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..
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.
Now, studying the map you might think a feller couldnt 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 theres 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
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 evenunder normal circumstancesobserved" (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
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.)
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
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...
PAGE 1: HEADIN' OUT /
PAGE 2: HWY 97
PAGE 3: THE CAMPSITE / PAGE 4: LAREDO / MAP
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