Two-Meat platter

Pork ribs, brisket – one Leo tale.

Pork Ribs:
I know I’ve noted this before, and I don’t even recall where the material exists. I suspect it’s on the site some place, but I’m too lazy to dig out the material. I was just a fresh face on the local circuit, and we were working in San Angelo. Must’ve been ten years ago. It was, at best, an event that bombed, but that was because there was too much going on that weekend. Or something. We were in a – I’m guessing here – a Howard Johnson motel. Here’s the parts that I remember, and how I remember them.

The hotel, or motel, it’s part of a chain, or was, at one time, a part of a chain, that stretched to include Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, and, at one time, San Angelo. If the town of San Angelo doesn’t sound familiar, consider that it’s the hometown to Los Lonely Boys, yeah, that band. What was memorable was the architecture of the hotel. All of the locations listed have hotels of the same vintage, same basic design, a large “atrium” if it can be called that, with a pool and miniature golf course (clubs are available at the front desk, for hotel guests only), and, in the case of the San Angelo one, the motel’s convention ballroom was located just off the atrium. There was an upstairs restaurant of sorts, not exactly high-brow dining at the time, as that particular motel had fallen into the “weekly rates available” kind of use. Its architectural kin, in Midland, for example, is well-maintained and quite the flagship. Last time I was in that one, in Midland, it was a Holiday Inn. But that decade back? In San Angelo? That place was pretty run-down. Almost seedy.

So Sunday morning, we’d congregated in the upstairs restaurant, for bacon and eggs, and me, being the kind of guy I was at the time, I’d picked up a Dallas Morning News paper, the big, fat “bulldog” edition, the early Sunday paper. I sat the table with my working companions, most of whom I didn’t really know too well, and I proceeded to open up the paper. I sorted through the ad circulars, tossed the classified sections, and started to read the comics.

Across from me, at the table, was Elaine (the Leo). (She will rue this part of the story, but it’s all true.) I was about halfway through digesting the first comic I was reading, when a hand reaches across table, and parts the paper in my hand. I was then looking at Elaine.

She said one word, an emphatic, “No.”

So that’s where we met. Seems as how, in subsequent years, as the story gets told and retold, that I triggered a response based on her interaction – or lack of interaction – with a certain ex-husband. Something about reading the paper at the breakfast table. So I don’t read a newspaper at a breakfast table with her anymore. At all. Just that simple. And I chuckle about it, but she’s vaguely embarrassed. One should never trifle with a Leo.

Probably less than a year later, Elaine pulled together an event on one of the first “gambling boats” on the Texas coast. It was, as I recall, out of Galveston, and it was a pretty rudimentary affair. The bulk of the patrons were interested in gaming, most assuredly not interested in readings, but we all did wind up doing quite a brisk business with the boat’s employees, I suppose, they should’ve been termed “crew.” It wasn’t much of a ride on that boat. During a break, Elaine took me down, and she showed me how to select and play a slot machine. I wound up with a small jackpot of maybe $20. But after the other fees for the weekend? That small win was pretty much my profit for that trip.

I worked and fished, all yesterday morning. I was surprised, as I was trying to use a crappie pole with a really light lure on the end, and I did manage three bites. Solid bites. But that Uncle Buck’s Crappie Pole isn’t stout enough for Large Mouth Bass hook-set. One was funny, to me, I yanked back on the pole, and the little fish went flying through the air.

The fish held the lure in his mouth for the duration of the ride, but when I reeled the lure – sans fish – back in, the weed guard hadn’t even snapped open. Which meant, for his ride that fish was just hanging on to the bait. Which got me thinking, see, I’m wondering – fish don’t have arms – so taking a ride on one of my lures? Isn’t that like water skiing for a fish?

Imagine, one bass to another, “Dude! Just bite it! It’s a rush!”

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