Tonight I was inducted into the Fort Worth Publiuc Library's Texas Literary Hall of Fame, which means I joined the ranks with such people as John Graves, Katherine Ann Porter, Horton Foote, Shelby Hearon and others--pretty heady company. My children came--Colin, Jordan, and Jamie--Megan was delayed by a kindergartner's first ever school carnival and such things are priority, but she and her family are driving up as we speak. Lisa and Christian stayed home with four grandchildren, all of whom are now crowded into two beds in my family room. Maddie is one of the four, so she'll ride herd on them and make sure they go to sleep. Everyone has to be up and out the door by 8:40 for Jacob's soccer game. Not me. I'd sleep late but I'm sure young voices won't let me. It's such a joy to have them all here--Colin says he got a picture of all four of them in their bed, so I'm waiting for that.
Jordan got lots of pictures tonight at the dinner, but she hasn't shared them, so I have none to post--watch for them in future blogs. I was nervous, of course, about my half-page speech, but it went well, and I got a lot of compliments. I talked about growing up in Chicago and thinking Texas was a foreign land. Then my folks went to Corpus to visit my brother at the Naval Air Station and reported a lush and green tropical land. Later, my soon-to-be husband went to Turkey, Texas, and reported a barren, brown land with no vegetation. I was puzzled. My conclusion was, of course, that I found a land that was green sometimes and brown sometimes but more than that had a rich history and literature, out of which I built a career. I am really amazed by the honor, humbled and grateful.
The inductees with me were all good friends--and I was the only female. They were Jim Lee,sort of a grandfather of Texas literature in many ways, Bill Crider, mystery writer extradorinaire, Carlton Stowers, sports writer, true crimer author, and all around nice guy, Bob Ray Sanders, award-winning journalist with a career in TV, author of the text for one of TCU Press' best-ever photography books, and Jeff Guinn, former book editor of the Star-Telegram and the author of many books, one a winner of the TCU Texas Book Award. I keep using the word heady, but it was heady company to be in.
Best of all, my kids thought I did well on the talk, and that means everything to me. I'm not a native Texasn, but I've been here forty-five years, and I've written and published a whole lot about the state. It's my state, even though some call me an outsider.
I'm a happy camper tonight and going to bed tired.