Saturday, September 26, 2009

Faces of Texas

"I pray to God to give me work."
- Maricela Ayala on running her business, Maricela's Cafe.
She is pictured taking the needles off
of cacti, or nopales, a task in which I helped out.
Palacios, TX
. . .
"They're a lot of people without jobs...
but God won't give us something we can't handle."
- Nicole Saldierna on the local economy.
This statement was taken from a casual
conversation with other patrons of Maricela's Cafe.
Palacios, TX
. . ."They hear a calf in another pasture, they go crazy.
They'll bust the fence down to get to that calf. It's instinct."
- Brad McClelland talking about a cow
that had gotten hit by a car that morning.
The cow had recently been separated
from its calf and had already busted
through one fence the day before looking for it.
Wadsworth, TX
. . .
"When they made me, they threw the mold away."
- Charles Hargrove on himself.
Charlie talked, laughed, joked, insulted,
chased women around, drank, smoked, told stories,
and interacted with every person that came into the store.
He then went on to give me a place to camp
for the evening, a five count, a flashlight, food, and water.
He even went so far as to introduce me to a couple of his neighbors.

Wadsworth, TX
. . .
"It was real important to us that she knew both languages."
- Nate Glenn, holding daughter Jasmine,
on his and his wife's desire to have their child
speak both English and Turkish.
During the family's last trip to Turkey,
Nate observed that Jasmine, age two,
understood which language was expected of her.
Bay City, TX
. . .
"I take that corner a little bit slower now."
- Robin Short on a particular stretch of road
between her home and her workplace.
Several months ago, Robin took a curve
on her motorcycle, leaning into it at fast speed,
and missed a large pothole in the road.
She did $5000 worth of damage to a $7000 bike.
The motorcycle pictured is a brand new replacement
with a little extra work done by Robin herself.
Old Ocean, TX
. . .
"When they discharged me in Oregon and
asked me where I wanted to go,
I said,
'Aw, hells. I gotta go back to Texas!'"

- WWII Veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor William Eckel
on getting out of the service. Currently a resident of East Texas,
Eckel worked his entire professional life in South Texas.
When I found him,
he and his family
were vacationing on the coast.

Surfside Beach, TX
. . .

"We met sophomore year, and we've been friends ever since."
- James Baskin, shown right, with E.J. Eckel
after relating a story about a kid in math class
who was throwing a pencil at different students in the room.
As the story goes, E.J. grabbed the pencil,
broke it in half, and gave half of it to James.
They then simultaneously threw the halves
back at the troublemaker, who cried foul.
The incident spawned their forty-year friendship.
Surfside Beach, TX
. . .
"We had enough washers and dryers in our yard
we could have started a landromat."
- Dennis Nichols on the state of his family's home
after Hurricane Ike. The entire bottom half of his home
got washed away, including his own washer and drier,
which were nowhere to be found.
Jamaica Beach, TX
. . .


Jennifer said...

I just saw a little bit of your story in the Clay County Leader (definitely not the typical content of my hometown paper), and I thought that surely you must be one of those Canadian/Australian/Kiwi backpacker types who doesn't understand that TEXANS DON'T WALK! To know that you are from Texas and that you apparently knew what you were getting yourself into astounds me. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures and such on your blog.

Safe travels to you!

Smatt said...

Jennifer -

So funny to hear from another Texan who has been to Guinea! Please do check in from time to time for this slice of Texas life.

- smatt