Posts Tagged ‘stephen austin’

 “Why is it trivia? People call it trivia because they know nothing and they are embarrassed about it.” Robbie Colrane

Sign of the Times

Travels With Maggie

With my canine traveling companion, Maggie, snoring softly in Gypsy Lee’s co-pilot seat, and 300 miles of highway in front of me yesterday, I loosed my brain to digest the passing sights.

Sitting behind the wheel of my RV frees my mind to seek answers to insightful, puzzling and stupid questions.

The googling of my mind began this misty morning when a great egret floated down to land beside Highway 288 near the 72-foot tall statue of Stephen F. Austin.

The Austin image, located south of Angleton, is less

Statue of Sam Houston visible from Interstate 45 south of Huntsville. -- Photo by Pat Bean

impressive than the 77-foot one of Sam Houston, which sits beside Interstate 45 south of Huntsville. Both men were Texas history-makers and both statues were created by the same artist, David Addicts.

The Austin statue, I remembered as I passed it, has become somewhat of a joke to locals. From a distance looking north, Austin appears to be picking his nose. Looking south, he kinda looks like he’s peeing.

And then my mind shifted gears. I suspected that a lot more people knew who Houston was than knew who Austin was. Houston avenged the Alamo and became president of the Republic of Texas. Austin merely colonized the state and was considered the Father of Texas .

Statue of Stephen F. Austin located south of Angleton.

What makes some people stick in our minds while others fade into oblivion, I asked my wandering/wondering brain. And then a list of names popped into my head.

I remember Edgar Allan Poe because he frightened me. Harriet Beecher Stow, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” because she shamed slave owners. John F. Kennedy because he charmed us; Charles Manson because he horrified us; and Mae West because she scandalized us.

I then wondered what names might pop in the heads of others if asked the same question.

And so the next six hours went.

On passing a Walmart semi, I decided this was the new sign of the times. A red Corvette pulled over to the side of the road with a police car’s swirling red, white and blue lights flashing behind it made me think that sometimes it was better to drive a plain brown wrapper.

I laughed at the sign outside the small city of Buffalo, which announced a Buffalo Stampede the third Saturday in September. That explained the herd of buffalo I had just passed, which was a brand new sight for me on this often traveled stretch of interstate that connects one of my sons with one of my daughters.

Another first for me was a sign promoting the Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club. Huh?

I looked that one up on the Web and discovered there were clubs with this name all over the place, including Las Vegas and Australia. Another sign of the times, I suspected.

Of course, as always, my eyes were seeking out birds along the way. Red-tailed hawks sitting in trees and turkey vultures flying overhead were the most common. I saw a great blue heron in a marshy area, and a snowy egret nearby. Eastern meadowlarks flew up from some roadside weeds, and a flock of crows flew into the air, leaving their road kill behind temporarily.

All too soon, Gypsy Lee, Maggie and I were pulling up in front of my daughter’s home.

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