The good news is that I had a night of very good production yesterday, and hope to keep that up for the foreseeable future. The current chapter centers heavily on Sheriff Jim Flournoy, and here's a sample of last night's effort:
As he arrived and got out of his vehicle, Saunders confronted the deputy and raised his shotgun as if to shoot. Big Jim had only an instant to react. Grabbing his pistol, Big Jim fired without ever removing it from the holster. Saunders dropped to the ground, dead. Remarkably, in a violent and often bloody period of Texas history, Saunders’ was the only life taken by Big Jim over the entire span of his career as a peace officer.It's interesting that Flournoy's reputation grew so much that cases solved by his predecessor, Will Loessin, have been attributed to Flournoy in some quarters. That's an interesting quirk of local lore--when someone becomes larger-than-life, it's almost as if they sprang to life fully formed and never suffered anything akin to a learning curve. I'm trying to avoid that sort of breathless puffery, because I firmly believe it does a disservice to the subject (in this case Sheriff Flournoy) by diminishing his actual accomplishments.
“That was once too many for me,” Big Jim said, “but I knew it was him or me.”
There's also my column from the San Marcos Mercury to share. The editor, Brad Rollins, emailed me last Friday and asked if I'd put something together for him, a more personal piece about my experiences with Miss Edna. I thought that would make a nice counterpoint to the standard obituaries going around, so I agreed. I think the end result was quite effective. Here's the opening, the rest of which may be read at the link above:
The first time I ever spoke with Edna Milton Chadwell, better known to generations of Texans as “Miss Edna,” I was seated on concrete steps smack-dab in the middle of the ruins of the Chicken Ranch. I carefully dialed her number on my cell phone, as nervous as I’d ever been in my life. When she answered, I swear my heart skipped a beat.I also have what could be very fun news in the works (not a publishing contract yet, alas!) that I'm dying to share, but as it is in the very, very preliminary stages, I'm not about to jinx it with premature announcements. Still, fingers crossed that I might be able to share within a few weeks!
After I’d introduced myself — she’d been expecting my call — I told her where I was calling from. She paused only a moment, considering this, before answering, “Well, you take whatever you want, honey, and put a match to the rest.”
Yeah, that got my attention.
Now Playing: Pink Floyd Staying Home to Watch the Rain
Chicken Ranch Central