My old friend, Larry McMurtry, and his writing partner, Diana Ossama, won the Oscar for the screenplay of Brokeback Mountain. They also won the Golden Globe and Writers Guild awards. Larry was at the writing class at Stanford the year after I was there. Kesey was in the class, too, both the year I was there and the year Larry was there. He and Larry became friends and in 1964 when we took the bus, Further, across country we stopped in Houson at Larry's house and stayed there a couple days. Two of Larry's books, Hud and Last Picture Show, were terrific movies. To me, his best book is Lonesome Dove and it became a great made for TV movie. Everyone in the Stanford Writing Class is proud of Larry.
2005 Best Adapted Screenplay, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana:
British Academy Awards, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics Association, Golden Globe, London Film Critics Association, Online Film Critics Association, Oscar 2006, Phoenix Film Critics Association, St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association, Writers Guild of America
Here's what Diana and Larry said at the academy awards:
Diana: Thank you to the Academy. The duty of art is to send light into the darkness of men's hearts. Thank you Annie Proulx, thanks to my good friend Mark Poirier, for giving me "The New Yorker" that had Annie's short story in it. And thank you to my writing partner, Larry. And thank you for giving him this award as well.
Larry: Since somehow I unaccountably failed to thank my brilliant partner Diana at the Golden Globes, I'm going to rattle off all the attributes I was going to thank her for at the Golden Globes. Smarts, guts, drive, good judgment, tenacity, loyalty, and generosity. That's the kind of virtues you need in the rough strife of movie making. I'd like to thank also James and Curtis, my son and grandson, with love and pride. And finally I'm going to thank all the booksellers of the world. Remember, "Brokeback Mountain" was a book before it was a movie. From the humblest paperback exchange to the masters of the great bookshops of the world. All are contributors to the survival of the culture of the book. A wonderful culture, which we mustn't lose. Thank you.
Larry McMurtry and son, James, 1964
Houston. Rice University. Quenby Street. Shading oaks. Birds chirruping. Manicured
lawns. Respectable homes. A curtain pulls back from a front window and a bespecta-
cled eye peers out.
"See anything yet?" a female voice calls from the kitchen.
"They called from Flatonia, so it should be afew minutes yet," Larry McMurtry
Novelist, writer of Horseman, Pass By (made into the movie Hud), Larry was a
classmate of Kesey's at Stanford's graduate writing program four years earlier. He
stands poised, his son in his arms.
"Oh, God!" he says, dropping the curtain.
"What is it, dear?" his wife calls.
"It's them. But what a them.
"What do you mean?"
`It's indescribable. You'll have to see for yourself"
Shifting the boy into his other arm, he goes outside. A shrill laugh comes from the
bus. Larry walks to the curb and the bus door opens.
"Oh, Frankie, Frankie!" Kathy shrieks, stepping out of the bus and out of her
blanket. She tugs at Larry's son.
"Ma `am," Larry says in a soft drawl. "Ma `am, would you please let go? The boy is crying, ma'am...."
Cassady pops out with the blanket.
"We all have children back home, m'dear, and even our hardened hearts are
suffused with longing; but you must admit, this is not the one...."
"Wow!" John says, head out the window. "What a shot! Did you get it Hassler?"
Hassler turns, 35-millimeter camera in hand. "I was ready', but the shock was too
much. I forgot to click the shutter. Did you see that? She was naked. Stark naked!"
Kesey steps off the bus and he and Larry shake hands. Larry's wife comes out and
there are introductions all around.
"Make yourselves at home," Larry tells everyone, and the Pranksters troop
inside, escorting Kathy. Larry looks at them nervously.
"She going to be all right?" he asks Kesey.
"I hope so. Strung out is all. If she can make it through the next day orso it ought to wear off"
"Better keep an eye on her. Ijust hope no one witnessed that exhibition outside.
They're pretty straight folks around here, you know."
"Hey!" Babbs says. "Straight is as straight does. Like an arrow, varoom! Not to
worry, we got it under control."
"Hummmm," Larry murmurs, looking over the top of his glasses.
-- by Ken Babbs, from the book, On The Bus.
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