Friday, April 10, 2015

Day 14 - Wandering Home LA to Toronto

April 2015 - Austin TX

Today we are on the move from Austin to Nacogdoches for the evening.

We have lots of time and plan a stop at the Austin City Limits building. We considered the tour, it is done from 11-12 each day and we didn't think we wanted to hang around for it.
We parked across from this incredible Irish pub, I thought I was in Irleand.

We found Willie at Willie Nelson (2nd St.) and Lavaca outside the Austin City Limits building. Willie recorded an album called Nacogdoches (our next stop) in 2004.

Next stop the LBJ Library. I will focus on the various exhibits in another post.

After a couple of hours in the museum we get on the road to Nacogdoches TX

We made a stop in Crockett to see the sculpture of Hopkins.

Sam John Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982, better known as Lightnin’ Hopkins, was an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and occasional pianist, from Houston, Texas. Rolling Stone magazine included Hopkins at number 71 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Lightnin’ Hopkins was ornery, stubborn, flashy, and capable of great inspiration followed by obstinate and calculated destruction. In thirty years of recording, he created a body of work as wide, deep, and maddening as anyone’s in American music history: some five hundred songs, or maybe six hundred, or maybe seven hundred. Nobody knows, because Lightnin’ would record for anyone who waved a $50 bill at him. He might play and sing something fierce and new, but just as likely he’d redo a song he’d done the day before, changing a line or two because he felt like it. Or he’d record a song by one of his peers and call it his own. Ultimately, the words didn’t matter. It was the sound of his voice—a deep drawl that was so lonely and sad it seemed to come from another existence—and his loping, finger-picking guitar style, which sounded like the rolling, rough cotton country between the Brazos and Trinity rivers where he was raised.

By the time he died, in 1982, he had become one of the great bluesmen, up there with Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters. But no one knew a whole lot about him, beyond the fact that he was from East Texas, that he spent most of his life living alone in small rooms in dingy apartments in Houston’s Third Ward, that he gambled much of his money away, that he often performed and recorded on borrowed guitars, and that he seemed to have a hard time staying in tune. Part of that was his own doing: Lightnin’ told colorful stories about his past, and as he got older he amplified his Po’ Lightnin’ persona, a guy always mistreated by women and misunderstood and abused by everyone else. Part of it was the mythmaking of fans who saw him as the epitome of the blues: the guy with the shades, gold teeth, unlit cigar, and half-pint of whiskey or gin in his back pocket.

From there it was time to check into the hotel - Hilton Hampton Inn in Nagogdoches. I was very disappointed as I thought we would be downtown as there isn't a restaurant and nothing close by. But I get over it, we have had good luck in most cases in choosing hotels.

We drive downtown for dinner at The Liberty Bell, one of the only restaurants that stayed open after 9 PM! The ambiance was good and there was a piano player, so much better than the last one we heard in LA at the Sheraton. And WOW the food was good and inexpensive. Holly was our server, full of energy and enthusiasm.

Melted brie with pecans and honey.

I had a pork chop with mashed sweet potatoes for only $9. John had the chicken skewer which he said could have used some seasoning.


  1. Quite a lot of history there, musical and otherwise. The LBJ library would definitely draw me in.


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