Julie had a thing about owls...

And, the weird thing about it...I don't even have a clue as to why! If my memory serves me correctly (and that's a BIG "if"), Julie never said; maybe I never asked.

Julie did NOT like "animals" (including the feathered variety.) Oh, Julie liked her steaks, seafood, and don't stand between a Jones and chicken. BUT, Julie wanted her animals dead and cooked...NOT alive. (Okay, sometimes...as in sushi and oysters...they didn't even need to be cooked. BUT, definitely dead...NOT alive!) So, if an owl had landed on our deck, Julie would have instantly found a door (made a door) to safety.

Julie had her "snake experience" at an early age and was later attacked by a dog. Fortunately, neither experience resulted in physical harm, but the emotional scars were permanent. Julie had no interest in experiencing further wildlife, up close and personal.

Being a "cat person", I tried for years to interest Julie in becoming a cat "owner" (although no one can "own" a cat...the cat has to allow you to grace its presence in return for suitable, changing offerings of food...and petting...according to its schedule!) Julie was NOT interested!

Incidentally, Julie's owl fetish transitioned to hawks. On a road trip, Julie's mother spotted a hawk in the top of a tree. Eloise made a comment about the hawk...she felt like it was watching her. Well, Julie couldn't resist a little fun...kept looking for hawks and pointing them out to her mother..."They're watching you." Doo, dee, doo dee, doo dee, doo dee...

After that time, Julie would watch for hawks when we were traveling...commenting that they were watching ME! (Never knew there were so many hawks in the tops of trees gazing down upon the highway. Of course, when you think about it, that's where the "tenderized" road kill is served. Hello, breakfast...lunch...dinner!)

Then there was the day that Julie called me into the kitchen...a hawk had landed on our back fence. Mr. (Mrs./Ms.) Hawk sat on that fence for the longest time...and Julie stood watching (from the safety of her kitchen window) with great interest.

Anyway, back to owls...

Julie collected non-live owls of great variety...although NEVER a real, taxidermy-type owl.

For example:

As promised above...

But...there was one more owl...an owl Web site!

When I mentioned the NEA Representative Assembly in my last post, it jogged my memory of Julie's participation in the NEA's (short-lived) venture into a separate Web site dedicated to professional development topics for its members. The Web site was dubbed OWL.org, an acronym for "Our Web Location". It was discontinued after a year or so when the NEA decided that the "portal" would best serve its members by being incorporated into the parent site. Its logo...

The NEA "launched" OWL.org at its Representative Assembly in Dallas, Texas. Julie had been asked to contribute an article for that launch. (NEA officials had read an earlier piece that she had written, like it, and invited her to pen one for them for inclusion...along with her original piece. Yep, Julie A. Newell had not one, but two articles when OWL.org made its debut.) We even got invited to and attended the pre-launch party. Sorry...no red carpet!

I have not yet found the "second" article, but below is the one that Julie wrote on the problem of "elitism" that sometimes interferes with the "teamwork" necessary for certified and non-certified employees to reach their mutual goal...developing and educating the youth of today so they will be productive citizens tomorrow. This was also the time period that the NEA was wrestling with getting the "P" of ESP's changed from "Personnel" to "Professionals". From Julie's first sentence, you can readily see which side she was on!

So, without further ado...

FOOTNOTE: Don't know what Julie would have been wearing today...as we sat in the Convention Center for the NEA RA...just another work day for NEA delegates! BUT...I know what color it would be, and if YOU think about it for a second, you know too...might well be YOUR colors today! RED, WHITE, AND BLUE, of course. Even though members of the NEA have been dubbed "terrorists" by the Bush administration, the 9,000 members attending the convention today are a veritable sea of red, white, and blue. Happy 4th of July, everyone!

With that, I'm outta here. If you read Rachel's blog today - "....And The Eyeballs' Red Glare...." - then you know that she was blessed with a sign from Julie. So, I'm going outside on my deck, read a book, and wait...surely Julie will send a big ol' hawk to visit...with the clear message "I'm watching you!"