Weatherford should honor Larry Hagman
I am in East Texas, but I read the Weatherford Democrat. I was pleased by the newspaper articles discussing “Way to honor Hagman on city agenda Tuesday.” While street names and statue ideas are best discussed by the city and the organizers with their funding, one of the best ways to honor the great actor Larry Hagman is for Weatherford to “connect his name with the place” for visitors and tourism to the area. “Welcome to Weatherford signs” should also read: “Hometown of Larry Hagman – television’s J.R. Ewing.”
I saw Larry Hagman in person at his one-man show: “Confessions!” at the Cowan Center in Tyler on Nov. 10 – less than two weeks before he died Nov. 23. I was even privileged to ask him a question. His show was essentially a recapping of his extraordinary life. Mr. Hagman was obviously very proud of his boyhood town of Weatherford, since he showed video pictures of his parents (his mother was the famous Broadway actress Mary Martin, who is already honored in Weatherford), his grandparents, their house, the old courthouse and numerous other milestones of his life. Hagman joked about his popularity versus the popularity of his famous mother. He told of two separate occasions whereby one of them was “more famous than the other”; and visa-versa in another venue. True to form, Mr. Hagman quipped, “That’s Show-Biz.”
With Weatherford being in fairly close driving distance from the Southfork Ranch near Parker, Texas, I would urged Weatherford to seize-the-moment and indicate, via signage on Interstate 20, the number of miles to Southfork Ranch from Weatherford on a road sign with Mr. Hagman’s youthful picture wearing a Stetson cowboy hat and his trademark leering grin. Such a sign would have magnetic appeal and perhaps prompt travelers to stop and spend awhile in Weatherford.