The Esperson Buildings


A long time ago, in Houston, I was a young woman fresh out of college, with a BA in History and no desire to teach school or to pursue a graduate degree in History. In that place and time, teaching and grad school were pretty much the usual options for young women with history degrees.

I had to earn a living to support myself. I’d always liked researching things in the library, and thought that I might like being a lawyer if it involved looking things up in books. I didn’t know any lawyers, so I figured I might as well work for some and see what it was all about.

I got a job as a legal secretary. My first job was with a downmarket small law office, in a small building out on the Southwest Freeway. Where one day a few months into my job, I took a call and found myself being recruited.

Thank goodness. It led to a job as a legal secretary in a really good firm, downtown, in the Esperson Building. Well, technically there are two Esperson Buildings, Mellie and Neils. I don’t remember the name of  the one we were in, but it was a wonderful old office building. With character. The firm was on one of the lower floors, with huge arched windows.

I found this picture that I took in the 1970’s. I worked for that firm for 6 years. When I left I had been promoted to be the firm’s first paralegal,  earned my law degree (night classes), and passed the Texas Bar exam. I moved to Colorado, to take another bar exam and go to work for the Public Defender’s Office.

I’m glad the Esperson Buildings still stand.



Habits. I have lots of bad ones. I used to have a blogging habit but I lost it over the winter.

Before I rush off to face the day, after remembering to do my stretches now that I’m old enough to *need* them every day, I’ll share this “Headnote of the Day” from the legal publishing empire, West:

Where defendant had argued that commission of the crime in the manner asserted by the State would have been foolish, prosecutor was properly permitted to argue that it is nowhere written that a criminal has to be smart.

Marshall v. State, 438 N.E.2d 986 (1982

Could this be the rebirth of my blogging habit?


January 20:
Sitting on the sofa
Puppy on my lap

Just me at home with him
watching the sleek new HDTV
with count-the-wrinkles resolution

Sun pouring onto us this morning
and the Rockies in the distance

From somewhere
was it dusty country Oklahoma
nearly 60 years ago

From somewhere
was it sultry 60’s Houston
middle school in a buckle of the Bible belt district

From somewhere
surely the place – as Molly Ivins said -
that I realized they were lying about race
and wondered what else they lied about too

From somewhere
was it my early 20’s working learning
law school at night
Or my late 20’s moving up to Colorado
standing up in court
conferring in the jails
with clients in assorted shades

From somewhere
it was my personal soundtrack in college: Aretha’s LPs

From somewhere
it was eighth grade class where we read
the United States Constitution aloud, every last word -
and discussed it

From somewhere
it was the place in my heart
those complicated chambers belonging to my father
whose journey ended too soon long ago

From somewhere
came a lump into my throat this morning

It only went away when Aretha started singing
it dissolved into tears down my face

So-called real life

Maybe I’ve run out of things to write about? Or at least things to blog about?

Nah. I refuse to entertain the idea.

But it has been awhile since I posted anything. Since I just had to share what’s on my tiny mind with all of you out there on the innernets.

And I’m not entirely sure why.

Mostly I think it’s because of my so-called real life away from this keyboard. I endured a few weeks of energy-sucking, body-dragging and mind-impairing sickness, and recovery therefrom. Respiratory virus followed by sinus infection, all accompanied and survived by an annoying cough. Something like my normal energy level returned after New Year’s, and I’ve been playing catch-up since then. With work and also at home.

No worries, it hasn’t been all work and no play. I’ve been updating my television situation here at the condo. This time of year it’s so cold here that I stay indoors and watch a lot of TV, and anyone who watches much TV has known for a long time about the change next month to digital over-the-air signals.

On Saturday, I donated to Goodwill the 8 year old 27″ flat screen Sony CRT, in all its hulking wonder, thanks to a neighbor who helped me hoist it into the back of my car. Yesterday, I brought home from Costco a sleek new 37″ Vizio LCD HDTV. I easily set it up in the living room, hooked up to my trusty old digital cable (SD) box and also to the building rooftop master TV antenna. For more than week now, my little bedroom 20″ LCD TV has had a digital converter box buddy by its side, because it’s 4 or 5 years old and needs the box to get the digital over the air signals through the building antenna system. Soon I will have cable service added in the bedroom and upgraded in the living room to HDTV with DVR.

Of course the only part of all that hoo-hah that was at all necessary, was the converter box for the little bedroom TV. The other upgrades were just because I wanted to. And had accumulated the cash to do it.

The over-the-air HDTV programming I’m watching on the new big TV? Just amazed me. I got it working just in time for the AFC championship game. Wowzer. And more importantly, I have HDTV here in time for tomorrow’s inauguration of our next President. I plan to watch that here at home and go downtown afterwards.

Today, it’s unseasonably warm here. Not a time to pound a keyboard indoors. My wonderful dog needs a walk and so do I. Back to real life, the parts of it that don’t happen at the iMac.

The old me is fine, thanks.

OK, people, I read or hear one more iteration of “New Year, New You” and I throw a hissy fit. The world has been warned.

They can keep whatever “new” version of me it is that they want to sell me. In a package of makeup, or a new outfit, or “body-firming” undies, or some other product.

I’ve spent several decades working with, and on, the old me. And she’s just fine, ticking over pretty well, and not in need of being traded in on a new me. Sure, regular maintenance is important, and the occasional major tune-up, plus paint and buffing, but the old me isn’t going out on the lot with the other trade-ins just yet.

If you understand what I’m saying here and feel the same way about the old you, I think you will enjoy this piece just out in The New Yorker.

Unless you traded your funny bone to the devil for a pair of  lifetime-guaranteed-firm thighs. In which case I fear you may post it on the front of your fridge. As an action plan. Which would frighten me very much, so please take it down if I’m going to come over to your house. Thanks.

Full text below the fold in case the link goes kaput.

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One year old


Happy birthday to a happy, friendly little guy who was born on Christmas Eve last year.

You’ve been worth it, dude. I hope we have a lot more Christmases together.

Now, go out, locate a nice guy for me. And fetch.

Freecharge at the Denver airport

Denver International Airport (DEN) has several banks of charging stations for electronic devices (phones, notebooks, laptops, PDAs, cameras, whatever) located on the concourses (as opposed to the Main Terminal Building).  They are marked with “FreeCharge” signs. There’s no cost for their use. Here are a couple of pictures.



Details of where to find them:

A Gates aka A Concourse or Concourse A, 2 locations:

  • East side, between Gates A44 and A46.
  • West side, between Gate A38 and the center core.

B Gates aka B Concourse or Concourse B, 4 locations:

  • East side, between Gates B56 and B58
  • East side, between Gates B45 and B47
  • West side, near Gate B38
  • West side, between Gates B25 and B27

C Gates, aka C Concourse or Concourse C, 2 locations:

  • East side, near Gate C44
  • West side, exact info to be provided later or just look for it.

Also in the C Gates area, at some of the Southwest Airlines gates on the East side, there are small freestanding counter-height tables – some with stools, some not – with electric outlets which are available at no cost.

(This just updates some information I posted several months ago, minus irrelevant blather.)