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Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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Atlantis 3

Money, Marbles, and Chalk by Holland Taylor

We went down to Galveston over the past couple of days, and had a great time.

One thing we did was see the premiere of Holland Taylor's one woman play "Money, Marbles, and Chalk," about the life of Ann Richards. It was excellent, and as an Ann Richards fan, it was fabulous. The title is an old blues expression, meaning "I'm all in, everything I've got."

The play talks about Richards' childhood, her parents, and the governorship. The best scenes were set in Richards' office, with the voices of her staff members playing themselves, while she wrestles with a death penalty case, rips the heads off various subordinates, harasses Bill Clinton on the phone, organizes a fishing trip with her four children, and plans to buy boots for the subordinates whose heads she's ripping off. It's funny and touching, and Holland Taylor made me cry a couple of times. You come out of it really wishing Richards had survived to kick even more ass.

She talks about going to the Lady Longhorns basketball games with Barbara Jordan, and how Jordan would pull her wheelchair up to the scoring table, and if things weren't going well she would pound on it and shout in the voice of God, "Can we not shoot any better than that?" (Somebody should do a one-woman show about Barbara Jordan and have it somewhere where I can go see it.)

The play was only at the Grand Opera House this weekend, but hopefully it'll be traveling all over. More people need to see this.

And this was our first time to go to the Opera House, which was built in 1894, and is gorgeous on the inside. The play didn't end until after 11:00, and by that point it was pouring down rain. Pouring. With flood warnings and everything. We ended up wading through foot-deep water to get to the car, but managed to get back without drowning or being swept off the Seawall or anything, so that turned out all right.

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My husband and I also saw the show Saturday night and LOVED it! It brought me to tears a few times too - just remembering how FABULOUS she was and how gifted she was at this thing called politics. I was a student at East Tx State Univ in the late 80's and early 90's - and Ann made several appearances on our campus. One time campaigning for Dukakis..another time for herself. I was always so impressed with how she seemed to truly want to be there talking to us. I thought Holland did an unbelievable job at capturing her from appearance to speech to mannerisms, it was just too cool. I have friends in NYC that are sure hoping it makes a run up there too.
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I never got to see her speak in person, and really regretted it. It was a great show! I hope it makes it up to NYC and all over, too.
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I've just read Mark Giminez's new book 'Accused' set (partially) in Galveston - and found it very enjoyable. I've liked all his books thus far - and would thus be very interested in your opinion, Martha, (and anyone else) as to his portrayals of Texas. Assuming you've read him at all, obviously.

Since I live in the Cotswolds, England, my basis for comparison is imited to assorted film and TV :)
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I haven't read him yet, but I think he lives near Fort Worth. I'll have to check out his books and see.

The movies and TV usually don't get it right. A lot of times they're filming in New Mexico or California, and the countryside doesn't look right at all. And the population is a lot more diverse than they make it look. And for example, I don't think I've ever seen a food-related documentary that mentioned the Czech, German, Asian, and Indian influences.
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On this subject, his third novel 'The Perk' is set in Fredricksburg and weaves the German origin and goat farming very deftly into the story - along the way telling readers like me a whole lot of stuff about Texas I'd never even suspected.
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