Texas Grey Burleson in front of Ollie's Shack on Lightnin' Flats in Wyoming c1905
Texas Grey is the name I sell under on eBay, and this is a photo of the original Texas Grey -- my great uncle, Texas Grey Burleson. He was born in 1885, and grew up just east of Austin, Texas, near Webberville and Hornsby Bend. As a youngster Texas Grey played baseball with Rogers Hornsby, who went on to great fame as an early professional baseball player. Uncle Grey told his father that he, too, wanted to go off and play baseball, but his father told him that baseball was a boy's game, and not a suitable way for a grown man to make a living, and so, Texas Grey left home at about age 21 and moved to Wyoming to be a cowboy.
The photo shows Tex, as he was known in Wyoming, wearing his woolly chaps and holding the reins of his horse in front of Ollie's shack on Lightnin' Flats in Wyoming. He married Miss Ollie, who was the local school marm, and ten years his senior. They lived happily ever after in Wyoming and Northern California. Sweeter people never crossed my path.
As Uncle Grey grew older and more frail, he remained in good humor and full of funny stories. He has been one of my heroes for a long time and I hope to grow old as gracefully as he did. I was lucky enough to be given his middle name, and there are quite a few Greys in our family now, including nephews, cousins and grandsons.
Pan AM DC-3 Brownsville, Texas, old linen postcard
I was born in Brownsville, Texas where my father was flying DC-3s for Pan American Airways. My mother had a "Rosie-the-Riveter" job, installing bomb-sights in B-17s. They met at the Pan Am electrical shop where she worked.
References to flying and wings show up often in my work -- and in my dreams.
Pops, Ben & Deb in Studio
No, it's not our place, but it is Texas
our cabin last winter
A Little of the Story So Far...
Debbie and I live in the Texas Hill Country where we have a creek, a view, a few big trees, and some trails that the grandsons and I have built. We travel too often to keep pets, but we do have a fox that we see often and plenty of deer, armadillos, rabbits and birds. Deb and I share our work space studio, which is about a hundred yards from our cabin.
As a kid I always liked to make things, whether it was a scooter from an old skate and some boards, a hide-out in a vacant lot, or a ring from an old spoon that I was pretty sure my mother wouldn't miss. My dad taught me how work with tools and build kites, wooden whistles, and tree houses. Both my mother and father taught me to value craftsmanship and art, and to keep my eyes open while traveling.
I like folk art of all types, and I am drawn to decorative and functional things that people create with their own hands. The Impressionist painters let the brush strokes show, and that makes sense to me. I make jewelry with simple handmade tools and simple techniques, and I hope the handwork of cutting, sawing, tooling and assembling are evident to the viewer
When not working, Debbie and I enjoy traveling, long talks with friends over dinner, and keeping in touch by email. Days spent with the children and grandchildren are on the top of our list. I do some kayaking with old buddies, and try to work in a few river trips every year. I hope we can teach the grandchildren a few tricks that will come in handy as they take up the trip down their own rivers.