I hit the road around nine in the morning and found my way my way south through Fort Worth to arrive in Bastrop, Texas about two in the afternoon where I checked into the Super 8 Motel on Highway 71 West.
The air conditioner was broken so after complaining at the front desk, a twenty something Indian girl followed me back to the room to confirm the damage and then she moved me to a new room on the second floor. The air conditioner was working but the TV didn’t work. Another trip down to the front desk and she followed me up to my room, but she couldn’t figure out what was wrong either. The guy that ran the night desk would be available around three thirty and he’d know what to do, so I drove over to speak with Brother Bill’s landlady. She was in her truck about to pull out of her driveway so we exchanged greetings and agreed to sit down and talk the next morning.
I stopped by the local supermarket, picked up some beer and bottled water and then I grabbed a brisket sandwich to go from the Southside Market BBQ restaurant.
Hoping that it wouldn’t be as over salted as the brisket I’d bought there on my last trip, I drove back to the motel to determine the progress with the TV. The night desk dude had come in early and so we went up to my new room, where after screwing around for a couple of minutes, he reached under the TV, ripped a sensor from the cable box and positioned it dangling by a black wire in front of the credenza. Now the remote worked and I had a working television but the brisket was still way too salty.
Minor league frustrations…at four thirty I dropped by the landlady’s house but she was on her way to deliver her granddaughters to her daughter’s house so our chat was short. We agreed to meet on Monday after I returned from meeting with my younger brother in Katy. After a phone call with the younger brother with more minor league frustration and we agreed that I’d spend another night in Bastrop and drive to his house on Friday morning. MSNBC and HBO for the night and the next day and then two hours to Katy…at least this time I remembered where the gate was located.
Katy, Texas is a mixed community of middle class three bedroom tract homes to upper middle class MacMansions that has some of the best public schools in the state. It is perhaps best known as the birthplace and hometown of Renee Zellweger – who found fame and riches in 2001 when she starred in Bridget Jones. Over the years Bridget Jones has become a cash cow Rom-Com franchise.
My brother Rick lives well below his means in a thirty year old two story brick house located in a gated tract where it’s hard to tell one house from another. More than once I’ve driven past his driveway and had to call him on his cell to find out which was his house. Friday morning I called before I followed another car past the gate and I found him standing on the porch to mark his territory. Rick and I are both boneheads in different ways and when our discussions of politics clash, his poor wife is driven to distraction. About two days is all she can handle, so my plan was to drive back to Bastrop on Sunday morning. We mostly steered clear of political discussion and enjoyed an excellent oven roasted salmon fillet, asparagus and a decent white wine for dinner.
I honestly can’t remember what we talked about on Saturday, but we ordered Chinese take-out for dinner and watched the extended cut of the Godfather that night. I left for Bastrop around nine Sunday morning and made sure to thank Jane, Rick’s wife for putting up with our BS and for the most excellent salmon. She asked about when I thought we’d sort out the family trust and I answered that I didn’t know. She smiled when I added, “As you know Rick has control issues.”
Back in Bastrop I checked into the Comfort Inn and got a 30% discount for renting a room for a week. There I set up shop to watch NFL and HBO until I could find a temporary place to live in Bastrop, Texas.
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