Oct 27, 2004
If you make it to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and only have a day, spend it at the Fort Worth Stockyards. There are a couple of dozen restaurants featuring steaks and/or Mexican food and not a chain or fast food joint in sight. Joe T. Garia's is a great place to start. Food is served family style and their health department rating is only passing at best. There are also plenty of western wear stores, antique shops, and cowboys riding horses through the streets. Kind of like being in a John Wayne movie only no six shooters or hard tack.
For a long time, I've wanted one of those old fashioned western belts like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry wore. Not the gaudy things with the hubcap sized buckles the C&W singers wear now but the kind with the "U" shaped buckles and a silver tip at the other end both pieces adorned with intricate engraving. I started my search at Leddy's near the Fort Worth stockyards where the sweetest, most helpful saleswoman I've ever met brought out the exact buckle set I was looking for. It was beautiful. It was bright shiny silver with modest engraving and a faint gold edge. After I had fallen in love with it, I faintly heard her mention the word sterling. "You mean it's solid silver?" said I. "But of course. This is an heirloom piece" said she. Already knowing what was ahead, I bit my tongue and asked the price. The buckle set alone was $320.00 and we hadn't even gotten to the belt yet. Not having a son to pass such an heirloom to and not having that big an interest in keeping my pants up, I passed on Leddy's offerings and she graciously pointed me across the street to an establishment that could supply me with a belt for "everyday wear." Don't get me wrong; everything in Leddy's was beautiful. I'll just have to wait until I reach the status of a Jordan Benedict or Jett Rink until I do any shopping there. I found a suitable substitute at Fincher's White Front across the street for $42.95.