Monday, February 21, 2011

All About Sunday

We started Sunday out with the usual trip to 11 am Mass. That was the last usual part of the day. Our old Irish priest, Monsignor Rory was back for the day. He is at least 86 years old, tall with that wonderful white hair like the O'Connor and Joy limbs of the family tree have. He was back on the island because Fr. John, our priest from India was playing doubles in a tennis tournament. So mass was full of funny stories with a strong Irish accent. In the middle of communion he excused himself to go to the bathroom. And asked the organist to play some songs ..... . When he got back he had forgotten where he was but he knew he hadn't said the Our Father yet, so we started there. It was all delightful and he assured us that he had washed his hands. He promised to have his favorite prayer in next weeks bulletin for us to take home. Glad to hear that, it is about the sea, and is a favorite of mine. I will post it when I get it. There are 93 families in the parish and many winter and summer visitors. He urged big donations to the extra collection to pay off the new church. He mentioned the time last year when they had a special collection for the folks in Haiti and at every mass he donated the $100 he won betting on a football game, he fished it out after every mass and donated it again at the next one. For the special Katrina collection they donated 23 thousand dollars. Islanders are generous. Then during the special collection he sang Irish songs and we had to sing the chorus with him. He really mugs up Molly Malone, and the song about Kilarney . Which isn't in spell check.

It was a lovely sunny day, close to 80 degrees, so after church we went home, ate lunch and got the golf cart out to go to town. As we started down the beach we noticed the strong winds right off the ocean, so we stopped and put down the curtains on that side of the cart so I wouldn't freeze. I didn't freeze but we were soon covered with a fine layer of sand. Apparently the wind was sneaking it in the back of the cart. My face was totally coated with sand. Stuck in my sun screen. My pop can was coated with sand, everything. When we got to town we went to Hooks to meet Susan and Javiar and Dave and Beth. We missed the Bluegrass festival at the Gaff on Saturday and they were worried about us, we were just tired, a full week of beach catches up with you eventually. And the moon fire was the night before. And we met Lisa and Jason. It was their first time on the island, they ended up spending the night instead of driving home drunk. She had on a Coyote Ugly tank shirt a stranger gave her because the one she wore on Saturday was dirty. Isn't that nice? Remember Lisa, she returns in this saga.

So everyone left and we stayed to finish our ice tea/beer. Land Shark was only $2, apparently it is very smooth. Anyway, we were sitting on a long picnic table in the sun, a family group started over to sit, saw it was the only table and started to leave, I waved them in and said we were just leaving and they should join us. So they did and he regaled us with great stories for an hour. He and his wife had a friend's little girl with them and a very ugly little dog and a teen age daughter who also drank Land Shark. Check out this from the TABC Alcoholic Beverage Code:

(b) A person may purchase an alcoholic beverage for or give an alcoholic beverage to a minor if he is the minor's adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or an adult in whose custody the minor has been committed by a court, and he is visibly present when the minor possesses or consumes the alcoholic beverage.

Interesting for sure. Texas is a whole other country, just saying ....

But I digress. So this guy, let's call him Bob, grew up next to a newspaper reported for the Caller Times in Corpus Christi, and had lots of good stories and proceeded to tell us about the King Ranch, south of CC. He tells a much more colorful story than the official web site or even Wikipedia. And probably the truth is mixed into all of them. Bob says the original Mr King was a scoundrel and more or less threatened ranchers into selling their and to him for pennies on the dollar, old news really.

The cowboys at the ranch are famous for shooting trespassers. Like in "King Ranch is it's own little country and can do whatever it wants to do. " Apparently they would just shoot and bury poachers, and still do. I did read an article in the paper this winter about a poacher caught there. Oddly, people still love to poach there. In south Texas there are towns where only Spanish is spoken, even by the white people. A friend from one town told him of his aunt and uncle who disappeared in the 1950s on their way down to visit them. They waited and waited and no one ever heard from them again. About 30 years later a car like theirs was found on the ranch with two skeletons in it. The ranch is currently only 825,000 acres. I can see how it could be missed for 30 years.

I liked the stories about the ranch vs the US Navy in WWII. I have to finish this later, my brain is going to explode.

Tuesday Morning

During WWII Corpus Christi changed from a sleepy coastal town to a city with 5 military bases. The training flights for the Navy would be held over the King Ranch, as it was such a large part of the area. The cowboys from the ranch were pretty uncivilized and mostly never left the ranch. They shot any trespassers, which in their minds included air planes overhead. So the first time the Navy came to call, the ranch refused to agree to tell them not to shoot at planes. After the second incident the Navy had fighter planes nearby ready to shoot back, which they did. It took a few strafing raids to come to a shaky truce. Still, if a plane crashed the Navy was not allowed in to get it and investigate. So the Navy began shooting their cattle and the ranch called asking when they were coming to get get their plane. In truth, Bob was a much better story teller than I am, and this was all before beer.

When we left Hooks we went across the street to Bernie's, just to see who was there and cheap beer. Guess who was there? Lisa and Jason, just a little into their cups and nice as ever. After a while I had a snack attack so we decided to stop at the Gaff for a piece of pizza. Heidi and Kip kindly made me a nice slice and we sat and visited with friends. Then we went to the beach to find Javiar and Susan, and they had left already. So we rolled up the sides on the cart (not wanting them to tear in the strong winds) and headed down the beach. We were already covered in sand, time to get it home. We got home and watched some racing, got hungry and it was too windy to grill outside. So we went to Virginia's to try their mesquite smoked beef tenderloin sandwich. It was great. They had the big garage doors open at Virgina's and we had a nice view of the harbor. When we left we stopped at Bernie's for the country band. We aren't so much into going out for that, the music is so loud and the dancers are so drunk.

And who do we see first but Marisa and Zack. It was Marisa's 23rd birthday and she had been given some free shots. Zack is a great dancer, and Marisa did pretty good considering her condition. I wish I had my camera, many of her tatoos were visible. I won't even speculate on her piercings. Any way, they are really nice kids, nothing like my own sweet babies, but good at heart. And huggy. And guess who else was there? Yes Lisa and Jason, she asked me if Bernie's had food. No. I pointed to Virginia's, but not sure they would let them in. Turns out they just kept drinking. We danced a while and sat with some friends to talk. Lisa was dancing with a girl, oh my. Then with a different man. Then with Jason, oh almost falling down. They were right next to me swaying to the music, or booze. Yes, the booze. Man, is she going to fall on me. I bet she will. I wisely decide to move to the other side of the table, just in the nick of time. I would have been totally squished by Coyote Ugly Lisa. Who is a nice person, just totally drunk. I am thinking they stayed in a motel for another night. Did not go to town on Monday to find out for sure.

So soon after we headed for home after a busy, interesting day. We don't meet that many new folks or learn that many new things in a year in Clare. And it was fun. This is what we missed by being responsible parents and it is fun to do it now. We don't feel so old when we are having fun. And so totally worth it to be responsible parents, we have such nice kids and grands to show for it. Well, they are responsible for being the way they are. But we were there.


Stephanie said...

I'd like to see a documentary on the King Ranch, so tell that guy to contact the History channel and put something together for me.

Marjie said...

will do. There are lots of books on it.

Marjie said...

Wow, this is such a long post I didn't think anyone would read it.

Unknown said...

Great post Marjie!
Interesting. :-)