Lonn Taylor spoke to the Bookish Frogs tonight--mostly he read three short essays from his new book--but it was a delightful evening. With the Bookish Frogs, you get to meet and hear an author, you get a terrific and interesting pot-luck supper (remember how much fun it is to discover who brought what?), and often you get to see an amazing house. Such was the case tonight.
But first, Lonn Taylor. He lives in Fort Davis and writes a weekly column for the newspaper there. This compilation of his columns is not limited to the Big Bend area however but ranges widely over his interesting life and career--he was a curator at the UT Winedale Historical Center and was for twenty years a historian at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American HIstory. Best of all, he's a home-town boy who graduated from TCU, and one of the essays in his book is about little known bars that he frequented during his school years in the late '50s and early '60s. (Some of you may recognize one or two--just sayin'!). He also read a piece about his grandmother who, among other things, believed that your watch would stop if you rode a streetcar and that Abraham Lincoln was the illegitimate brother of Jefferson Davis. Fascinating stuff.
The food was good, the wine plentiful, and the house in which we met spectacular. It's in west Fort Worth, a '70s modern with a two-story living room (the current owners have added an almost-floor-to-ceiling bookcase with a ladder, and someone remarked to me that they were always so impressed by a bookcase with a ladder--me too!). They've kept the mirrors of the '70s, so that a good portion of the wall surrounding the fireplace is mirrored, and there's the most amazing powder room--every surface, even the inside of the door is mirrored. You can see parts of yourself you may never have seen before. I decided next time I needed someone to check my back for moles, I'd just call and ask if I could use their powder room.The open entertaining aspect intrigued me the most--a wonderful long granite bar, with a sink, runs along one side of the dining room, with plenty of stools for seating. And the kitchen is spacious, open and gleaming. The dining room and kitchen walls are windows that look out on the narrowest of gardens, well maintained with gravel and unusual plant arrangements. A real treat to see.
If you like good books and book people and you live in Fort Worth, you really should investigate the Bookish Frogs and support TCU Press. They have a Web page http://www.prs.tcu.edu/bookish_frogs.html, so check it out. See you at the next supper--and, hey, bring your friends.