The Grand Gesture

Texans with true style have an unerring authenticity in the way they carry and adorn themselves, and they tend to believe that it’s very important that others take notice. A lot of notice.

A few months ago I went to the funeral of my old friend and former employer Tom Alexander. I had worked as a paralegal for Tom when I first moved to Houston. I was in my twenties, and he was an infamous trial lawyer, handling, among other things, various high-profile divorces. He was a smallish man who, like his even higher-profile colleague Joe Jamail, was often compared to a bantam rooster; he drove Cadillacs—big, old-fashioned ones, with fins—and favored sport coats in golfing shades of peach, chartreuse, scarlet, or myriad madras combinations thereof. Tom walked faster than most people could run, had a voice that sounded like a firecracker popping off, and had the meanest secretary on the planet, a tiny, brittle, bottle-blonde who knew everything about everyone, including Tom. I had just

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