Texas
September 2005

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After a few errands, we returned to the festival to check out the carnival. (These photos look a lot better on black, thus the jarring transition to night. Sorry.)

SW wasn't in the mood to ride anything (carnival rides scare her a bit) and I wasn't in the mood to wait in the long lines for tickets. We'd had fun at the carnival in Brownwood on our previous visit so I was content to just wander and take pretty pictures.

 

SW's niece gave us a hard time about not riding anything so we opted to take a trip on the Ferris wheel. It gave us a nice view of town at night, but even this ride gave us the willies.

We slipped out of the carnival, leaving SW's niece to ride the same rides that had made us mildly ill last time we were in Brownwood.

A couple of blocks away we visited Backroads, the only bar in town open on a Saturday night. Things were dead when we arrived but eventually the festival concerts ended and everyone flooded into Backroads. I wrote about this place last time we hit Brownwood and not much has changed. But I did notice a few strange things.

First off, the music selection is more eclectic than you might think for a small town Texas bar. Sure, there's the boot scootin' classic and modern country & western stuff, but mixed in randomly were booty shakin' hits from 20 years ago. Tone Loc? Wha?!?

We looked for the DJ and spotted him on an upper balcony gazing into a laptop. But when the DJ's voice came over the PA I noticed the guy on the computer wasn't speaking into a microphone.

It turns out the annoying banter in between tunes was pre-recorded. How fuckin' lame is that? If they're gonna go that route at least get someone that doesn't sound like every strip club DJ I've ever heard.

Another new phenomenon of note - the grungy hat. I found it interesting that most of the guys had given up the traditional cowboy hat in favor of the baseball cap. Not all, but probably 65% of 'em. 34% still sport the cowboy hat, either the classic felt or a woven one for summer. Only around 1% of the guys don't wear a hat at all.
But amongst hat wearers of all flavors were several who were proudly wearing hats that should've been tossed in the trash long ago. I can understand wearing your favorite baseball cap around the farm when there's nobody but the wife and/or cows to see the ragged edge, the grease spots, the sweat stains. But taking that stinky thing out in public is just gross. There were cowboy hats that were transparent with sweat stains. Fuck, if you can't afford two hats, one for home and one for going out on the town, just wash your hair before you go out, cowboy, and leave the old hat at home.

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