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ALONG THE WAY:  First a pic was taken in Stockton, the next two are from somewhere around Floresville. 
I don't remember where the fourth was located, but the last is in Cotulla..

HYW 97
Floresville to Cotulla
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

Somewhere along the southern end of Hwy 97 someone ought'a put up a city limit sign for Nowhere, Texas (Pop. 0).  No matter where you are on that stretch of road you're thinking, "There's gotta be something just up the road.  This is nowhere."   Forget it.

Before heading out, I pondered the map and sure enough there were towns all along the way to Laredo. There was Stockdale, Floresville, Pleasanton, Hindes, Fowlerton, Los Angeles and Cotulla.  On my way south I pulled into the Seguin Walmart for an alarm clock and some chocolate candy (more on that in the next installment) . 


How was I to know that the last I'd see of civilization would be in the Seguin?   Just down the road was Stockton were I took pictures of the only two interesting features in town -- a barber shop entrance and a building with American flag bunting on the balcony.  I sat in Nigel the Land Rover the whole time figuring Floresville (which is in bold type on the map) would have more to offer in the picture taking category. 
StockdaleDoor.jpg (24974 bytes)       Now, studying the map you might think a feller couldn’t get lost looking for a bold faced town.  If you're thinking that, you need to widen your horizons.   Somehow I managed to drive into Floresville and right back out again only to get stranded on a loop that took me right back into Floresville on a four-lane road. Apart from the pretty flowers planted in the median the street looked like Ben White Boulevard in Austin without the tall buildings on either side. Here there's just lots of little stuff -- a Subway, Quick-Stop Pizza Inn, Conoco, Farm Bureau...
       If there’s a downtown to Floresville you gotta hunt for it.
       Might as well say this here and now.  My prejudice takes wings when I see a double-wide road lined by sheet-metal structures passing themselves off as architecture.  Adding to the tacky-tin clutter are the cloned, cookie-cutter, get-and-get gone,  same-o-same-o businesses spreading across the landscape like kudzu vines.
       If what the high-toned art critics claim is true: "
Form follows function. Content dictates design." Then I reckon we've consigned esthetics and that troublesome human trait, individuality, to an untimely grave.  We are the architects of all our ills and what we build we believe.
       There.  I spent my opinion on that.
       Nigel the Land Rover and I went through Pleasanton,   Jordanton, Charlotte and Hindes like they weren't even there.  I must have driven through them cause they're on the map -- though not bold faced.
       There are some quantum physicists running around talking about Zero Point Energy and the Casimir Effect.   That's not the same effect Betty Lou's cashmere sweater had on me back in highschool.  Fact is, its nearly the opposite.  Let me explain. 
       According to  the physicists "empty space (doesn't apply to Betty Lou) is full of energy (okay I'll concede that one), in a form that cannot be used or even—under normal circumstances—observed" (waayyyyy off the mark).
       Anyway, that relentless nothing of a landscape got me to pondering: Why did the Texicans fight Mexico over this?  Did I ever even talk to Betty Lou? What ever happened to Bullet Bras and cashmere sweaters?
       (Sensory deprivation can lead most anywhere.)
       I turned on the radio in self defense. Briefly, I was able to pick up two channels before the readout on the radio commenced to spinning like a digital windmill in a parallel universe. No channels at all. No music, no pretty landscape. Nothing.
       Fortunately I brought along my favorite authentic Country Music. You know -- the dead or nearly dead: Hank Williams, Hank Thompson, Patsy Cline, Ray Price, Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins, Bob Wills, Kitty Wells, Web Pierce, Willie Nelson and Freddy Fender. 
       (Just in case you're wondering, which I doubt, I also take a hankering to Motzart, Strauss, Gregorian Chants, Frank Sinatra, Dizzie Gillespie, The Del-Vikings, Sun-label-Elvis, Japanese Koto music and composer Ennio Morricone.)
       Meanwhile, back on the road trip... (Hey, there's not much in these parts and I gotta write about something.)

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       Nearing the end of this no account, scrub brush, mesquite infested, featureless, broke-wide-open, nothing piece of landscape I came upon Fowlerton and pulled over to get one iddy-biddy picture taking in the whole town.
       Next stop Los Angles...
       Okay, maybe not.
       I passed through L.A. without even knowing it. (Did I really take this trip?)  L.A. was probably the cluttered gas station turned residence I passed awhile back. You never know, all that suff piled out front just might be worth something someday.  That being the case, Los Angles, Texas is so small you'd be hard pressed to find enough room to change your mind.
       Crossing the Nueces River I came upon I-35 and Cotulla in short order.  I
was never so happy to see an Interstate in my entire life (well, actually that happened again on this trip -- but more on that in the June issue.) 
       Cotulla.   Well, there was a City Limit sign but not much else. I had to take a picture of the back of a building to find something interesting.  There are several little restaurants -- all closed --   and Garcias River Side Bar sporting one pickup out front -- probably the owners...
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PAGE 1:  HEADIN' OUT  /   PAGE 2: HWY 97


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