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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Shelby’

My last couple of posts, about my mother’s unhappy experiences in moving from her home to “assisted living,”  have been downers, and it’s time to talk about lighter subjects. During the last two weeks of March I had some fine adventures out in the Texas Hill Country, back in Houston, and up in Dallas.

First off, my friends Loretta and Beverly and I went to New Braunfels to see Arlo Guthrie perform at Gruene Hall, one of the oldest dance halls in Texas.

Standing in line at Gruene Hall

The show was great. The lovely and talented Burns sisters, Arlo’s son Abe, and his band opened the show – for two hours!. Then Arlo came out and they all performed for another two hours! I met up with my Dallas friends Jay and Shelley, my dear friend Doris Judd, who I met at a writing workshop, and spent some quality time afterwards with The Burnsies, Jimmy LeFave, Kil.Ler, Arlo’s former bus driver, now an agent for musicians, based in Austin.

The Burns sisters, Jimmy LaFave, and Killer

Doris, Shirley and Jay - Gruene Hall

Arlo and Shirley Gruene Hall March 2011

Shelley, Killer and Shirley Gruene Hall

A good time was had by all. Next morning, the Three Musketeers traveled farther west to visit my friends Nancy and Tony Parker-Simons, who manage the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, founded by Kinky Friedman. I’ve known them for several years, and two finer people cannot be found. We spent the afternoon talking, eating, laughing, touring the ranch, visiting with the animals, and laughing some more.

Beverly, Loretta, Shirley and Nancy at the Ranch

Tony Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch March 2011

Tony has become an excellent photographer. He showed us some postcards he’d made that were National Geographic quality. One took my breath away, literally – a hummingbird caught in mid-flight. He has an eye for capturing nature – plants, animals, and oh yeah, even people – he took some that made me look good, and that’s not easy to do!

Nancy in Outer Space March 2011

In addition to being a Fine Human Being and one of my long-lost sisters, Nancy is a story teller, a writer, and a kind and loving woman with a heart bigger than Texas. Do I love her? Indeed I do!

Reluctantly we said goodbye to Nancy and Tony and all the critters and made the long trip back to Houston. But the fun wasn’t over yet! The next Tuesday Loretta and I attended the opening of a new play, “Becoming Kinky” – the story of Kinky Friedman in three parts. It was truly a great show, and we bonded with the couple sitting next to us, Mark and Joyce, then got to visit with Kinky and his sidekick, Jeff Shelby, aka Little Jewford.

Shirley, Kinky, Loretta, McGonigels Mucky Duck March 2011

Loretta, Shirley, Little Jewford, Joyce, Mark, and Kinky

We closed the place down, and as we drove away I saw Kinky in a meditative mood – or was he just wishing Jeff would hurry up and take him home?

Kinky Friedman after the play - March 2011

The fun was over for awhile, and it was back to work. In my next installment, I’ll talk about my mother’s 90th birthday party, and update her status on the “assisted living” experiment. There will be some good parts and some awful parts … but for a few weeks, my world was full of friends and fun and Texas in the springtime.

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In my last post, I mentioned my granddaughters, remembering them as babies rolling in the bluebonnets. I also mentioned Comanche, and posted part of my novel in process. That made me think of writers I have met, like Kinky Friedman, who has a small cameo in the book, and Earl Staggs, because he is a great friend of my dear friend Kaye B., and Jeff Cohen, who I first “met” online because of our mutual interest in autism, who writes some of the funniest mysteries around, and Chris Grabenstein because he writes a series about two wonderful characters who protect a small town on the Jersey shore, as well as a darker series about an FBI agent and another series for kids, and I happen to have pictures of all of them on my latest photo cd – I HATE to delete my special photos. So this seemed a good time to post some of those photos. Here goes.

Amber of the Jungle

Amber of the Jungle

Autumn the Hilarious

Autumn the Hilarious

Earl Darlin' and me

Earl Darlin' and me

Chris Grabenstein and me again

Chris Grabenstein and me again

Jeff Cohen and still me

Jeff Cohen and still me

The Next Governor of Texas

The Next Governor of Texas

Kinky Friedman and me in a choke hold - but he really does like me

Kinky Friedman and me in a choke hold - but he really does like me

Kinky's Right- or is it Left?-Hand man Jeff Shelby

Kinky's Right- or is it Left?-Hand man Jeff Shelby

Comanche County Courthouse

Comanche County Courthouse

Saloon where John Wesley Hardin shot the sheriff of Brown County, but he did not shot the deputy

Saloon where John Wesley Hardin shot the sheriff of Brown County, but he did not shoot the deputy

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