Are modern cars still outfitted to play audio cassettes? If so, or if you can play cassettes in the privacy of your own home, then I have a tout for you.
Up front, I'll declare my prejudice -- I love most things Texan. There are notable exceptions. You know who I'm talking about.
But I meander.
Here's the tout: go online to buy "Texas Bound" and settle in for some mighty fine story telling.
This is important -- buy Volume I, recorded in 1993. Be careful you get the tape and not the book. Oh, the book's OK, of course, but the tape will be music to your ears, especially if you've been living out of Texas.
Here's the deal. The tapes and books are part of a fund-raising scheme that was cooked up by the Dallas Museum of Art. And it works. The premise is that the collection of short stories were written by Texans and the tapes were narrated by Texas actors and actresses. I think the rules have been flexed to allow writers and actors to participate if they've just passed through Texas.
Volume I is rich with great stories. Some funny, some sad. Here's the list:
Host: Tess Harper
TOMMY LEE JONES reads LARRY McMURTRY'S "There Will Be Peace in Korea"; DORIS ROBERTS reads WILLIAM GOYEN'S "The Texas Principessa"; TESS HARPER reads ROBERT FLYNN'S "The Midnight Clear"; TYRESS ALLEN reads REGINALD McKNIGHT'S "The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas"; JUDITH IVEY reads LYNNA WILLIAMS'S "Personal Testimony"; NORMA MOORE reads ANNETTE SANFORD'S "Trip in a Summer Dress"; ROGER ALVAREZ reads TOMáS RIVERA'S "Picture of His Father's Face"; RANDY MOORE reads LAWRENCE WRIGHT'S "Escape"
Fifteen bucks plus postage.
My favorites include "Personal Testimony" about a 12-year-old girl who discovers she can make summer money writing personal testimonies for others at her Baptist church camp. And coming in a close second is "The Texas Principessa" which is about a Texas grand dame the goings on at the Italian villa she inherited.
Trust me, this is a great Christmas present. Even if you're foreign born.