Last Friday, I headed down to Houston with a couple of the gang for our annual Stock Show & Rodeo visit. For Sean and Ken, it was the 23rd year, for me,,, well, not so much.
During their many years of visiting Houston, they've established a rather broad network of friends and connections. Many of them now reciprocate the visits, traveling up to Mason for shopping, hunting and enjoying our beautiful countryside.
During this most recent visit, that odd Mason connectivity made itself known rather quickly. Over my many years of travel, I've always been amazed at how many people I meet that have either been to Mason, are related to someone in Mason, knows someone in Mason; or, have some other strange connection to our home.
On Saturday, we were introduced to a gentleman that was new to all of us. During the usual exchange of pleasantries, the obvious question was asked, "where are you from?" We answered, "Mason," and were prepared to then start providing all the usual geographical reference points that are so often necessary (i.e. 42 miles north of Fredericksburg, 27 miles south of Brady). Except this time, there was a different response.
"Do you know where Katemcy is?" he asked.
Sean and I both grinned and explained that we're both from the Katemcy area. Turns out, the gentleman is related to Charlie and Felicia Dobbs who still keep a weekend house at the Dobbs home place in Katemcy. We spent the next fifteen minutes telling stories about Dobbs relatives and hearing about his visits to family there during summer vacations.
Later in the evening, we made our way over to the Holiday Inn, our jumping off point for taxi service back out to the hotel where the three of us were staying. We stopped at the lobby bar for a drink, and then we ran into Jeff, Riley and Bailey Owen. They were soon followed by Garland and Joy Gallagher making their way through the lobby. There is always the pleasant spark of recognition when you see other Mason folks while out of town, followed by quick visits and some catching up on what everyone has been doing during their own respective visits.
Of course, it doesn't end with Houston.
On the way home, we made the obligatory stop at Buc-ee's on I-10. After battling for a spot at the gas pumps, and then to find a parking spot, we headed inside for junk food, drinks and a restroom visit, we were catching our breath in the front lobby, and staying out of the biting north wine. I looked up and saw Chris Shaw walking through the door with a big smile on his face. We visited for a bit and learned that he and his family were returning from their week at the Houston show. The last time I saw him, he was headed back to his vehicle with a soda and an ice cream.
I enjoy getting away for short periods. It's great to see other people, other places and other cities. But, it's also great to realize that there are connections between all of us, if we're simply open to seeing them. Everyone likes to talk about it being a small world; but, until you've had the opportunity to see the many connections we have to everyone else, you don't completely realize that Mason has a connection to Houston, to San Antonio, to New Orleans, to Cheyenne and to Boston. And, that means they have a connection to us.
We have another year before the next Houston trip; but, we're considering a Maine trip later this year. I'll be looking for all my connections when we reach the rocky Atlantic coast.
It’s all just my opinion.