L. T. Felty
He never met a man who didn’t like him. L.T. Felty, who died March 17, was born in Hickory Creek, but he spent forty-plus years in Waxahachie, where his genial and helpful manner as a schoolteacher and coach earned him the unofficial title of Mr. Waxahachie. (Christened solely with rhyming initials, he acquired an even shorter nickname: T.) His longtime attendance at chili cookoffs led Dolph Briscoe to appoint him “Expert Chili Adviser to the Governor” in 1977. Later, he helped scout locations for a variety of films, including the Oscar-winning Places in the Heart and The Trip to Bountiful, and snagged bit parts in True Stories and 1918. No wonder Austin photographer Michael O’Brien was introduced to Felty while shooting a Life feature on the area’s ill-fated supercollider. “He toured me all over—there wasn’t a soul in town he didn’t know,” recalls O’Brien, who subsequently shot Felty for a 1991 ad for Apple’s PowerBook computer (above). “T. would have given you his right arm,” says his widow, Margaret. “He never was too tired to talk to anybody. He loved people, and he loved Waxahachie.” L.T. Felty was 81.