On November 22, 1963, Nellie Connally rode with her husband, Texas Governor John Connally, and a lapful of yellow roses, into the history books. This month, her handwritten, eyewitness account of President John F. Kennedy's assassination is being published, after languishing in a drawer for 33 years. It's called From Love Field.Connally's husband was also wounded that day in the car. "When I got Governor Connally back from the hospital and settled him in," she says, "I went off into a quiet place with a yellow pad and pencils and wrote what happened. Then I put it in a drawer and forgot about it." Why did she write the notes and then file them away? "I wrote them for my grandchildren. I thought in years to come, when little Connallys read about that day in history class and read that their great-great-grandparents were in that car, they might want to know what happened.
"After I found my notes and read them to other people, they said to me, 'Nellie, this is history.'" She began touring around Texas, reading her notes at ladies' clubs and historical societies, and eventually came to national attention.
"I was on the Larry King show about a year ago. People began to get interested and I began to get calls, and I decided I would write this little book -- and that's all it is, about the trip in the car, the horrible time in the car, burying the president. It's just a little history book."
Connally will make two appearances on Monday, November 10: 12:30 p.m. MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1100 Holcombe, 713-792-0662; and 2 p.m. Saks Fifth Avenue, 5115 Westheimer, 713-627-0500. -- Lisa Simon
What can you do when the poetry jones hits at three in the morning, when everything in Houston is closed? DiverseWorks can cool your craving with PhoneWorks, a free 24-hour poetry line. Local literary artists and groups record readings of their most provocative works for the line, which changes every month. November highlights the sociopolitical rhyme schemes of the Blackout Artists' Collective, a nationwide movement dedicated to uplifting communities of color through the arts. Hahleemah Wright, Marcell Murphy and Equality will read their pieces through your receiver anytime, day or night. Reach PhoneWorks at 713-335-3443. For information, visit www.diverseworks.org. Free. -- Felicia Johnson-LeBlanc
Ready to Rawk
The neck-snapping world of heavy metal fandom is about to be laid bare once and for all. Seventy minutes of short documentaries about and by headbangers will screen this weekend at the Aurora Picture Show's "HELL YEAH: A Heavy Metal Primer." The evening's main attraction is Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the highly praised film by John Heyn and Jeff Krulik, whose cameras confronted the righteously spandexed fans awaiting a 1986 Judas Priest concert. Also featured will be Metallica Drummer, for which a Canadian man was moved to videotape himself air-drumming along with his fave band. Lock up your scissors before the show, just in case it momentarily inspires you to give yourself a mullet or carve a pentagram in your forearm. 8 p.m. Saturday, November 8; 3 p.m. Sunday, November 9. Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora. For information, call 713-868-2101 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org. $5. -- Travis P. Ritter
Let Them Entertain You
Gulf Coast All-Star Wrestling puts the punch line back in the pile driver
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With The Rock gaining credibility as a legitimate actor, some of us are yearning for wrestling to get back to basics. Everybody knows pro wrestling is staged, for Gawd's sake, so why not make it really stagy? Let's go back to the days of Hacksaw Duggan, Ted Dibiase, Andre the Giant and Rowdy Roddy Piper -- the days of parody.Gulf Coast All-Star Wrestling to the rescue. As the organizers put it, their Doomsday Show is actually "a live theatrical comedic performance in the guise of a trashy low-budget wrestling program." When Juan Antonio Amore, Rumble Steelskin or Ula Bula the Savage enters the ring, there will be some hilarious trouble. And when Smackdown Barbie tussles with Summer's Eve in a scalding hot-oil match, the fight will be all sexy satire. If the action gives you an appetite (for destruction), you can scarf down some of Gulf Coast's body fuel parody, Muscle Tech 2000 Meal Replacement Puffs (or as they're more commonly called, cheeseballs). 10 p.m. Saturday, November 8. Helios, 411 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-4648. $5. -- Eric A.T. Dieckman
Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky released his interplanetary epic Solaris in 1972, four years after Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey walloped filmgoers smack in the temporal lobe. Not as big a hit as Kubrick's metaphorical journey, Tarkovsky's reworking of the Stanislaw Lem short story explores the angst of a decaying space station crew that is affected by psychic emanations from a strange planet's surface. Tarkovsky focuses on the dehumanizing aspect of a futuristic world -- and takes a subtle dig at the East-West space race of that era -- to make a not-so-subtle point about the value of preserving humanity. Solaris screens at 7 p.m. Friday, November 7. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Brown Auditorium Theater, 1001 Bissonnet, 713-639-7515. $6. -- Greg Barr