by Max Brantley
... an open line.
Sorry. Well, no, not sorry. I've been lollygagging, a recipient of a free dinner at Brave New Restaurant. On the deck. Gorgeous, cool night. Beautiful skyline view. Great sauteed walleye.
The restaurant was full of familiar faces, among them that indestructible progressive, the retired banker Charlie Johnston; former state Education Director and former LR School Supt. Don Roberts (could we find 10 more like him somewhere -- now?) with an old friend and former director of Mississippi education; this week's cover story author Mara Leveritt, with her mother, visiting from afar; lawyer Ralph Hamner, a good Democrat now safely removed from a former Republican governor neighbor since he (Hamner) has moved from NLR to Hot Springs, and many more. Old tales were told from Henderson University intramurals to newspaper wars to momentous civil rights struggles. All were vastly improved beyond the underlying facts. The out-of-town visitor who hosted Ernie Dumas and me couldn't help but remark about what a small town our big city seems to be. So true. So wonderful.