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LOCKHART, TEXAS:  From the courthouse to the interior of Black's Barbeque, these photos pretty much explain themselves.

Lockhart, Part 1
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

Turn off that TV! Get out of the house. Go somewhere you've never been, talk to strangers and get lost if you can. 

If you're like most folks, that groove you settled into is all rut now. The only way you can escape is to strike out for adventure.  And you don't have to go far from home.


G.jpg (7785 bytes)as prices being what they are I decided to take in a few towns close by.  Lockhart, Luling, Prarie Lea, Fentress and some backroads toward home -- a visit to all those places I've taken for granted and breezed by in the past. 
       Lockhart is famous for its barbecue.  Every community likes to lay claim to something so outsiders will know just how special they are.  Sometimes two places make the same claim and that's when politicians step in to settle the matter. For example, according to MSN Houston is the Barbecue Capital of Texas.  In the Spring of 1999 the Texas Legislature officially gave the designation to Lockhart but evidently MSN hasn't gotten the word.  But wait, there's more.
       You might wonder which town claims to be the Barbecue Capital of the World.  Well, Kansas City, Missouri; Santa Maria, California; Owensboro, Kentucky; Hemingway, South Carolina;  Lexington, North Carolina; and Llano, Texas (to name a few) all claim the title. 
       Now don't go thinking that this momentous delemma could be settled by the World Court in the Hague.  We quit that bunch last year.   Anyway,  I don't reckon such decisions should be left to old boys in starched shirts and silk ties. So, in my humble opinion, since the folks in Llano were clever enough to by-pass the Texas Legislature with such an audacious claim you gotta respect that.  Also, there are more barbecue pits per capita in Texas than any other U.S. state; so I reckon, by default, the winner is Llano, Texas.  Besides, unless you've been to Cooper's, Laird's, Inman's or Brothers BBQ in Llano you don't get a vote.
       Yea, I know -- the tour...
       It was just me and Nigel the Land Rover on this trip and fortunately navigation wasn't an issue.  Coming into Lockhart I realized right off   I was in one of those truly special Texas communities where historic restoration and civic pride are setting some pretty high standards. 
mansion.jpg (35227 bytes)        After pulling over to photograph one of their mansions, I parked on the courthouse square for a little photo stroll.  That courthouse is prettier than any picture but I gave it my best lick before taking my own walking tour.
       There's something about doorways (and porches) that can really grab my attention.  Speaking of porches, I passed by a magnificent one and was Door2.jpg (20820 bytes)fixing to stop before I glanced at the rear-view mirror and saw that semi-truck bearing down on me like a blue norther.  Anyway, just off the square I came upon this bright yellow doorway trimmed in pink, blue and burgundy accented, accidentally, by a baby blue stroller.  After taking the picture I stared at it for awhile half expecting transported back in time.  You never know... Okay, you do, but I don't.
       At the end of the block I checked out the Lockhart Antique Emporium (photo below).  I wasn't going to buy anything, financies and gas prices being what they are, but I reckon I antiquestore1.jpg (30668 bytes)could spot something someone else might like.  I introduced myself to Mary and John Porter, who were managing the place, and asked if I could take a few pictures.  I reckon it wasn't one of your every-day requests so they called the owner, Kathy McCormick, for permission.  Meanwhile I started taking pictures telling them they could have the disc if she wasn't agreeable.
       There was lots of neat stuff  and I took several photos; after reviewing them I realized one item stood out.   Painting.jpg (32440 bytes)It was a painting of Mary and a kinda girly-looking Jesus. If you decide to buy it make sure the green glassware beneath the painting is part of the deal.  ( I've seen way too many episodes of Trading Spaces...)
       Mary and John were mighty  friendly folks who have their own business -- indiancreekantiques.com.   I  visited their site and somewhat inclined to purchase their
Dreams of a Final Theory by Steven Weinberg, recipient of the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics.   I mean who wouldn't want to read about "the shape of a final theory and the effect its discovery will have on the human spirit"?  Who knows, after reading Final Theory I may be transported into theTurnA.jpg (4971 bytes) future?  Naturally, if that happened I'd probably keep it to myself.   I suspect Weinberg put "Dreams" in the title just keep folks from thinking he was either a prophet or a nut-case.  Dreamer, prophet, nut-case -- all my kind of folk.

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