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Sunday, March 26, 2023

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Under the Chinaberry Tree

This Week On
The Sound of Texas

Monday, March 27
Michael Johnson Campbell Horses, etc
Tuesday, March 28
R. Agrasanches Harlingen Posters
Wednesday, March 29
Lu Mitchell Dallas Satire
Thursday, March 30
Harry Bob Martin Spur Theater
Friday, March 31
George Hallmark Meridian Artist
Complete Schedule for March

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by Tumbleweed Smith

I knew Friday the 13th would be interesting. I just didn't know how interesting. The Monday before the 13th I learned for the first time that I was expected to speak at the junior high school assembly in Brenham at 9 AM on the 13th. I was also expected to be in Corpus to board a river barge departing that evening and to perform on the 14th(Valentine's Day) during the cruise.

We use our own sound equipment when we do speeches or performances, and because it takes up lots of room, we travel by motor vehicle.

The barge was to leave Corpus Friday evening, cruise the Texas coast and arrive in Galveston Sunday afternoon at 2. We would then drive home 10hours away so I could teach an 8 o'clock class Monday morning. That was the plan. But when you're dealing with Texas weather, you have to follow one rigid rule: stay flexible.

The Brenham appearance was fun. The auditorium was packed with 800screaming kids (I asked them to see how much noise they could make) from three different schools. I had half a dozen kids come up on stage with me and tell silly jokes (they had been told to get some jokes ready).Then we all did a nose flute medley. The kids in the audience were attentive and well-behaved. I told them they were in the cradle of Texas liberty but we weren't going to do any Texas history during the show. They loved that.

After the appearance at Brenham, we drove to Galveston, left our vehicle in a parking garage and called the Busy Bee Cab Company. We took a cab to Corpus, 219 miles away. Lloyd, the driver, had never been to Corpus and was used to traveling only on major highways. So my wife Susan, the best navigator in the world, helped him along the route of small roads. The 5-hour cab ride sounds bizarre, but it was the only way we could get to the barge on time. We got there at 7 PM, just before scheduled departure.

The cruise director told us there had been a change of plans. Because of a storm, the barge would not leave until Saturday night and would not dock until Monday. He said I could perform that night at 8 or not perform at all and still get paid. I said let's do the show. We got everything ready in less than an hour and did our show in the barge auditorium for people from all over the US. They enjoyed our Texas humor.

The next morning (Saturday, Valentine's Day) we took a cab from the barge to the Corpus airport, rented a car and drove to Galveston (219miles away) to pick up our vehicle. Susan drove it and I followed her to Hobby airport in Houston to turn in our rent car.

By now it was about 5 PM on Valentine's Day. Susan had been such a good sport I wanted to do something special. I told her we would drive to Round Top, get a good meal at Royer's Round Top Cafe and spend the night there in one of the B & B's. I prayed we could do it.

I was afraid the Cafe would be crowded. It was. A dozen people were waiting outside. I asked Bud Royer if he could work us in and he said sure. We then called our favorite B & B in Round Top which had a cozy cottage with a bedroom upstairs. We had a perfect ending to an interesting weekend.

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