Eddy Walton, myself, and Wendell Price. Photo courtesy of Wendell’s daughter.
Eddy worked for me, back in the day. The real connection, though, was we all bar-tended at the same place, at one time or another.
“You don’t ride anymore? Man! I can’t believe that!”
We looked at his Harley. Eddy and I talked about Honda Hybrid versus
Sad fact, duly noted elsewhere, a Ford F-350 burning Bio-Diesel has a smaller environmental footprint than a Prius, plus fewer recalls, too.
There was a lot of the “I can’t remember,” situations. Funniest, to me, all three of us were grabbing reading glasses to look at pictures on the iPhones.
When Eddy originally contacted me, we were supposed to meet in one of Austin’s trailer food courts. To me, that was a winner, just down the street from one of my old coffee shop offices.
Brought up the story, ‘her mom is in my coven.’
Other observations, age, and his daughter, she sat there, the whole time, and didn’t flinch at our sailor language, or tales — statute of limitations up on this, isn’t it? Sex and drugs and rock’n'roll?
“Hey, I’m going for Starbucks in the morning, Kramer, you know about coffee, do they pay healthcare for part time employees at Starbucks?”
I’ve heard that they do.
“See? I’ll be happy to pay four bucks for coffee if they look after their people.”
Eddy was, to me, a cabby from Brooklyn.(1) He and Wendell started discussing another old friend who moved to some place in “The City.” The ease Eddy had of rattling off directions and street numbers, years of time on the streets.
We talked politics. Not so odd, we are all of the same stripe, although, I appeared a little more conservative because I did suggest listening to both sides. Fact-checking? Yes, I’m a fan. However, as I’ve pointed out in a horoscope, I write horoscopes and I fish. Not always factual.(2)
I was headed into a bar to hear a band, and a former love was heading out, or in, a few years back, that cute moment of recognition, “Kramer!” A big hug from her, and then, “I can’t believe you’re still alive.”
Wendell and Eddy, really a good reunion.
Wendell knew old Austin. “You mean when Whole Foods was on Lamar?”
Right. Last time I was there, the location was “El Cheapo Discs.”
“The original location, not the store where it is now, right?”
Wendell was sucking on a fake, electronic cigarette, nodding his head. Old habits die hard.
The new Whole Foods store, world headquarters, it was the number two tourist destination in Austin, second only to the State Capitol(3), as far as out-of-town visitors rankings were concerned. Eddy seemed to have found a Whole Foods.
We dined like kings, again. Like the old days.
“This? This is peasant food,” Eddy’s gruff yet warm voice, thick with the Brooklyn accent, “it’s ham — prosciutto — on artisan bread with sun-dried tomatoes and Swiss — no provolone — cheese. Peasant food.”
There’s a cultural exposure from living next to a Little Italy.
I spoke about the cultural difference in San Antonio — the Austin accent compared to living in a zip code — last official census? My current zip code was listed as over 90% “Latin or Hispanic.”
Apparently, Eddy’s borough was similarly flavored.
I explained, in San Antonio, I met people who were born, raised and will pass — all the while never leaving a roughly three-mile radius. For life.
“Yeah, yeah, same thing,” he explained. Agreeing. I’m guessing, the five boroughs.(5)
My working hypothesis is that San Antonio is way weirder than Austin — but no one cares.
“I like your pictures of fishing.”
I should’ve arranged a fishing trip. Maybe next time.
Yes, I miss some aspects of life in Austin — just once, I want hear a guitar player complain about someone asking him if he wrote horoscopes on the internets.
When his daughter took the picture, she looked at my phone, “See dad(4), we need to upgrade our phones, both get a new one like this. It’s faster, isn’t it?”
He flipped his phone around, Eddy growled that he wasn’t posing for anymore pictures after this, and Wendell complained about random screen aberrations on his “old” iPhone 4.
“Is the 5 really faster?”
On AT&T, I’m on a corridor that runs from Dallas-Ft. Worth through Corpus Christi, includes Austin and San Antonio, with fast, real 4G whatever service. Worth it for me.
20 year-old Scotch, 18 year-old daughter, sex, lies and videotapes. The more we change, the more it’s the same.
- (1) New York Cabby is a term of honor and endearment, not a slam.
(2) cf., the Terms of Service…
(3) Texas State Capitol building, pink granite, quarried by convicts, still 7 feet taller than the building in Washington, DC.
(4) Pair of Virgo’s, father-daughter.
(5) Beastie Boys allusion.