Katie is a Texan.
My uncle used to be the Sheriff in the town where Katie is standing, up there above all these words, and my cousin, his son, was killed in a head-on collision in his early 20s. My family is a big family and my uncle was an ex-Texas Ranger, so the funeral was standing room only, so many people there as a show of respect, so many from every branch of law enforcement you can name except Secret Service, and I wouldn't count them out. I remember at one point standing outside the church with other cousins, one of whom said there was more firepower at this funeral than usual, if you combined all the law enforcement weapons with all the kinfolk packing heat. I remember laughing a lot at that.
All these great old places that are almost gone, this one once a movie theater, now crumbling down, no back wall, the inside full of graffiti, but really great graffiti; I took tons of pictures. Another weekend and Katie & I were out driving again; we laughed about a facebook comment, a woman writing how rare open-minded Texans were, and we sang back to her a very politically incorrect Ray Wylie Hubbard song, not serious, but not really joking either, it growing tiresome and boring to hear the silly oh-so-predictable stereotypes, but, like I said, we just sang the song back and laughed and did that Texas shopping thang, and I almost bought a white petticoat that no way would even fit into the jeep it was yes-that-huge (we Texans may exaggerate a bit) and I found the perfect, perfect table for my in-the-future art studio, 8 feet long, white, 500 bucks and I'm so broke, so no can do, and really nowhere to put it right now. I didn't care, it was that perfect, but it was also that left behind. The map at the taco place caught my eye - the perfect shade of light teal and I should've taken a picture, but it's Texas and we drive, so I'll go back and catch it another time. And I'll take more pictures of the Texan - it's a shame to let it go. Think of all the first kisses that took place there, all those young hearts-a-fluttering, all that energy still hovering about. If I had money I'd restore it to something, if not a theater.
On the way home, Katie and I passed a funeral procession headed in the other direction, and of course, everyone pulled over to the side of the road, even on our wrong side, and waited until it had passed, and I talked about when my father died, and how touching it was to see that show of respect from the drivers on the road. It's a small gesture, but a very visible one, and it meant a lot. We were glad to carry on the tradition, glad to live somewhere that still does such things.