Do You Feel Lucky?
Jan Triplett observes that picking up a rock in Texas provokes one of two likely consequences: "there is going to be a snake under it" or "oil is gonna gush out from under it" (Texas in Her Own Words, p. 166). Acknowledging extremes of good and bad fortune, we may concede that the harsh, tragic, reptile-producing end of the spectrum is what ultimately molded the Texan character.
Clint Lynch, Director of Research for Texas State Cemetery, concurs: "I always thought Texas was founded in failure" (p. 170). He lists Houston's alcoholism, Travis' marital troubles and debt, Crockett's lost re-election bid, and Bowie's land fraud charges as proof of the alchemy that has often wrought dignity out of disaster. Sarah Guerra (p. 161) offers a more recent example. Recalling earlier times when she was denied service in restaurants and segregated from Anglo children at school, she reflects, "That love that I didn't get from white people when we were growing up, that probably gave me the courage to love everybody."
Consider this ongoing character-building opportunity: the controversy over Austin's Barton Springs. The first program in Round Rock Reads! 2008 series, a screening of The Unforeseen, showcases the conflict between real estate developers and advocates for the environment. Director Laura Dunn's award-winning film not only chronicles the battle between land investors' interests and the Save Our Springs alliance but also foreshadows the aftermath of unimpeded development.
Film critic Kenneth Turan labels this 2007 Sundance Film Festival selection a "whodunit, with the Earth itself being the victim of the crime." Mark your calendar for 7:00 P.M., Monday, April 7, when Round Rock Higher Education Center will host this special presentation of The Unforeseen. Could the lessons of Barton Springs produce yet another Texas triumph over impending failure? Watch and decide for yourself.