Terry Southern -- novelist, screenwriter, journalist, provocateur -- would have turned 87 yesterday, had he not died of a heart attack in October 1995. And so, last night, council member Delia Jasson proclaimed May 1, 2011, Terry Southern Day -- thanks to filmmaker Kirby Warnock, who has partnered with the Texas Theatre to launch a "Soul of Oak Cliff" series paying homage to its native sons and significant events. Forthcoming, fingers crossed, says Kirby: a tribute to Jimmie Vaughan, complete with concert, and a Bonnie and Clyde homage.
Last night's screening of the Terry-penned Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, for which Southern was Oscar-nominated, kicked off the series. Terry's son Nile flew in from Boulder for the event, bringing with him a few minutes' worth of his doc-in-progress Dad Strangelove, in which the likes of Gore Vidal, former Harper's editor Lewis Lapham and other literary lights offered testimony to Terry's for-too-long-languished legacy. He was also presented with an official city proclamation, signed by Mayor Dwaine Caraway and given to Nile by Delia Jasso, who, when she got to the word "marijuana," said, "I can't believe I'm reading this."
Jasso was kind enough to give me her script afterward. Jump for the whole wonderful thing.