Bonnie Raitt, Your Sweet and Shiny Eyes
When a reviewer described the Wichita Falls Candlewood Suites, Sweetie’s assigned lodging for the project, as “modest”—damning with faint praise sprang to mind. The Yelper continued, “If you need anything more than this, you should check your ego.” Well, I checked my ego and I need more. I need a lap pool, a hot tub, a small-batch, artisan, coffee roasterie on the corner, at least one ramen shop per block, a king-sized bed, a city view, local farmers markets, a daily Chicago Tribune, the MLB channel, a separate space for sleeping, a cutting board, more than two forks, and access to my side of the bed. But, all whining aside, I do have a full-size refrigerator, a bus stop down the block, a free washer and dryer, an outdoor gas grill, a nearby Walmart, a daily USA Today, a local NPR station, morning sun, and a thermostat that can be tricked—so I’m good. (Speaking of Walmart, a local woman was recently arrested and banned from that nearby Wichita Falls Walmart for “drinking wine from a Pringles can” while riding around the parking lot in an electric shopping cart. Now, I couldn’t make that up.)
Wichita Falls has twice the land mass of Paris (Paris, France not Paris, Texas) with 2,000,000 fewer people. We are currently stationed in the Northwest quadrant of Wichita Falls and when I asked the bus driver where downtown was, he said, “I guess I’d have to say that downtown is in the Southeast part of town—only two transfers away. But I can’t be sure, I never go there.” Bea and Glenda told me I should go to The Professional Wresters’ Hall of Fame and the world’s littlest skyscraper, both downtown, so I already have my bus routes selected.
On yesterday’s bus trip to Walmart, I couldn’t spot any two-story houses—not that there’s anything wrong with one-story houses. The bus route passed through miles of open space, housing developments, trailer parks, Sheppard AFB, a surprisingly large number of rusted car lots, surprisingly few cows, boarded up restaurants and taverns, Jimmy and Frankie’s Cut and Curl, the It’ll Do Tavern, Bombshells’ Strip Club, and Rusty’s Needles (?).
Most of the one-story homes have tightly closed drapes, a pickup in the driveway, and a barrel-shaped smoker in the front yard. Dogs wander around off leash and I actually saw unattended children playing, walking, and riding their bikes. Didn’t see any joggers or adults on bikes, although the oldest and largest cycling event in the country, “The Hotter ‘N Hell 100,” has been held in Wichita Falls every August since 1982.
Last night the local TV weatherman said casually, “Expect hail stones the size of baseballs or larger,” so today I’ll be packing my hard hat instead of an umbrella.
- ½ lb. ground sausage
- ½ lb. ground pork
- ½ lb. ground beef
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1 large egg 1-1/2 tsp. basil
- 1-1/2 tsp. parsley
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup Pringles, crushed and divided
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the sausage, pork, beef, cheese, egg, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt and 1/3 cup of the Pringles. Mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
Place the remaining Pringles into a small bowl. Using your hands, roll the meatballs, roll in the Pringles and place on sheet pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and serve with your favorite tomato sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.