Texas Monthly Reporter

Lana Nelson gets kiss and country club from dad Willie.


The red-hot rumor, blazing from mouth to mouth in Dallas recently, had longtime radio programming genius Gordon McLendon raising $2 million for a group of Dallas investors to buy WRR-AM, the city-owned, all-news station that’s up for sale. Not so, says son Bart McLendon, manager of McLendonowned KNUZ-FM in Dallas. “We would love to have the station but when Dad sold KLIF-AM there was a noncompetitive AM station clause in the contract.” Experienced media buyers in Dallas think the station, which showed improved ratings recently, will cost between $2 and $3 million, but it will come out of a non- McLendon pocket.

If in the near future you are in the middle of some natural disaster and the paramedic dropping out of the National Guard airplane to help you turns out to be female, don’t be surprised. The Texas Guard’s parachute jump school at Camp Mabry in Austin just graduated Private First Class Carrie A. Noble, the first woman outside the regular Army to complete military jump training. She was one of three women who entered the six-week course, which is required to become an airborne medic. Along with Noble, who is a housewife, Staff Sergeant Patricia S. Key, a registered nurse, and Specialist Fourth Class Terri L. Hayden, a model, signed up for the course. All are from Houston. Before taking the five required jumps from a plane, the women and their classmates were trained in landing procedures, handling the harness and maneuvering the chute, getting untangled from other chutes and trees, and—probably the worst—just getting out the doors of the plane. According to one of their instructors, “Women are fragile, it was hot, the training was rough, and they were going eight to twelve hours a day, but they did all right.” Key, who could not finish because of a neck sprain, and Hayden, who suffered heat exhaustion, say they plan to sign up for the next school in October. Noble, whose husband is a full-time Guard recruiter, has also attended the Guard’s military police school in addition to her medical training. In case you’re wondering, the three “Guardsmen” are referred to as “women soldiers.”

It wasn’t exactly a royal wedding, but a good deal of the Texas country music aristocracy was there. Lana Nelson, 22-year-old daughter of Willie Nelson, married George Fowler, 26, in mid-June on the patio of the Feed-Lot, an Austin-area restaurant overlooking a cedar-covered portion of the Hill Country. Since the father of the bride was delayed by bad weather after a gig in Houston, it was decided to hold the reception before the wedding, with entertainment provided by the Geezinslaw Brothers and Other Normal People. Arriving on a chartered plane, Nelson hurried out to give his daughter away and sing “Hands on the Wheel,” accompanied by his sister and band member Bobbie. Among the 300 or so people attending were Jerry Jeff Walker and Lana’s two young sons from a previous marriage, who served as ring bearers. The couple is now living at the Pedernales Country Club on Lake Travis and managing it for its new owner—Willie Nelson.

What, you ask, is a calculator doing in the PEOPLE section? It may not be human, but it’s certainly smarter than many of the rest of us—and it talks, too. The instrument is being offered by—who else?—Neiman-Marcus, which compares the machine with Hal, the talking computer who in his last scene in 2001, A Space Odyssey was singing “Daisy.” The voice is a series of digital signals that simulate a man’s voice. Speech Plus (the name given to it by its maker Telesensory Systems, Inc.) certifies each entry and announces the results. For example, if you want to add twelve and twelve you tell the calculator and he responds, “One two plus one two equals two four point oh oh.” Originally designed as a calculating tool for the blind, Speech Plus can be used by children with learning difficulties and by groups, allowing several people to hear complicated calculations being made. In addition, a per on can make calculation without looking up to check each entry. The calculator adds, subtracts, multiplies, divides, and does square roots and other complex calculations. If you decide you have to have one, they are available at both Dallas store and the Houston Neiman’s for only $395.

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