remember the high pole with a mailbox
on top -- for airmail; and back in the early days you could check out a little blacksmith
shop with chairs hanging like pictures on the walls.
Reckon those were highchairs.
Then there was
the double-wide outhouse. Inside the men's part, light poured through cracks between the
wall slats. Carved out about eye level was,
"Pay toilet. Put dime in slot."
next to a crack that ran clean to the ground. These
days city folks will find more familiar accommodations
Ordering a longneck at the bar I reached in my pocket... there wasn't as much as I hoped
there would be, just some $23 and spare change. With
beer in hand I seated myself at a table in the bar.
right hung a "Please don't make us write don't signs" sign with enough business
cards stuck around it so that, with a little reverse engineering, you could have a
sizeable hunting cabin.
one business card showing off a pretty Whurlizer juke box.
Like the late Hondo Crouch (Clown Prince of Luckenbach) used to say,
"You can't forget memories." But it
doesn't hurt to have a little token to jump start the brain work.
recollection of Luckenbach is standing outside with Hondo and James Hamm, a co-conspirator
in the writing business. Sadly, they're both
gone now and it's just me left holding on to the memory.
It was one of those crystal clear Texas nights with fireflies and stars mingling in
the treetops while a full moon scratched its belly on the upper branches. Hondo was reciting his poem, Luckenbach Moon, "...This kind of moonshine
makes you crazy to sleep in it, they say. But
I think you're crazy not to try it..."
point in writing about Luckenbach
without paying tribute to Hondo Crouch. His business card read: Hondo Crouch, Imagineer,
Authorized Distributor, Luckenbach. Some folks might compare him to Will Rogers, except
Hondo didn't hold forth twirling a lariat -- Hondo held a whole town in his hands when he
showed up. Apart from providing live
entertainment he was the writer, Peter Cedarstacker, for a column in the Comfort News. Reckon he had to be two people so's
he could split up the workload.
1849, Luckenbach is "The oldest store in continuous operation I know of.
--Moses". About its early days Peter
Cedarstacker once wrote " ...the present Principality of Luckenbach was nearly a part
of the United States but when the Washington politicians and statesmen came down to look
over the proposed annexation they threw a whale of a stag party with girls. In the commotion they all signed what they
thought was a deer huntin' lease and freed us.
Lyles, a way off lawyer is now tryin' to get Luckenbach in the United Nations as a
Thiefdom, or somethin' like that..."
On another occasion Hondo
was telling a crowd of us he was going to secede, declare war on the U.S. of A., lose
quick-like and apply for foreign aid.
book, Hondo My Father, by Becky Crouch
Patterson which is fine in every respect and does more justice to his memory than I ever
second longneck around I went over to the Feed Store for a real hamburger. I gave up looking for Ollie and the girls and
joined the crowd of folks sitting under huge live oaks listening to live music. It must have been about four in the p.m. when,
from the treetop, a rooster crowed.
running kinda late," someone said. But
-- between my imagination, memories and the present -- time was slipping and sliding all over the place so the rooster's timing
didn't seem to be off in the least. (If roosters crow, what do crows do?)
PAGE 1: HEADIN'
OUT / PAGE 2: HONKY TONKIN'
PAGE 3: LUCKENBACH / PAGE 4: HEADIN' HOME
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