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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cow Talk: A bloom from out of the ashes.

When Cow Talk burned down, a lot of things went with it. The favorite breakfast habit of several faithful families, we lost our daily routine of nodding to each other and comparing rainfall estimates. We lost a quaint morning habit, a source of breakfast, and a ton of cholestoral in our diets, not to mention a dependable spot in the day, when and where we could usually be found if need be. But many people lost their jobs. My heart sank when my neighbor told me that he had just driven by and it was on fire. It looked bad. And it was.

I had thousands of dollars worth of my artwork loaned to the restaurant, on the walls, an original and some expensive sample reproductions, which the firemen had heroically set out, but too late. The heat and smoke were too quick and sure, and I picked them up to go toss them somewhere privately in a dumpster. They say no good deed goes unpunished. But lo and behold, my homeowners insurance covered the loss! So Cow Talk gave me something I had never had: a sell out show. It made for a very good month down the road.

Still I could not miss one striking, haunting fact: Of all my ten thousand square feet of murals around the Brazos Valley, I have only suffered the accidental or destructive loss of my works here in my hometown. And not once, or twice, but several times. A dozer took out my murals at Hi-Ho. That was after a terrible fire took out my murals at the Wrangler Steak House. Then Cow talk. The sculpture of the horses out at River Haven only followed a trail well blazed in the recent past. What are the odds?

What was God trying to tell me? Can't say that I have figured that out. But it does seem like some kind of spiritual warfare. But with whom?

So when I heard that Cow Talk was opening again, I was delighted to return to the morning bliss of yesterday. And put all that disaster behind.

There they were, same old crew, same customers, EVERYBODY, as if we had all been in a time capsule and preserved and transported to the new restaurant. O. B. and Cindy in the kitchen, Lynn waiting tables, and Vicky at the helm. And what a beautiful space they have created. All new, fresh and clean and... almost flawless. I'm going to miss the old Cow Talk, and like my murals, they were here for a time and then... a vapor. And life goes on. Perhaps the Lord has been telling me: Store not your treasures on Earth...

It's not stuff, or chairs or china or art that matter, it's relationships. And those are still in tact.

I hear you loud and clear Lord.

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