yeah, I know sounds like "You might be a redneck......" Well, in truth, these do go hand in hand. I heard a story on the 10:00 news about an ordinance in Nassau Bay up here, that prohibited keeping dogs on chains in your yard. That reminded me of this old boy I knew down in Pasadena.....that's as in Gilley's - Pasa-git down-god gamn-dena, the blue collar capitol of Texas, just east of Houston, under the green cloud. This guy worked with me, and he came in one day telling me of a dog he got for his kid, that lived in his back yard. Now for my money, if the dog isn't allowed inside, you probably aren't cut out for a dog as a pet. Anyway, he'd come in daily with a new story of the dog's creativity in digging out of the yard and how he'd whupped it and made the fence stronger. Finally one day, when he'd just about given up, he came in and told of how he'd chained the poor creature to one of those patio umbrella concrete bases, and knew for sure he'd still be there when he got home. Next day he came in and said that the night before, on the way home, he encountered the dog two blocks away from the house backing up the street pulling that anchor behind him, making his escape. It was at that point I finally told him "Mark, I think that pooch is trying to tell you he'd like a change of residence". I can see putting Ol'Blue out front on a rope for some fresh air on occasion, but if you have a 7' wooden fence and your dog is still tied up and consistently manages to shed his restraints and scale the walls, it could be that you just weren't meant to be a dog owner. Take it from a dog person who has to kick the dog off the bed so I can sleep from time to time. If a dog likes you, he'll stick around..........might drive you up a wall, but they are about as faithful and loving a critter as you'll ever find...much more so than most humans.
........ya gotta admit, nothing says Christmas like that huh? Okay, this is just a little plug for my hometown. I am unofficially sworn to not say it's name, other than.....Adrift, but I'll tell you that if you are driving toward the coast, and you see Barkett's, you are there. If you find yourself in Port O'Connor, you have gone too far. I mention Barkett's, because I have eaten there since I was twelve. I once waded San Antonio Bay nights and gigged the flounder that old man Barkett was famous for serving to his guests, and just a couple of nights ago, I treated myself to a plate of amazing fried oysters there, with a scrumptious salad and a baked potato and a couple of O-Rings for good measure. These days the place is owned and operated by my dear old friend and classmate, Frances, and while the Wurlitzer juke box and the cherry cokes are but a memory, the service and the seafood and Mr. Barkett's stuffed flounder recipe, lives on better than ever for this generation.
Now at the risk of a minor dent in Frances's business, but likely not, I'd be remiss if I did not mention the new Boiling Pot, right across the street from the old Try Inn Cafe....er......Barkett's I mean. I have to say, that while it is a different experience from a nice sit down dinner in a restaurant that observes the old tradition of "dishes" and utensils, there is a unique charm to having a butcher paper covered table with your own personal pile of boiled new potatoes, corn on the cobb, and shrimp, crabs, sausage, or crawfish and a claw cracker and a roll of paper towels to hold you until you hit the cleanup trough on your way out. Good food to be sure, and again nice folks to serve you with a smile. For the kids, there are alternative things on the menu that they will find more recognizable that a pile of what looks it was dropped out of the sack of a net onto the deck of a shrimpboat. The folks there, as evidenced by the photos, are working on getting into the spirit of the season, though I'll have to admit their's is the first Christmas tree I have ever seem built from crab traps with a hurricane lamp for the angel on top. As far as the chopper goes, well hell....I have a hard time thinking of any occasion that a beautiful Seadrift.....oops!, Custom Chopper doesn't spruce up just a little. So while you are in town, think about a trip down Main Street to Seadrift Custom Choppers and have a look at the bikes. Tell Butch I said hello............and if you see my boys in there drooling over the merchandise, tell them it's time to come home.
Born on the bayou where Texas and Louisiana meet on the Gulf Coast. A kid in the '50s, so my heroes were Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison. Raised in a fishing village, ...Adrift, I grew up on boats and made my money as a kid the way kids in the '50s and '60s did - cutting lawns, throwing a paper and bagging groceries until I was big enough to work on a shrimpboat. Best job I ever had was piloting a ten ton crew boat, worst was probably chopping cotton. I have stood atop Mayan pyramids deep in the Yucatan jungles, and on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. I am equally at home at a musical on Broadway, or a honky tonk full of shrimpers and tug boat hands. The best ten years of my life were spent in the '70s in Austin, Texas. The last thirty have been spent in the far western 'burbs of Houston working as a petro gypsy in the engineering business. I have had my share of adventures, several of which I probably shouldn't have survived. I am at age 58, the proud father of twelve and fourteen year old sons, so... Onward through the fog!