Archive for the ‘Texas Other’ Category

Two Farm Girls Hunting for Dead Bodies

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

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Jenelle, my sister, is into genealogy.  She has information on our grandfather’s ancestors and is now looking up our grandmother’s ancestors.  When grandmother was about 90 years old she went to Lexington, TX and found her grandfather’s grave site.  This cemetery is located in a pasture.  Since Jenelle and John were coming to Dallas, Texas for the OSU /TCU  football game, Jenelle decided that she and I could go on a trip to Lexington (near Austin, TX) and find the cemetery and take pictures of the grave site.  Jenelle knew what highway it was on and about how far it was from town.

Here is a sign on the highway.


This is the entrance to the  pasture you must drive in to arrive at the cemetery.  We chose to park our car on the side of the road and walk even though we didn’t know how far we would have to walk.  I grabbed a bottle of water and my camera and off we went.



We walked about 1/2 mile and saw the cemetery.  The gate was tied with rope so we chose to climb over it, a skill  we learned growing up on the farm.



The cemetery was not real large so we decided to divide up the cemetery between the 2 of us to look for the grave site.  I went to the end on one side and Jenelle went to the  other side.  We were looking for the last name of Barnhill, my grandmother’s maiden name. It was about 100 degrees so we walked fairly fast going down the rows of graves.


I found it after going down 4 rows of graves.


This was the grave we had driven to Lexington, TX to find.  It read Wm Barnhill died Feb 20, 1894 Aged 75 years.  (Click Photo to enlarge.)


Right next to it was another grave that read Joseph, son of TJ and M F Barnhill, Born Sept 7, 1892, Died Dec 23, 1893.  This was our Grandmother’s little brother who lived almost a year and half.


With the temperature over 100 degree we were hot and ready to get back in the air conditioned car.  Bringing the drinking water turned out to be a great idea!  As we were getting ready to climb over the fence we noticed a small gate close to the grave sites.

Look it opens!!!!!!!!  No more climbing over fences looking for dead bodies!!!!.


Grandmother found these grave sites when she was about 90 years old.  We could just see Grandmother doing the same thing  we did as she was a very spunky lady.

Lukenbach, TX, Population 3

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

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Located a few miles east of Fredericksburg is the “town” of Lukenbach, Texas,  population 3.  Below is the old post office and general store that is now used as a souvenir shop.


Made famous by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings song, Lukenbach has been a famous country music stop since 1970. During the day, bands play outdoors on an open stage.


Adult beverages are available at the outdoor bar under the huge oak tree.


Then you can find your way through the license plates to the bathrooms.


At night, bands play in the indoor dance hall.


Our short trip to Lukenbach was enjoyable. There were dozens of motorcycle enthusiasts there also.  They have an added benefit of a closer parking lot.

Museum of the Pacific – Fredericksburg, TX

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

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For decades, Fredericksburg, Texas has been a well known destination, in the Texas Hill Country, for shopping and antiques.  The general theme is old world German food and crafts.  The long main street has hundreds of shops.


We were joined on our short Fredericksburg visit by nearby locals, Nan and Dave.  Living in an RV and having no place to put new items, shopping wasn’t at the top of our list of things to do.

Fredericksburg is the birthplace of Admiral Chester W Nimitz and is, naturally, the location of the National Museum of the Pacific War and the Nimitz Museum.  The two museums share entry fees.  One entry fee allows two days to tour the facilities.


The displays are vast and include airplanes and a submarine.



They have a copy of the nuclear bomb Fat Man that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.


Pacific War Museum is quite large.  Allow yourselves most of the day to tour it.  We didn’t have time to tour the Nimitz museum, maybe next time.


Next up, detour to Lukenbach.

Marfa, Lights And More

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

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Marfa, Texas is located in the high desert plains about 20 miles from Fort Davis.  Marfa replaced Fort Davis as the county seat for Presidio County, TX in 1885.  It looks like they bought the paint for the courthouse from Susan G. Komen.


Aside from that distinction, Marfa has a few other areas of notoriety.  Among these are the site of the filming of the movie, Giant; the site of the Marfa Army Airfield; and the mysterious Marfa Lights.

In 1911 Marfa became a site for a Calvary post and in the early years of World War II, the government built the Marfa Army Airfield.  Purchase price for the land was a whopping $6.50 per acre.  The airfield was decommissioned and permanently abandoned in 1985.

In 1956, the film Giant was released.  Giant was filmed in and around Marfa and the prestigious cast included the likes of Elizabeth Taylor,  Rock Hudson, and James Dean, who died before the picture was complete.  During the filming, most of the cast stayed at the Hotel Paísano .


The lobby and common areas remain much as they were in the 50’s.



The courtyard is still a popular meeting spot for happy hour.


We were fairly early for dinner so we were pretty much by ourselves in the dining room.  The food and service were very good.


Part of the hotel is set aside for the sale of Giant memorabilia and a photo wall.  (Most of our photos of this area lacked a certain level of clarity)


After dinner we headed about 8 miles east of Marfa toward Alpine to the mysterious Marfa Lights viewing area which is on land that was once home to the Marfa Army Airfield.



In the daylight, you have to look pretty hard to find the beauty in the area where the lights can be seen.


After the sun went down, we stared out into the darkness.  Some nights are better viewing than others.  This is a loop of some of the lights that we saw.


Our visit to Marfa was a side trip from Fort Davis to where we returned following the light show.   Our next stop will be Fredericksburg, TX and the Museum of the Pacific.

McDonald Observatory

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

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A trip to the Davis Mountains  would not be complete without a trip to the McDonald Observatory.  Here is one of the many telescopes.


A little closer view.


We took a tour of the facility which included an interesting presentation about the solar system.  Keeping track of solar flares is one of their prime tasks.   We’ve been on a lot of tours over the past few years and found no guide that knew more about the subject than our guide at the observatory.  With her degree in broadcasting and a masters in astronomy, we were quite impressed with both the knowledge and presentation.

At the entrance to the visitor’s center was a good sized sun dial.


A view of the valley and the road to the Observatory.

Here’s another one of the telescopes. (How’s that for blue sky?)  We were allowed to climb into this one. They also have kids astronomy telescope.


The entire ball shaped structure rotates to find the intended target in the sky.  Guess who got the opportunity to operate it?


Thank goodness that we didn’t need our liability insurance.