Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bandera, TX and the Texas Experience

So last weekend some friends of mine came into town. It was pretty much the last weekend of summer. Clear skies, not cold a perfect storm of energy and a willingness to get boldy out of control. (As many of you know, Im a cold weather guy, but meh)

Friday started out typically on 4th and 6th streets. Though nothing happend completely bizzare we did see 4 sub par frat buys attempt to break dance on the roof of the blind pig. One tried to flip and WHAM hit his head. Another stirped down to his boxers and danced around. Pretty entertaining.

Saturday was a day of rest, but we decided that we would go to Bandera, TX. For those of you who don't know what Bandera is, it is a little town in the Texas Hill Country. It has many bars and claims it is the "Cowboy Capital of the World". It is the town you think of when you think 1930's Cowboy town. Think about it for a second.....ok you got it.

So we make the drive up their a little before sunset. We take the long way through the Hill Country and not through San Antonio. Takes longer than we want but the drive was beautiful.

We find an old resturant to eat at. Old Spanish Trail. Its been around since 1921 and they have a room dedicated to John Wayne, with a TV that plays nothing but "The Duke" movies. Men peered at us under strange versions of cowboy hats. We walk up and three sherrifs are just sitting outside sippin coffee. When we walk in the door, just about the entire resturant looks up at these "outsiders". Greatness. We sitdown and order chicken fried steak. Easily this ranks in the top 3 chicken fried steaks I've ever had. And im an expert in the food.

Once we finished eating and found a hotel, which took us 3 different tries. Apparently Bandera was the place to be. We made our way into the "SILVER DOLLAR". This is a place of legend. Its only a door on the street and you must walk downstairs to get to the bar. Once you get in there is a band playing old Merle Haggard songs with a steel guitar and saw dust on the floor. A fat older women will always call ya Honey at the bar and the bad wore matching red bandanas around their neek. The only ligjts are neon and again everyone stops to look at the "outsiders". We stayed for a beer or two just to feel what depression was and moseyed on down to the next bar.

We knew we found the Bandera Saloon when there were hourses tied up front to the hitching posts. 2 of them. We knew we had found the right place. We walked in, again everybody stops and stares. Our boots made unique thuds as they hit the hardwood floor. Everyone had a cigarette that seemed to never burn down. We now began to pound whiskey like it was going out of style. Straight, doubles, mixed...didn't matter.

Then it happens.....We turn to see two monsters of men start to push and shove. 6'3" 240 biker types, but wearing cowboy clothes. And as everyone was expecting and secretly wished for fists began to fly. The older man started with a left jab then a devestating right. The other man went stumbling backward and into the speaker in front of the band. Another patron of the bar grabbed the speaker before it hit the ground as if he had done it before. The band never skipped a beat. The fight quickly dragged out into the street where somehow the bleeding man made it to his car. The bar backs had to come and clean up the blood that had drizzled on the dance floor.

The people that moved were only the ones who stood to get hit. The rest of the bar looked as if they had just seen somebody take a swig out of a beer. They have seen this before. Later somebody asked the bartender/owner of the bar about the fight and all he said was "Fuck It, this is a real bar".

When the police officers came they yelled to the bartender/owner...Damnit this is twice in two nights! The person that got his ass beat actually called his mother. HIS MOTHER, who in turn called the police. Nobody was arrested except for this little imp of a man who would not shut up around the officer. They cuffed him and put him in the back of the car....later they let him back out and he went back into the bar for more booze. Nobody went to jail after a knock down drag out fight.

We drank until 2am. By then end it was pretty much us drunk yuppies dancing in the middle of the dance floor belting La Bamba while everyone else watched in disbelief. A friend of mine somehow found two British chicks who were in town to see the "Cowboy Capital of the World". My bud had been working on a deer lease so he was covered in dirt and was wearing a camo tshirt that said "beer hunter" on it...yeah... He saved the Queen that night.

Once the bar closes, a man got on his horse and left with another horse right behind. Apparently he brings two just in case he brings home a women. The town had an eerie silence to it. We jumped into the bed of a pick up truck and parked in front of the bar to pick up our friends....A cop stopped us said we were parked in the middle of the street and told us to have a good night.

Our motel smelled like stale cigarette smoke, and I didn't dare get underneath the sheets. I just slept on top of it with a sleeping bag. In the middle of the night I had a headache so bad I threw up.

The next morning was confused. It was not cold, but you could tell the mornning wanted to be cold. The smell of dust that only a north wind began to pick up. After a few breakfast tacos we headed back to Austin through San Antonio.

And that is the Texas Experience.


Blogger Exiled said...

Every time I read this, I feel like I'm reading the Odyssey. It's awesome.

4:11 PM  

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