At the advice of a British friend gone native Texan, who insisted we needed to see more of Texas than the bright lights and glitz of the Houston metropolis, we went forth. He recommended a trip into the depths of rural Texas visiting places like Rosebud, Temple, Milano, Hanover, Elevation and so on, with his good advice we loaded the car and set off. Want to see where we went? The map shows the route - just a small part of Texas. After all, Texas is bigger than France and we did'nt have that many days!
View TEXAS ROADTRIP MAP
Early morning This is the first picture from our trip. We wanted to start early to get the good light
Breakfast (not at Tiffany’s)
The owners of the car in the previous shot. These guys were enjoying their breakfast at the local Dairy Queen. It would have been more authentic to us if it was a barbecue shack, but no such luck! And no woman looking the slightest like Audrey Hepburn either…. So this quote from the book will have to do: [I]t’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear. ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly
Corn was Here
There is a lot if corn production in Texas. We were a bit late in the season. Corn is important for Texas. Corn, sometimes called maize, covers Texas chronology from prehistoric to present times. A close relatives of corn, have been found in caves in the Hueco Mountains; the chapalote corn race existed in pre-Spanish Texas. Spanish explorers of the early 1500s found Indians growing corn in East Texas, and the Spanish carried on corn culture at the Rio Grande valley settlements and the Texas missions. They ate the grain as a basic ingredient in tortillas, tamales, posole, and atole. Today Texas harvests nearly 2 million acres annually.
It has been a very dry summer in our part of Texas. Thankfully not as dry as the summer of 1980 when President Jimmy Carter came to show his concern. The President said the Government was trying to do everything it could, and added “We’ll be praying for rain and cooler weather in the future.”
Clarkson Baptist Church
Religion is important in the south, and most places have large and impressive churches. This belongs to the more modest style. And who knows, maybe money is not everything. There’s not too much known about Clarkson, Clarkson is a ghost town, resting peacefully in the middle of north-central Texas farmland. It had a post-office from 1889 through 1906, when mail was moved to Rosebud. In 1903 Clarkson had two local schools, one for 43 white students, one for 105 black students. By the 1940s, Clarkson’s population had dwindled to 50. In 1990 it was down to 10. Today, Clarkson consists of a few scattered farmhouses still occupied, the old Clarkson Baptist Church, the Clarkson Cemetery with old and new tumbstones, and the old schoolhouse down the road is falling into disrepair.
Temple Bus Center
It is mid-day and the sun is beating down in Temple. This bus station with its typical sign and washed out colors in the middle of the day is our childhood image of road trips, and closely connected to waiting…. Temple was originally founded in 1881 as a railroad town. In 1880 Jonathan E. Moore sold 187 acres of his land to the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway to use for a construction camp. The site was called Temple Junction by the railroad company, in honor of one of the engineers, Bernard Moore Temple,while local residents called the community Mud Town or Tanglefoot. When a post office was established there in January 1881, the official name became Temple
No series from Texas would be complete without the nodding donkey. The pumpjack (also known as nodding donkey, pumping unit, horsehead pump, beam pump, sucker rod pump (SRP), grasshopper pump, thirsty bird and jack pump) is the overground drive for a reciprocating piston pump. To summarize: what every you call it, this is a slow moving pump for low pressure oil reservoirs . And it is a common sight (and smell!) when you are on a road trip in Texas
Old Model-T ?
We could have done a whole series on car-wrecks alone. They are often used for decorative purposes, and we can not help photographing them. Americans are broad-minded people. They’ll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn’t drive, there is something wrong with him. ~Art Buchwald, “How Un-American Can You Get?,” Have I Ever Lied to You?, 1966
We came across this rather large still life displayed on a field. We do find it strange that it is left on display like this, the grass neatly cut under it – but who knows, may be there are lots of nice memory connected to that rusty scrap?
It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road. ~Author Unknown.
Neon in the Morning
There is something about that early morning light that makes even the most mundane of objects take on glorifying sheen. The word play in the tittle is admittedly lame.. (did you get it?)
Rural America in perfect harmony, Nail saloon and livestock magazine side by side in Gatesville. Gatesville in central Texas was named the “Spur Capital of Texas” by the Texas Legislature in 2001. The largest spur collection in the world is found in Gatesville’s Coryell Museum and Historical Center, the result of 77 years of collecting by Lloyd Mitchell (1907-1991). ….. never a boring moment on a Road Trip.
Highway 77 Cafe
This cafe is just outside Rosebud (a romantic name not quite justified by the town) has good food and friendly service. The specialty is chicken fried steak. Framed pictures of military personnel, some going back to World War II, line the walls. “People bring ’em in,” our waitress explained, “and we hang ’em up.” Local heroes, great stuff. “There’s a rose bush in every yard in Rosebud, Texas.” (Ripley’s Believe It Or Not ). The city has a yearly rose planting to maintain the citys motto “Everything’s Rosy In Rosebud”. Nowadays the population is mainly elderly and it seemed like many of them had their lunch or dinner at the Highway 77 cafe. The population as of July, 2007, was 1,348. What else to mention…. Rosebud is the birthplace of two “famous people” – the NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Kenneth McDuff, a serial killer suspected of at least 14 murders.
A change from the old cars, here is an old tractor. The first engine-powered farm tractors used steam and were introduced in 1868. Henry Ford produced his first experimental gasoline powered tractor in 1907. it was referred to as an “automobile plow” and the name tractor was not used.
Landscape with Tractor
This is another view of the tractor in the previous post. This was a genuine tractor graveyard. We have borrowed the tittle from Henry Taylor and his poem "Landscape with Tractor".
Real Use for Pick-ups
Living in Houston, we see pick-ups on the road daily (lots of them). In the city, they are used to get you to the starbucks for a cup of coffee, to get to the movies – they have all the power but neither use the strengt nor the truckbeds. This seems fit for purpose .
Detail from Antique Shop
Antique shops are common along the highways. It would not be an overstatement to say that they offer more crap than antiques, but there is always a feeling of “I might be able to find the hidden geem How many people have this rusty oven warmed, and what were they dreaming of when they stared into the flames?
We leave with a frame from a cemetery in a German part of Texas. The eastern parts of the state has large groups of German immigrants. And Germania, on Farm Road 1624 three miles west of Lexington, was established by German immigrants in the 1880s. The community’s name derives from the Latin word for Germany. A school opened there before 1900 and at its height (around 1910) thirty children attended the school. The first Lutheran church in the area was organized in the school, and services were held there until 1891, when the Trinity Lutheran Church was established in Lexington. In the mid-1930s Germania had the old church building and cemetery and a few scattered dwellings. By 1982 only the cemetery marked the townsite. Today there is nothing but farmland – and the old cemetery.