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Texas Tommy

August 15, 1993

Regarding "Hot on the Trail With Mr. Jones," by Michael Wilmington (Aug. 1):

It's a shame that Tommy Lee Jones' education at Harvard and his East Coast theater experience apparently have not lessened his Texas provincialism. He suggests that "The Searchers" is a phony version of the "real version" of the history and literature of his home state because that classic Western film was shot in Arizona and "nobody ever wore those clothes . . . nobody ever talked like that."

Gosh, Tommy, by your reasoning, it would have been a better film had it been shot in Marfa or Big Bend, or a more real version had John Wayne sported big hair and peppered his lines with a mightier Texas drawl.

It's wonderful that Jones is fiercely proud of his Texas heritage. But isn't he being a tad bit too snooty when he insults the people of other regions of the country simply because they don't dress and talk like Texans?

By the way, I grew up in the San Antonio area (not far from Jones' birthplace of San Saba, not San Sava), and I do recall meeting lifelong Texans who talked without the famous Texas drawl. Just as they did in "The Searchers" and in the days of Jones' ancestors. And I have actually met not one but two Texans who looked like Jeffrey Hunter!

FRANK J. GARZA

Los Angeles

*

In Wilmington's excellent profile, he quotes Oliver Stone as saying of Jones: "He is definitely the kind of man who would have ridden with Sam Houston to the Alamo."

Sam Houston did not go to the Alamo. In fact, he had ordered it abandoned. He made his stand at San Jacinto--and won.

Of course, the creator of "JFK" has his own ideas about the facts of Texas history.

CHARLES R. CHAPPELL

San Marino

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