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Andy's Trip Part 2 -- Long, little LBC Content

Subject: Andy's Trip Part 2 -- Long, little LBC Content
From: "Ramm, Andy" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 15:45:15 -0600
Andy's Houston Trip Part 2

I shot an entire roll of film before the plane arrived in Houston.   How 
silly is that?  But with the assistance of a polarizer, I was able to 
shoot some amazing cloud formations from the plane, bigger than 
skyscrapers, miles wide, like giant prehistoric sharks and alligators 
doing the tango at 20 thousand feet.  Rendered in Kodak Royal Gold 25, 
the sky and clouds really came to life.  Definitely a few framers in this 
batch.  I used an orange filter and caught the sun reflecting off of the 
Colorado river below in one shot.  If it weren't for a bad reflection 
from the airplane window, it might be a keeper.

The sky was nice, but Houston really wasn't much to look at.  Sorry to 
all who live in Houston and like it there, I'm sure it's a swell town.  
It's just not much to look at is all.  The car was exactly as Rick 
described it.  It fired up easily on one turn of the key.  The passenger 
door would need to be replaced.  Same with the front valence.  The 
interior wasn't much better, but the car would clearly be serviceable 
enough for the trip.  Gear loaded, money exchanged, pink-slip in hand, I 
was ready to go to Austin where my friends live.  

Funny thing about Texas, raindrops and roadkill have some things in 
common.  They're both bigger and there's lots more of them than any other 
place I've been.  This also explains some other things about Texas.  
Raindrops come from the heavens and fall upon the Earth.  The Bible says 
that God created the heaven and the Earth and the raindrops too.  Lots of 
heaven, lots of earth and lots of rain.  It's no wonder there are so many 
churches in Texas.  There are lots of taxidermists in Texas too.  They're 
for the roadkill, of course.

It rained leaving Houston.  It rained like an omen from the Maker.  With 
barely functional windshield wipers and a completely non-functional 
defroster, the first leg of the trip was off to a tenuous start. I did 
discover, however, that the rain in Texas, like rain everywhere else, 
ends eventually and that Burger King parking lots are ideal for effecting 
repairs to non-functional defrosters.  I survived the first plague and 
hoped I wouldn't reach the tenth, smiting of the first born, which was 

This journey began and ended the same way _ in the rain.

Highway 290 from Houston to Austin is a meandering two and sometimes 
four-lane country highway, occasionally jogging and darting in different 
directions, challenging travelers to pay attention, or wind up somewhere 
they didn't want to be.  It was nearly twenty miles before I realized I 
wasn't on 290 any longer.  It was six miles back the other way before I 
could figure out how badly I'd missed the turn.  

 The woman behind the counter at the all-night gas station and 
convenience store in Elvisville, Texas (ok, maybe that wasn't the actual 
name of the town) turned to a man smoking Marlboros and stocking motor 
oil on shelves first used during the Eisenhower administration and 
squawked, "Buhybueee, hahw duh ya get tuh hahhhwuhy tuh nahhnhee frahm 

I was beginning to understand how Pharoah felt after a visit or two from 
Moses.  My plagues were a little different, but I suddenly had the urge 
to free some Israelites, myself being the first in line for emancipation. 
 Buhybueee and a man named Johnell began debating the merits of 
continuing down the same road and taking an alternate route back to 290, 
or backtracking completely to the point of my misdirection.  I now saw 
myself wandering in the desert for 40 years, and like Moses, not reaching 
the promised land.  All I wanted to do was jump in my golden calf and get 
home somehow.

"My name's Johnell, but people roun' here call me John John."  I was 
encouraged.  John John's logic dictated that the easiest and least 
confusing way to get on 290 was to go back to where I lost it.  He gave 
me landmarks and mileage counts that could have come from a Triple-A 
guide.  Instead, they came from John John who knows the landscape better 
than the Three A ever could.  I made it back to 290, said a prayer for 
me, and then one for John John.  The trip to Austin from that point was 
simple.  I found Aviva and Noah's house without any problem.  I was safe.

But that didn't leave me in a quirk-free situation.  Apparently, the 
car's thermostat was stuck open.  No heat.  It was a cold trip to Austin 
where temperatures were in the thirties and falling.  Yet another plague? 
 Was I like Pharoah, or should I begin to go by the name Job?  Heck I was 
headed to Noah's house and I had seen lots of rain.  In Texas, biblical 
allegories go a long way.  And so does my thirst for Texas beer.

Shiner Bock is brewed in Shiner, Texas.  I don't know where that is, but 
the beer tasted good right from the bottle.  For the moment, the beer 
soothed the nerves enough to socialize for a while, and then get some 
much needed sleep.  The next morning I was headed to El Paso, or at least 
Fort Stockton.....  or so I thought.

Copyright 1995 Andy Ramm

To be continued.....

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