The inn keepers study my exit with the same intensity as they did my arrival and I am sure the watched me until I made it to the main road, just to make sure I was gone –
My next stop was the Nocona Boot Company’s former headquarters that made the town known to the world. It seemed appropriate to stop by an abandoned factory with the announcement of the presidential results – Ok, Ok, back to the PROM rule –
. Actually Nocona was an inviting place and if I got the chance to just plop everything down in a new place, Nocona would be on the short list. No real reason, it just has a certain quality to it. Especially if I could open my shop in this Nocona Boot building!
The ride was pleasant and it was another beautiful day on the road. I eased into Paris, Texas with big plans to take a picture by the Eiffel tower and scoot out of there. I had no idea Paris was such an architectural treasure. My first stop was in front of the courthouse, which was an incredible piece of architecture, especially considering the meager landscape I had just covered. But the odd part was that the view was completely blocked by buildings that appeared to built in the same era. All of that room and they couldn’t find an extra 50 feet of set back to give folks a view of the building?
With direction to the Eiffel tower I cruised the downtown area and checked out some more of the architecture:
Then off to the Eiffel tower which turned out to be pretty cheesy:
But, next to the tower the they were constructing the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial to honor veterans from the surrounding 5 counties. This was a significant work and one of the workers told me the whole thing was privately funded. This was a really top notch work.
From Paris, it was lunch in the main square of Clarksville at the Italian Bistro. After I ordered an older lady walked in with a cane, stopped in the middle of the restaurant and asked me if that was my bike outside. I replied “Yes ma’am” and she told me about her family friend from Garland that rode motorcycles and wrote books about his rides as she walked towards my table. When she stopped at my table, she leaned right over to me and bumped heads with me, straightened up and laughed. Then she asked me, “What do EMT’s call motorcyclists?” I laughed and shrugged and she replied “Organ donors” and just broke into laughter. Of course I had to laugh too. She was having a blast just messing with everyone. Once she made it to her seat behind me, she was obviously on a cell phone calling her friends and when they would answer the phone, she would ask them loudly, “HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR NEW PRESIDENT?” and she would break out laughing. She would chat for a minute, then repeated this same routine for I guess everyone in town. It was still going on when I paid my bill, told her goodbye and rode off. There is something about Texas women that leaves you happy that you had a chance to share time with them. We have a close family Texan friend named Mozelle that has that same infectious personality, but I don’t think she will be head butting strangers in restaurants!
After lunch it’s a quick drive through Texarcana and on to El Dorado for the night. Either both towns were really run down (trying to be nice here) or the highway was routed through an unflattering part of town. I took the business route through El Dorado looking for a room, but the only business I could find was liquor stores and crack houses. The chamber of commerce may want to study a little rerouting of the business loop. I finally found a giant motel on the outskirts of El Dorado that offered parking right outside the room and had a restaurant on premises. I really wanted to just hole up in the room and order some pizza, but the local Domino’s had a disconnected number, so I snuck off the restaurant for a lackluster Mexican dinner and then back to the room.