Doodad Kind of Town


The Joys of Texas and Reading on Planes
April 16, 2007, 8:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Howdy y’all!

I’m just back from a long weekend in Flower Mound, TX, visiting one of my oldest and dearest friends, her hubby and her three crazy/silly/cuddly kiddies.

Every time I go to Flower Mound, I’m impressed by the graciousness and friendliness of the locals – and by the fact that every single Starbucks has a drive-through window. These are two Texan traditions that I would like to bring back home with me.

Normally I would like to bring the weather back, too – but this trip provided an “interesting” range of weather experiences, few of which are worth re-experiencing. I managed to fly into DFW on Friday morning ahead of the thunderstorms. But on Friday night while shopping at the Grapevine Mills outlet mall, we were rushed out of a store and told there was a tornado on the way. We were ushered to a side corridor off the mall, where we stayed only until a couple of cell phone calls (to Weather Channel-watching friends at home) brought us assurances that the tornado was going south us and that we had nothing to fear. So we hightailed it home.

Saturday brought gray, bleak skies, strong winds and a high of about 5o or so degreees. (However, it also brought a fruitful shopping trip to Stein Mart, where I acquired an armload of beatiful, reasonably-priced summer clothes!) Sunday was blue skies and 75-ish degrees and a fun afternoon at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Everyone offers you tasting samples of their yummy produce, so we got to wonder through the vendor stalls and snack on sweet cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, black plums and vine-ripened tomatoes.

As I mentioned, my companion for the trip to Texas was a brand, spanking new copy of “Slaughterhouse Five,” which I read in its entirety on the 2.5 hour flight in honor of the recently departed Kurt Vonnegut. Reading “Slaughterhouse Five” for the first time in probably 25 years, these were my obeservations: It is a quick and easy read. There is not nearly the amount of time or detail spent on the bombing of Dresden that I would have expected, yet it is often sad and haunting. I like that the tone of the book is without either sentiment or bombast; small, asburdist details give the books its emotional heft. And I am left wondering whether the sci-fi stuff about Trafalmadore is meant to be believed – or just the product of Billy Pilgrim’s mental and emotion disintegration as he struggles to cope with the death and destruction he has witnessed.

While in Flower Mound, I found an interesting title on a discount book store table and brought it with me for the return flight – a slim book by Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim entitled “Transition Game: How Hoosiers Went Hip-Hop.” Those of you who don’t me well may be scratching your heads over this one. But those who DO know me well know that I am a native Hoosier who attended every single one of her high school basketball games (home AND away) and every home game during my four years at Indiana University (which culminated in our NCAA tournament victory senior year.) Wertheim is a graduate of Bloomington North High School, and he writes vividly about the basketball-loving phenomenon known as “Hoosier Hysteria.” When reading some passages, I totally re-lived the experience of a Friday night, high school basketball game, right down to the buzzer sounds, the pep band playing, the cheerleader hand claps, and the smells of Pepsi and popcorn. Wertheim’s books is about how changes in the larger culture of the nation and its sports have altered the face of Indiana basketball. For me it is a fascinating read.

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