El Paso in the springtime

My biggest fear is that I’ve got a spare cigar cutter tucked into my carry-on baggage. I could just see that causing some trouble for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve been at the airport early enough to get the free doughnuts SWA offers. But I was there early enough, not only to have some of the doughnuts, but to talk to a loitering security guy, “Doughnuts any good?” “Sure, just not as good as Lone Star.” “Man, I had Krispy Kreme this morning, and even that’s not as a good as a Lone Star Doughnut.”

Reading a back issue of the New York Times Book Review, I found an article about a book noting that the white cowboys learned their trade from the first cowboys, the Vaqueros. Perfect thing to think about, doing the Texas two-step across the state in the morning light. Austin – Midland – El Paso, who booked this flight?

I suppose it looks a little funny, I didn’t get fully dressed until I got to the airport, waiting to clear security before I put on my hunk of a bolo tie, and the rings I wear. Anyone in Austin knows I wear one ring, and not much else. But for this trip, I put on that spare wedding ring I keep handy. Never can tell when a romantic pawnshop band of gold can come in handy – preventative medicine.

I’ve been doing the Austin – El Paso shuffle for close to a decade now. It’s not like Dallas, or other places, where I share family influences, I’ve always, in the past, thought that El Paso was more my town than anyone else in my family.

I got off the plane, ambled to pick up my suitcases, dialing a number along the way to see about a ride while thinking I should check on the other arrivals because Pa Wetzel and his Sister were due in sometime Saturday morning, too. I round the corner, head towards the baggage claim, and there’s my Pa Wetzel, hassling a rent car counter clerk, and his Sister, trying to wrestle their suitcases along.

Before my ride ever showed up, I had the old man and my aunt packed up in their rent car and headed off to wherever they were going.

That wedding ring? Seemed to work, I only had to promise myself twice to clients’ daughters.

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