Happy Monday everyone! After the serious topic of Easter last week, it’s a double-double fun April Fool’s Week on the porch. Here in Texas, despite the strange, dry winter, the wildflowers have started blooming, and the bluebonnets have begun to paint the local roadsides with the annual azure waves. There’s a nice breeze blowing on the porch as we sit down to chat.
Anyone care for a glass of sweet tea and some of that leftover lemon pie from Easter dinner?
It’s If I Had a Talk Show week here on Southern BelleView. That seems appropriate for April Fools, doesn’t it? Our Bell Tuesday, Beth Webb Hart has brought a most interesting topic to the porch for us:
If you could be the host of your own talk show, what would your talk show be called, and who your first guest be?
If you’ve been around the porch a while, you know that Ed’s history inspired Dandelion Summer, which is why we’re posing with copies in hand here. Ed flew in last week to make his first-ever visit to our part of Texas. Having the chance to show him many of the real-life things that have inspired bits and pieces of my books over the years was a special pleasure, and watching Ed share his life wisdom with my sons was a blessing we’ll never forget. I am sure those boys won’t either.
Ed and I took a walk out the back gate after having lunch in McGregor with the sweet ladies of the McGregor Tierra Literary Society. The Tiaras were kind enough several years ago to let us film their book club discussion of Dandelion Summer, so they and Ed had already met one another long-distance. Last week, we shared an amazing lunch, during which time Ed told stories of the Camelot days at Cape Canaveral when the first moon missions were taking place.
Not long after all the excitement, Ed and I were off on our stroll through the back pasture, and Ed said, “I was so busy talking, I didn’t get to find out about all those other people at the lunch table. I wish I could have heard all the other stories at the table. You know, everyone has a story, and the sad thing is that so many people never tell their stories. Their stories die with them.”
So, that would be my talk show — a production dedicated to rescuing the world from the curse of the untold story. On my show, we would travel the back roads of the country, discovering the stories of ordinary people. I’d call it What’s Your Story?
We’d record volume after volume of audio and video. We’d store it somewhere in a giant library of story, where an internet server would share the fodder of old episodes, at the touch of a button.
Got a long, boring flight? Dial into the What’s Your Story vault for a the greatest reality show of all — real lives.
Driving across the dusty plains of West Texas — tune in, enjoy, meet some new people without ever having to get out of the car. Wouldn’t that be magnificent?
This week — the premier week of What’s Your Story — I wouldn’t have to travel to find my first guest. He showed up at my front gate as Ed and I were headed off to a book lunch last Thursday. He was hungry, and lost, and trembling… as scared as I’ve ever seen any living creature. Abandoned by the side of the road overnight, it would seem. A little fellow clearly accustomed to giving love and affection.
Somebody’s half-grown house pet, whose adoration was repaid by a highway drop off in the middle of the night. In human terms, he’s roughly the age of a six-year-old little boy, suddenly left to shift for himself.
I wish he could tell me his story. It’d like to know who kicked him out of the car on a busy highway — I’d have a thing or two to say to those people, not the least of which being, If you don’t want a dog, don’t bring home a puppy. If you do bring home a puppy, take care of it properly and don’t make it someone else’s problem.
But maybe, beyond the soapbox about lousy owners and abandoned animals, even we people who don’t abandon dogs on the side of the road could learn a few things from a little lost pup… one who can find himself loved one moment, and unloved the next, and still be willing to trust a stranger. To give and receive love again. A foundling human would need years of therapy to overcome something like this, but all a good dog needs is a little food, and a little love, and a place to call home.
Maybe if I put this foundling fellow on my talk show, he could find a new home and a new person to love — someone who would love him back, until he’s old, and gray, and long in the tooth.
It would be a perfect ending to this dog’s tale… and to the inaugural episode of What’s Your Story?
Don’t you think?