Publisher’s Perspective

A busy Memorial Day weekend

The VFW held their annual fish fry to much success on Memorial Day. At 9 a.m., Post Commandant Dick Kuenzler read the roll call of the fallen VFW members of the past year, and at 11 a.m. supporters of the Post drove by to buy plates.
The VFW held their annual fish fry to much success on Memorial Day. At 9 a.m., Post Commandant Dick Kuenzler read the roll call of the fallen VFW members of the past year, and at 11 a.m. supporters of the Post drove by to buy plates.
Terry Fitzwater/Gonzales Inquirer

Three days in May.

And just like that, they were gone.

It was Memorial Day weekend, and yours truly had big plans to do absolutely nothing. Rest. Relax. Catch up on lost sleep.

Let’s just say things didn’t go as planned by moi.

Saturday was supposed to be reserved for the Guadalupe River, tubing and brisket. I was waiting for a phone call on how to get to a friend’s house on the river, when James “Bimbo” Dreyer phoned. He needed some help on a project, so I agreed to pitch in.

Well, before you could say, “You want to go where?” we were on our way to Shiner to Antiques, Arts and Beer. I heard that they had a local fellow and his stepson cooking barbecue there, and everyone was raving about how it good it is. We decided to see for ourselves and have a beer and some brisket.

It was a good call. After ordering a cold one, we headed to the back of the patio and there met Alvin Brown and Anton Dews of A&A Barbecue from Shiner. They were cooking up some ribs, sausage and brisket, and man, was it a delicious treat. When I told Alvin I was the publisher of the Gonzales Inquirer, he just grinned and said “My Man!” The next thing I knew I was holding a plate of delicious barbecue and sausage. It was awesome. They are cooking at Antiques, Art and Beer every other weekend, but the word has started to spread about these guys. People came from as far as San Antonio just to get their barbecue.

Well, after the plate of brisket and sausage was thrust upon me, I sat down on the patio with Bimbo to eat the feast. While sitting there, a lovely lady from Shiner walked up to me and asked: “Are you Terry? Are you the one who writes the column for the Gonzales Inquirer?”

With a little trepidation I responded that yes, it was indeed me. I didn’t know what was going to come out of her mouth next, but I shouldn’t have worried.

“Oh, I just love your column!” she exclaimed. “I read it every week.” I thanked her for her kind words and was feeling pretty good about myself. Then Bimbo piped in with “Yes, his column took first place in the Texas newspaper contest.” I turned red, but then the air went out of balloon when she responded:

“Oh, I didn’t know you were THAT good!” We all laughed.

While sitting there, we met a wonderful couple from San Antonio, a wonderful lady from Hallettsville and then struck up a conversation with a couple celebrating their second wedding anniversary. The husband was from New York City, and his wife was from Brazil. They were visiting Texas because the wife grew up in Brazil’s cattle country. We had a long talk about cattle, geography and culture. They received a long story about Gonzales’ storied history and Come and Take It. We shook hands and everyone went their separate ways.

Sunday was make-up time, and it was time to go float and tube the Guadalupe. My buddy Tyler Carter met me at Buc-ee’s and we were off to 481 and Doug Bell’s house. Jessica Falkes, Christie and Kyle Day, Jace Shock, Doug and others were there, and everyone was happy floating in the river while enjoying the brilliant sunshine. Tyler and Kyle tried to master the art of knee boarding behind the jet ski, but I had to laugh at some of their more, um, spectacular wipeouts on the water. It was a perfect day, and it was just the kind of therapy the doctor ordered. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Monday was much more solemn.

At 9 a.m. I was at the VFW to cover the roll call of the fallen VFW members of the past year. It was an honor to be there. After Post Commandant Dick Kuenzler read the call of the members who passed away, Taps was played. I always get emotional when I hear Taps, and Monday was no different. There was a lump in my throat, and I have to admit a tear or two rolled down my cheeks. It was very moving.

I stuck around and wound up helping with the Post’s annual fish fry. The food was terrific. Catfish, hush puppies, French fries, beans, coleslaw plus desert. The cars started rolling in at 11, and they didn’t stop until after 1:30. The fish fry was a financial success for the Post, but for me, the best part was hanging out with Dick, Juan, Matt, P.J., Marv, John, Michelle, Dorothy, Patsy, Ruth, Bob and the rest of the hard working VFW members and the Auxiliary. Thanks for letting the Yankee hang around. I was honored to have served.

I did make one mistake on Monday, however, that I’m still kicking myself for today. I ran into Larry Mercer at the Post, and he asked me if I could take pictures at the site of the proposed Veterans Monument at 6 p.m. I assured him I would be there, and even bought a $25 raffle ticket from him.

I completely spaced it later in the day and didn’t remember it until almost 7:30. I am embarrassed.

Larry, let me make this public apology to you. Sorry for not showing up. It won’t happen again, and I owe you a favor.  Whatever I or the paper can do to help publicize your efforts to build a Veteran’s Memorial Monument in Gonzales, please let me know. I won’t let you down again.