Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Watch Out, John Travolta

Alexander James Byrd, Age 6
...Alexander has some moves

This picture cracks me up. Alexander (age 6) doing a little dance move on a recent expedition with his other set of grandparents. They took a trip to the coast in their RV.  Not sure what inspired Nander to this pose, but it's pure Alexander attitude. That's a fun thing.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4, 2011

...with a German flavor

Heather (part German) and Adam (Eagle Scout-note the shirt)
 Heather, Adam, Aidan, Alexander, Donna and myself spent July 4 evening in Walburg, Texas. Augustus came, too, but he was safely floating around inside Heather awaiting his due date.  Walburg  is not much more than a wide spot on FM Road 1105 in rural Williamson County, about thirty miles north of Austin. Other than a Lutheran Church, not much there with the huge exception of the Walburg Restaurant and Bier Garten.  Restaurant (indoor dining) is open regularly, but the garten is open selected months and days. A huge tent covers long rows of rustic wood picnic tables. A raised stage and dancefloor at one end is a hint of what is to come.

Elsewhere, there are outside tables, a building for food and drink, a kids arcade, and places to just let the kids run around and be kids, in an enclosed, safe environment. In all the times I've been there, don't think I've ever heard any guest exchange a cross word with any other guest.
For the adults, the big draws are traditional German food (schnitzel, brats, kraut,, etc.), a huge selection of German and domestic beers, AND the Walburg Boys. This bunch of part German/part redneck musicians is the house band, but they also play German festivals all over the country, including Wurstfest in New Braunfels in October.  Led by Ronny Tippelt, lead singer/accordion player/chief yodeler, the 8 piece band can handle polka, yodel standards, and German takes on favorite pop & rock such as "Margaritaville" and "Sweet Home Alabama". Until you've heard Ronny and the rhythym guitarist do two part harmony yodels over the familiar guitar lick, you just haven't lived.  When the Walburg Boys took a break, down on the other end of the tent, the Brushy Creek Brass Band cranked up patriotic American tunes, peppered with some German standards.

The dance floor had at various times, couples in their 80's, all the way down to children under ten just enjoying the fun music and atmosphere.

The single most poignant moment occurred during the band's second set. A young girl, perhaps 12 or 13, had been standing at the edge of the dance floor. She was plainly dressed, a little awkward, taking furtive glances at the dancers. A few minutes later the band started a slow waltz number and a tall, cowboy looking guy in starched Wranglers & Justin Ropers walked over to the young girl and extended his hand. This was about to be their very first father-daughter dance. He showed her how the rhythym went, got her up on the balls of her feet, and showed her how to turn. Then, it was magic. The dad was clearly a bit awkward; the girl kept looking at her feet--he was so tall and she was short enough that her right arm only reached his belt level, so she grabbed a belt loop. They waltzed and twirled for the song's duration and when it was over, he stepped back and gave his daughter a stiff little bow. She looked up into his eyes and it was so plain that I had just witnessed a defining moment between father and daughter. She walked gracefully, like a young lady, to the edge of the dance floor, then jumped off onto the dirt with a hand clap, like a little girl, and ran off to tell her friends.

I did not see them again before we left. They'll never know that a complete stranger saw this moment that both will likely remember forever.  That's the magic of Walburg--it's like a month's vacation--the cares just dissolve away, you get lost in the music and camraderie, and if you watch very carefully, you might see a father and daughter making a memory to share in the future.
Alexander James & Aidan Kenneth  Byrd
Just go to Google and look for Walburg, Texas, Walburg Boys, etc.  The pictures here are of my son Adam, his wife, Heather (who is currently carrying Gus, due in October), and their two sons, Aidan and Alexander.

Got to enjoy these little moments in life.