Friday, May 07, 2010

Bookish Frogs enjoy a Dan Jenkins evening

Tonight the Bookish Frogs, a community support group for TCU Press, had a wonderful evening with Dan Jenkins to celebrate the press' reprint edition of Baja Oklahoma. It was a potluck supper at the home of--okay, I met the host and hostess, chatted amiably with them and liked them a  lot, but never got their names. But it was in a new, gated community and was probably the most spectacular modern house I've ever been in. We walked in an open door and were immediately in the living area--only we weren't. It turns out we walked into the patio, but glass sectioned doors that separate the patio from the living area had been opened so that it was all one huge open space. With wonderful artwork, a superb library that left my tongue hanging out, and a beautiful master bedroom--in which a tiny Pappillon begged for attention. He could hear the crowd and wanted to be amongst us. I live in a house built in 1922 and love it, so I wouldn't want to live in that open glass and steel space--but I sure did admire it.
There were about 30 people and there was so much food for the potluck supper that I came home with at least half the sandwiches I had made. Jeff Guinn, now a noted author and once book editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, interviewed Dan and both were jovial, funny and entertaining--yet it was an evening with insights into the art of writing. I'm impressed that TCU Press can put on such an affair--in that setting, with those people, and with an author of Dan's star quality. Truly a triumph--and hats off to Susan Petty who put it all together.
At noon today Linda, my friend from Granbury, brought her mother for lunch, and Connie, the widow of my ex-husband's partner and a longtime friend of mine, came down from Keller for lunch. We meant to go out, but Connie got lost and by the time she got here all restaurants would be crowded. So we left the two older ladies, whose friendship goes back to the late '40s, to visit on the porch and went to get lunch from Nonna Tata--salads for them and braseola (the beef versionof proscuitto, dressed with lemon, olive oil, arugula, and grana cheese) for me. We had lunch on the porch where there was a delightful breeze--but Billie, Linda's mom, is always cold, and I brought her my prayer shawl which she wrapped around her shoulders. It was fascinating to hear them talk about being in Kirksville, Missouri in the late '40s--Linda was four and probably doesn't remember much; I was there for four years in the early '60s, when it was already a much different town. Recently fund-raisers from Truman State University visited me (it used to be Kirksville State Teachers College) and we talked about the town--some of my favorite restaurants are still there, but both the state university and the osteopathic medical school campuses have changed so that I would not recognize them. I haven't been back since 1976. But back to lunch with Billie Connie, and Linda--it was a delight. And bringing lunch to the porch proved to be just the right touch.
What a nice day.

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