Monday, November 28, 2016

Return of the Prodigal. . .




Travel--getting ready to go, actually traveling, and recovering from same--has taken most of my time for the past two months. But I haven’t been idle--no, I brought home tons of story ideas!
Whenever I’m in my hometown, I try to set aside time to visit the West Texas Collection at Angelo State University. It is research paradise-genealogically and historically speaking. Staffed by knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful folks, it’s the place to be if you’re looking for information, no matter how insignificant.

Sometime soon I’ll be posting a couple of blogs on a man I knew as “Uncle Dutch”. A friend of my father’s despite some age difference, he’s a shining memory of my post-war childhood in an old country cow town. He lived and died in the house where he was born, and from its treasures, he culled items once belonging to his mother and shared them with me. I knew his broad smile, his gravelly voice, the smell of the cigar clamped in his teeth, and the warm hugs I never grew too old to appreciate.
What I didn’t know was his family’s immigrant/pioneering history. Thanks to Ancestry.com and the West Texas Collection, I’ve gathered fascinating facts just waiting to be spun into a series of blogs.
So stay tuned.
I also spent some time in the faltering downtown area, once the commercial and social center of the community I knew as a child. One building, no longer standing, has piqued my curiosity, so I’m working on digging out its story. And of course it has a story! All old buildings do!
The County Poor Farm/County Home has been a less pleasant memory. It was a stop on charitable tours for Sunday School classes and scout groups. I’m making some progress uncovering its origins/history, too.
Then last week I spent in the Ft. Worth Stockyards with side trips into the cultural district to re-visit the Kimbell Art Museum and the Amon Carter Museum, two of my favorite spots when I lived in the city. Prowling Exchange Street, browsing the shops along the enclosed (and uneven!) brick walks, watching the longhorns run twice a day. . .all sparked story ideas. Unfortunately, I missed the ghost tour which happens only on weekends, but there’ll be another trip. . .

So while I’ve neglected this blog (mea maxima culpa), I have weeks worth of stories waiting to be told.
Any ideas which one should come first?






And just for fun--here I am with Maverick the Longhorn! I decided the step was a better place for my backside rather than the saddle on his back. Patient he may be, but limber I am not!