Saturday, November 24, 2012

Larry Hagman

Before I lived in Dallas, obviously I lived in other places, and naturally in all of them, people have asked me where I was from. Ojai, I often say, is a town with four stoplights and a one-screen movie theater and a bunch of ex-hippies making beautiful ceramics and a bunch of wealthy conservatives supporting them. Sometimes, when I am in a mood, I mention my old high school friends coaching Scott Bakula's kids in tennis or serving Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen at Boccali's. Hardly anyone remembered June Alison by time I'd left home, but I'd bring up Larry Hagman, who had a house up in the hills and wrote editorials in the local paper. Hagman started building his Ojai house in the 1980s and in the early '90s moved in, just like my parents did with their Ojai house. It's curious that we've overlapped in two cities, Hagman and I. It's coincidence I was born the day J.R. was shot. But even if I'm not a real Texan, and hence can't claim this man born in Fort Worth and dead in Dallas, he's been a bit of my story long enough that I take notice, and his passing seems that much more sad.

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