“Maybe it’s time we got back to the basics of love.
Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas”
It was a trip four decades in the making. Ever since Waylon and Willie came out with their landmark album in 1978, I knew I had to make a pilgrimage to Luckenbach to see what Waylon, Willie and the boys were talking about. In a casual conversation with m’lady friend Miss Kasey, the decision was made in an impromptu manner that we would go to Luckenbach over the weekend and do a little shopping and exploring in the Hill Country.
So it was written, and so it was done. On Friday afternoon we loaded up the Jeep and headed west to Fredericksburg. It was a delightful evening for a drive, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. After checking into the hotel, I picked up a brochure to see what was going on in Fredericksburg for the weekend. To my surprise, I saw that pari-mutual horse racing was in town. I called my horse racing buddy Ricky Walker to see if he was in town to be a steward at the track. There was no answer.
A few minutes later Miss Kasey announced it was time to go find something to eat, so we headed to Main Street. We parked in front of the El Milagro and decided to go in because we heard live music playing. We walked in, sat in front of the stage, enjoyed some music when suddenly my phone rang. It was Ricky.
“Yeah, we’re on our way,” he laughed.
‘’OK, I’m sitting right up front,” I responded. Two minutes later I get a text from him. “Look behind you!” is all it said. I turned around and sitting there smiling like a Cheshire cat was Ricky and his crew. He had been there the whole time. He had a good laugh at my expense. We went over and sat with Ricky, Laura, Tanner and the rest of the crew. I wound up sitting next to Fred Winch, the dean of horse racing in Texas and boy did he have some great Ricky Walker stories to tell. We laughed for hours. Unfortunately, this is a family newspaper so I cannot relay any of the stories to you about Mr. Ricky Walker. However, believe me when I tell you they were funny. That was day one.
But Saturday was the day I had been looking forward to for a long, long time. We got up and headed to Luckenbach. The lot was empty, so we pretty much had the run of the place to ourselves. We walked the grounds, then plopped down in front of the stage. I decided to go shopping while waiting for the band to start. Right next to the stage was a cowboy hat shop, and I saw a straw cowboy hat that I liked. Miss Kasey was so enthralled with it that she bought it and said happy birthday. So, my first cowboy lid in the great state of Texas was purchased in Luckenbach. Now how cool is that my friends?
Later, as we were listening to the band play with my new cowboy hat on, I noticed there were license plates from all over the world hanging on the stage. I searched the stage, but I could not find a license plate from the great state of Michigan.
I went to the lady tending bar and asked her why there was no plate from Michigan hanging there. She said she didn’t know but no one had probably donated one before. I told her I just got my new Texas tags, and had a Michigan plate in my car. I asked her if I could donate my Michigan license plate and if they would hang it up. She said yes, they would. I gave her my plate, and today the only license plate from the state of Michigan that is hanging up in Luckenbach is mine.
I am thrilled with that.
Later, in between sets, I met the lead singer of the band. We talked for a while, and he agreed to come and play the Come and Taste It Beer festival next spring. Yee Haw.
So, in sum on my maiden voyage to Luckenbach, I got to hang with my buddy Ricky Walker, bought a cowboy hat on the grounds, donated my personal license plate to be hung with distinction on the stage, and hired a band to play at my festival in the spring. That was well worth the four decades in the making.
In Luckenbach, Texas, there ain’t nobody feeling no pain.