I forgot to mention the British pub in San Antonio in the last blog chapter. There it was on the riverwalk, complete with British bulldog, post box and….girls in short skirts and knee-high socks and black boots. For one moment, I was afronted. Is that how they think us British girls dress?! And then I stopped myself and remembered that back in 1990/91 that was pretty much my going out clubbing attire, and it looked pretty trashy then, as it does now. So, all in all, I guess they got it spot on 😉
Men really do walk around in cowboy hats
They do. That is all I have to say about that. 😉
Gruene, cowboy town
I liked Gruene a lot. It sits in Texas Hill Country and has an interesting history.
Arriving in Texas in the mid 1840s, German farmers became the first settlers of the town. Ernst Gruene, a German immigrant, and his bride Antoinette, had reached the newly established city of New Braunfels in 1845, but acreage was scarce. Thus, Ernst and his two sons purchased land just down river, and Ernst built the first home in Gruene in early ‘fachwerk’ style. His second son, Henry D. Gruene, built his home (now Gruene Mansion Inn) and planted his surrounding land with cotton. Having become the number one cash crop, the cotton business soon brought 20 to 30 families to Henry D.’s lands.
And I very much liked meeting the cowboy in black, I liked the rustic spit and sawdust bar and gnarly wooden tables and I liked the music loads.
I was rather taken with the Tom Gillam band the Kosmic Messengers and wished I could have stayed all night to watch them. I liked their banter, the stories in the music and the whole rock ‘n’ roll and country vibe.
Take a look at the footage I shot:
Cowboy hat vs tribly
I had the notion that I would replace my Marks and Spencer’s ‘cowboy’ hat bought in the UK with an authentic cowboy hat in Texas. But, I didn’t see one that I liked 😦 and spent most of my time walking around in my trilby-style hat, which, when you are in a cowboy bar feels a little inadequate, or as my other half said: ‘Like someone cut off the rim of your hat.’ 😉
How to say ‘lasso’
I did learn a very important cowboy pronunciation. The word ‘lasso’ is not pronounced, as we say, ‘lassoo’, cos there are not two ‘o’s, but one. And so it is simply ‘lass-oh’. So now you know.
Signs on the freeway
I love spotting great big billboards on the freeway in the States – it feels very American, and they kind of make me laugh. These are some of my favourites:
Up next: Austin, keeping it weird, bats, alternative art shows, college football 🙂