Studly Doright and I were in the Texas panhandle this past week. On our way to his mom’s place in Hereford, Texas, we stopped for the night in Wichita Falls where we picked up our son and his son, and loaded up their motorcycles.
The three of them, along with a carefully selected group of friends and family members, embarked on two days of motorcycling along the Canadian River just north of Amarillo.
It was our grandson, Jackson’s, first real riding experience. Outside of riding a little motorcycle around our yard at Doright Manor, Jackson had never really gotten to experience what motorcycling is all about—the hills and gullies, deep sand and water crossings. This week he encountered all of the above while learning to use a clutch and shift gears. By all accounts he acquitted himself admirably.
His Poppa, aka Studly Doright, had a blast riding with him and with our son, Jason. They’re already saying, “Next year….”
When did common sense become politicized? When did we stop thinking rationally? Honestly, I’m concerned. You see, most sane adults understand that there’s a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than half a million Americans and an estimated 2.57 million human beings worldwide.
We know that the virus is mutating and that even though there are now vaccines to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 only a small percentage of the population has received the vaccine as of March 5, 2021. We are not anywhere near the point of herd immunity.
And yet certain governors in the U.S. have decided that it’s time to do away with all the restrictions. They’ve opened everything up. No more masks. No more social distancing. No more limits on the number of people who can gather in groups. No more common sense.
Ah! Sweet freedom. Freedom to kill and be killed. Freedom to not care about our friends and neighbors. Freedom from common sense. God help us all.
I’m consumed with watching the news out of Texas this morning. For those who aren’t glued to the Weather Channel, parts of Texas that might see a dusting of snow once every ten years or so, are now experiencing freezing temperatures and icy conditions that would challenge even a seasoned North Dakotan.
We live in Florida now, but Studly and I were born and raised in Texas and most of our relatives still live there. Most of our folks live in the panhandle area which does get snow and ice during the winter and they’re better prepared to deal with the bitter cold. But in and around Austin, Dallas, Houston, and other locations, the infrastructure isn’t holding up.
Yes, we could blame the shortsightedness of certain GOP, libertarian, and Tea Party operatives who have this “every man for himself” mentality, for the mess, but that doesn’t do anything to help those who are freezing even within the confines of their own homes. While some people are ridiculing Texas and Texans, I’m just praying and hoping they get relief soon.
In my blog I occasionally reference the Texas panhandle as the land of my birth. I throw the word panhandle around assuming everyone knows exactly what I mean. But more than once I’ve had a commenter ask, “What’s the panhandle?” Allow me to illustrate.
Actually, someone already illustrated and labeled it for me. You see, the tan area? That’s the panhandle. At some point somebody thought it looked like the shape of a pan’s handle and named it accordingly. To me it seems too chunky.
Nowadays, I live in the Florida panhandle.
I drew a line around it for you. To me, Florida looks like a gun with the panhandle being the barrel and the peninsula the gun’s handle. I guess the term “Florida gunhandle” didn’t occur to those who had naming rights.
Other U.S. states have panhandles, but I’m tired and don’t want to bore you more than I have already.
One of my older posts popped up in my feed today and I thought it was worth reposting. “Old and Lost River” was inspired during one of my epic road trips. Damned Covid-19 has shut down my solo travels for the past ten months, so I’m reliving a few in my mind. I hope you’ll enjoy this.
The Testicle Festival is back on. I know how eager my readers are to sink their teeth into some fine bull testicles, often referred to as Rocky Mountain oysters, calf fries, or huevos del toros (literally “bulls’ eggs), among other euphemisms, and here’s the opportunity.
The festival is scheduled for August 1st in one of my favorite places in Texas, the great town of Fredericksburg. “Go for the testicles, stay for the beer,” is what I always say.
I kid, but the festival looks like a lot of fun. If it weren’t for Covid-19, I might attend. And if you’ve never visited Fredericksburg, I suggest adding it to your “to do” list.
Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, is opening up businesses in his state beginning Friday, I believe. Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons—will be considered essential.
Now, you might ask, “Why should that worry you? Don’t you live in Florida?”
Well, yes I do.
In the map above, locate Tallahassee. We live just north of there, and south of Quincy. Georgia is just a few miles north of Quincy. Lots of folks who live in my part of the state work in Georgia, and a bunch of Georgia residents work in Florida. So, you see why I’m concerned, right?
Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis is a Trump sycophant, so it won’t be long before he follows suit, opening our beaches and theme parks before the Corona virus has reached its peak.
At least DeSantis hasn’t yet said we should be happy to die if it means saving the economy as Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick has declared on more than one occasion. Florida has way too many elderly people in residence for DeSantis to say such a thing out loud. But you just know he’s thinking it.
I don’t know about you, but this 63-year-old isn’t sacrificing herself to make Trump’s economy look good. Pardon my language, but fuck that noise.
Typically I’ve only worn hats while at the beach or when I’m suffering from a bad case of helmet head after riding my motorcycle. I look like a doofus in a hat. But finally my hair has completely gotten out of control, so today I donned a hat.
You have no idea how many pictures I had to take before I didn’t look like a crazy woman. Oh, and I couldn’t find my regular mask, so I had to take the souvenir Luckenbach, Texas bandana from its frame in my Texas bedroom for a face covering.
The ghost of Billy the Kid called. He thinks I’d make a fine outlaw.
March 2nd is a day dear to the heart of every native born Texan, or at least to those of us who paid attention in fourth grade history class. On this day in 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas, which it remained until 1845 when Texas became the 28th state in the union.
I was born in Lubbock, Texas, well after the Republic became a state; although, some days I feel like I might be old enough to have witnessed Sam Houston being sworn in as the first President of Texas.
Sam really wanted the state’s capital to remain in his namesake city of Houston where it had been established during the Republic’s existence. After much wrangling, though, the Capital was moved to the more central location of Waterloo. Thankfully that name didn’t stick, and the name was changed to Austin, in honor of Stephen F. Austin, Texas’ first Secretary of State, fondly thought of as The Father of Texas.