Monday, February 16, 2009

My Monday routine in San Saba.

If you've been readin' here for a while, you know I drive to San Saba four days a week to teach at the TDCJ unit there. I drive about 150 miles a day, four days a week, goin' from home to Florence, then to San Saba, and then to the base and back to the house.

I have classes in San Saba at noon Monday through Thursday, and then I have a class at 5:30 PM on Monday and Wednesday nights. So on those two days I stay here in town all day. Two afternoons a week, I find I've got time to kill there in the pecan capital of Texas.

In the last few months, a routine has emerged for my Mondays. After I get out of my noon class at the prison, usually around 2 PM or 2:30, I head straight to the Dairy Mart.

It's a wonderful little family place right off the main drag that the locals all told me about. I think it must have been Ellis who really turned me on to it.

Every time I come in I see these same folks... a bunch of little old men, occasionally a little old lady, always sittin' at this same table while Fox News lays out the drama of the day on the corner TV.

My daddy used to call such a gathering "the D.P. Bench", referring specifically to the gathering of little old men on the bench outside the barber shop in Belton. I'll leave it to your imagination what "D.P." stands for.

The guy with his back to you in the blue shirt, looking up as the lady on the right gets set to leave, is the proprietor of the place.

He's always there when I come, and he's always wearin' dark glasses. Always... like he's a rock star or somethin'. Between that and the Conway Twitty hair cut, he sports a pretty cool image. I'd wager he's got some stories to tell.

When I first started goin' to the Dairy Mart I'd usually get the Bacon Cheeseburger, fries and a diet soda. It's my one day of the week when I allow myself a fatty lunch. Otherwise it's grilled chicken at the local Dairy Queen.
But then Roger Ellis and a few others out at the prison started tellin' me I needed to try their Jalapeno Sourdough burger. You can see the sign for it there on the bottom left, on yellow paper.

So, one Monday I went in and asked them for the works; a Jalapeno Sourdough Bacon Cheeseburger, fries and a soda. With that, a Monday tradition was born.

Since then I've become a regular, hittin' that place each Monday afternoon, so long as I'm workin' that day, and they serve me up a meal for the ages.

For whatever reason, they're never open when I get out of the prison on Wednesdays. Their hours are a bit strange.

I think they only open for breakfast and lunch during the week, closing at 2PM. But maybe Mondays and Fridays they stay open longer. So, Monday is my lucky day.

By the way, that ham and cheese Po Boy on the right is also wonderful. I found that out one Wednesday when I was lucky enough to get out of class a bit early and they whipped one up for me. And they make some kick ass onion rings too.

I think if I lived in Saba I'd steadily work my way through their menu, but at this point, goin' there once a week, I think I'll stick to the good stuff.

After I eat my fill, I get back in the ol' Silver Bullet and head East towards the court house square. The county seat there is a nice old building.

The local Library is just off the square, and that's always my ultimate destination. I go in and the nice lady there scans my library card and signs me up to use one of the half a dozen nice, new Dell computers they have there.

I kill about two and a half hours there, checking emails and trying to catch up on reading blogs, checking Facebook, and posting stuff to the blogs I'm associated with.

It's a nice, clean, comfortable atmosphere to work in. Usually I get so involved with what I'm doing, the time flies by and next thing I know the lady that runs the place is telling me it's time to hang it up. They close at 5PM, so I get out of there just in time to head back to the jail for my 5:30 class.

So, this is what my life has become. One of these days, maybe, if things evolve the way I think they will, Denise and I will end up getting a house in Lampasas, about 30 minutes from San Saba. Then I might switch from teaching the dual credit classes in Florence and start doing it there at the high school in San Saba. We'll see how that all goes.

For the time being though, my routine doesn't look like it'll be changing much. So I'll be hittin' the Dairy Mart and then the library each Monday for the foreseeable future.

And you know, that's cool with me too. I've grown to really like this little place. Cheers!


Redneck Texan said...

Damn, that looks good.

Pat Houseworth said...

Don't need that food view, got to lose 20 before baseball season gets underway in 5 weeks.....

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

Now what better way to end a Monday afternoon than that. Now I want one. Have you tried to prod any stories out of any of these fellas?

FHB said...

RT - It is my brutha, it is.

Pat - Sorry man, but then you're gonna HATE my Valentines weeked report. Just step back from the screen. That's it. Steady.

GOS - No, not yet. I'm still kins od a foreigner there. Only show up once a week.

And I'm shocked no one has asked what D.P. Bench stands for. Or do you already know?