced west.  When they awoke in the morning the sunflowers faced east.  I love knowing where and/or under what circumstance a composer made their compositions as this knowledge adds another depth to my understanding of the sounds of their creation. This knowledge provides a context, a backdrop for enhancing a fuller appreciation of the music and helps to bring the audience a little closer to the experience of the artist.

The piece is beautiful and Bobby played it from his soul with precision.  For me, the music made with his right hand evoked visions of the delicate gentle organic movements of the sunflowers following the sun across the sky.  The left hand created sounds reminiscent of the feelings of the heavy oppressive heat of a Texas summer—creating strikingly different yet harmonious sounds blending together in a feeling delivered on the wings of music instead of words. 

Naturally, with my love of the garden, it’s no surprise that this particular piece with its deep organic connections was my favorite.  The next time I see Bobby I might suggest that he walk around the Garland Community Garden (Naaman School Road and Brand) and see if a new composition might be inspired in our garden setting that so many have described as magical and healing.  Thank you Bobby and Jessica for a great evening.


Epilogue: Financial Survival

How do classically trained musicians survive financially?  In the days of Mozart musicians often survived under aristocratic patronage.  For example, Emperor Joseph II appointed Mozart as his “chamber composer.”  Today it’s not as easy.  [I know firsthand regarding the difficulty of identifying aristocrats here in Garland in my quest to establish a Makerspace for our community.  It would be great to have a makerspace with a special space for musicians like Bobby.

Bobby has a degree in music from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas where he studied under the tutelage of Dr. Richard Dowling, a Steinway Artist, who specializes in chamber and jazz/ragtime piano works.  Bobby graduated in 2011 with a degree in piano. Thus, one of his avenues for income is substitute teaching.  Currently some lucky students in Rowlett have him for a while. 

In addition to substitute teaching, Bobby plays gigs for various types of business openings and events.  Then there are his house concerts such as the one last night, which brings in a whooping $7 a head, the current price of tickets to the Marigold House.  Also through his company, Sailing West Music, Bobby composes and plays music for weddings and other special events.  And finally he sells beautiful cotton T-shirts that feature silk-screened music sheets with his compositions.

Bobby Orozco is definitely a musician worth supporting.