Being kidnapped to Luckenbach

On my birthday last Friday afternoon, while reclining in my favorite position on my denim couch in front of the television, I was abruptly interrupted by my daughter, Holly, and her husband, James. Dressed up in shorts and a cowboy hat, she announced: “Get off the couch. You are being kidnapped.” To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I’ve been kidnapped twice,though, and loved both adventures. The first was by my wife, Mary Ann, and her running buddy, Connie Sanderson. They “napped” me and Don one spring day about 10 years ago. On that occasion we headed off to New Braunfels in spite of the fact that the town was experiencing a tornado and our outing at Schlitterbahn had to be cancelled. However, we stayed in a bed and breakfast and had a ball. Ironically, this time, May 2, my 63rd birthday, we also had a tornado threat, but thankfully, it never materialized. The four of us jumped into J&H’s SUV and headed south, away from the blue-black storm that was looming over McCulloch County. I had no idea where we were heading until Mary Ann slipped and mentioned “Holiday Inn Express.” I knew immediately it was either Fredericksburg or Boerne. (The second town because H and MA had stayed there a month or so before for a church function.) When we stopped at the one on the northside of F’burg, that took care of that mystery. After dining at Mamacita’s, we fooled around a bit, getting J & H’s photos developed, then headed east. Since I had been told that son, Zack, and his new bride, Sarah, were meeting us, and since we were heading east, a light bulb quickly came on over my noggin. “We are going to Luckenbach,” I exclaimed. I was convinced when we turned right at the AOK place near Stonewall. Holly and Zack were talking on the cell phone and he said to turn off on a road that started with “grape.” That trek through the beautiful Hill Country of Texas was our only misadventure. We spent about 30 minutes driving down a curvy farm-to-market highway before realizing we were lost. James turned around and we returned to our former turnoff spot. We continued down the highway and there, about a half mile further, was our location. . .Luckenbach, where Gary P. Nunn and band were performing. I’d heard G.P. on at least three occasions, all at Bryan-College Station and always with Zack and his buddies. This time was special. I’d estimate that about 1,000 people, the majority of them bikers who were meeting in F’burg for the weekend, gathered in a pasture where the Luckenbach Post Office is currently standing. Zack and Sarah, who had arrived earlier from College Station, had chairs saved for us. Jack and Cindy Whitworth and Kevin and Kathy Gafford, also Bradyites, joined us for about three and a half hours of music, dancing, etc. Jack’s son, Nick, was playing the keyboard in Gary’s band, and that gave us a bit more of an interest in the music. We danced on an uneven dirt surface, kicking up dust, but no one seemed to mind. Most of us, especially the Smiths, got Gary’s autograph. MA had Gary’s signature scribbled on her upper right arm, but alas it disappeared when she showered. (We wanted her to show it off at church Sunday morning.) I got my Aggie cap graced with Nunn’s monicker. About midnight we drove back to F’burg and came back home Saturday morning. The rest of the weekend was highlighted Saturday evening on Nonie Kothmann Stringer’s beautiful ranch house between Mason and F’burg. She hosted a wine tasting party on behalf of the Habitat for Humanity. About eight Texas wineries were represented, and we all were impressed with the bouquet and flavors of their offerings. Z and S departed Brady Sunday afternoon looking like a pair of Okies heading to California during the dustbowl days as they returned to CS with their pickup and trailer piled high with furniture and other odds and ends to complete their little home as newlyweds.

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