By Edward A. Forbes
It was time for Trekkie to make a trip, and the 90 on 90 garage sale, which begins in Columbus and proceeds on the old Highway 90 to Seguin, was beckoning.
I’ve decided to name my 2003 Roadtrek that I acquired recently Trekkie.
My original intent was to leave Thursday evening, spend the night in Columbus and then follow the garage sale at least to Luling. I intended to be at Mom’s Front Porch for a chicken salad sandwich on homemade bread.
Sadly, a friend’s loss prevented me from leaving until Friday night.
I leave the comfort of Angleton, Texas, to find what joys await along the way on old Highway 90 for about 90 miles - the 90 on 90.
Leaving late, I arrived in Columbus well after midnight. I started the generator to run the air conditioning, closed all the privacy curtains and made my bed for the night in Columbus’s small Walmart.
Nestled between two tractor trailers, whose diesels rumble, made my generator sound like a tinker toy. I slept comfortably until around 6 a.m., when they began to purge air brakes and start the preparations for their next stop.
I brushed my teeth and plugged in my one-cup Keurig coffee maker, carefully put 10 ounces of water in, put in one pod of coffee, pulled down the handle, and nothing happened.
Learning curve - I need to hold down the handle until all the water runs through the heater, into the pod, and then into the coffee cup.
I took a sip, and holy jumping Jehoshaphat, it was hot. With a scorched upper lip, I extracted my new small, two-slice toaster, loaded it and pushed the lever down. I got the butter out of the small fridge and hoped the toast was hot enough to melt the butter, as I know the coffee definitely is.
Coffee cooled, toast buttered - I had my morning repast; I dressed and opened curtains and prepared Trekkie for our morning drive.
In my youth, I rode the bus to Houston to visit my dad and later drove the same route on old Highway 90, but I drove through small towns that I didn’t recall from those days. I also didn’t remember there being so many railroad overpasses. I guess you would have to say Highway 90 went under the railroad numerous times, as the rails were there first and were historically and commercially important to the area.
I digress. I had missed all of Friday, which was the day I intended to devote to the garage sales along my route. I was merely a sightseer for the journey and drove leisurely toward Luling.
When I reached Highway 183 and the Buc-ees near Luling, I decided to go to Palmetto Park. I passed the new light they installed so people could get into Buc-ees, and not an eighth of a mile later, I saw a farmer selling watermelons and tomatoes on the side of the road. No, it can’t be, I thought, but yes, it was Gary Collins. Gary graduated with my nine-month-younger brother, Donnis. Gary and I had also worked in the watermelon fields together one summer a long, long time ago. I made a U-turn and went back to Gary’s location.
Gary and I talked about farming, businesses in Luling and schoolmates from those many years ago. We talked about farming and the variances of weather and how it affected a farmer’s crop. We talked about outside investors buying the storefronts in downtown Luling and the empty places for rent.
As we talked, a truck pulled up, and a gentleman spoke up “Are those dark green melons Black Diamonds?” Gary assured him, “Yes sir, they are.” Gary retrieved his melon, and in salesman mode asked, “where are you folks from?” “We are from a town south of Houston, close to the coast.” I, at this point, interjected.
“What town is that?”
“West Columbia” he responded. I then told him I was from Angleton, and my brother and his wife lived in West Columbia. While he and Gary completed the financial portion of the watermelon purchase, I walked over and spoke to his wife.
“I know he said West Columbia, but we live in Bar X,” she informed me.
Bar X is about midway between Angleton and West Columbia. They were just returning home from New Braunfels, and I was impressed they had enough money left for a melon. Sadly, I can’t remember their names, and I vowed to start recording these conversations to bypass my faulty memory.
After ascertaining that Gary would be in this spot on Sunday and assuring him that I would stop and purchase a melon and some tomatoes, I bid him adieu and continued my side trip to Palmetto State Park. (More about that later.)
(Edward Forbes wants to hear from you. Email him at email@example.com or send comments by snail mail to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX. 77516.)