Monday, August 31, 2009

Moving Pictures

As a youth, while I didn't go to "camp" like many other kids, I went to the family camp in Blanco, Texas. It wasn't a camp really, it was my cousins' country home (there were six kids total - 2 girls, 4 boys; two of the boys were slightly older than me and two were slightly younger.) So I spent a few weeks every summer with them, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, about a mile out of town on one of the most beautiful pieces of property imaginable. In a much earlier post I speak of their family selling the property; to the daughter of Tom Benson, BTW, which will give you an idea of the beauty of the property. It had the headwaters of a spring fed creek on it which in turn fed into the Blanco River. Once at a family reunion my daughter and I walked down the road to the rear of the property and "spooked" three does that were bedded down thru the afternoon.

I could write an epistle about the all the times we had without getting into serious trouble. Though we did "prank around" quite a bit. We hunted, fished, swam and ran loose and free. We had a tractor to ride to town, a State Park where we trapped ground squirrels, a Bowling Alley where we bowled with the pins being set by hand, a Drug Store that had the best Cherry Limeades you ever tasted, a Red & White Store that handled everything from dry goods to meat and produce and a theatre - The Last Picture Show just like in the movie. Just like in the movie.

Larry McMurtry's film of the same name could have been set and shot in Blanco during the time I was there. It is absolutely that accurate with regard not only to place but person. I suppose I was in my late adolescence and early teens when I began spending significant time there and I can assure you it marked me for life. I can remember my peers of the time, still know their names (some are long dead) and see them in the characters in McMurtry's portrayal of small town Texas in the late 50's. It was a time of my "coming of age", for while American Graffiti is another of my coming of age flicks, I truly identify with The Last Picture Show. I suppose that I'm really of a different era and have never gotten past it.

Perhaps that's because that past was at least in part carefree and without responsibliity. But sadly, we become adults, taking on adult responsibilities and frequently become bogged down in the mundane details of living that responsible life.

Damn, I miss the old days.


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