Kate Clinton

That Texas cowgirl spirit

Filed By Kate Clinton | February 16, 2009 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Agape Metropolitan Community Church, Dallas, George W. Bush, OpenDoor Productions, Texas, Would Jesus Discriminate

On the way to my show at the gorgeous Lakewood Theater in Dallas, my impish driver, a volunteer in OpenDoor Productions, asked me if I wanted to swing by to see where George and Laura Bush were living. I told Donna I didn't trust my behavior. I would get arrested and never make it to the show. "How 'bout after?" she asked.

Sadly George and Laura did not attend the raucous show at the beautifully restored and maintained old movie theater. At the beginning of the show, when I asked innocently if they were there, I got a Texas style hoot of derision. It was lovely. When I suggested a spontaneous drive by and citizen's arrest, they told me that the forty thousand dollar security fence around the compound that their tax dollars had bought made even toilet papering trees impossible.

But we still had a good time. OpenDoor Productions, a committee within the Agape Metropolitan Community Church of Ft. Worth, produced the show. OpenDoor produces four or five shows yearly - music, poetry, and comedy - with the goal of opening hearts and minds through the arts.

One of the missions of the Agape church is not to stand idly by in the face of inequality and justice. Their campaign "Would Jesus Discriminate?" seeks to educate people about discrimination based on Biblical interpretation. Their shirts and bumper stickers, emblazoned with "WJD?" start dialogs and discussions wherever they go. I was moved by their simple, steely courage in the face of intolerance.

Two of the prime movers and shakers of OpenDoor productions, Linda Schramm and Kris McIntosh, offered to take me from the DFW airport to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth before heading to Dallas for the show. Located near the huge buildings where rodeos and stock shows are held, visiting the Hall of Fame was like finally making the pilgrimage to Mecca. For someone who lip-synced "Happy Trails to You" with Dale Evans, and appeared frequently in Annie Oakley drag - that would be me - it was a dream come true.

Linda, a retired gym teacher now self-taught woodworker, and Kris, a semi-retired history teacher now curriculum consultant, amateur archivist and genealogical sleuth are both inspirations for the art of retirement. With my 401(k) now at -01(k) it might be a lost art. Their relentless, cheerful volunteerism inspired by their church of faith and their endless curiosity inspired by their faith in humanity are examples of the true Texas cowgirl spirit.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 17, 2009 6:48 AM

Beautiful, I can almost smell the Rodeo. Why not throw toilet paper over the fence? :) Tie cowpats to it!