When I left off last time, I had us outside the radio station in Wimberley and was talking about how we missed (sigh) the free, impromptu concert that Paul Simon put on in the big glass box. (Double sigh.)
Anyway, we poked around the area a bit. Right next to the building is The Martha Knies Community Park, which is a nice little bit of greenery that also links up with the Cypress Creek. We’ve walked it a bit the last time we were here, but it was too hot today, and we were getting hungry.
So, we turned around and walked back toward the town center. Oh, and one quick note, along one of the walls of The Lumberyard Office and Retail Center, someone has painted a set of colorful wings. The idea, of course, is that if you back up to the wings, you can have your companion snap your photo looking like a technicolor angel. And, of course, I took Martha’s picture there. I think I’ve already run the shot in one of my previous posting. But, what the heck, I’ll post it again, just for the heck of it. I mean, really, you can never have too many pictures of Martha looking like a Golden Pheasant on steroids.(1)
(Special note: I just magnified the picture of Martha with the wings and I realized the artist signed her work. The wings were produced by Murals By Whitney, a.k.a., Whitney Hayden. She has a webpage here: https://whitneyhayden.com/ and an Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/muralsbywhitney/. Give them a glance when you get a moment.)
About The Photos: First, Martha looking winging and Pheasanty outside the radio station. Second, an interior shot of Dos Olivos. Very pleasant place, actually.
We walked back to about where we parked the car, which turned out to be near Dos Olivos Markets, which is one of several shops by that name owned by the same family (a “father-daughter duo” according to the company’s website, which is here: https://dosolivosmarkets.com/).
Apparently there are Olivos Markets in Wimberley, Buda, Harlingen, and Dripping Springs, Texas. These are, by the way, all towns in easy reach of Austin, and all have a tourist trade of some magnitude.
When we first ran across the shop, way back before Covid and our first visit to the area, it mostly offered wine and olive oil. But, out of curiosity, and because we needed something cool to drink, we popped in. To our surprise, the place had changed enormously. It still offers speciality groceries (particularly olive oil and wine) but it now offers a full menu. I’m looking at the menu online as I write this, and they offer things like “Squid Ink Carbonara” (with Pork Belly, English Peas, Asiago Cream, and Cured Egg Yoke) and “Short-Rib Brisket Burger.”
We ordered. I’ve forgotten exactly what we got. I know it wasn’t the Squid Ink Carbonara. I would have remembered something like that. Maybe for a very long time indeed...
I think we both had salads. Anyway, we ordered at the counter and then seated ourselves and waited. While we sat, Martha looked up and at one of the tables set up on the patio outside the restaurant proper. “Oh,” she said. I followed her gaze. Outside were three people, tourists like ourselves, very well dressed, two women and a man.
And they were giving the wait-staff holy hell about something.
I never knew what it was that had cheesed them off. I couldn’t hear them through the windows. But it definitely had the look of rich people being annoyed for some petty reason, and then throwing their weight about in no uncertain terms. I wish I could say I hadn’t seen that sort of thing before. But I have. You have, too, probably. And it is never, ever pretty.
I will say this for the staff of Dos Olivos. They kept their cool. No matter how close the customers came to yelling (and they did, several times), they never yelled back. They just did their best. They returned a glass of wine which was, apparently, not right and replaced it with one that was (and I heard this much) “barely tolerable.” Shortly after that, and with no little theater, they left.
I watched them go. And it struck me. I am not always the easiest person to deal with. I have had times when I have been angry and even unpleasant in retail establishments. But I like to think that such times are reasonably rare, and restricted to those occasions when I felt that I had been treated rudely, or received bad food (there was the time I’d been in a certain restaurant in Boston and gotten a “breaded chicken breast,” in which the chicken inside the bread was, well, raw. In a word, Eew Ick), or otherwise been given good reason to be angry.
But what must it be like...I wondered...to be so sure of yourself, so certain of your power, that you felt you could exercise your fury anywhere, anytime, for any reason? And to be sure that there would be no negative consequences of your actions? Even though you were depending on the very people you abuse to bring you your meals and pour you your wine?
It was something, I thought, worth pondering. Particularly that last part. The bit about alienating the chef...
In view of bacteria, and botulism...
More to come.
1. The Golden Pheasant is considered one of the most beautiful and colorful birds in the world. See the article on them in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_pheasant
Copyright©2023 Michael Jay Tucker
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