Erik Larson

Nov 6, 2008

Fredericksburg, TX

Came out to this sleepy little town to finish my dissertation. In spite of a pit in my stomach this morning, I did manage to complete chapter four. One chapter left, partially completed.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but in the interest of full disclosure (of, I guess, my idiocy), I forgot the power cord for my laptop, and so, sitting in a bed and breakfast with about two hours of juice and that sinking feeling we all know so well… called my wife… who drove out my power cord. What a gal. In true Fredericksburg fashion I purchased her a polished rock with “soulmate” inscribed. The kids got petrified sharks teeth. Connection to central Texas? Not sure. They like sharks.

Strange, this town. I’ve spent some time at the local watering hole, the Fredericksburg Brewery. The staff drinks beer liberally, and talk (too much) about Texas Tech, being closer to Austin than Lubbock. There are plenty of tatoos to go around, but the accents are unmistakeably Texas, and it’s not the place to discuss Obama, unless you’re careful to strike a non-partisan tone. But the people are friendly, and the old timers who come in to drink a beer or two, retired from Dallas or Houston (or one, Minnesota), are suprisingly moderate, and very decent people indeed. Texas is quite a place; full of real red-blooded people, and I think mostly good people. I’ve been impressed by their openness.

An old man with a cowboy hat and cowboy shirt, Eli, I swear he teared up talking about LBJ and Lady Bird Johnson. It’s still a place where decent people believe in America. It’s not a bumper sticker to them, and they’re not radicals with nothing good to say or nothing to offer. Go talk to them sometime.