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Posts Tagged ‘Alpine Texas’

My friend Clay Lindley, the funniest cowboy poet I ever met

December 31st, 2016 Comments off
Clay Lindley

My friend Clay Lindley, the nicest, funniest cowboy I ever met.

Leading the string of horses in this photograph is Clay Lindley: cowboy, poet, actor, comedian, husband, father and friend. I knew Clay only briefly. He passed in 2005. My friend Joanna Cowell, a leader of the Alpine drama community, recommended him as an actor for the Texas Dick trailer. Clay was one of those rare celestial people who could instantly brightened a room with his warmth and humor. A true comedian, he produced humor from thin air, sometimes it was one’s own expense. I felt the sting of his wit, but it was always delivered with a gleam of laughter that made you like him even more.

I’ll write more about Clay and the trailer. Please click on the first link below to watch his performance.  He has the first lines 25 seconds into the trailer.  He’s talking to the sheriff of the fictional town of Little Bend, Texas about how – in the manner of a Shakespearean play – the planets are in alignment signaling a portentous event. Click on the image and the trailer will begin:

clay-lindley

Here’s more about Clay from his obituary:

Clayton M. Lindley was born on July 21, 1959 in Del Rio, Texas to Jane and Buster Lindley. He graduated from Silver City, N.M. High School, where he excelled as a swimmer. Clay graduated from Sul Ross University in Alpine, then followed his dream by cowboying in Montana. He later became a Range Specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Clay earned his nickname, Cletus, while working for NRCS in Spur, Texas.
Clay was a rare survivor of childhood leukemia and made it a point to enjoy everyday of his life. He possessed the ability to make everyone around him laugh and smile, and he loved doing it.
Cletus was called home on Thursday, September 1, 2005 following a battle with stomach cancer. Services were held at the First United Methodist Church in Mertzon, Texas on Monday, September 5, 2005. Burial was in the Sherwood Cemetery just down the road from Mertzon.
Pall bearers were Mark Donet, George Ramsey, Marty Donet, Charlie Donet, Robert Gibbons, and John Zeuberbuler.
Honorary pallbearers were Gil Prather, Donnie Franklin, Sonny Fry, Steve St. Clair and Bill Whitley.

A Celebration in Alpine

December 30th, 2016 Comments off
Robin, Grainger, Sperry and Lalu

Robin, Grainger, Sperry and Lalu at Reata Restaurant in Alpine Sept. 21, 1996

If you’ve been reading this blog,  you’ll know what a special place Alpine, Texas is to our family. Alpine was our mother’s artist retreat and our father’s vacation home. It was where my sisters spent many of their summers making friends among both the town folk and the ranchers as well. It served as my brother’s respite from the terrible summer asthma he suffered as a boy. It was in Alpine that Grainger got his masters, and his wife Barbara, her bachelors. And it was there that my childhood friend Mary Bell Lockhart and I roamed the hills and streets, and our imaginations thrived.

It was in the dark, in the rear seats of the college auditorium, that I watched Grainger and his classmates rehearse and perform Shakespeare’s Henry IV. (Grainger had the title role, in fact.) It was during those performances, as I repeatedly viewed the follies of Sir John Falstaff, the courage of young Hotspur and the coming of age of Prince Hal, that the seed of my film script Texas Dick was planted. (I’ll have more on that in other posts.) It was my attempt at producing the script that drew the four siblings to Alpine on this occasion in 1996. More importantly, it was a celebration of our connection to Alpine, our shared affection for William Shakespeare, and our deep love for one another. These were three of the happiest days of my life. You can see it in all of our faces. I have footage of us reading the script and romping around Alpine and Marfa. I will share clips with all y’all later.

Jeana’s poem about Alpine, Texas 1950

November 12th, 2016 Comments off

Eugenia Hunt wrote this poem in 1950 about her home in Alpine, Texas

Alpine

My back’s to the edge of the desert,

My yard’s by the panther’s tread.

The moon’s the magic silver

On this, my ancient ocean bed.

The lizards run in the yellow sun

And fire’s in heaven when the day is done.

Eugenia Howard Hunt
August 20, 1950

alpinehouse

Eugenia Howard Hunt’s memory of Alpine, Texas – January, 1945

October 23rd, 2016 2 comments

All y’all.

I have a cache of Jeana’s journals. This account is from a steno book she wrote in San Francisco and Marin California in the early 1960’s. Sperry

Snowfall Alpine, TX 1946

 

 

It was in the middle of a dry, freezing winter we first came to Alpine. It was in Jan. of 1945. Robin and Grainger had been ill in Houston. Lalu was healthy excess baggage and Annie, our beloved housekeeper, came with us. Mother came along because we had been relegated to a wild, high, uncivilized spot. The fact that it was on route route of the South[ern] Pacific Railroad, highway 90 to California and had a state teacher’s college, had no bearing on the matter. Mother had never heard of Alpine. Mother [Nancy Flewellen Howard] had never seen Alpine. Those facts took it out of the civilized world. So along she came. Gasoline rationing for war times made five hundred and fifty miles too many for our gar ration books. We traveled by train. My father [Dr. Alfred Philo Howard] was chief surgeon of the Missouri Pacific. That lent further primitive attributes to this foreign spot. As the six of us alighted in the onslaught of a dust-laden Alpinian winter night. I though mother was going to turn “The Sunset Limited” around on the tracks and return us all to Houston. The wind lashed at us with an icy ferocity – and skin, mouth and eyes dried out on that moment.

Southern Paciic of the 1940s

Not a living creature was in sight. Our heavy grips, a round dozen of them, were sitting between the tracks. I can’t remember a lighted spot. I’m sure there was. Here came a car, a lovely Spanish-speaking couple alighted, and helped us to the hotel, just out of gracious kindness. But their Spanish accent terrified Mother who thinks anyone who doesn’t speak southern Texas is a suspect who is intent on immediate murder. Any foreign language spoken in her presence is a silly pretense. She feels they are shutting her out from something she definitely know. She feels the same way about scientific discussions. She will not put up with it. She makes fun of anyone who is interested in something she is not. She feels she is absolutely normal and that on one else should be otherwise.

She is adorable once you understand these facts.

[To read more of Jeana’s excellent letter click on the Read More link below:]
Read more…