“How’s the weather?”

The weather often makes for a conversation starter, especially in extreme times.  In much of Texas, “extreme” would be an understatement with rainfall being as dramatic now as the draught was a few years ago.  And so it was that a comment about rain this morning took me to a wonderful time.

He’s an electrician.  I parked a few spots from his van when I arrived at work this morning.  Instead of simply getting my stuff from the car and heading to the office, I opted for “Well, it looks like you can enjoy a bit of time without rain.” 

“Yeah, we’ve got a window,” he replied as we headed to the building.  “I’m not sure about whether the same is for where I live,” he continued.

“Where’s that?”

“Simonton.”

For the next two minutes we talked about the area.  I inquired about the rodeo there.  It is gone.  That’s a shame.  The rodeo arena hosted a frequent rodeo that often had Coach Bum Phillips and members of the Houston Oilers lead the flags in on horseback.  Many, many good memories there.  And a scary one, when my then-wife’s brother decided to try the amateur division of bull riding.  He lasted about two seconds, and it wasn’t pretty, but he survived.  The rider before him was thrown and made a rough landing – perpendicular to the ground, head first.

I asked about the big softball park out there, “or was it Fulshear?”  He beamed and provided the name as I struggled to find it among the sheets of memory pages in my mind.  “Papa Blakely’s,” he said.  “Closed,” he continued.

It was a brief conversation, with him speaking proudly of his area and fondly of places that he experienced as a kid.  For me, it was a brief journey down a nostalgic path of fond memories and good times.  I’m glad that I commented about the weather.  I would have been without a great chat that started my day and week with pleasantries and pleasantness.  Say something about the weather to someone today, and see where it takes you.

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