Last Friday, my little village of Salado was in the world’s spotlight. The Jenna Bush wedding party was in town for a bridesmaid’s luncheon and the rehearsal dinner. It was a big kept secret. Even the owners of the establishments where the events occurred didn’t know who was having the parties. The places had been booked for months.
It was the biggest thing to happen in Salado since Sam Houston gave his famous anti-succession speech from the balcony of Stagecoach Inn. We are ordinarily a quiet little sleepy village by the banks of Salado Creek built in the 1850s as a Stagecoach stop. The village is located on the old Chisholm Trail. Now it is a little tourist town that still has the original Stagecoach Inn. The Inn is a well know restaurant. There are a lot of Bed and Breakfast establishments and many cute little boutique and antique shops where the people from Austin, Dallas and around the state come to spend money and escape the hustle of the city. The village is located right off Interstate 35 and cannot escape the constant roar of traffic. People don’t seen to mind the noise of the adjacent highway because they are mesmerized by the quaintness of the place. I don’t bother with all this stuff and avoid the village, especially on the weekends when the tourists are here. I settled here because it was a quiet place to build the porch. The only time I am bothered with a crowd is when I go to the postoffice after the mail has been distributed in the morning.
Last Friday was sure different for me. I turned onto main street around 5:30 in the afternoon. I never saw so many police cars. At first, I thought there had been a robbery because one of our local banks is frequently robbed. The remote location of the bank adjacent to the highway makes it an ideal bank for robbing. The only difference on Friday is that the street was lined with American flags. I knew they probably wouldn’t do that for a robbery unless the bank was going to be giving some sort of prize for being the 100th robbery of the year. I should have also been tipped off to some big event because I had heard helicopters all day. Ft. Hood, which is not far away, sometimes has helicopter exercises, so I had sort of dismissed this as anything unusual. It wasn’t until the next day that I learned what had happened. It was like a secret invasion, something like D-Day in 1944. Everyone was surprised. Before we realized what was happening in our little village the events had already occurred and Jenna was getting married safely on the ranch the next day.
It’s simply just too much excitement for me. Even the porch is not safe anymore. At least the helicopters scared the deer away from my tomatoes and okra for a few hours.