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Archive for January, 2011

Crabby Does Dallas

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

A standard question at cocktail parties used to be, “Do you remember where you were when you heard that John Kennedy was shot?”  These days, if you’re going to use a tragedy as a conversation starter, you will have updated; you’re more likely to go with, say, 9/11 or Gabrielle Giffords.

Also, those of us old enough to have been suitably traumatized by the events of that dark day in Dallas are also old enough to have impaired memories. If you can still remember where you were, you might be unsure of how it felt when the world stopped in the middle of a school day and the teachers wept.

But when I went through Dallas this week on a book tour, and drove past the site of JFK’s assassination, much to my surprise, out of my cobwebbed emotional memory bank came something I recognized. The feeling was just an echo of its former, powerful self, but there it was, a half-century later, the same profound sadness and bewilderment I felt on 11/22/63.

I did what any rational person would do to offset the blues. I went to Neiman Marcus for some retail therapy. I felt somewhat cheered when I returned to my hotel with a fancy new lipstick.

The tour took me to San Antonio next. Remember the Alamo? Nope. But the grassy knoll? You bet. Forever.

 

Plantation Or Bust

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I always like to go to new places, like, say Plantation, Florida, which I’m visiting on my upcoming book tour. But I’m a little worried by the ambiguity of the city’s motto: “The grass is greener.” Do they mean there is no place so verdant as Plantation? Or are they warning me not to unpack, to drive on by, because any place is better than their stinkhole town?

But every city has a soul, and at least a little something to charm visitors. I’m sure Plantation is no exception. It served as a backdrop for a couple of Hollywood movies, after all—”Something About Mary” and “Caddyshack.” I intend to find something to write home about there, and in all the tour stops in Florida and Texas, plus Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle.

In Seattle it’s a no-brainer. I’m heading straight for the famous Wall of Gum. Minneapolis has a mall the size of Tunisia, which might be fun, and Chicago has two feet of snow and the blues. Dallas has, uh, well, all those Bush vibes that make you shiver, plus chicken-fried steak. And New York has…well, everything. I’ll be kicking off the tour on The Today Show there on Friday… If you want to follow my tracks, check out my new “appearances” page at www.thecrabbycook.com….