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Movies in Vernon, TX

We should have bought tickets to see “Call of the Wild” while we were in Vernon the other night.  I gave it little thought for we were exhausted from driving and geocaching all day.  The Vernon Plaza Theater, located across the street on the East side of the Wilbarger courthouse, has been showing movies for over 60 years.   This theater was, according to reports, the first in Texas to show 3-D movies.  Classic movies, first-run digital films, and indie films come to this screen.  From the outside it appears well cared for.

I’ve driven many times through Vernon on my way to or from the West but never stopped except at Walmart conveniently located right off  the 287 and the beginning of College Drive to pick up some snacks or a pen.  I had no idea what was here but I knew the town had been growing over the years and not in decline as many other rural towns are now.  The first thing we looked for when exploring Vernon was the courthouse.  It’s either that or the Methodist Church.  For Vernon it is First Baptist Church.  Those are usually the most grandest buildings in small towns.   We then move onward block to block finding interesting structures, signs, landscapes, and people.  DSC_6913

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2020 in Texas

 

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Trinidad, Texas

The Trinity River and Belt Line Road come up a lot if you live in North TX.  If anything happens it involves the Trinity River and if you drive far enough you’ll end up at Belt Line and some busy road or you will be on Belt Line for eternity.   Is it the highway to hell or the roadway to Heaven.  Who knows?

If you are driving along the 31 east of Corsicana head toward the start of day you’ll drive right over the Trinity River and find yourself in this little town of Trinidad.  According to Texas Escapes dot com, the town came about before 1840 and as usual there was a railroad.   Surely it had seen some business with river and rail coming together.

On this trip, I drove here purposely to geocache.  West (to the left) of this General Store is a cemetery.   Cemeteries make excellent geocaching locations and it is interesting to look at the names and local countryside in silence.  Then a train comes barreling through the little town of around a thousand people and a few stray dogs.

We found the container we were looking for at the cemetery and explored for a short time on our way toward the east.  And they love their Trojans!

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Posted by on January 11, 2020 in Texas

 

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Palestine, TX

On occasion, I will take the route to Piney Woods country south of Dallas from Corsicana through the various towns to the 69 or somewhere through tall Piney Woods in Davy Crockett area.  And to get there Palestine is one of the larger communities that is seen.  I’ve never spent much time there though because by the time I get past Corsicana or if taking the 69, Tyler, I just want to get to my other home.

One evening in 2018, The Kid and I had spent much of the drive time stopping in little towns geocaching.  It got too dark for that though and we were hungry.  Plus it was getting a bit cold and in late November when the sun goes down a jacket is required.  I don’t know if we stopped in Palestine to eat.  We must have because this picture was taken a few blocks north of the main drag.

I shot this picture, it appears, from my car window as I normally do.   However, I had not looked at this picture since we got home and that was over a year ago and I had forgotten what church this is and where.  After a bit of research and thanks to Google Maps driving I found it.   It is beautiful on outside and I surely expect it to be on the inside as well.  According to the church’s website, “Sacred Heart Catholic Church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and is one of five churches with this type of architecture remaining in the State of Texas.”

With that information and with some of the  images and reviews of others, it will be necessary to stop and take time in this town to visit this church.

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Posted by on January 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Anson, Texas

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It’s a long drive eastbound on the 180 from Snyder, TX to wherever you are going.   Let’s say we are traveling to Fort Worth.  I didn’t go that far but instead took a quick left in Breckenridge.  It is a bit more interesting than the I-20 situated about 30 miles or so south of the town and we likely would have made better time but you don’t get to see courthouses like this when you fly by on an interstate.

This is the Jones County Courthouse, Anson, TX.   If you stay a while, you will discover a load of information and history of Jones County and this little town that was once named Jones City.   According to historical documents Jones and Anson are the same guy.   We had enough time got get gas as the sun was stretching behind us so there was no time to be spent wandering through the community with camera gear, notebook, and a coke.

I liked what I saw enough, however, that I would certainly stop back in on my way to or from Lubbock TX.  There is an opera house there although I do not know if it is being used these days.  Maybe you know.   I’ll go back, reserve a motel room and stay the night, explore, and make friends.

 

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Trenton, Texas

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First United Methodist Church, Trenton, TX 

It started with an afternoon of geocaching.  I was in the area for business Sunday morning and had the afternoon of “wait time” that I used so creatively under the warm afternoon sun.  The day was gorgeous.  The sky a bit deeper blue as the days shorten in the Autumn months.  There are eight caches scattered around Leonard.  If scattered is not the most appropriate word, hidden is.  I found most of them.  And then I moved to the North.

About ten years ago, I stopped in Trenton and drove through on the main path through town and didn’t see anything that really wow’d me.  This Sunday afternoon, with my GPS Tracker in hand, but not while driving, I found a few to be found in town and explored.  Geocaching in small towns, no matter how stealth we must be, will lead someone to calling the cops.  I introduced the officer to this wonderful hobby/activity and he took notes.  Surely he will spend this weekend, or whatever day he is off work, exploring and searching/hiding geocaches!

First United Methodist church basked in the late afternoon sun while it’s neighboring and historic Trenton First Baptist Church sits on the block north.  At the north end of town, Chubbs Liquor is situated snugly with Ammo Biz with Pilgrim Rest Valley Church seated right next door.  I can only imagine the prayers of the church members over the neighboring lot next door.   I’m curious of the relationship between the ammo and liquor stores.

The Exxon station sits at the corner of the 69 and 121.  I conducted an interview here back in 2010.  Working in the rural communities surrounding the Northeast Dallas Metroplex, this gave me opportunity to meet someone from this area.  Yes, she got the job.

Get out there and explore.  Leave your normal!  Remember this:  cross traffic does not stop.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Bandon, Oregon

 

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Let’s leave Texas for a post or two.  While the state of TX bakes under the hot sun, the Oregon coast provides astounding vistas with breathtaking views.  Last year, I took a short vacation with my son to Oregon with a very big itinerary.  I wanted to see everything, to show the Kid the coast, Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, and further inland to Black Rock desert.

In Oregon, there is a bit more rain in May and it’s not as warm as the Texas skillet.  Most days were quite pleasant with an occasional spot of rain.  We had wind breakers and were not uncomfortable.  The Kid had to get his feet wet, though, as the waves rolled in.  I didn’t want him in that rough surf but only allowed him to get his feet in the water.  You live once.  We endured and at that point, I didn’t care.  We forgot about our plans and played on the beach for hours.  For much of the day we were the only ones on the sand.  Occasionally we’d spot another photographer or a couple walking hand in hand oblivious to us and the sea gulls.  A fisherman walked up onto a flat rock and cast his line far into the billowing swells while his canine companion raced ahead playing in the foam.

“Mommy, we could live here.  You are a nurse, daddy is a teacher. You should work triage from home and we could live right up there in that house and I could play down here every day.”

I like how the Kid thinks.  This was one of the most memorable times with my boy.  And with myself.  It was time spent as it should with no concern about the goings on in the world.

We walked back up the steps at the end of day, tired, hungry, listening to SuperTramp, Take the Long Way Home.  We got in the car and stared out across the blue Pacific for a few minutes more.  “I don’t ever want to leave this place”, he said.  Neither do I.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Museum of East Texas, Lufkin, TX

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Timing is everything when taking pictures outside.  Whenever I leave Lufkin, the time is usually before noon and the sun sits high in the eastern sky and that brings a problem when considering light and shadows using an infrared filter or converted camera.  I preferred not having these clouds in the image.

Wandering through the streets of this town of around 36,000 people  I find walls of painted murals, scaffolding along the east side of First Baptist Church, and the original “The Magnificent Seven” Sept 1 at 7 pm on the banner at The Pines Theater downtown.  And once I’m on the highway headed home, I edge up to a Peterbilt daycab hauling a Lufkin trailer.   If you head up the 59, you’ll see the old Redland Drive In.  I took a picture of that relic some years ago with a filter on my Nikon that gave it an eerie feel.  I’ll have to dig out of the archives.  Maybe it’s already posted on this blog.

The talk of the town the weekend I was there was the game.  Baseball.  Little League Baseball and it was no small conversation.  Headlines read, “Lufkin All-Stars heading to Junior League World Series.”  I don’t know the teams and I’m not from Lufkin but felt  excitement in my heart for this team.  It’s the best all-American sport in my opinion.

I parked in an empty lot on Burke and S 1st on Sunday.  The city is quiet in the early afternoon.  I looked at my phone to check the location of a cache.  We got out and stretched in the hot TX sun and walked toward the spot.  After logging our find, we explored the short alleyway, the boys kicking some rocks talking about found treasures and what could be in the crawl space under an old bricking.  There’s never dullness walking with two boys.

Sunday’s, I’ve determined, are the best time to shoot with an infrared camera images  with little movement or clutter.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2018 in Uncategorized