Houston Wright, Butcher

From Texas Monthly:

Houston Wright cut meat, made sausage, and cooked barbecue at Kreuz Market in Lockhart for sixty years. He was tying sausage there before the brick building that housed the market (and is now home to Smitty’s Market) was built in 1924. He was deaf and mute by then—former Kreuz Market owner Rick Schmidt said the disability was the result of a stroke when he was nine. Smitty’s owner Nina Sellsagrees on the age, but blamed spinal meningitis. Either way, they called him “Dummy.”

When I first noticed the collection of photos at Smitty’s pinned to a glass covered bulletin board, I asked Nina Sells about the cluster of images featuring a tall black man. She said, “Oh, that’s Dummy,” and I was slightly taken aback by the name. But she said it wasn’t meant in a mean way; that’s just what everyone called Houston Wright. Nina described those photos from the seventies that now hang behind the glass. “He would tell you a story, and that’s what I wanted to capture here,” she said. “He couldn’t talk but he would tell you things by acting them out, and we’d all listen.”