Blogs from Texas, United States, North America


North America » United States » Texas September 15th 2019

DAN BLOCKER Bobby Dan Davis Blocker rolled into the cosmos in DeKalb, Texas on December 10, 1928 tipping the scales at 14 pounds. At the time of his birth he was the biggest baby ever born in Bowie County, Texas. His folks were Shack Blocker and Mary Arizona Davis. Shack moved his family to O’Donnell, Texas, south of Lubbock and opened a store. Dan was raised there and got his book learning at Texas Military Institute. After a year among the Baptists at Hardin Simmons University in Abilene he transferred to Sul Ross State Teachers College in Alpine where he played football, performed in rodeo, and was a bouncer in a bar. He graduated from there in 1950, and a short while later found himself drafted into the Army for service in the Korean War. At ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » Eastland September 13th 2019

DOC SCURLOCK Josiah Gordon Scurlock burst forth amongst us on January 11, 1850 down in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. He was the sixth of eleven children born to Priestly Norman Scurlock and Esther Ann Brown. His pals started in calling him Doc Scurlock when they heard that he had once briefly studied medicine in New Orleans. Probably he didn’t though. What seems more likely are the accounts from 1868 that mention Doc got into a heated argument with a brother-in-law over a calf in Tennessee and the brother-in-law was killed. Doc had to flee to South America because of it and he eventually made his way back through Mexico. Some accounts credit Doc with killing a card cheat in Mexico in 1870, but that has not been verified any more than medical school has been. He came ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » McCamey September 10th 2019

HORSEHEAD CROSSING When Ben Franklin said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” surely he was talking about the horses in West Texas. The Pecos River flows through there and the water can be quite alkaline during the drier times of year when horses are most thirsty. Sometimes the water is so bitter that the horses won’t drink it and they perish from their thirst while the river gurgles merrily along to the gulf. In 1849 a fellow named Randolph Barnes Marcy was mapping the area for the army and he noted that there was a safe crossing there due to a gravel bottom in the river bed. He also noticed that there were the remains of several dead horses in the area. It became known as Horsehead Crossing in ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » Vernon September 8th 2019

VERNON, TEXAS If you ever find yourself at loose ends in Vernon, Texas on a sleepy Saturday afternoon you might find it amusing to visit the Red River Museum. The museum has a couple of old ladies who volunteer as docents. One of them is 75 and the other is 80, and both of them are full of stories. The elder of the two gave me a personally guided tour through the entire facility, since no other tourists were there. She was quick to point out that both Roy Orbison and Jack Teagarden were born in Vernon. Roy had a fine singing voice, and was seldom off key with it. He was born in the hospital, but it is no longer the hospital. The town of Vernon has a Roy Orbison Park that they are quite ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » Rusk September 5th 2019

I found only two internet sites on Gent, Texas; on Gent Mountain. The Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) was my main source of historic information. was my secondary source. My farmer friend was very important in finding this site. Both of the above internet sites agreed that Gent was also known as Ghent. On Gent Mountain there was a well hidden Historic Marker, that we could not find cuz of the heavy overgrown brush and thorny vines. The sun was on the other side of the overgrown brush. After a while we found a dark silhouette of a historic marker in the brush. We cleared away the brush to see this historic marker. In the late 1840s the area was first settled by European Americans and known as Sand Springs. That settlement was not really ... read more
Gent Village band
Gent Village Historic Marker
Gent Village HM

North America » United States » Texas » Rusk August 10th 2019

Preface: This blog is one of about five new blogs centered around Cherokee County, Texas that I hope to complete in September, 2019. My farmer friend and guide (and East Texas railroad historian) was very helpful and I use the internet for more historic information. Most of these locations prospered in the 1880s by getting a spur line railroad to Jacksonville, Texas; to use the main railroad to ship their agricultural products to markets in East Texas. These blogs were all shot on Aug. 26, 2019. I was riding with my good friend from Cherokee County and he drove me to the nearby small town of Neches in Anderson County, just four miles West (as the crow flies) of the Neches River, and Cherokee County. My friends small ranch & farm drains down to the Neches ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » Carthage August 2nd 2019

I was driving to a small town of Keatchie, LA to visit a friend South of Shreveport, Louisiana. I found on my Texas road map the small community of Deadwood, Texas not far out of the way to my destination in Louisiana and decided to see Deadwood without Wild Bill Hickok. I drove North on US Hwy 59 and about three miles South of Carthage where I turned East on Farm Road 2517. I drove East about ten miles and passed over the Sabine River. After about five more miles I got to the community of Deadwood, Texas at the intersection of FR 2517 and FR 31. I stopped there at an abandoned parking lot cuz I saw no trace of Deadwood at the highway intersection. I drove a short distance South on FR 31 and ... read more
road construction on FR 2517
FR 2517
FR 2517

North America » United States » Texas » San Antonio July 28th 2019

Although we travel a couple of times per year, trips to destinations in our own country have been more limited in the last several years. We had both wanted to visit the great State of Texas but somehow, we had always put off a visit there. And, while I had never been to the “Lone Star” state, as a young child Rick had been through the ‘panhandle’ with his parents when they took long driving trips every summer. Texas is famous for many things and places: being part of the ‘Wild West’; the famous Battle of the Alamo where the Texans fought for independence from Mexico; being the home of the notorious outlaws Bonnie & Clyde as well as the famous Texas Rangers who finally ended the pair’s robbery and murdering spree; vast oil fields; the ... read more
Hotel Valencia
San Fernando Cathedral Altar

North America » United States » Texas » Odessa July 14th 2019

We got a late start this morning. We were up at 6:30 AM, but decided to spend some time making changes to our trip itinerary. We decided to spend more time in New Mexico and then head for Colorado. Our good friends Bob and Gloria offered us their lodge in Winter Park, and having been there twice already, we jumped at the chance to go there again. It is such a wonderful place in a wonderful town. So…after making new reservations and cancelling others, we were off at 9:30 AM and 87 degrees, heading west through Hill Country toward western Texas. The drive today was eclectic. It began through flat lands over roadways bleached white by the southern sun and adorned beautifully with leafy green trees. And on a day when the sky is mostly blue ... read more
West of San Antonio
Texas Hill Country
Limsestone hills

North America » United States » Texas » San Antonio July 13th 2019

We woke this morning to sunny skies and calm winds, a great relief from yesterday, when the winds in Holly Beach were so strong it was difficult to close the car door. We left the hotel at 7:55 and 81 degrees and hopped right onto I-10, which was right outside the hotel. The first leg of our trip took us to Houston. Of course we passed the obligatory fuel plants along the way, one in particular looking like a monster of an erector set on steroids. And one gas plant had the biggest flame burning at the top of a chimney that I have ever seen…seems like a real waste of fuel, but I guess there is a purpose in this. And after checking the internet, the expert authority on everything (not), it seems that these ... read more
Natural gas plant
Houston skyline
Houston Skyline

Tot: 2.577s; Tpl: 0.04s; cc: 8; qc: 85; dbt: 0.0551s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.7mb