This Razorback always enters the state of Texas with more than a little trepidation. I usually don’t get far into the state without needing to stop at Blalock’s — a safe haven in Mt. Pleasant where the BBQ is freshly smoked and chopped perfectly with a meat cleaver. The owner always recognizes me and makes us feel right at home. But on this trip — a part of the When Men Betray book tour — we entered the state by way of Louisiana and I-20, so that same sense of foreboding made its way up my spine but I didn’t get a BBQ fix to calm my nerves.
I shouldn’t have been nervous. We were going to a true safe haven — my son’s home in Addison where I was greeted with open arms by him, his beautiful wife, and my two, now almost taller than me, grandsons. Walter and Missy were among the first to read When Men Betray and had offered to host a party to give their friends a chance to meet the author and take home a good read.
They understand I still walk softly in the state of Longhorns, Horned Frogs, Mustangs, Bears, Owls, and some strange beast called an “Aggie.” Back in the day, Razorbacks would venture into each of these wild beast’s lairs in the fall and emerge battered and bruised, but victorious. Visiting Razorbacks still worry that victims of their ferocity may lurk in the shadows, hoping for revenge. Happily, times have changed. Razorbacks live amongst the Texas beasts in peace, except for an occasional flare-up and for the re-energized Aggies who, like the Phoenix, seem to have risen from the ashes.
Walter and Missy welcomed their friends with plenty of wonderful food, wine, and beer, and a good time was had by all. I’m happy to report that copies of When Men Betray were in high demand. To my surprise, Walter and my sister Terry had also arranged for a gathering of the Hubbell cousins who now live in Texas. A perfect weekend except for that last second goal at the World Cup.
Now next stop: New Orleans. See you at Garden District Books.