Monday, June 14, 2010

No rest for the weary.

Not only did I have to drive to San Saba on Friday, to make up for one of the days I missed fishin' the other week, but there was a Rodeo Parade in San Saba on Saturday. My buddy John and his family were gonna be riding mules (they raise and sell them) in the parade, and then there was gonna be a cook-out at John's place.

I'd told my other buddy Dave, who I teach with in Florence, and he'd pitched the idea that he bring a few of his horses up and that we both ride with John in the parade. Best laid plans...

It turned out that Dave had truck trouble, and couldn't haul his horses all the way to San Saba. He could have brought one, but that wouldn't have been as much fun, so we ended up just planting our folding chairs under some tall trees by the big bank in town and waited for John and them to ride by. As you can see here, he brought his son Ryan, and Ryan's girlfriend Jennifer. Denise came with me, but she's in the witness protection program.

The parade was nice. It wasn't as long and drawn out as the Fourth of July parade in Belton, but it had the same country feel to it.

One of the great things we noticed was as the floats went by, the folks in the trucks would toss candy out onto the street. The little kids would dart out into the road to pick it up. Yea, yer thinkin' "Uh, isn't that unsafe?" Well folks, this here's San Saba, and the whole thing was as safe as can be.

We even had Zorro on patrol, in a rented Batman costume. He was advertisin' a local Mexican food place called Pepperbelly's. Yep, Pepperbelly's. Remember, this is San Saba, out in the middle of nowhere, Hill Country of Texas, and folks are less likely to be easily offended. And you know, if they are offended, they get over it.

Eventually, John (far right) and his mules came near. The wagon with the yellow wheels was going to advertise the liquor store that he and his wife Elizabeth own.

But when the time came for the money shot, my camera's auto-focus pooped out on me. I had a hell of a time with my old camera Saturday. You can see in some of these shots, an unfocused haze around the edges of the shot. Pissed me off no end, and made me wish I'd remembered to bring the new one.

All I got was a clear shot of his mule's ass as he rode on, after tellin' us where to meet them after the parade.

We ended up driving out into the country, south of San Saba, and relocating the party to John and Elizabeth's back yard, which is covered by oak trees, shielding you from much of the summer heat.

I walked around and got a few pictures like this one, from a flower in one of their little ponds. It's a beautiful place, with all sorts of animals runnin' around. There were dogs, cats, chickens, guinea fowl, goats, llamas, mules and horses. And that was just a hint of the number of animals they have out there. What with bein' a full time guard out at the prison, AND runnin' the liquor store in town, now I really see why John is always so damn busy.

While we just sat around talking, I took my crock pot full of queso into the kitchen and heated it up, and Denise whipped up a batch of her Southern Comfort Punch. While we ate and drank, John got the fire going. After a while, the rest of the family arrived. The conversations became more animated, and John started heating up the corn.

Once the corn started to heat up he started cookin' the burgers. Now and then he'd draw his hand back quickly and shake it. The heat from the fire was singing his hand. I thought at the time, he needs a longer set of tongs. I told him, he needs a friggin' pool too. It would'a been nice to sit in some cool water and watch him burn himself cookin' my dinner. Not sure if he understood the subtle wisdom there.

I tell ya, the burgers and tater salad were wonderful, and the corn-on-the-cob was wonderful too.

After everyone finished eating, the conversation shifted away from what Dave and I do for a living to "Lets ride some mules." Dave really wanted to get up on one. You see that unfocused haze at the top of the shot? Man, I was pissed.

Before you know it, just about everyone was mounted up and headed for the back 40, or in this case, the back 100.

Dave was mounted up, as were Ryan and Jennifer. I wasn't dressed for riding, having worn shorts and sandals to the parade. Plus, I was red as a beat from the sun and pooped. Well, let's say I had to turn the car keys over to Denise. I was in no condition to ride, and Denise didn't want to. Hasn't in something like 20 years. Anyway, it'd been a long, hot day, and Denise and I were both ready to go home.

So, as the others explored the back country of John's ranch, Denise and I packed up the goods and headed home. It was a nice drive, seein' as how I could drift off now and then and not have to worry about runnin' off the road.

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend the day. I hope that John, Dave and everyone had as much fun as I did. It was great to see their cool house and ranch, and the wonderful menagerie of critters they run. It was nice meeting Elizabeth's family too. If you want to see more shots of the parade, the people and the critters, click here. Cheers!


Mushy said...

That burger looked a little under cooked! But I bet it tasted pretty good anyway.

FHB said...

It was great. maybe medium well on the inside, and seared on the outside. I went back for seconds with my corn, but just ate the patty. Didn't bother with a bun. The corn was wonderful, but for some reason i got distracted and didn't get a picture.