East Texas Girls

Back around 1996 or so my East Texas cousin Suzanne paid me a visit accompanied by her good friend Barbara, the wife of the DA in their little town.  When she called me to set up the visit, i eagerly agreed since she’s great fun and immediately started thinking of things we could do.  And then, a week before they arrived my friend Brady invited me to a party set for the night of their arrival.  Of course he was delighted that i could bring my out of towners to give them a taste of the real San Francisco.

So that simmered on my back burner as i realized that ummm, i’d be taking a couple of conservative East Texas women to a party at which probably half the guests would be gay men.  Not that that would be a problem since i was long since out with my cousin.  No, the problem was that i knew very well that at some point, or points, during the party funny smelling cigarettes would be passed around and that my visitors would certainly be offered to share in this refreshment.  In those days, at least in the circles i ran in, joints were routinely passed around at parties.  Besides, my friend Brady was a total stoner, so marijuana was guaranteed to be present at a party of his.

And this got me more and more nervous, so on the way home from the airport, i delicately broached the subject, telling them about the party invitation and reassuring them that we didn’t have to go and that in any case it was always in good taste to politely decline unusual cigarettes.  They reassured me that they’d love to attend the party and wouldn’t be freaked out at seeing the joints.

So we went.  And everybody seemed to have a good time.

A couple of days later i called Brady up and thanked him, saying that my visitors had had a good time and laughing at myself over how i’d been concerned that they’d be freaked by seeing the joints passed around.

Brady burst into laughter and explained that my guests had both cordially thanked him for a wonderful time and that they didn’t seem to him to have been the slightest bit freaked.

On the other hand, he said, the remainder of his guests had had the most memorable party they’d ever attended.


He explained that while i had been deeply engrossed in conversation with someone else, the subject of a lady’s need to be able to protect herself had come up in the circle in which my visitors were conversing, and Barbara had opened her purse to display her little pearl-handled 25, the perfect ladies’ handbag gun, leaving the San Franciscans aghast and horrified.

Which perhaps explained why my guests were treated with such elaborate courtesy, and why in any case it provided the San Franciscans a truly memorable party since many of them had probably never been in the same room with a gun, much less having had the opportunity to chat with an armed guest.

city hallAnd i can’t segue from that one to any of my photos, so here’s some art behind City Hall last spring:

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