There are a whole lot of stereotypes about Texas and the South. Come to think of it, most are good. “Things are bigger in Texas,” and “Southern Hospitality,” are but a few of the kind stereotypes of people, communities, and social relationships found “down around these parts.” Having never been here before, I find that the suggestions have proven true in my experience.

Given the recommendation of Capt. Dave in Austin, the good men of Temple’s central fire station treated me like royalty. They offered every amenity of their fire house to this weary traveler. The showers, laundry, food, coffee, and even a warm bed was provided. Such kind kind people. They even honored me with the chance to do a ride along, but unfortunately, no calls came in. I am happy about that however, because that means that no one was hurt or lost any property.

The guys in the station adopted me as one of their own, and while waiting for a call, we all watched the NCAA tournament. One of the other firemen, cornered me, and stuffed some dollar bills in my hand and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Fireman Kirby was made responsible for me, and even though I never asked for a thing (other than a shower), he accommodated my every need. I was able to do a drawing of Kirby’s daughter, and although it wasn’t my best effort, he was gracious. Upon leaving, Capt. Mendoza was kind enough to offer me his card and recommendation to other stations farther afield.

I have been the recipient of a tremendous amount of kindness along this trip, but it seems that “things are bigger in Texas”, including the generosity of spirit.

Love, Art, & Peace to All.

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