From Sundance to Rockport

“Your horse is a mirror to your soul, and sometimes you may not like what you see. Sometimes, you will.” – Buck Brannaman.

"Buck" directed by Cindy Meehl

“Buck” is a documentary film directed by Cindy Meehl.    Meehl is an equestrian and artist who attended Brannaman’s classes for several years on how to relate to  horses and was inspired to make a film about this real life horse whisperer.  She states that his lessons for horses really translate to lessons for people.  The film won an award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.  The win was described this way, “The Audience Award: Documentary was presented to Buck, directed by Cindy Meehl, for her story about the power of non-violence and master horse trainer Buck Brannaman, who uses principles of respect and trust to tame horses and inspire their human counterparts.”

Next week it will be one of the featured films in the 2011  Rockport Film Festival which will be November 3 – 5.  The website describes it as “International in Scope, Local in Flavor.”   A trailer for “Buck” can be viewed at the website.  Maybe you will bump into Robert Redford there…well, maybe not!

If you miss this Texas film festival,  you might want to make plans to attend the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 19- 29.  You will surely see Robert there!   Here is the link to all the details.


Graham Greene and the Anglo-Texan Society

Anne L. Armstrong of Texas was the United States Ambassador to Brittain  from 1976-1977 and was the first woman to hold that diplomatic post.  Writer Graham Greene did his part to foster good relationships between Texas and Brittain.  His biographer, Norman Sherry, chronicles Graham’s efforts  in his book, “The Life Of Graham Greene, Volume II, 1939-1955.”


“The Life of Graham Greene, Volume II, 1939-1955” by Norman Sherry

It was 1953.  Greene and John Sutro  were in Edinburgh to see a play and were having drinks before the play when a group of Texans on a conducted tour of Norway and happened to be passing through Edinburgh.  Two attractive young ladies from the group, Miss Crosby and Miss Alexander, ended up attending the play with Greene and Sutro and were shown around the city later in the evening by them.

The next day the traveling Texans continued their tour. Greene and Sutro took a train back to London and on the way while drinking black velvets decided something must be done to help friendly Texans who were visiting England.  As a joke they decided that they would found an Anglo-Texan Society and placed a letter in The Times soliciting members.  The interest was suprising and thus the hoax became reality.  At one point Sutro organized a meeting at the Denham studios.  The air force brought over three steers from the Houston Fat Stock Show for the festivities.  Over 1,500 Anglo-Texan members showed up.  The American ambassador showed up and was redesignated by Texas Governor Allen Shivers as Texas ambassador to Great Brittain.  A good time was had by all.  The society was active until 1976. When John Sutro died his obituary mentioned the fact that he and Green had formed the Anglo-Texan Society to promote friendship between Texas and Brittain.  Sherry quotes Greene on the formation of the society with, “…what started this great event was the ignoble hilarity of two tipsy travellers when they plotted their little joke.”  Who knew Graham Greene had a sense of humor?  He died in 1991.

 The Harry Ransom Center(HRC) at the University of Texas at Austin has obtained several collections of Greene’s papers and letters.  I think that he would be pleased.  Check out this site at the HRC for pictures of the young ladies and more details of their trip and encounter with Greene and Sutro.

“I ain’t here for a long time – I’m here for a good time.”

George Strait 2011

George Strait

     Finding a topic for my post this week has not been easy.  I had what I thought was a catchy title – “Ties that Blind” – and completed a reasonable word count.  It was about my husband’s collection of unusual ties which includes art by Van Gough, Salvador Dali and Edvard Munch (The Scream).  The intention was to tie (pun intended) it in somehow to the bland solid color (red or blue usually) ties that politicians wear and especially the ones they wear in debates.  I contemplated suggesting ties that various Republicans seeking the presidential nomination might wear to make a sartorial and political statement.  Governor Rick Perry’s choice would be easy.  His tie should be the Texas flag or perhaps the Alamo.  But it was not working and I hated to drag my husband’s wardrobe into my post. I hit delete!

     All week I tossed around other possible topics:  tattoos, Camille Paglia, travel on the Orient Express, my next to last cat, # of days left until Christmas, Kronos Quartet, hummingbirds in the back yard.  Nothing worked.  Perhaps I had writers block.  I was committed to one post a week.  Perhaps I would have to post one of my poems, “Havana Browns,” as a last resort.

     Saturday morning I got up and decided to run before I would post my poem in creative defeat.  During the week I listen to classical music on NPR, but if I run on Saturday I listen to a country and western radio station.  When I turned on the radio and put my Sony headphones on I heard the end of a  song, “I ain’t here for a long time – I’m here for a good time,” from  George Strait’s  new album, “Good Times.”  I smiled and got happy dancing feet as I headed down the sidewalk!  George plays boot scootin’ music!

     As I ran I thought about how short life really is and how we should make it a good time for ourselves and others while we are here. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I am reminded of family and friends who have battled cancer successfully and unsuccessfully.  It was a beautiful day to be alive and well in the sunshine.

     Before I got home the radio DJ played the song again so I heard it from the beginning.  As I ran toward home… tears flowed down my face.  Sometimes I need a good cry when I’m happy.  Click here to hear the song.

Quote for today

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”  ― Rachel Carson