Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I'm backtracking a little bit to Sunday. I eventually decided to go see what that Hwy. 80 Garage Sale was all about. Since I'd woke up early that day, I had my coffee and watched Sunday Morning on CBS (sort of a ritual wake up ceremony for Sundays). I poked around a bit, and thought, why not check it out? So I cleaned up my breakfast dishes and grabbed a few things for the road, like a coke, some munchies, a few CDs, and some bottled water, stuck 'em in an ice chest and my little travel bag I take for such things, and hit the road.

Of course, just getting on the highway right out in front of my house, a young female driver, who has stickers all over her windshield: Baby on Board, immediately starts to tailgate me. I think Tyler people are some of the rudest, clueless drivers and this is one of my growing pet peeves with them. They tailgate and speed, and if you don't get out of "their" way, they honk their horn at you. Believe me, it takes a certain amount of patience not to give these bad drivers the one finger salute. That aside, it was a rather beautiful sunny day, and I couldn't think of a better piece of music that fit that mood than the Texas born, blues rock album by Johnny Winter's called The Progressive Blues Experiment. It's a real rocking album, and sort of at the same time just feels like East Texas or the Deep South, juke joints, and all the imagery that comes from that.


So I headed out north, making my way up to Winona, a town of around 500 people, and also I guess where everybody from Tyler, which is a dry county, goes to buy their liquor. I don't understand this philosophy. I think perhaps back in the 50's or 60's this might have worked, before most places were wet, but now it just seems archaic to me somewhat. Prohibition has come and gone, and I don't think putting fifteen miles or minutes of driving time behind popping a top is going to matter much really. In fact it might be worse, as that makes people drive to a bar or restaurant to drink, and then they drive home drunk from there (rather than just drinking at home in privacy). So who knows? At any rate in Winona as you drive through town there were four or five liquor stores in a row--they know which side of the bread their butter is on. I drove from there on up to Big Sandy, which began the Hwy. 80 sale.

I saw some bikers on the side of the road, I guess just visiting, and a few spotty areas where a few people had set up a table or two, but thought surely there might be more than this. So I drove east over to Gladewater. Gladewater is somewhat known for some of their antique stores so that seemed perhaps my best bet. I got up there, and they did have some tables and tents set up for selling soft drinks, hot dogs, and such. A lot of the people had sort of handmade art like wooden crosses and whatnot, but nothing I was interested in. I walked through one of the antique stores, which comprised many little shops under one roof. They had the usual fare: books, glassware, furniture, candles, dolls, and that type thing. Someone there though did have a neat Battlestar Galactica lunch box, but at $45. it was too pricey for me. Someone also had a little spinner rack of comics that were overpriced out the wazoo, but had some neat copies of the Doom Patrol and other such DC titles.

I walk back outside, and look around a bit more, and saw a crowd off to one side of some buildings, and wondered why they were all gathered around, so I go over to check it out. They'd set up a small wrestling ring and two young teenagers were putting on a show. It was pretty corny and fake as hell, as their moves didn't look very choreographed or polished at all. The young kids seemed entertained though. I looked around a bit longer, but by this time, I pretty much had seen enough for my curiosity. It was a little bit of a bust, but at least I found an easier route to hit interstate 20 from my house to go to Dallas, and I found out where Winona was, so I guess it wasn't a total loss. Perhaps around larger cities more people turn out for such things, but around smaller towns, it's slim pickings.


At 8:55 PM, Blogger Mob said...

Too bad ya didn't run across a little small town fight club instead of just cheesy wrestling. That'd probably be entertaining, at least until they started blowing stuff up. ;-P

At 7:28 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Heh, yeah, I might even have joined and created my own doppelganger. You never know with these small towns though what you'll run into.


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