To “Jam with Janis” is No. 61 in E.R. Bills’ new book, “100 Things to do in Texas Before You Die.” Oh, and there’s an image of a bucket on the cover. The listing encourages people to visit Museum of the Gulf Coast and see the Joplin collection in her hometown. Bills notes the following on the legendary singer: “A misfit in her hometown and the subject no small amount of scorn and ridicule at the University of Texas, Joplin moved to California and became a superstar in the music world, belting out psychedelic blues and gut-wrenching soul as powerfully as few artists before or since have even attempted, much less achieved.”
Some other local mentions:
• Eat at the Old Orange Café, with down-home service and Cajun-smothered catfish.
• Bring beef jerky to the Big Thicket National Preserve just in case you see Bigfoot.
I’ve enjoyed some of the big ticket stops, such as the Big Bend and Johnson Space Center. I’d love to travel with Bills and explore some of the smaller stops for adventure and dinner as the Intrepid Texan.
Cowboy art and chili recipe
Cowboy life Joe De Yong was the only protégé of famed cowboy artist Charles M. Russell. You’ll read that tidbit a lot in the new Alamar Media release “Joe De Yong: A Life in the West” by William Reynolds. Get ready for a beautiful book featuring art, history, photos of letters and a peek at the life of costume design, scenic sketch art and historical advice in the wild west movie world that created classic pictures such as “The Plainsman” 1937; “Union Pacific” 1939; “Buffalo Bill” 1944; “Red River” 1948; and “Shane” 1953.
Readers even get glimpses of working with Cecil B. DeMille. Come along on a ride with DeYong and learn a little about a lot. Culinary Thrill Seekers, here’s a recipe, sort of, for chili, he wrote in a letter to “Mackey,” his friend Maxine. “Get Gebharts Canned (chili with beans) and add 1/3 chicken gumbo soup. It cuts the edge peculiar to canned stuff and adds fine mild flavor.” The hand-written recipe is followed by a typed note which is a joke about two drunks staggering along a railroad track. One says it’s the longest stairway he’s ever tried to climb. The other says it ain’t the number of steps that bothers him, but he never saw such long banisters in all his life.
Darragh Doiron is a January birthday girl, just like Janis Joplin. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org