Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Floatin' Down Memory Lane

Pam asked if like Houston, floods occur here each year. I tried to explain that it's kind of a yes and no situation. Overall, no. But in some spots . . . yes.

The reasons may be different for different areas, but let there be heavy, sustained rainfall it's ga-run-teed one of the places the reporters will ALWAYS talk about is San Marco. Its streets ALWAYS seem to be one of those under water. Especially this intersection.

Every time it floods there, for 30 some-odd years the media shows people from Public Works cleaning that particular drain. Probably longer than that, but before that I wasn't here and until just after that, I'd never been to Applejack's.

It's trendy, now. Spanish-styled exteriors and Applejack's long gone, but the corner itself hasn't changed. I recognized it immediately when I saw the pic in today's paper.

Usta be if you wanted a quick lunch at a good price -- take-out or eat-in -- the place to go was Applejack's. It wasn't every day but a bit fancier fare . . . say, on payday to celebrate surviving another two weeks on the job.

The only downside was trying to find a parking place, and doing that could eat up most of your lunch time. Unless you learned pretty quickly to park on the street behind, hoof it to their counter, and go.

Parking on the street behind Applejack's had an added advantage, too. Since it was (is still?) on higher ground than San Marco, you could be reasonably assured that your vehicle wouldn't be up to the middle of its hub caps (or worse) in standing water when it rained.

You might have to pull your shoes off when you left the car to wade to Applejack's front door, but . . . well, we were all young once.

Weren't we?

And if we were ten minutes late getting back to work, "Queen Bitch" -- our supervisor -- just might not dock us. We weren't just going for our lunch. We were bringing back her lunch, too.

Applejack's was the place to go out with "the gang from work," too. Pizza, cheap wine, beer and on Friday nights a band. No one had much money to spare, so you pooled your change figuring out before you went in what everyone could have.

Inside, on Friday nights, local boys strummin' and singin'. Or trying to figure out if they placed their mic here instead of there, or moved their amplifiers a bit, maybe they could go back to playing because they'd stopped the ear-splitting squeal that could bust ear drums, and maybe be discovered and make it big.

Thunder outside. The sound of rain falling. Tapered candles burning -- stuck in dusty old wine bottles coated with the drippings of who knows how many candles burnt before them -- on the tables.

Powers out again. Shut off, actually, to make sure no one got electrocuted while Applejack's owners and employees grabbed sandbags from a storage area to stack them outside the door trying to keep the water from coming in.

Again.

Ah, the memories.

We all get older.

Times change.

The only thing that lasts is flooding in the "usual areas."

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3 Comments:

Blogger GUYK said...

Well, the best I remember Houston was build in a swamp and swamps flood..hell, over half of Florida is built in a swamp and damn right it floods.

I also remember last spring driving around Houston..I think it took me three hours at 55 MPH to go from the east side to the west side and get out of the heavily populated areas..with that much area one part of town can flood and the rest be dry as a popcorn fart

9:53 AM  
Blogger pamibe said...

"The only thing that lasts is flooding in the "usual areas.""

I hear that! Enjoyed hearing about Applejack's, too. ;)

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall see Doc Watson and his son Merle at Applejack's. Yup, sandbags outside the door.

2:21 PM  

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