Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Woadtwip to Waco

With four-fifths of the Ron Titter Band off work for MLK Day, we had our first semi-official "social outing" yesterday.

The boys and I were all set to honor Dr. King's legacy by getting table dances and three-dollar steaks at the Yellow Rose when David suggested a day trip to Waco instead. I couldn't argue with the cost savings, and I still managed to get a few solid sins in by randily leering at wind-shorted Baylor co-eds out for a jog.

My first memory of Waco is driving through there on the way from Victoria to Dallas with my maternal grandparents when I was four. I asked my grandfather if we were going to stop and he said no. I asked him why not and he said, "Waco is a sad town."

The same thing could probably be said today. Despite earnest civic boosterism and a rejuvenation of the warehouse district between I-35 and downtown, much of Waco appears stuck in an economically depressed mid-century time warp. Of course, that's kind of what I like about visiting there. Naturally, we dropped by the Dr Pepper Museum to learn all about the invention of Waco's most famous product from a creepy-looking animatronic pharmacist. They closed before we could visit the soda fountain, but we were already loaded down with thick-ass malts and shakes from the Health Camp drive-in.

Waco is a praying town, and right now, they're praying for rain. I wasn't prepared for the sight of the draught-stricken Brazos River. You can tell where the riverbank is supposed to be by looking at how far this dockside restaurant is from the water. I've never seen the Brazos this low before. This is bad.

We drove back to Austin at sunset while listening to the "I Have A Dream" speech on David's iPod. You really have to hear the speech in full to grasp its gravity. It was a nice way of remembering why we had the day off in the first place.

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