I sent the following message to Lyle Lovett’s Twitter and his management agency. I don’t know if it ever got to Lyle. We saw him at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai on July 7, 2023.
His “Bosque County Romance” mentions my sister, but using the name of her schoolmate, Mary Martin.
Steve Fromholz, who wrote the song in 1969, was my brother-in-law’s cousin. As a boy, Fromholz stayed with relatives in Kopperl. Fromholz was the 2007 Poet Laureate of Texas. He died in a hunting accident in 2014 at the age of 68.
Message for Lyle Lovett: My "Texas Trilogy” connection
I am a longtime fan, and I look forward to seeing you at the beautiful Libbey Bowl in Ojai on July 7. If you have never been to Ojai, I think you will appreciate the vibe. (And you will pass through Casitas Springs, home of Johnny Cash.)
I love your rendition of Steve Fromholz’s “Texas Trilogy.” Those songs have special meaning for me, because I hail from Kopperl, and my sister is depicted in “Bosque County Romance.”
We didn’t live in town, but on a farm twelve miles away, at Brazos Point, where County Road 1175 meets FM 56. My 2013 op-ed touches on life there.
Fromholz wrote, “Mary Martin was a schoolgirl, about seventeen or so, when she married Billy Archer, about fourteen years ago,” but although Mary Martin and Billy Archer were real people, students at Kopperl School in the 1950s, they never married.
My sister Marion and her then boyfriend, Ronnie (Steve Fromholz’s cousin), were Mary and Billy’s schoolmates, and they are the ones Fromholz portrays.
Marion was sixteen when she and Ronnie married in June of 1959. I still remember how upset my parents were when the newlyweds drove away from our farmhouse. I was an eight-year-old uncle when my nephew was born five months later, “one gray November morn.” (Marion and Ronnie remained married for 60 years, until her passing in 2019.)
I met up with Steve Fromholz in Austin in the ‘70s, and I said to him, “Mary Martin didn’t marry Billy Archer.”
He replied, “Yeah, I know. Poetic license.”
Here are Billy Archer and Mary Martin in 6th grade in the 1956 Kopperl yearbook. My sister Marion was in the 8th grade. That’s my other sister Susie, top row.