Convert: Peter Vogel
Former Religion: Portland, Ore.
Occupation: Maker of vintage signs;
Distance Traveled: 2,241 miles
Ostensible Reason for Pilgrimage: Wife is new superintendent of Catholic schools for Galveston-Houston archdiocese
- Houston dry, flat, and brittle, a sun-scorched wasteland of tumbleweeds and dust so horrible, humans have been forced underground into air-conditioned tunnels.
- City completely devoid of historic buildings and walkable neighborhoods.
- Riding a bicycle or, for that matter, using any form of transportation that does not directly benefit Big Oil, leads to one’s immediate arrest.
Arriving Non-misconception: Freeways stretch hundreds of miles, possess dozens of lanes in both directions, and are sprawling, endless, and deadly.
Date/Location of Conversion: September 9, 2014, while drinking first Shiner at La Carafe.
Why He’ll Never Go Back: Heights hike and bike trails; new neighborhood reminds him of East Portland anyway; the three kids seem happy; wife “has met some great people at work”; massive sandwiches at Carter & Cooley; Ted Brown, part-time bartender at La Carafe.
Why He Can’t Go Back: “My wife actually said ‘y’all’ the other day, and I called her out. I said, ‘Hey, that’s your first y’all!’ And she said, ‘Did I just say that?’”