I had no idea.

I’ve been coming to Texas half my life – but until yesterday – I did not know about the meticulously-groomed, lush countryside of Central Texas, which is filled with rolling hills, grand ranches, warm people, and historic towns that boast nary a Walmart nor Starbucks nor Subway nor Target, but they’re rich with 100-year-old family businesses.

In the photos above:

Top: Herschel Tomanetz at Snow’s Barbecue sits on the wood pile out back smokin’ a cigarette. “There was a guy lookin’ for help to start a BBQ joint in Paris,” he told us. “I couldn’t go. They wouldn’t let me bring my guns!”

First Row: Jack with the pitcrew at Snow’s; Snow’s big-ass smoker, which used to be an air tank that they converted to a smoker (reuse, recycle, reclaim, y’all); Herschel.

Second Row: Grain elevator for wheat corn or oats (reports an astute reader) across from Snow’s; City Meat Market, a German meat market that opened in the mid 1900s in Giddings and sold brisket to people of color and people of no color (they still do); inside City Meat Market.  

Third Row: Skirting along Bastrop State Park; Lockhart City Hall; hay on the highway, or is that just “hayway”?

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