in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress

Butch Strange

Hamilton Texas 024

I am sweet and dandy now, to steal a lyric from Toots of Toots and the Maytals. Once I get on the road, I stop feeling sorry for myself and get busy being on the road. Is not that a beautiful assortment of collectible bottles? The road has its own rewards, a thing that I well knew but had forgotten. I wish you could have been with me.

When one drives across border from Reynosa into McAllen, one then gets on U.S. 281 heading north to San Antonio. South of San Antonio U.S. 281 joins up with I-35. It is mistake to stay on I-35 from then on because from San Antonio up through Austin and all the way to Dallas and Fort Worth, there is one big strip mall along the side of that Interstate. I have driven it at two, three, four o’clock in the morning. It is lit up like daylight, which is troubling to a man who has grown accustomed to people who turn out the lights when they go to bed. The correct course of action, I have found, is to stick with U.S. 281 when it splits back off and heads north right through central Texas to the west of I-35. That way you get out among ’em, which of course is what I like to do.

Hamilton Texas 019

Butch Strange and Mrs. Strange,

Hamilton, Texas, United States of America, on 13 December 2012.

Yesterday I cashed in a standing invitation to stay in the guest house of lady who lives on a nice spread out in the country near Hamilton, Texas, which is on U.S. 281. When I got there my hostess and I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant run by a young lady who has a story all her own, but that is for another day. While we were eating, a big bear of man at the next table struck up a conversation with us. He was eponymously named Butch Strange, but strange in a good way. Butch Strange and I hit it off. Mrs. Strange was with him.

Butch is a picker, although he would prefer a different name for his profession. I have therefore come up with the term “cultural recycler.” After we finished eating, we went outside to take a look at his pickup load of collectible bottles. He set out the assortment pictured at the outset for a photo–with his apologies to you, my visitors, that he had not gotten the bottles cleaned up yet.

Hamilton Texas 023

This is bottle that long ago contained the famous Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine for menstrual cramps. Active ingredient? Alcohol of course.

15 Responses to “Butch Strange”

  1. Angela

    Glad to see you’re posting from the road, Stephen. Looking forward to more and hoping for a safe trip for you.

  2. Rubye Jack

    When all else fails, there’s always alcohol. 🙂
    I-35 or I-40, those roads are some of the most miserable in the U.S. through Texas/Oklahoma. I also prefer the back roads even if they may take a bit more time. Actually, you never know what you’re find. These bottles are great!

  3. spixl

    Still life of bottles, nice; dust adds character, like wrinkles. Hayner whiskey bottle es muy especial! Road trips always bring surprises…

    • StephenBrassawe

      Butch claims that the whiskey bottle is colored in that fashion by the addition of magnesium, I believe he said it was, spixl.

  4. Jamie Dedes

    I thought you were back in Mexico when I saw your comment. Nice that you are posting from the road and sharing your trip with us. The bottles are lovely and in a perfect arrangement.

  5. StephenBrassawe

    Thank you all for stopping by. I got a little grim during the remainder of the trip with the exception of a hot Saturday night in Kansas City with old friends. It became just a grim grind to get here, 2,250 miles on the truck’s trip counter when all was said and done. No blogging during that. I am back on the job now though.

    • StephenBrassawe

      I have been working on cleaning out this old farmhouse for a couple of days now, Gene. I find that I work best on it when I work on it zoned out. I have a week to fill the undustrial size dimpster out back. That will be no problem.

  6. DianaAni

    Now, I am getting around to reading your post. The bottles are more beautiful in this light, richly colored like jewels. I send warm thoughts your way, fresh dreams.

    • StephenBrassawe

      The thing is, valomni, that really is their last name. I feared that some might not believe me in that.


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