June 19, 2010 (Saturday)
I heard about an outdoor play which is performed in June every year in Albany Texas so decided to check it out. I called a friend (Leigh Ann) and asked her if she was interested in going. She was so we headed to Albany. The play is called Fandangle and has been performed for the past 72 years. There are about 400 cast and crew members, most of which are volunteers. Albany's population is about 2000 so most of the town is involved in some way.
We had several hours before the play started, so decided to check out the town. The lady at the visitors center suggested we see the Old City Jail. It now houses an Art Museum. When the new jail was built, the city was going to tear down the old one and a man in town decided he would buy it to preserve history. He bought it 1940 for $25.00 then found out the land did not come with it. Sounds just like real estate scams today!!! He then had to buy the land for another $325.00. At one time, the old jail was known as the alphabet jail.
Medal Man sitting in front of an artist studio in Albany
The blocks used to build the jail had initial carved into them. We found out, that was the way the men building the jail got paid. If they put up the block they carved their initial and were paid by the number of blocks with their initials. Hmmm makes you appreciate punching the time clock instead!!
After eating a chuck wagon barbeque dinner which was being served on the courthouse lawn as part of the Fandangle celebration, we started exploring the rest of the old shops downtown. A lot of the stores are in building which have been restored. We were wondering in and out of the shops and happen upon an ice cream cart where a church group was selling homemade ice cream. We were still full from the barbeque but decided to have some to cool off. The teenagers selling it said the church group had been making ice cream since the first of May. They were selling a lot too since the temperature was about 100 degrees.
It was now time to head out to the play. It is held about 1/2 mile outside of town in a pasture where they have added stadium seating.
A tattoo on the Medal Man. It was amazing see all the details on him
The seats were medal folding chairs. The play was fun to see however if you go take a cushion for the chair or rent one from the school kids. The play lasted about 2 hours and only had a 10 min intermission so you could stand up. The play was about the settlement of the county. At the beginning of the play, you see cowboys riding horses at full speed toward each other from opposite sides of the stage. It was amazing how they were crossing in front of each other at full speed. It took a lot of coordination.
It was about 11:30 pm when we arrived back in town at the motel. We got up early Sunday morning and headed back to Dallas exploring some of the small towns we passed through on the way back.
Until the next adventure
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