Archive for the ‘Mizzou’ Tag

M I Z   1 comment

Let’s play some football already!

2015 MIZZOU Football Schedule

9/5/15 vs. SEMO

9/12/15 @ Arkansas State

9/19/15 vs. Connecticut

9/26/15 @ Kentucky

10/3/15 vs. South Carolina

10/10/15, the 104th Homecoming Game vs. Florida

10/17/15 @ Georgia

10/24/15 W Vanderbilt

10/31/15 is open

11/7/15 vs. Mississippi State

11/14/15 vs. BYU

11/21/15 vs. Tennessee

11/27/15 @ Arkansas

Posted June 19, 2015 by henrymowry in Sports

Tagged with , ,

What Are You?   13 comments

I’ve been told that I can be culturally insensitive.

It’s not a goal, I assure you. However, as an old white guy, there are many things that I will never experience. I’ll never be arrested for Driving While Black … though, come to find out, there is a Henry Mowry that’s been arrested for driving while drunk. He skipped on his bail … and I was once briefly detained while a friendly policeman proved to his own satisfaction that I was not a drunkard from Tennessee. That was black.

Thank you, Officer.

I will observe that if I’m occasionally culturally insensitive, it’s probably because of my extremely cloistered upbringing. I grew up in a rural area of Missouri that was pure WASP … even Catholics were an extreme minority. I never met a Jew until I went to college. It’s not that I avoided contact with non-white, non-Protestant people … they simply weren’t around for the first 18 years of my life.

Here I am in blackface, with a black actor, Greg MacDonald, in whiteface. It was in a one act play festival ... and a comment on racism. I submit this as an example of my cultural, uh, expansion.

Here I am in blackface, with a black actor, Greg MacDonald, in whiteface. We appeared in a one act play, presented as a part of a MIzzou festival for amateur writers. The play, with a name I’ve forgotten, was a comment on racism. I submit this as an example of my cultural, uh, expansion. Circa 1975.

I am happy to report that when I went to Mizzou, I broadened my cultural horizons immensely.

I had a Jew for a roommate … and witnessed the making of homemade bagels. I went to a Jewish wedding. I worked closely with people of many heritages at the Mizzou theatre. My horizons were broadened at the land grant state university that was founded in 1839.

Thank you, Mizzou.

35+ years later, I’ve been in the cultural melting pot that is Los Angeles for … 35+ years. Though it was not a specific goal to widen my cultural horizons, that has happened.

This week, a former co-worker posted a Facebook link to a very interesting article from the Huffington Post … that uber-culturally sensitive news site.

My friend linked to an article by a multi-cultural, self-proclaimed “blendiva.” My friend also has a multi-cultural heritage, and she related completely with the Huffington Post author who was tired of strangers questioning her genetic heritage. My friend has been there, too: here’s a typical dialogue with a stranger that my friend remembers:

He: Where are you from?

She: The Bay Area.

He: No, where are your FROM?

She: Oh, you mean what nationality am I? I’m Japanese.

He: You speak English really well.

She: Good thing, ‘cuz it’s the ONLY language I speak.

And here’s another one she remembers:

He (in front of her older daughters): What are they?

She: Half Japanese and half German

He: Well, how the hell did that happen?

Andromeda Turre, from her Facebook page. She's the author of the provocative Huntington Post article ... and she's tired of people asking "What Are You?"

Andromeda Turre, from her Facebook page. She’s the author of the provocative Huffington Post article … and she’s tired of people asking “What Are You?”

I may be culturally insensitive … on rare occasion … but I would NEVER make that kind of comment to another human. I mean, c’mon, who would say something like that?

Back to the inspiration for this post, and my friend’s comments … a post on Huffington Post by a singer named Adromeda Turre. She’s a New York resident, and got tired of the online dating scene when she was consistently asked, “What Are You?”

OK. As I stated in the beginning, I have been accused of being culturally insensitive. But would I EVER ask another human that I didn’t know well … “What Are You?”


Please read Andromeda’s article. The post is here.

Now, I will observe that I am interested in genealogy, and that makes me interested in where I’m from. Yes, I have investigated the heritage of my family, and the heritage of my wife’s family. I’ll fully disclose “What I Am” in an upcoming post.

For now, just know that I’m English, Irish, German, Dutch & Swiss. And I’m just getting started. My wife, on the other hand, is Serbian, German … and some other country that’s changed its name a few times. Slovack, Polish, Austria-Hungarian … something like that.

So, YES, I am interested in my family heritage. But as to what I am … that’s a little tougher. I’m from Missouri, and I definitely worked hard to become a Missouri Tiger. But as much as I identify myself as a guy from the Show Me state, I’ve lived on the Left Coast longer than I lived in the Midwest.

So, what am I? Well, it’s complicated. I can only imagine how that question might frustrate people with a heritage that’s viewed by some as “unusual.”


Huffington Post: What Are You Is Not An Icebreaker

June 13, 1975   4 comments

Love At First Sight - TargetIt was an incredible gift.  The greatest gift.  And most people don’t even believe in it.  But they want to.

I believe.

I proposed to Velda on our first date.  It was love at first sight.  Well, not quite first sight … but this is our story.

It was 1974.  I had resolved to go to the best college I could imagine attending.  For this dirt-poor boy, that was the University of Missouri.  I won scholarships, applied for financial aid, got part-time jobs … and stitched together the money to make it work.  That was the deal I had with my folks: if I could pay for it, I could go.

When I was one of two in the nation that won the $500 annual scholarship from Dad’s employer, Skelly Oil Company, I knew I could pay tuition and it would all work (yes, $500 was all it took for my annual tuition).

Come August 1974, it was off to Columbia, MO to discover what life had in store for me.

My eyes were opened in amazing ways.  My first roommate only lasted a week, then he moved out to become a dorm Resident Assistant.  My next roommate … well, let’s just say this Eagle Scout wasn’t cut from the same cloth as that idiot. I moved across campus at the semester break to Hudson Hall, and that proved to be a very, very good move.

I had graduated from Nodaway-Holt High School, in a class of 36.  Of those 36, 4 went to Mizzou.  All were my good friends, of course, and one of those was Janie, who lived across the street in Schurz Hall.  Her roommate was Charity, and Charity had a friend named Velda.

With me so far?

Not sure when I first met Velda, but it was probably February of ’75.  She was a friend of a friend of a friend, and I paid her no mind.  I was a theatre major and she was, uh, different.  She came from the big city, and I’d never even been to the big city. I remember her giving me advice on how to cut my hair (which I disregarded).  She was in the same big chemistry class that I was, but it was a big lecture with 400+.  That class was a dog fight to get grades, because it was the class required for anyone in the bio sciences: pre-med, bio, PT, nursing … all of high school’s “A” students were in that class.  Me, I was the theater major in the honors lab just trying to survive.  Velda, she was in a different lab and a totally different place.  Again, no connection there.

There was a mixer (AKA dancing to a DJ before that was the least bit cool) at Hudson Hall one night, and I was there.  Velda was there with a bunch of people.  That night we didn’t talk at all that I recall, but we did have one dance.  It was the 70s: we danced to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic “Free Bird.”  It was electric.  Please, allow me to repeat that.  Electric.  One dance … and that was that.


We still weren’t a couple, but I’d never felt anything like that before … or since.

The end of the semester came and we were freshmen no more.  I had resolved to return for summer school, as had Velda, come to find out.  I was living in a campus dorm; she was in the more expensive private dorm. Neither of us knew anyone else that was at summer school. That first week, I called to ask her out (the first time I had ever called her), and Friday night was our first date.

June 13, 1975.

Instant connection.  Instant communication. Instant.

I proposed that night. And she said YES!

We were 18 years old. I was 3 years from graduation, working 2 jobs to pay my bills.  A ring wouldn’t happen for another year, and it was not that impressive.

But Velda was.  And is.

Love at first sight.  I believe.


WriteMeg! On HER Love At First Sight

Making Snap Romantic Decisions In The Medial Prefontal Cortex

Kylie Minogue’s “Love At First Sight”

Sobbing On An Airplane   4 comments

XL, A NovelI have no clue where to start, and only a vague idea of where I’ll stop.  Settle in, kids, this one may be rough.

First, I’ll blame Michael.  He got me interested in Bruins Nation, a sports blog for the UCLA Bruins, which is where he gets his Bruins sports trivia.  I subscribed to their RSS feed (I’m not cool enough for a twitter feed), and that got me to thinking … how about my alma mater?  Surely there is a sports blog dedicated to the University of Missouri?  My Tigers???

Mizzou LogoIndeed there is: Rock M Nation.  I began to read, and I am now awash in sports trivia for the two colleges’ teams I follow: Mizzou, where I went to school, and UCLA, where my money went.

One post on Rock M Nation pointed me towards a novel that was set at Mizzou.  It’s written by Michael Atchison, an alum that knows the guys at Rock M … come to find out, he’s a sports journalist who wrote a novel about music.  And growing up.  And being disappointed.  In Missouri.

I’m in.  There’s an excerpt you can read, here.

Meanwhile, back at the computer, I decided to upgrade my music consumption with one of those new fangled iPod thingies.  The lovely Velda gave me one for Christmas.  Perfect!  I had a business trip coming up in January to northern Iowa (the high was 11* while I was there), so I could use the iPod on the trip.

I proceeded to rip the soundtrack of my life.

I believe in purchasing music, by the way.  I have CDs and more CDs.  I do not steal music.  Haven’t purchased digital downloads, as I 1) had no place to put them and 2) I don’t like their inferior audio quality.

I’m an audio snob.  Get over it.

So I made digital copies of music from Carly Simon, Jethro Tull, Tom Russell, Bread, Eastmountainsouth, Chicago, The Beatles, The Stones, Michael Jackson, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Madonna, Hank Williams, Orleans, Martina McBride, Rosie Flores, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Church, Nikka Costa, Pure Prairie League, Clint Black, Nicolette Larson, The Wailin’ Jennys, Frank Sinatra, Wylie & The Wild West, Barbra Streisand, Led Zeppelin, Zac Brown Band, James Taylor, Danni Leigh, Amy Grant and Lady Antebellum. To name a few.  I got on the plane with 11,000 songs.  It was heaven.

My iPod, my noise cancellation headphones, and my kindle.  Three illegal items when the plane is taking off or landing, but, oh, when we were soaring … I was soaring.

I pulled up my nascent playlists.  Funk.  Mellow.  Western. Hits.  ’70s.  Country Stars.  Yum.

I had not had this level of aural control of my environment since I stopped regularly visiting my woodshop … where I have a great CD changer + sound system set up (OK, OK, my garage.  But it IS my woodshop.).  Unfortunately, my last woodworking projects were last spring, and life took some different turns since then.  All good … but I now had my music back, and it was wonderful.

On my way to Iowa, I finished my Poul Anderson series of 7 novels that collected the eon-spanning story that went from the Psychotechnic League to Domininc Landry into the Long Night that followed.  Great space opera, classic, award-winning science fiction, but I struggled a bit to finish it.  The series has been compared to the James Bond series (Ian Fleming introduced 007 to the world 2 years later).  Same dashing hero, same damsel-in-distress conquests. Good stories, really, but not great literature.  I was glad to be done.

On my trip home, I didn’t know what I wanted to read.  I had about 25 novels on the kindle … and I’d forgotten what XL was about.  I needed a change of pace, though, and this unknown author looked like just the ticket.

The music was a collection of favorites.  I jumped around from mellow to party to western to country.  But every tune, every tune, was a favorite.  It was transcendent.

And then the novel took me back, just as the music was taking me back, to the beginning of my college journey in Columbia, MO.  In 1974, I found a creative release like never before … just as David Hankins did in XL.  He met the love of his life, as did I.  He had his dream yanked from him, as did I.  His story might be more compelling than mine, but with my music in my ears, and his story in my heart, I was having a wonderful, wonderful trip.

And then the book turned sentimental, with a character that believed in David dying, and then using his funeral to give even more support back to David.

I sobbed.  In the plane.  Me.  Sobbed.  In public.

Now, I’m not a walking puddle of emotions like Velda.  Her profound leaking of tears at Christopher and Alley’s wedding became the stuff of legend.  She’s probably still dehydrated, 5 years later.  I am an emotional sort, and I’ve been known to shed a tear now and again.  But in public, in the company of strangers, while reading a book?  Not so much.

Until I played my soundtrack, and read XL, and it was simply pitch perfect.

XL’s about many things, but the engine that drives the book is music.  The author says on his website that there are 209 bands & musicians discussed in the book.  It’s about the music, and Hankins has the music in him.  It’s a great read.

You’ll meet David Hankins as he studies journalism at the University of Missouri.  There were a few landmarks in the book that made me feel at home … but the novel could begin at any college, really.  And when David went into the ’80s Goth underground club scene in Columbia I didn’t know if Atchison was kidding or serious.  I mean … Columbia?  A counter-culture?  Really?  Maybe it was there.  I was so straight in the ’70s, I wouldn’t have known a counter-culture if it hit me in the face … which it did a couple of times, come to think of it.

I finished the book after I returned home, and it did not disappoint.  I wholeheartedly recommend it to you, whether you know Mizzou or not.  In the end, the book is just about a guy, that loves a girl.  They both love their family … and his music.

This is Michael Atchison’s first novel, but I look forward to his next. Hope to see you around the Quad, Michael!

The Columns are all that's left of an Admin building that burnt in 1882, are set in the middle of Francis Quadrangle, AKA the Quad.

The Columns are all that’s left of Academic Hall, which burnt in 1892.  They are set in the middle of Francis Quadrangle, AKA the Quad.

Reality Is Killing Television   2 comments

I detest reality shows.  I refuse to watch them.   They are awful, they are unwatchable.

Kim Kardashian, Reality TV Star

I do not watch reality shows.

When American Idol occasionally stops being about who can insult the singer most outrageously, I have watched the talent contest that remains.  I’ve stopped that entirely, though, because it’s still just a reality show.  And I’m truly disappointed that anyone cares about bachelors, bachelorettes, or who’s off the island.  I have dismissed this entire class of television — beloved by TV executives because it is cheaper to produce in quantity than traditional dramas and comedies.

My In-Laws have encouraged me to watch Storage Wars.  Velda has a creepy fascination with Hoarders.  Lauren has thankfully outgrown Jersey Shore, but she still flirts with a range of reality shows.  They shame me.

The Ionic columns are all that remain of the original University of Missouri Administration Hall that burned in 1892. These columns have come to symbolize Mizzou. Yes, the Ionic style began in ancient Greece.

I’m classically trained (and no one on earth has ever heard me say THAT!).  But there’s truth, here:  I have a genuine college degree from the University of Missouri in Speech & Dramatic Art.  During that course of study, I studied dramatic theory and Greek theater.  During that wonderful time as a Mizzou Tiger, I studied someone who became a big influence on my sense of the dramatic, Aeschylus.

Bust of Aeschylus from the Capitoline Museums, Rome. He won many first prizes at the city Dionysia.

Aeschylus is known as the “Father of Greek Tragedy,” and lived circa 525-455 BC.  When he began, theater was young — very young.  Dramatic presentations were basically long orations by one actor, with a chorus that delivered some messages in verse and did interpretive dance.  Aeschylus is credited with adding a 2nd actor to his dramas (imagine how startling it would have been to suddenly have two actors that actually spoke to each other in character!).  He also is credited with adding innovative costuming and the thick-soled footwear, called cothurni, that gave his actors a more domineering presence on stage.

Aeschylus won many prizes for his work.  His Orestia is the only trilogy of Greek tragedies that have survived (competitions had three tragedies and a shorter comedic piece called a satyr), and a description of the power of his drama is pretty amazing:

As they walked on stage in the first performance of the Eumenides, the chorus of Furies were so frightening in appearance that they caused young children to faint, patriarchs to urinate, and pregnant women to go into labor.

A mosaic of Orestes, the main character in the Orestia trilogy.

I’m pretty sure that has never happened while watching America’s Next Top Model.

Aeschylus did not accept “theater” as it existed before he became a dramatic poet.  Rather, he re-envisioned his art and decided that a dramatic piece should not just be a poem … it should be a dramatic event with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

And THAT is why I cannot stand reality shows.   I want my entertainment to go somewhere … it must engage my imagination and take me to another place.  That doesn’t mean that Oedipus has to kill Laius and marry Jocasta, but I want more than to simply watch human misery revealed on the small screen.  I don’t care what Howard or Simon might say, I don’t care if Apolo Ohno or Emmitt Smith can dance.

Given this base assumption, it’s all the more amazing that I enjoy — indeed, I endorse! — one show that is entertaining while still being scriptless and undramatic.

I also forgive Ree Drummond for being an alumni of USC. Class of ’91.

The show is fabulous:  Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman.

This show is the only cooking show that we record on “my” DVR; Velda and I watch it together.  I am not ashamed.

This show blends cooking, recipes, family events and Oklahoma ranch life.  I am not ashamed.

The recipe for Buttered Rosemary Rolls typifies Ree’s offerings: basic recipes, easy to make in quantity. Scrumptious.

When Ree’s second cookbook went on sale, I bought it for Velda immediately.  She found a recipe for “Buttered Rosemary Rolls” cooked in a cast iron skillet that was amazing.  They will set you free.  I am not ashamed.

And I am well fed.

It’s a given in our house that Velda watches cooking shows.  She’s a student of her art, and she cooks fabulous meals for our family many nights each week.  But even though she loves the Food Network, that doesn’t mean I have to be there when she watches.  That’s why we have a TV in another room just for her.

I’m really not sure exactly why I enjoy Pioneer Woman so much.  It’s not simply that it highlights a rural lifestyle or traditional ranch cooking … I’ve seen many other shows go there, and I didn’t care.

It’s also not because of my agrarian roots … believe me, the Drummond’s idyllic cattle ranch has little to do with the small, rustic farm that I grew up on.  And since I was the only boy in my high school that wasn’t a member of the FFA, it’s pretty hard to acuse me of wanting to be a farmer.  Or a rancher.

However, Ree mixes a little family fun with her own personal charm, stirs in some great recipes and new takes on old favorites … and the result is a show that both entertains and entices.

If you haven’t ventured onto the Food Network to watch this show, I heartily recommend it.  This slice of Americana will do you some good.

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