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ALL CLOSE BY:  You won't have any trouble finding the flower stand and when you do you're standing next to the BBQ joint and just across the street is the glass and doll shop.  There are several fruit & vegetable stands but my favorite is just up the road at the intersection of Highway 183 and 80.

Luling: Part 2
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

I must be schizophrenic.  Apart from that Ollie Gravis business, there are times when I pay more attention to interior design than I do to neon beer signs.  There's nothing wrong with being schizophrenic so long as you don't forget who you are at the time.

However, it came as quite a surprise when, after taking pictures of pretty potted flowers,
I found myself in a fancy glass and doll store. 



T.jpg (6972 bytes)he sign said "Barb's House of Glass Dolls". I haven't a clue what pulled me into the place.  Barb was the same name as my first doll- collecting ex-mother-in-law, which should have been reason enough to avoid the place altogether.  Still, I figured plenty of women-folk read this so I ought'a check it out.  ( That's as good a story as any.)
Barbs.jpg (26564 bytes)         Don't be fooled by the outside.  Once indoors I realized my nose skills were alive and well.  The aroma of Honeysuckle candles filled the air once occupied by the oil fields.
       "You're my fourth customer today," Barb said as I entered.
       "Don't get too excited," I replied, "I'm just wandering around taking pictures."
       Then I realized it was pushing for in the afternoon and that was Barbs way of saying business was way off.  World events and gas prices are taking their toll.  People aren't shopping the way they once did. 
       "They're not even browsing", Barb said.   "They stop for gas or something to eat and they're gone."
       Seems way too many folk are staying at home surfing the cable news channels for the latest on the war. ( Dang.  I didn't want to use that three-letter-word or make any references, but it's in the air like the odor from the oil fields of  Luling.)
       I promised Barb I'd give her some coverage in this newsletter and tell my readers not to forget the business-folks on the homefront who are, like the rest of us, paying for the enterprise in Iraq and boosting the ratings of CNN, Fox News and the like.  
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Back outside, with the Chamber maps in the passenger seat, Nigel the Land Rover and I prowled around till we stopped so I could get a photo of the White Front bar offering Beer, Dancing, Wine & Pool.   The motto under the name reads, "Little Chocolate City".   Unfortunately, the bar was closed. Otherwise I would have gone in if only to learn why a bar painted brown would be named "White Front"; and what chocolate had to do with drinking and dancing.
       I decided I'd just been confronted with a Buddist "koan".  That's a riddle, a paradox the Zen master asks an advanced student to see if  he's serious about the enlightenment business.    The most famous koan is, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?".   There is no rational answer to a koan so don't waste a lick of brainwork trying to go in that direction.
       Pondering koans ( I decided on my way out of town) should be left to Zen types with more free time than the rest of us who already have hands full.       TurnA.jpg (4971 bytes)

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