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February—People, Places, Events, Attractions
“TWO WOMEN LOOK WEST: PHOTOGRAPHS OF KING RANCH BY HELEN C. KLEBERG AND TONI FRISSELL,” a dual exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, takes us back this month to the glory years of the King Ranch, when it was the biggest, richest, and most glamorous rancho grande in the world. Toni Frissell (1907–1988), a former New York fashion photographer, met Bob Kleberg (1896–1974), the dynamic general manager and president of the King Ranch, and his vivacious spouse, Helen Campbell Kleberg (1902–1963), at a horse race in Saratoga in the late thirties. They became friends, and on numerous visits to the ranch, Frissell took superb action shots of vaqueros and the ranch’s designer cattle, the famed Santa Gertrudis, at work and play. Helen had a kindred artistic spirit, and after being swept away by the gorgeous cinematic style of 1939’s Gone With the Wind, she began shooting life on the ranch in color. Now on display together, these vivid and artful pictures offer a rare glimpse of what the King Ranch once meant to Texas and the world. Don Graham
Wine, Women, and Song
And other things to love on a weekend in Big D.
5:00: Check into the Magnolia Hotel, located in the historic Magnolia Building, which is famous for the neon red Pegasus that keeps watch atop the 28-story edifice (1401 Commerce, 214-915-6500 or 888-915-1110).
6:00: Dinner at Tarantino’s Deep Ellum. With its dark floors, exposed brick walls, and rich fabrics, the newly opened Italian-American eatery has ambience to spare (2706 Elm, 214-651-0500).
7:30: Prince Tamino’s beautiful melodies in The Magic Flute are said to delight every listener. He and his sidekick, the bird catcher Papageno, will need all the charm they can get to rescue the beautiful Pamina from the evil Sarastro (Dallas Opera, Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave., 214-443-1000).
10:00: An ideal nightcap: The Magnolia offers complimentary milk and (gigantic) cookies before bed.
9:00: Enjoy morning espresso and some decadent butter-brioche French toast at La Duni Latin Kitchen and Baking Studio (4264 Oak Lawn Ave., 214-520-6888).
11:00: Time to get cultured: Delight in “The Women of Giacometti” at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Find Annetta and Flora among the muses who inspired the Swiss-born Alberto Giacometti, and look for the nine cast-bronze Women of Venice (Femmes de Venise), on view together for the first time since 1958 (2001 Flora, 214-242-5100).
1:00: Hit the Meadows Museum for “Prelude to Spanish Modernism: Fortuny to Picasso,” an unprecedented exhibit of nineteenth-century Spanish painting that’s a huge coup for Dallas. Look for pieces by Mariano Fortuny, Joaquín Sorolla, Pablo Picasso, and others (Southern Methodist University, 5900 Bishop Blvd., 214-768-2516).
3:30: Clear your head (or not!) by crashing Savor Dallas, a weekend-long celebration of fine wine and innovative cuisine. Say hello to Rocco DiSpirito and others at the Viking Range Celebrity Kitchen, and sharpen your sommelier skills at the International Grand Tasting at 7 p.m. (Wyndham Anatole, 2201 Stemmons Fwy., 888-392-7705; go to savordallas.com for more details).
10:00: Savor Dallas’s Texas Outlaws After-Party (Anatole Park). Music, food, and more libations served outside.
11:30: Arrive at The Potter’s House for a soul-stirring morning with Bishop T. D. Jakes and the Grammy Award– winning Potter’s House Mass Choir. Get there early to find parking (6777 W. Kiest Blvd., 214-331-0954).
1:45: Satisfy earthly hungers at Hattie’s, a stylish restaurant (black-and-white leather seating, a traditional bar) that serves upscale Southern food. The pecan-crusted catfish and the crispy fried green tomatoes will make a perfect end to a perfect weekend (418 N. Bishop, 214-942-7400).
A Few Words With …
According to a reliable source—we’ll never tell—the veteran Washington Post reporter will visit the University of Texas–Pan American, in Edinburg, on February 13 as part of the university’s Distinguished Speakers Series.
Interview by Brian D. Sweany
What will be on your mind when you speak at UT–Pan American? I’m going to talk about Bush and the war and the books I’ve done on them [Bush at War and Plan of Attack]—and a little about Nixon and Watergate.
And you’re now working on a third book about the Bush administration? Yes, that should be out later this year.
You’ve become known for your book projects. Do you miss daily newspaper journalism? There’s an impression that I only do books, but I do a mix of reporting. After 9/11, I dropped the book I was working on about Bush’s tax cuts, and I spent six months working at the Post writing stories about 9/11. I was the lead reporter, and we won a Pulitzer Prize. Once the war started, in March 2003, it took me thirteen months to get Plan of Attack out. I interviewed Bush for three and a half hours, the longest interview—the best as we can tell—that a sitting president has given on a single subject.
You’ve been in the news lately, with the revelation of Deep Throat in Vanity Fair and the fact that you may have been the first journalist to hear the name Valerie Plame in the CIA leak case. How do you react when you become the story? After Mark Felt was revealed, the feeling was held that we will protect sources. The Valerie Plame case is a highly politicized criminal investigation. A friend of mine said, “Well, of course you heard this first. That’s what you do.” Reporters try to hold people accountable in government: What did you do? Why? What information did you have? I didn’t tell my editor [that I had learned Plame’s identity], which I should have. And certainly I should be held accountable for what I’ve done, and that’s why I put out long statements about the Plame matter.
Does it bother you when other reporters take shots at you? Remember, I started out at age 29 with real professionals, such as Ron Ziegler, of the White House, trying to mow us down. You just try to stick to finding out the truth. But that’s the accountability system. That’s the First Amendment, and I don’t quibble with that at all.