Friday: Return from Texas

I’m getting so much work in Texas that I’m thinking of making a sign to hang on my door saying, “Gone to Texas.” Evidently after the Civil War,  many tacked signs to their doors with the initials, G.T.T.  Texas, having successfully resisted Yankee invasion, had not suffered the economic hardships many states had. The Federal government’s scorched earth policy, its war against the civilian population of the South, and the oppression of Reconstruction had so ruined people’s lives that they looked to Texas as an opportunity to rebuild their lives. I know my Confederate ancestor was one of these. He left Alabama and moved into East Texas. I’ll have more on him in a later post.  At any rate, it looks like Texas is going to be a target state for me, at least as long as Monroe (ironically/sarcastically called Funroe by some) is my anchor city. I really must make arrangements to get to the East Coast.

This has been a marvelous trip. Things accomplished:
1) I set up a program and a book signing with the Texas Civil War Museum for Saturday Feb. 16. I spent about 3 hours touring the museum and studying its displays. This has to be one of the finest Civil War museums I’ve ever visited.

2) I met with my contacts at the Region XI Education Services Center, toured the facility, and discussed future opportunities.

3) Met with the director of the Azle, Texas Public Library and introduced my books and program.

4) Met with the manager of the Barnes & Noble in Downtown Fort Worth and talked about a signing there in January or February.

I was also able to eat at two famous Fort Worth eating establishments: Risky’s Steak House in the Stockyard section of town and Billy Miner’s in Sundance Square. Downtown Fort Worth was beautifully lit for the holiday season, and I heard a school choir doing Christmas carols and was able to see a movie: Love in the Time of Cholera.  Good movie overall, but I would have lost many of the subtle nuances and symbols if I hadn’t read the novel first.  After I view it again, I’ll post a little review of it.  I’m surprised at how much I love Fort Worth. The city is much easier to drive in than Dallas.

I’m headed back to Monroe this morning in just a little while. I have a few chores to do and must prepare for my signing in South Louisiana tomorrow. The rest of my month is booked solid. No free windows of time. I used to have free windows of time in the days when I was a slave to the school system.

My friend Michele, a wonderful gifted teacher and very talented writer who is in Egypt attending a conference,  sent me a text message yesterday.  She said, “Sitting on the Nile, listening to Faith Hill and the call to prayer.” She’s always been able to spot the ironies of life. I’ve always had a fascination with the desert. (Is that my just desert?) I hope she’ll write a entry for this blog concerning her trip.