On Friday, GLS and I packed up and headed out to West Texas--about three and a half hours of Hill Country and flatland roads past cotton fields, small towns, ranches, cattle, goats, sheep, horses, and barbecue restaurants to San Angelo to keynote at the Fifth Annual Fall Literacy Conference "Reading and Writing: Not an English Thing, but an Everything!" ("Literacy is the common thread that connects all learning.") on Nov. 4 at Angelo State University.
The event included a giveaway, book sale, and several breakout sessions. Lesson plan displays featured the work of EC, MG, and LN. Santa Knows (Dutton, 2006) was our biggest seller.
San Angelo itself is a charming town with friendly folks, downtown shopping, a saddle-shaped art museum as well as the traditional West Texas enthusiasm for football (think: "Friday Night Lights") and deer hunting (it won't be a bad season, but trophies won't be what they were in previous years).
We were put up at the new Fairfield Inn on Knickerbocker, which was clean, comfortable, and convenient with good service and a computer for free Internet use. (It's a division of the Marriott).
On Friday night, the leadership group was kind enough to welcome us for dinner at Miss Hattie's Cafe and Saloon on Each Concho Street. As they once said, "Miss Hattie's business was the hospitality business. She found great pleasure in entertaining her clients. She believed that if she created a place that was intimate ...private...and ...romatic, no one could resist what she had to offer." (I had the shrimp scampi with wild rice and mixed veggies). Sadly, we did not have time to visit Miss Hattie's Bordello Museum.
However, we did stop by for a peek at the lobby of the Cactus Hotel, which was the fourth built by Conrad Hilton. A stage was set and two very young girls in gowns were rehearsing for an upcoming production of "Cinderella."
We also enjoyed lunch on Saturday at Mr. T's Deli, which apparently used to be a general store, (I had the cheese hotdog with waffle fries) on W. Avenue J. in the historic neighborhood.
Spooky News & Links
On Wednesday, I also voted early at the Howson Branch of the Austin Public Library in Tarrytown. Austinites: remember that the proposal for a new central library is on the ballot!
LF has updated my website, now current with the September status of Cynsations.