Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tess Harper at the Inn!
One of the many fun things you get to be involved with running a B&B is folks wanting to film at your property. Need an 1890’s background? Hey, what about the Walnut Street Inn!
Today was one of those days. Tom Carter, Programming and Production Manager for Ozarks Public Television asked if they could film part of a documentary at the Inn called “Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Life Stories of a Pioneer Girl.” Any publicity is good (well, almost any) so I said sure. The stories written by Laura represent the good folks of the Ozarks the way they should be presented, with a quiet dignity and strength, so it is a project I wanted to be involved in from the beginning.
The fun part was the narrator of this production is Tess Harper! You know Tess from her years in the movie and television industry;Google her and you will instantly remember who she is; Silkwood, Crimes of the Heart, Ishtar, The Man In the Moon, The Jackal, etc, and lately – No Country for Old Men. But my most lasting memory was her first big hit opposite Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies, a quiet, amazing story about a fallen country singer. There is a scene in that movie, toward the end, where Robert and Tess are working in the vegetable garden in west Texas… It touches me every time.
Anyway - Tess has stayed at the Inn several times, so it was good to see her again. She attended MSU and is a great spokesperson for the theater department and other local causes. I’m a little star struck, but she always loosens me up with her charm, beauty, and un-pretentious grace.
The film will be aired on Ozarks Public Television around March of next year and will be out on DVD at the same time.
Being an innkeeper has its risks and frustrations, but they are outweighed by the rewards that come our way, through our guests and visitors. There is a verse in the Bible, well known to Innkeepers everywhere. My wife, Paula, just sent me a new version from the Message Translation. It reads:
Be ready with a meal or a bed when it's needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!
Gary at Walnut Street Inn
900 E Walnut Street
Springfield, MO 65806