Many of you know what a huge fan I am of Bob Phillips and Texas Country Reporter. When I was a kid we would pick up the antenna signal of several Dallas stations. The show was then on Channel 8 out of Dallas and was called 8 Country Reporter. Back then it came on early Saturday evenings, and I would watch it just before I switched over to NWA Wrestling on WTBS. (Yes, I was alive when there was a "W" in front of "TBS.") I was always fascinated with Phillips' stories about the out of reach places in Texas. He has always had a knack for finding those characters and stories that no on else in the world cares about, except in novels celebrating the idea of small-town life. These are the people and narratives that are in theory celebrated, yet in reality disdained by the intelligentsia.
In recent years I catch the show here and there, as it comes on sporadically and at odd times here in Waco. But I'm still a fan.
After packing up camp and getting ready to come home on Thursday, I decided to take a stroll through Jefferson. When I'm around the area I always love stepping into the General Store there and sampling the various array of Jams, Jellies, Salsa and Apple Butter. As I walked in I saw a sign that said that a local poet would be there in the afternoon for a booksigning at noon, and would be interviewed by Bob Phillips, THE Texas Country Reporter at 2:00. I looked down at my watch. It was 4:00.
I asked the lady at the counter if Phillips was still around, and she told me he had left about twenty minutes before, but that he might still be around town. I walked around and never found him.
Oh well. Someday.