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Shops, Boots, Arts

Okay, so last time I had us in the town of Wimberley. It was early in the morning, and I was sneaking out of the room (trying hard if unsuccessfully) not to wake Martha, in search of coffee for the two of us.

I made my way through the courtyard to a hallway, down that, and finally to the lobby. There, I found tables set up for breakfast, and breakfast foods on the counter near the wall. Lloyd, one of our two hosts, was at the desk. I realized he’d prepared the meal. I learned later that he is responsible for the breakfast part of the B&B.

We chatted as I found cups and coffee. He is a very pleasant, tall, handsome man, with the proper allotment of facial hair. He looks a little like Kris Kristofferson--except, of course, he’s far younger.

We talked about the Inn. The building, he told me, has been owned by his wife Marci for something like thirty years. It had been a variety of things, including at one point a school. But, for the last five years it had been the Inn. He described himself as the “morning cook” and also as the individual who does repairs when necessary.

But, of course, he was other things as well. This was a part-time gig for both of them, though I’m sure it occupies them full time depending on circumstances. For instance, they also have a ranch outside of town. And, at least as important, Lloyd is a stonemason. That is, he builds things of stone and brick. And, or so I gather, he is in considerable demand.

About the photos: Several today. First, two pictures of the kind of stone you find in this area. I don’t know if Lloyd worked on these particular walls, but I’m sure he’s worked on similar.

You can see his work around town -- walls particularly. The area is famed for its limestone. It is, in fact, quarried here and shipped all over the world. It is a remarkable looking kind of rock--solid, yet sometimes with huge gaps in the stone itself. It looks a bit like foam, except that it is not yielding to the touch.

He works in that rock, and I can’t think it would be easy. But, for him it seems to come naturally enough. And, while he did not mention it, I’m sure that many of the mysterious mansions and great houses springing up in the woods around the town have known his touch.

Interestingly enough, he knew several of the musicians that were either living in town or who were moving there. I’m guessing that was not an accident.

Anyway, we had a nice chat, and then I collected coffees and headed back to the room.

Martha was awake by the time I got there. We drank our coffees and talked. Then, we dressed and headed back to the front office where the gentleman -- Lloyd -- had put out breakfast. It was eggs and biscuits, and very good, actually. It seems the mason is as much at home with flour and baking as he is with stone and steel.

After we ate, we gathered ourselves up and took the car back into the square. We parked and began another walking tour of the area. We hit some shops, but the first order of business was to visit “The Boots.”

Second, a couple of the Boots of Wimberley. I found these around town in various places.

What’s that? you say. So glad you ask, I reply. Throughout the Square, and the Triangle of streets that lead to it, and perhaps all over the city, you can find enormous sculptures in the form of...well...ornate, highly decorated cowboy boots. This is part of a deliberate effort to “highlight the arts” in Wimberley, and, of course, provide something for tourists, et. al, to look at. The boots even have their own webpage, “Bootiful Wimberley” (no kidding), and on it you can find photos of all the city’s boots (they are “capped at 50”), learn the names of the artists who produced them, and see their locations around town. (1)

We’ve seen several of them. We haven’t been to all 50 yet, but give us time. And, truth be told, it is more fun than you’d think to visit them. They are amusing. You turn a corner or enter a courtyard, and there’s a boot as tall as a human being on a pedestal. Plus, they are actually really rather attractive pieces of art in their own right. So, worth seeing on your travels.

Third, Martha...with a boot. Obviously.

(Oh, and just an aside, the idea of representative statues is a common theme in cities these days, particularly those with a strong tourist appeal. Some of the seaside towns in Southern Texas have dolphins on every corner. And the town of Hutto, Texas, features statues of, well, Hippopotamuses. Or is that Hippopotami? Whatever, hippos. Why hippos? Long story and probably a tall tale, but supposedly way back when a circus visited town and one of its hippos got loose. Kinda improbable, but you’ve got to give the city-fathers/mothers points for knowing how to market their community.[2])

Anyway, then we wandered on. We visited a couple of more stores. Once more, we hit the coffee shop and got a couple of iced decaf Americanos. Then, we drifted a little further.

And then...

There on the street was a great glass booth.

Which is, my friends, where Paul Simon, or at least his music, finally enters my story.

More to come.


1. The Bootiful Wimberley page is here:

But, also, special note, many thanks to my cousin DeWayne Fisher who provided me with invaluable info the Boots! See you on your next trip this way, cousin!

2. See “Hutto Hippos” here:

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