So, your Big Red Car is back out on the breakfast, coffee, and lunch circuit — no dinners, please — re-making the network that was stilled by the COVID circus. Texas is fully open, more than it ever was because folks are making up for lost time.

The other day I meet up with a pal — in the garden behind Texas French Bread over by the University of Texas, one of my secret meeting places — and we chat not having seen each other in more than a year.

We are the kind of pals that can and do say anything to each other without worrying if some snowflake will melt. It is a refreshing and candid exchange as we both share similar backgrounds: trade school grads, military service, entrepreneurs, builders, fathers, grandfathers, and we both used to swim long distances at Barton Springs once upon the day.

Barton Springs Pool | Austin, TX

Barton Springs — a quarter mile, up and back. The springs discharges 31,000,000 gallons a day of 63-67F water (once it was as high as 85,000,000 during a period of heavy rain). It is pure and you can swim up and back undisturbed. It is a treasure, especially on a hot Texas day when a mile will lower your core body temperature so much that you turn off the AC.

It was a glorious chat and we took up from whence we had left off which is the mark of a great friendship.

The guy tells me, “Well, amigo, we have both passed a significant milestone.”

“Oh?” says I.

“Yes, we are now no longer in danger of dying young.”

Do you have friends like this?

Be well, amigos. Be you. Be proud. Is this a great country or what? Is this a great time to be alive?