Two Texans to Receive National Humanities Medal

by Paula Newton September 7, 2015

McMurtryOn Thursday, President Obama will award ten National Humanities Medals in a ceremony at the White House. The medal, inaugurated in 1997, “honors an individual or organization whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience, broadened citizens’ engagement with history and literature or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to cultural resources.”

EverettFlyOf the ten recipients, two are Texans—novelist Larry McMurtry and San Antonio architect and preservationist Everett L. Fly. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) describes the contributions of McMurtry and Fly:

Larry McMurtry, for his books, essays, and screenplays. Mr. McMurtry’s work evokes the character and drama of the American West with stories that examine quintessentially American lives.

Everett L. Fly, for preserving the integrity of African-American places and landmarks. A landscape architect, Mr. Fly has worked tirelessly to win historical recognition for Eatonville, Florida, Nicodemus, Kansas, and other sites central to African-American history, preserving an important part of our broader American heritage.

(Top photo: David Woo/Dallas Morning News. Lower photo via NEH)

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Rainey Knudson September 7, 2015 - 21:01

Cool, congrats to both winners!

Larry McMurtrey wrote my favorite description of Houston, from the beginning of “All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers” (I’ve posted this before somewhere on Glasstire, but it bears repeating):

Houston was my companion on the walk. She had been my mistress, but after a thousand nights together, just the two of us, we were calling it off. It was a warm, moist, mushy, smelly night, the way her best nights were. The things most people hated about her were the things I loved: her heat, her dampness, her sumpy smells. She wasn’t beautiful, but neither was I. I liked her heat and her looseness and her smells. Those things were her substance, and if she had been cool and dry and odorless I wouldn’t have cared to live with her three years. We were calling it off, but I could still love her. She still reached me, when I went walking with her… I had had such good of Houston, she had dealt so generously with me, always, that I walked and stroked her shoulder for an hour or two, in the night. Then, when she was really sleeping, I went home. I wanted to be gone before she woke up.


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