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Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Opinion Letter from the Editor: The Two Katies

Letter from the Editor: The Two Katies

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

On Sept. 12 I went to see the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Asleep at the Wheel at the Will Rogers Coliseum. It was great fun and Asleep at the Wheel seemed excited to be out and playing music. The only damper on the evening: It turned hot and the ol’ Will Rogers A/C seemed a bit behind the curve even though we were all social distancing.

I wrote a column in the last issue about the Wheel’s fiddle player and singer, Katie Shore, who is from Fort Worth and I got to see her after the show. One of the highlights of the program was the song Katie and Wheel front man Ray Benson wrote, Call It a Day Tonight. Katie sang it and with the orchestra behind her, it sounded fantastic, swing singer heaven. Hot as it was, the ol’ Will Rogers Auditorium has a great classic sound. I felt like I could have gone out to the parking lot and fired up my 1939 Plymouth Coupe and jitterbugged down Jacksboro Highway to some joint for a little late-night action.

I think most everyone wore a mask, but I heard plenty of complaints about it. One thing about the pandemic is that it kept the show relatively short. It’s sort of like they do in England or other places that depend on subways. The shows are usually short so people can get to the tube station. So there was no intermission and we were out by 9 p.m. Now if we just had a subway.

Kathryn M. Farmer courtesy BNSF

Speaking of Katies … on Sept. 15 Katie (Kathryn) Farmer was named as the new president and CEO of BNSF Railway beginning in 2021. I don’t really know Farmer, but I did nominate her to be a Great Woman of Texas in 2016. Somewhere I saw a paper she had written for some transportation group and saw that she was then working her way up the BNSF management tree. She was also head of some important transportation group – the name escapes me and my search attempts – so I nominated her. She was accepted into the class and attended our event. I only spoke to her for a few minutes, but I’m glad my hunch paid off. Congratulations Kathryn Farmer. My father was a railroad man (Rock Island) so he would be proud of me for nominating you and proud of you for what you’ve accomplished.

If Katie Shore ever meets Kathryn Farmer, Katie Shore should play either Orange Blossom Special or Rock Island Line. I hear it’s a mighty fine line.

Congrats to both Katies!

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