I had a Willie Nelson weekend. As in I was On the Road Again.
The human adventure began late Friday afternoon and ended up 48 hours later, with trips to Cuero, Schroeder Hall in Goliad, Luling, Austin, Bastrop, Waelder and Shiner. Too many miles but so many smiles.
The tale of the weekend started with friends Phillip and Lee piling into my Jeep on Friday. We pointed the vehicle south on 183, and it was off to Goliad to check out the second-oldest dance hall in Texas, Schroeder Hall. None of us had ever been there, and we wanted to see how it stacked up in comparison to the granddaddy of them all, Gruene Hall in New Braunfels. Along the way, we stopped for dinner at a Mexican place in Cuero and enjoyed conversation with the locals. Phillip was certain we had to be at Schroeder Hall by 6 p.m. as “the band starts at 6.” When we got there, around 5:30, the place was closed. The hall didn’t open until 6, and the band (Tyler McCumber) didn’t go on until 8. So we moseyed on down to a little dive called Rusty Jo’s and hung out with some good ‘ol boys from the Goliad area. The banter between the Gonzales boys and the Goliad boys was lively and full of good-natured teasing. April behind the bar was a beautiful delight. The home-cooked food coming out of their kitchen was enormous and well-priced. I think I saw the world’s largest club sandwich come out of that place. I will definitely go back.
Alas, time flew and we moseyed on back to Schroeder Hall. It was almost empty. The hall is a fine-looking facility, but when no one shows up it looks like a giant cavern. The staff told us that Saturday night was going to be the big show with the Spazmatics headlining. Just our luck. Drat.
Saturday, the long day’s journey into night began in the morning. It was off to Luling to cover the Rajun’ Cajun Throwdown festival. It was my first time to eat crawfish, and the servings were huge. Great weather, great music and great people made it a wonderful afternoon to hang out in south central. I found my pal Egon Bartels playing public address announcer, so we hung out and chatted about music, Gonzales, dance halls and life in general. It was a good afternoon, and one that gave me hope that this miserable cloudy weather will go away soon.
After leaving Luling, I was headed back to Gonzales. My intention was to see the Captain Marvel movie at the Lynn Theater, but plans were interrupted when I got a call from my buddy Harlo.
“I’ve got a hankering to go up to Austin tonight,” he said. “Want to go?’’
My initial response was “no,” but he twisted my arm and I finally relented. Along with our other pal Geno, it was off to Austin for another adventure. The biggest adventure, however, was the drive home, dodging critters and wildlife on the by-ways of Texas. It was a relief to be back in Gonzales.
All in all, the weekend encompassed over 500 miles of road, 10 hours of being in a car, and a few hundred bucks out of my wallet. But I wouldn’t have missed any of it for the world.
God Bless Texas.