Road Trip

Gentlemen will remove hats:
There’s a singular mental image I’ve borne with me over the years, echoed and reiterated last night, a single cerebral snapshot, from the dining room of the Limpia Hotel, in Ft. Davis – the sign reads: Gentlemen will remove hats in the dining room.

The side bar item is the term Uvalde Tux, as in a Tuxedo named for a town in South Texas, which I’ve passed through, but never spent much time. In the short form, a Uvalde Tux is nice boots, jeans, belt, wingtip collar or other fancy dress tux shirt with those pesky little studs and cuff links, lots of starch, frilly front. This is topped with a tux jacket and bolo tie. Maybe a 5X Beaver hat from Peter Bros in Ft. Worth. What I’d wear, anyway.

Maybe a decade ago, maybe a little less, I was attired in Austin-cool sandals and Hawaiian print shirt, overnight visit to the Limpia Hotel and its fine dining room. At one time, it was legitimately the highest hotel in Texas. It also boasts of running water in every room.

I was there, cool summer’s eve, and across the dining room, a robust, slightly rotund rancher was there with a date. I’d guess she was a barrel racer and he was trying to impress her, the vibe the image gave off. He was dressed in a Uvalde Tux, bolo with lots of turquoise and a belt buckle the size of a license plate, probably won in a rodeo event.

He and his date, I recall very little about the female, which is unusual for me, but the big old cowboy consumed my attention. He was seated right beneath that sign, wearing his Stetson. Silver/grey, nice hat, dress hat, and, from what I know about my manly men in West Texas? He was right to wear his hat.