Strong Texas Women

Photo of Courtenay Bluebird staring out of a window, thinking

Tonight, a landmark decision came down in Texas that made me very unhappy.  So much so, that I found myself remembering other Texas stories, starting with my grandmother watching her college-educated mother go to the polls for the first time in 1919—the year Texas women got the vote. Read on, Reader!

The Little Black Dress That Never Was


For two days, I have been looking for a dress to wear to my grandmother’s out-of-town funeral— a dress I cannot find. Is it really about the dress? Or is there something else, something greater I am looking for? Read on, Reader!

On Certitude

Pale young Victorian woman wears a rather modern expression of frankness with her hands demurely crossed in front of her dress.

One of the vivid pictures of my youth, and one I see often, still, is my mother’s back disappearing through a crowd of people in a theater. Where is she going? She’s leaving the theater. Oh! Read on, Reader!

Misunderstood, Both Noun and Verb

Fremont Davis (1915-1977)

There was once a professor who became famous not for his scholarship, nor for his personality, but for his ability to mangle the English language.

His name was Dr. Spooner and his unfortunate specialty was the transposition of letters in a phrase.  Many apocryphal stories abound at New College, Oxford lauding his prowess in this area because letter transposition makes for an excellent anecdote.   But, the one verified account goes something like this:

Dr. Spooner was asked to give the morning address.  Oxford College is a public university, but, being located in England, this means the students received a certain amount of religious instruction from the Church of England.

Here’s where my imagination takes over.  I picture a cold chapel filled with sleepy students in traditional academic dress of a knee-length black gown, rumpled from excessive wear and early class schedules.  I picture grumpy dons in longer gowns, wiping the sleep-sand discreetly from their eyes.

Dr. Spooner stands, walks slowly and with great dignity to the front of the assembly, and stops behind the lectern.  He clears his throat and begins reciting a familiar prayer:

My Lord is a shoving leopard…

And, I guess you can imagine what happened from there.  I think it started with amazed now quite-awake looks, followed by snickers and guffaws into the unwashed sleeves of those black, dusty gowns.  And I believe that Dr. Spooner probably did not catch his own error until someone discreetly pointed it out to him later.  Or not.

Betty Boone jumping over a motor scooter driven by Don RobersonRead on, Reader!

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