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  • I left Austin, Texas over a dozen years ago to work a two year contract at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. That contract has long ended but I'm still in Hawaii. Not surprising when you think about it, and even though I've found my little slice of paradise, I still miss Austin and the Central Texas Hill Country.

    I don't miss the big city life. I certainly don't miss the traffic, or the billboards screaming at you everywhere you look, or the tons of people every place you go, or the godforsaken unbearable heat.

    But I do miss the Tex-Mex food, the redneck dance halls, Salt Lick barbecue, margaritas with dash of habanero sauce, the gadzillion live music venues in Austin, and all that Texas larger-than-life bullsh*t. And I say "bullsh*t" with the utmost respect for my Texas friends who can lay it on thick and keep you entertained and laughing all night long. It's a multi-generational talent in the Lone Star State and one I greatly admire, some might say, "resemble".

    One of my best friends in Texas, Bobby D., married a beautiful New Zealand woman named Amy. Strangely enough, I also married a Kiwi woman in Hawaii, my lovely wife, Judith. The two women became great friends as have our children. Whenever we visit Texas we have to see Bob and Amy, and our son, Jackson Dylan, has to see their children, Jakob and Ella.

    When the economy tanked in Hawaii we decided to return to Austin for a spell. It was always in the cards to introduce my island boy to his redneck heritage, plus Austin is a great place to be if you need a job.

    Upon arrival in Texas, Bob and Amy took us down to Gruene Hall to see the Texas troubadour, Jesse Dayton, a hard-chargin' King of the Honky Tonks. Bob had been a fan and friend of Jesse's for years and we became converts before our first longneck was finished.

    What a homecoming: good friends, good music, cold beer and all under the roof of a 100 year old dance hall. It felt mighty fine to me, and then Jesse took a break between songs to talk about this Texan who went to Hawaii and never came back, except "here's here tonight, folks - and this one's for you, Anthony. Welcome home, amigo!"

    And then Jesse launched into a rousing version of "Tall Walking Texas Trash."

    Now some people swear that there are angels above us, but for me, heaven has sawdust on the floor and comes with a cold beer and a twang. God Bless Texas.
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