College Station trip

Haven’t been back here since… Patti’s seminar back when she did that presentation.  It was a multi-function meeting.  First i wanted to get to meet the IT staff at A&M that i’ve found myself working more and more with.  Put a face to the name and an idea of the operation.  I got in and went straight to the Agrilife anex building to get myself acquainted.  Right from the get-go we talked about stuff going on in weslaco, things i would like to work on and they talked about stuff going on up there and where our projects meet in the middle.

From there i checked into the hotel.  It was actually an extended stay suite called the Vineyard so a bit nicer than a hotel.  Very comfy.  From there i drove my way over to my aunt Yolanda’s thanks to the very handy map’s app for iPhone.  (i’m horrible with directions but i can follow the little blue line)  Got to visit with them.  Then went over to my cousin Linda’s and got to see some more family there and dinner too!  After that entered a new route for walmart, picked up some plastic food containers, then to winersnitzel for two family packs of chilidogs.  You’ve probably heard me rave about these chili dogs.  They really are not anything extraordinary about them.. but for some reason, their is nothing else like them.  I can taste the even now as i think of the savor of a winersnitzel dog.  Back to the hotel, stored the 20 dogs in the containers and loaded them in the fridge.

The next day back to A&M for some more meetings.  Met back up with one of the IT guys and we walked over to Rudder Tower for our first meeting.  This was a training mostly on some new software they are deploying.  Very slick actually.  Got finished with that and went over to meet with Gloria, an old family friend from Bryan.  Drove by the old homestead, visited the old church.  Then back to A&M.  This time i had some time before my next meeting so decided to do some sight seeing.  Anyone who’s been to A&M knows about the many traditions out there.  There’s a saying, if you do something twice, they make a tradition of it.  Driving around i could see the wall of Bonfire Memorial, so i decided to check it out.  Went up the wall and right from the start it was that quiet somber feeling all over again.  Very similar to being at ground zero in NYC.  Everything about the memorial was very symbolic.  The wall for example..

Visitors enter the memorial at Tradition Plaza, whose vertical wall serve as a barrier between the peace and intimacy of the memorial and the outside world. The wall is engraved with The Last Corps Trip, the poem traditionally recited before the lighting of each year’s Bonfire; the view above the lower wall draws visitors into the memorial via History Walk.

 

The “History Walk” was a pathway to the actual memorial.  The ground covered in dark grey and black smooth gravel, the granite slab along the pathway.  I noticed a date engraved at the beginning of the stone.  1909.  The first year bonfire burned.  89 blocks in all.  Notches were cut out in each stone representing a bonfire for that year.  A small amber light within the stone glowed.  Three of the notches had plaques in them, each with a name in them.  Those plaques represented a person who perished that year during the bonfire.  Another stone along the pathway was not grey granite like the rest but was all black.  That represented the year the President Kennedy was killed.  The bonfire was dismantled log-by-log in respect for the fallen president that year. 

Then at the end of the walkway came the actual memorial.  A ring made up of 27 granite blocks with 12 portals created the “Spirit-Ring” This recreates the perimeter fence around the actual bonfire.  on the ring itself were more plaques representing those injured, but left blank representing all those injured during the 90 years. 

Each the portals has a portrait and signature of each of those killed along the left side, the right side a written memorial and along the floor the person’s hometown.  Through the portal you could access the grass, in the center was another plaque.  Being totally overwhelmed with everyone’s memorial out there and the sollemness and peace of the memorial, i didn’t feel right walking out there but according to the brochure,

At the ring’s center is a black-granite marker, 18 inches in diameter, representing the Bonfire stack’s Centerpole. Positioned on the exact spot used for Centerpole, the marker is engraved with the date and time of the collapse: 11-18-1999 2:42 a.m.

Kind of made it hard to go back on the with the rest of the day.

Made it back to rudder tower for another meeting this time on the internet threat out there, and how the bad guys get in.  It was actually scary the reality of ever thing out there.  Check out this blog of the guy who was doing the presentation about some of the stuff the bad guys are doing out there.

After the presentation met back with with guys in the IT office, ending up talking way longer that i was planning on.  Ended up trying to rush back to the airport.  Come to find out the name “airport” on my iphone took me some where completely different.  So i put in the name of the airport and now i’m back on track, except i get to the exit and think i know where i’m going, yeah i end up at the private airstrip, not the main terminal.  so back on the road literally the car rental return slot, throw the keys in the drop box and huff it up the stairs to the ticket counter.  The flight aka, roller coster ride, back to houston was rough.  The first time i’ve ever got sick on a flight. 

Finally get home and open my luggage.  and find the card from tsa saying they’ve checked my bag, nothing odd.. but i can just imagine that guy going home to his family, “you’ll never guess what i saw in this guys bag!  20 winersnitzel hot dogs cold and packed in this guys luggage”