Lana is a born and bred Houstonian who carries a lot of Houston memories in her head and heart: As a child of the Baby Boom, I remember the excitement of meeting those local TV personalities of the time -- Kitirik, Uncle Bert Lynn and Bobby Lahr in the giant Porky Pig suit. However, I was stunned to see a zipper running down the back of Porky's body. Traumatic for a 7-year-old who thought the real Porky was shaking my hand.
Of course, my Mom, Dad, two brothers and I NEVER missed the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo at the Coliseum, and later the Astrodome, especially when Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were there. Pinwheels and cotton candy and Happy Trails heaven.
My only Houston alma mater is M.E. Foster Elementary. Fondest memory: Naptime on towels and getting a foil star glued on the forehead for being a good napper. You'd get blue, silver or the highly-sought gold depending on how still you could keep your eyelids from fluttering and getting busted.
Second fondest memory at Foster Elementary: My first stage role and the start of my love of live theater. I played Mama Bear. It was the role I wanted because it meant I got to wear the Papier Mache head. It was a sweatbox, but I loved it. A star -- okay, a ham -- was born.
Then came the family move to Conroe via what was a two-lane 'pre-Interstate 45' highway through the woods. I graduated high school there and returned to Conroe after graduating from Baylor U. And while there, I juggled my work at the newspaper and radio stations with taking part in community theater. Thank God YouTube did not exist back then.
And now, alongside my love of family and friends, I have a deep, deep passion for animals, their welfare and their rights. These noble, trusting creatures count on us to do right by them, and they deserve no less. I also truly believe that when an animal becomes aggressive, there is a human, somewhere, sometime and somehow, behind it. Their needs are so very simple and pure: to be loved, to be comfortable and to be happy. In fact, that's not such a bad aspiration for any of us, is it?