As I was scrolling through the photo images on Tom Sutpen's blog, I was struck by the one of Lefty Frizzell under the heading "Great Philosophers of the 20th Century #5." Why? Because Lefty was born in Corsicana, Texas, a town with which I have a number of personal connections. For one thing, I taught high school there in 1963-1965, the first teaching job of my long career. I had a number of students there who lived in what was then called an "orphans' home." Probably in these PC times that's not the right name. Anyway, one student whom I remember very well was named Beatrice Vasquez. ("It's pronounced Vas-KWEZ," she said when I used the pronunciation I'd learned in Spanish class.) Miss Vasquez told me proudly that Lefty Frizzell had at one time lived in the home. I can't find any verification of that on any of the websites that have biographies of Frizzell posted on them. They all just say that he was born in Corsicana and that the family soon moved to El Dorado (pronounced, as you Arkansawyers know, "El Do-RAY-do"), Arkansas. Be that as it may, there's a statue of Frizzell in Corsicana now. I've never seen it, but one day maybe I will. (There's a photo of it on David Frizzell's webpage.)
Whenever I think of Corsicana, I think of the Dairy Queen. Sometime in the early 1950s, Corsicana got a Dairy Queen. My family lived thirty miles away, in Mexia, but somehow my father heard about the Corsicana Dairy Queen and got very interested in it. I've always thought that he hoped to be able to get together enough money to buy a DQ franchise for Mexia, but if that was so, the dream never materialized. That franchise went to someone else, and by all accounts he cleaned up with it. At any rate, my father was fascinated by the concept of soft ice cream. On more than one summer evening, we'd all pile in the family car (a 1950 navy-blue Ford, no radio, no heater, and certainly no air-conditioning) and drive to Corsicana for a DQ sundae (my father and I always got hot fudge). Believe me, in those days, a thirty-mile drive wasn't something our family undertook lightly. I can't remember ever having gone to Corsicana for any other reason, and a trip to Waco, about thirty-five miles away, was a major undertaking that called for days of planning. Dallas, ninety miles, required months of preparation. But I digress. To make the trip to the DQ even better than a mere sundae could do, we'd sometimes stop on the outskirts of Corsicana at a filling station whose owner had a monkey that was allowed to roam around at the end of a long chain. A monkey and a DQ sundae, not to mention an hour's round trip in the car. Wow. Great days.
Original image here.