Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cross Plains Return: Part 3


Day 3 of Howard Days began around 9:00 as I made my way to the Howard House and started buying various books, magazines, and T-shirts I’d been eyeing. Since I was flying and traveling light I didn’t pick up as much as I have in the past, but I still got some very nice stuff, including a bunch of Howard specialty items and some books from Angeline Hawkes and Christopher Fulbright. I’ll be posting about some of this material as I read it. I was also briefly interviewed by a group of young filmmakers for a documentary they were producing. In fact, there seemed to be two documentaries being filmed, and both groups were very polite and unobtrusive.

I had lunch with James Reasoner, an ex-REHupan and a fine writer with far too many books to his name to even imagine listing. He and I talked writing for a while and I apologized at one point since I know he is a full-time writer who works for hours ever day at his craft. He just laughed and said he was always happy to talk writing. Me too.

I also chatted at several points with Michael Scott Myers, a Louisiana boy who went out to Hollywood and done good. Michael wrote the critically acclaimed screenplay for The Whole Wide World, which brought Howard to life. The movie is based on a book by Novalyne Price Ellis called One Who Walked Alone. The book is mainly Novalyne’s story of her long-term relationship with Howard. She was the woman who he came closest to marrying, and their breakup, which occurred not long before Howard’s mom entered her final days of illness, certainly helped contribute to the stress Howard was under when he shot himself. Novalyne was one of Michael Scott Myers’ teachers in high school, and if you’ve never seen The Whole Wide World, which stars Vincent D’onofrio as Howard and Renee Zellweger as Novalyne, then treat yourself. It’s truly a fine piece of cinema.

On Saturday for Howard Days, the REHupans and other Howard fans, as well as many locals, are invited out to Caddo Peak Ranch for a barbecue. The owners of the ranch are wonderful hosts and always take a crew of hikers up the Peak, which is named for the Caddo Indians who used to live locally. Howard actually set a story on one of the two Caddo Peaks and spent quite a bit of time on the peaks himself, surveying the land. It was such views that probably gave rise to his creation of the landscapes that filled his tales.

Although I have climbed the peak every year for the past dozen or so, I decided to sit this one out. I had broken one of my ironclad drinking laws the night before and mixed whiskey with my beer. In fact, I had taken to pouring a capful of whiskey “into” my beers. This was a mistake, although one that I did not discover until the next morning.

Saturday turned out to be our earliest night yet. I hit the sack around 2:00 because Chris and I had to get up early the next morning to get back to Dallas and catch our planes. Lana met me at the New Orleans airport late that afternoon. I had a great time, although I surely was tired by the time I made it home. We had some fried chicken that we picked up on the way and I fell quickly after that into bed. It was a sleep without dreams that night. I’d earned it.

I’m sorry for the length of this series. I hope it wasn’t too boring, but I found I had quite a bit of information to impart. My next post will return us to our regularly scheduled blog material, although at Greg’s request, and because others found them interesting, I may post some more of my found poems from Robert E. Howard’s work.

Thanks as always for listening.

27 comments:

Jack said...

This series was not too long for me. I enjoyed every entry.

the walking man said...

Tut tut tut...whiskey to beer, whiskey to beer lad. Boiler makers were for my daddy's generation.

A well deserved rest after a well deserved hangover during well deserved pilgrimage to a place that inspires a writer? Sounds like a hell of a good time. Now about my Howard "T" shirt...

Greg Schwartz said...

sounds like a great trip (other than the hangover)! looking forward to some more found poetry... i think that collection you were talking about is a good idea.

laughingwolf said...

never too long, charles... truly enjoyable reads

still waiting delivery of the 4 books i ordered, seems parcel service is as bad as other mail, these days :(

Heff said...

Whiskey in yer beer ? Damn, you were asking for it !

SQT said...

I have never heard of that movie. But I love Vincent D'onofrio, so I'll be sure to pick it up.

Lana Gramlich said...

Pouring whiskey in your beer, implying that you're boring...You big sillyhead! You BEST not be insulting my husband!

Sam said...

Not too long at all, and very enjoyable and informative!
Thanks!!

Steve Malley said...

Boring?! For shame, sir! You make me feel like I'm there. And, if I were in the US, there I would have been...

Very cool set of posts.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jack, thanks, glad you enjoyed.

Mark, not only that, but the taste is awful. I did have a good time. Your t-shirt is probably still in Cross Plains, my friend.

Greg Schwartz, the hangover was doable. And Hey, I deserved to suffer a bit.

Laughingwolf, that does seem a long time. You should have been sent a tracking email so maybe you could check to find out if they've at least been mailed.

Heff, indeed, and got it. Head was OK. My intestinal track? Not so much.

SQT, it didn't have a wide release. TWas an Indy film, but well worth it. D'onofrio actually put some of his own money into it.

Lana, that's what happens when I'm away from you sweetness. I can no longer function on my own.

Sam, thanks.

Steve Malley, would love to see you there one of these years.

Bernita said...

Don't be silly.
We enjoyed it.

laughingwolf said...

i can check thru email....

Middle Ditch said...

Blimey, Charles! A few days away and I have to do quite some reading to keep up with you! You are a fast blogger. Stone me!!

It sounds to me that you are having a lot of fun and that is always good enough for me.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernita, glad to hear that.

Laughingwolf, if you ordered from Amazon they should have sent you a tracking number with your email and if you are signed into amazon you can check your orders progress. I do that a lot. Sorry it's been slow coming, though.

Middle ditch, I posted these faster than usual, and they are longer than my typical post. I generally try to post only every other day.

ivan said...

Best account yet.

Yeah, boilermakers... Sure do take the bad taste out of Canadian beer...All brands seem to come out of the same tap. Some kid outside having a pee in the vat to add flavour.
Wish they still had pure alcohol at he liquor store.
Good with grape juice. Something called "Purple Jesus".
Ah, but with Rye, you get a Labatt's Libation!

laughingwolf said...

amazon sez items are in stock, to be shipped 23 june... we'll see

Demon Hunter said...

Thanks, Charles. I enjoyed reading about your trip and Robert Howard. Very interesting. :*)

benjibopper said...

no story involved a capful of whiskey drunk inside a beer (several times) could ever be boring. sounds like a fun experience and that joy comes out in how you write about it.

laughingwolf said...

amazon just sent email, the 4 were shipped today, likely take another two weeks, tho....

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Whiskey and beer -- a combination I know all too fricking well. Not my friend these days -- my system can't take it. But I have to agree with Mark -- sounds like lots of fun all around!

Travis said...

It wasn't too long or boring for me. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your trip.

Too bad about the whiskey/beer situation. I'll say no more about that, having made that mistake one time too many myself.

Sidney said...

Sounds like that was a great day. I wanted to see The Whole Wide World a long time before I finally got to, I think on Lifetime Movie Network or one of the cable movie channels.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, Unfortunately for the taste it was bad beer and bad whiskey.

Laughingwolf, I'm glad they've shipped. I have gotten some shipped stuff very quickly so maybe you'll be lucky.

Demon hunter, glad you liked.

Benjibopper, definitely not boring, but the aftereffects were pretty potent.

Michelle, that was my problem. My system rebelled at what it once could have tolerated.

Travis, I'm glad you enjoyed it. yeah, nuff said.

Sidney, I know it showed a couple of times that way and I caught it once. But I ended up buying the DVD.

X. Dell said...

The series isn't boring at all. I'm not familiar with Howard's work, but I will be, thanks to you.

Randy Johnson said...

Three good posts. You made us a part of it and we thank you.
Now for the important stuff. I've found the best way to drink a boilermaker is to kill the concoction after you drop the liquor in. Just don't do the cardinal stupid: five of them in thirty minutes! I don't wish to talk about it. I was much younger then.

laughingwolf said...

hope so, no saturday delivery here, so monday at the earliest....

Charles Gramlich said...

X-Dell, my personal favorite among Howard's work is a collection of crusader stories called "The Sowers of the Thunder." These stories are also available in a newer release from Bison books called "Lord of Samarcand."

Randy Johnson, killing it would have been good because the taste was awful. Maybe if I'd used better whiskey. I've done PGA in beer before and that actually is much more palatable. 5 in 30 minutes? Are you speaking to us from beyond the grave? ;)

Laughingwolf, I'm expecting books myself in the next couple of days. Probably will be Monday or Tuesday.