A grown-up lunch
April 20, 2017
Today I had a lunch experience—not just the food, but the whole experience—that made me feel like a grown-up. My friend Subie has known Fred, my mentor, for years since their children, now fifty or more, were in kindergarten together and later through TCU. The three of us had lunch at Ellerbe’s, one of Fort Worth’s upscale restaurants with an emphasis on local foods.
I had a spring hash—smashed potatoes, asparagus, greens, all topped by a poached egg. I’m really intrigued by the fairly new trend of eggs on top of dishes, particularly salads. Subie and Fred both had the Louisiana chopped salad topped with grilled chicken. They declared it delicious but without a trace of Louisiana seasonings about it.
We talked about grown-up things—books and art, the manuscripts Fred and I are separately at work on, the subjects that interest us. An interesting instance of what goes around comes around—in the late ‘60s, I did a lot of the research for my dissertation at the Amon Carter Museum of Art, then still using the adjective “Western” to describe its art. My study focused on Remington, Russell, some minor artists, and issues of Leslie’s Illustrated and Leslie’s Monthly, both on microfilm at the museum. Today, Subie is a docent at the museum and Fred volunteers in the library weekly.
A note about Fred: he was my major professor and dissertation supervisor at TCU. Since, he has read and critiqued almost everything I’ve written. I told him today I wouldn’t have a career without him. When I was housebound, he faithfully brought lunch for two and we visited in my cottage. I have tried to think of a term to describe our relationship since he doesn’t like the term mentor. I’ve taken to calling him my beta reader, a term trendy in writing circles, but today when Subie asked about his relationship with me, he said, “Guru.” And then laughed.
Tonight my Canadian daughter came for wine, an appetizer, and as she said, sage advice--I don't think she got much of the latter, but I tried. She and her kids lived next door to me for several years, and we became close friends, sharing glasses of wine late at night on my front porch. She called me her Fort Worth mother because I am about the same age as her mom, but her mom is far away in Ottawa, Ontario. Ours is a relationship I treasure, and I now include in that circle of love her partner, Teddy. A wonderful, kind and caring man.
What a good day! In between I managed to do most of the editing for the neighborhood newsletter, so I’m ahead of the game and can start first edits on my novella in the morning.