Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Texas BBQ, Basketball and a LEGEND...all in one night!

Iron Works...where it all started!
100 Red River St., Austin, Texas
Phone: (512) 478-4855

(L to R) Travis, Austin, Luke, Taylor, our new friend LOUIE, NA, NA, DARRELL K. ROYAL far right

The signed ball

It was the Anderson's last night here in Austin before heading back to California. Like our family, they are also crazy about Texas sports so we were headed to watch the UT vs. Appalachian State men's basketball game. Mark and Leslie requested BBQ for their "last" meal in town. We decided to try something new since we would be downtown for the game. Iron Works gets rave reviews and it didn't disappoint our picky BBQ eaters! The brisket and sausage were so good that we had to go back for seconds! I loved their sweet and spicy BBQ sauce and very cold beer.

The boys picked a table in the back room. We had only been there a few minutes when this friendly older man, later introduced as "Louie", and Roland Cantu, the restaurant manager, offered us an extra ticket to the basketball game. We explained that we already had tickets, but when Louie explained that the seat was located just a few feet away from the legendary Texas coach, Darrell K. Royal, we snatched it up! After that little tip, they had ALL of our attention. We quickly learned that Louie was a regular at IW and he sat at his own "reserved" table.

Louie has worked for the Texas athletics department since 1952 and knows everyone! He said that he started out selling sodas and worked his way up to guarding THE TEXAS goal post! Roland was very familiar with Louie's story and after Louie headed to the game, he brought over some pictures of Louie with Darrell Royal, Mack Brown, Willie Nelson and Ben Crenshaw! After some discussion, we decided to stop by the Texas CO-OP so each family could get an official Texas ball with hopes to get them signed by Darrell Royal. It isn't everyday that you get to sit a few feet away from such a legend! We didn't know if DKR would even show up for the game, but if he did, we planned on be ready with Sharpie and balls in hand!

He showed up and ALL four of our boys were able to sit on the row next to Louie and Darrell! Darrell looks great (84 years old) and kindly shook their hands and didn't mind at all to sign their footballs. Louie entertained the boys with his funny stories throughout the night! We were all very excited about our evening of serendipity events (the boys much preferred their RESERVED seats to their original NOSE BLEED seats). We carried our signed balls home with Texas pride and recalled an evening we would never forget!

Darrell K. Royal

"Football doesn't build character. It eliminates weak ones"
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
"Dance with the one who brung ya" Darrell Royal

A little Texas trivia... if you are interested!

The man who led The University of Texas Longhorns to three National Championships and continues to remain the state of Texas' most legendary football coach -- Darrell Royal! Born July 6, 1924, Darrell K. Royal has a middle initial but no middle name. The "K" is in honor of his mother, Katy, who died when he was baby from cancer. Because of the taboo surrounding the disease, Royal was led to believe until he was grown that she had died giving birth to him.
Hook'em Horns!

No comments: