"Watching my grandson graduate and a SA traffic jam" by: Mike Reddell

   I went to Kerrville last week to watch my grandson’s graduation from Tivy High School.  
   For someone whose parents moved about when I was young, my grandson’s graduation from the same high school that his father and I graduated from was special to me.  
   Same Antler Stadium as well, although it has over 50 years and several million dollars spent on facilities between my time and my grandson’s.  
   A perception I had that I think is shared by most of my contemporaries who watch their grandchildren graduation is the encapsulation of three different generations unfold in your mind.  
   As I watched the traditional tossing of the mortar board, I thought back to my graduation night and then to remembering both of my sons throwing their caps in the air during their commencement ceremonies.  
   OK, I also remembering my youngest son’s graduation, where I worried he’d throw the mortar board prematurely or intentionally take a Chevy Chase pratfall crossing the stage when he got his diploma.  
   Clearly from his mother’s side of the family. He’s a musician in Los Angeles and still performing.  
   I always remember my sister-in-law Sandra telling me on graduation night that life would begin speeding up from that point on. She was right, it did.  
   We didn’t have Project Graduation back then, of course, the graduation party was at a summer camp. No wild and crazy for me, since my mother was one of the chaperones.  
   My grandson will have a summer of roofing work provided by his other grandfather and then to Blinn College at College Station for, hopefully, eventual entrance into A&M.  
   On my return trip to Bay City the following day, I decided to follow I-10 through the city, rather than going on Loop 534, which has become quite congested.  
   Wrong move. Terrible move.  
   Construction on I-10 channeled east-bound traffic toward Houston into a single lane from inside San Antonio to halfway to Seguin.  
   My truck’s air conditioning works only when the vehicle is moving at least 50 mph, since the blower is out, so I rolled down the windows to bask in the 104-degree heat and precious little breeze.  
   The average speed, when there was any movement, was about 5 mph.   
   We’ve all been in nightmare traffic jams – many of which were in Houston.  
   This one was worse as I batted away the flies that got into my truck because I kept thinking about ignoring the Loop 534 cutoff in west SA.   
   Still there was the one-hour, 40-minute leisurely drive through the industrial side of the Alamo City, occasionally broken up by the swaths of mesquite with the constant refrain in my head: If only I’d taken the cutoff.     

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