What do you do when the souvenir you want is illegal? That was the question I asked myself as I drove down a narrow, two-lane road to Luckenbach (pop. 3), about 70 miles west of Austin.
It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and maybe the pressure’s on. As Waylon Jennings himself put it so eloquently in his 1977 hit, let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas!
Ride along with Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith and Creative Director Mark Mahorsky to Luckenbach, Texas, to see the creative process of a Texas Highways cover photo shoot.
It’s a late afternoon at Club Westerner, an 84-year-old dance hall in Victoria, and musicians with The Scott Taylor Band are setting up their instruments for the night’s show. The sounds of tuning guitars and microphone checks bounce off the walls, just as they have for decades. In the hours to come, dancers will fill the historic hall, absorbing the country music and skimming across the shiny oak dance floor in a counterclockwise motion. It’s a ritual that has taken place at dance halls across Texas for more than a century, and judging by the diversity of halls and their fans, it’s a tradition that shows promise to persevere as a hallmark of Lone Star culture.
I’m having my favorite flying dream again, zooming low and fast over green, rolling hills. I lean into the gentle turns and accelerate to the next sweeping bend. Only it’s no dream.