Roadtrip to Elgin

February 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Diana and took a most pleasant afternoon excursion to Elgin this afternoon — that is, after we got to Manor and on to Old Hwy. 20. We made the mistake of taking US 290 out of Austin (instead of 969/973) to Manor, and wasted at least 20 precious minutes in backed up traffic because of toll road construction. But on to pleasantries. Passing through Littig, the old store/post office there crumbles more each year and is no longer identifiable as such. Coming into Elgin, the old brick cotton gin is gone, although some of the old Elgin brick lives on in more modern perversions of the building trade. The little H&TC freight depot is now the Elgin Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Our first stop was the Elgin Antique Mall, looking for God knows what, and that ended up being a piece of Smith Ballew sheet music, “We Can Live On Love,” with lyrics by Smith and Edward Pola. Smith is prominently featured in my as-yet unpublished opus “If You Can’t Dance, Get On and Ride: Austin During the Jazz Age.” After that pleasant $4.56 surprise, it was on to Meyer’s BBQ (instead of Southside; Gregg Meyer generously provided food for one of my book signings last year, so I was obliged to return the favor, although the pleasure was all ours.) Diana pronounced the half-chicken magnificent in all respects, and I was quite content with the brisket, rope sausage and kosher dill pickles.

On our way back, we took the Upper Elgin River Road to check on the status of an old iron bridge that is just past the intersection with Hogeye Rd. The bridge is in full retirement but looking hale and hearty; thank God for the historic preservation mentality that was so scarce 40 years ago.

Upper Elgin River Road dead-ends into 969, and we headed thusly for Austin. Webberville’s city limits stretch farther and farther to the east every year so it seems. There was water standing everywhere, which is a good harbinger for spring wildflowers, but other than some isolated stands of rain lillies, nothing is blooming yet, except new traffic lights along the way (sigh).

As I rue the fading of the old Central Texas I grew to love, I am now going to assuage my anguish with some leftover brisket, sausage, and potato salad of my own making.

Get out and enjoy it while it’s still there, because less of it will be there tomorrow.

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