Monday, August 30, 2010

Super Saturday, and a trip to the Koffe Kup.

Last week some time, as I was grinding through my new schedule of classes, a couple of things happened. First the OFFICIAL letter explaining why I was discharged from teaching in San Saba and banned from ever teaching on prisons ever again, permanently, was received by my boss, the Dean of the Ft. Hood campus. It's a whopper too. Readin' through it, you'd think I'd killed someone.

So, the next step in that process is for me to file an appeal of their decision, which I've spent the last few days drafting. When I stop getting the runaround from the Windham School District prick who drafted the letter and finally find out who to file it with, I'll send it out. I don't really hold out any hope of them changing their mind, but I'll feel better just having put my own version of things out there. When I do, I'll also post my letter here, so that you can all see exactly what I've been dealing with.

Secondly, about the middle of last week I got an email from the folks that are putting on the ACL (Austin City Limits Music) Festival in October, telling me about the after-shows that are planned at various venues over the festival weekend. One of the bands I will see at the festival when Glenn and I attend on the Friday is the Black Keys. Turns out they're doing a full show at Stubb's Saturday night. I was exited when I found out about that, and dyin' to get tickets, but by the time I was able to get to a computer that wasn't blocked by public school bullshit the tickets had all sold out. They went quick, which is a testament to how awesome that band is.

At the same time, my buddy Glenn called me last week, telling me that he was planning to drive out to Hico, Texas on Saturday to see his old high school's 6-man football team play in an exhibition game that's touted as Super Saturday. It's an annual, invitation only exhibition that gives the top 6-man teams in the state an opportunity to play and show their talent.

For those of you who don't know, 6-man football is a version of the game that's played in schools in Texas that are too small to field a full sized team. Here's a little explanation...

Glenn played 6-man football in the little town of Strawn, Tx. in the 1960s, at the Junior High level, and his brother, who is now a football coach, played 6-man at the high school level. So he goes every year, and usually, Strawn's team is there. They were there this time, and we were gonna see them play. I floated the idea to Denise of driving up there and making a day of it, and she loved the idea. She loves football, and lots of other sports, so it was a fun time we could all enjoy.

There are always a few ex-pro football dignitaries there, including Walt Garrison, who goes there every year and hands out the trophies. I grew up when Garrison was playing for the Cowboys in the late '60s and early '70s, and always thought he was cool. he was a real cowboy, who rode bulls in the off season when the Cowboys weren't playing. Check out these memories.

Ain't they now. True wisdom ($5 quickies? Dude... Inflation is a BEOTCH). Of course, it was a bull riding accident in 1974 that wrecked his knee and ended his pro career, but he would always stand out as one of my favorite, old school players. When Denise and I go to pro games I always wear my Walt Garrison jersey, and this would give me a chance to get him to sign it. Plus, I'd never had an opportunity to sit down and watch a 6-man game, so I was really excited to go. I wanted to see how it's done for myself.

The weekend started on Friday afternoon with me going over to Temple to visit with Mom. She wasn't feeling up to going out to eat, so I just went over there and sat with her for a bit. before that, I'd gone down to Salado to get my self sheared. It had been 6 weeks, so I was in need. While I was there, at my cousin Peggi's salon, I watched a lady go through the seemingly laborious task of getting a Perm. Watching her have her hair rolled up, doused with noxious chemicals and then rinsed, made me think of all the trouble and expense a good buddy of mine used to go through back in the '70s to enable him to sport that Mac Davis look, which the ladies were goin' for back then. Man, the things guys won't do to look good for the ladies.

After visiting with mom I drove back home and started working on that appeal. It's about five and a half pages long, so brace yourselves. Anyway, Denise and I relaxed in front of the TV Friday night. Then we got up at about 9:30 AM Saturday, cooked ourselves a good breakfast of eggs, fried taters and bacon, and then we set off up the road to Hico.

Rather than take the longer rout, through Lampassas on 190 and then up 281, we decided off the cuff to strike out through the country. We drove up the west side of the base and hit 36 east of Gatesville. Then we drove up 36 to Jonesboro, and then onto 1602 to Hico. It's all beautiful countryside, with lots of cattle huddled, seeking shade under tall Live Oaks, and occasional Longhorns checkin' out the passing traffic (which was scarce - we was all by our lonesome out there).

Between Jonesboro and Hico, we rode through Fairy, Texas, which has an interesting history (click on that link and see for yourself). We figured they MUST have an interesting name for their HS football team. We got to Hico about the same time as Glenn, around 1:30, and met up with him at Hico stadium. We were surprised to see Glenn all on his own. His lovely wife Becky was feelin' puny, so she couldn't come.

Right off the bat, we located Walt Garrison and Burton Lawless, who were signin' autographs under a big tent, and I got Garrison to sign my jersey. I think Lawless was more excited about it than Garrison, but that's cool. Garrison wanted Lawless to sign it too, and I was cool with that, but he wouldn't. It wasn't his number, and I guess he didn't want to mess it up. Later, I came back and got a couple of souvenir fans, the cost of which went to support the event, and got them both to sign them. Then I leaned in behind them and a lady took our picture. It was a hoot.

Later on, a couple of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders showed up and took a turn around the field win a golf cart. Then they went back to that same tent and started signin' autographs. And you'll never guess. Their line was WAY longer and fuller than the one for the other two fellas. Go figure.

We avoided the crowd, sat down in the appropriate side of the field and began to enjoy the football. It was in the upper 90s Saturday afternoon, but there was a faint but persistent cool breeze that wafted though the stadium, teasing us with memories of many fall football evenings when we shiver and huddle up under blankets to fend off the weather. Those days are not far off, and I can't wait for them to get here.

We got there about half way through the match between Follett (in blue and white) and Throckmorton (in black). remember, these are little bitty towns (Throckmorton's zip code is higher than their population number), and they can't field a full team, so they play 6-man football. But I wanna tell ya, they hit just as hard as the rest. It was cool as hell to watch them move the ball down the field, even if it was a bit weird to try to understand exactly what was goin' on. But that's why I had Glenn there to give us a blow-by-blow.

Eventually, after Follett beat Throckmorton, Glenn's home town team, Strawn, took the field (in red and black) vs. Valley (in blue and white). It was hard goin' from the start for little Strawn, but they held their own until the last quarter. By the time Glenn looked up at me and asked me if we wanted to go ahead and go, the score was . Too bad. Glenn says he's seen them lose three years in a row now, which means that they're due for a spectacular comeback.

With that, we split up and left, but we soon met up again at the Koffe Kup Family Restaurant (formerly the Koffe Kup Kafe - a bit unreconstructed, back in the old days). The Koffe Kup is a Hico landmark, written up in Texas Monthly and featured on television shows like Texas Country Reporter, with Bob Phillips. The show is an institution in the state, reporting on all the stuff that's going on here, and everything we have to show the world. Click here and check it out.

I've driven by the Koffee Kup many times, but never stopped, so this was gonna be my chance to get some of their famous pie, and see what else they have to offer. It turned out, like so many things in life, to be a mixed bag. The pie was as advertised, and the burgers were awesome. I had the Scottster, which was a half pound of beef, lettuce, jalapeno peppers, bacon, ranch dressing and cheese. Denise went for Tam's Special, which is another half pound of beef, with sauteed onions, mushrooms, mayo and swiss cheese.

Glenn went for the Club sandwich, and a healthy plate of fries on the side. Both Denise and Glenn went for the fries, and they turned out to be wonderful. But I chose the supposedly famous onion rings... "Hand battered in our kitchen and served golden brown." Well, they sure are big enough. I think they must be gettin' their onions at the same place Jason's Delli get's their taters. Like Chernobyl, or some place like that. Huge.

But, unfortunately, once you bite into these dudes, you find that the flower has little or no taste. Very little flavor at all. Bland as hell. I had to douse mine with ketchup and ranch dressing, just to be able to taste 'em. Not good. Next time, I'll go for the fries.

After dinner, we split up, with Glenn headin' down 6 to Waco, and Denise and I headin' back down 1602, back through Fairy and Jonesboro, past the stray dogs, the totem poles, and the longhorns, back to the house, and the cool comfort of my recliner. It was a wonderful day, and we'll probably do it again next year. Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up. If you'd like to see any of the other pictures, click over to FlickR and check them out. Cheers.


Mushy said...

Ah, me in my prime...damn the things I could do then! Very little got by me...if you know what I mean!

kenneth said...

I ate a box of cherry pop tarts (cold) and a bag of jelly beans to make it through the food section.

dick said...

Garrison was a stud and I played six man at Y ball when I was a kid.
Now.... Break down. Hire an attorney. This is your career, damnit! Do not fuck with it.

In other news, I'm thinking about taking over the entire world. You in?

FHB said...

Mushy - I do know what you mean, and I'll always be envious.

Kenneth - Well then, my job is done.

Dick - He was, and still looks like he could take care of bidneth. It looks like fun, like you could have a much easier time being the stud, since there fewer guys playin'.

And on the other thing, i doubt there'd be any use in that. It sucks, but it's their system, and I did break the rules. You'll see the details when I post my letter in a few days.

And yea, why not. I'll run a local cell, if needs be.

BRUNO said...

I'm gonna hafta go with DICK on this one---hire an attorney. Or, at least threaten to. Just be prepared to "make it good", if they call your bluff.

Now, this is a TOTALLY-different case, with different types of jobs---but when my wife got "canned" a year or so ago, for an equally ignorant "mistake", somewhat the same as yours---I kept pokin' at her, to file an appeal with our state labor-relations board. It took almost a full-year, but they ruled IN FAVOR of her case, and she was eligible for FULL back-pay, as well as reinstatement.

But since we were already BROKE, she opted for the back-pay, and started a totally-different line of contract work, instead. And, though it doesn't pay that well, she couldn't be happier!

Yes, your job is totally-different from hers. But, never say never---especially if you KNOW you are in-the-right!

You've too much to lose, without at least a small-flurry of a fight---don't ya' think???

Dave K said...

Mushy, I think we all miss those primes. I was out tossing a football around with my son-in-law and granddaughter(He would have liked a son but got her into football) and even though I can still get 'er 40-45 yards, my shoulder felt like spaghetti after.

Walt Garrison, man those were the days. Remember Walt's Skoal commercials? I miss the Cowboys from those days. Those teams were everything today's Cowboys try to be.

Just for the record, I'm one of the more well traveled Cowboys fans that's never lived in Texas that you'll see. Born in Iowa, grew up in NJ, live in Indiana now. I've heard countless questions about why I'm a Cowboys fan.

PRH....... said...

Christ...I take the summer off from most Blog Reading and I miss all of this? Guess, now that's September, I'll have to get back at it...

PS-Sue The Bastards!

Shrinky said...

(Throckmorton's zip code is higher than their population number) Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Glad to see you are still enjoying life - and blimey, those plates look good (drooling as I type).