ALAN NAFZGER’s Anarene, Texas
Anarene, Texas — Pecan Street Press
Lubbock ● Austin ● Fort Worth – Anarene
Anarene, Texas is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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Copyright © 2016 Alan Nafzger
All rights reserved.
Written by Alan Nafzger
Anarene, Texas – FADE IN
EXT/INT. ANARENE BAPTIST CHURCH – SUNDAY MORNING – Anarene, Texas
It’s a quiet West Texas town.
NEVEAH (17), attractive but rough and poorly dressed, opens the church doors only an inch. She looks in through a crack on the door. She sees the back of the parishioners. At the front is a fiery fundamentalist minister. Neveah is apprehensive/hesitant about entering.
Neveah opens the door and enters. Most everyone turns to look who is entering, especially turning is the preacher’s daughter BETHANY (17), pretty and smartly dressed.
Neveah sits on the back row and pulls out her cell phone. She types a message.
How much longer?
Bethany’s phone vibrates. Bethany reads the message.
Bethany’s MOM (38), whispers to her.
Stop that and listen to your father.
Neveah becomes bored and put off by religion. She exits the church.
EXT. ANARENE BAPTIST CHURCH – DAY – Anarene, Texas
Neveah exits and sits on the steps of the church.
REBECCA (24) an incredibly rough and unattractive girl pulls up across the street. She drives a late model pickup. Neveah watches a boy, HASTINGS (19) bring her a wad of cash. Rebecca in turn hands him a sack of drugs. They aren’t worried and don’t even scan the horizon before making the exchange; everyone who could hurt them are inside churches.
Neveah looks broodingly at them.
Rebecca pulls away and down the street.
Only now does Hastings notice Neveah watching.
What are you doing? Just sitting there spying? Fuck off or I’m coming over there.
Neveah remains. Hastings begins to walk over and confront Neveah, but the church doors swing open and the congregation begins to file out.
TITLES MONTAGE – CITY Café – DAY – Anarene, Texas
At the TITLES appear, Neveah and Bethany sit at a booth together. Neveah’s parents and their younger kids eat at a table.
Bethany shares her chicken-fried-chicken with Neveah. Bethany is popular in school, thin, pretty and never a big eater. Neveah is neglected and under-nourished at home by an alcoholic mother. She has a young brother.
Bethany stops the waitress.
Can I have some more rolls please?
The waitress isn’t amused but who is going to argue with the daughter of the Baptist minister in a small Texas town. Bethany is about to close to the rank of “princes” as is possible. The waitress brings some rolls and smiles. Neveah is pretending not to be eating, but she’s eaten half Bethany’s meal. And she’s still hungry. Neveah waits a beat or two and then grabs a roll and eats it hungrily.
The pastor and his wife can hardly eat; people keep stopping by their table greeting them. Neveah and Bethany are finished with their meal and occupy their time while Bethany’s family finishes eating.
Neveah and Bethany record silly cell phone videos. They laugh and giggle. Clearly they are an odd match, the lower and top tiers of the social strata, but they are obviously best friends.
Are you looking at me?
Macho female look. They giggle.
As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.
She stuffs her face with a roll. They giggle.
I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.
They giggle. The minister and wife don’t approve.
Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.
You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.
Bethany is girly. Neveah has a gender bending edge to her.
The minister and family rise and begin to leave the café. Bethany waves to her friend in the booth.
Wanna hang out later?
My dad. It’s Sunday,
END TITLES MONTAGE
INT/EXT. CITY GROCERY – SUNDAY
Bethany and Neveah enter the food store and split up. Neveah is rather crafty/sneaky with her shoplifting. Bethany is totally obvious and she attracts the attention of the MANGER. He’s confident he will have to confront the preacher’s daughter (a huge scandal might be brewing), but just as Bethany approaches the checkout, she pulls out all the food, snacks and drinks, a hairbrush and some “Baby Alligator Grosgrain hair ribbons and places it out on the counter.
Timing is everything, just as Bethany approaches the counter, Neveah slips out of the store. Unnoticed.
Neveah walks down the alley behind the grocery. She, probably by habit, looks into the garbage bin. She pulls out a cartoon of eggs. Perhaps three or four of the dozen are broken. She takes them with her as she makes her way toward the school playground.
Bethany pays with a card her daddy gave her. Neveah moves to the school’s playground across the way from the baseball field. She puts her haul out on the merry-go-round. Seconds later, Bethany ads her haul to the pile. They eat snacks and drink soda and go-around and-around in circles, laughing.
Still on the moving merry-go-round Bethany brushes Neveah’s hair and places a bow in it. Neveah is distracted by a boy pitching from the mound to his FATHER catching behind home plate. Bethany notices Neveah’s attraction for the boy and smiles.
EXT/INT. BASEBALL FIELD – DAY
The boy is SANDY (17) lefty and prime for a career in major league baseball! His FATHER is coaching him. Bethany and Neveah take the eggs and sneak into the press box and watch the boy practice.
Why do you want to have your own style?
It’s done this way and when you do something different…
I just need to free myself up. Might learn something new.
New? You’ll learn more new by doing it the old traditional way, I’m telling you.
Anarene is a ghost town in Archer County, Texas, United States. Its name was used for the town portrayed in the film adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s novel, The Last Picture Show.
Geography – Anarene
Anarene is located at 33°29′06″N 98°39′57″W.
History – Anarene
Anarene was founded on the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad in 1908, the same year the Belknap Coal Company opened a coal mine in nearby Newcastle. It was named for Anna Laurene Graham, the daughter of pioneer settler J. M. Keen. Keen began ranching in the area after serving in the Confederate Army in the American Civil War.
Anarene’s primary industry was the transportation of coal from the Newcastle mine. An oil field was discovered nearby in 1921. In 1929, Anarene had a population of 100, a store, a schoolhouse, a post office, a blacksmith shop, a filling station, and a two-story hotel. By 1933 the population had declined to 20. In 1942, coal production ended at the Newcastle mine. The Anarene railroad station closed in 1951, and the railway itself was abandoned in 1954. The same year marked the end of production at the Anarene oil field. The post office, established in 1909, was discontinued in 1955.
Popular culture – Anarene
The town portrayed in the 1971 film adaptation of The Last Picture Show is called “Anarene”, although it is called “Thalia” in Larry McMurtry’s novel. The film was actually made some 8 miles (13 km) to the north of Anarene, in McMurtry’s hometown of Archer City, which is widely believed to have been the model for McMurtry’s “Thalia”. Director Peter Bogdanovich intended the film as an homage to Howard Hawks’ Red River, set in Abilene, Kansas, and chose the name Anarene to evoke a correspondence. Anarene also appears in Bogdanovich’s 1990 adaptation of McMurtry’s sequel, Texasville.
Anarene, in south central Archer County, was named for Annie Lawrence Graham, daughter of pioneer settler J. M. Keen, who, after serving in the Confederate Army, began ranching in the area and built up his herd to 15,000 head. He used a terrapin emblem for a brand because he found a rock painting of a terrapin at Terrapin Springs, three miles northwest of Olney. His daughter Annie married Charlie Graham, whose family came to Archer County to raise sheep. Joy Graham, their son, claimed that “the only reason he was born was due to the invention of barbed wire, which kept peace, leading to a marriage between the sheepman and cattleman.”
Anarene was founded on the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad in 1908. Its primary economic activity was hauling coal from the recently opened Newcastle Mine, some twenty miles south. Charlie Graham built a two-story hotel, opened a post office, and laid out the town with the help of J. H. Kemp and Frank Kell, officials of the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad Company. Most businesses were on First Street; the school was to the west of Graham Street and south of Dallas Avenue. The railroad buildings, old store, dipping vat, cotton gin tank, loading ramps, cattle pens, and baseball field were across the tracks to the east.
From the Anarene pens thousands of cattle were shipped to market. Early in World War I Sam Cowan sent a shipment of several hundred four-year-old steers weighing 1,800 pounds each from Anarene to St. Louis and received eighteen cents a pound, the record high price at the time. In 1929 Anarene had a store, a schoolhouse, a post office, a blacksmith shop, a filling station, and a two-story hotel. Graham owned a stock farm of several thousand acres nearby and took part in school and church affairs in Anarene. The Texas Almanac reported a population of 100 for 1929, but by 1933 the number had declined to only twenty. The railroad station closed in 1951 and the post office in 1955.
Originally posted 2022-01-19 07:44:04.