Monday we made our second consecutive 180 mile pull to get to Stillhouse Lake near Salado, Texas. That distance is hard, stressful work even when shared. It takes over four hours because it’s not totally safe to go fast, small towns depend on speeding ticket income, and everybody does pull out in front of us. Pink hates riding. Her tranquilizers are only good for about three hours, coming with the side effect of enhanced disobedience. But now and then it’s necessary. We pass the time while driving. Radio is hit or miss; we caught another NPR Pledge Week. The winter scenery in central Texas isn’t much, but some of the roadside signs were interesting. No Burma Shaves, but some were otherwise funny or memory-provoking.
Madisonville 34 brought to mind our son Bret’s first words one Friday on a weekend home from Texas A&M: “I need a radar detector.” His dad replied “Oh, you got a ticket?” “Huh? How’d you know?”
Yellow lines on the highway are a sign that has no meaning in Texas. Some dope in a compact car passed us over a double yellow, pulling into the right lane after topping a hill that I, in a tall truck, could not see over. Another fool drafting our Airstream whipped around to pass with four oncoming cars doing 60 maybe a quarter mile ahead. The passer got by, and to my horror I heard another engine screaming as a second car appeared in my mirror. By now the gap between us and the oncoming traffic was under three hundred yards. It’s raining. I can only brake gently. The first two vehicles took to the shoulder and the second fool got in, but why should I complain? The center line was dotted white. Welcome to Texas, pilgrim.
In Woodville, there was the Golden Corral banner proclaiming “Voted America’s Best Dining Value”. If you’ve ever worked in any kind of office, you will remember somebody so hungry he’d suggest your group visit “The Trough”, only to earn this rebuke from another diner: “Let’s don’t go there – we only have an hour to eat.”
Our other funny sign was a typo outside Cameron, Texas. The sign read “Congratulations, Cameron Yoemen, 2013 2A1 State Football Champions!” So few sign painters can spell! One would think the team would go by Yeomen, or Yo-Men (“Yo, what up, dawg?”), but one would be wrong. The school’s full name is Cameron-Yoe High”. They went 15-1 and were unbeaten in the playoffs. Looks like the yoke’s on me.