We left Maumelle COE after two nights (thinking three nights would have been better). Rain was forecast between there and NAC as everyone calls Nacogdoches. The AAA routing says four hours, we figure about five and a half and we are pretty close. We don’t drive the speed limit (75 mph on two lane state highways!) and we seem to catch most of the stop lights.
Foretravel has a campground which is really just a parking lot but they have 50 amp hookups and water. There is a laundry there as well. Lots of folks in for service stay there. Anyone else just passing through is usually welcome to stay as well. Nice because it was free. Well, free like Walmart. I went in to the Parts Department and bought a new pressure switch for the auxiliary air compressor and a couple of polyurethane bushings for the engine hatch. They help keep it from rattling.
There were several people in the campground, a couple that I knew. One was from New Mexico, the other from Northern Texas.
We had plans to meet Rudy and Carolyn Legett from Baytown the next day for a visit with Mary and Chappell Jordan. So that evening Susan and I went to Auntie Pastas for dinner. Susan had chicken piccata and I had pan seared red snapper. What a wonderful dinner. Service was attentive, food came quickly and hot. We got a baguette with dinner, we only had a small chunk of it and the wait person sent us home with another. These are baked on site and brought to the table still warm. The two we brought home became French toast a few days on. Way more than we could eat for breakfast so the rest got frozen for a quick breakfast another day. At dinner the folks sitting at the table next to us recognized us from the Foretravel Forum and introduced themselves. They were from Fort Worth and were staying over at Motorhomes of Texas.
Rudy and Carolyn stopped by in the morning and we followed them to Chappell and Mary’s home. NAC is the oldest city in Texas. It has about 20,000 people there plus another 11,000 students at Stephen F. Austin State University. It is also the county seat. This area is forested with pine trees and the lumber industry has been big for a long time. There are many grand homes in the historic district where Chappell and Mary live. They retired from Chappell’s Houston clock store (repairs and sales) in the mid 1990s and moved to a large 1890s home in NAC that was a bed and breakfast. They continued the B&B for five years or so and then it reverted back to a single family home once again. Lots of bedrooms and bathrooms. They are active antique furniture collectors so the whole house is stuffed with beautiful furnishings and 150 or so of Chappell’s clocks that he hung onto. Some are immense clocks, some stately grandfather clocks, many old English clocks and many just quite curious ones.
Rudy wanted me to meet Chappell because we share woodworking as a serious avocation. He will tackle almost anything. There were clocks, large dining and kitchen tables, small trays, end tables and many more things he has built all through the house. He likes working in Cherry and Curley Maple. His work was very well done, a joy to see. We went to his shop and looked at wood, looked at tools, talked about methods, tools and much more … boring to all but woodworkers. But just as much fun for Rudy to see us connect as he thought we might.
We went out for lunch and then back to their coach house where Chappell and Mary store their FT. More motorhome yakking and then back to their house. The gals stayed there and the guys went to look at motorhomes at Motorhomes of Texas. We looked at several then we went to MOTs second site to look at something else and ran into the folks we met the night before at dinner. And then to Xtreme Paint and Graphics to say Hi to friends there and then back to check on the gals. (This guys/gals this is a TX thing). They were fine, they had a detailed tour and lots of chatting about everything. So after a cup of coffee we all said goodbye and departed.
What a pleasant and enjoyable day.
And then we went out for dinner with Mike and Jackie Harbordt, more good friends from NAC. They too have a FT, something we have in common but we all share an interest in books and authors and the things they say, how they say them and what that all says to us. Lots of common thought here. Last time we were down here Mike gave me a book of blog pieces written by Pat Conroy. He is an interesting author whose works include “The Great Santini”, “The Lords of Discipline”, “The Prince of Tides” and more. He was raised in a strict military family and went to the Citadel, a South Carolina military college. His writing reflects much of his own life experiences and life at the Citadel. His blogs speak of his friends, friendship, writing, reading, authors and language. I started the book, Susan picked it up and finished it in a flash and went on to read other of his books, I like to say I am on my third reading. I read one entry, stop and think about it and then again some more and then go back several entries and read them again because I need to understand what was said. And then forward again.
This has made me think about what is said and how. Much more about how friendships emerge and strengthen and sometimes not and how important they can be. And what happens when you lose a long time friend.
We had a very nice dinner with Mike and Jackie. We will be seeing them in about six weeks over in Fredericksburg, TX when the Bluebonnets should be in bloom. It is always a pleasure to see them and share a meal and a conversation.
On to Baytown next. We were getting ready to leave and the folks from Fort Worth showed up for a short show and tell. And then on we all went. It was pouring rain. Buckets.
Roger and Susan.