Sunday, July 10, 2011

A smokin’ no no about messin’ with Texas
The Don’t Mess with Texas campaign has been kickin’ 25 years and now there’s another message for visitors and residents:
“Texas is Not Your Ashtray” is the word going statewide.
“A smoldering cigarette butt tossed out a car window onto dry grass can spark a blaze that quickly spreads for miles, scorching farm and ranch lands, destroying homes, threatening lives and exhausting limited state resources to battle. With Texas suffering the worst drought in nearly half a century and cigarette butts accounting for 43 percent of the state's roadside trash,” the "Don't Mess with Texas" program reports.
A good read mentions area
My husband picked up a Rebecca Wells book for me at a garage sale, knowing how much I enjoyed “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.” This book, “The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder,” has been out a while. I didn’t realize one of the little girls in it, “Sukey,” claims to have lived in Beaumont, Texas, before arriving in La Luna, Louisiana. I can’t be sure about this claim, because Sukey is prone to fibbing. I read aloud a passage for my sister and mother about how Sukey meets her future best friends in a movie theater bathroom, by charging girls to see the “treasures” in her purse, including a diamond she says belonged to Elizabeth Taylor. I pictured the whole thing taking place in the Jefferson Theater’s majestic ladies room. I read this book real slow like, because I didn’t want it to end.

Art of the mow
I caught an artist mowing the Texas Artists Museum lawn. John Manuel of Port Arthur said that’s what board members there do: They serve. He promoted Art Smart, the TAM youth day camp, and also handed out cards for his exhibit of paintings, up through July 23 at the Ice House Museum in Silsbee. After I featured Manuel in the News for his late-in-life start to the arts and his using ordinary house paint and materials he’s gleaned from the side of the road, readers called up to donate supplies to his craft. He said he stayed out of trouble as long as they lasted.

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