Commentary

Tejas turns 8

Annual book and fine arts event has grown since its begnnings

Rockdale’s annual Tejas Book and Art Fair turns eight this weekend with a variety of events Friday night and all day Saturday.

That’s right, eight. In that relatively short time space, Tejas has made Rockdale the place to be during an early spring weekend.

Since so many Tejas authors have talked about history, here’s a little history of Tejas itself:

2007—The first Tejas Fest was held on Mother’s Day weekend and the first featured headliner was Liz Carpenter, press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson. It also included a juried art show and a panel discussion of area authors.

2008—Moved, permanently, to the first weekend in March, the second Tejas featured the first visit by popular ex-Texas Ranger (the law enforcement kind) Joaquin Jackson. A new draw was the Rockdale Downtown Association’s first auto and motorcycle show.

2009—Record crowds turned out and author Joe Nick Patoski discussed his biography of Texas icon Willie Nelson. In addition to the city library, activities were also held at the I&GN Depot Museum.

2010—Jim Hightower, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner and author, talked politics. SMU Law Professor, and author, Paul Rogers talked—what else?—baseball.

2011—The Kay Theatre hosted Houston playwright Fernando Dovalina, and actress Dolly Fischer, in a riveting reading from a Dovalina play. Ventriloquist Dena Britton entertained.

2012—Spymaster Fred Burton gave a chilling assessment of security—he’s the only Tejas speaker ever to have a contract put out on his life—and discussed his best selling book.

2013—The Kay Theatre took a leading role with a day of plays and music. Authors included Rockdale’s Dr. Lucile Estell.

2014—Come on out. All the details are in the special section accompanying this paper.—M.B.


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