When Shelby Foote narrated the PBS series about the Civil War, in the way of all Southerners, my mother claimed he was our cousin, many times removed. "From the Footes in Hattiesburg," she said, "who were distant cousins of the Turners..."
And Shelby Foote is Horton Foote's third cousin, many times removed.
We call that Kissin' Kin. (Or wishful thinking.)
But it didn't take a family relationship to make me love Horton Foote's work. His recent death has brought accolades that point to the quiet virtues of his plays. Most everybody has seen and loved his adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and maybe even the screenplay of "Tender Mercies" or "The Trip to Bountiful." But when Foote died, at age 92, he was still creating.
I loved this weekend's Terry Teachout piece about Horton Foote, "Poet of the Ordinary," in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.