Townie Tidbits


Once a year for the last nine years, I have been taking what I refer to as my vacation to America.

I love Massachusetts but my politics bleeds red not blue. Even though I visit the epicenter of Texas liberalism, compared to Boston, Austin may be weird as they proudly say but a Texas liberal is still far from most liberals I know around these here parts. Some of them wear cowboy hats and say Howdy but for the most part, Austin is a major player in Texas starting with the fact it is the state capitol.

The weather? Yes, it is darn hot most of the time. The pool is the place to be or an air conditioned room but since I love baking in the sun at pool side sipping on a brewsky, it is my ideal escape location .

I am heading down that way at the end of the month for some R and R as they say. A visit to America is something to look forward too.

I now own three cowboy hats. Two of them I bought at an cowboy supermarket. Yes, they do have such places down there. The other one I bought over 34 years ago when I went down then up to Wichita Fall in the Texas Panhandle. Put that one on and I look like a Sicilian John Wayne.

Austin now has over a million folk. San Antonio 85 miles away over the foothills is even larger. Back in 1966 when I was in the air force at Lackland, AFB in San Antonio, the population was 300 folks. Houston has 5 million and Dallas close to two million.

The first time I went to Austin, I had to see the Texas Tower where the first deadly mass shooting took place 50 years ago. Travis County is home to two bits of history not in their tourism brochure. The Texas Tower and the Chainsaw  Massacre.

Downtown Austin by the way is a lovely city that prides itself on its history and aspires for greater things in the future. Folks are laid back and relaxed. The heat might have something to do with that but it is a change of pace for this Easterner. Folks love my Boston accent, especially the ladies.

When you walk into Target down there, they warn customers to leave their guns in their cars. When you go to the supermarket, Austin has a liberal plastic ban even beating Boston to the punch.

If you ask a cowboy from outside Austin, his opinion on the town, most often the response is everyone is crazy liberal in Austin.

I want to thank all the guys and gals at the Austin Fire Headquarters in downtown on Trinity Avenue. They always let me park next to all those F-150s firefighters love down there. My car is safe, right in downtown and did I say the parking was free.

 When I return home after my vacation I will be most likely 50 shades of darker tan.


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