The Lowdown on the Political Road

The gravel road in the picture below (and, for a time, in the header above) runs from Texas State Highway 80 just north of the town of Fentress to where it intersects with Farm-to-Market Road 20, about five miles to the northeast.

The sign at the intersection reads Political Road. The sign denotes Caldwell County’s approval, but the name existed about a zillion years before anyone thought about marking it.

And therein lies a tale. I relate it as it was told to me, but, in deference to the etiquette of small-town life, I omit names.

The Political Road
The Political Road

Once upon a time in the 1920s (or maybe the 1930s; I didn’t listen carefully enough), the formerly insignificant thoroughfare rose to prominence during a race for County Commissioner of the local precinct. The incumbent promised that, if elected, he would pave the road.

Hence, people in the area started calling it the Political Road, and the name stuck.

When I went to Fentress a couple of months ago, I drove the length of the Political Road. I expected to see it built up with new houses.

But there’s still not much out there.

I saw some cows resting beside a dying fire. That was a welcome sight. I love cows. I don’t see them often enough. They are superior to houses.

So that’s the story of the Political Road.

Except for one more thing: The incumbent County Commissioner lost the election.

The road still isn’t paved.

***

Backroads of Texas by Larry Hodge and Ed Syers is a good source of information about roads more interesting than I-35 and SH  130.

List of highways numbered 20
List of highways numbered 20 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

The Fashionable Cows of DFW: A Lone Star Attitude

[There may be long blank spaces in this post. Please don’t stop reading–scroll all the way to the end. The blank spaces are beyond my control.]

In keeping with Dallas’ role as both the sine qua non and the arbiter elegantiae of Lone Star fashion, the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport houses a number of swank boutiques offering aspiring trend setters apparel on the cutting edge.

Today we highlight a shop that offers the latest wrinkle in Texas style a la mode.

First, for her, a tunic top made of Jersey and adorned with tiny embroidered rosettes. For him, a shirt of dark blue denim. Both are suitable for casual meandering or for more formal trailer transport to greener pastures.

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In the background, a lovely dress in Angus black, falling in front to just above the knee, and in back to the hock.

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A closeup, below, highlights flowers fashioned from brightly colored silk ribbons bordering a modified V-neck, redolent of the meadows in a Texas spring.

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Next, another his-and-her combo: He sports a striped shirt, narrow verticals in navy blue, wider horizontals in alternating Babe ox blue, sea gray, and straw yellow, over a brown dun polo shirt. She looks stunning in a zebra-patterned skirt topped by a bodice of stone gray with dapples, red roan, brindle, and spring timothy. A circlet of bailing twine around her neck gives the outfit a festive air. Both garments could be worn for an evening of frolicking through maize stubble, or a midnight raid on the corn crib.

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Finally, an accessory no true gentleman cow can do without: a western-styled hat. Fashioned after the world-famous Stetson, this chapeau is bilaterally symmetrical, allowing it to be worn on either the right or the left horn with equal panache. One caveat, however: The wearer must take care to remove the hat before attempting to roll under a barbed wire fence, lest damage occur.

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It should also be noted that, although all the lady models are polled, the clothing displayed here can be worn by unpolled cows with no alteration whatsoever. Gentlemen cows, however, might have some difficulty wearing the hats without horns on which to hang them.

*****

The reviewer thanks Lone Star Attitude, DFW International Airport, for providing models and clothing, and for keeping her amused during a ninety-minute layover. In publishing this post, she intends no disrespect, but only admiration for those responsible for choosing to market their merchandise in such a delightful way.

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A Pitch-Perfect Paragraph–For Readers Who Know Cows

English: Herefords, The Park, Ashford Carbonel...
English: Herefords, The Park, Ashford Carbonel. The light coloured bull calf (1 month old) belongs to the cow on the right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “Herefords, The Park, Ashford Carbonel” by Richard Webb is licensed under [CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
I head into the house for my hat and my cane and the keys to my truck. There’s not a thing wrong with me but a bum knee. Several months ago one of my heifers knocked me down accidentally and it spooked her so bad that she stepped on my leg. This happened in the pasture behind my house, where I keep twenty head of white-faced Herefords. It took me two hours to drag myself back to the house, and those damned cows hovered over me every inch of the way.

~ Terry Shames, A Killing at Cotton Hill

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