Monday, June 11, 2007

The Mansion on Turtle Creek, part III

I liked The Mansion so much, I put it as the place of two pivotal scenes in my book LYLA'S SONG. I changed the name to The Manorborne, but in my mind's eye my characters Eddie T and Lyla were at The Mansion.

In the first scene, he's won a bet with her and she has to go to dinner with him. He chooses The Mansion, uh Manorborne, because he hopes it will impress her. He does this even though he knows he's walking a fine line with management since the the last time he was there, he left with police escort. So he gives a false name in order to make the reservation and then stands still under the maitre d's sharp-eyed scrutiny. He's allowed in because he's with a woman much classier than himself. He proves to be not only a delightful dinner companion for her, but the source of autographed menus for the hotel's next fund-raiser. I don't know if they do that or not, but it seemed a nice touch. Besides, I had Lyla order all my fav Mansion dishes. I certainly hope they keep the tortilla soup and the creme brulee after the renovation.

Later in the book, he again chooses The Manorborne and has a suite reserved. But he's lost the heroine and nearly lost hope. His companion this time is 80-year-old Bertie, who has come to Dallas to inform him of all the details and march his hide back to Lake Texoma and into Lyla's arms, even though she doesn't know he's coming. He takes Bertie to the bar, runs her a tab and takes over the piano. He plays requests to raise funds for a charity he's started. Would that ever happen? I don't know, but I'd like to think it would, a world-class pianist playing any and everything for (very large) tips, dazzling his audience and giving them a bit of the unexpected.

So, do he and Bertie make it back to the lake in time to tie up all the loose ends and have the book's requisite happy ending? Well, of course, but it's the journey that's important here, not the destination.

While just the opposite is true in visiting The Mansion. I know my journey (90 minutes down the four-lane) but in the fall, when it's renovated and up to a new speed, I hope to once again enjoy the destination.

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