Texas

Texas.

Conjures up some images, doesn’t it?

Big hair. Twangy talk. Oversize cowboy hats.

The images are all true.

I should have taken pictures.

My view at Meyerson.

My view at Meyerson.

While on a business trip this weekend, I went to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra concert Friday evening. Meyerson Hall is beautiful, with perfect-clear acoustics (I could hear the French horns especially clearly, sometimes to my chagrin). Donald Runnicles conducted a rather oddly-programmed but ultimately very effective all-British program.

But the real standout were the folks in the audience who were over-dressed for a Saturday night in January, and the big cowboy hats I was seeing in the lobby. On their heads. In the lobby. INDOORS.

Then this morning at the airport, I saw the piece de resistance. When in Florida, she’s the overly-made-up, too-much-jewelry, gum-chewing older gal slowing down the line at the TSA Pre-check gate.

In Dallas, she’s all of that. The archetype remains the same. (In Trader Joe’s recently, she was a bleached-blond Russian 30-something, with a much older shiny-suited paramour with just a little too much jewelry of his own. And his hand on her butt the whole time. I could not get my cart past the pair. Nor could I avert my eyes from the debacle before me.)

Leave your shoes on in the TSA Pre line? No problem, except that her boots had steel shanks. Off they came. Line slows down.

Wear loads of clunky jewelry? Sure, except when it’s so notable you must take it off. Line slows down more.

No need to check your luggage? OK. Then her bag had something sharp in it. Her nail file was a deadly weapon. Line stops.

Her blush should have been blushing in embarrassment by now, but she’s oblivious. Rules don’t apply to hair that big.

I noticed as well the gum. Cows chew their cud sideways in their mouths. She was similarly one of those slow side-chewers.

(Watch a cow sometime, and then watch a slow-side-chewer. You’ll see what I mean.)

I had plenty of time, and was amused rather than frustrated. What did frustrate me were the two Pakistani folks (I saw their passport covers) who decided they had to crowd the rollers on the baggage x-ray rollers, even though their bags were five people back in the line. I finally got their attention with a loud ‘Excuse me’ and a bit of a shoulder-first step-in.


Now, aboard SW1910 to Saint Louis, I’m told by Luke the Dogsitter that we have an inch of snow. Dallas meanwhile is 55 degrees. Welcome to winter.

Leg room!

Leg room!


And of that concert? The Britten “Sea Interludes” from Peter Grimes brought back wonderful recollections of being on stage with that work over two years ago whilst I was on sabbatical. The Walton violin concerto was a pretty fantastic concoction, and I’m not certain I care to hear it again. The concert closed with a splendid account of Elgar’s “In the South” overture.

The real winner was Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Theme of Thomas Tallis,” played so beautifully as to elicit cheers and long, long applause from the full house. I have never heard the work live, and I was overcome by its intensity and warmth in this beautiful hall. I’m an easy mark when it comes to RVW, but this performance would have melted the coldest anti-RVW heart.


And the hotel? Well, I’ll stick with a Hilton property, thank you very much.

With the photo commemorating HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's visit to the Adolphus.

With the photo commemorating HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the Adolphus.


Postscript: At 2 p.m. Sunday, I’ve been home an hour.  Auggie is the best welcome-home dog ever.  I was assaulted with love, and delightfully so.

Augustus Rex. Sunday at 3 p.m.

Augustus Rex. Sunday at 3 p.m.

Auggie's playroom.

Auggie’s playroom.

 

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