My Missionary Family and Their Adventures in Peru

by Julia Robb Before my sister Sarah and her family left Peru in 2004, a mud slide had almost swept them off an Andean mountain (they were 1.5 miles straight up), they were traveling on roads so bad it took 24 hours to travel 800 miles, had broken down in places where they could not even buy food, much less lodging, and lived at the foot of the Andes in a house with no hot water. For some of those years, Sarah, my brother-on-law Joel Purcell, and their three kids (who have now returned home, to The Woodlands, Texas), lived […]

Scalp Mountain (an excerpt)

by Julia Robb Mission San Jose Texas Ranger Capt. W.E. Henry’s prayer, at Mission San José, in San Antonio, 1876 Lord, I’m a Methodist and talking to you here in a Catholic church, but I guess you don’t mind, this place has been here one hundred years and folks has offered up a lot of prayers. I might not be in this old world much longer, I’m sixty-five and headed for my long home, but I got it in mind to explain myself. I don’t expect you to overlook nuthing, but I want you to know there was reasons for […]

How the Old West Bad Men Did or Did Not Get to Midland, Texas

by Julia Robb I’m standing in the Midland County (Texas) public library basement staring down at six plaster of paris death masks. Jesse James, Butch Cassidy, Bill Dalton, Robert Ford, Wild Bill Hickok and Clay Allison lay in a waist–high glass display case, with their eyes closed. Bill Dalton’s tongue is stuck between his lips, Bob Ford is wearing a half smile, as if he’s not really happy at the company he’s keeping but wants to be polite. Butch Cassidy is sneering with swollen, cruel lips and broad, flaring nostrils, and Jesse James looks fast asleep. In case you don’t […]

Shaun Peter Cunningham is Making His Mark in the Independent Film Industry

by Julia Robb The story is always about the character, so let me tell you about the independent film industry through Shaun Peter Cunningham, an actor, screenwriter and producer who lives in Dallas. Shaun Peter Cunningham First, independent filmmakers are like indie writers; they often produce great work, but must compete against big money. Nobody hears about them. Argo played on most U.S. screens, while independent films like The Note played at film festivals. Festival committees must invite moviemakers to show at their venues, but not all festivals are created equal. Sundance, the Toronto Film Festival and Tribeca are prestigious […]

The Little Girl Who Wrote the Waltz

The Little Girl Who Wrote the Waltz By Julia Robb Certain kinds of people do not believe in coincidences: They believe everything is planned, that unseen forces coordinate life. I’m one of those people, although it’s not always clear who’s in charge of the non-coincidence department­­­–God, guardian angels, or whatever. Maybe the dead do their part. Here’s what happened a few months ago. I flew to San Angelo for a writer thing and one of the lovely people from Stephens Central Library gave me a ride to my bed and breakfast. I didn’t like the B&B. Traffic was its only […]