Observations About The Road From My Garage

I finally pulled into the driveway last night right around 7pm, very thankful to be home again. Five nights in a hotel room in Wichitard Falls (spelling intentional) proved to be a very long time. The trip was not without highlights, however, and this is where they shall be listed.

  • The GPS unit (“Maggie”, as I call her) in the van was completely lost many times in Wichitard. Construction was rampant throughout town, and this led to some scary trips through residential neighborhoods along Martin Luther King Blvd. My badge was also my saving grace: “You want your food stamp machine to work? Better let me through.”
  • Maggie also took some time to get going in the morning. As I became fond of saying, “In the morning, she is a finicky bitch.”
  • Despite looking like the Bagdhad of Texas, the Falls proved to be replete with good eating. There was a Chinese buffet place that Dawn and I had dinner at no less than five times over the last week and a half. New York Pizza Company, at a new location near the Air Force base, was excellent. Even the Carl’s Jr. across the street from the hotel was great. Not only did they have good burgers, but also Hardee’s breakfast menu and a Mexican food menu from the Green Burrito. But the best burger we had was at Gene’s Tasty Burger. Hidden near an industrial part of town, it was clear the locals went out of their way to eat there. Open for over forty years, with our waitress working there for 22 of those, it also offered the best homemade onion rings.
  • Everyone smokes in Vernon. And they also leave their cars running unattended when going into a convenience store.
  • Asians are by far the most considerate of all the ethnicities I have encountered while installing the new terminals. A very pleasant woman at the giggle-inducing “Hung Thinh” insisted I take a drink for free. This is not a rare occurrance at such establishments.
  • We saw the great Larry McMurtry’s bookstores – all four of them – slowly taking over the town square in Archer City. Made me miss Gus and Call. We didn’t smell his son, however.
  • Best banner I saw was in Olney. Stretched across Main Street, it read “Welcome One Armed Dove Hunters”.
  • Newcastle has one gas station. And it does not take American Express, which is the company card I have. Running on fumes, I handed over a twenty and was told that I need to stop the pump at that amount myself. It had been forever since I used a side-loaded gas pump with rotary dollar amount wheels. The shop owner was real nice, though, and I found out that he graduated high school (22 others in his class) in the town that Dawn’s dad lives in. Small effin’ world, indeed.
  • That reminds me… Last week in Throckmorton, I ran into a woman at a store whose daughter teaches at the elementary school I went to for four years. Bobby Hicks was onto something with that “small effin’ world” remark.
  • I will always contend that Graham is the best-kept secret in Texas. I love that town.
  • Iowa Park has changed a lot since I used to go there every summer with my elementary school best friend. It still has that small town “feel”, however. And the people there are very, dare I say?, normal.
  • Confusion abounded one morning in Petrolia and Byers. With an assist from the State, and my problem solving abilities, everything got settled. Kind of.
  • I cannot comprehend that the first Hilton Hotel was in Cisco.
  • I’m tired of Allsup’s. The people are always very friendly, but under their counters contains a maze of chords and wires that would make Escher go crazy. And, as much as I love their fried burritos, I think I have had enough this year.And finally…
  • The best thing about having Maggie as my navigator comes when I pull into the driveway when finally home. That is when, in her soft-spoken way, she unceremoniously announces, “You have arrived.”

Coming up in the next few days: Updates from Brownwood.


3 thoughts on “Observations About The Road From My Garage

  1. The best part of it all was when the crack addict in Wichita Falls jumped in front of the van and we dodged to miss her, looking back in the mirror we saw her laughing and waving.
    I know what you are thinking Brandon and the answer is yes.

    The only other time I have seen such poverty is in Mexico City. It is a wasteland that town, with the exception of the 1 mile radius that surrounds Midwestern.

    Who needs a blog? I can just blog comments here, right? Giggle.

    The homeless would line up outside our hotel to get ice out of the machine. One man looked so ashamed as our eyes met. The Republican in me told him to get an effin job, the John in me gave him to 2 dollars I had in my pocket for breakfast.

    I too am glad to be home.

  2. Ed R

    Well I was born in a small town
    And I live in a small town
    Probly die in a small town
    Oh, those small communities

    All my friends are so small town
    My parents live in the same small town
    My job is so small town
    Provides little opportunity

    Educated in a small town
    Taught the fear of jesus in a small town
    Used to daydream in that small town
    Another boring romantic thats me

    But Ive seen it all in a small town
    Had myself a ball in a small town
    Married an l.a. doll and brought her to this small town
    Now shes small town just like me

    No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
    I cannot forget the people who love me
    Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
    And people let me be just what I want to be

    Got nothing against a big town
    Still hayseed enough to say
    Look whos in the big town
    But my bed is in a small town
    Oh, and thats good enough for me

    Well I was born in a small town
    And I can breathe in a small town
    Gonna die in this small town
    And thats probly where theyll bury me

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