May 31, 2005 – Man About Town

Yesterday I was interviewed on the streets by a TV station about the Holiday weekend. Members of our group were quite surprised to see me on the news at 6, 10 and the next day as well.

Last night was the conference banquet and the band that was playing was “graced” by Lou Diamond Phillips, who sang much worse than most contestants at a Karaoke bar. He did particularly painful versions of Desparado and Luckenbach, Texas. We then found a Texas blues, Stevie-Ray Vaughn band the Eric Tessmer Band at a club downtown and ended the late evening at an improv jazz club.

May 30, 2005 – Luckenbach, Texas

Today Linda’s at the conference, so it was off to Luckenbach, TX. I was surprised that it is not really a town. It looks like a set from on old western town, with only an old open air dance hall, general store with the emphasis on “rustic.” It is more like someone’s run-down ranch/summer camp, with lots of bikers sitting around drinking and listening to some guys play guitar. I can see how it is a place you may expect to see Willie Nelson at – it couldn’t be more laid back and less commercial. Here’s the feed shack and dance hall.
Here I am with Martin’s cowboy hat in front of the general store.
Here’s some of the bikes and the general store.

We ate lunch in Fredericksburg – our waitress was wearing shirt with “inmate” on the back. A manager came out and yelled at her that she wasn’t wearing her ankle bracelet and her parole manager needs a call immediately.

Last night we had a hard time finding music – but it was about 11 before we went out and it was Sunday night. Lots of people at the dance clubs. Tonight, the plan is the banquet at the conference and then out for more music

May 30, 2005 – Memorial Day/Logan Cemetery

There’s a township cemetery about 2 miles down our gravel road. It’s on a rise and you can see the trees on our farm from there.

There are some old graves, some unreadable with many from the 1800’s.

There’s an old house to keep people warm in the winter.

The house remains unlocked (one of the country charms). Inside is a wood stove, some chairs and you can see a framed map of the cemetery with names and available plots on the wall.

Each year we have a tradition to walk around the cemetery and look at the stones – looking for old ones and being sad at the stones with the infants and mothers dying on the same day or within a week of each other. We then gather on a bench and remember those who have died in the last year and before. This year it was Grandma Ruth and Grandma Eunice (both Linda’s grandparents).

We visited the cemetery last Friday since we’d be gone for Memorial Day

May 29, 2005 – Club 311

Yesterday afternoon we walked in Zilker Park and then met comrades for a Cajun dinner. Jackie has a “Don’t mess with Iowa Either” T-shirt to complement Barbara’s “Don’t mess with Texas” shirt. After dinner we roamed around a bit and settled into a club that had a band that played R&B standards. It was a bit of an odd band. The drummer, keyboard player and base player were old wrinkled black musicians and the lead guitar player looked like he was about 15 years old and was a ringer for a young Matthew Broderick from the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” era. About every other song he took a piece of candy (we’re wondering if that was his payment).

Today we’re off to the hill country and ???.

May 28, 2005 – State Troopers

We have arrived in Austin with only minor difficulty. I am now in the state of Iowa court system. On the drive to the airport in Des Moines, we were pulled over by a state trooper. No, I wasn’t speeding – the front windows of Snowball (who just turned 200,000 miles) are tinted, which is evidently against state law. Now, I’ve driven the car for 7 years and 140,000 miles in the state of Iowa, and only now was stopped! The officer was nice and we had a good time chatting about Wells Fargo and the Boundary Waters.

We’re settling in the hotel and ready to leave for the evening soon.