Archive for September, 2012

Returning to writing for the Bee-Picayune, Astros, Texas rivalries, birds

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

From A to Zowie

Returning to writing for the B-P, Astros, Texas rivalries, birds

By Richard Zowie

After an extended hiatus due to a certain unexpected change in my life, I’ve decided to dust off my keyboard and continue writing “From A to Zowie” for the Bee-Pic.

Once I submit it for print, I will be posting it online at on the website blog, and on my blog at

To make a long story short, there comes a time where you have to return to your routines and get busy. Life goes on.

That being said, let’s get down to business…

…I am very excited to be a Houston Astros fan, even though the Astros have the worst major league record in what will be their final season in the National League. After about 50 years, they have a handful of division championships and only one pennant (in 2005, they went to the World Series and were swept by the Chicago White Sox).

Why am I excited? New ownership and, even more important, new uniforms.

From what I’ve read online, the Astros will be doing what many ’Stros fans have been dying for them to do: ditch the black, brick, sand railroad look and return to the blue-and-orange space look. Specifically, a modern version of the 1960s shooting star look will return. I’d love to see the star on the jersey, but I’ve also heard it might not be there.

And, if you love the blue caps with the white H superimposed atop an orange star, you’ll be excited as that is said to be returning–howbeit with a slightly different font.

People say Houston should focus on having a winning ball club before worrying about what they wear. I say, it’s bad enough that the team looks as bad as it plays: why not have a fresh look that returns the team to its roots?

Personally, I’ve never understood the logic of basing a team’s look on what used to occupy their stadium site (Minute Maid Park sits on what used to be a train depot, hence the railrood look)…

…I have a family that’s divided. My sister Sabrina’s kids are all staunch Texas A&M fans while my sister Misti’s sons are both staunch Texas fans. My sons, living in Michigan, like Michigan State but also like the Longhorns. I reminded the youngest, Robert, that he should like the Aggies since the man he was named after (my close friend from high school, Bob Jackson) is a Texas A&M graduate. Maybe I should buy Rob a maroon cap for Christmas.

Myself, I am still trying to decide where I stand. While vacationing in Texas with my sons two summers ago, I bought all three of us U.T. caps. We were in Austin visiting my high school friend, Chelsea, and finding an A&M cap there is like trying to find a Cowboys cap in a Washington D.C. sporting goods store. Once my sons are grown, I’m planning to return to school and may just declare my allegiances depending on where I go. If that’s the case, then UTSA could be my top choice. They offer programs in two things I’d like to dive into: English and Russian…

…A few years ago, I read a story in the Bee-Picayune about the feeding and social habits of mockingbirds. It fascinated me and made me think of how exciting the world of bird watching is.

Here are my recent bird watching highlights:

A couple of years ago, I saw a bald eagle in a farm field outside Frankenmuth, Michigan. Coincidentally, Frankenmuth’s school mascot is the Eagle. This was the first time I’ve ever seen a bald eagle. One avid bird watcher I recently met tells me America’s National Symbol is becoming more common in the Great Lakes State.

Our neighbor’s cat twice left a dark, speckled dead bird on my porch. I took a picture and asked on Facebook if anyone knew what kind of bird it was. After weeding through the “It’s a dead bird!” comments, I finally saw my sister, Sabrina, answered. It was a starling–apparently an invasive species of bird.

I’m guessing the cat left it as a gift for me.

More recently, I saw a bright yellow bird with black markings flying around. I took a picture and then after googling the description, saw I’d just met the American Goldfinch.

I’ve also seen orioles, robins, cardinals and other colorful birds. When I return to Texas, I plan to photograph the mockingbird. And next time I’m in Kansas and Louisiana, the western meadowlark and brown pelican, respectively…

Richard Zowie grew up in Beeville and is a 1991 graduate of A.C. Jones High School. He currently lives with his sons in Vassar, Michigan. Post your comments here or e-mail Richard at