I was back in north Texas in the second week of May visiting my dad and sisters. I stayed with my sister in North Dallas, whose home is less than a 60-minute ride to Sanger. For the first time in a decade, I was able to get on 635 west (LBJ Expressway), connect to 35E north and get almost to Denton without road construction! And, the traffic was manageable. I saw only one car that had caught on fire (a nasty mess that brought out two firetrucks and all kinds of other emergency vehicles), the usual number of “let’s drive 85 plus” crazies that manage to avoid crashing, well most of the time, into cars in front of or beside them, and the “I can’t stay in my lane” truck drivers who scare the ___ out of everyone, including the 85 plus crowd.
North Texas is really nice in early May. The wildflowers are out, with bright blue, yellow and white colors covering roadway mediums and the side hills that grow up from the concrete and blacktop slabs that carry traffic between and among cities, towns, farms—the great expanse called Texas. The temperatures are moderate and cool at night, although that searing heat, the kind of heat that makes you start to sweat before you even leave your house, is just around the corner. Crops are off to a good start, but the plantings are still young which means that you can still see the black clay soil from which the beans and such grow out of.
The stories of the day in the May 13 edition of the Dallas Morning News were much like those found on-line, on the air, and in magazines and newspapers throughout the country. Yes, there were shootings, stabbings and other kinds of mayhem from the night before. There was also the coverage of the possible meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump that may be delayed or not happen at all. The lead story in the news was about NAFTA. Many Texans are worried about changes in the trade agreement that could affect the flow of goods between Mexico and Texas, especially in south Texas cities such as Brownsville, Laredo, and Harlingen. Then there was a follow-up on the Ellen’s (restaurant) and NRA flap. Ellen’s is the west end Dallas restaurant that offered to donate a portion of its proceeds to support “reasonable and effective gun regulations”. NRA members objected to this effort. After a spirited competition on Yelp to dis or praise Ellen’s food and service, and telephone threats to shoot up the place, life is calming down and business at the diner is booming. I suspect that we have not seen the last of this one.
As I was boarding my flight from Omaha to Dallas, some interesting thoughts went through my mind and I wondered if others were thinking the same way. I began to think about the Southwest flight that had engine failure and an explosion that threw shrapnel that knocked out a window, nearly resulting in a passenger being sucked out of the aircraft. And, that passenger died. So, as I walked back from the entrance and considered which seat to choose, I thought about the scenario “if it happens again” where would be the best place to be seated (probably toward the back of the plane, aisle seat)? Then I sat down in my preferred location, window seat, not far from an engine. Oh well, I must not have been worried that much.
One more thing. I continue to be amazed at the life, near-death, and re-emergence of Dallas Love Field. As noted in previous posts, for me it has three significant advantages. First, it’s Southwest Airlines, my preferred mode of flight. Second, Love Field is only a 15-minute drive to my sister’s home near the intersection of Marsh Lane and LBJ freeway. Third, there is the statue of the other “Big Tex”, the Texas Ranger who has been looking over us for more than 60 years.
Woops, one more, one more thing. To no one’s surprise I did stop at Whataburger during my visit. That is not news. I did see a woman in a car in the parking lot of that Whataburger get of the trunk of a car and head toward the entrance of the restaurant. The trunk wasn’t that large and she seemed to unfold herself to get out. If she had not been smiling and carrying on with the other passengers in the car after she emerged from her ride with the spare tire, I would have been concerned. Also, this is Texas. One must expect the unusual.