The Trip to Bountiful LbNA # 55900
|Placed Date||Oct 1 2010|
This box has gone missing, destroyed actually, so it is unavailable until I get a chance to replace it.
Albert Horton Foote was born in 1916 in the town of Wharton, Texas. His great great grandfather was the first Lt. Governor of Texas, Albert Clinton Horton. (See my letterbox “Old Sorrel—Texas Governor Series”). Horton left home, with his parents blessing, at the age of 16 to study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. By the 1940s he was in New York and found he was more suited to writing plays, which in turn led to a career writing screenplays for movies and, later, television. During his long and celebrated career he specialized in the quiet dramas of rural Americans, setting most of his work in the fictional town of Harrison, Texas. He won two screenwriting Oscars, for the films “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Tender Mercies”. He earned a third Oscar nomination for adapting his play The Trip to Bountiful (1985), and he also did critically-acclaimed screen adaptations of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (the 1992 film version that starred John Malkovitch and Gary Sinise) and William Faulkner's Old Man (a 1997 TV movie that won Foote an Emmy). His play The Young Man From Atlanta earned him a Pulitzer prize for drama in 1995, and in 2000 he was given a National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton. He often seemed to resemble a character from one of his plays. Always courteous and courtly, he spoke with a Texas drawl. He enjoyed good food and wine, but he usually opted for barbecue and iced tea or fried chicken with a Coca-Cola when he was at his home in Texas. He was jovial with a wry humor, and his white hair and robust frame gave him the appearance of a Southern senator or the favorite uncle who always had a story. Harper Lee, a lifelong friend since Mr. Foote adapted her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” once said that Mr. Foote “looked like God, only cleanshaven.” Although he boarded a train for California at 16 to pursue acting, Mr. Foote never really left home. From his first efforts as a playwright, he returned again and again to set his plays and films amid the pecan groves and Victorian houses with large front porches on the tree-lined streets of Wharton. His inspiration came from the people he knew and the stories he heard growing up there. His was a life-long trip back home to Bountiful.
Directions: Wharton, Texas is on U. S. Hwy. 59, about 40 miles southwest of Houston. From Houston, take the Hwy. 60 exit into Wharton. Turn left onto E. Alabama St.. Look for the St. Paul Lutheran Church on the left and turn right on N. East Ave. Turn left into the cemetery at the first gate you come to. You’ll see a large black monument on the right, where the road curves with the name Battle on it. Park your car before you get to it.
To the box: Walk north along the road that leads to a large gray grave marker on your left. When you get to it, you’ll see the name Foote and the grave of Horton Foote and family members. Read the inscriptions on the back of the markers. Go back to the Battle monument and past it, you’ll see an evergreen tree by the Baca monument. The box is among the center branches of the tree with sticks around it and a rock on top. Please replace it so that it can’t be seen.