My previous post about the Morningside Park markers was misleading. I was confused! The marker at top above is between the two shown on that previous post. The marker in the middle was difficult to see from the trail but it is among the southern group of markers. At bottom is a wider view of the arrow pointing at 82 degrees in this earlier post. All the markers are about the same distance away from the upper trail through the park.
The retired space shuttles Discovery and Enterprise were flown to their final destinations in the last couple of weeks. I saw Discovery fly over Washington, DC when I was down there last week. Yesterday I heard, but did not see, the 747 carrying Enterprise as it passed by campus on the way to JFK.
In July 1985, a NASA 747 carrying Columbia from Edwards Air Force Base in California to Kennedy Space Center in Floriday stopped to refuel at Offutt AFB near Omaha. A few friends and I made the drive from Lincoln and sat in the summer sun for several hours to see the shuttle. Given how sunburnt I got I'm not sure it was worth the trip.
The two bottom photos were taken by Larry, whose last name is I do not remember.
Gruene was a successful cotton town along the Guadelupe River until a boll weevil infestation and the Great Depression essentially killed it off by the early 1930s. There it sat until the 1970s when someone bought and restored historic Gruene Hall and then started buying and restoring many other buildings in town. Today Gruene is a tourist town but without a lot of the tackiness that implies. I spent a very enjoyable evening walking around town, listening to the western swing coming out of Gruene Hall, buying delicious pecans to bring back to the office, and eating fish tacos and drinking a St. Arnold Fancy Lawnmower beer at Mozie's.
Then it was back to San Antonio and an early morning flight to New York.
In case anyone was wondering, many of the early European settlers of this part of Texas were German. New Braunfels celebrates their heritage with a ten-day "Salute to Sausage" Wurstfest every November. The flags are displayed at the Friesenhaus Restaurant.
The Redbud was allright in my book. When I walked in one of the cooks in the kitchen started waving oddly at me like she knew me. I had stopped briefly in Blanco on my way up to the park a few hours earlier but didn't make any acquaintances in the five minutes I was there so I didn't know her. Then it sunk in that she was giving a thumbs-up to the WFMU t-shirt I was wearing.
The soup, salad and local beer were all good but I needed something else to finish the meal. In small-town Texas that something else is spelled DQ. I ordered the smallest cone they had at the Dairy Queen and sat down to see Blanco's ladies of purple and red attire enjoying their lunch.
Here's the falls at Pedernales Falls State Park, a bit more than an hour's drive north of San Antonio in the Hill Country of Texas. The Pedernales is not much of a river in the middle of a drought. It makes for an interesting landscape though.
The drought in Texas had been going on for several months at the time of my visit. I've got a few more drought photos coming up soon. But not too soon. First I've got to get off the Internet for a week or so.
Sorry this is such a crappy photo. This is the stage and stained glass window in Lockhart's public library. You know it is a solidly built stage because President Taft once spoke from there.
The library's benefactor, Dr. Eugene Clark, had a tumultuous life. His father was killed in the Civil War when Eugene was three and his mother died soon after. Clark was raised by a friend of his mother in his native New Orleans. She did well and Clark graduated from Tulane's medical school and headed west to Lockhart. In Lockhart Clark entered practice with an older doctor. The older guy promptly left town leaving Clark as Lockhart's doctor at the age of 21. After a number of years in Lockhart Clark went to Europe to become an ENT. Following his studies he opened a practice in San Antonio and became terminally ill. On his deathbed, in New Orleans, he dictated a will that left $10,000 to Lockhart to build a library. Wikipedia says this is the oldest operating public library in Texas.
The old library building is a stately little classical building with lots of dark wood and columns. The library expanded in the not too distant past into the Masonic Lodge building next door. Unlike in Luling, the Clark library had plenty of fiction books other than the most mass-market of mass-market novels.
I am dangerously extrapolating from a sample of two, but what's the deal with Texas libraries? To write up the library history I searched for the library's website. I found this, which, if you click on the "directions" link sends you to the Google Maps page for the Lockhart Road Public Library in Hong Kong. The page lets you search the collection and, well, that's all you can do. Compare that with the Mexico, NY Public Library site, which, despite having a tenth of the population of Lockhart, has a ton of services listed and has an extensive and active presence on Facebook. Both libraries have a number of Hemingway publications but only Lockhart has a video of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingways.