After finishing a book of interviews with women in Texas music(2007/UT Press), after submitting a story to new book, Her Texas: Story, Women and Song, featuring poets, artists, songwriters, and me as an historian (?), after listening to many stories of women at the 2013 American Studies Conference at Baylor, I am compelled to share a story with you about women. This month I am featuring (with the Libran difficulty of choice looming over me)……..drum roll as I make up my mind…….Terri Hendrix! Terri has been in my classroom several times, performed at my school, Schreiner University, at the annual Texas music festival and brings such joy and sweetness to everything she does. Terri and Lloyd Maines, a duo to draw to.
Since you can find her history on the Internet, and her performances on YouTube, I am compelled to tell you some stories I know. My students use her book, CRY TILL YOU LAUGH, THE PART THAT AIN’T ART, as a topic for their first two essays in English 1301. The last two years they also wrote her letters that we delivered at her September concert with THMF. They told her that her courage was inspiring. They told her they loved her stories about life! One woman’s voice making a difference.
Now she has started a non-profit to create a space for self-expression called OYOU, Own your own universe, a 501c3 dedicated to getting art and music to folks who need it.
Her songs range wide, with many styles integrated into a tapestry of a great performance each time you hear her play. I watched her beginning in class in Kerrville one day, as she visited my students, pulling out a harmonic to try on them. Now she plays solos on her instruments that stop the show. Lloyd Maines, a producer and instrumentalist par excellence, tours with Terri, and their banter reveals the great respect he has for her music and her courage. Why do I keep saying that courage word? After listening to women brave enough to tell their story here in Waco tonight, I notice my own curiosity. Do I have something to tell that I am holding back? Do I lack courage? A good question for us all. I thank Terri for leading the way down that road. She saw those lions, and they did not win. Down the road. KH