Its name was made legend in a song. Luckenbach.
Over the years the stories, the music, and the history have all combined to give this iconic community between Fredericksburg and Boerne an image that any place would have a tough time living up to.
I had no idea what to expect as I turned onto the Luckenbach Town Loop off of Ranch Road 1376. I rounded the final curve in the narrow road and there it was . . . a spread of old-style tin-roofed barnwood buildings set beneath towering shade trees and surrounded by rows of motorcycles, SUVs and pickup trucks. Welcome to Luckenbach!
It could have been a movie set, but this was the place of “blue eyes cryin’ in the rain…”.
The dust rose in puffs around my boots as I walked toward the Post Office. A tourist sat on the front porch of the historic old wooden building. A sign overhead read “U.S. Post Office, Luckenbach, Texas, 1850-1971”. We both nodded as I walked past.
The path I picked led to a live acoustic guitar venue where a single performer played his Texas tunes to a small audience of appreciative guests. Like me, some were first timers, while others were regulars who come to Luckenbach when they feel the urge to leave it all behind for an hour or two, listen to a little Country music and sip on a cold Lone Star.
The smell of barbecue filled the air as I took a quick look into the nearby dance hall with its well-worn hardwood floor and array of overhead string lights. This was the stuff that memories are made of. Some of Texas’ most well known performers have sung their songs here. Ray Benson, Gary P. Nunn, Charlie Robison, and Willie’s daughter Paula Nelson were set for gigs around the holidays. I closed my eyes and could almost hear them among the sound of revving Harley’s and children playing in the manicured glade across the creek.
As the web site reads, “ Luckenbach . . . A Texas state of mind, where you can kick back, relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life—like a step back in time.” That’s true, but for me it was more. It was a look at how Texas used to be and how many of us sometimes wish it still was. Now that I’ve found it, let’s go to Luckenback, Texas . . . more often.
Michael Baxter is the Texas Travelin’ Man
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