Susan G Holland
3 min readAug 1, 2022

HCR and McMurtry Before Breakfast

©SGHolland May 2022
(published Aug 1st 2022) (there will be other McMurtry commentaries in the future.)

These serious and depressing days are not often hilarious at our house.

No matter how glad we are to be companions and reunited betrotheds after some sixty years’ delay there are sadnesses that have abound during the past three years. see Note 1.

One of the sources of our information that we have learned to trust is a daily report online by Heather Cox Richardson, a lauded historian who shares with those of us who listen a wide and deep knowledge of history. And she documents the daily situation as she assesses how world history has evolved, and why it may be repeating itself before our very eyes. She tells and backs up her information with encyclopedic annotations one can follow to see if she is saying the truth to her readers.

The news as it comes in from various sources can spoil a beautiful sunny day around here.

It can cost us some sleep.

But another thing we do is continue to read Other Kinds of Copy.

This morning I heard chuckles from the inert other side of the bed as I awakened. WHAT was he reading, anyway, that was so very funny???

It was a book about a Dairy Queen and a bunch of cowboys, it turned out.
The late Larry McMurtry turns out to be a prolific writer. I had never heard of him, but here was W reading his book Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen.


W began to read out loud at story 1, and we both began to laugh and guffaw before we even said “Good Morning! “

I mean the book is beyond entertaining…and hilariously pertinent for this particular time and place . Story 2 and 3 and 4 had us in giggles…about human beings and their curiosity and their trial conclusions, given the smallness of their world. They sound so much like us, in my opinion. Us folks right now in 2022!

The origins of “fake news perhaps?”
The tendency toward myth? The invention of myth?
The roots of human tradition?

Here is a group of people sitting together in a wide wide wilderness talking about the current gossip of their remote village. Like guys who gather in lonely towns in the western remote wilderness who Do their Lives and then talk about it , wonder about it, decide what’s the cause of what.

Please do look up this book. It made us laugh so hard, and somehow get around the sad weight of today’s realities…at least for a while.

History is about people talking around a campfire or in a living-room or at a university or in a jail. Sometimes it makes sense or comes close. Sometimes not.

©SGHolland 2022

Note 1. : In the past three years we (USA and world) have had international COVID to deal with as well as political confusion and injury and a huge schism between our two government parties, the realization that all those scary stories about global warming caused by human ignorance are coming around to do a “show and tell” demonstration, and also a very bloody war between authoritarian nations and democratic nations who have opposing ideas of “who is right” about rights. Not to mention personal details like death by accident and dementia and disease within our personal extended families and dear ones, and a few end-of-life threats like stroke and disaster, historic New Mexico wildfires that have burned up the state’s forests and homesteads and farms and created a new kind of homelessness here on the burnt prairie. Yes, we have had some gruesome forces touching us and our fellow “worldlings.”

Susan G Holland

Student of life; curious always. Tyler School of Fine Art, and a couple of years’ worth of computer coding and design, plus 87 years of discovery.