Thursday, May 28, 2009


I've been so disorganized that I never posted about my weekend in Texas a few weeks back. I visited my very brave friend who is battling cancer. As if that wasn't enough, during the same timeframe as her treatments she has also--through courage and sheer determination--managed to finish law school, pass the bar exam, and start her law practice.

Not only is she the bravest person I know, she has maintained her sense of humor through the most trying of times. For example, she says that one of the best things about being thin, fragile, and without your usual brown/grey halo of hair (all thanks to the chemo) is that when you show up for a hearing in your hat, whatever judge is presiding that day is extremely likely to move your case right to the top of the docket. You and your client never have to wait around for your turn, and no other lawyer present dares to object.

Here's the courthouse in Llano, where such things occur:

Llano is an adorable small town and I would have loved to explore it in depth. As it was, we had a delicious down-home breakfast at the local diner, the Hungry Hunter. It's right across the street from a place where, after you get your deer, you can drop it off at any hour of the day or night via a kind of self-service meat locker system, and they will dress it for you. Not a problem I ever expect to have, but I guess where there's a need, there's a service to take care of it.

Here's main street in Llano on a Sunday morning.

Texas, as you may have heard, has a very high opinion of itself, but also a sense of humor. In the women's bathroom at the Austin airport, for example, the mirror is engraved with a motto:

Reality -- Texas -- Fantasy

I took this to mean that Texas is somewhere between fantasy and reality. Just in case you ladies need a little reminder about your special Texan place in the universe while you're primping, right?

The mirror was also engraved with the outlines of various "faceless" hairstyles at varying heights. If you stood in the right place, your reflection could "try on" what you looked like with beauty-queen-style big hair, a beehive, pigtails, or another style that might suit your fancy. That part was very cool.

I wish I'd taken a picture, but the restroom was quite busy and I'd have felt a little weird getting out my camera. No telling how lady Texans would react to such foolishness. The last thing I wanted was to have to (figuratively) shoot my way out of town. I suspect they would have been a match for me, with Barbara Jordan as a role model. She's a presence in the Austin airport, too.

Seems like Texas has a tradition of being home to courageous, accomplished women. Like my friend.


  1. Your friend sounds remarkable. I'd like to meet her. I've never met Llano, but I grew up in a town that sounds very similar.

    I would so enjoyed the bathroom, and my daughter would have taken pictures. Ha!

  2. I feel for you, having had a friend who battled colon cancer, unfortunately succumbing to that nasty disease in 2004. My friend also kept his sense of humor. He's one of the bravest people I've ever met, and your friend sounds equally remarkable. I hope all goes well for her.


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