LONE STAR STATENovember 10, 2017 in the United States
We left New Mexico after visiting the International UFO Museum in Roswell. It was fun and pretty amateurish. Then we entered Texas. .
In Texas, flags were at half mast for the church massacre by a former American soldier. The hopeless split between the Gun-lovin’ rednecks and reasonable people meant we travelers simply did not discuss it — with strangers, anyway. (Headline: “Hometown Hero Uses Gun on Gunman”). In fact, when Tarjei became irritated with another driver, I had to warn him “That guy is probably armed, so just cool it.”
On a cheerier note, we saw the Abilene International Short Film Festival — really great. Very eclectic mix. A Syrian man in a refugee camp tossed his young daughter off the wharf into the sea to teach her to swim because he knew she had to learn to survive on the boat journey accross the Mediterranean. A quirky animated film showed chameleon romance in a subway station.
We went to a great little bar in downtown Abilene and discovered (much to my disappointment) Abilene Texas is NOT the “prettiest town that I ever seen” — that song is about Abilene Kansas. But there were some very interesting women there, and they didn’t “treat us mean” so we had fun.
In Austin, we had booked an Air BnB on a whim — an Airstream Trailer in somebody’s backyard. The on-line photo was taken at an angle which made it look quite large, which shows how clever the photographer was. There was barely space for the 4 of us to be in the structure at one time. If Tarjei and I were lying in bed, Boots and Jabba could fit on the floor. So we were very snug.
We met up with Charlotte (my med school friend) and her husband Barry — they were visiting their son who is doing his PhD in Austin. Charlotte and I went swimming in Barton Springs — a huge natural spring — and the Guys & Dogs went to a canine-friendly bar for local brew. Both the beer and Barton Springs were very large, very cold, and lovely. All of Austin seemed to be dog-friendly. The restaurants had outdoor patios where every table had one or two dogs on leash, and dogs were expected to treat people & other dogs with civility. Jabba and Boots adjusted quickly except for the occasional raised hackles and throaty growl by Boots.
We had an evening kayak paddle on LadyBird Lake in downtown Austin and watched thousands of bats emerge from under a bridge.
In San Antonio We visited the Museum of Art and the Zoo. We saw one of my favorite singers, Iris Dement, in concert. (“Let the Mystery Be”, brilliant song, will be heard at my funeral.) She galvanized the audience and had us singing along with protest songs like it was 1968.
Right now we are driving to Wimberly, Texas to visit our friend Angier Peavy for a couple of days. Who knows what adventures we will have with Angier, who used to be in the American foreign service.Read more