Monday, 21 March 2011

Buying Things

     We have spent the morning spending of my least favourite sports....ranking down around soccer and roller-derby.     The Old Gringo happens to live in Texas, along with about 25,000,000 friends, relatives, and neighbours.    The rest of the world lives either in Purgatory or Hell and wishes they could be here.   The Congress of the Republic of Texas is about to approve a bill requiring every voter to present a photographic identification that would be derived from a document that would prove his citizenship.
      Interestingly....the Anglos, Teutonics, Slavs, Nords, and other stripes, types, and mixes of these Texans approved of this overwhelmingly whether or not they have Indian blood or any other mixture.    Interestingly, the overwhelming majority of people of Mexican or Spanish or Latin descent, whether completely White or of mixed ancestry approve of the measure as evidenced by the Mexican-American Republican Caucus's endorsement.    Also, the overwhelming majority of people of Black African ancestry have also indicated approval, although their representatives have yet to go on record on the floor of the Congress of the Republic of Texas.
      The Republicans have over a 2/3's majority in the Congress and a seated Governor.   They are almost certain to move this bill to passage and signing  tomorrow.     Another bill is being presented that will require all candidates requesting votes in favour of the electors for a specific candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, to present proof positive and with certification that the candidate under consideration is a natural born American Citizen.

       Another thing about Texas is the availability of access to the Grocery Stores known as H.E.B.      Established by H.E.Butt back in the late 1940's, they gradually came to be the final, high standard of what such stores should be.   Anyway, the Old Gringo was shopping for necessaries to take back down with me.    We might have to say grace over a meal, because, oddly enough,  we seem to have more visitors all of a sudden.     McAllen, Texas was said to have been the second of the modern era HEB stores to have been opened, I believe in 1952.....perhaps a year earlier.    You can imagine me entering a store with pneumatic, automatically opening doors.....and an interior where a person could actually (almost) see his was so cold.   It was the first fully air-conditioned business I had ever been in.
     My understanding is that Mr. Butt's mother had a grocery in Kerrville, up west of San Antonio.....that was the Anglo (Confederate) town, and a bit north of there is Fredericksburg, the German (Union) community....home of Admiral Nimitz.    Anyway, it is said that when Herbert came home from the Ist War he designed to expand, and went to Del Rio which was primarily Anglo & Mexican in background....because he ".....had had his fill of Germans"..
      That venture did not do so well....but learning processes are learning processes.   Before long he had successfully opened in Corpus Christi, Austin, San Antonio, and down on the Frontier in McAllen, Harlingen, and Brownsville.     For many years the Butts did not choose to sell beer and/or wine, even as cooking ingredients. (Some people in South Texas literally cannot make beans without putting a bottle of Pearl or Lone Star in the mix)
This was due to the fact that they were very staunch Southern Baptists, and lived by that prescription. 
     "Old Man Butt" was a very demanding taskmaster....quick to scold and have what amounted to red-faced tantrums when he encountered sloth, uncleanliness, or lack of dedication to duty.     Almost always the employee on the receiving end would say, "I deserved it.   He warned me, and he gave it to me just like he said."    But, he was generous, like a lot of cantankerous coots, and he played an even hand with the Mexican-American population.   Before long assistant store-managers and then full local operation managers had names like Hernandez and Garza and so forth.   (Before quotas & affirmative action, Mrs. Pelosi).
      Old Man Butt never knew this, but when I was very little...about four...we were waiting for the HEB to open in McAllen.   It was about 4 or 5 minutes after opening time.   An old Anglo man strode up to the automatic doors, step on the rubber entrance matting about 20 times...then did a two-footed stamping shuffle on the matting....and then commenced to clack-click-clack on the door with his money-clip.    I thought the glass was going to break.
      Finally a man came running to the door and flicked the necessary switches....and began to received the wrath..."I don't give a hoot about me being out there in the wind and sun!  But you have women and children out have people who have places to go, things to think they're supposed to be out there waiting on you to decide when you want to open this store.    I put that schedule on the door out there last month when we opened.....It wasn't a suggestion to you about when you should open more or less....It was my word to the customer that he would find the store open and ready for business at that time!!"
      My brother Milton turned to me...(we were sitting in the Willy's Jeep box-wagon)....and said, "That's a good lesson.   Make sure you do what the boss tells you to do, when he told you to do it".     I logged that into my computer forever.
      There are many HEB stores now in Mexico....and they are very popular.   The entry of HEB caused some good stores in become better, and counter intuitively, more profitable.   The competition has "lifted all boats on the same high tide"....but HEB remains the best among equals.  

This is the Headquarter areas of HEB's main offices in San Antonio, Texas

      One of my favourite ways to start the evening meal is with this Gaelic/English petition to the Lord....

 Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit!

      This is fairly easy to translate, but for those who would like to put it into a bit more modern would read.   There are those who have food but cannot eat, and there are some who will to eat who cannot.    But....we have food and we can chew, so let the Lord be thanked!

     The Old Gringo will be out for about three weeks.   You all need to write in and communicate with Diana concerning fine tuning of arrangements or making reservations...etc.     Things are calming down a each day goes by things seem a little better.    It  will never go back to 1957, but we are moving in that direction.   Our little corner still beckons any and all to take advantage of that peculiar tranquility that rests at the face of the Sierra Madre see the sunset on those massive nearby ranges....and to count the billions of stars that seem to hover ten feet over your head in the early morning hours before sunrise.

We might make one more entry before departure.   Or not....Thanks for tuning in.....and Remember fellow OROG....the price you paid to read this blog is worth every cent of it.