Welcome to the Lone Star State, where the weather has a mind of its own. After a very long dry spell, it finally rained most of the day, and the rain was a welcome sight. Most of the Hill Country is under “Extreme Drought” and we were thrilled to get a good soaking. (I’ve been doing my part to conserve water by not bathing on a regular basis, but I’ve noticed that my book sales are down. Coincidence? I think not!)
Speaking of Texas, congratulations to Mr. Dan Seward (I love that last name!) from Amarillo, Texas, the winner of our last trivia contest. Dan was the first person to correctly answer all 3 trivia questions, followed just a bit later by Mrs. Christine Nickles (a lovely Pennsylvania gal) and Mr. Larry Woods (a very smart guy) from Lakeway. For the record, here are the questions and the correct answers…..
1. What do the three colors of the Texas flag represent? (Red for courage, white for liberty, and blue for loyalty.)
2. How long is the Texas Legislature’s regular session. (140 days, assuming that nobody’s in jail!)
3. When was the Texas Constitution adopted? (1845)
Now that we’ve gotten some rain, we will have to deal with the mosquitoes, which brings us to this week’s trivia contest…. (winner gets a generous gift card to Target) Are you ready? Here goes… How many species of mosquitoes are known to live in the Lone Star State? The CLOSEST correct answer wins. (Yep, there are many species.) Good luck, gang.
And since we’re on the subject of “gangs,” I’d like to remind my Austin-based friends that I will speaking at the Lakeway Men’s Club this coming Wednesday. I don’t mean to infer that the club is a gang. I’m referring to my topic, which will be centered around my soon-to-be-released mystery, titled, CAPONE ISLAND. I will also be discussing the wonderful world of publishing, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop on by.
Incidentally, I recently received two wonderful tidbits of information (relating to Al Capone!) from two of my dear friends in the Lakeway Men’s Club. Loyd Smith (and his beautiful wife, Shelley) were recently traveling through Cloudcroft (New Mexico) when they decided to stop for a glass of wine at the Lodge Retreat, an historic hotel. After they spotted a picture of “Big Al” on the wall, the bartender informed them that they were sitting at a bar that was originally from Capone’s Chicago hideout! (And yes, there were bullet holes in the bar. I’m guessing those were put there as a reminder to tip generously!) For those of you who enjoy history, I shall post a photograph of the bar at the end of this blog.
Another fascinating tale came from Mr. Bob Barrett, who told me that a recent book, titled, CAPONE: THE MAN AND THE ERA, includes an entire chapter dealing with Capone’s relationship with his wife’s family! Big Al was actually the godfather (an appropriate title) of his wife’s mother, and during his lifetime, the gangster gave her some valuable pieces of jewelry. (Personally, I would have asked for a bullet-proof vest!)
Well, they say it’s a small world, and I guess they’re right. The city of Lakeway is filled with interesting and intelligent people, and a lot of them have direct connections to some of my books. No wonder I love speaking there. (I should start doing more research down the road!)
Before I leave you, I would like to share some (semi-worthless) information about mosquitoes… Did you know that only female mosquitoes drink blood? (I could make a lot of jokes about the ladies, but my wife is in the kitchen and she is holding a VERY sharp knife.) Just for the record, smelly feet actually attract certain species of the pesky insect, so even if you’re conserving water (like me) I suggest you scrub your toes!
Time to buzz off! Have a wonderful week, and we shall meet again soon. Love to all,
*** Below you will find the fascinating photo I previously mentioned!